It’s reported that 1 in 4 smart-enabled homes now have a video doorbell, and it’s easy to see why.
Amazon’s Ring Video Doorbell, and Google’s Nest alternative, are succeeding in making life more convenient for UK homeowners. Not only can you instantly see who’s at the door without having to get up off the sofa, but you can also make sure you don’t miss any deliveries by keeping track of who’s walking up the path, no matter where you are in the house. However, one of the main reasons the nation has fallen in love with video doorbells, according to a leading analytics firm, is that they ‘provide feelings of security and peace of mind’, helping people to feel more safe and comfortable in their homes.
But can a video doorbell really provide the same level of security that comes with CCTV installation?
It seems not.
CCTV and video doorbells are increasingly being grouped together as providing a single function, but the truth is that they’re very different products. Let’s take a look at some of the most notable differences between the two.
CCTV systems are hard wired, which means that as long as your home has power, your system will be operational as it does not rely on your WiFi. Modern video doorbells rely on WiFi, which means that should you lose your connection, you also lose your video. It’s been reported that, within the past year, 4.7 million Brits have suffered a broadband outage lasting more than 3 hours, which means video doorbells aren’t always in action. The doorbell also relies on actually having a signal strong enough to operate, so if the signal from your WiFi to your front door is weak, so is the security of that area.
CCTV cameras have been around for many years and have been continually upgraded with new technologies to ensure complete system security. Video doorbells are still in the early stages, and are subject to a number of teething problems. Recently, Ring devices especially have been the subject to many high profile attacks, with confidential information stolen thanks to software vulnerabilities. They also use wireless as the main method of data transfer, which leaves them open to signal jammers from outsiders, thus making your WiFi Video Doorbell and WiFi CCTV system pretty much useless.
Likelihood of damage
Security cameras are typically positioned high up in order to receive a broad view of the area. This keeps them out of the way, and makes them difficult to access. Video doorbells, however, are touched, prodded, and poked daily. And there have been numerous reports during the COVID-19 outbreak of visitors using keys or dedicated door openers to press the bell, resulting in damage to the device.
Perhaps the biggest difference of all is right there in the name. Both Ring and Nest are advertised as ‘video doorbells’, rather than as dedicated home security devices. That’s because, according to reports, there is ‘little concrete evidence’ to support claims that video doorbells reduce crime. In contrast, research by Co-Op Insurance found that CCTV was one of the biggest deterrents for would-be thieves.
So… can video doorbells replace CCTV?
The short answer is no. Despite their flaws, video doorbells are an excellent way to keep track of what’s going on outside, but they don’t come close to replacing dedicated home security systems. For the best of both worlds, homeowners should consider using video doorbells to complement CCTV systems, not only ensuring adequate security for the home, but also boosting convenience through new technology.