Is A Door Camera Worth The Cost?
Door cameras have been trending in the last few years. It seems as if everyone now has one. However, I have always wondered, are they worth the expense? I wanted to find out, so I did some research to help me decide if this is something I want to purchase. If this is something that will benefit my family, I will buy it in a heartbeat! Peace of mind is priceless. Let’s examine the costs and benefits of this possible needed expense.
So, are door cameras worth the expense? This is a very subjective question. Door cameras are worth the expense if you prioritize safety and security for your home. They protect from thieves and burglars. This extra level of security comes at a cost. Some of the reasons why a door camera is worth the investment are:
- Peace of mind knowing who is at your door or in your front yard.
- The ability to speak via camera to who is at your door. A door camera is like a digital peephole.
- It is a deterrent for criminals.
- You can see when your kids are coming in and out of the house.
- It provides a contactless method of interacting with whoever is at your door for health reasons.
You will find the research I have done to investigate if a door camera will work for my family and me as you read on. Are there enough reasons to get a door camera to justify the $200 plus price tag? Only you can be the final judge on this question. I will discuss the costs associated with door cameras, are they better than just a doorbell, the pros and cons of having one, the expenses associated with owning one, how it works, and the differences between a door camera and a security system.
Door Cameras: Novelty or Necessity?
Door cameras can be seen as essential to some. Others, however, see them as a new trend in home security. You are the only person that can make this determination for yourself.
Your perception of value for this item may outweigh its cost and make it an item that will fit your budget.
If you place a high value on home security and appreciate user-friendly self-monitoring type security systems, this might be just for you!
Having a door camera will give you peace of mind through knowing exactly who comes to your front door.
Depending on the camera, you can increase the settings and have a visual of your whole front yard! This is essential if you work away from home or need a simple solution while at home when interacting with those who come up to your door. This will help you deal with solicitors and thieves, especially if you have package deliveries to your home.
If someone tries to steal them, you can catch them in the act and have recorded proof of the theft! This is one of the main reasons a door camera is a deterrent for criminals. They realize there is a strong possibility they will be recorded.
A majority of door cameras allow you to speak via intercom directly to the person at your door. This feature is enough for some to make this purchase. This can bring you peace of mind and save you time from personally dealing with people at your door.
Contactless interaction may be essential to you in the current world dealing with the pandemic and other health concerns. Or maybe having a door camera is useful to you because of your kids. You can see exactly when they are coming and going. You can also see when and who your children bring into your home!
Your perception of value ultimately is what will determine if a $200 plus investment in a door camera is worth it to you.
How Does a Door Camera Work?
A door camera is a smart device attached to your existing doorbell wiring and chimes. This device runs off of your home internet or WiFi. Some door cameras also have motion sensors to detect activity at your door.
When someone presses your doorbell, it will chime, and the homeowner will get a notification to their smartphone that someone is at the door. You can watch live or recorded videos of who is at the door.
Depending on your door camera, you could be able to speak to the person at the door via the app. The person will also be able to speak back to you. Other door cameras have more sophisticated features depending on the model.
The complexity of your door camera is often based on options selected at purchase. More expensive models have greater options and complexity. Generally, you can install these door cameras yourself. However, the more advanced your door camera is, the more likely you might need assistance with the installation.
Expenses Associated with a Door Camera
The significant expense associated with a door camera is the price of the camera itself. The cost of the door camera can range based on the camera’s features and abilities.
The most simple cameras with low resolution and very basic features can begin at $100.
However, door camera prices increase as you add better features such as higher resolution, hardwire power options, increased field of view, different battery options, advanced motion detection, increased lighting, and interchangeable faceplates.
Other charges that you can incur with a door camera include the cost of internet service ($20- $100+), possibly installation (if not doing it yourself), and service monitoring fees ($10-$50), depending on the door camera brand. Generally, your door camera does not need to be monitored by an expensive service.
However, most door cameras have a minimal monthly fee to use the service and their app. At a minimum, to have a door camera, you will need internet service and either a smartphone or computer for monitoring.
Security Camera vs. Door Camera
A security camera provides a greater amount of coverage inside and outside of your home. You can install multiple cameras around your property for broader coverage.
You can also customize your camera placing and positioning with security cameras. They can be hidden and placed in specific places for better monitoring.
Also, with security cameras, you often have better quality video resolution and greater data storage options.
The cons of having a security camera include that they are usually always on, so you will inevitably lack privacy for yourself and your family. Also, these systems can be very complex to install and use and cost a lot more to install, maintain, and monitor.
Door cameras are for specific use. Therefore, they have less coverage area. They have a fixed field of view around your front door. Door cameras are more affordable than video surveillance systems. They are more user-friendly and have motion detection recording. Your purchasing decisions will depend on your home security needs and budget.
Are there any glitches that will stop a door camera from working? The most common door camera problem is the loss of WiFi signal. Since your door camera is dependant on WiFi, if you lose electricity or have an internet outage, your door camera will no longer function. Another common problem is that the doorbell does not chime or the motion sensors do not work. You can solve these problems by referring to your user manual or calling the door camera company for help.
Are door cameras waterproof? Most likely, your door camera is water-resistant. Water resistance is the lowest level of water protection. Water-resistant products are designed to withstand very light and sporadic contact with water. So, I would not advise submerging it in a pool of water! However, the majority of the door cameras on the market can withstand freezing temperatures and extreme heat. These cameras are also rain resistant. Beyond this, you need to check with your door camera manufacturer for specific options.
Can my doorbell camera be hacked? Yes, your doorbell camera can be hacked. Anytime you are using a device witch relies on passwords and logins, hackers can attempt to steal your security credentials. Hackers can log in to your door camera portal and account if your credentials are stolen. There are simple ways to prevent this from occurring. Firstly, make sure you have a secure password. Use a unique password you do not use on any other accounts. If available, use 2-factor authentication.
Also, do not share your login information with others and jeopardize your security. These apps often have ways of sharing video footage with others without giving them your account information. Lastly, avoid sharing your videos on social media. This can provide hackers with a way into your system. Purchasing a firewall, antivirus service, and keeping up with your door camera’s security updates will help maintain your networks from hackers.