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Guide to Smart Doorbells

Doorbells are signaling devices which are placed near a door or gate to a home’s entrance. When a visitor presses the button, it makes a sound to alert the homeowner that there is someone on the door.

The very first doorbells were mechanical and they were activated by pulling a cord. Modern doorbells, on the other hand, are typically wired or wireless (powered by batteries). Today, there is a more advanced type of doorbell which is the smart doorbell. You might be wondering how much a tool that essentially just uses noise to inform you that someone’s at the door can be improved. Well, smart doorbells can do more than just make a sound.

Basically, smart doorbells, like other smart home devices, are connected to your smartphone. This means that even when you’re not at home, you will be able to know that someone is at the door because it sends a notification to your phone. Aside from that, a smart doorbell also has a camera and a two-way microphone which will allow you to see who’s at the door and communicate with them as well.

Features of Smart Doorbells

There are different kinds of smart doorbells on the market and each of them comes with different features. To give you an idea, here are some the common features that smart doorbells mostly have.

  • A camera that shows and records the action outside your door.
  • A downloadable app to interact with the system.
  • A two-way audio that allows you to converse with the person at the door.
  • A motion detector that will alert you if someone is approaching. This will activate the video camera of the doorbell and send a push notification to your phone.
  • Night vision, so there’s no need for you to leave a light on outdoors for the doorbell to capture a good video.

Benefits of Using a Smart Doorbell

Smart doorbells solve one of the most obvious problems at home which are, if someone goes to your house and you’re not there, would you know that they went there at all? Smart doorbells are able to record videos from outside of your door, therefore, you will be able to know who went to your house while you’re away.

Aside from that, it will enable you to see who’s at the door before you open it, and you can also check on your kids if they’ve gotten back from school safely when you’re at work. Also, with smart doorbells, you can easily inform the mail carrier to just leave your package on the back porch instead of receiving a notification that your package is waiting for you at the post office.  

In addition to the convenience, smart doorbells can also increase your home’s security. Its intercom can be used to make would-be intruders think that there’s someone at home even when there isn’t. You can also keep an eye out for delivered packages, and if a theft happens, the stored video from your smart doorbell might help you or the police in identifying the culprits.

Things to Consider when Choosing a Smart Doorbell

NOTE:  Always make sure your careful doing any electric work and hire an electrician if needed for safety.

If you’ve decided that you want to install a smart doorbell, there are a few key considerations. First is deciding how it is connected. If you’re replacing an existing wired doorbell on the front of the house, then it might be easier for you to switch to a smart doorbell because most of them are designed to support this system. You can simply wire them in using your current connectors and there’s no need to use batteries. But if you do not have a wired setup, it can be a more complex process.

If you want a simpler solution you can look at battery-powered smart doorbells.  They require a simpler installation and an occasional battery replacement.

Aside from the wiring options, you should also decide where the videos will be stored. There are smart doorbells that store videos on a memory card and others on the Cloud. There are also smart doorbells that can be linked to other smart home devices like those from Nest.

And of course, other than these functions, you should also check the dimensions where you’ll place the doorbell because many smart doorbells are wider than traditional ones. You have to make sure that the one you’ll buy will not cause installation issues.

The Best Smart Doorbells for Your Home

Product
Visual
Where to Buy

Ring 2

August Doorbell Camera

SkyBell Video Doorbell

Vivint Smart Doorbell Camera Pro

Zmodo Smart Greet Video Doorbell

V-Tech IS741 Accessory Doorbell


To help you choose the perfect smart doorbell that will fit your home, here are some of the best ones we can recommend.

1. Ring 2

This is one of the best smart doorbells you can find on the market. It works via a rechargeable lithium battery, meaning, there’s no need to worry about wirings. But because of its battery, its build it quite big.

This smart doorbell features a full HD 1080p camera with a 160-degree field of view. However, you will need to purchase a separate Chime if you want to hear the doorbell in the house. But it’s optional because you have your phone and noise from the Ring unit itself. Its videos can be saved but you need Cloud storage which may cost you extra.

2. Nest Hello

This is probably the best looking smart doorbell among the options. It has a slim design unlike the Ring 2 that is big and bulky. Its features include a 1600 x 1200 HD video that is nice and clear, and an HDC to see at night.

Aside from the basic features, it has other smart features you can select from its apps such as motion, sound, and person alerts at your disposal. Plus, if you have the Nest Aware monthly subscription, you will get the facial recognition feature which will learn the faces of people who visit your home frequently and let you tag them in the app. If you have a Nest Cam IQ or Google Home, they will even announce who’s outside your home.

It comes with a wireless chime, but you will still need a wired connection for it to work. Nest Pro installation is also recommended and its cost depends on how much work your home needs.

3. August Doorbell Camera

This smart doorbell has 1080p recording and a built-in floodlight to handle callers after dark. It also has two-way audio that you can use to speak to visitors using a smartphone app.

August doorbell camera features a lithium-ion battery but it is just for back up. Meaning, you will still need to have a wired connection in place to install it. You can also pair it with an August Smart Lock that will allow you to open the door for visitors remotely.

4. SkyBell Video Doorbell

This smart doorbell may not offer as much technology as other smart doorbells do, but it has zero fees for storing and playing back videos for a week. It has a 1080p video, 5x zoom, two-way audio, and an ability to take stills. You just need to download its app to your smartphone and connect the doorbell to it.

If someone spends 10 seconds within the range of your doorbell, this smart doorbell will automatically alert you and take a video which will be stored in the cloud. It also has LED bulbs which provide light to help you see who’s at the door after dark. It has a motion detector that you can turn on and off, however, you won’t be able to control its sensitivity.

The only downside of this smart doorbell is it needs a wired connection. But if you have an existing hardwired doorbell, it will be easy for you to install it.

5. Vivint Smart Doorbell Camera Pro

This smart camera is made by Vivint which is a top home security company that offers lots of gadgets to keep you safe. Their smart doorbell works like other models. It records a video once it senses motion or when someone rings the bell.

Through this smart doorbell, you will be able to view videos real-time from your smartphone by using an app. It also has two-way audio via Wi-Fi. However, this smart doorbell can only be used with a Vivint smart home monitoring package. But this package will provide you with many security customizations.

This smart doorbell pairs with other home automation such as smart door locks. It is also installed professionally by a Vivint representative. All of the videos are stored in the Cloud.

6. Zmodo Smart Greet Video Doorbell

If you have existing wiring at home, you can easily install and set up this smart doorbell. It works by connecting it to your Wi-Fi network at home. It will allow you to answer the door, see, and speak to visitors directly from your smartphone or computer using On-Demand video. It means that you can also view your front porch anytime even when no one is ringing the bell.

This smart doorbell uses an HD wide-angle lens that will give you a clear view of your entire space. Whenever motion is detected, you will receive an alert and a recorded video clip.

It uses cloud storage to save video clips. All users have a 30-day free trial with the 7-day cloud recording plan. When you have a paid cloud recording plan, you will be able to review, save, and share footages at any time.

7. V-Tech IS741 Accessory Doorbell

This smart doorbell is designed as an accessory to V-Tech phones. If you’re using an IS7121 series phone, this is the perfect smart doorbell for you. This doorbell will alert you when someone comes to your door and will even send you a snapshot. It also enables you to watch a live video of who is at your door, listen in, and speak with your visitor.

It is one of the most affordable smart doorbells on the market, however, you will need a V-Tech phone for it to operate. It also does not record videos; you can only watch live ones with this device.

Smart doorbells are indeed good additions to your smart home. More than the convenience they offer, it is also an essential upgrade for your home security. With smart doorbells, you no longer have to wonder who is outside. And if something bad happens, the video footages they took might help you find the trespasser.

We hope this guide and as well as the products we shared will help you find the perfect smart doorbell for your home.

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