The Ultimate Doorbell Guide
Ring & Nest Smart Home Video Camera Doorbells
Image Credits: Orlando Smart Homes
Smart doorbells are making waves in the home security space due to their affordability and recent technology breakthroughs. One of the byproducts of this trend is Smart Homes. Smart homes are a type of residences equipped with lightings, heating, ventilation, air-conditioning, and other electronic devices that can be controlled remotely via mobile phones or through a computer, by the homeowners.
One of the interesting features of a smart home is heightened security which was made possible by security cameras and gadgets, in particular – smart doorbells.
Smart doorbells have a track record of keeping our home safe and secured from strangers knocking right in front of our doorstep. It also allows homeowners to keep their delivery packages from being stolen by thieves. Pretty much it lets the homeowner monitor the front doors of their home while they are away.
Should you find yourself worried because of these concerns, then it’s high time for you to get a smart doorbell.
But wait, before getting one, I’d like to share some facts with you. Here’s what you need to know in a smart doorbell.
The most basic feature of a smart doorbell is when someone rings the bell or detected within the camera’s peripheral – it will send a push notification on your smartphone to let you know that someone is at your doorstep. The homeowner is enabled to “answer” the door remotely, and able to talk to the person. It even shows the homeowner a view of the live person on their smartphones.
For this feature to work, the doorbell needs to be connected to a Wi-Fi network. This practically goes the same way with the smartphone the homeowner is using to control the smart doorbell remotely. Both require to have an internet connection to function seamlessly.
On-premise security and real-time notification provides visibility made possible with Smart Doorbells.
It is common for smart doorbells to have a motion sensor that can detect movements. This means that someone does not have to physically ring the doorbell, by pressing the ring button thus letting you know someone is in the front door of your home. Other kinds of smart doorbells offer more motion detection control.
For instance, we have August Doorbell Cam Pro which comes with a motion sensitivity slider. This feature lets the homeowners adjust the level of activity to be detected, whichwill trigger an automatic video recording and push notification.
User interface view of Ring’s motion sensitivity slider that allows homeowners to adjust the level of activity detected by the smart doorbell.
Smart doorbells also enable its users to configure their smart doorbells’ motion sensors in a way that some parts of the camera view are excluded from the sensor. This will avoid constant notifications in case grass and leafy trees are moving because of the air breeze.
Video and Imaging Resolution & Camera View Angle
Typical cameras for smart doorbells come with HD 720p video and image output. This is already a decent resolution but for homeowners who are meticulous about graphics and details, then they should go for smart doorbells with Full HD 1080p resolution.
Also, it is ideal for smart doorbells to have a wide-angle lens that captures the expansive landscape of your front doors. Nest Hello is one example of a smart doorbell that features a 160 degrees’ wide-angle lens. Its camera is not only built to capture awide dynamic range but also its lens is capable of adjusting to bright backgrounds. This lets the homeowners get clear images in scenes that have a lot of contrast.
The Nest Hello Doorbell lets homeowners know who’s there, so they never miss a thing.
It is also essential for the camera of smart doorbells capable of seeing at night. Installing a smart doorbell that cannot see well in the dark would be a waste of money. Surprisingly, some types have a built-in infrared LED camera that produces decent black and white imaging during night time.
The Ring Pro Video Doorbell equipped with night vision camera and infrared LED imaging for better video capture during night time.
When installing a smart doorbell, it is essential to consider people walk right in front of your doorstep and more importantly – the angle your smart doorbell concerning the nearby street. In some cases, mounting a smart doorbell on the door sidings will result to the smart doorbell itself angled upward slightly. Although, manufacturers typically include wedging kits to address this issue.
If your door is located at the top of stairs, positioning the smart doorbell facing downward would minimize false notification being detected from street traffic, in parallel, you can see who’s approaching the doorstep.
There are smart doorbells that offer beyond motion features. This means that aside from capturing images and videos, they are also able to record audio. In some cases, these features are used by mailmen as a form of voicemail – leaving audio messages to homeowners for whatever purpose it may serve.
Ring, known to be one of the major players in smart home security has a product that offers this kind of feature. Their very own Video Pro Video Doorbell is capable of detecting any sound abnormalities like the sound of breaking glass. Any sound abnormality detected will have the smart doorbell immediately push priority notification directly to the homeowner’s mobile phone.
In case you are looking for a smart doorbell that can record video and audio, you can simply procure one at Orlando Smart Homes.
Smart Doorbell Control Apps
This may seem to be the most obvious but it doesn’t hurt to include this on the list. Control apps mean these are applications you need to control your smart doorbells. It is better to go for a smart doorbell that has a mobile application published either in Google Play Store or Apple App Store. In case you might ask why, these mobile apps are making it possible for homeowners to control their smart doorbells, wherever they are and whenever they want.
You’ve probably heard an Alexa device by now, if not then Alexa is a virtual assistant software developed by Amazon and is capable of converting human speech to technological actions. It can also turn voice commands into actions, for instance asking Alexa to play music for you to even look for the nearest restaurant. Alexa is capable of many things and it has been a trend of today’s world, especially in a smart home setup to have Alexa incorporated in it. Citing some scenarios, Alexa can be used to conveniently control a smart doorbell remotely. The homeowner can ask Alexa to show who is at the front door or Alexa herself can even make the announcement in case someone at knocking at your doorstep.
Alexa has become synonymous with Siri, Microsoft Cortana, and Google Assistant. In case you wanted to opt for a different virtual assistant, there are a lot of options to choose from. Today, the majority of the smart doorbells are compatible with Alexa or to any other virtual assistant software. Some of the smart doorbells that work well with VA software are August Doorbell Cam Pro, Skybell HD, Ring Pro Doorbell, and Nest Hello Video Doorbell.
Someone is at your doorstep, hear Alexa announcements when anyone presses the doorbell or triggers the motion sensors.
What are the Freebies and What are the Things I Need to Pay Extra?
It is only a practical choice for everyone to know what are the freebies included when buying a smart doorbell. This practically goes the same way with what are the things you need to pay extra in purchasing the smart device. There are various costs like installation, subscription, maintenance, and operational that needs to be considered when owning a smart doorbell. Below are some of the things that may or may not add cost when getting smart doorbells.
It is important to know what comes when buying a smart doorbell. Are there freebies that come along with it? Do I need to pay for the unit only? How about the installation?
These are just a few questions normally raised by someone who is about getting a smart doorbell. Well, in buying a smart doorbell, one has to consider the cost of installation. Typically, installation is not part of the purchase as the buyer is only paying for the product. Installation services, on the other hand, are on top of product costs. Normally, smart doorbell providers and retailers offer installation services at a fixed rate though it may cost around $120 more or less.
If you are the budget-conscious type and looking for the cheapest and quality installation service, perhaps you could try reaching out to the guys at Orlando Smart Home. They don’t just install your smart doorbell. They also help to improve the other things that are relevant to the smart doorbell like your Wi-Fi network, control sound, lighting, temperature control and even set up Virtual Assistant software. For just around $49 to $99, you can avail all these services while you’re sitting tight, relaxing, and enjoying the moment.
Logically, for these devices to work – especially when recording videos and capturing images, they would need to have sufficient storage. The older version of smart doorbells is provided with memory cards. The newer version uses cloud storage either free or subscription-based.
The cost for the cloud storage subscription is around $3 to $5 per month. In case you are asking if the smart doorbells would work even if you aren’t subscribing to any of storage plans. The answer is Yes, they will work. There are smart doorbell providers that offer free storage plans, like Ring for instance.All of their devices will be operational without an additional fee for storage. For Ring's customers, they do have up to 60 days’ of media retention. This means that all media, recordings, and images will be saved to their customer’s ring accounts.
A warranty is included for every product we purchase. It is a form of insurance, government-mandated or not to assure consumers from any smart doorbell defects and issues. The basic warranty is limited and is given for free to consumers. In case you are planning to purchase a smart doorbell for your home, you may want to consider that warranty. You will never know as a fault within the product may arise at some point in time. It is also important to know what is the coverage of the product’s warranty, if parts replacement and labor is covered or not.
Although some of the smart doorbells manufacturers, retailers and distributors tend to offer paid extended warranties to customers along with other paid subscriptions. It wouldn’t hurt to check out their websites for their latest offerings.
On the other hand, here are some of the basic warranties top manufactures of smart doorbells offer.
• Nest Hello Doorbell has a 2-year warranty. If the smart doorbell product bought has been tagged as a factory refurbished product, then its warranty period is only for 1 year. For a more detailed perspective of Nest warranties, you could visit their Nest Warranty Guidelines.
• August smart doorbell products come with a 1-year limited hardware warranty and are subject to terms and conditions. The limited warranty is only applicable to the person or entity that purchased the Device from August or from one of its authorized resellers or distributors. Additionally, limited warranties only devices purchased and delivered to its customers within the United States or Canada. Here’s a quick reference of August Policies and Agreements.
• Ring offers a 1-year product warranty valid from the date of purchase. It covers parts for repair and replacement along with the labor. This warranty only applies to the original consumer purchaser. Here’s a link where you can view the Ring’s warranty policy.
Smart doorbell warranties normally don’t cover product damages due to negligence, customer-inflicted damages, abuse, and acts of natures. Consumable parts like batteries are also not covered.
Luckily, theft is within the scope of the smart door warranties. There may be some charges that the consumers have to pay when claiming theft protection but then it all depends on the policy of the provider and manufacturers.
Smart Doorbells in a Nutshell
It is an innovative and smarter way to secure your home. A smart doorbell is equipped with a video camera that allows the homeowners to monitor any activity right in front of their doorstep. It also comes with a microphone and speaker that enables two communications. Additionally, it is connected to a Wi-Fi network that allows homeowners to remotely control the device.
How Does a Smart Doorbell Get Power?
Smart doorbells are built originally to be powered by existing doorbell wirings. Now just to be on the safe side, it is a best practice when installing smart doorbells to check the existing wirings for proper flow of voltage. This is to ensure that the device is getting enough power to function.
What If I Don’t Have Any Existing Doorbell?
If this is the case you’re in, you can still get a smart doorbell. There are battery-powered smart doorbell units that you go always go for. I would suggest going either for Ring Pro Video Doorbells or Ring 2 Pro Video Doorbells, as both devices are battery-powered. Ring engineered its smart doorbells with a quick-release battery latch for easy removal of the battery should homeowners wish to recharge them.
Does The Smart Doorbell Triggers My Actual Doorbell?
The majority of the smart doorbells can be hotwired to any existing doorbell, especially if its mechanical chime. There are some cases where smart doorbells don’t ring your digital chimes. How would you know if your doorbell is digital or not? Simple, if your existing doorbell plays a melody, the high chances are it is a digital doorbell.
How Do I Control My Smart Doorbell?
Smart doorbells providers have made their products compatible with mobile applications that you can use to remotely control these devices. These mobile apps are made available for Android and iOS mobile users. Downloading the apps lets the homeowners adjust the settings of their smart doorbells, whether it is sensitivity or simply adding a personal touch on it.
Does the Smart Doorbell Work Even If My Internet Connection Is Down?
In case your home internet is having problems or you simply forgot to pay the bills on time, smart doorbells will not be able to send push notifications. However, if your smart doorbell is hotwired to a traditional doorbell then you will still hear the ring of your doorbell every time someone pushes the button.
Does A Smart Doorbell Fits My Current Smart Home Setup?
Smart doorbells are built to work well with a smart home setup. In a smart home ecosystem, everything is powered by the internet. Your internet at home is pretty much the medium for you to communicate to these devices through your smartphone.If you happened to have Alexa or any other virtual assistant software in place at your home, worry not as smart doorbells are interoperable with such technology.
If you have Nest Thermostat installed at your home space, it is highly recommended to go with Nest Hello Doorbell.
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