Smart Video Doorbell

Smart Video Doorbell

Smart Video Doorbell

A Smart Video Doorbell allows homeowners to remotely speak with visitors and keep an eye on packages from their front porch. These compact streaming cameras can deter porch pirates and provide security and peace of mind to customers.

CR’s take: This wired model from Eufy supports Apple HomeKit Secure Video, has a fast response time for alerts, and has excellent image quality. It also features two cameras for a blind spot-free view of the front yard, plus onboard machine learning and smart alerts.

Features

A smart doorbell with a camera lets you see who’s there without opening the door. The device alerts you via app when someone’s at your doorstep, and some can also let you talk to visitors using two-way audio. Some smart video doorbells have additional security features like face recognition, night vision and package detection, which can help you spot suspicious activity or prevent robbery.

A good doorbell camera should be easy to set up and use, work in your home’s temperature range and have a weatherproof enclosure. You should also consider how much storage you want, whether you’d prefer a cloud-based system or local video recording, and the cost of any subscriptions or add-on plans.

Unlike the Nest Hello, this wired video doorbell from Netatmo uses a microSD card to store footage and doesn’t require a monthly fee for cloud storage. It also offers excellent image quality and a variety of useful features, including a three-second video preview; motion detection zones; object identification (including people, animals and vehicles); and automatic uploads to Dropbox or FTP servers.

This battery-powered doorbell cam from Blink doesn’t have the range of some other models, but it’s a great budget option for homeowners who just need a basic camera to monitor their front porch. The video is 1080p and looks sharp, even at night. The Blink app also supports a USB drive for offsite storage, which can save you money and keep your videos private.

Design

Whether you’re curled up on the couch, working at your desk or sunning yourself on the beach in the Bahamas, a Smart Video Doorbell smart video doorbell keeps you in touch with your front door even when you can’t be there. They send activity alerts to your smartphone and let you see and talk to visitors with two-way talk. Some have a field of view that sees people head-to-toe, and some can record video in the dark (if you opt for it).

Our top pick, the Netatmo Hello, stands out for its stylish design, HDR-capable video, low light performance, and integrations with a range of other smart home devices. It’s Smart Video Doorbell one of the few that works with Apple’s HomeKit system, which adds support for multiple user accounts, video previews and three-second recordings before the motion sensor triggers, and a special feature called “HomeKit Secure Video,” in which iCloud or Apple TV store videos using end-to-end encryption.

It’s also the only video doorbell we tested that has a dual camera, one of which is pointed straight out to help you spot visitors and intruders; the other points down to keep an eye on package deliveries. In CR’s tests, it scored high for video quality and had impressive response times for sending alerts and loading live feeds. You’ll pay a monthly subscription to unlock all of its features, though.

Detection

Whether you’re curled up on the sofa or sunbathing on the beach, a smart video doorbell lets you check in with visitors without having to answer your front door. It can also notify you when a package has arrived, even if you aren’t home to get it. Some models even feature facial recognition and night vision to keep an eye on who’s at your doorstep.

Regardless of the model you choose, make sure it offers top-notch motion detection capabilities so that only relevant alerts and recordings are sent to your phone. You want to be able to tell the difference between a delivery driver and someone loitering on your porch, and you should have the option to add monitoring zones for enhanced coverage. You may also want to opt for a model that records in a higher resolution or supports HDR, especially if your doorway is backlit.

You’ll also want a doorbell camera that’s easy to install, and that supports popular smart home integrations like viewing your live feed on a connected TV or smart display. Many models are wireless, so there’s no complicated wire installation process to deal with, and they can be moved around to different areas if needed. Look for one that works with your current voice assistant to make it easier and faster to communicate with visitors, and opt for a model with two-way audio so you can hear and talk to them.

Storage

Whether you’re curled up on the couch, at work in your office, or sunning yourself on a beach, a smart video doorbell will let you know who is there. These devices combine a standard doorbell with a camera and a motion sensor, giving you the ability to see who is at your door and talk to them even if you’re not home or don’t want to answer.

Many of the top-rated smart video doorbells in our ratings support multiple voice assistants and work hand in hand with other connected gadgets like wifi security cameras and smart alarms. They also offer features that make life easier for couriers and posties, such as the option to speak with visitors and instruct them to leave a package with a neighbour or in a safe place.

Depending on the model you choose, some smart video doorbells will store videos in the cloud. That means you can access them from any device with an internet connection as long as you have the right app. Others will save the footage locally, either on an internal microSD card or a USB storage drive that you connect to the hub. The Eufy Video Doorbell 2K (Battery) is the only model in our ratings that stores footage locally, and it’s easy to install with or without doorbell wires.

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