Your Guide to Choosing the Best Video Doorbell Camera Option for Your Family
It’s hard to find a more in-demand security product than the doorbell camera. It allows homeowners to see and interact with whomever is at the front door, as well as to discourage intruders and “porch pirates.”
Video doorbell cameras are not all alike, and some may meet your needs more than others. There’s a lot to consider when reviewing your options, from the billing structure to equipment requirements.
The first step to making the right choice is to understand your priorities and preferences. Blue by ADT created a comprehensive video doorbell camera buying guide to help you assess your choices.
Narrow Your Video Doorbell Camera Options by Answering Key Questions
Do You Want a Full Security System, Just the Video Doorbell Camera, or the Option to Grow Your Monitoring Equipment Over Time
Your decision about whether to install a comprehensive home security solution will immediately shorten your list of prospective doorbell cameras.
Many companies that professionally install their products don’t sell doorbell cameras without additional system support. On the other hand, some brands focus almost exclusively on doorbell cameras and don’t offer other types of home protection.
What if you’re not ready to fully commit to one option over the other? Consider video doorbell camera providers that let you buy the individual component and add other sensors and monitoring services separately.
Blue by ADT lets you purchase our video doorbell camera individually or as part of a greater security package. You can later order additional components to build your system as your needs and budget evolve. It’s important to fully monitor your exterior beyond the front entrance with outdoor cameras and door/window sensors.
Do You Currently Have a Doorbell or are Wired to Accommodate a New One?
If your house is set-up with the basic wiring needs for a doorbell, a DIY model may be the best option. Providers like Blue by ADT design the equipment for easy set-up without professional involvement or advanced tools. This allows you to do it when most convenient, as well as easily move the doorbell camera from one home to the next.
However, if your house’s wiring is not currently configured for a doorbell, you will want the help of a professional. Choose a company that provides free set-up or purchase a DIY doorbell camera and hire an experienced handyman or electrician to assist.
What Features Are You Looking for in a Doorbell Camera?
Double-check that your new doorbell comes with the features you need for everyday, practical use:
- Mobile app. The mobile app enables you to interact with the doorbell no matter where you’re located. This includes receiving notifications, seeing and talking with visitors, and updating monitoring settings.
- Motion detection. Thieves who steal packages are unlikely to ring the doorbell first. Therefore, buy a model that notifies you the moment it detects motion. Blue by ADT video doorbell camera has multiple surveillance options which let you control the zone and activity-level you monitor.
- Video quality and facial recognition. What good is a doorbell camera if its footage is crummy? Accept nothing less than a security camera capable of capturing images with clarity. As a bonus, Blue by ADT even offers facial recognition.
- Night vision. Plenty of activity happens at night, from raccoons visiting your porch to pizza delivery drivers dropping off food. Your new video doorbell should perform just as well in darkness as it does during the day.
- Full field of vision. Most home visitors will come with good intentions, but prepare yourself for those that don’t. The Blue by ADT video doorbell monitors a full 180° in order to detect intruders that lurk away from the front door.
- Real-time video and visitor interaction. Don’t bother with a doorbell camera that doesn’t show live video and lets you communicate with visitors.
- Cloud storage. Whether your doorbell records a happy moment or an attempted breakin, the option to save and rewatch video footage is invaluable.
- Use of AC power or a rechargeable battery. Save money over time by skipping batteries that require batteries you can’t recharge.
Do You Want Professional Monitoring or the Option to Self-Monitor Your Video Doorbell Camera
Companies that offer professional monitoring will sync your devices with monitoring centers active night and day. If your security system senses an intruder, the call center will immediately contact you to determine if you require assistance. In the scenario that you cannot respond, they will send help regardless.
Professional monitoring almost always comes with a monthly fee, which is why some homeowners choose to self-monitor. This can mean different things for different video doorbell camera providers, so make sure to learn the specifics when evaluating options.
Blue by ADT, self-monitoring settings allow you to use the app to view recorded footage and interact with visitors. However, there is no professional help during an emergency.
Certain providers let you change your mind about whether or not to have professional monitoring. The Blue by ADT doorbell camera can operate both by itself or as part of a professionally monitored system.
Blue also let’s you skip out on the long-term contracts. You have the power to determine what type of surveillance you want from one month to the next.
Going away for an extended vacation? Professional monitoring is a must-have. Trying to reduce this month’s bills? Choose the option to self-monitor your video doorbell camera and security system for no extra charge.
Do You Want to Save Money During the Initial Purchase or Overtime?
There are generally two types of pricing models within the home security industry:
- Free equipment leasing and installation, but with higher monthly monitoring fees and less flexible contract terms. Because you essentially rent the system rather than buy it, you must return the equipment when you end the contract.
- More upfront costs by purchasing the equipment, but with reduced monthly monitoring fees and more flexible contracts. You own the doorbell camera and related equipment, meaning that it is yours to keep no matter what.
Is one option better than the other for your next video doorbell camera? The answer depends upon your preferences and lifestyle.
If you live in a rented property or frequently move, purchasing the doorbell camera without a multi-year contract makes sense. On the other hand, if you prefer to pay a greater sum over time rather than a higher amount upfront. In this case, free equipment leasing has its appeal.
Do You Currently Have Smart Home Technology in Place?
If you set-up a cloud-based voice service like Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant, make sure that your doorbell camera is compatible. Integrations with your smart home technology enable you to respond to the doorbell using your voice for added convenience. The doorbell camera is a natural partner to other smart devices, particularly smart locks that you can remotely control.
Is Your Home’s Wi-FI Connection Reach Strong Enough to Support a Doorbell?
Most people set up their ethernet cable right next to their computers to ensure the fastest Internet speeds where it’s needed most. However, this can lead to reduced connections for faraway devices, including the doorbell camera. Unless a solution is in place, this can impair the device’s ability to sync with mobile devices and smart home hubs.
If your network signal diminishes around the front door, invest in a doorbell camera system with a Wi-Fi extender like this one from Blue by ADT. This device boosts the doorbell’s connection and extends its battery life. If you choose, the extender can also emit a helpful chime when the doorbell rings.
Make Sure That the Doorbell Camera Comes With a Trial Period and Warranty
No product is one-size-fits-all, and security equipment is no exception. Make sure that you have the option to return the video doorbell camera if it doesn’t fit your particular needs. For instance, Blue by ADT grants a 30-day money-back guarantee. You have time to familiarize yourself with the technology before making up your mind.
Consider the Reputation of the Provider
It might be a mistake to simply purchase the cheapest doorbell camera available. Consider who designs the product and will ultimately be helping to protect your home.
Choose a company with an established track record of security monitoring and positive customer service.
Use the Video Doorbell Buying Guide to Determine if Blue is Right For You
ADT is America’s top choice for home security, backed by more than 145 years of experience. Blue by ADT lets you choose from multiple contract lengths and whether to use our professional monitoring. Plus, our video doorbell camera comes with many essential features, including night vision, facial recognition, multiple motion detection settings, and cloud storage.
We welcome you to use our buying guide to consider if we’re your ideal option.