Danger at the door! Consumer expert warns how video doorbells can be a security threat

Is your smart doorbell making you vulnerable to theft?

The smart video doorbell has become the buzzer of choice in recent years. And while they can be fabulous, consumer expert Alice Beer had a stark warning for This Morning viewers, on the dangers to look out for when shopping for one.

She was on hand to outline the things you need to watch out for and which brands are reputable and safe to shop.

Alice recommends Ring for safety: Black Friday Ring doorbell deals – security at the touch of a button

Are video doorbells safe?

red front door and brick column

(Image credit: Derek Robinson)

Reporting on new research reported by consumer watchdog Which? Alice warns some smart doorbells are leaving homes vulnerable to hackers and criminals.

'The advantages are huge. You can easily answer your doorbell from the convenience of you bath or your bed or even being away on holiday' she begins. 'But the disadvantages are that you could put yourself at risk by buying an unbranded or little-known product. From a company which really doesn't care about your security'.

'What Which? found in this report, with security group NCC, was that some of the little-known companies or unknown branded products – which on the surface look very similar to the market leaders like Ring and Nest – actually were exposing you to massive security flaws. Like letting somebody into your home' she warns.

What makes a video doorbell unsafe?

house with brick wall and front door and potted plants

(Image credit: Future PLC/Mark Bolton)

So how were these found to be unsafe? 'Weak passwords, sending unencrypted data and some of them, quite frankly, just being too easy to knick from your front door!'

The questionable video doorbells were all purchased by Which? through Amazon. When told about the problems Amazon immediately took seven of them off the site, however Alice was able to still buy three for the purposes of her This Morning segment.

'This Victure doorbell, which actually has loads of positive reviews on Amazon, this was sending customer's WIFI name and password, unencrypted to servers in China! Which is just ludicrous exposure' Alice exclaims in horror.

Read next: the best security cameras (opens in new tab) that promise to protect you and your home

home office with computer

(Image credit: Future PLC/Jon Day)

'Another problem that they found was ineffective mounting. I have a Ring doorbell and I needed to take mine off this morning. And it took me ages – and I was on camera the whole time. So very difficult to get off' she explains. But some on the exposed list were super easy to remove, and as Alice points out there's a market value for selling video doorbells.

Speaking of the 'really serious concerns found by the research' Alice explains how Which? had tried to contact many of the brands, with no response.

'If you buy products like this, that are unbranded and little-known, you too as a customer will find that you are unable to get hold of that company – when something goes wrong. So it's really not worth the risk.'

Alice ends by saying 'This is really important. If you're buying a doorbell, go for a reputable brand. Change your password, you must change your password. Install updates and all importantly enable the two-factor authentication.'

Video doorbells it's safe to buy

See the full list of brands tested and exposed by visiting Which? (opens in new tab).

Related: the best video doorbells (opens in new tab) we rate highly

Stay safe and shop smart, with a brand that is trusted by the experts.

Tamara Kelly

Tamara was Ideal Home's Digital Editor before joining the Woman & Home team in 2022. She has spent the last 15 years working with the style teams at Country Homes & Interiors and Ideal Home, both now at Future PLC. It’s with these award wining interiors teams that she's honed her skills and passion for shopping, styling and writing. Tamara is always ahead of the curve when it comes to interiors trends – and is great at seeking out designer dupes on the high street.