Smart Video Doorbells
Whether you’re curled up on the couch or sunning on the beach, you can still know who is at your door with a smart video doorbell. These devices connect to your Wi-Fi and send alerts to your smartphone.
Look for a high-resolution camera with HDR and color night vision. Other important features include person and package detection, monitoring zones, and voice and app control.
A video doorbell is a smart home device that allows you to see and talk to visitors via a live stream on your smartphone. It can also help deter porch pirates and notify you of package deliveries. These devices come in either battery-powered (wireless) or hardwired models and can work independently or as part of a home security system.
Some models offer smart detection capabilities, like face recognition or parcel detection, that make them ideal for avoiding nuisance callers and welcoming valued guests. You can also find models with wide field of view, fast response time and cloud storage.
Ring and Nest are the best-known brands of smart video doorbells. They’re both easy to set up and provide reliable, high-quality video for identifying visitors. Unlike some competitors, both offer free activity zones to reduce unnecessary notifications and three hours of free event-based recording. Both also allow you to add more cameras and turn compatible smart displays or speakers into a home security system. Moreover, they support integration with other HomeKit-compatible devices and services, such as Apple TV and HomePod Mini, to act as a hub.
Do not disturb
A Smart Video Doorbell is an excellent way to see who’s at the door without having to answer it. The best ones come with features like night vision, motion detection, and even facial recognition. They can also detect packages and deter porch pirates.
They can also allow parents to keep tabs Smart Video Doorbell on kids after school. This feature can be turned on manually or automatically during specific times and dates. For instance, a parent can turn it on during the child’s curfew to ensure they stay in the house and don’t sneak out later.
This model has 8 gigabytes of built-in memory to store footage, and can record up to 30 days at a time. It also supports cloud storage subscriptions for additional storage options. It uses the homeowner’s existing doorbell wiring for power and can ring their existing doorbell chime. It also has an easy-to-use app and a 180-degree view of the front yard. It is available in several colors to match your home’s style. It also has a heat sensor to reduce nuisance motion triggering from leaves and debris.
If you want to see what is happening outside your home even when you aren’t there, a smart video doorbell with extra detection capabilities can help. These include motion alerts that notify you when it detects activity at your doorstep, even without someone actually ringing the doorbell. These are usually only available on higher-end models.
Most smart doorbells can also record footage locally on the device and send it to your phone via push notifications or an app. Some even come with night vision capabilities to work well in low light. Some can be connected to voice assistants, making it easy to ask questions and communicate with visitors.
A good example is the Ring Pro 2, which works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant devices. You can use an Echo Show 8 or Nest Hub to view a live feed of the Pro 2 and to speak with your visitors using pre-recorded messages. It also has a feature called “Package Delivery Check Assistance,” which alerts you if it detects that your package was delivered and not picked up.
Video doorbells with night vision allow you to see who is at the door even when it is dark. They are useful for avoiding porch pirates and keeping an eye on packages while you are away. However, not all models have this feature. The Maximus Answer DualCam is the exception, as it uses Smart Video Doorbell two cameras that look down at the door, so you can see if a package has been left on your doorstep.
Other features to consider include the aspect ratio of the camera, which determines whether you can see the full door and visitor or just a head-and-shoulders shot. Most smart doorbells have a 16:9 aspect ratio, while some models offer a square or 4:3 aspect ratio.
For privacy-conscious consumers, it is important to understand how these devices store and share your footage. Many use cloud storage, which means they may be subject to warrantless requests from law enforcement. The Nest, Ring, and SkyBell are good options for users who want to avoid this risk. Others, such as the Netatmo, store your footage locally on an 8GB microSD card and only upload one screenshot per event.
Many Smart Video Doorbells offer cloud storage capabilities for your footage, but some of them require you to pay a monthly subscription fee. These fees vary from brand to brand, but they often cost $3 or more per month. Some providers also have a limit on the number of days that you can store your videos in the cloud.
Storing video data locally reduces the amount of bandwidth needed to send it to the centralized cloud, which contributes to highly sought-after latency reductions and more security and privacy benefits. Edge computing and AI technologies also help to cut the costs of processing and storage.
Some of the video doorbells in our ratings have built-in local storage that can save up to 180 days of footage. Others have a cloud-based storage service that can be paid for either monthly or annually. For example, Ring and Arlo both offer subscriptions that let you save video to the cloud for up to 30 days. Google’s Nest Aware offers similar services for a few dollars more per device.