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NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Crimes can occur at any time of the day, and everyone could be a victim.
Usually, people install home security systems after a crime has been committed on or near their property, such as a package theft or a home invasion, we can although take steps to prevent this from happening.
Many homes nationwide have a home security alarm but those alarms only go off after someone already entered the property leaving damaged and items stolen.
In recent years, some residents have tried installing "smart" doorbells that have a video camera and work with WiFi as a way of deterring crimes against their homes. Users of the devices, including this reporter, say that they make us feel safer and more in control of our homes.
One video doorbell on the market is made by California-based Ring, and the company says it can be the first step to securing your home from unexpected visitors.
Ring's doorbell lets you see who is at your door remotely with a live 270-p view angle and two-way communication so you can speak to visitors. The camera also is capable of "night vision" to let you clearly see whoever is at your door at all hours of the day.
A person who committed robberies told New Brunswick Today that before breaking into any home, the first step would be to knock on the door or ring the doorbell to make sure no is home.
With Ring's doorbell, you are “always home” and can safely see who's at your door remotely from any iOS, Android or Windows 10 device. The Ring app also lets you add another user to view it in case you are unavailable.
Anytime motion is detected it sends the user a notification even if the person at the door does not press the doorbell, adding an additional layer of security.
The doorbell can be hardwired to connect with existing doorbell. If you don’t have an existing doorbell wires, it can use a built-in rechargeable battery that can take about 10-15 hours to fully charge.
The doorbell is priced at about $200, and comes with an installation kit. You can also get it professionally installed for $50, and additional charges may apply.
Connecting and installing the doorbell takes about an hour, and assistance is avaialable 24 hours a day thanks to Ring's customers support. Instructional videos on how to get started with the doorbell are available online.
Ring also offers a service that allows smart doorbell owners to store the recorded videos in an online "cloud." The service is free for the first month, and costs $3.00 per month.
This reporter found that the battery lasted nearly one week when it was installed on a busy street, due to the motion sensor being activated frequently by passing vehicles. Adjusting the motion setting helped conserve the battery and make it last even longer.
If the doorbell is activated by two events per day, the battery could last up to a year, says the company. A higher number of events recorded may drain the battery sooner.
The doorbell's battery life will depend on its frequency of usage, as well as inclement weather, extreme cold, or a poor WiFi connection. If the doorbell is hardwired, the battery serves as a backup power source.
Indeed hardwiring the video doorbell is recommended. Not only will this save you the inconvenience of having to remove the doorbell to charge it, but it will also let you see live footage, something that isn’t possible with the battery.
If your Ring Doorbell–which includes a security screw–or any of its other products, are ever stolen, Ring will replace it free of charge if you can provide a police report within 15 days, and the original sales receipt.
If the doorbell's motion was activated during the products robbery, images of its thieves may still be saved in the cloud.
The doorbell can be purchased at many major stores, or you could buy it directly from the company's website. Ring also has many other security camera products for sale.
Editor's Note: The author of this article personally tested this product after requesting and receiving a standard battery-operated doorbell to review from Ring.