In the olden days, nobles hired guardsmen to catch castle burglars in the act. Highly-trained sentries would kick any wannabe Robin Hoods off the property. Nowadays, our homes are like our castles — but since few folks can hire a 24/7 guard, we turn to tech gadgets to protect ourselves.
Video doorbells are an essential part of any home security package. Connect a doorbell camera to your smartphone, and you’ll see what’s going on in your front yard even if you’re 100 miles away. Ring, SimpliSafe and Google Nest owners have caught lots of wild stuff on camera, from bears rifling through their garbage to would-be burglars crawling around the premises.
But video doorbells can do a lot more than just film your front porch. There are a ton of secret uses you probably don’t know about. Thanks to our sponsor, SimpliSafe, we’re sharing three of our favorite ways to make the most out of video doorbells.
1. Talking to someone at the front door
Sure, you can hear when someone’s knocking on the door and asking if you’re home. But to better listen to them, you can turn your doorbell into an intercom.
This means you can have a conversation if a friend swings by. If you’re an attentive father, you can even grill your daughter’s date. Yeah, that happened — and we shared it in our list of funniest video doorbell clips. Tap or click here for our six favorite videos recorded on doorbell cameras.
When you’re talking, though, expect a slight lag. That’s natural. You’ll have to press a button on your mobile device to talk out of the speaker. You release this button to hear the other person talk. Luckily it doesn’t happen very often.
2. Spot bad guys before they break in
If you live in a dangerous area, you may want a notification when someone’s approaching your home. That’s how motion sensors can help. You can even make sure that your smart home system sounds the alarm when a threat is nearby.
You’ll have to open your app and use the Motion Announcements setting. This way, you’ll be alerted whenever someone’s getting too close for comfort.
Sometimes, though, you’ll deal with false alarms. Maybe a loose dog is sniffing around your petunias, or a kid is grabbing their ball on your front lawn. Before you grab the nail-studded baseball bat and come barrelling out your front door, check your video feed.
This way, you can see, in real-time, what’s going on. You might just catch a criminal in the act. Luckily, you can use that intercom we mentioned earlier to warn them to stay away.
3. Call for help
Maybe you missed the notification telling you someone is lurking nearby. If the bad guy already broke in, that means you’re alone in your home with someone dangerous. Luckily, your video doorbell can still help you.
Take SimpliSafe, for example. When you start, you can set up alarms triggered by entry, motion or glass breaking. Thirty seconds after one of these alarms goes off, SimpliSafe’s emergency dispatch center will contact you.
SimpliSafe will send a police dispatch to your home if you don’t get back to them. This can do you a world of good when you’re in a high-stakes robbery situation. At times like this, every second counts.
SimpliSafe is Kim’s favorite when it comes to home security
SimpliSafe is an award-winning home security system, so you know it’s engineered with the latest technology you want to keep your family safe. But what really sets SimpliSafe apart is its people: Highly trained security experts who are always there for you when you need them most.
SimpliSafe is there 24/7, with experts trained to not only keep you safe but to make you feel safe. It’s one of the many reasons U.S. News recently called SimpliSafe “the best home security of 2021.”