Now let’s look at how to get the most out of your smart doorbell, from improving battery life to recording motion detection.
Even people who are otherwise resistant to digital technology have managed to get to grips with Zoom, Facebook and all the other socials which made staying in touch with the family so much easier than it would have been without them. People who previously couldn’t programme their TV to record an entire series were setting up pub quizzes via Zoom and dominating WhatsApp groups like never before.
Now that lockdown is almost over and with vaccination it looks like they may be a thing of the past, shopping from home still looks like it’s going to be one of those habits which persist. It’s convenient, retailers have been working on perfecting it for years, and after the numbers of online sales, they now have lived experience of making it work in volume long term. But there is one drawback. Although we enjoy shopping online, we won’t always be in to accept deliveries any longer. So what are we going to do?
Smart doorbells and access control solutions are precisely the piece of kit you need in such situations. Smart doorbells have several applications and advantages which people have always been keen on. You don’t have to run to the door every time it rings as you can just see who’s at the door and open it wherever you are, so if you’re in the bath, in bed, or at the bottom of the garden you can see who’s calling and decide if you want to let them in, or ask them to come back later, or even inform them that you’re calling the police.
Are Smart Doorbells Hard to Install?
The most popular smart doorbells are battery operated and need no special tools to install, though you may need a drill and the confidence to start drilling holes in your doorframe. Everything you need should otherwise be in the box when you buy it. On the other hand, if you buy a smart doorbell which plugs into the mains you may need to drill through woodwork or brickwork.
Which Smart Doorbell is Best For Me
The best doorbell depends entirely on your individual needs. A basic doorbell will let you see who’s calling so you know if you want to go and answer the door to them. The most advanced will not only let you speak to and hear the person who’s at your door, they can detect and record unusual activity, even if you don’t answer. Wired options aren’t necessarily better but they offer a greater range of options without the worry of having the battery run down.
What Phone / Tablet Do I Need?
You can use any mobile handheld device, such as an iPhone, android or tablet. You just need to install the app and you may need to turn off password protection on some tablets as you may not get push notifications, so it’s best to check exactly what your tablet will do with any incoming notifications before relying on it entirely. But if you’re using your tablet at home and you have a wired doorbell button you can still use your old chime, which will let you know if someone is at the door and you can then check who it is by opening up your tablet. Possibly not a perfectly elegant solution, but still far more convenient than running to the door every time you hear the buzzer!
What Steps Should I Take To Secure My Smart Doorbell?
Besides all the normal security measures you should take with any device you add to your Smart Home Environment, you should also be taking the additional step of creating a separate Wi-Fi network for all of your access control devices. What this does is add another layer of security which is, in theory, far more secure than using the same network all your internet devices are on. All you need to do is create a new network (it’s usually labelled ‘guest network’ as it has none of the privileges or access an administrator network has) and attach your wireless access controls to it. This means that your devices, such as smart doorbells, security cameras, and motion sensors are isolated from the World Wide Web, and those devices which communicate with the rest of the world. Consequently, if they’re not on the web, they can’t be hacked from external devices. Naturally this isn’t infallible or fool-proof, but if you apply all the usual security measures as well, It’s as secure as it’s possible to be while still functioning as a Smart access control system.
What About Visitors And Houseguests?
Adding and removing people to your network is very simple. To give a new user a ‘key’ to your door you just need send an invite. If you’ve sent out more invites and given access to more people than you can remember, you have and Airbnb for example, and you just want to be sure that everyone’s been erased you can access ‘authorised devices’ and choose “remove all”. Now you just have to reconnect all the devices you have which need access by logging in again.
Record Motion Without Getting Alerts
You don’t want to be bothered with alerts every time anything moves outside your door, but you still might want to keep the footage, just in case. That’s simply achieved by turning the alerts off. You can also disable areas in the field of vision so that you’re neither alerted to motion, nor is motion recorded by using the ‘motion zones’ option in settings. This means that if there is a tree which moves in the wind, you can’t avoid covering part of the street, or you don’t mind people coming up the path, but you need to know if they stray from it while they’re on your property then this is the function you need.