What is a Smart Doorbell?

By Smart Home Tekkie Team

A smart doorbell is an innovative device that takes the capabilities of traditional doorbells to the next level. By connecting to the internet, these advanced doorbells enable homeowners to see and communicate with visitors at their doorstep using a smartphone or other smart device. With the integration of high-definition cameras, motion detection, and two-way audio, smart video doorbells provide an additional layer of convenience and security for homeowners.

Smart video doorbells have become an integral part of the growing smart home ecosystem, offering seamless integration with various smart home devices such as smart locks and home automation systems. As the technology and market continue to evolve, a diverse array of smart video doorbell options has become available to cater to different needs and preferences. From varying power and installation options to a range of subscription plans and storage alternatives, smart video doorbells are steadily becoming a must-have addition to modern homes.

Key Takeaways

  • Smart doorbells offer enhanced security and convenience through internet connectivity, HD cameras, and two-way audio features.
  • Integration with smart home devices and systems further expands the utility of smart video doorbells.
  • The expanding market provides a variety of options and features to suit varying homeowner preferences, making smart video doorbells an essential modern home accessory.

How Smart Video Doorbells Work

Design Choices

Video doorbells provide a simple and convenient way to enhance home security. These devices are designed to fit most front doors, coming in various sizes and styles. Many smart doorbells also come with customizable faceplates, allowing homeowners to choose a design that matches their exterior aesthetics. Connecting to your home’s Wi-Fi, smart video doorbells allow you to receive notifications on your smartphone when someone approaches or rings the doorbell.

Video Quality and Features

The video quality of smart video doorbells varies depending on the model. Some devices offer 2K resolution, while others provide high-resolution video with a wide field of view. A key feature in quality video doorbells is night vision, ensuring clear footage even during low-light conditions. Many modern video doorbells also offer head-to-toe views, allowing you to see the entire person approaching your door.

Motion and Person Detection

Motion detection is a critical aspect of smart doorbells. These devices can send motion alerts to your smartphone when they detect activity near your door. Some video doorbells allow you to set custom motion zones, helping to reduce false alarms. Advanced models offer features such as person detection, package detection, and even 3D motion detection, which can differentiate between people, animals, and vehicles.

Two-Way Audio and Intercom

In addition to security benefits, smart video doorbells often come with built-in two-way audio and intercom functionality. This feature enables communication with visitors without opening the door, offering a safe and convenient way to interact with guests, delivery personnel, or potentially unwanted individuals. The combination of video and audio features allows homeowners to feel confident and secure in their home security efforts.

Popular Video Doorbell Brands

In this section, we will discuss some of the most popular brands of smart video doorbells available on the market.

Ring Video Doorbells

Ring offers various models of video doorbells, each with unique features and benefits. Some popular models include the Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2, Ring Video Doorbell 4, Ring Video Doorbell Wired, and Ring Video Doorbell (2nd generation). Ring Battery Doorbell Plus is another option for those who prefer wireless installations. These doorbells can integrate with smart home ecosystems, such as Google Home and Amazon Alexa.

Nest Doorbells

Nest doorbells, including Google Nest Doorbell and Google Nest Hello, are known for their advanced features and high-quality video capabilities. As part of the Google ecosystem, Nest doorbells can be easily integrated with other Google Home devices. With features such as facial recognition, HD video, and a wide field of view, Nest video doorbells offer robust protection for your home.

Arlo Video Doorbells

Arlo has a range of video doorbells, such as the Arlo Video Doorbell, Arlo Essential Video Doorbell, and Arlo Essential Video Doorbell Wire-Free. Arlo’s doorbells have a wide field of view, night vision, and built-in sirens, among other features. Many Arlo doorbells are compatible with smart home platforms, including Google Home and Apple HomeKit.

Blink Video Doorbells

Blink Video Doorbells are a product line of smart doorbells that incorporate video cameras, allowing homeowners to see and communicate with visitors at their door through a connected device like a smartphone or tablet. These doorbells are designed to enhance security and convenience by providing real-time video feed and two-way audio communication. When someone rings the doorbell or motion is detected, a notification is sent to the connected device, and the user can view the live video feed. Some models also offer features such as infrared night vision, motion detection zones, and cloud storage for video history. By integrating with existing smart home systems, Blink Video Doorbells provide homeowners with the ability to monitor and control access to their property remotely, offering both peace of mind and a modern, connected home experience.

Eufy Video Doorbells

Eufy offers a variety of video doorbells, including the Eufy Video Doorbell and Eufy Doorbell. With features like 2K resolution, local storage options, and no monthly fees, Eufy video doorbells are an excellent choice for homeowners seeking a high-resolution, subscription-free doorbell camera.

Wyze Video Doorbells

Wyze also provides video doorbells, such as the Wyze Video Doorbell Pro. Known for their affordability and user-friendly interfaces, Wyze doorbells are an excellent option for budget-minded consumers looking to secure their homes with smart video doorbells.

Smart Home Integration

Smart video doorbells are designed to integrate seamlessly with various smart home systems, providing a wide range of features and capabilities to enhance your home security and convenience. Among the most popular smart home platforms that support video doorbells are Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple HomeKit.

Alexa Voice Commands

With Amazon Alexa integration, you can use voice commands to control and interact with your smart video doorbell. For example, you can ask Alexa to show you the live video feed from your front door or receive notifications when someone rings the doorbell. Additionally, you can create routines that combine your video doorbell with other Alexa-compatible devices in your home, such as turning on lights when motion is detected.

Google Assistant Commands

Similarly, Google Assistant allows you to use voice commands to control your smart video doorbell. You can ask Google Assistant to show you the live video feed from your doorbell on a compatible smart display, like a Nest Hub, or on your smartphone. You can also receive announcements when someone rings the doorbell and create custom routines with other Google Assistant-compatible devices in your home.

Apple HomeKit Commands

Apple HomeKit provides a similar level of integration with smart video doorbells, enabling you to view live video feeds, receive notifications, and issue voice commands to your doorbell using Siri. HomeKit also allows you to set up automation rules that involve your video doorbell and other HomeKit devices in your home, such as unlocking a smart lock when someone is recognized by your doorbell’s camera.

By integrating your smart video doorbell with Alexa, Google Assistant, or Apple HomeKit, you can create a more cohesive and efficient smart home environment that enhances both security and convenience. With voice commands and automation, your smart doorbell becomes an integral part of your home’s ecosystem, providing access to valuable features and functions.

Installation and Power Options

Wireless and Wired Options

A smart video doorbell can be either battery-operated or wired to your existing doorbell wiring. Wireless video doorbells are typically powered by batteries, making them easy to install and use without fussing over wires. Some battery-operated doorbells even come with rechargeable battery packs, allowing for easy and convenient power management.

On the other hand, wired video doorbells are connected to your existing doorbell wiring and usually require no additional batteries. A wired video doorbell may provide a more reliable, hardwired connection, which can be beneficial for real-time video streaming and communication. However, it can be a slightly more complex installation process compared to a wireless option.

Professional Installation

While most smart video doorbells are designed for easy DIY installation, you might want to consider professional installation if you’re not confident in your ability to handle doorbell wiring or electrical work. Professional installers are equipped with the expertise and tools to correctly install and configure your wired or wireless video doorbell, ensuring optimal performance and functionality.

In conclusion, choosing between a wired or wireless smart video doorbell ultimately depends on your preferences and the specific requirements of your home. Both options offer unique advantages, and professional installation can always be considered for those who want to ensure a seamless experience.

Subscription Plans and Storage Options

When choosing a smart video doorbell, it’s essential to consider the available subscription plans and storage options. Different brands offer various plans that include features such as cloud storage, local storage, and advanced detection. In this section, we will discuss Ring Protect Subscription Plans, Nest Aware Subscription Plans, and Eufy Storage Options.

Ring Protect Subscription Plans

Ring Protect offers two types of subscription plans: Basic and Plus. The Basic plan covers video recording for one Ring doorbell or home camera. It enables you to access and download recorded videos for up to 60 days and costs $3.99/month or $39.99/year. The Plus plan, which costs $9.99/month or $99.99/year, covers all Ring devices at one location, and includes 24/7 professional monitoring for the Ring Alarm system, extended warranties, and a 10% discount on Ring products.

Nest Aware Subscription Plans

Google Nest Doorbell offers Nest Aware subscription plans for its video doorbells. These plans provide access to features such as continuous video recording, intelligent alerts, and activity zones. Nest Aware offers two tiers: Nest Aware and Nest Aware Plus. The Nest Aware plan costs $6/month or $60/year and provides 30 days of event video history. The Nest Aware Plus plan costs $12/month or $120/year and includes 60 days of event video history, along with 10 days of 24/7 video history.

Eufy Storage Options

Eufy video doorbells prioritize keeping your data secure through local storage options. The Eufy 2K Video Doorbell offers a combination of local storage and extensive smart doorbell motion features. It comes with built-in storage that holds up to 16GB of recorded footage without any additional subscription fees. This ensures that your videos are stored securely, and you can access them without having to rely on cloud storage or monthly fees.

Security Camera Add-Ons

Additional Smart Doorbell Accessories

Smart video doorbells often come with various accessories to enhance your home security experience. Some common add-ons include:

  • Chime: An external device that lets you know when someone presses the doorbell button or when motion is detected. This can be especially useful if your smartphone is not nearby.
  • Smart Locks: These can be integrated with your video doorbell, allowing you to remotely lock or unlock your door for trusted visitors.
  • Security System Integration: Some doorbells can be integrated with a broader security system, connecting various components such as sensors and cameras for comprehensive coverage.

Advanced Features

Many smart video doorbells also offer advanced features to improve security and user experience. Some of these features include:

  • Facial Recognition: Certain doorbells are equipped with facial recognition technology and can notify you when a recognized face is at the door, providing an additional layer of security.
  • Built-in Siren: Some models feature a built-in siren to deter intruders and draw attention to your property in case of suspicious activity.
  • Pre-roll Video: This feature allows the doorbell to record a few seconds before an event, such as motion detection, ensuring you capture the entire incident.
  • Wide Field of View: A greater field of view can help in capturing more of your property and surroundings for better monitoring.
  • Package Alerts: Various doorbells can detect packages on your porch and send you notifications to help prevent porch pirates from stealing your deliveries.

All these features can be beneficial in enhancing your home security and making your smart video doorbell even more effective.

Alternative Video Doorbell Options

A smart video doorbell is a device that allows you to see, hear, and speak to people at your door through your smartphone or other smart devices. The market offers various alternatives for those looking to enhance their home security. This section will discuss some popular options, including the Google Nest Doorbell, Ring Video Doorbell Wired, Wyze Video Doorbell Pro, Toucan Wireless Video Doorbell, and EZVIZ DB1C.

The Google Nest Doorbell (battery) is an excellent choice for those who prefer a doorbell with local storage instead of cloud storage. This doorbell gives you the flexibility to access your recorded footage without the need for a subscription plan. It is also battery-powered, making installation easier for homeowners.

Ring Video Doorbell Wired is a popular doorbell option in the smart doorbell space. It’s an affordable, wired model that can be easily connected to your existing doorbell wiring. It offers high-quality video resolution, customizable motion zones, and integrates well with other Ring devices, such as security cameras and alarms.

For homeowners seeking advanced features, the Wyze Video Doorbell Pro is an excellent option. It is equipped with 2K video resolution, 150-degree vertical field of view, and a dual-band Wi-Fi connection. The doorbell offers premium performance at a budget-friendly price and works seamlessly with other Wyze smart home devices.

The Toucan Wireless Video Doorbell stands out as an affordable wireless model with a simple setup process. It boasts a 1080p HD video resolution, two-way audio, and night vision capabilities. This doorbell is also battery-powered and does not require wiring, making it ideal for renters or homeowners who prefer not to drill holes in their walls.

Lastly, the EZVIZ DB1C Wi-Fi Video Doorbell is an excellent choice for those seeking an affordable wired model. It is equipped with a 3-megapixel camera, 180-degree vertical field of view, night vision, and customizable motion zones. The doorbell is compatible with Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and IFTTT, allowing you to integrate it easily into your existing smart home ecosystem.

Each of these alternative video doorbell options offers unique features and benefits, catering to different homeowner needs and preferences. Consider your requirements, budget, and home security goals when choosing the right smart video doorbell for your household.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does a smart video doorbell function?

A smart video doorbell uses a combination of a camera, motion sensor, and a built-in microphone and speaker to provide a homeowner with a live feed of their front door. When someone presses the doorbell or the motion sensor detects movement, the homeowner receives a notification on their smartphone. They can then view the video feed, communicate with the visitor using the two-way audio feature, or stay silent. Some models offer pre-recorded messages for quick responses.

What features are usually found in a smart doorbell?

Typical features of a smart video doorbell include high-definition video recording, motion detection, two-way audio communication, night vision, and integration with smartphone apps for remote monitoring and control. Some doorbells also offer facial recognition, HDR video quality, and wide-angle field of view for better video capture.

What are the drawbacks of using a smart doorbell?

While smart video doorbells offer convenience and enhanced security, there are potential drawbacks such as privacy concerns, risk of hacking, and reliance on Wi-Fi connection for functionality. Additionally, some models may require a monthly subscription for cloud storage and advanced features.

Do smart video doorbells need to be hardwired?

Smart doorbells come in both hardwired and battery-powered versions. Hardwired models require connection to your home’s existing doorbell wiring, while battery-powered models are wireless and can be easily installed without the need for professional help. The choice depends on your preference and installation options.

Which are the top smart doorbell brands in 2023?

In 2023, some of the top smart doorbell brands include Ring, Google Nest, Arlo, Blink, and Eufy.

How does a smart doorbell improve home security?

A smart doorbell enhances home security by allowing you to monitor your front door from anywhere using your smartphone. It also records video footage of visitors, deters potential intruders through motion detection and two-way audio communication, and can be integrated with other smart home security devices for a more comprehensive security system. By providing real-time notifications and remote monitoring capabilities, smart doorbells ensure a homeowner is always aware of who is at their front door, even when they are away from home.