Let’s face it; smart technology is here with us folks, and now, it’s going a notch higher. If have always been in love with the ‘knock-knock’ jokes, then we are sorry to disappoint you with the new technology in the name of video doorbells. All your jokes will now fall flat since the owner will already know who is at the door. Smart Home technology has only been around for the past ten years. During this short period, great strides have been made to ensure homes are at par with the ever-changing innovations.
Video doorbells work the same way you would with conventional door buzzers. The only difference is that they have a visual feed. Here, you can transmit video feeds through your phone, tablet or PC. What’s more, video doorbells come with built-in microphones which allow you to converse with your visitor.
Although the technology is relatively new, it is gaining popularity in Smart Homes and becoming more of a necessity than a luxury. Video doorbells also double up as security tools since you can keep an eye on your premises even while away. As a homeowner, the technology gives you the upper hand as you can choose who to admit into your house without necessarily getting to the door first. In case of a potential intruder, you can easily take the necessary steps to prevent a home invasion before it happens.
Video doorbells come with motion detection sensors. Anytime a person or moving object stirs within the camera’s range, a notification is immediately sent to the homeowner. Just like all technological innovations, video doorbells come with various features which set them apart.
Here are some of the best video doorbells currently on the market;
Top 10 Video Doorbells of 2020 Reviewed
1. Ring Video Doorbell 2[wt_products id=”3723″ template=”5″]
2. Ring Video Doorbell with HD Video[wt_products id=”3725″ template=”5″]
3. Mountdog Video Doorbell[wt_products id=”3727″ template=”5″]
4. Simplisafe 10 Piece Wireless Home Security System[wt_products id=”3729″ template=”5″]
5. Eufy Security WI-FI Video Doorbell[wt_products id=”3731″ template=”5″]
6. Remobell S WI-FI Video Doorbell Camera[wt_products id=”3733″ template=”5″]
7. 1byone Video Intercom System[wt_products id=”3735″ template=”5″]
8. 1August Doorbell Cam Pro[wt_products id=”3737″ template=”5″]
9. Anboson 7-inch Wired Video Doorbell[wt_products id=”3739″ template=”5″]
10. Honeywell Skybell Slim Design Video Doorbell[wt_products id=”3741″ template=”5″]
How to Choose the Best Video Doorbell – Buying Guide
For you to make an informed decision on the type and make of the video doorbell you plan to purchase, it is good to understand what to look out for. This goes a long way in narrowing down your search. When choosing the best video doorbell, you should consider the most important features that will add value to your home. These may include power source, backup system, pre-programmed menu, night vision capabilities, and how the system gels with other smart home devices already in use.
We understand how it can be challenging trying to figure out the best video doorbell for your home. You need not worry anymore; here is as a checklist for the most important functions that should be in a quality video doorbell.
1. The standout features
At the end of the day, ask yourself, “what do you want a video doorbell to achieve?” For example, probably you host family or friends frequently, even when you are not around. A video doorbell offers peace of mind, and you can monitor your front door at any time. A smart lock can complement a video doorbell as it allows you to open your front door to visitors even when you are miles away. Depending on your lifestyle, mannerisms and overall nature opt for a video doorbell that supports your homely habits.
Come to think of it; a video doorbell is not the ultimate answer to all your security problems. It only acts as a supplement to already existing systems like alarms and CCTV cameras. Below are the most important features a quality video doorbell should possess;
Most video doorbells have this feature. A visitor does not have to reach the doorbell before you are alerted of their presence. The level of sensitivity on different video doorbells varies. For example, some video doorbells will alert you even when a visitor leaves your doorstep. For others, you can adjust the level of sensitivity on the device.
For other such doorbells, you may opt to map out the area of your front porch that you would like covered by the motion detectors. This helps in preventing unnecessary notifications like those from falling leaves, stray cats, or trees swaying in the wind. The mapping feature also comes in handy if your home is located near a busy street.
This refers to the clarity of the image feed; the higher the resolution, the clearer the video image. Resolutions may range from as low as 480p to as high as 1080p. It is worth noting, however, that resolution works hand in hand with the ability of a camera to adjust to varying light levels. This means if you buy a video doorbell with a high resolution, but with poor light adjustment, the images you receive will be of poor quality.
Field of view
This refers to the area the doorbell’s camera captures. It is determined by the location of the video doorbell and the angle. For example, a video doorbell with a 180-degree angle, will capture the entire front section of your front porch, and still cover the sides. A 90-degree angle will capture the front part, and a tiny portion of the side. So simply put, the wider the view, the better. Whenever possible, go for a camera with a 180-degree view.
A lot can happen under the cover of darkness. It is, therefore, important to have a clear view of your doorstep for enhanced security, especially during the winter season when darkness sets in early. A video doorbell with night vision and infrared capabilities will work magic on this front. Cameras are equipped with different levels of night vision adjustment features. This, therefore, means no matter how dark it gets, you can adjust your camera accordingly to provide clear images. Other video doorbells adjust automatically to their environment.
As mentioned earlier, communication is a vital benefit of video doorbells. The enabler is a two-way in-built audio system which allows you to talk to your visitors and find out the purpose of their visit. The audio system also allows you to hear the sounds of your neighborhood. For instance, you can hear your neighbor driving off, or hear a stray cat roaming on your front porch.
Once motion sensors detect activity, an alert is sent to your mobile phone in real-time so you can respond appropriately. The alert is sent by the app and informs you of the specific type of movement detected. The app, therefore, plays a central role in the video doorbell system. Ensure the video doorbell you intend to purchase comes with a reliable app or can work with other established apps. This prevents situations of delayed notifications already overtaken by time.
2. Consider its Appearance
Apart from up-to-date features, your video doorbell should look aesthetically good on your front door. It should not protrude too much from the door’s frame. If you are undertaking an upgrade, compare the device you are replacing it with your new preference. Avoid scenarios where the mounting is supported by objects such as pieces of wood or adhesive tape. There should also be no wires sticking out. Your front door acts as the gateway to your home and a good first impression when somebody approaches your front porch is important. When shopping for a video doorbell, ensure it compliments the dimensions and color of your door’s frame.
3. Ease of Installation
Some video doorbells require professionals to set-up, while others are in the DIY category. To avoid extra costs, choose one that you can install yourself. Before you begin the installation, confirm the range of WI-FI connectivity. You can easily do this using your phone. Check if the WI-FI connection is active at the spot you plan to mount your video doorbell. If your phone is connected, then you can go ahead. However, if there is no connection, then you need to consider a different location to mount your video doorbell.
4. System Integration
Smart Homeowners tend to have various other devices at their disposal. Some video doorbells can easily be integrated to work with other devices. This is made possible by the systems being compatible with various applications. It is convenient to have a single app to control all your smart devices. Ensure, therefore, that the video doorbell you plan to purchase will be integrated with the rest of your Smart Home appliances under the roof of a single app. Remember, the app you choose should have fast loading times as well.
5. Power source
Video doorbells come with two power options; wired or battery powered. If you did not have a conventional doorbell prior, then a battery-powered video doorbell will be your best bet. If you prefer the wired option, a majority of video doorbell installation packs come with the required accessories such as adapters with the relevant outputs. Others can be connected to back-up systems. In the event of a power outage, your video doorbell will continue working.
6. Cloud storage ability
There is rarely sufficient space to store all the recordings of video doorbells. It is, therefore vital to have a cloud storage option. In such a case, recorded videos are conveniently stored in the cloud for around 30 days. During that time, you can access the recordings and review them. In case of an incidence of burglary or vandalism, you will have sufficient evidence either to press charges, pursue compensation or both. Another option is to purchase a video doorbell equipped with a built-in expandable internal memory.
7. Weather resistance for durability
A video doorbell is an outdoor device. It is exposed to the various elements of weather ranging from hot temperatures, strong winds to freezing and wet conditions. A quality video doorbell should, therefore, be able to withstand the changing seasons and remain operational. Most manufacturers counter the effects of weather by installing hardware that can handle the climate. Not all video doorbells are fitted with this technology though, and it is always advisable to confirm its presence. The weather-resistant hardware should extend to the functions of the camera as well. Others have outer casings constructed using weatherproof materials such as aluminum and stainless steel.
8. What are the costs involved?
The cost of a video doorbell entirely depends on the features that come with the unit, brand and the extras. The first considerations concerning cost will boil down to how much you are willing to spend, what features you prefer and if you are willing to pay more for extras. The costs of wired and wireless video doorbells also vary. Luckily, due to the numerous products on the market, there is a video doorbell for every budget.
As a Smart Homeowner, it is your responsibility to secure your property, both indoors and outdoors. The means to the end may vary, but the main objective always remains the same. A video doorbell is the kind of device you will install, and later wonder how you ever survived without it. Remember, you cannot put a price tag on peace of mind and knowing you have eyes on your property even when you are not physically present. There is no harm in doing everything within your power to protect your home and your loved ones.