Imagine if you were traveling out of town and you were able to keep a literal eye on your premises. Think what it would be like if someone walked up to your front door and rang your doorbell or left a package while you were away on vacation, and you were able to actually see them—and even speak to them—on your smartphone or tablet.
That is exactly what you can do with a video doorbell. In a way, it is like you are always at home! You may not be there to open the door, but you can still greet your guests and make sure your home is safe.
Thinking about buying a video doorbell, but not sure where to begin? Check out the table below to view features and pricing for top video doorbells on Amazon.com.
Still not sure what you need? Read on to learn all about video doorbells.
What is a Video Doorbell?
A video doorbell is a wireless device you can attach to the wall next to your door on the outside of your home or office building. It can replace your existing doorbell or function in addition to it. When a visitor presses the button, a signal is sent to your smartphone or tablet. You can answer using your mobile device, whether you are at home, across town, or in another country. You will be able to see and hear the person at your front door through HD video and crystal clear audio. You will also be able to speak with that person directly.
Not only does this offer you unparalleled convenience, but it also enhances your home security setup. Never again will you have to answer the door without knowing exactly who is standing there, and if someone tries to intrude while you are away, you will be able to do something about it.
Questions to Ask When Shopping for a Video Doorbell
What devices will you use to interact with your visitors?
Make sure that the mobile devices you plan to use with your video doorbell are compatible. While you are at it, also check your home networking setup. You do not want to purchase a video doorbell only to discover it is incompatible with your router.
Do you have a security system already in place?
If you have a security system in your home like Nest, you may be able to integrate it with certain video doorbells. This can greatly expand the capabilities of the doorbell.
Features and Add-Ons to Look For When Shopping for a Video Doorbell
This is an excellent feature to shop for, because it can activate the camera and record footage of the person standing at your front door even if they never decide to ring the bell. Obviously for security reasons, this is very important. The motion sensor can alert you that someone is standing outside even if that person doesn’t want you to know.
Keep in mind that not all motion sensors are equal. Some work much better than others, so read reviews of the doorbell you are thinking of buying.
Audio and video quality
The higher the quality of the audio and video of your doorbell, the easier it will be to see and communicate with people on your porch. Ideally, you should look for a 1080p image. If you purchase a doorbell which includes a 180-degree field of view, you should be able to monitor the entire area in front of your door. The quality of the audio is also key, especially if you live in a busy urban environment with a lot of traffic noises.
You do not want a complicated and tedious installation and setup process for your video doorbell. The best video doorbells are easy to mount, but also do not pose any technical hassles when it comes to integrating them with your home network and existing security systems. The key to avoiding complications usually is to make sure that all of your devices are going to be compatible in the first place.
Even if you live in a relatively dry part of the world and you are installing your video doorbell under an awning, weather resistance is still an important feature. All it takes is one intense rainstorm to short out an inferior device, and even with an awning, you can end up with sideways rain on a windy day.
So make sure that the video doorbell you are thinking of purchasing can stand up to the rain. This is even more vital if you do live in an area which receives ample precipitation.
Free cloud storage
This is a big deal. Even though you can carry your mobile device around with you everywhere, you are not going to catch every call at your door. You are going to miss visitors while you are busy, while your phone is off, or while you are sleeping or out of signal range.
Cloud storage caches all the videos your doorbell captures, even those you never see or interact with. You can download them to store permanently on your own hard drive as needed. Some doorbells provide you with cloud storage for free; others charge you a monthly fee.
If there is ever a break-in or other crime at your house, you will need the relevant videos to share with the authorities.
One more nice feature to look for with a video doorbell is an indoor chime. While it should ring your mobile device, it can also be nice to have a chime which you can hear throughout your house. Many models include an outdoor chime only.
Now you know how a video doorbell can enhance your home security setup and add convenience to your life. You also know the important features to shop for. Ready to purchase the perfect video doorbell for your needs? Scroll back up to the top of the page to view our comparison chart for highly rated video doorbells on Amazon.com.
Ring: Chock Full of Interesting Features
Don’t let this device’s simple name fool you– ring is a full-featured gadget with next gen features that are several notches more advanced than the average video doorbell. Standout features include a night vision capable HD video camera, multi-platform software and motion sensors that activate when someone approaches your home.
- High Definition. This useful gadget allows you to see HD video of whoever is standing in front of your door.
- Night vision. Unlike a normal peep hole, this video doorbell allows you to identify visitors even when it’s dark outside.
- Two power options. You can either use a battery to power this device or plug it directly into a wall socket.
- Senses motion. As soon as someone comes close, the camera switches on.
- Identifies intruders. If a burglar enters your home while you’re away, you can pull up footage of the break in and hand it over to the police.
- Use multiple devices. Ring’s software is compatible with smartphones, tablets and desktop computers.
- Built-in speaker. This doorbell’s speaker allows you to greet your guests no matter where you are in your house when they arrive.
This doorbell doesn’t turn on unless it’s activated by motion, so you can’t look outside with the camera until somebody approaches.
SkyBell HD: Outstanding Quality Camera
If you’ve already bought an Amazon Echo to use with Alexa, it makes sense to upgrade your doorbell with SkyBell HD. With both devices, you’ll be on the cutting edge of the smart home revolution. And because SkyBell can send and receive audio, it’s even more intelligent than most other video capable doorbells on the market today.
- Awesome video quality. SkyBell allows you to view and monitor your visitors in crystal clear 1080p HD video.
- Security enhancement. Because its motion sensors turn SkyBell’s camera on automatically, you’ll be able to know if someone is snooping around outside or preparing a surprise attack.
- Smartphone compatible. SkyBell’s excellent app allows you to access SkyBell HD from anywhere in the world.
- Easy to install. You don’t need any special technical skills to setup this device.
- 2-way audio. Some video doorbells allow for only one way communication, but with SkyBell you can both send and receive.
- Alerts multiple individuals. Warning messages can be configured to go out to your entire family.
- Amazon Echo compatible. If you have an Amazon Echo, you can use it to listen to your visitors or play door chimes.
- The mounting hardware that comes with SkyBell is made out of plastic, not metal
Zmodo Greet: Connects to a Standard Doorbell Wiring System
Zmodo Greet is one of the few video doorbells on the market that integrates right into a normal doorbell wiring system. Most other next generation doorbells require additional power. However, just because Zmodo Greet is efficient doesn’t mean it lacks features. Its high definition camera produces extra clear and crisp quality video feeds.
- Customizable. Use the default message to let visitors know you can’t come to the door or record your own.
- Intruder alert. In the event of a break in, Zmodo Greet sends you a message and a video.
- Smartphone compatible. Use the free Zmodo Greet app to communicate to your visitors via your smartphone.
- Easy installation. This video doorbell is super easy to setup and configure.
- Manual & automatic operation. Unlike many video doorbells that only switch on when they sense motion, you can activate the Zmodo Greet’s camera any time you want to see what’s going on outside your door.
- High Def video. View visitors or monitor intruders via the Zmodo Greet’s high definition built-in camera.
- Uses standard power. You don’t need to use a special adapter with this doorbell because it is compatible with most standard doorbell wiring systems.
- If you don’t have a doorbell power line, you’ll have to install one yourself or have a repairman do it for you.