Smart doorbells have become increasingly popular thanks to their relatively low prices and ease of installation. These cameras allow home owners to keep a look at their front door, whether they’re in or out of the house, and can even record footage through the camera for access later. But many prospective adopters wonder if doorbell cameras truly deter crime, or merely give the illusion of deterring crime.

Crime deterrence is the most important thing any security camera can do for you. Many view security cameras as a way to gather evidence after a break in or vandalism has occurred, but that’s only the worst case scenario. It should be preferable to anybody that these crimes never occur in the first place, and when would-be criminals catch sight of a security camera on the home or business they planned on committing a crime at, many of them will simply not bother, not wanting to be caught on camera committing a crime.

What is a Smart Doorbell?

Smart Doorbells are a fairly recent technology that have exploded in popularity. One of the earliest is the Ring Video Doorbell, but several have been included since then, such as the Google Nest Hello and Video Doorbells. These devices allow users a plethora of options, the biggest selling point being able to see who is at the door without answering it. This can help users feel safer answering the door, having a clear video feed of who’s there from their smartphone. Smart doorbells provide security to customers by allowing them to see, hear, and sometimes even speak with those who are at the door, whether they rang the bell or triggered the built in motion sensors.

Smart doorbells tend to come in two options: wireless and wired. Both systems are largely the same in way of hardware, possessing the same or very similar cameras to one another, with the different coming in how they’re powered and interact with the rest of your home system. A wired connection is wired directly into the home, and can be physically connected to the security system is there exists compatibility between the smart doorbell and the main system. A wireless system can connect to one too, if the system is smart-enabled. Wired systems benefit from being plugged directly into a power supply, providing a more streamlined, uninterrupted experience, but requiring some added work to actually wire it into the home. The wireless system provides a much easier setup, but requires regular maintenance to change and charge the batteries within. Certain living situations, such as rentals or older homes, can’t accept wiring a doorbell camera in, making wireless the best and only option.

Smart doorbells have become increasingly popular with the rise of thieves stealing packages off of porches from the intended recipient, or “porch piracy”. As the recent pandemic has caused many consumers to depend on delivery to receive products, unscrupulous people have found it easy to simply take the packages off of porches and drive off with them. A crime with little risk and next to no cost to enter, many immoral people have taken to porch piracy as a way to make off with common goods before the recipient has a chance to bring it inside. With a doorbell that can detect motion at the porch, the theory many people have is this would be enough to deter people from approaching. But is this true?

Outdoor Security Cameras Are the Best Deterrent

Outdoor security cameras of any kind have a marked effect on deterrence for crime, and doorbell cameras are no exception. As long as an outdoor camera is clearly visible, this will typically be enough to convince would-be criminal not to bother with this location to commit a crime. An estimated 25.9 million Americans have had a package stolen from their front step, and this is on top of additional outdoor theft, such as lawn chairs and outdoor decorations. Smart doorbell users who place their doorbell in a highly visible place can feel secure knowing that their doorbell will likely scare off porch pirates – and those who aren’t scared off will be, when you speak to them through your doorbell after being alerted to motion.

Being caught in the act is the biggest fear that many criminals have, and a smart doorbell helps provide that extra bit of deterrent. In a study by the University of North Carolina’s Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology, 60% of burglars will choose another target if they find cameras. So although no security camera can deter 100% of crimes, cameras can deter a large amount of crimes, and gather crucial evidence for responders against potential burglars.

A smart doorbell shouldn’t be your only line of defense against potential criminals, but it’s a very affordable and smart addition to any home security system, that can even assist law enforcement. Most smart doorbells have access to a mobile app that allows for users to see and hear what’s going on at their front door. Many even allow for two-way conversation, letting users speak over the speaker on the doorbell to whoever is there, whether that be greeting a guest or informing someone unexpected that they should probably leave, no matter where they are.

With the many benefits and uses smart doorbells provide home owners and renters, it’s a no brainer to pick one up, either as a start to a security system or as a supplement to an existing security system. Smart doorbells tell you when packages arrive, help you see when guests are approaching the door, and scare off potential porch pirates and burglars in their tracks when they see you’re equipped with an outdoor camera keeping watch of the area. There’s yet to be any hard-hitting statistics about smart doorbells specifically deterring crime, but any outdoor security camera has proven time and time again to be a deterrence. This makes smart doorbells no exception, allowing you to keep an eye on your porch without any concerns for noises in the night.