Although all video doorbells record video and play a sound when rung, they can differ significantly across their features. Here’s what we’d recommend you look for when choosing a video doorbell for your home.
Resolution and field of view: You should strive to get a video doorbell camera with enough resolution for your needs. Video doorbell camera resolution can range from 480p to 1080p (or even 4K resolution). While 4K resolution is not necessary for most people, 1080p provides a crisp, clear picture if you don’t mind spending a little extra cash on your doorbell camera. In addition, detail and color will be more vibrant, and individuals will be easier to recognize with better video resolution.
Motion detection: You should consider motion detection for your doorbell camera. Many doorbell cameras have motion sensors built-in by default, so they will alert you if someone is approaching or leaving your door. Motion detection features are useful if you want to monitor who comes to your home and when. Taking motion detection one step further, most modern video doorbells can now tell the difference between a person, vehicle, animal or package. You can adjust settings to receive alerts when items you care about are detected. For example, you may not want to know every single time a car drives by your house, but you do want to know when FedEx has left a package at your front door.
Night vision: Similarly, night vision functionality adds practical value to your video doorbell. Night vision cameras transmit and/or record video in black and white, which allows you to clearly see who approaches your door when there isn’t enough ambient light for color. This can provide better security — for example, it may help you identify someone who attempts to break in while you are away on vacation. Newer cameras are now transmitting color video in low light environments, too.
Power source: Doorbell cameras are typically powered through one of two methods: hardwiring into existing wires with your regular doorbell, or battery packs. Battery-powered options are better if you don’t have a traditional doorbell installed in your home already. By contrast, hardwiring is more convenient and secure if you do have a traditional doorbell.
Smart home integration and cloud storage: Consider whether you want your video doorbell to connect to your smart home networkespecially if you want to control it through voice commands. Smart home network integration is also excellent if you want to store video recordings in the cloud or on other non-SD card storage devices.
Through smart home integration, you’ll gain greater control over your video doorbell, including extra features, like permissions and face recognition.
Cloud storage is also important to consider. Most doorbell video cameras have optional cloud storage subscription services. These require a monthly or annual fee, but remove the need to replace microSD cards.
Features: Before buying a video doorbell, investigate all the advertised features that it provides, such as two-way audio, which allows you to talk to whoever is on the other side of your door. You should also consider facial recognition technology. Most video doorbell owners want to set recognition zones, which can prevent false alarms when leaves blow by.