A doorbell camera: what to know before you buy

Nov 30, 2018, 3:16 AM | Updated: 8:04 am
doorbell camera...
(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY — One relatively new invention has gone a long way in helping police catch porch pirates and prevent deliveries from being stolen: the doorbell camera.  However, security experts say there are some things you should know about them.

When it comes to the camera’s clarity, some experts say there isn’t much difference between the Ring, the Arlo and the Amazon Blink.

“The picture quality is going to be fine.  It doesn’t really matter which brand.  It’s all going to be in HD,” says Thal Dixon, owner of Dixon Security Cameras.

Pictures taken by the cameras have been clear enough to land some thieves in jail.

“Sometimes, they’ll get a license plate if they’re dumb enough to pull in the driveway,” Dixon says.

Where the biggest difference lies is in what happens to the videos after they’re recorded.  Dixon says you could pick one that records to something like a DVR, and you would be in complete control of storing that video.  But there are other cameras upload their videos to the cloud, and storing the data there isn’t free.

“That type of camera is popular and the cost is lower, but you end up paying for storage.  The companies are making their money on that, monthly,” Dixon says.

Even though Dixon believes these cameras are good, he says just having a single doorbell camera might not be enough to convince crooks to stay away.

“You could have more cameras on the house from different angles.  You should have signage up that shows that you have security.  That signage needs to be new.  If it’s faded and old, [thieves] feel the cameras are the same,” he says.

A recent report put Salt Lake City’s metro area at number 2 in the country for package thefts from porches during the holidays.

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A doorbell camera: what to know before you buy