2017-12-01 / Community

Video doorbell offers security and convenience

John Capurso

With a video doorbell your smart phone can be even smarter. With a video doorbell your smart phone can be even smarter. Your front door is where you transition from the safety of your home to the outside world. Many comers are welcome, like friends, neighbors, delivery services and contractors, yet some are not. The Ring Video Doorbell ($179- $249 MSRP, ring.com) replaces a simple doorbell switch that just rings your doorbell chime, and turns that into an eye, ear and voice warning system and recorder for your front door. (There are other similar doorbells on the market; I’ve written about Ring because I own it.)

By simply connecting to your two-wire doorbell and using your home’s wireless internet connection, the Ring doorbell senses motion at your front door; notifies you of motion or a ring at the front door; allows you to hear and talk to a visitor through your smart phone, even if you’re not home; records and saves each visit (with optional cloud service); allows you to peek in anytime at your front door view; shows video at night with night vision capability.

The Ring doorbell is a combination of security and convenience. Unwanted visitors? Tell them to go away. Criminal activity? Get it on video. Delivery expected? Have video confirmation wherever you are.

As the holidays approach and your online shopping ramps up, there are thieves known as porch pirates who do their own holiday “shopping” at your front door. These grinches see a package left for you and simply walk up and steal it. You may not be able to prevent theft, but now you can have camera evidence for your insurance company and the police. And when porch pirates  see the Ring doorbell, they’re more likely to turn around and leave. 

There are a couple of things to be aware of with video doorbells. These devices do so much that they need more power than a simple doorbell. Check the power rating printed on your doorbell transformer (usually in your garage) to see if it is sufficient for the video doorbell (specs are online). Also, your wireless connection needs to be close enough and strong enough to operate the doorbell, and sometimes that’s difficult with concrete block exterior walls because they can block some of the wireless signal. Otherwise, installation is very easy, Ring phone support is excellent and you will have a heightened level of awareness and communication at your front door. And if you’re worried about someone stealing your high-tech doorbell, Ring will replace it free with a copy of the police report.

Tech Questions?
If you have a tech question, email it to capurso@swspotlight.com and John Capurso may answer it in this column.

Return to top

Click here for digital edition
2017-12-01 digital edition