‎For me, the single most useful Video Doorbell feature is the humblest. | SimpliSafe Support Home
glenbarrington's profile

Wednesday, November 25th, 2020 3:52 PM

For me, the single most useful Video Doorbell feature is the humblest.

It isn't the Video; it isn't the audio.  In fact, I've never had call to use audio at all, and I've been looking for reasons to do so.  The video itself is sort of useful, but IMO, it isn't enough to justify a video doorbell by itself.  Don't get me wrong, it's worth having, if for no other reason than having an outdoor camera aimed at the street and connected to my security system, but video, as part of the doorbell functionality hasn't been that useful for me.

What HAS been extremely useful, is the fact that my Samsung Frontier S3 smartwatch is set up to receive notifications from my Smartphone. So when my smartphone is in the bedroom on the charger, and I am in the family room where the chime is hard to hear, my smartwatch is able to tell me that someone is at the door.  I find that extremely useful, and I am satisfied with my purchase.

My point is, the video doorbell ads, from ALL brands are a bit misleading. You AREN'T going to scare away 'bad guys' by talking to them over your doorbell speaker.  If they've gotten to the point where they are considering a B&E in a middle, to working-class neighborhood, they aren't going to allow a disembodied voice coming from a 'tinny' speaker scare them off.  They've seen the advertisements too, and they are going to assume you are at work, or on the beach somewhere, and it is worth the risk.  Those ads are a useful shorthand for describing the video doorbell's functions, but they aren't realistic at all.

For me, in my reasonably safe semi-rural neighborhood, the convenience of a front facing camera connected to my SimpliSafe system, and notifications on my smartwatch are very useful.  But for those in an area where porch pirates are common, or neighborhood break ins are common, it may be a mix of other video doorbell features.  You will be dissatisfied if you assume you will realize that ALL the benefits shown in the ads.  You won't, your reality will be a subset of the features shown.

Also, video doorbells of all brands are easy to install, but a bit of a pain to set up after installation.  Doors and outer walls can really interfere with WiFi signals and getting a strong signal to and from the doorbell can be a bit of a challenge.  On the whole, though, I think my Video Doorbell is worth the money and the effort I spent in getting there.  Just don't think you will get ALL the advertised benefits after a 20 minute installation.



5.9K Messages

4 years ago

@glenbarrington great post! Very informative and well thought out. Thank you for creating it.
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