Ring and Google ensure video doorbells offer more than just home security

Ring Video Doorbell Wired
(Image credit: Ring)

Being able to check what’s happening at your property when you’re not around was once a luxury reserved for only the most affluent members of society, as CCTV systems came with a hefty price tag and often needed professional installation. You also had to deal with the fact you might have more than a few cables running through your home. 

The best video doorbells and home security cameras have made keeping an eye on your home more accessible, as they can be self-installed, use Wi-Fi rather than an intricate network of wires running from room-to-room and are far more affordable. 

But there’s more to video doorbells than just home security, as Google and Ring are keen to show. You can now add some Halloween-related features to your devices that can bring some spooky fun to your home. 

Ring Video Doorbells can be set to emit a number of spooky sounds including a creaking door, a screeching cat, and chilling organ tones. Meanwhile, Google has added the ability to change the ringtone of its Google Nest Doorbell (battery) and the Nest Doorbell (wired), which is the new name for the Nest Hello, to seasonal tones including an evil laugh, a howling werewolf, and even a cackling witch.

Fun as well as functional

One in four homes in the US and the UK owns a video doorbell, according to Strategy Analytics, and there’s no denying they are great security devices. But Google and Ring are helping to show these smart home devices can be just as fun as the best smart speakers or smart displays, too.  

Ring has gone one step further by also offering some Halloween-themed Quick Replies – the pre-recorded messages can be played to whoever is on your doorstep through the doorbell’s speaker. These are usually messages such as, “Please leave the package outside” or “We can’t answer the door right now”. 

However, for the Halloween period, options include temporary phrases such as:  “Boo! Leave us a message if you dare,” followed by an evil laugh. You will need a Ring Protect subscription to access the Quick Replies feature, however.

Opinion: Halloween hijinks are here 

I’m not quite as invested in Halloween, but when it comes to the holiday I do like to indulge in some Christmas spirit, and having previously owned a Ring Video Doorbell, I usually changed the sound it makes to “Ho,Ho,Ho” or to play Jingle Bells, in a bid to provide a bit of festive cheer to those ringing my doorbell. It makes sense Ring and Google have expanded the options to cover Halloween, and hopefully in the future, there will be even more seasonal tones to choose from. 

Although I won’t be rushing to set my doorbell to play “Here comes the sun” during Summer, just as I draw the line when it comes to having my smart lights glow green and red during the holidays – there is such a thing as too much fun. 

Carrie-Ann Skinner

Carrie-Ann Skinner was formerly Homes Editor at TechRadar, and has more than two decades of experience in both online and print journalism, with 13 years of that spent covering all-things tech. Carrie specializes in smart home devices such as smart plugs and smart lights, as well as large and small appliances including vacuum cleaners, air fryers, stand mixers, and coffee machines. Carrie is now a copy editor at PWC.