December 23

Our Simple Guide To Smart Doorbells

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‘Smart’ products are gaining more and more traction, especially as people have been at home more than ever this year and want to redecorate or improve the efficiency of their home - enter ‘smart homes’.

One product in particular that is useful for both tech aficionados and beginners is a smart doorbell. In this blog we’re going to break down what a smart doorbell is, how it works, its many benefits and a review of the WOOX Smart Doorbell.

What is a smart doorbell?

A smart doorbell is a doorbell that alerts you when someone is at the door or motion is detected, either through an indoor bell (chime) or through an app on your phone (oftentimes both are used). They also feature a camera so that you can see who is at the door. Some also feature a built-in microphone so that you can speak to the visitor.

Smart doorbells are beneficial for many reasons, including:

  • You may be in the back garden and not able to hear the front door, but have your phone with you and can be notified - useful when waiting for important packages!
  • You can be notified when out of the house, as well as being able to view who was at the door, e.g. if a family member visited while you were away
  • Can be useful for making sure you receive packages when the delivery driver may not knock so loud!
  • Provide extra security - you can see live video footage if anyone is roaming your property or are perhaps meddling with your car if you have a smart doorbell with motion detection 
  • Some devices feature night vision too, making you feel safer about late night knocks before going to the door
  • Some devices come with different sound levels for the chime, so if you are hard of hearing this can provide extra support

How does a smart doorbell work?

If you already have a doorbell, the smart doorbell will connect to your existing wiring and chimes as well as your WiFi. Some smart doorbells are battery powered and so will not need to be connected to wiring.

When a visitor presses the doorbell, the chime inside your house is activated and a notification can also be sent to your phone or iPad via WiFi or 4G. If you open the app, you can see who is at the door through the camera and speak to them.

Smart doorbell vs security camera - what’s the difference?

Both a smart doorbell and a security camera allow you to view who is outside. The difference is that a security camera will allow you to do this at any time, whereas smart doorbells working off motion detection or doorbell activation may only work when triggered. 

Both allow you to view what is happening outside your property, but the doorbell comes with the extra functionality for visitors. Smart doorbells also tend to be less expensive. 

A downside of smart doorbells is that they will just be placed at your door, rather from different angles like a security camera.

Are smart doorbells suitable for cold weather?

Yes, they can be. Most smart doorbells are fully functional between -10℃-55℃, so they should work fine during the cold winter months.

What smart doorbell should I buy?

There are many different smart doorbells out there, fit for different needs and budgets, so it’s worth determining how much you are willing to spend first as some can be really pricey. Costs start as low as around the £25 mark and can go up to £130+.

Our personal favourite is the £74.95 WOOX R4957, a WiFi connected doorbell which sends you notifications via the WOOX Home app. Through the app, you can watch and even talk to the visitor using the high-definition camera and microphone. 

Advantages of the WOOX smart doorbell include:

  • As the device works through the free WOOX Home app, you don’t have to pay for a subscription service like other smart doorbells
  • It comes comes with 58 melodies and 5 different volume levels, so you can customise it to your tastes
  • Works with Amazon Alexa, Echo Show, Google Nest Hub and Chromecast 
  • Supports SD cards of up to 128GB
  • Has night vision so that you can monitor any suspicious activity whilst it is dark

Some potential disadvantages of the WOOX smart doorbell include:

  • Does not feature cloud storage
  • Depending on your sensitivity settings, you may get a lot of notifications to your phone from passersby
  • May not send you notifications if you are having WiFi issues

Can I use a smart doorbell if I am a renter?

Yes you can, but there are some major factors to consider. Firstly, many smart doorbells need to be wired into a property, but this can take more work than a landlord may be willing to allow. 

If you are lucky enough to get permission to do this, it will require professional installation unless you are confident working with electricity. This will increase your costs and will mean you have to pay for it to be uninstalled if you move unless you leave it behind.

The good news is that there are many wire-free devices that are battery operated, such as the WOOX smart doorbell mentioned earlier. They will still need to be attached to the door somehow, but they won’t take as much work as a wired-in device.

In conclusion...

A smart doorbell can be a great choice for anyone looking for extra security as well as the handy feature of being able to see and speak to visitors without going to the door. At Parotec, we certainly think it’s worth the investment, especially when tied in with other smart devices such as smart plugs

Get in touch with us today for more information!

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