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Video doorbells are designed to alert you whenever they detect motion in their field of view. This can be highly convenient and a great security feature, however, if you live near a busy street it can be a bit of a nuisance.
Luckily, the manufacturers are finally listening so there are plenty of features for those of us that live in high traffic areas like next to a busy road or pavement.
In this guide, I’ll share some of my favourite video doorbells with advanced features for reducing false motion detection alerts.
Best Video Doorbells for Busy Streets
Here are my top recommended video doorbells for a busy street:
- Best Overall: Ring Doorbell 3 Plus
- Runner Up: Arlo Video Doorbell
- Separate Camera: Arlo Audio Doorbell with Spotlight Camera
- Best Without Subscription: Eufy 2K
- Budget Pick: Amcrest Video Doorbell
- With Facial Recognition Google Assistant: Nest Hello
Below are my full reviews of each recommendation and why it’s a good pick for monitoring high traffic areas.
Best Overall: Ring Doorbell 3 Plus
Power: Battery-Powered or Hardwired // Storage: Cloud Only (subscription required) // Motion Activity Zones: Yes // Person Detection: No
The Ring Doorbell 3 Plus is only slightly more expensive than the regular Ring 3, however it has the benefit of pre-roll footage which provides 4 seconds of footage prior to when your doorbell detects motion.
Ring has a number of features that are ideal for busy streets:
- Custom motion zones – this feature allows you to choose exactly which areas of the camera to monitor for motion. You can create up to 3 custom zones within the cameras view to monitor for motion, but you’ll still receive the full view of the camera when watching the footage. The zones can be any shape or size you wish.
- Near motion zone capability – this is a slightly more basic feature that will only alert you about motion that happens 3.5 to 4.5 metres in front of the camera. This is ideal if there is a busy road in the background.
- Motion scheduling – this allows you to set which times of the day to turn motion detection on. If you receive false alerts during rush hour due to high amount of traffic in the area, you can turn motion detection alerts off during these hours, but footage will still be recorded.
The downside to Ring is that you need a Ring Protect Plan to get the full benefit, this requires an ongoing monthly fee.
Runner Up: Arlo Video Doorbell
Arlo has a feature called ‘activity zones’ which is very similar to Ring’s custom motion zones, allowing you to choose up to 5 zones of the camera to monitor. Each zone can be a custom shape with
Arlo has advanced AI that can detect the difference between people, animals, and vehicles. Arlo will always record all motion detection, but using the settings in the app, you can choose only to get alerts when it detects a person.
The combination of activity zones and AI should significantly reduce any false positives from a busy street.
As all of the activity zones and AI detection is processed in the cloud, you’ll need an Arlo smart subscription to access these features.
Separate Camera: Arlo Audio Doorbell with Essential Spotlight Camera
Power: Battery-Powered // Storage: Cloud (subscription required) or Local (with Arlo Smart Hub) // Motion Activity Zones: Yes // Person Detection: Yes
Instead of purchasing an all-in-one video doorbell, by purchasing Arlo’s audio doorbell and a separate camera, you can point the camera wherever you like, this is ideal for busy streets as you can place the camera facing directly down at the door.
You’ll be able to manage both the doorbell and the camera in the Arlo app. Here, you’ll also be able to watch back your footage from the past 30 days.
You’ll get a notification whenever the camera detects motion, and your doorbell will call you when someone presses it so that you can speak to your visitor. As with the Arlo video doorbell, the Essential Spotlight Camera also has activity zones and AI to detect people.
Now, the downside of this set up is that you cannot view the camera footage whilst you’re using the two-way audio for the doorbell. The footage will still be recorded and saved, but only for watching back later. This could be a deal-breaker for some.
You’ll also require an Arlo smart subscription for cloud storage and Ai features, these begin at £2.50 for one camera in the UK.
Best Without Subscription: Eufy 2K
Whilst the other devices here have all required ongoing subscriptions to make use of all the features, Eufy’s video doorbell allows you to access all features without any ongoing commitment.
There is both a hardwired and battery version available. The battery-powered version is a slightly bigger doorbell due to the battery pack, but has an exceptional battery life, lasting at least 12 weeks between charges due to a unique low-power wireless protocol Eufy have created.
In order to reduce too many motion alerts from a busy street, the doorbell can distinguish humans from non-humans. There are three levels of sensitivity: face only, upper body, or all motion.
If your doorbell is right near a busy street, you can also set motion detection zones. This can be a custom shape like the previous devices, although you can only have one per camera.
Eufy can bypass any cloud storage fees thanks to local storage that is either in the doorbell (hardwired version) or on a base in the house (battery version). You can still access your recordings whenever you like via the Eufy app.
Budget Pick: Amcrest
Power: Hardwired Only // Storage: Local or Cloud (subscription required) // Motion Activity Zones: Limited // Person Detection: No
Amcrest are a well-known name in home security, known for their reasonably priced surveillance cameras. They’ve recently added a video doorbell to their line-up.
Not only is the doorbell very affordable, but it has quite a few different storage options for your footage. This includes an SD card on the device, cloud storage (requires subscription), stream to an Amcrest DVR or use third party software such as Blue Iris.
If your doorbell is prone to being set off by pedestrians or traffic, Amcrest have included some customisation options within the motion detection area of its app.
They have given you the ability to change the sensitivity of the PIR motion sensor or set a schedule if you want to silence motion alerts during rush hour or busy times of day.
There is also a version of motion detection zones on the Amcrest doorbell, however you are limited to a single square space within the camera’s field of view which isn’t always ideal for more complex front drives.
With Facial Recognition: Nest Hello
Power: Hardwired Only // Storage: Cloud Only (subscription required) // Motion Activity Zones: Yes // Person Detection: Yes
Finally, I couldn’t pass by the opportunity to mention Google’s Nest Hello which is one of my favourite video doorbells.
If you live on a busy street, the Nest Hello also has an ‘activity zones’ feature which allows you to set up specific areas of the camera to monitor. You can even name each zone so that notifications will tell you exactly where motion was detected.
Nest allows up to 4 activity zones per camera. Alternatively, you can also set up negative motion zones which you could place across a busy road or footpath so that you won’t be bothered by activity there.
The Nest Hello is intelligent enough to recognise people, but it goes one step further than other cameras as it has facial recognition. This can let you know the name of your visitor by name if you’ve added them to familiar faces. It can also differentiate between a visitor and a package delivery.
Other features that I love include pre-recorded responses when you don’t want to answer the door and seamless integration with Google Assistant.
Google say that this device can be used without Nest Protect, however, you will lose most of your features so it’s not worthwhile.
Buyers Guide [for Busy Streets]
There are different considerations to keep in mind when buying a doorbell for a busy street. You’ll want to avoid the budget video doorbells as the motion detection tends to be very basic.
You should also look out for the following features:
- PIR sensitivity adjustment – At the very least, you’ll want to be able to control how much motion will trigger the alerts to your phone.
- Motion detection zones – All of the video doorbells shared in this guide have motion detection zones, allowing you to choose which areas of the camera’s view will trigger motion alerts. Look out for customisable shapes vs squares and how many you can include per camera view.
- Motion schedules – If your street gets busy during rush hour and triggers your alarm, then a motion schedule may be useful. This will allow you to set quiet times when only doorbell pushes will trigger an alert. This is also useful if sunlight triggers the PIR sensor at certain times of day.
- Person recognition – Some of the more advanced doorbells will be able to distinguish people from other motion such as vehicles or animals.