Many of us have at least some smart home products in our houses these days, from connected doors and TVs to fridges, washing machines, and more.
If you want to ensure you never miss a delivery again or avoid keeping house guests waiting, you may want to add to your smart home collection by investing in an internet-based doorbell this year. Before you purchase a product, here are some factors to consider.
Features You Require
Firstly, get clear on the features you want in the smart doorbell you purchase. There are all sorts of products on the market, so this clarity will help you narrow down your choices and avoid a situation where you purchase a doorbell only to discover later that it doesn’t offer everything you require.
Today’s doorbells have features such as night vision, smartphone alerts, weather resistance, and video or photo recording. Many have built-in motion detection, two-way audio, and 1080p resolution for high-quality vision. Plus, more advanced models boast facial recognition, with learning capability, so the doorbell comes to recognize faces over time. Also, consider what field of view you want on the product you buy and if you’re looking for an option with cloud-based storage to keep footage long-term.
Keep Security Top of Mind
It may not be the first thing you think of, but as with any other internet-connected device, the security level of your smart doorbell is a crucial factor to consider. While connecting to Wi-Fi is handy and enables many of the features we appreciate, such as controlling devices via our smartphones, this connectivity also brings more security risk.
Hackers don’t just look at breaking into computers these days but also smart-home gear that they know people are often lax with protecting, but that’s networked into other devices and thus provides many “ins” to break into. To keep your home, finances, and personal details safer, install quality internet security software on all the devices you use to control your smart doorbell and other smart-home gadgets.
Choose a comprehensive product that protects against various threats, such as spyware, spam, viruses, ransomware, and more. It should send real-time alerts if you’re compromised and help you retain your privacy online. Utilize firewalls on your computers, too, since they work to protect hackers from breaking into networks via an internet connection.
Also, be sure your home’s Wi-Fi modem is password protected with a hard-to-crack code, and change passwords every so often. They shouldn’t be codes that relate to any information you share publicly, such as on social media, either. Keep all the smart doorbell and other device software updated so cybercriminals can’t get access via security gaps that open up over time, too. Developers release new versions of programs when they find and plug these gaps, so if you’re not running the latest versions, you leave yourself more vulnerable to attack.
Another tip to keep top of mind as you browse and ultimately buy a smart doorbell is how easy products are to install and what costs are involved in this process. For example, find out what power sources are available. Doorbells designed as hardware need wiring in. They have a base attached to your home and terminals on this base to which an installer will attach low-voltage wires to power the doorbell.
If you haven’t had a doorbell wired up before at your home, you may find it easier and cheaper to choose a smart doorbell with built-in rechargeable batteries instead. The batteries used in such devices typically last one to three months, depending on various factors. It’s easy enough to install battery-powered devices yourself, but for wired options, you’ll most likely need to hire an electrician or other contractor. This will affect your costs, in turn.
Before you decide on a smart doorbell, find out what kind of warranty the products on your shortlist come with. There’s a wide variety of options on the market with differing warranties. However, mostly they’re covered by a one, two, or three-year limited warranty. Some feature a customer satisfaction and a replacement guarantee, too, and cover if equipment gets stolen. The occasional product boasts a limited lifetime warranty, which you may prefer.
Lastly, don’t forget to read reviews and testimonials and ask around your family, friends, and colleagues for recommendations. It’s helpful to hear what other people think about the smart doorbells you’re considering.
Take your time researching products, and then set them up with care once you get them home. This way, you’ll increase the likelihood of being happy with your investment and get plenty of use out of it over the coming years.