Are Home Security Systems and Doorbell Cameras Worth It?

Are Home Security Systems and Doorbell Cameras Worth It?

You just can't place a value on the knowledge that you and your family are safe in your own house. Because of this, investing in a home security system or even a doorbell camera can be wise. This is particularly true if you have previously experienced with package theft or intruders.

You may deter these prospective "porch pirates" and record video of your front porch or doorway by installing a doorbell camera. Even when you're not home, you can watch and communicate with visitors using the doorbell camera app on your smartphone.

You may want to think about installing a home security system for more thorough home monitoring. You can make these systems as simple or complicated as you like. Today, a lot of businesses provide plug-and-play cameras and sensor systems for both indoor and outdoor use. Then, you can connect to your smart home assistant and monitor and control from your smartphone.

Here are some options to consider:

Doorbell Cameras

Blink: Amazon makes an Alexa-compatible video doorbell camera at the budget-friendly price point of $49.99. You get HD video, motion and chime alerts via the app, and two-way audio. You can also choose to connect up to three cameras to this system. However, you get what you pay for, and reviews for this product do mention some challenges with installation and quality of the hardware.

Ring: The beauty of the Ring video doorbell system is that you can buy the basic camera for $99.99 and then only pay for the extra features you really need. The company’s home security system works the same way. Do you want to accessorize with a chime, a solar charger, a no-drill mount or a quick-release battery pack? You can always start simple, see how it goes, and build up later.

Arlo: With this doorbell system, you will have a $3 per month fee for cloud storage of all the video footage captured by the 180-degree camera. It’s simple enough to install on your own, but it does require a doorbell that already has wiring. You can also connect this system to an Alexa screen device to enable voice control.

Home Security Alarms

Reolink: The tech savvy will geek out about the features offered on this company’s home security cameras: batteries that are solar-powered, rechargeable or 4G LTE-powered (intended for rural sites that don’t have internet coverage like a rural vacation home, farmhouse, cabin in the woods, etc.); and 4K Ultra HD video resolution.

Wyze: This company offers a camera with facial recognition AI to distinguish your friends and family from intruders. Wyze cameras are also able to specifically detect and distinguish packages, vehicles and pets from people. You can also sign up for the 24/7 home monitoring plan at $4.99/month or $39.99/year. There’s no long-term contract required.

Abode: Build your own security system with as many cameras and sensors as you need, including a vibration glass sensor and acoustic glass break sensor. You can also choose to add an indoor or outdoor siren (95 or 107 decibels) with a flashing strobe light. The products are compatible with Apple, Alexa and Google home assistants. They have a fairly easy set-up process, which takes just a few minutes and doesn’t require any special tools. The company also advertises a price match if you find similar devices at a lower price. You can self-monitor or pay a monthly fee for professional, on-demand monitoring.

Eufy: This is another company that makes solar-powered cameras with AI tech. The camera captures video (and tracks the subject) only when a person is in view rather than an animal. However, these powerful cameras do come with a higher price tag. The basic security camera starts at $199 and the night vision camera, with 360-degree panning, goes for $899. On the other hand, both video doorbell products ($149 and $199) offered by Eufy include local storage for video footage and no monthly fee.

Before you try out a home security system, contact your insurance company to see what, if any, discounts they offer.