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How Do Video Doorbells Work and How to Choose the Best

video doorbell guide

How to Answer Your Door From Anywhere in the World

Do you have frequent unwanted visitors at your door who waste your time? Think door-to-door salesmen.

Do you wish you could see who is outside your door first so that you can decide whether to deal with them or not?

Do you need to communicate with a delivery service when you’re not at home?

If you wish all of the above to happen, you should opt for a video doorbell, also called a doorbell camera.

You may already know that with a video doorbell you can see and speak to anyone outside yur house without having to open the door.

But how do these video doorbells work? Video doorbells work very much like a security camera.

The doorbell will send you an alert if motion is detected within the field of view of its camera. The doorbell can also save footage recorded, so that you can review it later. This will be helpful if you are often away from home.

Video doorbells come in various types. Some are battery-operated which you can install easily. Others need the services of a professional installer to get them working.

To get the best out of video doorbells, you would need a monthly subscription in most instances. You’re essentially paying for the storage of video footage.

Some sophisticated models are AI (Artificial Intelligence) powered. They can detect whether it’s a person, animal or vehicle that’s moving before the door. In this way you don’t get an alert when a plant, bird, sidewalk pedestrain or a falling leaf moves before your door.

How Do Video Doorbells Work?

If you have a CCTV security system, you’ll understand how a video doorbell works.

It uses a Wi-Fi connection to send an alert to your smartphone whenever movement is detected within the camera’s range of vision or when someone presses the doorbell.

You can then use doorbell app on your smartphone to see who is outside your door.

What’s more you can also talk to the person outside your door through the doorbell.

It was metioned earlier, that you’ll need a subscription to operate a video doorbell. Well, you don’t really need it.

Some video doorbells like the Eufy Video Doorbell 2K don’t need a subscription. You can store up to 16GB of footage without any extra cost. This could last you for about two to three weeks.

Smart Home Integration

If you already own a smart home system, a video doorbell can integrate with it.

How does this work? You can get the video doorbell to work with your smart speakers and displays. You can speak to whoever is outside the door through a smart device. You can also view recorded footage of activity outside your door.

Most doorbells work with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant or Apple HomeKit. However, you would have check whether a particular video doorbell works with your smart device platform.

That said, here are some video doorbell ideas worth considering, especially if you’re in the market to buy a unit.

Video Doorbell without Subscription

One of the main concerns of installing a video doorbell is the financial commitment in terms of monthly subscriptions. If that’s a pain point for you, consider a one-time fee option.

Eufy Security Video Doorbell

With the Eufy battery-powered Security Video Doorbell, you don’t have to worry about paying for cloud storage. Video is stored in 2K (2048 × 1080). resolution.

The battery lasts up to 180 days after which it needs to be charged. A Homebase is provided which supports Wi-Fi and built-in storage.

You can access video footage anywhere and at any time through a secure connection.

The AI function built into the unit analyzes each movement to determine whether a human is present. In this way, you get only relevant alerts.

What’s more, you can link your video doorbell to Google Voice Assistant or Amazon Alexa to check what is happening outside your house. For example, if you have Alexa, you just need to say, “Alexa, show me my front door.”

Check out the Eufy Security Video Doorbell.

Video Doorbell with Subscription

If you want to get enhanced features with your doorbell and don’t mind paying, here are some subscription-based video doorbells to consider.

Ring Video Doorbell 4

If you’re looking for a battery-powered video doorbell, this is one of the best units around.

Battery is also removable. If you have additional batteries, you can ensure that the unit is always on.

There is also a wired option with this unit.

With a subscription, you get to record an unlimited amount of video for up to 30 days.

If you sign up for the Ring Protect Plan, you get to catch up on videos you’ve missed for the past 60 days.

One feature you should take note of is the color Pre-Roll. It allows you to view 4 seconds of video before a movement is detected.

The Ring Video Doorbell works with Alexa, but not with Google Assistant or Apple Homekit.

Check out the latest Ring Video Doorbell.

Arlo Essential Video Doorbell

This wired video doorbell allows you to view full length the person standing outside the door. You also get to see a 180-degree view of what’s happening outside your house.

Resolution is offered at 1536 x 1536.

It supports Google Assistant, Alexa and Homekit, if you wish to integrate it with your smart home system.

A useful feature is the ability of your visitors to leave messages for you in case you can’t answer the door.

To get all these features to work, you would need a monthly subscription. This includes unlimited video recording for 30 days.

Arlo also offers a battery-powered version, although that currently doesn’t have HomeKit support.  

There is also a battery-powered unit in case you need one. You can receive a video call to your phone and leave a preset message in case you can’t answer the call.

Check out the Arlo Video Doorbell.

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