Thinking about a video doorbell for your home? You’re not alone. This connected front door device has been one of 2018’s biggest and most popular smart home hits.
It’s a doorbell, a video camera, and a two-way communications device all wrapped into one—and it gets even better when it’s installed as part of a smart home security system. Here are five really useful things you can do with one.
1: Answer the door from anywhere
When a visitor rings your video doorbell, it chimes like an ordinary doorbell but you also get an alert on your smartphone app. Tap the alert and you’ll see a live video stream of your visitor. They can’t see you but you can see them, and you can have a conversation through the doorbell’s speaker and microphone.
This applies whether you’re at home or away, enabling you to answer your door from the couch, from bed, or from your desk at work.
2: Secure a delivered package
Ever experienced the anxiety of having a valuable package being left on your porch when you’re not there? With a video doorbell installed as part of your smart home security system, you won’t need to worry.
When the delivery driver rings the bell, you can ask them to leave the package inside, unlocking your front door with the smart lock icon that appears on the video call. When they step outside again and close the door, you can lock up just as easily.
3: Catch a suspicious caller in the act
As part of a smart home security system, your video doorbell becomes a full security camera, able to capture motion-triggered clips, alert you, and store your clips in Alarm.com’s cloud for later viewing.
It’s a great way to keep an eye on activity around your porch and driveway, which are the busiest outdoor areas on your property. At night, the camera can even trigger your porch light to come on when there’s motion, giving you a well-lit video clip.
Should your camera catch something amiss—a suspicious caller or a prowling package thief, you’ll find it easy to download the clip and share it with your local police department.
4: Keep up with the kids
Of course, much of the motion on your porch is welcome, and a video clip of it can be reassuring. For example, you can use your Alarm.com-powered video doorbell to send you a daily video alert when your kids arrive home from school. As well as knowing they’re home safe, you can see exactly who they’re with.
Kids also enjoy using video doorbells as a one-way ‘FaceTime’ device, ringing the bell when you’re at work to say hello and give you a wave.
5: Sleep undisturbed
Finally, what about the one time you don’t want to hear from your kids? We’re talking about naptime, the worst time imaginable for a loud doorbell chime to reverberate through your home.
An Alarm.com-powered video doorbell safeguards your hour of afternoon peace with ‘Do Not Disturb’ mode: a mode that switches the chime off, but still sends you a text alert when a visitor rings the bell. Just open your app, see who’s there, then decide (quietly) whether to answer or not.