Video doorbells offer convenience, security, remote monitoring


A Ring smart door bell is easy to install.

Photo By R. Norman Moody

Smart doorbells can provide a sense of comfort and security for elderly folks who might have trouble getting to the door right away.

Video doorbells allow users to receive an alert on their phone at any location. Depending upon the type of doorbell, the alert might be a sound or a flashing light. A speaker enables users to converse with guests.

Raul Montes enjoys the convenience of his Ring doorbell for both security and night light timing. Montes, 62, was impressed by how simple the Ring is to set up and use.

“It was very easy to install,” Montes said. “We have a motion sensor, a camera and two outside lamps all set up.”

Installation of a smart doorbell is typically done by using an app, although many products also include booklets with instructions. Whichever method, it should have a step-by-step process.

App support is an important feature of any video doorbell. The best apps will allow immediate access and no latency period.

Montes purchased the yearly video plan. What Montes likes most about his video doorbell is that the person at the door has no idea if he is home or not. So, if you are on vacation, you can answer your doorbell even though you are a thousand miles away from your house.

Another feature of a video doorbell is a motion detector. Anyone who is near the front door can be seen, even if they do not ring the doorbell. Night vision cameras act as a security feature even after dark.

Montes’ mother-in-law, who uses a walker, also has a Ring.  Because she has mobility issues, it is a source of comfort to know she does not have to get to the door every time the bell rings.

“When someone rings the doorbell, she can either talk to them or go to the door after she sees who it is,” Montes said. “It is very helpful for her.”

The Ring is a smart doorbell sold by Amazon and others. It operates either by battery or wired power. Wireless set up is relatively fast, and the app can be loaded on any cell phone.  The Ring companions with Alexa and has multiple levels of support. A subscription is required to view recorded video, starting at $30 a year.

The Nest Hello video doorbell has the added feature of face recognition, which lets users know if a friend or family member is at the door. Electrical wiring is required with the Nest. The Nest works with both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, and the Nest home security products. Also, a Nest Aware subscription is required for many features.

The Safeguard Supply Wireless Door Chime is a good choice for hearing impaired adults. The doorbell features a bright LED strobe light that automatically flashes when the button is pushed.   The wireless system has a range of 150 feet.

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