Doorbell Cameras with Monitoring and Audio from Anywhere
There are great reasons to replace that old buzzer with a powerful home security tool
Here's a scenario that’s been caught on doorbell camera: a homeowner looks at her video feed and sees a stranger hop a fence and then head, duffel bag in hand, toward the door. She tells him through the camera's built-in speaker that the police are on the way. The burglar’s pace slows before he issues threats.
But then the alarm blares, sending the would-be thief sprinting in the other direction.
With the right doorbell camera and alarm system, you can spot suspicious intruders and call for help quickly, too. And with two-way audio and a video feed that can be accessed anywhere, a doorbell camera can even let you warn them away from a safe location.
The best of these devices are more than just a video intercom: motion-activated doorbell cameras detect people near the front door and notify you quickly, also recording automatically to capture who was—or is—at the door.
How doorbell cameras monitor and protect your home
At a minimum, doorbell cameras record video and let you identify who is at the door. Most work as a do-it-yourself (DIY) replacement for a standard doorbell. They are roughly the same size, connect to the same simple wires, and work with the chimes most homes already have.
A Frontpoint Doorbell Camera can do all that—and a great deal more. It's slim, measuring less than 5" tall and 1-1/2" wide. You'll swap out your old ringer, keep your current chimes, and end up with a high-definition, 180-degree look at what's at the door. It also has infrared night vision, giving you an 8-foot field of view in the dead of night.
With a Wi-Fi connection and a digital device (like a smartphone or laptop), you can watch live or recorded footage and get mobile notifications when the camera detects motion. And if you'd like to view video through a dedicated screen, you can turn the device into a doorbell camera with a monitor by adding our wall-mounted touch screen control panel.
Your system records and saves video clips in the cloud according to smart, simple rules that you choose. The video motion detection (VMD) technology even allows you to program the doorbell camera to start recording when movement is seen in a specific place (like the steps of the porch) but not, say, when the kids are playing in the yard. You'll have short clips that showcase moments worth seeing—not hours of useless recordings.
With two-way audio, you can talk to visitors through your smartphone, tablet, or computer. Think of it as a doorbell camera intercom: You'll be able to welcome guests and tell salespeople you're not interested without leaving the couch. You can warn off porch pirates or, with a smart door lock, instruct a delivery person to put packages safely inside. And if worse comes to worst, you'll be able to tell would-be intruders to get packing and sound an alarm from anywhere.
How to install a doorbell camera
Installing a doorbell camera is easy—but you'll want to learn a bit about your existing doorbell before making the switch. First, ensure that your current device is:
Hard-wired. Look around the button for wires or unscrew it from the wall.
Working. Give the buzzer a press just to be sure.
Equipped with a mechanical or digital chime. Modern mechanical chimes “have two pistons that strike metallic keys in order to make the ‘Ding Dong’ sound.” Digital chimes have a speaker. Note that uncommon chimes with tube-shaped bells won't work—they’ll need to be replaced with a modern version. Fortunately, these old-school chimes are pretty rare.
The chime on the right has a speaker panel—a dead giveaway that it's digital. But you may need to take a look inside: If you see mechanical pistons, like those on the left, it's mechanical.
If your doorbell works, has wires, and it’s a standard mechanical chime, you're good to go. However, if your chime is digital, you'll need the Digital Doorbell Adapter. (It's not hard to install: In most cases, you simply attach it to screws the chime already has.) Once you've got your wired doorbell camera in hand—and the adapter attached, if necessary—it's time to get started.
When you're ready, grab a Phillips screwdriver. If you're mounting to materials like brick or stucco, bring a power drill with screw and drill bits, too. Then, follow these simple steps to install your new doorbell camera:
Turn off the circuit breaker powering your existing doorbell. Check to make sure the power is out.
Carefully remove the old doorbell. Make sure that the wires don't touch each other (or slip back into the wall) throughout these next steps.
Attach the mounting bracket. If you're working with wood, you can carefully drive the screws through the top and bottom holes in the bracket. With harder materials, like brick, you'll need to insert the provided masonry anchors first, using a drill as necessary.
Once you've got the bracket flush and secure, loosen the two small screws near the bracket's left and right edges. Next, insert the wires—either side will work—and tighten the screws.
Slide the doorbell camera down onto the bracket and push it toward the wall.
Hand-tighten the set screw on the device's bottom edge.
Turn on the circuit breaker.
The LED inside the doorbell's button will illuminate: Wait roughly 10 minutes for it to begin flashing red and green.
Once you've finished mounting, you'll connect your camera to your home security system (and enable any digital chimes) through the Frontpoint App.
Now you can monitor your doorbell camera from anywhere—and keep up to date with notifications about any activity near the front door.
Things to do after doorbell camera installation
With a working internet connection and almost no home improvement skills, you can transform one of your home's simplest devices into a powerful security tool. And for even better results, keep these doorbell camera monitoring tips in mind:
Keep obstructions clear of your camera. A bigger, clearer view is key.
Extend your camera's night-time range with lights or infrared bulbs on your porch. (Don't, however, shine bright lights directly into the lens.)
Periodically clean the doorbell camera's lens with a microfiber cloth and eyeglass cleaner.
And don't forget about other major points of entry: Outdoor cameras can give you even greater peace of mind. You'll get a high-quality view of driveways, gates, and other exterior doors—day or night—for greater peace of mind.
By submitting your email, you agree that Frontpoint and partners may contact you at the email address provided for the purpose of providing you information about Frontpoint's products, services and pricing, and that consent is not required to make a purchase from us.