Doorbell Cameras

Front porch protection using a doorbell with a camera

Upgrading your security system to be smart doesn’t only mean increasing protection from intruders, but also optimizing the smart motion detectors to prevent other forms of damages to your homes such as unexpected weather, pipe leaks, or vandalism.

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What are the components of a doorbell camera?

Packed into most doorbell cameras are:

  • An HD video camera with a viewing angle that ranges from 105 to 180 degrees
  • A two-way intercom that allows you to speak to the visitor and has recording capabilities
  • WiFi compatibility to alert your phone or your voice assistant even if you’re not at home and to live-stream whatever the camera is picking up on
  • Dual power-source options, giving you the freedom for temporary or permanent set up
  • Motion sensors with a sensory range from 5 feet up to 30 feet

Some doorbell cameras also come with additional features such as night vision, face recognition, pre-recorded messages for guests, noise cancellation and so on.

How do doorbell cameras work?

These easy-to-install video doorbells can stream live audio and video from the doorbell and discreet camera to your smartphone via your home WiFi system. Doorbell cameras work like the caller ID when you receive a phone call, but these devices can be used to screen the people at your door without letting them know your whereabouts.

Who goes there?

If someone is approaching your door, you will receive an alert even before they ring the doorbell. If you have guests coming over and they arrived before you got home, you can talk to your guests when they ring the bell and inform them you are on your way. Often, you may find yourself stressed over your kids coming home on time from school, these video doorbells are a great way to monitor their arrival and safety.

Package monitoring

You can give instructions to the delivery driver to leave your package in a protected area. On the other hand, if they leave the package at the door, you can keep an eye on it while at work. Any movement near the package and your smart video doorbell will send a notification straight to your smartphone.

Cloud storage or local storage

In case of a burglary or an attempted one, you need to have proof of the intrusion. Some video doorbells come with an option to subscribe monthly to a cloud-based server to save all videos for a given time. The price of subscription varies depending on the company you choose. Other doorbell cameras come with a local storage option such as an SD card inside the device. To save on storage space, the doorbell cameras only start recording videos when they sense motion or after the bell is pressed.

Power source

Most wireless doorbell cameras give you the option to choose the power source. Either you can set it up to run on power from the existing doorbell wiring or use the removable battery. However, as 30% of households do not have doorbell wiring, most of these doorbells come with both power sources to meet the needs of the buyer.

Smart tech compatibility

Like any other smart home device, connecting to a phone or voice assistant doubles the features and benefits of using a smart appliance. This will also depend on the device you choose because each company provides different features and compatibility with different home-base hubs. Among many advantages, some have the benefits of setting up facial recognition and visitor announcements. If the doorbell recognizes a face it can signal your voice assistant which will announce the name of the person at your door.

Types of Doorbell Cameras:

Video doorbell - definition is in the name. It’s simply a doorbell with a camera. Yet, every company markets them with different features.

Peephole - these smart doorbells replace the existing peephole on your door. If you don’t wish to go through the trouble of rewiring your doorbell this is a good option. However, they are not as discreet.

Smart Security Camera vs. Doorbell Camera

34% of thieves access a home through the front door, making it the most common point of entry. Therefore, it’s necessary to fit a camera near your front door. Both smart security cameras and video doorbells detect motion and send you notifications on your smartphone or tablet, serving the purpose of protecting your home at the front end. However, it’s likely that a thief would be on the lookout for any security cameras mounted on the wall or ceilings near the door. The doorbell camera is designed to be more discreet in its purpose, so a thief may not know immediately that he is being watched. Additionally, as it comes with the functionality to communicate with visitors, the doorbell camera has more purpose on your front porch than a smart security camera. This doesn’t make the security camera redundant though. If you have a larger home or have multiple entry points, you can set up smart security cameras in other parts of your house such as the back door or garage. Aside from live-streaming video and motion alerts, you can customize it to automate the lights and temperature in your home. At the end of the day, the decision depends on the type of home and your expectations of protection from the device you buy.

Bundle Benefits

Bundled with other security devices, doorbell cameras can be more effective. A bundle that comes with a video doorbell and a voice assistant is ideal for someone looking to make a quick and easy upgrade towards smart security for their home. Or if the bundle combines a doorbell camera with a smart security camera, it’s a powerful alliance to protect two main zones of your home. Additionally, go keyless with a bundle that includes a smart lock and smart doorbell combo!