How a Smart Doorbell Can Reduce Homeowners Insurance Costs and Deter Burglars

How a Smart Doorbell Can Reduce Homeowners Insurance Costs and Deter Burglars

smart doorbell

How a Smart Doorbell Can Reduce Homeowners Insurance Costs and Deter Burglars

A smart doorbell lets you screen visitors and communicate with them through two-way audio no matter where you are. It can also help you reduce homeowners insurance costs and deter burglars.

Its sensors reliably detect packages and people. It supports Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple HomeKit with an add-on hub. It offers free local storage, package alerts and facial recognition without a subscription.


A smart doorbell is a security device that lets you see who’s outside your front door without opening the door. It also gives you a way to talk with visitors through the intercom before you answer the door, even if you’re curled up on the couch watching your favorite show or working 20 miles away from home.

Like dedicated security cameras, smart video doorbells keep watch on the comings and goings around an entry door and send alerts to a smartphone if someone rings the bell or moves within range of the device’s motion sensor. A smart doorbell also enables you to stream live video on your phone or through a connected tablet or TV.

Most smart doorbells use either continuous or motion-activated recording, and most record to an onboard memory or a cloud service. Some, like Google Nest and Eufy, offer built-in memory to preserve footage for longer than an internet connection can support, but this approach can make it harder to access old recordings and uses up your home’s Wi-Fi bandwidth.

Others, such as Ring and Arlo, offer a choice of subscription smart doorbell plans for 5 or 30 days of free cloud storage. Some smart video doorbells also let you store recorded footage in a locked drawer, which makes the recordings more difficult to access or delete without your permission.


A smart doorbell is a Wi-Fi-connected replacement for your traditional doorbell that can offer a range of additional safety and convenience functions. It can alert you when someone is at the door, send you a video of them there and allow you to communicate with them using two-way talk. You can get one battery-powered (wireless) or hardwired into an existing doorbell. Some require an optional subscription fee for activity alerts or video storage.

A wired version will typically cost more and requires a professional to rewire the home with appropriate low-voltage power wiring, but it offers superior performance. You can expect to pay between $50 for a basic model and up to $350 for advanced options that offer biometric identification, motion detection, pre-buffer recording and other features.

Most smart doorbells require you to connect the button unit to your WiFi router and sync it with a smartphone app. You will also need to install the device on your home’s door, affix it to its mounting plate and screw it into place. Some are simple enough for a DIYer to do, but you will likely need to shut off the electricity at your home’s breaker box when you are working with low-voltage wiring.

Some smart doorbells have a built-in camera and can be paired with your home security system for an added layer of protection. The most popular is the Nest Hello, which costs around $230 and requires a monthly subscription to receive activity alerts and access to video footage.


Having a smart doorbell means that even when you’re not at home, you can still check what’s happening outside. Look for models that offer two-way talk to allow you to greet visitors or give instructions, such as telling the mailman where to leave a parcel. Many smart doorbells also work with voice assistants like Alexa or Google Assistant to enable you to respond to alarms and triggers remotely.

The best smart doorbells can capture footage and send it to your smartphone. This makes them useful for identifying smart doorbell suspicious characters, or helping police solve crimes. Some of the better models also have advanced motion detection with face and object recognition to reduce false alerts from things like a possum or the wind blowing leaves.

Smart doorbells with cameras can help keep elderly parents and other relatives safer at home. The iCreation Door View Cam, for example, is battery powered and fits over existing chimes, so it can be used by people who don’t have a smartphone or tablet. It’s a great option for someone living alone or with limited mobility, as it can let them know there is a visitor without them having to get off the sofa. It also includes 32GB of internal storage to avoid the need for a subscription. A model that’s a little more expensive is the Kamep Wireless Wi-Fi Doorbell with Camera and Intercom (PS100), which uses an indoor chime and offers free video recording, activity zones and no monthly fee for Smart Notifications.


A video doorbell allows you to see who is outside of your home before opening the door. If someone tries to rob you while you’re away, it gives you the ability to call the cops (and shout at them to stop using that crowbar).

These smart doorbells can also provide an extra layer of security by preventing package theft. Some come with a second camera that points downward to catch opportunistic thieves while they’re grabbing your packages off the porch. Some also have facial recognition and allow you to screen your visitors or broadcast pre-recorded messages so that you can say hello and goodbye from anywhere.

Another perk of these devices is that they’re easy to use and can be set up in less than 10 minutes. However, you should be aware that since they send information over your WiFi network, they could be vulnerable to hacking. So, it’s a good idea to avoid sharing the videos on social media and always keep your device’s software up to date.

One thing to look out for is latency, which is how long it takes for your smart doorbell to send a notification after a visitor sets off the motion sensor. This can be a sign that your Wi-Fi isn’t strong enough in the area where you’ve installed it.