If you want to see who is knocking at your door, you need a video doorbell. Featuring a camera near your doorway that transmits images to a small handheld monitor in your home, these high-tech doorbells can also function as security cameras in some cases. Want the best set-up possible? Then look for these five features:
1. Vandal-resistant camera
The cameras with most security video door bells are mounted outside, near your entryway, and if you want them to work, they need to be weather and vandal resistant.
Look for a rain shield and an aluminum shell to protect the camera from weather, and to protect it from vandals, look for sturdy mounting hardware, a shatter-resistant lens, and hidden wires or a wireless set-up so potential thieves cannot just pull out the wires and render the security camera useless.
2. Operator-controlled camera angles
If someone knocks on your door, claiming to be a delivery person or anyone else, you can look at them on the screen of the monitor attached to your video door bell. However, if your camera only points in one direction, you may only be able to see a fraction of what is really happening on your door stoop.
So that you can make sure the person is alone, you want a camera that can tilt, zoom and pan in response to controls on your monitor.
3. Night-vision capabilities
Additionally so that you can see as clearly as possibly, you want your camera outfitted with night vision. In lieu of a camera that offers night-vision, you can mount a motion-detector light near your video door bell, but ideally, you should have both options in case the light gets broken for any reason.
4. Surveillance capacity
Not all video doorbells can function as security cameras. Many cameras start working the moment the person at the door hits the doorbell, initiating the system. However, if you also want to use your video doorbell as a security camera, you need one that functions that way.
For example, you want a camera that you can turn on remotely from your monitor at any time so that you can see what is going on. Alternatively, you may want a camera that starts on its own anytime someone gets close to your entryway.
5. Multiple monitors
If your security camera alerts you that someone is near your entryway, you want to be able to check on the situation as soon as possible. Rather than running around your home looking for your single monitor, you need a system that has at least two monitors so you can place them in multiple parts of your home. Alternatively, you want a system that can be linked to your TV or smartphone so you can just use those devices to check on your entryway.