You don’t have to spend a fortune buying and installing a doorbell camera, but keep in mind that most require an ongoing monthly fee to take full advantage of their features, including the ability to view video captured by the doorbell’s camera. to store in the cloud.
“When purchasing a video doorbell, it is important for the user to consider what technology they already have and use on a daily basis,” said Hans Study, CISSP, a veteran cybersecurity professional at Prometheon, Inc. If they use Google, they should consider a Nest-based option. As Alexa, Ring is a great option. I recommend using a wired video doorbell whenever possible, [because] they enable extended use and a broader feature set without constantly having to charge a battery.”
According to Shaun Martin, CEO of We Buy Houses in Denver, “When buying a video doorbell, think about the quality of the camera. Look for one with HD recording and motion-activated notifications. This ensures that the recordings are clear and that you are notified of any activity outside your home. Also note the type of installation required. Wired doorbells are generally more reliable, but require professional installation.”
Mark Buskuhl, the owner of Ninebird Properties in Dallas, adds, “The three most important features to look for when buying a doorbell camera are video resolution, motion detection, and night vision.”
When shopping for a video doorbell, here are eight important things to consider.
Video resolution and quality: The detail and clarity of what you see from a video camera is determined by the resolution it offers. Choose a doorbell camera that offers at least 1080p resolution. This means that the content you see is captured in high definition. It was recorded and displayed at 1,920 x 1,080 pixels. The more pixels used to make up the video image, the sharper it will look. A few doorbell cameras now offer 2K (2,048 x 1,080 pixels) resolution, which is even better.
Field of view: A camera’s field of view (FOV) is measured in degrees. It represents the horizontal viewing area of the camera. A standard FOV is about 60 degrees. However, when it comes to doorbell cameras, the wider the field of view, the better. With a 160-degree horizontal field of view, which is standard on many video doorbells, you can see a much larger area in front of the camera. Similarly, vertical FOV determines how much of a vertical area you can see. Some video doorbells have a vertical field of view of 90 degrees or wider. With a wider vertical field of view, you may be able to see someone’s entire body when they’re at your front door.
Two-way audio communication: A typical doorbell camera contains a microphone and speaker. This enables real-time two-way communication between you and the person at your door when using a smartphone or a home hub. This technology offers several advantages. For example, if you’re lounging on your couch watching a movie and a delivery person approaches your door, you’ll see that it’s a package delivery person and you can tell that person to drop the package at the door without having to pause the movie. up and open the door. Likewise, if you’re away from home and your mobile device has internet access, you’ll receive alerts from your doorbell camera and you’ll be able to communicate with anyone approaching your door.
Motion Detection and Alerts: One of the great features of most doorbell cameras is that they have a built-in motion sensor. So instead of someone having to press the doorbell button for it to ring (which is also an option), the doorbell camera detects someone approaching. When this happens, two things happen at the same time. The doorbell automatically sends an alert to your smartphone (or tablet) and starts recording video that would normally be sent to the cloud for storage. The smarter doorbell cameras can distinguish between someone in your family, a delivery person, a stranger or a wild animal coming close to your door, and then send an appropriate alert based on preset parameters.
Night Vision Compatibility: Almost all doorbell cameras are equipped with night vision. This means that when the motion sensor is activated at night, you can easily see who’s at your door, even if there’s no outside light on. Pay attention to whether a doorbell camera offers color night vision and how far the camera can pick up details in dimly lit or dark areas.
Cloud storage and subscription options: With few exceptions, video doorbells capture real-time video and sound and instantly upload that content to an encrypted and secure cloud-based storage service. To unlock all the features of cloud-based storage, it is usually necessary to pay an ongoing monthly fee (usually between $5 and $20 per month). The amount you pay often determines how much cloud-based storage you have available and how long your video content is stored before being overwritten. In some cases, a doorbell camera will record locally to a memory card.
Smart Home Integration: Doorbell cameras rely on your home’s Wi-Fi to communicate directly with the internet to send alerts, live video content and sound to your smartphone, smart speaker, compatible smart TV or home hub. While most video doorbells are compatible with both iOS and Android based smartphones and tablets, not all of them are. Similarly, some video doorbells work with Alexa-based home hubs or smart speakers, while some only work with Google Assistant or Google Home-enabled smart devices. Choose a doorbell camera that is fully compatible with equipment you already use.
Installation and Configuration Process: Most doorbell camera manufacturers offer wired and wireless versions of their products. The wired version must be permanently connected to your home’s electrical system. The more expensive wired models have a battery backup function in case of power failure. These usually require a professional electrician to install.
A wireless doorbell camera works on battery power. This is a rechargeable or replaceable battery, depending on the model. Wireless doorbell cameras are easy to install. You simply charge and insert the battery and then attach the device to your door or door frame using included screws or strong adhesive. The setup process involves installing the doorbell’s own app on your mobile phone and linking the doorbell to your home’s Wi-Fi. Wireless doorbell cameras can typically be installed in less than 15 minutes.
According to Martin, “It is usually recommended that anyone investing in a wired video doorbell hire a professional to install it. This is because the installation of a wired video doorbell can be more complex and requires knowledge of electrical wiring. In addition, hiring a professional ensures that the installation is done correctly and safely, minimizing any potential damage or accidents.”