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Different Doorbells Types and Classifications

Doorbells have come quite a long way over the years. What once were big ugly buttons with a single chime have transformed into a veritable buffet of sleek and sophisticated high-tech options.

Whether you’re looking for the best smart doorbell or the best intercom system, today’s modern doorbells can provide you with all of the communication, security, and convenience you could ask for. In fact, unlike their traditional predecessors, modern doorbells can do just about everything. From checking the doorstep and greeting guests to checking up on elderly parents and calling the kids downstairs, today’s doorbells are capable of just about doing it all.

That being said, not all doorbells are alike and some are equipped with features others lack. To help you find the best option for you and your home, let’s take a look at the different types of doorbells and compare what each has to offer.

Types of Doorbells

Wired Doorbells

Wired doorbells are the traditional style of doorbells typically found on older homes not yet equipped with today’s advanced wireless systems. These doorbells connect to a home’s electrical system and usually consist of a push-button device with a switch inside. This switch connects to a terminal, which then connects to a transformer to help control the amount of voltage running to the switch.

While wired doorbells are considered traditional and antiquated to some, they provide home and business owners with a number of unique benefits in today’s increasingly expensive and complex world.


– Affordably Priced: In most cases, wired doorbells are less expensive and more practical than their wireless cousins. Although there are some quality wireless doorbells for sale for under $20, wired doorbells sometimes cost even less. This makes them a good option for anyone on a tight budget and not looking to spend too much.

– Metal Chimes: Everyone can be a bit nostalgic at times, and the sound of metal chimes is one of the things people miss most about traditional wired doorbells. There’s a simple elegance about them that is warm, welcoming, and relaxing. Unfortunately, the sound of metal chimes has proven virtually impossible to reproduce with wireless doorbells. Although the selection of tunes and melodies can be great, wireless electronic chimes simply don’t produce the same deep, rich tones as their wired counterparts.

– Versatile: Most people don’t associate wired doorbells with versatility. However, some models can be implemented right alongside wireless doorbells and intercoms for maximum coverage and convenience. Therefore, even if the wired push-button is pressed, the wireless system will transmit a signal to the receiver. This allows you to enjoy both the convenience of a wireless doorbell as well as the nice organic sound of metal chimes. Who says you can’t have the best of both worlds?


– Lack of Portability: Wired doorbells are anything but portable. In addition to not having receivers you can take with you and plug in anywhere within range, they’re also impossible to fix without messing with the electrical system in your home.

Wired doorbells have been around for ages, and to this day they’re still the favorite type of doorbell for millions of traditionalists around the globe. However, if you’re far from being a traditionalist and love convenience, clean lines, smart features, and all things tech, a wired doorbell definitely isn’t for you.

Wireless Doorbells

Unlike wired doorbells that connect to your home’s electrical system, wireless doorbells operate via radio waves sent from a transmitter to a receiver. The transmitter is battery-powered, so there are no wires to mess with at all. In fact, installing a wireless doorbell takes nothing more than some tape or a couple of screws.

Wireless doorbell receivers are either battery-powered or plug into an outlet. In terms of range, some wireless receivers can receive a clear signal from 1,000 or more feet away. All of these factors are largely responsible for making wireless doorbells the most popular type of doorbells on the market today.

When shopping for the best wireless doorbell, it’s important to keep the range of the doorbell in mind, especially if you have a large home or property. You can easily find this information reading wireless doorbell reviews online or looking on the product label in the store.


– Easy Installation: Wireless doorbells have a ton of advantages. One such advantage is their easy installation. Rather than taking half an hour or requiring a professional installer, wireless doorbells can be installed, setup, and up and running in only a few minutes with a few screws or some double-sided tape. It really couldn’t get any easier.

– Money Savings: Unless you’re Bob Villa or a licensed electrician, chances are you’ll feel the need to pay a professional to install your wired doorbell. If you the wireless route, however, you can easily do the job yourself and save some dough.

– Aesthetic Appeal: Modern wireless doorbells not only provide a laundry list of features for ultimate convenience and versatility, but they often look quite nice as well. Whether you’re into sleek and sophisticated or modern and hip, there’s definitely an attractive wireless doorbell out there for you.

– Portability: The portability of wireless doorbells is another fantastic benefit of these modern devices. In addition to being able to install a wireless push-button transmitter anywhere you want, you can also place the receivers anywhere near an electrical outlet. This allows you to travel throughout you home and answer the door from any room. If you have outlets on the exterior of your home, you can even hear the doorbell ring and greet visitors while working in the backyard or lounging by the pool.

– Long Range Capabilities: Some cheaper wireless doorbells only have limited operating ranges of 50 feet or so. Better quality models, however, can have extra-long wireless ranges of up to 1,000 feet or more. This means you can hear the doorbell ring and greet guests from over three football fields away! That being said, you don’t have to live on a farm to enjoy the extended range of wireless doorbell. They can be quite nice for lounging out back by the pool as well.


– Connectivity and Interference Issues: Wireless doorbells need a strong connection in order to work properly. If the signal is weak or it’s receiving interference from another wireless device, the sound quality will be poor or it won’t work at all. However, as wireless technology continues to improve, this is becoming less and less of an issue. As long as they are within range, today’s best wireless doorbells transmit strong signals and produce astonishingly clear audio quality.

Wireless doorbells have come a long way in a short period of time. If you’re looking to upgrade your home’s doorbell and add a little more convenience to your life, a wireless doorbell is definitely the way to go.

Video Doorbells

Wouldn’t it be cool if you could see who was at your door right on your TV, laptop, or even your smartphone? Well, that’s exactly what you can do with a video doorbell. With one of these systems, you can easily see guests who ring your door and also keep an eye on any disturbances or suspicious characters.

Older video doorbells were big, bulky, costly, and difficult to install. Although wired video doorbells are still difficult to install, technology has improved considerably and there are more than a few affordable, good looking options with excellent image and video quality.


– Enhanced Security: Most people love video doorbells because they let you see and interact with guests rather than looking through a peephole and shouting through a thick front door. However, video doorbells also allow you to see intruders, suspicious individuals, and so on. Hopefully, you’ll never have such an occurrence, but it’s nice having a little extra security in these crazy times.

– High-Quality: You don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars on the best doorbell camera in order to enjoy a well-made video doorbell with high-quality features. From satin nickel finishes to HD cameras, today’s video doorbells are affordable, well-made, and exude quality in every way.

– Affordable: There are a number of luxuriously expensive video doorbells available for the fanciest of mansions or anyone interested in turning their home into Fort Knox. However, you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg on a quality video doorbell. In fact, there are several well-made, affordably priced models to choose from with excellent picture quality and all of the features you could ask for.


– Somewhat Outdated: Since most modern video doorbells are going the wireless route and provide advanced features as well as sleek good looks, many of the wired video doorbell options seem outdated and struggle to compete. This makes them an ill-advised choice for individuals looking for more than the basics.

– Pricey Options: It may seem counter intuitive based on their outdated designs, but wired video doorbell systems can run upwards of $1,000 or more depending on the setup and level of security you choose. Although there are affordable and competitively priced video doorbell systems available, there are also very expensive systems for sale, some of which require additional monitors, wiring, and so on.

Video doorbells provide both security and convenience by allowing you to see visitors and everything going on outside your front door, gate, or other entryway. Unfortunately, unless you go with a wireless option, they must be connected to your home’s electrical system and require professional installation. With advancements in wireless technology occurring each and every day, more and more homeowners are ditching standard video doorbells for wireless models.

Wireless Video Doorbells

Wireless video doorbells take wired video doorbells to a whole other level. Made by some of the industry’s best brands and featuring cutting-edge technology, these nifty modern devices are getting better and better each year.

These video doorbells work exactly like wireless doorbells without video. For instance, they both feature push-button transmitters that send radio signals to receivers, letting you know when someone has arrived. Some also feature motion sensors for added security and come equipped with dozens of chimes.

With a wireless video doorbell, however, you also have the ability to see who is at your door via your tablet, smartphone, or TV. Some even have motion sensors for added security as well. If you’re looking for the best video doorbell, a wireless model should be at the top of your list.


– Quick and Easy to Install: Like standard wireless doorbells, wireless video doorbells are extremely easy to install. Just use the provided screws or tape and you can begin enjoying a new wireless video system in no time at all. Once it’s installed and setup, you can begin enjoying the ability to monitor the outside of your home while in the kitchen or lounging on the couch.

– Security: Sure, wireless video doorbell systems are fun to play with and make life easier, but they provide homeowners with added safety and security as well. With the best front door camera, you can even utilize recording and playback features, which may come in handy and help nab any neighborhood burglars lurking about.

– Versatility: Many of the top wireless doorbell brands, such as Chamberlain and Ring, have advanced video and two-way audio systems that allow them to act as both doorbells and intercoms. This allows you to see who as your door and actually converse with them.

– Portability: Unlike wired video doorbells, which are stationary and directly wired to your home’s electrical system, wireless video doorbells utilize battery-powered transmitters and plug-in receivers. This results in added portability and allows you to see and converse with visitors at your door from anywhere in or outside of your home with an outlet nearby.

– Stylish: Doorbells used to be nothing but bland and boring round or rectangular buttons. Modern wireless video doorbells like the Ring or August, however, are incredibly sleek and stylish. Although these models may not fit in on a turn of the century Victorian, they look excellent on contemporary homes and add a splash of style to most boring entryways.


– Slightly Higher Priced: Wireless video doorbells are all the rage these days, and for good reason. Unfortunately, they tend to be higher priced as well. That being said, there are several top-quality models available with a ton of features and very reasonable price tags. By performing a little research and reading some reviews, you’ll discover quite a few wireless video doorbells with all of the features you want at a price you can afford.

– No Smart Option: While wireless video doorbells are super easy to install and provide you with added portability and convenience, they’re still not as portable or cutting-edge as smart video doorbells.

That being said, if using your smartphone to see and talk to visitors at your front door still seems a little foreign or farfetched, a wireless video doorbell will likely be your best option.

Smart Video Doorbells

We’re living in smart times, and smart times call for a smart doorbell. Smart video doorbells utilize modern technology to allow you to see and talk to visitors via a smartphone or tablet. That’s right. There’s no need to worry about ranges, interference, or any of the problems that plague other wireless doorbells. In fact, you can access the doorbell’s camera and audio from anywhere in the world.

Beyond this, smart video doorbells also utilize cutting-edge mobile app technology to turn things like a phone’s mic into an intercom. Some also provide cloud recording options and other smart features engineers only dreamed about a decade ago.


– Great Features: The best smart video doorbell brands offer terrific features like HD cameras, recording and playback, and Wi-Fi connectivity. Many even utilize motion sensor technology and send alerts directly to a home or business owner’s smartphone whenever it is triggered. Talk about a smart solution.

– Smart Security Solution: As I just mentioned, smart video doorbells often come equipped with modern motion sensor technology, which allows them to capture video of whatever triggers the sensor. If that weren’t impressive enough, they can also send automatic smartphone alerts warning homeowners of any and all activity. These security features are one of the main reasons behind the trending popularity of wireless doorbells over the past few years.

– Compatible with All Operating Systems: Most modern smart video doorbells are compatible with both Android and iOS operating systems. Some are even compatible with Windows as well. This ensures any user can access their smart doorbell regardless of which kind of phone or tablet they use.

– Multi-User Connectivity: Some smart video doorbell brands have developed options allowing two or more users to connect to the doorbell at the same time and see and speak to visitors simultaneously. While the number of times you’ll actually use this function will likely be few and far between, it’s pretty neat nonetheless and something to consider when shopping for the best smart video doorbell for your home.


– Added Cost: Although wireless technology continues to evolve, smart video doorbells are still considered higher-end products and usually cost more as a result. While there’s no denying the benefits of these smart systems, the added cost is something to consider if you’re shopping on a tight budget.

All things considered, smart video doorbells are an excellent option for just about everyone. With cutting-edge technology, continued updates, and the ability to see and speak to visitors right from your phone, these smart doorbell systems are pushing the limits of innovation and deserving of a spot in any home.


Intercoms have been used in homes and offices for decades. With an intercom, you can easily talk to someone in another room without the need for face-to-face communication. This makes it a useful household gadget for a number of reasons.

In addition to helping you call the kids to the table for dinner or check up on your elderly parents next door, some intercoms can also wirelessly connect to doorbell units and provide motion triggered alerts. Of course, they can also be used to screen or converse with visitors who come knocking at the door.


– Enhanced Communication: Today’s best intercoms utilize digital communication to allow you to clearly speak with whoever you want in your home. Some even have features like monitor mode, which allows you to talk or broadcast a video feed to multiple channels.

– Convenience: With an intercom doorbell, you don’t have to get up to answer the front door every time someone arrives. You can also use an intercom to monitor your kids or tell them to do their chores from any room in your home.

– Affordably Priced: Basic intercoms like these are the most budget-friendly doorbell and communication systems around. In fact, you can find several models both online and in-store for less than the price of a matinee date. However, make sure to check online retailers like Amazon first, because they often have intercoms available at deeply discounted prices.


– No Smartphone App: Traditional wired intercoms are typically designed with their own monitors/speaker units. Although these are often quite nice, especially with newer models, they don’t provide the same level of convenience and portability as smart intercom doorbells with their own easy to use apps.

– Difficult Installation: Unlike wireless intercoms, which basically require no installation at all, traditional wired intercoms must be hardwired to your home’s electrical system. Even those who feel comfortable enough to undertake this challenge and forego professional installation will have to sacrifice up to an hour of their time for the install.

If you’re interested in a simple and affordable way of communicating with family members and visitors to your home, an intercom may be the way to go. You just have to decide whether to get a wired system or a modern wireless model.

Wireless Intercoms

Like doorbells, intercoms have improved drastically over the years and have become more functional than ever before. Today, wireless doorbells provide the perfect combination of communication and security, allowing you to talk to visitors and others in your home as well as monitor its exterior.

Best of all, unlike traditional intercoms, wireless intercoms don’t require any installation at all. Simply pop in the batteries or plug it in and be on your way. It really is that simple.


– No Installation Needed: As its name suggests, a wireless intercom doesn’t involve wiring, which makes it extremely easy to setup and use. This means there’s no need to pay for a professional installation or risk injury messing around with your home’s electrical system.

– Packed Full of Features: Modern wireless intercoms are designed using the latest technology and offer a bounty of features to make communicating within your home or office easier than ever before. If you’re on the hunt for the best wireless intercom, you can expect to find plenty of useful, cutting-edge features on whichever option you choose.

– Secure and Reliable: Wireless intercoms are often more secure and reliable than their wired counterparts. Utilizing the latest technology and the most durable materials, today’s top wireless intercoms can withstand years of abuse and harsh weather yet still look and operate like new.


– None

Making the Decision

As you can see, there are several different types of doorbells on the market to choose from, each with their own pros and cons. In order to pick the best doorbell for you and your home, you can learn a lot by reading unbiased reviews and taking your wants or needs into consideration. Do you want Wi-Fi connectivity or video? Do you want a doorbell you can connect to your smartphone for ultimate convenience and portability? Are you willing and able to pay a little more for these features?

The answers to these questions can help you tremendously when shopping for the perfect doorbell. You’ll find all of today’s top doorbells listed here on this site to help you find the absolute best. So, determine the type of doorbell you need, read over the reviews, and pick out a great doorbell today. A more convenient and secure lifestyle is just a click away!