One easy way to safeguard your against property theft, home invasion, porch pirates, and even unwanted solicitors is to identify who is at your doorstep before opening the door. Enter the video doorbell, a first line of defense for homeowners that not only lets you see and speak with the person outside, but also records footage of visitors that approach your door while you're away or unable to answer.
These devices typically use Wi-Fi to stream live video to your phone and offer a variety of features, including cloud video storage, motion detection, sirens, and interoperability with smart locks and other smart home devices. Read on to find out what to look for when choosing a video doorbell for your home.
Do You Need a Wired or Wireless Video Doorbell?
When choosing a smart doorbell you have to decide if you want a wireless device that runs on batteries or one that gets its power from low-voltage doorbell wiring. Naturally, a wireless doorbell is the easiest type to install, as it draws power from batteries rather than from your home's electric and doesn't require that you turn off power or mess with any wiring whatsoever. The downside to wireless doorbells is that their batteries tend to deplete batteries quickly depending on usage, lasting anywhere from two to six months. If you live in an area where the winters are cold you can expect to recharge or replace your batteries every couple of months, and run the risk of your doorbell shutting down at an inopportune time.
Wired doorbells draw power from two wires that are connected to a transformer that steps down your household power to between 16 to 24 volts. If your home is not equipped with doorbell wiring you can wire it yourself using a plug-in transformer, or have an electrician do the work for you. Either way, some drilling will be required to run wires from the inside of your home to an exterior location.