Video doorbells – good idea or potential weakness?

Video doorbells are the latest home security trend and can be a valuable addition to your home if you are frequently away from home or have a lot of deliveries. The video doorbell could be considered to be a form of access control – similar set ups have existed for apartment blocks for years but it is only recently that average single dwelling is also making use of the same technology.

There is a slight risk to using video doorbells as you will be viewing the footage, either live or recorded, via your mobile device. This means there is the possibility that hackers could gain access you your footage, or in the very worst case, redirect your doorbell to their device, giving them control over your deliveries. While this type of cyber fraud is in it’s infancy, there is still reason to be cautious when using off-the-shelf security products that require network connection set up by the average person, and which allow for remote monitoring, as we explored when we looked at home CCTV systems a while back.

As a concept the video doorbell allows you to effectively be present at home, while you are elsewhere. You can see and speak to callers and even see if someone is lurking outside your home with some models which feature motion detection systems. They are ideal for people who are out a lot, even if only for short periods during the school run – anyone who has ever waited in all day for a delivery, only to miss it while you potter in the garden will appreciate that deliveries always seem to turn up at the worst possible time. You might even be at home but in the bathroom and unable to answer the door. With a video doorbell you can see who is there and communicate with them without having to get dressed in a rush.

People who have limited mobility, even for a short time due to a leg in plaster, or who struggle to get to the door in time can also benefit from the video doorbell. They can communicate with the caller and ask them to leave a parcel on the step, or to be patient and wait for the door to be answered. Without the ability to communicate with a caller you could find they have left by the time you get to the door, missing a vital delivery or important home visit. A video doorbell can also be really useful if you are laid up ill in bed, as you can stay in your sick bed and deal with visitors remotely.

Being able to answer the door without being physically present is also great for people with large gardens who might be working some distance from the front door, thereby risking missing a caller or inadvertently giving the impression that the house is vacant and therefore suitable for a burglary. The same goes for people who are away from the home frequently at work or shuttling kids from one activity to the next.

We think the technology is great and has a wide range of applications, all of which could make a big positive difference to the average person. On the other hand, we would advise that consumers use these products with caution and make themselves aware of the potential for fraud by hackers accessing your hardware. At P&R Alarms, we only use equipment of the highest standard so by working with us for your home security you needn’t worry about cybercrime or the safety of your home.