Smart doorbell vs full security / CCTV system

In recent years, smart doorbells from brands such as Ring, Nest, Arlo and others have become regular fixtures on our front doors. They’ve transformed the way many of us take deliveries and answer our doors – even when we’re not at home. These devices are often marketed as home security solutions, but would you be better off investing a full CCTV/Security system? Let’s have a think about some of the potential issues with relying on a smart doorbell for your home security.

Security coverage

While smart doorbells can be particularly useful devices, the primary limitation is that they only cover the immediate area around your front door. Naturally, most legitimate callers will use the front door. But when it comes to visitors with slightly less benevolent intentions, they may well choose to use a different approach.

Investing in a full Security / CCTV system allows you to place cameras which can cover your entire property – inside and out.

Image quality

It’s true that early smart doorbells had quite basic image quality. Modern products are often equipped with quite high-resolution cameras – 1080p or even 4K. This means captured images can pick up a lot of fine detail without the resulting picture looking like a blocky mess.

The downside is that because the doorbell camera must be installed at a height which enables most people to use the button, the captured images often aren’t at a particularly useful angle. Added to this is the fact that the doorbell camera will often have to have a very wide-angle lens, resulting in a pronounced “bubble” effect, which can make images less clear.

A bespoke CCTV system will usually have a much higher quality camera (4K is pretty much standard for most modern systems). Such devices are often less reliant on extremely wide “fisheye” lenses as they can be mounted to offer much wider coverage. For example, a CCTV camera mounted high beside your front door will be able to capture much more without needing such a wide-angle lens.

Build quality

In terms of security, this can be a significant issue with smart doorbells. Most devices are constructed with plastic casings, leaving them vulnerable to attack or being tampered with. If a criminal wants to approach your front door without being filmed, there are many ways they can tamper with or even destroy the unit before any footage or images have even been captured.

Professional CCTV cameras are usually constructed with strong metal casings and are often IP rated to prevent ingress of moisture and dust. Also, as noted previously, they can be mounted at heights and in areas that are much less accessible, making them even more tamper-proof.

If you’d like to find out what a security set up would involve in your property, we offer a no-obligation free consultation. Please get in touch to find out more…

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