SAN ANTONIO – When a thief stole a neighbor’s car in the middle of the night, Brandon Murphy’s video doorbell saw it all.
“We save five days' worth of camera feeds off the smart doorbell,” Murphy said. “Sure enough, it was on there.”
The video evidence helped police find and return the stolen car.
Video doorbells are booming in popularity as consumers want to keep an eye out for package deliveries, catch a porch pirate in the act and even practice social distancing. Global sales are expected to hit $1.4 billion by 2023, triple what they are now.
Not only can video doorbells help with security and peace of mind. If you sync them with a smart speaker, you can answer the door with just your voice.
To set up a hands-free front door experience, Consumer Reports suggests keeping it in the same tech family.
“There are video doorbells that claim they work with digital assistants, but they may not offer all the features,” Consumer Reports' Dan Wroclawski said. “To ensure compatibility, stay within the same product ecosystem or product family.”
If you’re a Google Home user, Consumer Reports recommends the Nest Hello Video Doorbell for $230 paired with the Google Nest Hub Max Smart Speaker.
If you have an Amazon smart speaker, they say go with the Ring Video Doorbell 3 for $200 and the Amazon Echo Show.
In Consumer Reports' tests, others that rated in the top handful are the Wisenet Smartcam D1 for $230, Simplisafe Doorbell Pro SS3 for $170 and the Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus for $230.
Video Doorbells can be hacked. Setting up two-factor authentication can help protect you.