The New Smart Video Doorbell
April 17, 2017
Smart home devices are all the rage.
Smart video doorbells (also called “smart doorbells” or “door cameras”) bring the future to your front door, allowing you a new control of your home security, visitor interactions, and even your family’s schedule — from anywhere in the world. Curious about the benefits of using one? Here’s how they work.
When someone approaches your camera-equipped door, a smart video doorbell can offer a variety of services, depending on the brand and model you’ve selected. There is an array of product offerings in the market for homeowners to choose from, ranging from consumer-facing to professionally installed.
Some require the visitor to press a button to announce their arrival, at which time the camera will switch on and send a photo or live video to you. These images or videos are typically transmitted either through a specialized tablet or screen inside the home or, with some premium models, even straight to your smartphone through a device-specific application, or “app.” That means that even if you aren’t physically in the house, you can see who’s knocking at your door — from almost anywhere. Some product models even allow you to converse with the person. This is a great benefit for individuals that frequently travel or work late, enabling them to see when service professionals, babysitters, dog walkers, and more arrive at their home.
For larger homes, or for residents who may have a disability that makes movement difficult, two-way style doorbell cameras allow them to ensure the visitor that they’ll be at the door shortly. This is particularly handy in the case of time-sensitive visits like food delivery or car service pickups that may incorrectly assume there was a mistake in the address and leave.
This feature can also be used in tandem with other Internet of Things (IoT) devices like app-enabled electronic door locks to verify and allow service providers like house cleaners access to your home, even if you aren’t there.
Every smart video doorbell is relying on the wi-fi signal in the home and availability of high speed internet due to data usage. There are a variety of ways to test internet speed. A popular one is www.speedtest.net. In order to have good video quality, upload speed will need to be over 1.5 mbps.
Caught in the Act
It’s hard to overstate the convenience of shopping online. With everything from toiletries to groceries available at the click of a button, getting packages delivered has turned formerly tedious errands into an afterthought.
Unfortunately, some thieves get just as excited as rightful owners when it comes to picking up a package — as deliveries have increased, so have the numbers of bold criminals swiping deliveries right off porches and doorsteps. But smart video doorbells can help catch those package thieves in the act.
Certain models feature motion-triggered operation, turning on only when something comes into view of the camera. While you will need to adjust the sensitivity to avoid “false positives” from things like nearby tree branches in the wind, this feature is priceless when it comes to catching a package thief. Because smart video doorbells typically operate via a wi-fi connection, the styles that stream to an app can capture and store video, as well as photos, “in the cloud.” That way they can be retrieved when necessary.
Provided a high-definition camera is selected, a smart video doorbell can even narrow down specifics like the time of day the theft occurred, or what type of vehicle the thief was driving. And with inexpensive models, the detail captured might not be adequate to narrow down facial recognition or license plate numbers.
Night and Day Convenience
Even after the sun goes down, smart video doorbells can offer convenience and safety features to their owners. Low light imaging and even night vision are available features, ideal for users that live alone or in remote areas. All it takes is a quick peek at an app or tablet to see if an after-hours visitor is a friend or a potential threat, allowing ample time to summon help from the police.
Because a smart video doorbell typically sends a notification to a paired tablet or smartphone app if the motion sensor is triggered, you’ll know right away if someone’s trying to get inside without your knowledge.
This also means that motion-triggered videos can be stored and reviewed later, enabling you to spot recurring issues like potential burglars “casing” your home at night for a later intrusion.
Smart video doorbells have a wide variety of benefits and make keeping an eye on your home’s comings and goings easy. Be sure to do your homework as there are an array of choices, at various price points.
Ask an Expert
Doorbell cameras are one option to consider when creating a comprehensive home security plan. If you’d like to learn more about smart video doorbells or other smart home security solutions available to protect your home, visit permarsecure.wpengine.com or request a free quote and one of our security consultants will assist you.