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5 Reasons to Avoid a New Smart Doorbell Today

doorbell camera man stealing package

5 Reasons to Avoid a New Smart Doorbell Today

Key Points

  • Smart doorbells pose a security risk by allowing hackers access to your Wi-Fi network through connected devices.
  • A reliable high-speed internet connection is crucial for smart doorbells to function properly.
  • Installation of smart doorbells can be expensive and difficult depending on the system.
  • Video doorbells can attract thieves and false alerts can be a problem in busy areas.
  • Wireless doorbell kits are a viable alternative to smart doorbells that don’t require an internet connection.

A video doorbell can help you avoid unwanted guests, but there are also reasons to avoid a new smart doorbell as well. Privacy concerns are at the top of most homeowners’ list of cons, and something we’ll touch on. There are four other major reasons to consider an intelligent doorbell, however, and each will make you think twice before purchasing a system from companies like Ring or Eufy.

The Best Reasons to Avoid a Smart Doorbell

It wasn’t uncommon for people to leave their homes unlocked in the 1950s, but times have certainly changed. That’s a recipe for disaster these days and one reason video doorbells exist. They allow you to have a look before you get near the door but aren’t without their downsides. The biggest is security, the main reason to avoid a smart doorbell today.

Security

A video doorbell may help keep you safe from potential intruders at your door, but it opens another door to another threat. That would be hackers or people that try to gain access to your Wi-Fi network through connected devices.

One of the more popular companies in this niche is Ring, and they’ve had numerous issues with privacy concerns since their first doorbells hit the market. While they’ve addressed many of them, it’s a common theme with smart doorbells, security cameras, and other connected devices on a home network.

Think it’s only Ring? Think again, as Eufy has had issues with their security cameras and some companies may turn over footage to authorities without a warrant. That’s been a hot topic of debate with policies that vary from one company to the next.

Smart doorbells are known for their ability to work with the cloud as well. That can be another problem for a number of reasons. If you’re concerned about someone getting access to your recorded videos saved in the cloud, check on the company’s policies beforehand.

Internet Connection

An old-fashioned doorbell may seem dumb compared to a smart one, but both have one thing in common with the general design. They require power from a source, which can be a wire or batteries with smart doorbells. A video doorbell needs an extra connection, however.

You can’t have a smart doorbell without a connection to the internet, which can allow hackers a way into your home network. That’s the biggest reason to avoid a new smart doorbell, but if your connection isn’t stable, your doorbell is essentially useless.

Do you have a good router and steady connection or does Netflix cut out when there are too many people in your household stream? That could be an issue and another reason to avoid a smart doorbell. It’s not uncommon to get a blank screen when the doorbell is triggered if the signal is weak. You may not get the chime at all, which could result in missed guests or missed deliveries. 

Best DOCSIS 3.1 Modems
A steady, high-speed connection is best for smart doorbells.

Power Requirements

Video or smart doorbells need access to the internet to work effectively, but they also need power. One advantage they have over traditional doorbells is their high-tech nature, which allows homeowners to use multiple power sources. That can also be a drawback for two reasons.

Unless you’re comfortable wiring a new doorbell into your home, you’ll need to pay someone to hook up a smart doorbell that runs off electricity. It’s not ideal or even an option with all systems, but it does ensure the connection. Battery-powered devices are a popular option but can be a hassle with budget-friendly and midrange systems with mediocre battery life.

Some video doorbells are designed with extended batteries, but a busy neighborhood can drain that quickly. Solar-powered accessories are also an option, although they raise the overall cost and may require help to install as well.

Thieves

By design, most video doorbells are fairly easy to distinguish from classic ones. They come in different colors and styles to match modern homes. That can also make them a target for thieves. While smart doorbells can keep package thieves at bay, they could become an attractive item to steal.

Video doorbells are smart, but they can’t stop someone that decides they want to remove your video doorbell. Given the cost of some models, it’s easy to see why smart doorbells have found their way onto a thief’s shopping list.

This is something that shouldn’t be a “major” concern with some models, but earlier versions and cheaper models are easy to remove. Older rings are only held in place with two small screws, and most companies with battery-powered doorbells make them easy for homeowners to remove.

False Alerts

If you’ve never owned a smart doorbell, you’ll want to consider how busy your neighborhood is before thinking about getting one. That’s because false alerts can be a major issue, and we’re not talking about the doorbell ringing itself.

Motion detection is something you’ll find on every good video doorbell. It’s an incredibly useful feature that can add a level of security to your front door, but not without fine-tuning. They can have trouble distinguishing animals from people or people from vehicles in some cases.

Avoid smart doorbell
You can specify areas you want your Ring to cover while ignoring anything outside of the area.

That’s where the brand of doorbell and quality control come into play. You’ll have a better experience with well-known brands, although can still have issues in busy neighborhoods. Have a house full of kids or dogs that love to go outside? You’ll want to be sure you can turn off motion sensing or set it on a schedule.

Alternatives to Smart Doorbells

Turned off by video doorbells that have you tethered to the net? Well, there are solutions for your home whether you’re interested in something classic or modern and easy to install. With that in mind, we only chose two doorbells as most systems in this class have identical features and a comparable range.

TECKNET Wireless Doorbell Kit

If you don’t want a video doorbell but appreciate the features high-tech doorbells bring to the table, TECKNET has a unique system. The HDB01806 is designed with ease of use in mind. It doesn’t require a professional installation, and comes with some interesting features.

TECKNET’s doorbell is a two-piece system with a waterproof wireless doorbell and receiver. The doorbell has a futuristic design and an IP65 rating with a temperature range between -4°F and 140°F. It also doesn’t require any batteries as it charges itself. The company claims the bell will last through 200,000 button presses, and the system sports a 36-month guarantee.

As for the receiver, it plugs into any standard wall outlet in your home. It has an LED light and speaker with 32 different chimes and a built-in memory function. That means you can relocate the receiver without losing your settings. You also don’t lose an outlet considering this wireless doorbell has an extra one on the front making it a great reason to avoid a new smart doorbell.

Best Wireless Alternative
TECKNET Self-Powered Wireless Doorbell
$19.99
  • 3-year warranty
  • 32 chimes
  • 1,300-foot range
  • IP65 rating for outdoor use
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
02/23/2024 06:31 pm GMT

GE Wireless Melody Doorbell Kit

Doorbells have changed with new technology, and there are systems today anyone can install in less than 5 minutes. This GE wireless doorbell kit is one of them, and the best budget option when you need a doorbell for a smaller home or apartment.

Simple and effective are the first words to come to mind with the GE 19298 doorbell. It has a classic push button that works with a CR2032 battery and a plug-in chime. The design isn’t groundbreaking, but looks good and will pair with a range of decors inside and out. You can pair this doorbell with up to four other push buttons for multiple doors. The only drawback is the 150-foot chime range.

While you only get two tones with GE’s doorbell, it gets the job done and is an easy system to expand cheaply. We would have liked to see a wider range of tones or volume control, but it’s hard to argue with the price point when you just need something simple.

Best Budget Doorbell
GE Wireless Doorbell Kit 19298
$14.78
  • Installs in minutes
  • Winchester and Ding Dong tones
  • Four volume levels
  • 150-foot range
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
02/23/2024 06:31 pm GMT

The Wrap-Up

Smart doorbells can make your life easier in multiple ways, but only if you have a secure, steady connection and aren’t troubled by privacy concerns. Otherwise, you’re better off opting for a traditional doorbell system wired into your home or a wireless system not connected to the net from our list of alternatives.

Alternatives to a Smart Doorbell
TECKNET Wireless Doorbell Kit
GE Wireless Melody Doorbell Kit

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you buy a smart doorbell without Wi-Fi?

Yes, although you won’t get many smart features, just ones available through a Bluetooth connection or smartphone.

Do all smart doorbells require a subscription?

Some may offer limited cloud storage, but most companies require a subscription to store recordings and access other features.

Is it hard to wire an old-fashioned doorbell?

It’s something we feel most homeowners can accomplish if they already have access to power near the doorbell.

Do Eufy smart doorbells need wired power?

While the company has wired models, most of its lineup is designed to work without a 16-24V connection.

Is the Ring doorbell always recording?

No, it will only begin to record when activated by a visitor, the homeowner, or through motion settings.

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