How a Smart Doorbell Can Tighten Your Home Security
Whether you’re binge-watching Netflix and don’t want to get off the couch or are a victim of porch pirates, a smart doorbell (also called a video doorbell) gives you a safe way to keep tabs on visitors. Look for options with two-way communication and a wide field of view.
Also, look for a model that stores recordings locally without a subscription. This reduces the risk of your doorbell being hacked.
Sense of Security
If you find yourself a bit uneasy about people approaching your home smart doorbell or simply want to know more about who is outside before answering the door, a smart doorbell is a great tool. Many models allow you to record video of anyone who sets off the motion detector, which can help police solve crimes. Additionally, you can share the footage via social media, alert neighbors about potential scams or even resolve issues with parcel deliveries.
A smart doorbell also allows you to screen visitors without opening your door. Simply use your phone to see who’s there and decide whether to answer, decline or talk to them through two-way audio (similar to an intercom) no matter where you are. You can even use it to speak to a dog walker or house sitter before they arrive, and make sure the kids get out of bed and turn off the TV before going to sleep.
Look for a model that can record in HD, offers night vision and has an easy-to-use app. Some even offer professional monitoring 24/7, giving you peace of mind when you’re not at home. And because they connect to your Wi-Fi, you can monitor your front porch from anywhere, no matter what device you’re using. This makes them a great addition to any home security system, adding an extra layer of protection from burglars who often knock on doors before breaking in as a way to see if anyone’s home before entering.
When someone approaches your home, a smart doorbell can notify you by sending a video to your smartphone. Depending on the model you choose, the notifications may be accompanied by two-way audio so that you can speak to your visitor without ever opening the door, a convenience that is especially useful when you’re unsure about answering the door or are busy working, caring for a child, or doing chores in the yard.
In addition to offering piece of mind when you’re away from home, smart doorbells can also help deter potential thieves or break-ins. Many models have motion detection capabilities and save recorded footage to help police or other authorities identify a trespasser or crime scene. Having access to prior recordings may even reduce your homeowners insurance premiums.
Most smart doorbells have a wide-angle camera that can provide you with a clear view of your front porch. Some models come equipped with night vision features, which can be a bonus if you live in an area with lots of street lights. You can use a doorbell cam to see who is outside smart doorbell when you’re unable to answer the door, or simply want to check in on your front door while you’re working, doing chores, or sleeping. This can be a huge safety benefit when you have young children, are worried about suspicious people or are limiting person-to-person contact due to Coronavirus concerns.
View Who’s At Your Door
A smart doorbell with a camera allows you to see who’s at your front door without opening it. You can also get activity alerts and watch video remotely, even when you aren’t home. Some smart doorbells have two-way audio, allowing you to communicate with people at your door, such as delivery drivers or the neighbor who wants to borrow your lawn mower.
Some advanced models come with facial recognition, which assigns a name to the person based on their appearance. This feature makes it easier for police departments to identify suspects and solve crimes. Watch this video from This Old House Home Technology Expert Ross Trethewey to learn more about smart doorbells and how they can help with crime-solving.
Most smart doorbells keep video recordings of motion alerts in a secure location in the cloud or on local storage, such as an SD card built into the device or an online service like Google Drive. This is a valuable security feature, especially if you’re away from your home for long periods of time or if your home is broken into.
Some smart video doorbells, such as Google Nest and the new Ring 3 Plus, offer free “Smart Detection.” This feature filters out motion reports by only detecting the presence of a human being, which can help reduce unnecessary notifications from things like rustling trees or passing cars. Other features you might want to consider include zoom, a wide-angle lens for a wider view, and color night vision, which can turn a darkened home into a safe haven at night.
Control Your Doorbell
If you want to really tighten up your home security, look for a smart doorbell camera that supports Apple’s HomeKit. This integration allows you to use your iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV as an iCloud hub and connects the doorbell to the internet. The camera will also detect people, animals, and vehicles to help you stay aware of who or what is on your front porch.
Look for a doorbell that offers a variety of other features, such as night vision or two-way audio. Many models let you see and talk to visitors from anywhere with your smartphone or other connected device. This can make it easier to screen guests, greet housesitters or dog walkers, or simply give instructions to mail carriers where to leave your packages if you’re away for an extended period of time.
It’s important to note that the latency of a smart doorbell can be an issue. If it takes too long for you to receive a notification when someone approaches your door, you could miss them altogether. This may be a result of poor Wi-Fi or the camera’s motion sensor, so consider the quality of these elements in your home before making a purchase. Look for options that work with your existing smart devices, like indoor security cameras, alarm systems, and thermostats.