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How to install a smart doorbell

Do it in no chime!

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You might be able to hear a knock on your door without much trouble. But doorbells ring loud and clear when the postman shows up in the morning or someone’s paying a visit. And with modern smart doorbells, you can even see who’s outside and answer the door when you’re not at home.

Fitting one might seem a little daunting though, especially if you want one that needs wiring in. That’s why we’ve put together some handy step-by-step tips that’ll teach you how to install a smart doorbell. Whether it’s a Ring or Google Nest doorbell, our advice should apply to most makes and models.

Smart doorbells should come with everything you need for a smooth installation — such as screws, wall anchors, a mounting plate, and instructions. But you might need some extra tools to get the job done. Here’s everything you’ll need:

  • Your smart doorbell

  • Phillips-head screwdriver

  • Power drill

  • Pencil

  • Rubber mallet or hammer

  • Masonry drill bit (if drilling into brickwork, concrete or stucco)

  • Screws and anchors (these are usually included with your doorbell)

  • A smartphone or tablet to connect to your smart doorbell’s companion app

Safety check: If you need to remove your old doorbell or want to install a wired smart doorbell, you’ll have to deal with electrical wires which can be dangerous.

If you don’t feel confident doing this yourself, we’d recommend contacting an electrician or handyman to carry out the work for you. In fact, we offer a home installation service for smart doorbells so you can leave it to the pros.

Ring doorbell wireless installation

Got a Ring doorbell that you want to use wirelessly? Here’s how to set up a Ring doorbell that’s battery powered:

  1. Charge your Ring doorbell by connecting it to a USB charger using the cable provided. This might take a few hours.

  2. Download the Ring app for your smartphone, create an account, then follow the steps to get your Ring doorbell hooked up to your Wi-Fi network. It'll only take a few minutes.

  3. If you want to remove your old doorbell, shut off power to it by using your home's breaker box. If you don't have an existing doorbell, just skip to step 5.

  4. Carefully remove your old doorbell with a screwdriver and disconnect the wires.

  5. Remove the mounting bracket from the back of your Ring video doorbell.

  6. Use the Ring doorbell mount as a template and mark out where you it to go with a pencil (make sure to use the included mini level to keep it straight). Ring recommend installing their doorbells at a height of 4 feet for the best motion detection coverage.

  7. Drill holes into your wall or doorframe. You'll need to use the included masonry bit and anchors if you’re drilling into brick, concrete, or stucco.

  8. Attach the Ring doorbell mounting bracket using the screwdriver and screws provided in the kit.

  9. Hook your Ring doorbell onto the bracket. Then use the star-shaped end of the included screwdriver to secure your doorbell with the security screws.

  10. In the Ring app, perform a test to ensure your doorbell is functioning correctly and complete the Ring doorbell setup.

Tech tip: If you want a traditional doorbell experience instead of just phone notifications — get the Ring Chime or Ring Chime Pro. You can plug these into any mains outlet in your home to hear alerts from your Ring doorbell amplified clearly. One of these will have your back if you leave your phone on silent too!

How to wire a Ring doorbell

Installing a wired Ring doorbell is a pretty simple process that can be done in a few steps. But before you start, you'll need to make sure you have a compatible doorbell transformer with these specs: 10-24 VAC, 50/60Hz, 10-40 VA. This info is usually printed on the transformer itself, which you'll find mounted nearby in a closet or electrical box.

If you can't find it or don't think the specs are right, you can install a new transformer or use a Ring Plug-In Adapter instead. But if you've got a compatible system, here's how to fit a Ring doorbell:

  1. Cut off power to your current doorbell before you start removing it. You can do this from your home's breaker box.

  2. Use a screwdriver to detach your old doorbell and carefully disconnect the wires. Be gentle, as you don’t want to damage them by pulling too hard. And make sure they don't fall back into the wall.

  3. Take the faceplate off your wired Ring doorbell and use the screw holes as a template to mark out where you want it to go with a pencil.

  4. Drill holes into your wall or doorframe. If you're drilling into brick or concrete, you'll have to use the included masonry bit and insert the wall anchors.

  5. Loop the wires that were connected to your old doorbell around the terminal screws on the back of your new Ring doorbell. You'll need to loosen these a little to make sure they’re wound securely, then tighten them to keep the wires in place.

  6. Use the included screws to fix the Ring doorbell to your wall or doorframe. Make sure to feed any excess wiring back into the wall so that they’re not trapped in between.

  7. Turn the power back on and test your Ring doorbell using the free app.

  8. Reattach the faceplate with the security screws.

Wire-free Google Nest smart doorbell installation

Got a wireless, battery-powered Google Nest doorbell? Installation should be a breeze, especially if you’re already using the Google Home app. Just follow these steps:

  1. Charge your Google Nest smart doorbell using the included USB cable. You can keep it plugged in to complete the next two steps.

  2. If you haven't got a Google account, create one at accounts.google.com then download the Google Home app on your smartphone or tablet.

  3. In the app, add your doorbell as a new device and follow the on-screen instructions. Make sure your doorbell is connected to the same Wi-Fi network your phone or tablet is using.

  4. Use the doorbell's baseplate as a template and get a pencil to mark the location of the screw holes. Google recommends installing their Nest smart doorbell 4 feet high.

  5. Drill holes into your wall or doorframe. A regular drill bit is fine for wood, but you'll need a masonry bit to drill into brick or concrete.

  6. Use a screwdriver to attach the baseplate to the wall or doorframe with the included screws. If you're attaching it to brick or concrete, make sure to press the anchors from your kit into the holes first. You might need a mallet or hammer to get them flush.

  7. Attach your Google Nest doorbell to the baseplate. You'll need to align the circle at the bottom of the back of your doorbell with the circle on the baseplate.

  8. Push it in, then press down until you feel it click into place.

  9. Open the Google Home app to test your doorbell and complete the setup process.

How to install a wired Google Nest doorbell

If you're replacing a doorbell, use Google's compatibility checker to make sure your Nest doorbell can connect to the existing wiring. Google Nest needs a doorbell transformer with these specs: 16-24 VAC, 10-40 VA to work. So, you might need to replace your current transformer — especially if it's old.

Here’s how to get your Google Nest wired doorbell hooked up:

  1. Download the Google Home app for your smartphone or tablet and add your wired doorbell as a new device.

  2. Shut off power to your current doorbell before you start removing it. You can do this from your home's breaker box.

  3. If you have an existing chime, you'll need to attach the chime connector puck (included in the box). This is required to make sure the Nest doorbell works properly.

  4. Follow the steps in the Google Home app to select how many wires are connected to your chime, etc. It'll tell you where to connect the wires step-by-step, and you'll need your screwdriver to loosen and tighten the terminal screws.

  5. Remove your old doorbell and gently detach the wires. Make sure they don't slip back into the wall by tying them together or taping them up.

  6. The Nest doorbell has a baseplate you can use as a template. Mark the screw holes with a pencil, and make sure to install it with the wires fed through the largest opening on the baseplate.

  7. Drill holes into your wall or doorframe. A masonry bit is required for drilling into brick, concrete or stucco.

  8. Attach the baseplate with a screwdriver using the screws that came with your kit. Press the anchors into the holes first if you're fixing your Nest doorbell to brick, concrete or stucco.

  9. Use the provided connectors to wire your doorbell. It doesn't matter which wire goes into which connector, but make sure to straighten or trim the wire ends first for a secure fit.

  10. Connect the wires to your Google Nest doorbell's terminal screws with a screwdriver, then push the wires into the wall to get rid of any excess.

  11. Attach the doorbell to the baseplate by pushing it in and then down. You should feel it lock into place.

  12. Use the included hex key to tighten the security screw at the top of your Nest doorbell.

  13. Turn your power back and finish the setup process in the Google Home app.

How do smart doorbells work?

Smart video doorbells work like conventional doorbells, but they’re a lot more convenient. Pair them up with your mobile phone or tablet via an app and you’ll receive notifications when someone presses your doorbell or motion is detected. You can then see and speak to them remotely, even when you’re not at home.

But in order to work, a smart doorbell needs to be connected to your Wi-Fi network. This is not only so they can partner up with your phone or tablet, but so that any footage captured can be uploaded straight to a cloud storage service. They can also integrate with other smart home devices, such as smart locks and security systems. Giving your home an extra layer of protection.

How do you reset a Ring doorbell?

If you're having trouble with your Ring doorbell, then resetting it might help it work properly again. This will erase all its saved settings though, which means that you'll have to set it up again from scratch.

Resetting your Ring doorbell is an easy process, but it depends on which model you have. For the 1st and 2nd gen Ring video doorbell, you just need to remove it from the bracket and hold down the orange setup button on the back for 10 seconds.

If you've got a Ring 2, 3, or 4 — remove the faceplate and hold down the setup button on the top right (below the camera) for 10 seconds. To see resetting instructions for all Ring doorbell models, visit Ring’s official website.

Are Ring doorbells easy to install?

Fitting a Ring doorbell is easy for the most part. Ring’s wireless doorbells are far easier to install as they don’t need to be wired into any existing doorbell transformer or chime. But even the wired models aren’t too tricky, especially if you’re confident with electrical work.

Any more questions?

Want to get the rest of your house kitted out with smart home tech? Check out our huge selection of smart home products. And to get everything working in sync, read our IFTTT explained: How to bring your smart home together article.

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