Video doorbells are becoming amazingly popular, as they let you keep tabs on who’s coming and going and when. Plus, if you ever find a need to access security footage following a break-in or package theft, video doorbells can help, thanks to that added layer of home security.
Two of the most popular video doorbells on the market today are the new Ring Video Doorbell Wired and the Nest Hello. Both are hardwired doorbells, meaning you don’t need to fuss with changing batteries or recharging. So what’s the difference between them, and how do you choose the right one for your home? We’ll dive in, but you can also check out our Ring Video Doorbell Wired review or our full review of Nest Hello Video Doorbell to learn more.
For the most part, table stakes in video doorbells mean you should expect color HD video, two-way talk and listen, motion detection, and alerts to your smartphone when someone is at the door, plus the option of an audible chime if you want. Each video doorbell has different features, so if a particular option seems important to you, make sure to confirm it’s part of the package.
To choose the right wired video doorbell, you’ll need to ask yourself a few questions and make a few choices upfront. Will you need your video doorbell to work with your preferred smart home ecosystem, and will it integrate seamlessly? Can you access videos for free, or do you need to pay for cloud recording? How much does that cost? There’s also the price to consider.
At a glance
|Nest Hello||Ring Video Doorbell Wired|
|Design||Oval-shaped, 4.6 inches tall, 1.7 inches wide, and 1-inch depth||Rectangular, 3.98 inches tall, 1.8 inches wide, and 0.88 inches thick|
|Features||Two-way audio, live video, alerts, night vision, motion detection, quiet time, prerecorded messaging, works with Google Assistant, smart alerts, facial recognition (with subscription), video recording (limited without a subscription)||Two-way audio, live video, alerts, night vision, advanced motion detection, works with Alexa, easy install, bypasses chime, save/review/share recordings (with subscription)|
|Specs||3-megapixel color-sensor camera with 8x digital zoom and a 160-degree diagonal field of view||155-degree horizontal and 90-degree vertical field of view, takes video in 1080p resolution|
|Subscription||Starts at $5 per month, highest tier is $30 per month||Starts at $3 per month, highest tier is $10 per month|
|Install requirements||10VA transformer and wired doorbell and chime, pro install recommended, but you can self-install||Standard doorbell system, Ring plug-in adapter or transformer with 10-24 VAC, 40VA max, easy to self-install, chime sold separately|
|Review score||9/10, Editors Choice Award||8/10, recommended|
The size of the doorbell might be important if you only have a narrow door frame or small area around your door.
The Ring Video Doorbell Wired is a small rectangular doorbell, billed as Ring’s smallest and most affordable option yet. Measuring 3.98 inches tall, 1.8 inches wide, and just 0.88 inches thick, it’s a tiny package for sure.
Nest Hello is a similarly small and narrow video doorbell, but it has a more modern, rounded shape. At 4.6 inches tall, 1.7 inches wide, and 1 inch thick, it’s a smidge larger than Ring.
While Nest Hello has a more modern design, the Ring Video Doorbell Wired is a hair smaller, so we’ll leave it up to you to decide what’s more important — size or looks.
If you’ve never done it before, installing a video doorbell may seem intimidating. Truth is, it’s relatively easy, and with some basic know-how and simple tools, you can have this done in anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour.
The Ring Video Doorbell Wired is easy to install. You’ll hook up a bypass for your old doorbell’s chime or bell, connect the wires from your old doorbell to the Ring, mount it on the wall or doorframe, and you’re ready. (Check out our article how to install the Ring Video Doorbell Wired here.)
Nest Hello has virtually the same setup steps, with the key difference being you’re wiring a small dongle into your old chime so it will still sound, so you need to finesse the placement of this device.
With both doorbells, you’ll connect the wires from your old doorbell to the back of one of the new units, and all things being equal, you’ll likely be ready to go in a few minutes. Other factors at your home can complicate the setup, like too-short doorbell wires, a conduit sticking out of the wall that means you can’t attach the doorbell flush to the wall, or an old doorbell that’s mounted so far into an inside corner you don’t have space for even a small video doorbell. It’s best to evaluate your space, pop off your old doorbell to quickly check what’s underneath it, and double-check measurements.
We’ve installed both Ring and Nest doorbells, so we can attest to the fact that both follow the same steps and are relatively easy to do.
Compatibility with smart home tech
You can get the most out of a video doorbell by linking it to your smart home ecosystem. Use a Google or Alexa device with a screen to see who’s at the door before getting up. If you already have a smart home system you like, it makes sense to choose a video doorbell that will integrate with it easily.
So which device is best for your smart home? Ring is owned by Amazon, while Google owns Nest, so it probably goes without saying that each device will work most seamlessly with its companion smart home system: Ring with Alexa devices, like the Echo Show 10, and Nest Hello with a Google Nest Hub.
If you choose a video doorbell to match your existing smart home ecosystem, whichever one that is, you’ll get the best user experience. With that said, these devices are made to be functional across multiple apps, phones, and platforms.
Price and subscriptions
Price is where the rubber meets the road for a lot of us, and there’s no contest here. The base price for Google’s Nest Hello video doorbell is $229, compared to the new Ring Video Doorbell Wired, which sells for just $59. If budget is of the utmost importance, there’s only one choice here and not much else to discuss. While you do get a few more features with Nest Hello, it’ll be up to you to decide if they’re worth it.
Winner: Ring Video Doorbell Wired
Cloud recording price subscription
A video doorbell may be only as good as its recordings. While you get limited access to videos with both video doorbell options here, if you want full access to full-length recordings going back more than a few days, you need to subscribe to the monthly plan. Ring Protect starts at $3 per month, while Nest Aware starts at $6 monthly. There are many different plans and options with each, so it’s important to see what each plan or upgrade gets you to make a comparison that’s relevant for your specific needs.
Winner: Ring Video Doorbell Wired
Night vision and video specs
A video doorbell won’t do you any good if the recording quality is subpar or it doesn’t have night vision. Both Nest Hello and Ring Video Doorbell Wired have night vision, both record HD-quality video, and both give you a live-view option.
When it comes to the field of view, the Ring Video Doorbell Wired states it has 155-degree horizontal and 90-degree vertical views, while the Nest Hello shares only a diagonal measurement of 160.
Both of these cameras have similar video quality and video features.
Features and specs
The Ring Video Doorbell Wired has 1080p HD video with two-way talk, 24/7 live view, adjustable motion settings/alerts, and night vision, and it works best with Alexa.
Google’s Nest Hello also has HD video with two-way talk, and it offers 24/7 livestreaming and recording, night vision, package detection, and prerecorded audio responses that can help mask your voice. It works best with Google.
Each video doorbell manufacturer adds its own special features, like 24/7 video recording or package detection. Constant 24/7 video recording lets you watch recorded footage from any time of day or night, regardless of if a person or motion is detected.
Package detection was developed by Nest specifically to recognize when a package is delivered to the area in front of your door and to alert you so you can retrieve it immediately and thwart porch pirates.
Winner: Nest Hello
When it comes to special features, Nest Hello is our winner, hands down.
Overall winner: Ring Video Doorbell Wired
It’s hard to argue with the outstanding value you’re getting from Ring Video Doorbell Wired. While these two devices come out equal in many head-to-head comparisons, the fact that your get-in-the-door price for Ring is under $60, while Nest Hello is well over two bills, ends the conversation for a lot of folks right there.