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Why video doorbells are the best smart home gadget



  A nest video doorbell.
Josh Hendrickson

Video doorbells are the most important smart home device you can buy. Smart bulbs may be eye-catching, but with proper integration, a video doorbell will be something you can not do without. They are also incredibly cheap and cost only 99 to 1

99 US dollars.

If you only have one smart home device, you should make it a video doorbell – assuming you can install one. And if you could have only two, it should be a video doorbell and a voice assistant with a display. Here's the reason:

Video Doorbells are a window to the outside world

  Nest video screenshot with a package delivery.
Thanks to a notification, this package was not left on the porch all day.

A The video doorbell combines a camera, microphone and speaker set with a simple doorbell. Some will connect to your existing wiring and others will work with your home's chimes, while others will provide options to turn off the battery and require a wireless chime. The audio and video data your doorbell records will be returned to your tablet or phone, and how much they record and stream depends on performance. For example, battery operated doorbells can not stream continuously. You lose the power supply too fast.

When someone approaches your door, you will be notified by the video doorbell. From this point you can watch the stream. And when they ring the doorbell, you can talk to them like they do an intercom.

Thanks to their position, video doorbells act as a bridge to the outside world. With a video doorbell, you can see and interact with the world on your doorstep – even when you're away from home.

This works regardless of whether you work at home, in an office, or abroad. You can see who is at your door before it even rings. You do not have to go quietly to the peephole to see who has rung and if you should answer.

If you are not home, you can still see who is there and even talk to them. With a smart lock, you can even unlock the door remotely and let your visitors into your house. Some doorbells like Nest Hello and Wisenet Smartcam offer Face Detection, so you know when your family or friends are arriving.

Have you been home all day to discover that someone has left packages on your porch without ringing the door? Video doorbells also solve this problem by notifying you when a person is standing at the door, whether or not they ring the doorbell. This is also a useful security feature.

Intelligent displays look like a digital peephole

  Google hub with a welcome video
Google

language assistants with displays go one step further. Instead of relying on your smartphone or tablet to watch the video stream from your doorbell, your Echo Show or Nest Home hub can show you the stream instead. The Nest Hello and Google Home Hub start the stream almost instantly. You can even have your conversation on the display so you may not have to leave the office or kitchen to open the door.

The phone and tablet have similar features, but are getting slower and more uncomfortable to reach. Before you can pull out your phone, unlock it, and open the Nest app, the video is already playing on your Nest Hub devices. You even have the opportunity to quickly talk to someone who is at your door. Honestly, nothing is as seamless as it is. The best analogy we can give is to imagine that you can magically open the door every two seconds after the ringing.

The true magic begins when you have voice assistant devices in your house. If your home is big enough and has only one ringtone, you may not hear the ringtone if you are far enough away. When someone rings a video door, the associated voice assistant (such as Nest Hello and Google Home or Ring and Echo) says "Someone is at the door". The more language assistants you have, the more spaces you'll hear. If you have enough smart speakers, you may even consider deactivating the carillon of your home.

Video doorbells also act as security cameras.

If you want protection for your home, security cameras may be the first item on your checklist. But maybe you want to look at a video doorbell first. Most surveillance cameras have significant disadvantages. Some are for indoor use only, so you need to take steps to make it work through a window. Others need an earth leakage circuit breaker socket to supply power. Battery-powered cameras can not record continuously. Wired cameras require cables and holes in your house.

A video doorbell bypasses most, if not all, of these problems. For one it is already outside. And if your house's doorbell cabling works, you can supply power without the need for an RCCB or laying cables and drilling holes. And the Nest Hello is not just limited to motion sensor shots. With a subscription, it can record continuously around the clock.

The microphone and speakers in the video doorbells provide extra comfort, if not security. If you are not sure if you should open a door, you do not have to. Instead, you can talk to the person at your doorstep about the safety of your home.

Of course, thieves who may be tempted to steal parcels from your porch will recognize video doorbells at first glance and thus seem daunting.

Integrate video doorbells with the rest of your smart home.

  Doorbell app with various options for interacting with the doorbell.
Amazon

If you have other smarthome gadgets, one of the outstanding features of a video doorbell is how to integrate it into the rest of your smarthome. Ringtones work with IFTTT to extend their functions throughout your home. You can create recipes that allow you to turn on the light on the porch when motion is detected, or start recording with other cameras that you may have.

If you have both a video doorbell and a smart lock, you can use the two together, even if they do not work. I have no direct connection. If you are not home and a friend, a cleaning service or an electrician arrives, you have a solution ready. With the video doorbell you can determine who is there. If you wish, you can then unlock the door and grant access. You do not have to hand out any extra keys to your house and trust that they are in the right hands.

How much is a video doorbell?

Video doorbells typically cost something between $ 99 and $ 250, depending on which company and model you own. Battery powered options are generally cheaper, but you want to consider a wireless signal if you want one. These usually cost around $ 30.

The greater expense may be the wiring of the doorbell when you want to use your house signal. If everything works, there are no additional costs. If your doorbell currently does not work, you must consult an electrician to determine if the problem is the doorbell, the cables, or the transformer. These costs can add up. After we had not found the broken transformer, a new one was installed for $ 200. Prices for electricians vary, which may cost you more or less.

Installing a doorbell is not difficult, especially if you are using a battery-powered version. This version may hang on your existing screws (if you have a doorbell). If not, you will need to drill holes and add screws. Wired doorbells have these steps, and you need to turn off the circuit breaker and connect your existing cables to your doorbell. And Nest Hello is asking for a glockenspiel port to be installed as well. For most people, the installation takes about half an hour. However, if you are not satisfied with the electrical wiring, any electrician familiar with a standard doorbell should be able to install a video doorbell. However, this increases the total cost.

However, the hardware is not the final cost factor. Almost every video doorbell offers a subscription. Depending on the equipment, the price ranges between 3 USD per month and 30 USD per month. Some doorbells, such as SimpliSafe and Ring, work well enough without subscription, though you'll miss features like video recording and review. Other doorbells like Nest Hello are virtually useless without subscription.

Which video doorbell should you buy?

  Ping and Nest Hello Doorbell
Amazon / Google

If you're considering a video doorbell Two major competitors stand out: Amazon Ring and Google's Nest Hello.

If your doorbell cabling does not work or you have invested heavily in echo equipment, ring may be the best choice. Not only does Ring integrate with echo devices, it also offers battery-powered options. Keep in mind that the doorbell supplied with batteries has a larger design. You should therefore check whether the doorbell also fits your layout. Nest Hello was previously integrated with Amazon Echo devices, but the Works with Nest program ends and it is unclear how the two will work together in the future.

If you have a working cabling and have Google Home selected for your voice assistant devices, then Nest Hello is your best bet. Unlike Ring, Nest Hello offers 24×7 recording and facial recognition (with subscription). And integrating with Google Home is tighter and results faster. You can pair a bell with the Google Home Hub, but it will not work.

If you live in an apartment, condo, townhouse, or tenement where you can not replace your current ringer, you can buy Ring's $ 199 Door View Cam. It replaces your peephole, is battery operated and even feels impact. Before you buy, make sure that each peephole is not the same size and the Ring's Door View camera may not fit all. The administration of your building, the owner of your rental property or the Home Owners Association (HOA) may also be ineligible.

There are other options, but you lose the deep integration with Language Assistant if you select them instead. The August doorbell is incredibly wide and you may have trouble fitting it into your home. If you have a SimpliSafe system, the SimpliSafe doorbell will work well in your system. However, the features are not as advanced as Ring or Nest, so we do not recommend them.

What to do if your smart doorbell is stolen?

You may want to set up a smart device outside your home. Because of this, some companies like Ring and Nest offer replacement if your doorbell gets stolen. You'll need to complete a police report and contact Amazon or Google, but you'll usually get a new doorbell in two weeks. However, it is possible that not every company offers aftake solution. For example, we can not find similar promises from SimpliSafe. Given that the thief would indeed be recorded, you should probably worry less about it and worry about someone licking your doorbell instead.

It is difficult to fully state the level of comfort that a video doorbell offers your home. Like most smarthome devices, you can live without a device. It is not a necessity like water or heating. But just like the Internet itself, once you have a video doorbell, you may not be ready to return to what it was. If you save a package for the first time from the rain that has gone by all day, you are grateful that you have invested the money.


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