Hidden Downsides To Video Doorbells

Video doorbells are smart devices that allow you to see and communicate with people at your front door from anywhere. They can connect with tablets, phones, and other devices so you can monitor your home from the inside out. This provides peace of mind — you can check if the person on their front stoop is an intruder or a delivery man and even share the recordings with friends and family. While these features are attractive to many homeowners, there are a few downsides to consider before making your purchase.

One of the downsides is the expenses. The top two video doorbells are Ring which is about $260, and Nest, about $230 (via Ring and Google Store). Many buyers don't realize that most of the features are subscription-based. This means that on top of buying the already pricey doorbell, you will be paying monthly for features like video recording, video sharing, and monitoring services. A subscription typically costs around $10 a month.

Other than unexpected expenses, video doorbells also take up wifi. They need to be connected to wifi to record video and alert motion, which can slow your wifi down if too many devices are fighting to use it.

Open to hackers

Video doorbells are also known for sending false alarms. They are supposed to alert when someone is walking up to the front door or ringing the doorbell. However, they often ring when people walk on the sidewalk or when cars drive by. These devices have sensitivity controls to set when motion detection alerts should be sent out, but they are still prone to false alarms.

The biggest risk of using video doorbells is that they can be hacked. Since they use wifi, hackers can potentially access your video doorbell and see anything your cameras can see. If they gain access to the doorbell, it's likely that they'll also be able to break into your other devices. This can be especially troublesome because many of these devices have features like smart-lock systems that allow users to unlock their homes when they're away. While hacking is a huge concern for many, it is a risk that you should note when using any wifi or internet-connected device.