More homeowners are turning to Video doorbells vs CCTV. The likes of amazon’s ring doorbell and google’s nest have been providing the public with a perceived sense of security for the last 3 years… But how do they compare against conventional CCTV and what security benefit do they actually provide?
Impact on Wi-Fi
Most (but certainly those advertised as wireless) video doorbells are heavily dependent on a stable Wi-Fi connection to transmit data to either a client device (such as a phone or tablet) or remote storage facilities such as cloud storage or a NAS drive. Where a video doorbell is connected to a NAS, the Wi-Fi network has an additional strain. Where a doorbell is connected to cloud storage, both the Wi-Fi network and broadband upload speed is negatively impacted.
A conventional CCTV system is hardwired, meaning the transfer of data from the camera to the storage facility bypasses the network, resulting in no drop of Wi-Fi or upload speed.
Video doorbells are designed to capture a clear image at a distance of a few feet. Conventional CCTV has an almost limitless combination of lens depths, sensor sizes and subsequent viewing angles to provide a clear image of any scene.
In 2017 security researchers identified a security flaw in Amazon’s ring system which had the potential for attackers to steal Wi-Fi usernames and passwords. Although this flaw was fixed, privacy campaigners have since highlighted flaws in the ring’s app in which data is transmitted via an unencrypted network.
Conventional CCTV can either be configured to be completely offline, configured via secure p2p network or limited to devices on a certain Wi-Fi network.
Video Doorbell Battery
Amazon has advertised its latest ring model of having a battery life of up to 12 months, which as far as batteries go, is impressive. However, to reach this milestone, the device is largely left in a sleep / hibernate mode until its button is pressed or motion is detected (where activated). This design means users are dependant on the device capturing motion when used as a security camera, potentially resulting in an event being missed.
Although conventional CCTV systems also have a motion detect recording function, the camera will always be on, seeking movement and comes with variable degrees of motion detection.
It’s also poignant to add that with the reduction of HDD costs, scenarios of where motion recording would be preferred over constant recording is quite rare.
Likelihood of damage
Conventional CCTV cameras are positioned at a height where a clear image can be obtained and the camera is out of reach of Joe Public. In contrast, by location, video doorbells are susceptible to damage and theft.
Video doorbells are advertised as video doorbells for good reason – they’re video doorbells.
Although they provide a sense of security and convenience, they really are limited in functionality and application. In fact, according to reports, there is ‘little concrete evidence’ that video doorbells deter crime at all. In contrast, a study by Co-Op Insurance found that CCTV was one of the biggest deterrents to would-be thieves.
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