While an ordinary doorbell can certainly alert you when someone’s ringing, it does little to protect your home from possible intruders and theft.Smart doorbell cameras can be equipped with video, audio communication, and connect to your smartphone. Many monitoring your home 24/7— even if a person doesn’t press the bell itself.
In addition to the greater peace of mind you can gain for protecting your family and assets, some homeowners insurance providers discounts for certain home security systems.
Are you shopping for a video doorbell? Here’s our three choices for protecting your home, based on each device’s combined affordability and functionality.
Key Features of Doorbell Cameras
In our previous blog, we covered our favorite three outdoor cameras and addressed some of the core features that many homeowners look for in a surveillance camera.
These features included: how much coverage you’ll need, if you need night vision capabilities, how much time you want recorded, the quality of footage you desire and the ability to access your footage on-the-go.
The same desired features hold true for doorbell cameras, but there’s one feature most specific to this type of monitoring device:
- The ability to hear and speak to guests. Simply put, those who ring your bell or come to your door directly are looking for something. If you aren’t home, you want to ensure you can still interact with the person, whether that’s to tell the Girl Scouts to drop by again tomorrow with cookies or to ward off someone trying to steal your Amazon package.
Our 3 Favorite Doorbell Cameras
While there are dozens of doorbell cameras on the market, these three stand out for their combination of features and price.
While Nest Hello is not the cheapest surveillance doorbell on the market, it has features which no other device currently offers, such as family and friend recognition and prerecorded responses. Because of this, Cnet rates it highly, and we do too.
- 24/7 streaming. Whereas some competitors video doorbells are only triggered by motion or sound, Nest Hello is continuously watching. Tune in at anytime from your smartphone or look at a 3-hour snapshot history.
- Records up to 30 days of continuous video. With Nest Aware, you can scan through your entire video history to see what you missed. There’s different small-fee storage plans depending on how long you’d like to backlog your footage.
- View people from head to toe. Some other doorbell cameras offer a 16:9 view, which doesn’t allow you to see everything on your doorstep, including lower level packages.
- Recognizes familiar faces. Nest Hello can actually recognize family and friends by face and send you a special alert, which no other technology can do.
- Knows the difference between people vs. objects. This device can tell the difference between a person and a thing, then alert you, even if no one rings the bell.
- Prerecord quick responses. When you can’t answer, quick responses let you reply to visitors with different prerecorded messages.
- Moderate price. This doorbell camera is available for $329 with professional installation, or only $229 without.
Ring Doorbell Pro
Ring partnered with the Los Angeles and Newark Police Departments to discover that neighborhoods equipped with their video doorbell systems have proven to reduce home burglaries by up to 50%. It’s one reason it was featured and praised so highly on Wirecutter.
- 2-way talk. Hear visitors and be able to speak directly to them. Works wonders deterring criminals from stealing packages or snooping.
- Motion-activated notifications. While the Nest Hello can recognize people versus objects, the Ring just detects motion.
- Hardwired. No need to worry about dead batteries, as this doorbell is hardwired into your door and only takes 15 minutes to install.
- Customizable motion detection. Create and adjust your own motion zones.
- Records up to 60 days with Ring Protect Plan. All Ring doorbells come with a 30-day free trial of the Protect Plan and then after, get video recording and sharing for $3 a month.
- Moderate price. This doorbell camera is comparable to the price of the Nest, at $249 for the Pro, but can be paid in monthly installments with 0% APR.
SkyBell HD Wi-Fi Video Doorbell
This third generation of the SkyBell video doorbell has ironed out some of the kinks of older models and stands strong against the competition. Cnet claims that this door buzzer steals the show!
- 1080p video with zoom. View your guests or activity in HD with the ability to zoom up to five times in.
- Live monitoring. Tune in anytime to see what’s happening outside. It’s even boasts night vision to see your surroundings in the dark.
- Free cloud recording without monthly fees. Unlike some of the other video doorbell systems, SkyBell allows you to record your videos for free, according to their product page.
- Motion sensor alerts and activity history. Get an alert sent to your app when motion is detected, even if the doorbell isn’t pressed, or review the day’s events in a quick history recap.
- 2-way talk. See, hear and talk with your visitors through their free app.
- Reasonable price. Compared to the Nest and Ring video doorbells we’ve outlined, the SkyBell is the most affordable, at $199.
Are the Contents of your Home Insured?
Even the best home doorbell does little to protect you if a sneaky thief enters from around back. Are you sure all of your contents protected under your current insurance?
Many homeowners are surprised by these 10 things your home insurance probably doesn’t cover.
Get a free homeowners insurance quote today. Our team at Culbertson Agency is here to ensure all your important possessions are safeguarded.