In this modern era, where science and technology have become an integral part of our daily lives, every small electronic gadget can be made to do things which you could never have imagined. Doorbell cameras are one such innovation that makes our home more secure. Doorbell cameras, also known as smart doorbells or video doorbells, allows you to view your front door on your mobile with the help of the internet.
Gone is the era when people press a doorbell button and you will know that someone is on your porch. Doorbell cameras detect any person stepping up your porch and alert you of their presence. They also make it possible to communicate with them while giving you a live feed on your mobile. They have an internet connection which helps you to watch your doorstep even when you are away from home. By integrating it with your smart lock you can allow your guests inside the home even when you are away.
Depending on the manufacturer of the device there are different features, that make your home more secure. Some features need integration with other products and some with internet and mobile applications. Now, let us look at various features that make these doorbell cameras more interesting and make homes safer.
What do you look for, when you are buying a doorbell camera? Well if you are not so sure, let us help you make an educated choice.
Many doorbell cameras can track and detect movement in front of your house and alert you of the movement. Some of them go an extra mile and let you create blind spots to prevent you from answering false alarms every time a vehicle passes your house front.
One-way video is a must in Doorbell cameras, helping you to guide the visitors or to tell the delivery person where to place the package. But that is not enough, many doorbell cameras come with two-way audio to help you have a live conversation with visitors making it easier to know their purpose of visit. The feature of pre-recorded audio replies is also offered in some doorbell cameras.
Some doorbell cameras come with a siren which can be triggered manually or automatically in some cases, which scares away thieves. These in-built sirens come in handy especially when you are away from home.
Vision and Resolution
Wide-angle view and night vision mode are essential features to look for when purchasing a doorbell camera. The wide-angle view allows you to avoid having any blind spots in the field of vision. The night vision using infrared imaging allows you clear vision not just at night times but also when the atmosphere is cloudy and dark. It is also important to look into the resolution the camera offers. There are doorbell cameras with resolution ranging from 480p to 1080p available in the market.
Adaptability to different weather is yet another feature that is necessary for a doorbell camera as it should sustain in front of our homes adapting to different weather.
Mobile Application and Alerts
Many doorbell cameras integrate with a mobile application and give video access to your front porch from anywhere. When it senses a movement with its motion sensor, it sends an alert to your mobile and you can view the live feed upon opening the mobile app. The mobile app also allows you to have a call with the visitor and interact with him from wherever you are.
Power supply and battery
Though power supply is essential, many doorbell cameras also have an in-built battery. These batteries keep the camera going even when you have power cuts.
Video and Audio Recordings
Some of the doorbell cameras come with CVR i.e., Continuous Video Recording option and it is better to use it when available. This option makes sure that video is recorded always, which makes it easier to understand what happened in the occurrence of an incident. But some of the doorbell cameras record only when it senses a movement or when the doorbell is rung. Also, make sure that your device records audio along with the video.
Local Storage and Cloud Storage
One of the important aspects to look at is storage. Some doorbell cameras come with inbuilt storage and some need an SDcard to store your recordings. It is essential to find out the storage capacity and whether SDcard needs to be bought separately or is given with set-up. Also, how long video duration can it afford to store. This also requires you to erase previous data after a limited time but comes at a lower cost than cloud storage.
Some of the companies provide free cloud storage for a limited time and ask you to pay for further continuation of usage. This helps store more information than local storage but is expensive. An added advantage is that you can access it from anywhere using the internet.
While some doorbell cameras can be installed easily, some can’t be. So, it is better to look at whether it requires professional installation or not, whether it is included in the purchase cost or needs additional cost. Also, check the requirements of the product before purchase.
How do Doorbell cameras work?
- Some doorbell cameras need professional installation whereas some don’t. But all of them are connected to the powerline as any doorbell does and are connected to the internet using Wi-Fi and doorbell chimes.
- When a visitor presses the doorbell, it rings like a normal doorbell does, but also notifies the owner on mobile using the mobile application.
- Some doorbell cameras even sense any presence and send alerts to the users mobile. Users can even access the live feed from their mobile app.
- Some doorbell cameras also start recording the video storing it on the cloud.
- Most doorbells also provide two-way audio to communicate with the visitor and also allow you to play a siren to scare them away and alert your neighbours.
Essentiality of Doorbell cameras during the pandemic
The doorbell cameras are important all the more in these times of COVID-19 pandemic. They allow you to talk and interact with your visitors on the mobile keeping your distance. You can easily tell the delivery person, where to leave your package in front of your house. It helps you practice social distancing without affecting your communication. You can also view your front porch anytime and make sure that strangers are not entering your compound for any mischief. If any unwanted guest comes near your home, the doorbell camera alerts you and you can ring the siren to scare them away. You can also interact with your neighbours using their or your device which helps in keeping the bond while maintaining the social distancing norms.
Best Doorbell Cameras in the market
Having looked at features and working of doorbell cameras, now let us look the best doorbell cameras in the market and compare and contrast them.
Coming from the Tech giant Google, Nest hello meets expectations and doesn’t disappoint at all. It comes with HDR video, giving a high-resolution camera feed live to your mobile anywhere anytime. The 4:3 aspect ratio helps in covering from top to bottom avoiding blind spots. It has the CVR feature which captures video all the time. Face recognition helps in recognising familiar faces and giving special alerts. Quick responses are additional features you find, which helps in saving time in trying to answer your doorbell.
Image credit – Google Nest
The Ring is the first company to introduce doorbell cameras and they have been improving and getting into market new products with more features. Ring Video Doorbell 3 plus comes with a pre-roll video to show you what has happened before your doorbell rang and helps you understand the situation better. You can also custom the motion-sensing areas. You will also receive notifications and alerts regarding any movements on your front door and also access the live feed from anywhere in your mobile. It works on battery making it independent of power cuts.
Image credit – Amazon
Though produced by ADT, Blue doorbell cameras surpass ADT video doorbells in features and quality. It has a 180-degree field of vision allows you to view the wider area of your porch. It has got facial recognition along with HD video and night vision. Customization of motion detection spots is an additional feature. Cloud storage is also available for this device. Push notifications coming with video preview is something unique you find on the app with this device.
Image credit – Blue by ADT
Vivint is one of the famous names you hear when searching for home security solutions. The 190×190 degree field of vision provided by Vivint doorbell camera pro is thus far the best available in the market. It provides 1080p HDR video with for live streaming on your mobile and also records it for you to watch later. It has smart sentry AI technology which detects people and packages and alerts you of their presence. It automatically detects people lifting off packages and rings siren of 65db to scare away porch pirates.
(Image credit – Vivint)
Simplisafe video doorbell pro offers 1080p HDr video along with night vision and allows you to pan and zoom your live feed making it easier to view your front door. It has a 162-degree field of vision along with two-way audio. It also has motion sensors and sends alerts to your mobile when there is a movement on your porch and also ignores the passing cars without notifying to make sure the notifications it sends matter. It used dual-sensing technology, where one sense the form and other heat signature. This way it avoids any scope for false alarms.
Image credit- SimpliSafe
Comparing the Best ones
|Product||Nest Hello Doorbell Camera||Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus||Blue Doorbell Camera||Vivint Doorbell Camera Pro||SimpliSafe Video Doorbell Pro|
|Field of view(degrees)||160||160||180||190||162|
|Resolution||1600×1200 HD||1080p HD||1080p HD||1080p HD||1080p HD|
|Smart home compatibility||Google Assistant, Alexa, IFTTT||Alexa,IFTTT||Alexa, IFTTT||Google Assistant, Alexa||No|
|Avoid false alarms||Allows Custom zoning||Allows Custom zoning||Allows Custom zoning||By AI detection||By dual-sensing|
|Notifications and alerts||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Power source||Hardwired||Hardwired or batteries||Hardwired||Hardwired||Batteries|
|Cloud Storage||With Subscription||With subscription||Yes||Yes||With subscription|
|Video Recording||CVR||CVR with subscription||Event-triggered recording||Event-triggered recording||CVR with subscription|
|Warranty||2 years||1 year||1 year||Lifetime (premium plan)||3 years|
|Dimensions||4.6 in. x 1.7 in. x 1.0 in||5.1 in. x 2.4 in. x 1.1 in||4.9 in. x 1.7 in. x 1.4 in||4.6 in. x 1.5 in. x 1.3 in||4.35 in. x 1.35 in. x 1.12 in|
Having looked at various doorbell cameras, which one do you prefer to buy? Make sure you have looked at all features and suggestions we gave and you made an educated choice. Install a doorbell camera to make your home secure, read our articles to make your choices reasonable.