Video doorbells have become more and more popular over the years and are now seen as more of a necessity than a luxury. Video doorbells are your first line of defense when it comes to protecting your family and can (in most cases) be remotely accessed, monitored, and controlled from your mobile device. It really doesn't get any better than that! Keep reading to learn more, including all the details on ADT’s new facial recognition capabilities.
ADT is one of the most widely recognized home security companies in the country mainly because of their 140-year history in the industry. ADT has home security, home automation, and video doorbell cameras within their line of products. Additionally, they have call centers all over the country. So if the power goes out at one call center another call center will immediately take over so you’re never without service.
ADT uses Google Nest video doorbell cameras (with ADT Pulse only) which provide clear HD images, two-way audio, night vision, are motion activated, and allow you to remotely control your door locks and lights as well. They also have a Chime option so you can receive notifications in any room of your home, even if your phone isn’t with you. You just plug in your Chimes to any of your home’s power outlets and they will wirelessly connect to your Ring devices. Here is a quick summary of the ADT pros and cons.
ADT is a well-respected home security company that offers a wide variety of equipment including the Ring video doorbell camera. Their prices tend to be a bit higher than the industry average, but they give you more for the money so it all washes. Additionally, you can purchase a basic package and continue to add-on to it as needed.
ADT security packages start at $599, with monitoring plans that start at $45.99 per month. ADT also has plenty of home automation products that you can add to your security system if you want even more convenience and control over your home whether you’re there or not.
Recently, ADT has added facial recognition software to its video doorbells. All you have to do is turn on the Familiar Faces setting. Any time an unfamiliar face shows up on your doorstep, the doorbell asks you if you can identify it. Over time, it learns all the people you know and sends you customized alerts so you know exactly who’s knocking.
Vivint has basic and advanced home security and automation equipment. They offer free professional installation on everything except for their outdoor and video doorbell cameras. Additionally, Vivint has more video doorbell features than most of their competitors. And, they have cellular monitoring and affordable monthly plans, as well as a 0% financing option. Here is a quick summary of the Vivint pros and cons.
Vivint is a wildly popular brand with more than a million customers throughout the U.S. and Canada. Vivint has several purchase options, as well as several ways to pay. They have a 42- or 60-month Vivint Flex Pay Pricing option with 0% financing (with approved credit) so you can buy your equipment upfront). Or, you can opt for one of their monthly equipment plans that start at $53.99/mo. Additionally, Vivint has monitoring plans that start at $30.00/mo. Either way, you can choose from one of their packages or customize one of your own.
The Vivint video doorbell comes standard with 2-way talk, 1-way video, night vision, 30-second video clips on demand, custom alerts, 180-degree wide-angle lens, smart visitor detection (it knows the difference between people, passing cars, shadows, etc.), 24/7 continuous video for up to four cameras up to 30 days, and it has a Vivint app integration feature that allows you to unlock your front door, garage door, turn on your lights, and more.
Frontpoint is a fast growing technology and service company founded in 2007 that has a wide variety of home security/automation features. Frontpoint also offers a Wi-Fi video doorbell camera that you can use to keep an eye on your home from just about anywhere, so you can monitor what’s going on at all times. Their doorbell camera comes with plenty of features to help keep your home and family safe. Additionally, the Frontpoint doorbell camera is an easy installation. Here is a quick summary of the Frontpoint pros and cons.
Frontpoint is a widely used home security and home automation brand that also offers a video doorbell as part of their lineup and they are consistently rated as one of the best in the industry. Frontpoint has an A+ Better Business Bureau rating as well. Additionally, their equipment is easy to use and can usually be installed in under 30 minutes without any special tools or skills required.
The Frontpoint contracts are either a 1-year or 3-year agreement; however, if you want the package pricing, you have to sign the 3-year agreement. Frontpoint has three equipment packages that range from $99.95 to $399.95. And they have three service plans that range from $34.99/mo. to $49.99/mo. Additionally, they frequently run specials which sometimes include a free Doorbell Pro camera, among other things. So always be sure to check our website for the most current specials available.
Brinks is one of the top-ranked DIY home security companies in the industry. Additionally, they have an award-winning alarm response center with one of the best response times (under 30 seconds) in the industry. Brinks offers 24/7 professional monitoring and a 90-day risk-free trial. Brinks also has an HD video doorbell at $240.00 that allows you to see and hear who is at your door at all times. Here is a quick summary of the Brinks pros and cons.
Brinks has a 26-year history, over one million subscribers, and one of the fastest response times in the industry. Additionally, they currently have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. They also offer a 90-day risk-free trial and a two-year warranty on their equipment which is compatible with up to 119 smart home devices.
Brinks has two monitoring plans ranging from $29/mo. to $39/mo. and there’s no upfront equipment cost because it’s included in the monthly monitoring price. However, if you want the video doorbell, you’ll have to go with the upper tier plan because that’s the only one that includes the video doorbell.
The Brinks plans include tamper protection, LiveVoice Assist, smartphone controls, and home automation (depending on the plan you choose). Their plans are also flexible because you can buy the one you need now and add-on to them as your needs change.
Ring started out with a video doorbell camera which was the first to hit the market. However, they have since expanded their services into a full suite of home security products. Ring now offers a wide range of video doorbells, security and floodlight cams, full home security systems, and environmental protection sensors, as well as some add-on pieces. Here is a quick summary of the Ring pros and cons.
Ring began life as a video doorbell company, so their equipment is some of the best in the industry. In the last decade, they’ve grown beyond doorbells into a well-respected home security brand with a huge following. Part of that popularity has to do with the company’s commitment to constant innovation. All video doorbells, for instance, let you monitor your own home, but with real-time crime alerts and information on your neighbor’s Ring doorbells, you can monitor your entire neighborhood.
Ring has three plan options. The Free plan is free of charge; however, that plan only offers limited functions. Then they have a Protect Basic plan that costs $3.99/mo. or $39.99 annually which includes the recording for one camera. The Protect Plus plan is $10/mo. or $100 and expands recording to all your Ring devices. Finally, there’s the Pro plan with video monitoring plus full-service 24/7 monitoring.
Having a doorbell video camera is your first line of defense when it comes to proactively protecting your home and family. Doorbell cameras are simple to install and very easy to use. They are also a big theft deterrent and if a criminal does commit a crime, your doorbell camera will have it saved on video which you can pass along to your neighbors and the authorities.
There are other benefits of doorbell video cameras as well. For example, you can more easily screen your visitors, monitor your kids, confirm package deliveries, and it might even lower your insurance premiums.
The following are some common features found in home security systems that include video doorbell cameras:
Remote Access is a key feature of the best home security systems with doorbell cameras. And it’s incredibly powerful. You can view your doorbell camera’s live-feed, on your smartphone, from virtually anywhere in the world. Just login to the companion app to access, monitor, and control your home security and automation setup. Welcome to the future.
Here’s another value-packed feature of doorbell cameras. Video Recording captures suspicious activity, break-ins and burglaries, and even environmental hazards. Some high-tech doorbell cameras offer continuous recording, while others record intermittently when triggered by activity. A security camera with video recording, combined with a cloud storage plan, is your ticket to a safe home.
Knowledge is power. That’s why Mobile Alerts are so popular. The best home security systems with doorbell cameras include Mobile Alerts in their suite of features. If and when your camera detects activity, it automatically sends you an alert so you can take action. If it’s a good guy, great! But if it’s a bad guy... it’s time to make him pay.
Entryway Sensors make the security system. Simply put, they secure the perimeter of your home. Without them, burglars could saunter in without warning. So protect your home with these magnetic sensors that come standard with all systems. When your system is active, the alarm will sound the moment a door or window opens. This adds to the protection offered by doorbell cameras.
Now that your entryway is secure with a doorbell camera and sensors, it’s time to round-out your home security system with Motion Detectors. These devices are strategically mounted throughout your home to monitor activity inside. If they detect movement, the alarm sounds and alerts are sent. Rest assured that if there’s any motion or commotion, you’ll be the first to know.
It’s true that doorbell cameras are the foundation of smart home security. But look for a home security system and doorbell camera that supports home automation features. This will allow you to remotely control everything from your door locks and lights, to your thermostat, garage door, and more. Access the controls via mobile app, or setup voice control for a future-forward lifestyle.
Two-Way Voice comes with the best home security doorbell cameras. At work but have a visitor at your front door? No problem. You’ll get a mobile alert, allowing you to open the app and talk with the person remotely. If it’s the mailman, have him hide your package. If it’s a burglar, tell him to skedaddle. If it’s your mother-in-law… you’re on your own.
Night Vision is another great feature that comes standard with many home security doorbell cameras. Some night vision cameras are black and white, while others boast full-color imaging. Both types leverage infrared technology to record crisp and clear video as if it were broad daylight. Impressive tech-forward functionality aside, Night Vision just sounds cool.
Live-View, live-stream, live-feed — whatever you call it, just be sure your doorbell camera has it. This feature lets you tap into a real-time video feed of your doorbell camera. Simply login to your home security system’s companion app, open the Live-View option, and get comfortable. This feature is especially powerful when combined with two-way voice.
As Managing Editor for SafeHome.org, Rob Gabriele has written and edited over 1,000 articles in home security. His expertise is in smart home automation and home protection with thousands of hours of testing and research under his belt. Formerly a reporter and producer for the USAToday network, Rob has been a writer and editor for over 10 years. He holds a Master’s of Science with an emphasis on writing from the University of Montana, and he currently lives in the Reno/Tahoe area of Nevada.