If you’re someone who values peace of mind and convenience, a video doorbell is a fantastic addition to your home. With a video doorbell, you can avoid getting up from your comfortable spot on the couch to answer the door for an unexpected visitor. Plus, it’s a great way to keep track of who’s ringing your bell when you’re out and about.
Of course, a video doorbell isn’t exactly cheap, so it’s important to make sure you’re investing in the right model for your home. There are a few key factors to consider, such as the type of power source, the resolution of the camera, the field of view, and the app support. By taking the time to research and choose the right video doorbell, you can ensure that you’re getting the most out of your investment.
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- 1080p HD video doorbell with enhanced features that let you see, hear, and speak to anyone from your phone, tablet, or PC.
- An update from the original Ring Video Doorbell, enjoy improved motion detection, privacy zones and audio privacy, and crisper night vision.
- Receive mobile notifications when anyone presses your doorbell or triggers your built-in motion sensors.
- Powered by the built-in rechargeable battery or connects to existing doorbell wires for constant power.
What Is A Video Doorbell?
A video doorbell is a type of smart home device that allows homeowners to see and communicate with visitors at their front door through a mobile app on their smartphone or tablet. The device typically includes a camera, a microphone, and a speaker, which are built into a doorbell or mounted near the front door. When someone rings the doorbell, the camera captures a live video feed of the visitor and sends an alert to the homeowner’s mobile device. From there, the homeowner can use the mobile app to see and talk to the visitor, even if they are not home. Some video doorbells also offer additional features such as motion detection, night vision, and cloud storage for recorded video footage.
What Are The Benefits of Video Doorbells?
There are several benefits to using a video doorbell in your home:
- Enhanced security: A video doorbell allows you to see who is at your front door before opening it. This can help you avoid opening the door to strangers or potential intruders.
- Convenient communication: Video doorbells let you communicate with visitors without having to physically go to the front door. You can use the mobile app on your smartphone or tablet to talk to visitors and even give instructions for package deliveries.
- Package theft prevention: With the rise of online shopping, package theft has become a common problem. Video doorbells can help deter thieves by capturing footage of package deliveries and monitoring for suspicious activity.
- Peace of mind: Being able to check on your front door remotely can provide peace of mind, especially when you’re away from home. You can monitor for unexpected visitors or package deliveries, and even keep an eye on your property while on vacation.
- Added features: Some video doorbells offer additional features like motion detection, night vision, and cloud storage for recorded video footage. These features can provide even more security and convenience for homeowners.
Overall, video doorbells are a great investment for anyone looking to enhance their home security and make their daily lives more convenient.
What To Consider When Choosing A Video Doorbell?
When choosing a video doorbell, there are several factors to consider to ensure that you select the best model for your home security needs. Here are some important things to keep in mind:
Video doorbells can be powered by different sources, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Here are the most common types of power sources for video doorbells:
- Battery-powered: Battery-powered video doorbells are easy to install and can be placed anywhere without worrying about wiring. They typically come with rechargeable batteries that can last for several months, depending on usage. The downside is that you need to periodically recharge or replace the batteries.
- Hardwired: Hardwired video doorbells are connected to your home’s existing electrical system, which means you don’t have to worry about replacing batteries. They also typically have more advanced features and higher video quality than battery-powered models. However, installation requires wiring and may require professional help.
- Wired and battery backup: Some video doorbells offer a combination of wired and battery power. This allows the doorbell to be hardwired into your home’s electrical system while also having a backup battery in case of power outages.
- Solar-powered: A few video doorbells are solar-powered, which means they use solar panels to charge the battery. This option is environmentally friendly and eliminates the need to replace or recharge batteries. However, it may not be practical in areas with little sunlight.
When choosing a video doorbell, consider which power source would work best for your home and your personal preferences.
Resolution refers to the number of pixels in the camera image and determines the level of detail in the video footage. A video doorbell with a high-resolution camera ensures that you get a clear picture of who is at your front door. Here are some common video resolutions you might come across:
- 480p: This is the lowest resolution available and offers basic image quality with limited detail.
- 720p: This is a standard resolution for most video doorbells and provides good image quality with clear details.
- 1080p: This is a higher resolution that offers more detail and sharper image quality than 720p.
- 2K or 4K: These resolutions offer the highest level of detail and clarity, providing the most accurate representation of the footage.
When considering the resolution of a video doorbell, it’s important to note that higher-resolution cameras require more bandwidth and storage space. They also tend to be more expensive. Consider your specific needs and budget when choosing the resolution for your video doorbell. A higher resolution camera might be necessary if you need to capture small details, but a lower resolution camera may be sufficient for basic home security needs.
Field of View
The field of view (FOV) of a video doorbell is the area visible through the camera lens. It determines the coverage area and the range of motion the camera can capture. The wider the field of view, the more area the camera can capture. Consider how much of your front yard and porch you want to be able to see when selecting a video doorbell. Here are some common field-of-view options for video doorbells:
- 90 degrees: This is a standard field of view that captures a narrow area directly in front of the camera.
- 120 degrees: This is a wider field of view that captures more of the surrounding area, which can be helpful for monitoring a larger space.
- 160 degrees or more: This is an ultra-wide field of view that captures a wider area, making it ideal for larger spaces or areas that require more comprehensive coverage.
When selecting a video doorbell, consider the location where it will be installed and the area you want to monitor. If you want to monitor a small area directly in front of your door, a 90-degree field of view may be sufficient. However, if you want to monitor a larger area, such as a driveway or backyard, you may need a wider field of view. Keep in mind that a wider field of view may also result in some distortion or fisheye effect in the video footage.
Motion detection is a crucial feature of a video doorbell, as it alerts you to any movement detected within the camera’s range. Here are some key factors to consider when evaluating the motion detection capabilities of a video doorbell:
- Motion detection zones: Most video doorbells allow you to customize the areas in which you want to detect motion. This feature is useful for avoiding false alarms triggered by passing cars or pedestrians.
- Sensitivity settings: It’s important to choose a video doorbell with adjustable sensitivity settings to avoid unnecessary alerts. A doorbell that is too sensitive may send notifications for every passing bird or squirrel, while one that is not sensitive enough may miss important events.
- Customization options: Look for a video doorbell that allows you to set up custom rules for motion detection, such as defining specific times of the day or setting up notifications for certain events.
- Motion tracking: Some video doorbells have motion tracking features that can follow a moving object within the camera’s range, providing continuous monitoring of the subject.
Consider these factors when evaluating the motion detection capabilities of a video doorbell to ensure that you get the best possible performance and avoid false alarms. It’s important to choose a video doorbell that provides reliable alerts and allows you to customize the settings to meet your specific needs.
Night vision allows you to capture clear video footage in low light or complete darkness. Here are some key factors to consider when evaluating the night vision capabilities of a video doorbell:
- Infrared sensors: Most video doorbells use infrared sensors to capture video footage in low light conditions. Look for a doorbell with high-quality sensors that can capture clear footage even in complete darkness.
- Range of coverage: Consider the range of coverage of the night vision feature. Some video doorbells have a range of up to 30 feet, while others may have a more limited range.
- Quality of footage: Check the quality of the night vision footage to ensure that it is clear and free from distortion or blurring.
- Color night vision: Some video doorbells offer color night vision, which provides a more detailed and realistic view of the surroundings. However, color night vision may be more expensive than traditional black-and-white night vision.
Consider these factors when evaluating the night vision capabilities of a video doorbell to ensure that you get the best possible performance in low light or nighttime conditions. A high-quality night vision feature can be essential for home security, allowing you to monitor your property even when the lights are off.
Make sure the video doorbell you choose has a mobile app that is compatible with your smartphone or tablet. This will allow you to receive alerts and access the camera feed from anywhere.
App support determines how you will interact with the device and access its features. Here are some key factors to consider when evaluating the app support of a video doorbell:
- Compatibility: Ensure that the video doorbell is compatible with your smartphone or tablet’s operating system, such as iOS or Android.
- User interface: Look for a video doorbell with a user-friendly app interface that is easy to navigate and use.
- Notifications: Check whether the app sends notifications to your phone or tablet when the doorbell rings or motion is detected.
- Live streaming: Ensure that the app allows you to view live streaming video footage from the doorbell’s camera.
- Recording and storage: Check whether the app allows you to record and store video footage from the doorbell’s camera and whether there are any storage limits or additional fees.
- Smart home integration: Consider whether the video doorbell can integrate with other smart home devices, such as Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant.
Consider these factors when evaluating the app support of a video doorbell to ensure that you get the best possible experience and access to its features. App support is an important aspect of a video doorbell, as it allows you to interact with the device and monitor your property remotely.
Cloud storage determines how and where the video footage captured by the device will be stored.
- Cost: Check whether the cloud storage requires a subscription and if so, consider the cost and any additional monthly fees associated with the service.
- Storage capacity: Check how much storage capacity is included with the subscription and whether it is sufficient for your needs.
- Retention period: Check how long the video footage will be stored on the cloud and whether it will be deleted after a certain period of time.
- Accessibility: Ensure that you can access the stored video footage easily and quickly, from both the video doorbell’s app and any other devices that you use to access the cloud storage.
- Security: Check the security measures in place to protect your stored video footage, such as encryption and authentication protocols.
Consider these factors when evaluating the cloud storage options of a video doorbell to ensure that you get the best possible performance and value. Cloud storage is an important aspect of a video doorbell, as it allows you to store and access video footage captured by the device remotely, and provides an additional layer of security for your property.
Two-way audio allows you to communicate with visitors even when you’re not at home or unable to answer the door. This feature enables you to hear and speak to people at your door and receive responses in real time through the video doorbell app on your smartphone or tablet.
If you live in a noisy area with lots of traffic or other background noise, it’s essential to look for a video doorbell with a noise-cancellation feature. This feature helps to eliminate background noise and ensures that you can hear the person at the door clearly, regardless of the noise level outside. With a noise-cancellation feature, you won’t miss important information from visitors, such as package delivery instructions or the purpose of their visit. Make sure to consider the audio capabilities of a video doorbell when selecting a model to ensure that you get the best possible performance and functionality.
Some video doorbells come with a “do not disturb” or “quiet hours” feature that allows you to silence the doorbell when you don’t want to be disturbed. This feature is especially helpful if you have a sleeping baby, someone who works from home, or just want some quiet time without interruption. When the “do not disturb” feature is enabled, the doorbell will still capture video footage and send notifications to your smartphone or tablet, but it will not ring audibly at the door. This ensures that you never miss a visitor or delivery, while also allowing you to maintain peace and quiet inside your home.
Some video doorbells offer advanced features such as integration with smart locks and home security systems. With a smart lock integration, you can remotely unlock your door for trusted guests, friends, or family members, even when you’re not at home. This feature allows you to provide access to your home without needing to physically hand over a key or be present.
Additionally, if you plan to hardwire your video doorbell into your home’s electrical system, some models also offer integration with home security systems. This integration can provide added security and peace of mind by allowing you to monitor your video doorbell alongside other security devices, such as security cameras, motion detectors, and alarms. With this feature, you can receive notifications and alerts about any unusual activity at your front door or other areas of your property, ensuring that you always stay aware and informed.
A brand’s reputation can speak volumes about the quality of its products and the level of customer support they provide. Look for reputable brands that have a proven track record of quality and reliability.
One way to assess a brand’s reputation is by reading online reviews from customers who have purchased and used their products. Look for reviews on the brand’s website, as well as on third-party sites like Amazon, Best Buy, and other reputable retailers. Pay attention to both positive and negative reviews to get a well-rounded view of the brand’s products and customer service.
It’s also a good idea to do some research on the brand’s history, including how long they have been in business and any awards or accolades it may have received. Look for information about the brand’s commitment to customer satisfaction, product quality, and innovation in the video doorbell market.
Overall, choosing a video doorbell from a reputable brand can give you peace of mind knowing that you’re investing in a high-quality product that is likely to meet your needs and provide reliable performance.
What Devices Are Compatible With A Video Doorbell?
The devices you can use with a video doorbell will depend on the specific model and brand you choose, but there are several common options.
Most video doorbells can be connected to a smartphone or tablet via an app, which allows you to receive notifications when someone rings your doorbell and view live or recorded video footage from your device. Some video doorbells also have smart home integrations, which allow you to connect them to other compatible devices such as smart locks, smart lights, and voice assistants like Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant.
Another common option for using a video doorbell is connecting it to a traditional home security system, which can provide additional protection and monitoring capabilities. Some video doorbells are also compatible with standalone or cloud-based video storage services, which can provide you with extra peace of mind by storing footage from your doorbell camera in the cloud for later viewing.
Overall, the devices you can use with a video doorbell will depend on the specific features and integrations of the model you choose, so it’s important to do your research and choose a video doorbell that meets your specific needs and requirements.
How Can I Install A Video Doorbell Step by Step?
Many video doorbells are designed to be easy to install, and can typically be installed in just a few steps with basic tools. Here are some general tips for installing a video doorbell:
- Check the power source: Depending on the model, your video doorbell may require hardwiring to your existing doorbell wiring or it may operate on battery power. Be sure to check the power source requirements before you begin the installation.
- Mount the doorbell: Most video doorbells come with a mounting plate that you can attach to the outside of your home using screws. Once the plate is securely attached, you can then attach the doorbell unit to the plate.
- Connect the doorbell to your Wi-Fi network: Most video doorbells require a Wi-Fi connection to function. Follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer to connect your doorbell to your home Wi-Fi network.
- Install the app: Once your video doorbell is connected to your Wi-Fi network, you will typically need to install an app on your smartphone or tablet in order to view and control the doorbell.
- Test the doorbell: Before completing the installation, be sure to test the doorbell to ensure that it is functioning properly and that you can receive notifications and view video footage on your device.
If you are uncomfortable with any aspect of the installation process, it may be best to hire a professional to help you install your video doorbell.