I Got a Video Doorbell and Now I Can’t Live Without It

A Nest Hello Video doorbell, next to a smart lock.
Josh Hendrickson

One of the newest smarthome devices I installed in my house is a video doorbell. And now I wish I had installed it much sooner. Video doorbells are fantastic, and now I can’t live without one. Here’s why.

What Is a Video Doorbell?

A Nest Hello and Ring Video doorbell side by side.
Google, Amazon

Video Doorbells vary in shape, size, and positioning, but they all have a few things in common. Just as the name suggests, they act as doorbells that someone can ring. And they serve as a security camera, recording video of anyone who approaches the door. And as a bonus, typically you can speak to a person who rang your doorbell without opening your door—or better yet, even when you aren’t home. The rest of the details change from doorbell to doorbell.

You can power some video doorbells—like Ringwith batteries, which is helpful if you don’t have doorbell wiring or the wiring doesn’t work. In other cases, you have to connect some video doorbells, like the Nest Hello and Eufy Video Doorbell, to your doorbell wires for electricity. Without it, they won’t work.

All video doorbells use an app to let you view a video stream, and most have optional subscriptions with extra features. In most cases, a subscription is required to view previously recorded video. Without it, you can only see live video.



Why I Love My Video Doorbell

Video doorbells are a game-changer for your house. And I adore mine. I work from home and spend most of my day in the office. I don’t have a clear view of my front door, and I’m far enough from the street that I can’t hear when cars pull up.

My Packages Are Safe

A video still showing a Fedex delivery person walking away from the door, a package is on the porch.
Yet another package delivered without so much as a knock.

As a reviewer, I’m sent packages frequently, often without a tracking number. Before I got a video doorbell, deliveries often sat out on my porch all day—even though I was home. Because for some reason, four out of five delivery people wouldn’t ring my doorbell or knock. They drop the delivery on the porch (or worse yet, I suspect occasionally threw the box to my porch), and leave. I have a covered porch, and on occasion, I’ve found packages left in my driveway (which is infuriating). Sometimes that left me with rain-soaked boxes. Other times, I was unaware that a shipment I desperately needed was on my porch hours ago.

Now my doorbell notifies me when someone approaches the door. I take a quick look, see it’s a delivery person, and get my package right away. And the delivery people ring my doorbell more frequently now, though not every time.

One thing I watch for is how they put the box down. I haven’t spotted anyone tossing a package yet, but at the same time, I haven’t found any damaged boxes either. I suspect they notice my video doorbell and think better of it.

I Can Easily Ignore Solicitors

Working from home means needing an uninterrupted environment. Sadly, working from home means nobody respects that fact. While I can control what happens in my house, I can’t stop other people from ringing the doorbell or knocking on the door. Sometimes it’s an important message from a neighbor that I need to answer, but most of the time it’s a solicitor.

Read the remaining 23 paragraphs

Read more

%d bloggers like this: