How to Use a Smart Video Doorbell
Whether you’re looking to avoid porch pirates or keep an eye on package deliveries, smart video doorbells are an affordable option. In our tests, they’ve proven to be reliable and easy to set up.
This battery-powered model is the first doorbell that works with Apple’s HomeKit system, offering features like free cloud video storage and facial recognition (if you wire it) that aren’t available from other manufacturers.
Easy to set up
A smart doorbell gives you a live view of who is on your doorstep, even if you aren’t at home. You can also answer the door remotely and use two-way audio to talk to your visitors. Some models are also able to identify faces and recognize parcels, which makes them more useful than traditional doorbells.
The smart doorbell can work with other smart home devices, making it easy to integrate into your existing security system. For example, you can link it with voice assistants like Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant. There are also smart lock integrations so that you can control your front door from a device with an app.
You can also choose whether you want the smart doorbell to record footage in the cloud or store it on your home network. Choosing between these options is important, as the cloud can take up valuable internet bandwidth. For example, the Ring VDB780B combines satellite mapping with onboard radar to show you the path that a person or animal took to get to your door. This feature may help you spot a burglar trying to trick you by walking down your driveway.
Another thing to consider is the quality of the camera’s field of view. You want to be able to see who’s on your doorstep, as well as the surrounding area. Some models include intelligent motion detection that filters out swaying tree branches, passersby on your sidewalk and waving lawn decorations.
Easy to use
When it comes to using your video doorbell, there are many factors to consider. The first is the response time to motion detection. You want to be able to quickly receive a notification and see who is at your door, so you can take action if necessary. The other factor is the ability to monitor your home remotely. This allows you to check who is at your door and can even stop the person from coming inside if necessary.
During our tests, we found that the Apple-compatible Ring Circle View camera was one of the easiest to use among our top picks. Smart Video Doorbell Its user interface works just like you would expect an Apple product to, with a scrollable history and simple adjustments that don’t require diving into submenus.
It also has a clear image both during the day and at night thanks to its integrated IR night vision sensor. This feature is a must-have for anyone who wants to protect their home from potential intruders. This feature works by sending a live feed to your phone when the camera detects motion. The camera also features two-way communication, allowing you to talk with visitors without opening your door.
The Eufy is an affordable option with a few extras that make it stand out. It has a high dynamic range for vivid video; monitoring zones; three-second snapshots; and facial recognition. It also doesn’t require a subscription like most other video doorbells, but it offers a $10 a month option for 24/7 recording from Ring Alarm, its home security system.
Easy to monitor
Before video doorbells, homeowners only knew who was at their doorstep if someone physically rang the bell or looked through their peephole. While this presents a security risk, smart video doorbells can be used to monitor visitors and deter crime. With a video camera, you can see who’s there and communicate with them from your phone, even when you’re away from home.
Some models are equipped with night vision, while others use the ambient lighting around them to determine whether a change is occurring and then send an alert. Look for a model that has two-way talk so you can greet your visitors and speak to them, as well as an adjustable motion sensor.
Many models also use cloud storage to store and stream your footage. This allows them to function as an all-in-one system, but you may have to pay a monthly subscription. Alternatively, some video doorbells come with built-in memory and don’t require a subscription to operate.
Lastly, some models have advanced features like Ring’s Bird’s Eye View feature. This combines satellite mapping data with the doorbell’s onboard radar to show you the path that your visitors took to reach the front porch. It shows whether they walked straight to your door, through a window or perhaps to a neighbor’s door first. With this level of monitoring, you can make sure your home is secure and your kids are safe.
Easy to install
With a smart video doorbell, you can monitor who is at the front door from anywhere. You can also make sure that your packages arrive safely, even if you’re not home. It’s a great way to protect against “porch pirates,” who steal packages from porches when no one is home. Many insurance companies now offer premium discounts to homeowners who install a smart video doorbell.
Most smart doorbell cameras use Wi-Fi to connect to your home’s internet connection, but some have cellular backup that allows them to work without a power source. This is ideal if you live in an area that has frequent outages or if you don’t have a stable wireless signal. Most wired models are simple to Smart Video Doorbell install, requiring only the removal of your existing doorbell and the installation of a new wedge or wall plate. Most models also feature a removable faceplate for customizing the appearance of the camera.
A good video doorbell has a clear HD video image during the day and night, and features two-way audio so you can speak with visitors. It should also have intelligent motion detection that filters out swaying tree branches, pedestrians on the sidewalk, and waving or shifting lawn decorations. Other helpful features include a remote door lock, activity zones, and more.