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How Do Video Doorbells Work?

Are you someone who misses out on many deliveries since you are out most of the time? Do you want to make your home a safer space by protecting your family from intruders? Video doorbells are the perfect investment for you! Video doorbells or doorbell cameras are a crucial part of home security systems and have tremendously gained popularity over the past few years.

With such video doorbells, you can see and talk to the person outside whenever somebody is at the door before deciding to open the door. However, if you are wondering how these video doorbells work, we have got you covered! This article will give you a deep understanding about what video doorbells are and how they work.

What is a Video Doorbell and How Do They Work?

A video doorbell or a smart doorbell is a doorbell with a camera that is connected to a WiFi and sends out notifications on your smartphone, computer, or tablet whenever someone is at the door. The primary function of a video doorbell is to help you keep a check on who is coming at your doorstep. However, the video doorbells these days come inbuilt with a variety of other features including audio recording, motion detection, and also a feature that allows you to speak to the person who is at your door.

A Video Doorbell has Two Components:

  • Ringer
  • Wi-Fi Enabled Camera

This type of doorbell can either be integrated into your existing doorbell wiring or it can even be battery operated. The camera gets activated the moment someone rings the doorbell. If you are not home when someone comes, the camera will give you the footage of your doorstep through which you can make out who the visitor is. Some video doorbells come with the feature of a smart lock. Through such a feature you can allow any visitor to open your door and enter your home without having to physically open the door.

Why Should We Add a Video Doorbell to Your Home?

The main features offered by a video doorbell is security and convenience. We will talk more about this in detail in the coming sections.

1. You Will Know Who is at Your Front Door Without Having to Open it

Your doorbell rings, you go to the door but the only way you can know who it is at the front door is by seeing through the peephole. Well, with a video doorbell you no longer have to struggle to see through a peephole. Also, the person outside can sometimes know whether you are looking through the peephole. So if you do not want the visitor to know you are home, a video doorbell is the best bet. With infrared night vision enabled video doorbells you can get a clear picture of the visitor even during late hours when it is dark outside.

2. You Can Open the Front Door Remotely

It is an unnerving feeling when you get up and go to answer the door only to find someone whom you do not wish to interact with. With a video doorbell you will know who it is before you open the front door and if you want to let someone in you can do so without having to move from your couch.

3. You Can Protect Your Delivered Packages From Getting Stolen

These days people stealing delivered packages is a very common occurrence. Such people are called porch pirates and they have become a real problem for everyone. Whenever a package arrives and we are not home, we generally ask the delivery person to leave it at our porch. Once you install a smart doorbell, you can ask the delivery person to drop your package at an area in your porch which is clearly visible from the camera. If you have smart lock enabled, you can even tell the delivery person to leave your package inside the home.

4. You Will Know if Someone is Stalking You or Snooping Around Your Home

These days, video doorbells come with motion detector sensors through which you can easily know if someone is snooping around your home or stalking you. With such a feature, no stalker needs to ring the bell for you to know that they are at your door. With motion sensors, you can keep an eye on the surroundings of your home even when you are away on a vacation. You can even connect the porch light with your camera so that whenever someone comes to your home, the light turns on.

5. You Can Keep Your Family Safe

There are many households where the kids get back home from school earlier than their working parents. Having a video doorbell will give the parents a peace of mind that they can keep a watch on their kids remotely while they are temporarily away. You will also know who your kids bring home in your absence and whether they are in safe company or not. You can even know if any of your kids try to sneak out of the house past their curfew.

6. You Can Record Any Suspicious Activity

Residential homes have always been a target for burglary. Thefts most often happen during the day when most of the family members are out for work and the kids have gone to school. With video doorbells, you will immediately get alerted when someone tries to break into your home. You can immediately inform your local police and even provide them with the recorded footage of the robbery attempt as proof to make the arrests. You can still access the recorded footage on your smartphone even if the robbers damage the video doorbell.

7. You Can Sleep Peacefully

Imagine you are very tired and are taking a quick nap and suddenly someone wakes you up by ringing the doorbell. Such a situation can be pretty annoying. With video doorbells, you can turn on the ‘Do not disturb’ feature which disables the doorbell sound but still notifies you if someone is at the door. This gives you the flexibility to decide whether to continue sleeping peacefully or get up and answer the door.

How to Install a Video Doorbell?

To ensure optimal performance and functionality of video doorbells, you need to install and set them up properly. The steps to install and set up a video doorbell depend majorly on the manufacturer of the video doorbell. However, the general steps given below can help you out.

  • Place your video doorbell in such a place from where you can get a clear view of your doorstep and front yard. It should also be at an ideal location from your WiFi router. Ensure that there are no things obstructing the camera’s view.
  • Before picking a wired power doorbell, ensure that your existing doorbell wiring is suitable for the same. Similarly, if you are choosing a battery-operated doorbell, you need to make sure that the batteries are charged fully before installing the camera doorbell.
  • Ensure that the camera is mounted firmly at the level you need.
  • Connect the camera doorbell with your Wifi network and ensure that the established connection is stable and strong.
  • Install the companion app for your video doorbell and follow the instructions given onscreen.
  • Test your video doorbell once installed to check whether it is functioning effectively.
  • If your video doorbell supports additional integrations, check them and get all the necessary integrations setup.

What are the Features of a Video Doorbell?

Video doorbells are great for ensuring the safety of your family. Here are a few useful features of a video doorbell that can prove to be useful.

1. Professional Installation

Proper installation is a must when it comes to video doorbells. The above section defines all the things you need to take care of while installing a video doorbell at your home. However, if you feel you are not able to take care of it yourself or are doubtful with the way you have installed the video doorbell, it is always better to contact a professional to carry out the installation. This will save you a lot of time, and you can also be sure that the final job is done as per professional standards.

2. High Resolution

The higher the resolution of the video doorbell, the sharper the video quality. Try to get a video doorbell that has a resolution of 1080p HD or higher. There are a few higher-end video doorbells that have the HDR feature included which can help when there is shadow or glare. You would want your video doorbell to show the maximum area of your property, so pick one with a wide-angle view, at least 120 degrees. A video doorbell that offers a zoom-in option is even better.

3. Motion Detection

Video doorbells generally have a motion sensor that can detect any activity or motion at your doorstep. They are designed to detect any kind of movement that may happen in a particular range. Whenever any movement gets detected, the camera on the video doorbell will get activated, the owner gets notified and the video clip starts getting recorded. This feature is very useful as it can detect any intruder, unexpected visitors, or package delivery.

4. Night Vision

For extra safety, having a video doorbell that supports night vision is a must. There are a few high-end video doorbells that even cater for the possible shadows and clouds. You can find even the ones that have infrared night vision capability.

5.  Cloud Recordings and Storage

The video doorbells come with either the facility to store the video footage on cloud or a local microSD, you can choose one as per your personal preference. The cloud storage and local storage facility in video doorbells allow the convenience of storing any recorded footage safely and accessing it whenever needed. There are some video doorbells that even offer hybrid storage.

6. Real-Time Video Recording

Video doorbells are also capable of recording the video in real-time. As mentioned earlier, whenever a video doorbell detects movement in its visibility range, it starts recording the video in real-time. When you connect your smartphone to your video doorbell, you can access the real-time video through your video doorbell. You can even access all the recorded surveillance footage through your smartphone with such an integration.

7. Two-Way Audio

A few high-end video doorbells also offer the convenience of talking to anybody that may be at your door through the two-way audio feature. This means that you can not only see the visitor at your doorstep but can even communicate with them in real-time. This can be useful when you want to give delivery instructions, scare off intruders, or answer the door in case a visitor drops by.

8. Mobile App connectivity

Almost all the video doorbells these days can be connected to your mobile, which allows you to keep a watch on your home remotely from any part of the world. You can even make use of the voice assistants in your video doorbells to talk to any visitor at your doorstep. All these features come with a dedicated app, made exclusively for the convenience of the users.

9. Smart Home Integration

One of the key features of video doorbell is smart home integration through which you can integrate the video doorbell to other smart devices in your home. This makes controlling, accessing, and managing your surveillance system a lot easier. The overall functionality of your video doorbell is improved with such an integration.

10. Connectivity

Video doorbells utilize Wi-Fi connectivity through which you can access the footage, answer the door, and check who is at your door remotely, irrespective of your current location. This wireless connectivity feature also gives way to integration with other smart devices in your home, which enhances the overall functionality of your home and makes it more convenient for you.

Do Video Doorbells Record All Time?

Most of the video doorbells do not record all the time. Generally, the video doorbells start recording whenever the camera in it gets triggered. When this happens, a notification gets sent to your phone so that you can access the footage. However, there are also a few video doorbells that keep recording all the time.

How Long Do Video Doorbells Work?

Typically all the video doorbells keep working and recording the real-time video until they stop sensing any movement in their visibility range. You can see what triggered the recording by accessing the recorded clip from your storage. This can be useful in cases of stealth, where you can see the recording and provide valuable information to the police to catch the thief.

Video Doorbells – FAQs

1. How does a doorbell camera get triggered or activated?

Ans: Video doorbells are equipped with a WiFi connected camera and a ringer. They are either connected to the existing doorbell wiring or are battery-operated. Whenever someone pushes the doorbell, the camera gets activated. There are a few video doorbells with motion sensors that can get triggered when any movement is detected in front of your door.

2. Is wiring necessary for video doorbells?

Ans: Several video doorbells do require wiring for power. However, there are a few battery-operated video doorbells that do not need wiring to function and can be installed anywhere you like.

3. Is Wi-Fi necessary for video doorbells to function?

Ans: Yes, almost every video doorbell will need a wireless connection to function. They use WiFi to send you notifications, store video on cloud, and allow remote access through your smartphone.

4. Is a smartphone required for a Video Doorbell?

Ans: Yes, to make use of a video doorbell optimally you do need a smartphone. Basically, every functionality of your video doorbell can be utilized and the stored surveillance clips can be accessed through your smartphone when it is connected to the video doorbell.

5. Are video doorbells easy to install?

Ans: Yes, it is very easy to install video doorbells, especially the battery-operated ones. The hard-wired doorbells do require more effort and you can take the help of a professional for this if it seems very complicated.


With a rise in thefts and criminal activities, video doorbells have become an absolute necessity in every home. They can keep you and your family safe from dangerous scenarios. They also give you peace of mind when you are away from your home. This article can help you make an informed decision when it comes to getting a video doorbell for your home and installing it. 

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