A Ring video doorbell mounted on a home without wiring, running of the internal battery.

So your home’s old doorbell never worked, or you’d like to put a video doorbell on an entrance that was never wired for a doorbell. Here’s what you need to know about using a video doorbell without existing wiring.

Why Use a Video Doorbell Without Wires?

There are various reasons why you might want to set up a video doorbell without wires. In some cases, your home might have the appropriate wiring, but the wiring, the chime, the doorbell transformer, or all of the above are damaged, and you’re not interested in repairing them.

Or maybe your front door, back door, or both were never wired for a doorbell in the first place, so you’d like a solution that doesn’t involve drilling, wire fishing, and DIY electrical work.

For folks in apartments, that DIY work might not even be an option and no-drill mounting a video doorbell is the only way to go.

And hey, maybe you have an even more fringe use case like you want to put a video doorbell on something besides your front door. Maybe you want to place one on a detached garage you run a business out of or some other spot where it would be handy to have both a camera and a button to summon assistance.

Battery-Powered Doorbells Are Easy to Install

Whatever your motivation, you’re in luck. There are a variety of battery-powered video doorbells on the market.

While attaching a video doorbell to existing wiring is always ideal (because then you never have to fuss with recharging and swapping batteries), you can’t beat the convenience battery-powered video doorbells provide in terms of placement flexibility.

You don’t even have to drill; you can use a no-drill mount or specialty tape.

Ring Video Doorbell 4

The updated Ring Video Doorbell has enhanced battery life, an improvement very relevant to our discussion today.

While Amazon’s Ring Pro line of video doorbells requires a hard-wired connection, the basic Ring models, up to and including the Ring Video Doorbell 4, can run off their internal battery.

Google’s Nest video doorbell line comes in both a wired and battery-powered version. Other companies like Arlo offer battery-powered video doorbells too.

Don’t Forget a Wireless Chime or Smart Speaker

All of the video doorbells we mentioned above pair with an app on your phone, so whether you’re at home or away, you’ll get a notification when someone rings the doorbell.

If you want door notifications in other formats, like a traditional chime or announcement via smart speaker, you’ll need to invest in some accessories.

Amazon Echo (4th Generation)

Why limit yourself to just ding-dong? Use an Echo as your doorbell chime and enjoy Alexa, music playback, and more.

The Ring video doorbell line supports stand-alone chimes you plug somewhere in your home. You can also link your Ring doorbell with your Alexa smart home, and any Echo smart speaker or display can do the job, too—as well as show you who is ringing the doorbell.

Google doesn’t have a stand-alone chime unit but, like the Ring lineup, you can pair your Nest doorbell with your Google Nest smart speakers or displays.

Google is a bit unusual in, though, as most video doorbell companies have an option for a dedicated stand-alone chime but they don’t—they probably assume you’ll just get a Nest Mini on sale. Most companies have a stand-alone chime, though, like this plug-in chime from Arlo.

So be sure to search for a matching chime for your video doorbell purchase if you prefer that over a smart speaker or display.

The Best Video Doorbells of 2023

Ring Video Doorbell 4
Best Video Doorbell Overall
Ring Video Doorbell 4
Ring Video Doorbell Wired
Best Budget Doorbell
Ring Video Doorbell Wired
Arlo Essential Doorbell
Best Video Doorbell without a Subscription
Arlo Essential Doorbell
Google Nest Battery
Best Wireless Video Doorbell
Google Nest Battery
Profile Photo for Jason Fitzpatrick Jason Fitzpatrick
Jason Fitzpatrick is the Senior Smart Home Editor at How-To Geek. He has over a decade of experience in publishing and has authored thousands of articles at How-To Geek, Review Geek, LifeSavvy, and Lifehacker. Jason served as Lifehacker's Weekend Editor before he joined How-To Geek.
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