It’s so easy to get caught up in the latest and greatest technology trend…so much to the point where we have all of this stuff, but we don’t ever stop to think about how much good (or even bad) that stuff is actually doing us.
I’m not saying video doorbells are bad. They’re very good, actually.
The point of this post is to simply show there isn’t one silver bullet when it comes to home security. Rather, it takes a combination of things, including tangible technology, yes, but also just cunning awareness, and savvy when it comes to how to tell if a burglar is watching your home.
Video Doorbell Pros
As said, I’m all for video doorbells, and pretty much any other surveillance you can acquire for the home. Of course, there will be differences depending on what you buy – and not to mention that even different versions of the same product will yield different features – but here are some general pros to consider.
24-Hour (Triggered) Surveillance
Above all else, a video doorbell allows you to see what’s going on around your front door when you’re home and away. In fact, many people are amazed at the level of activity near their home on an ordinary day; much of which was never thought twice about before they had the means to see what was going on.
Seamless Integration and Easy Installation
A big appeal of the video doorbell is that its…a video doorbell! If you have a hardwired doorbell, you’re basically just upgrading a home feature for one wht offers the added benefit of video surveillance. Users also have the option to run video doorbells off battery power, but hardwiring seems to be the recommended way to go.
Customizable Surveillance Zones
As mentioned above, most people have no idea about all that takes place in front of their homes. Perhaps 99% of that activity is harmless, though, which makes the ability to “focus” surveillance on the areas you need it all the better.
For instance, most video doorbells allow users to set motion zones, which means they can block out the stuff they don’t care to capture – a runner down the sidewalk, etc. – and instead be notified for only those who walk up onto the porch, as an example. It’s kind of like the difference between the “stay” and “night” settings on your home alarm, but not as confusing.
With video doorbells, it’s not all about the video! The ability to have a conversation with those outside your door is a big plus, again, for those who are both home and not home at the time a visitor comes around.
If you’re out and about and want to give the illusion you’re home, the video doorbell can help with that. Or, perhaps you just want to ask your delivery man to place your package elsewhere. If home, maybe you’re too busy to come to the door, or, you don’t feel safe opening the door for whoever is present, but do want to talk to your visitor to see what they needed.
Video Doorbell Cons
Some people don’t like pizza. Can you believe it? It’s hard to fathom, but the point is, not everything is for everyone, and hardly anything is perfect. Thus, while a video doorbell is great for the reasons listed above, there are a few other things to consider.
Too Much information?
On a higher level, is knowing too much ever harmful? Before we had the capability, we never had a clue what was happening around our house when we were away. But did anything bad ever happen? Now, every person who walks by or knocks on the door is immediately met with skepticism.
It’s great to be vigilant, and unfortunately, the world has taught us that we need to be more on guard than welcoming in most instances. But it comes with a price—and that’s increased worry, or the incessant need to be notified of every little thing that could be amiss.
I totally get it, and am right there with most people. I feel like if I miss an alert, that’s the one time the home is going to get burglarized. It’s a tough feeling to move past, and something video doorbell owners will have to learn to cope with.
Range of Surveillance
Even though being affixed as a doorbell was a pro listed above, it’s also a con in the fact that you’re only going to be alerted to the goings on in front of the home. Sure, someone is going to have a hard time getting to the back parts of your house without first passing through the front, but as mentioned with capture zones, there are holes that can be exploited.
In the unfortunate event of a break-in, you’ll want to be able to identify signs of forced entry in order to submit a successful insurance claim. If you’re unable to see where an intruder might have made their way into your home, it might be difficult to tell how they even got in if there aren’t any clues or only subtle signs of forced entry.
For every video doorbell owner who thwarted a would-be criminal, there are 25 others who have never had a criminal approach their home, yet, they still open their video doorbell app at least five times a day.
Meaning, false alarms happen, and they happen often. Yes, you can adjust your settings to reduce the chance of false alarms, but many people would rather be alerted 100% of the time rather than 99% of the time, while chancing the other 1% being a legitimate threat.
Video doorbells that rely on WiFi to work will thus be rendered useless in the event of a power outage. How long does a house alarm battery last? Well, they could last up to 24 hours, if present. So, be sure to take al of this into consideration when piecing together a comprehensive home security setup.
One last thing that might also happen with a video doorbell is that owners get lulled into a sense of comfort, and thus don’t keep as close watch on their surroundings with their eyes and gut.
This goes back to what was mentioned in the intro—the perfect security “system” is one equipped with technology AND human intuition.
So, if you end up buying a video doorbell or not, never let your guard down and keep a close eye on what’s going on around you. Things can happen quickly (a criminal can intrude in a matter of seconds if not equipped with any sort of garage door theft prevention), and can happen when and where you least suspect it.