Your home is where you keep your possessions, but more importantly, it’s where you and your family dwell, so home security is a number one priority.
Technology has also evolved to suit the homeowner’s need, as can be seen with different home security devices flooding the market nowadays.
Probably one of the most convenient devices out there are smart doorbells that are basically different security devices—CCTV, burglar alarm, electronic peephole, among other things—rolled into one.
This article will attempt to weigh three of the most popular video doorbell manufacturers on the market: Ring, August and Skybell. In your mission to beef up home security, which of these products will suit your home the most?
The Ring Doorbell (the original)
The Ring Doorbell, previously named Doorbot, was the first ever smart doorbell on the market.
Video Phone With 720p HD Video Support
Since the smart doorbell connects to the internet, if you’re not at home and someone rings the Ring, you will be alerted through your smart device and can easily talk to the visitor like on a phone. It supports 720p high definition video too. The video feature only works one-way, so your visitor can’t see you.
Adjustable Motion Sensor Sensitivity
This may sound like something out of a spy movie, but only goes to show how much having a Ring Doorbell can amp up your home security.
The Ring’s camera activates automatically when it senses movement, and begins to record, simultaneously sending you an alert to your device. You can then access the videos to see what’s going on. This will work both day and night, as the Ring Doorbell can take infrared videos in black and white. It can take videos in the dark too.
You can also set the sensitivity level of the motion sensors: lower it to stop it from activating each time a bird lands on your front porch or turn it all up to prevent those 'light-footed ninjas' from sneaking into your house.
And if that isn’t awesome enough, you can also set specific areas that you want the sensors to work on. You can set it to activate only if somebody steps on your lawn or to include the sidewalk and start recording each person who walks by.
You can also share videos and images through the Ring Doorbell app to other Ring Doorbell owners. This is a great way to promote safety in a neighbourhood, should there be any suspicious characters lurking around.
Live View with Audio
Using your device, you can access the Ring Doorbell to give you a live view with sound anytime, just to keep an eye on your home.
Compatibility: A “Smart” Doorbell
If you live in a smart home, the Ring Doorbell can be easily integrated into your smart lifestyle. For example, you can set your lights to automatically turn on or for your doors to automatically lock themselves once the Ring’s motion sensors are activated.
Since the Ring Doorbell is compatible with the IFTTT web based service, you can virtually create any instructions (called “recipes”) for your doorbell to work with your smart home.
The Ring App is compatible with iOS, Android and Windows 10.
The Ring Doorbell Pro
In 2016, Ring introduced the Ring Doorbell Pro, which is an upgraded version of the original Ring Doorbell. Some features that have changed are:
The original Ring supports clear HD video at 720p. Video quality is upgraded in the Ring Pro to a crystal clear 1080p.
Supports 5 GHz Wi Fi Connections
With the higher video quality, the Ring Doorbell Pro supports 5GHz Wi Fi connections for faster and smoother videos.
You can also hear the doorbell 'ring' (sorry - bad joke) around larger homes, using the wifi extender
Even More Customizable Motion Sensor Areas
While the original Ring allows you to choose areas where you want the motion sensors to be activated, the Ring Pro offers an option where you can actually draw these areas on your own.
Wired Power Supply
The original Ring Doorbell offers both wired and rechargeable lithium battery options, but the Ring Pro will only work with a wired connection. While a lot of people may see this as a downgrade, it actually makes sense as the Ring Pro uses up more power with its upgraded video and motion sensors.
You won’t have to worry anymore about charging your doorbell. After all, you wouldn’t want your smart doorbell to run out of battery and compromise your home security because you forgot to recharge it.
The Skybell Doorbell (Version 2.0)
When the Skybell Doorbell first came out, this round little doorbell garnered rather negative reviews, especially when compared to its main competitor, the Ring Doorbell.
This is not to say that the Skybell Doorbell is a bad product. It does have its perks, albeit overshadowed by the more powerful Ring.
Video Phone With A VGA Camera
The 640x480 camera is perhaps the biggest drawback of the original Skybell. While it probably works better with slower internet connections, you might have trouble identifying who the person outside your door is with the low quality images and videos. And a clear image is definitely important when it comes to home security. The voice quality is more up to par, though.
Also, the Skybell’s camera does not have a cloud recording feature, which would come in really handy if you needed to see what transpired in your absence.
The Skybell features an automatic night vision mode, which is great for dim light situations.
Video On Demand
Using your device, you can always access your Skybell doorbell through its app to take a look around your surroundings anytime and anywhere. Whether you’re at work or on vacation, being able to see and hear what’s going on at home will help give you peace of mind.
Adjustable Motion Sensors
With motion sensors, the Skybell will activate even if nobody presses the bell. The sensitivity level of the motion sensors can be adjusted to low, medium and high, so that you won’t be getting false alerts.
When activated, the doorbell will send an alert to all the devices connected to the Skybell.
Which brings us to another great feature of the Skybell...
Connection To Multiple Devices
The Skybell app can be installed to as many devices as you want, which means your entire family can be alerted should the Skybell be activated. The Skybell app is not compatible with Windows, but it does work with both Android and iOS platforms.
There are times when you don’t want any disturbances, like when you have a sleeping baby. The Skybell features a mute option where you turn off the indoor chime. You still will be alerted, of course, without missing out on anything and definitely without the hassle of putting a wailing baby back to sleep again.
The Skybell HD
The Skybell HD, however, is another story, however. In essence, it is a sleeker, faster, more powerful version of the original Skybell.
1080p Video Support With Zoom
The Skybell HD features crystal clear images at high definition 1080p. Definitely a huge upgrade from the original Skybell’s VGA camera. The best part is the 5x zoom capabilities, which allow the user to inspect the visitor more closely for any suspicious actions.
Automatic Color Night Vision
Got a visitor at night?
Like its predecessor, the Skybell HD’s camera automatically switches to night vision mode in low light situations. But this time around, the images are still clear and also in color.
This would come in handy, such as identifying the color of the visitor’s car or clothing. Plus you’ve got the zoom, which means you can identify your night caller right down to that pimple on the right side of his or her nose.
Wider Field Of View
The original Skybell’s camera features a 120 degree field of view, but the Skybell HD’s camera boasts of an impressive 180 degree field of view. Unless you live in a mansion with sprawling grounds, that should be enough to cover most yards.
Compatibility with Alexa Devices and IFTTT
The Skybell HD works well with the IFTTT web service, which means you can program it to do extra things with your smart home, such as turning on lights automatically, dialling your phone or sending you text messages should the Skybell be activated.
This smart doorbell is fully integrated with Amazon’s Alexa powered devices. If you own an Echo product, then you can easily ask Alexa to access your Skybell HD and do tasks for you.
Optional Cloud Drive with Free 7-Day Recording
Another useful feature added to the Skybell HD is the option of recording videos. The free 7-Day recording feature means your videos are stored for seven days for no charge, then deleted on the eighth day. If you wish to view footage older than 7 days, you will need to pay a fee.
Technically, if you have lots of storage space in your device, you can just download your videos and store it in your device, and you won’t ever have to pay a single cent for a cloud drive. This is probably the Skybell HD’s strongest selling point, as the Skybell HD is currently the only doorbell in the market that offers this feature.
The August Doorbell/Cam
This beautiful square-shaped smart doorbell works together with a variety of home security products. Not only to keep your home safe, but also for convenience.
Video Phone Capabilities
As with camera doorbells, the August Doorbell also acts like a video phone, where you can easily use your phone or smart device to see who has come calling at your home with the one-way video while maintaining your privacy. The two-way audio allows you to speak with the caller as well.
High Resolution Video On Demand
The August Doorbell’s camera features a stunningly clear 1280x960 pixel resolution video, and its live streaming capabilities ensures that you can keep an eye on your property anytime by accessing the app on your phone or smart device, wherever you may be at the moment.
Adjustable Motion Sensitivity And Motion Notifications
Using the August Doorbell’s app, you can easily explore the level of motion sensitivity you will need for your environment by sliding the bar up and down.
For example, if you live in a busy area, then you might want to lower your sensitivity to make sure your August doorbell won’t alert you with each car that passes by. You may also opt to adjust how often you want your smart doorbell to alert you, or to turn this option off.
Full Integration With Other August Products
You can easily unlock the door for someone even if you’re not at home, simply by using your phone or smart device. If you have a keypad, you can even set customized codes for each of your guests.
Passive Infrared Sensor For Motion Detection
One of the neatest features of the August Doorbell is that it uses passive infrared sensors which basically senses heat changes within its area of detection. This minimizes false positives, reducing the chance of your smart doorbell alerting you with the rustling of leaves or light changes.
The August Doorbell doesn’t only utilize Wi Fi to bridge between devices, but also Bluetooth.
Ring vs Skybell vs August: In Conclusion
In the case of Ring vs Skybell vs August comparison battle, the verdict is this:
If best video quality and free (almost!) cloud storage are important to you, then the Skybell HD might be your best bet.
The Ring Pro Doorbell however seems to be the best all-rounder, as it has most of the features of both the Skybell and August, but is the only smart doorbell with customizable alert zones and is Windows compatible.
Thank you for reading this article! I hope you enjoyed it, and found it informative.
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