How a Smart Doorbell Can Help You Keep Tabs on Your Doorstep

smart doorbell

How a Smart Doorbell Can Help You Keep Tabs on Your Doorstep

A smart doorbell can help you to keep tabs on visitors – especially when it comes to cold callers and doorstep thieves. Look for one with built-in storage (either onboard or in the cloud – for which you might need to pay a subscription) and features like object and face recognition.


A smart doorbell allows you to monitor your home’s front porch with a mobile app on your smartphone. Some include a camera that records video, and many also have a motion sensor to alert you when someone approaches. They can connect to your Wi-Fi and integrate with other smart home devices, such as a smart speaker or voice assistant like Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant.

Smart doorbells usually feature two-way audio, which means you can communicate with visitors from your phone or tablet. Many have night vision and adjustable sensitivity to reduce false alarms. They’re usually weather-resistant to stand up to the elements, and some offer interchangeable faceplates that enhance aesthetics.

Some models feature a wide-angle lens and high dynamic range (HDR) for better video quality. Other features include monitoring zones, a light for color night vision, and facial recognition. Some require a monthly subscription, while others offer free storage for up to 10 days of video footage.

Many models have smart deterrence capabilities, designed to send potential thieves running if they’re attempting to steal packages left at the doorstep. Vivint’s Doorbell Camera Pro, for example, uses a bright LED ring around the bell and a 90 dB sound to let would-be thieves know they’ve been captured on camera. It also works with your voice assistant, allowing you to issue an audible warning without needing to unlock your phone or move from your chair.


A smart doorbell has a built-in camera, microphone, and motion sensors that connect to your Wi-Fi. It can notify you of visitors through your smartphone, a home hub like the Vivint Smart Hub, or even through smart doorbell your voice if it’s integrated with your smart assistant. It can also send you video in the event of a break-in or other type of home invasion, which may be helpful to police or insurance companies.

Before you buy a smart doorbell, consider how it will fit into your home’s design and your budget. Many wireless smart doorbells feature plug-and-play installation, whereas wired models require access to your home’s electrical wiring and technical knowledge. If you’re not comfortable with this, contact a professional to help you install your doorbell camera.

Once you’ve installed your smart doorbell, test it to make sure that all alerts are working properly and the camera is positioned correctly. It’s also a good idea to add a faceplate, which can provide a sleek appearance and match the aesthetic of your home.

Keep in mind that smart doorbells are susceptible to hacking, and although it’s not likely they will be accessed to invade your privacy, you should still read the fine print of each model to see how security features are implemented. Some devices use 256-bit encryption to protect data and others include two-factor authentication.


The right smart doorbell can help you monitor the comings and goings of your family, friends, and neighbors. But some of the devices on the market have serious cybersecurity flaws and invading privacy concerns. These issues have raised questions from lawmakers, security researchers, and online privacy advocates about their safety and functionality.

A good smart doorbell with cameras can help you deter burglars by letting you see who is approaching your home. Some models also let you communicate with the person at the door using two-way audio. Many have night vision that lets you monitor your porch after dark.

Choose a model with motion detection built in to keep track of activity on your porch and send you notifications when something moves nearby. You can smart doorbell also look for a device with free or paid cloud storage to record video footage for days or weeks in case you need it later.

Look for a smart doorbell that integrates with your existing smart home systems. That way, you can manage your camera with the same app you use to control your thermostat and other home automation devices. It’s also important to choose a device that works with the voice assistant you use most, as this makes it easier for you to receive and respond to alerts even when your phone isn’t in arm’s reach.


Video doorbells let you see, hear and speak to visitors from your phone or a smart speaker. They’re a popular choice for homeowners who want to deter porch pirates or keep an eye on package deliveries. Some have object and facial recognition to reduce false alarms or greet specific visitors with pre-recorded greetings.

Most smart doorbells connect to your home’s existing chime wiring for power and use Wi-Fi or cellular (with a landline backup in some cases) for communication with the outside world. Some have a built-in micro-SD card for local storage, while others upload recordings to the cloud and can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection.

Some models offer a free, three-hour event recording, while others require a subscription to get more storage or features like face recognition and object detection. A camera doorbell with a large field of view is more expensive than one with a smaller one, but might be worth the extra cost if you need to monitor your backyard for children or pets playing in the street.

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