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How to Install a Video Doorbell

 9/7/2021 7:26:48 PM GMT
A video doorbell provides convenience and security,
making it one of the most useful, and practical, smart home products.

We explain how to install a Wi-Fi video doorbell that is compatible with a remote chime.  Installation is straightforward and easy.

What's a Video Doorbell?

A video doorbell, sometimes called a smart doorbell, is an internet-connected doorbell that notifies your smartphone or other electronic device when a visitor arrives at your door. It activates when the visitor presses the doorbell's button, or when the doorbell senses a visitor with its built-in motion sensors.

Its smartphone app lets you watch and talk with the visitor by using the doorbell's built-in camera and microphone. A video doorbell can be either battery operated or hard-wired.

There are a variety of video doorbells available, but this particular electronics category is particularly demonstrative of the phrase..."You get what you pay for". After extensive research, we have created a review of the best video doorbells that we feel will provide you years of quality performance.

Steps to Installing a battery-powered Video Doorbell.

A battery-powered video doorbell is the easiest type to install. It only takes 4 simple steps as follows:

  1. Charge the Doorbell's Battery - Before you mount it, you need to fully charge your doorbell's battery. Most models, including the Eufy and Ring models we recommend, come with a micro-USB cable for charging the battery. Its easy to remove the doorbell from the wall bracket for recharging, or Ring Video Doorbell 4 owners can remove its battery pack for charging without dismounting the doorbell. You'll be notified when your battery is getting low by the smartphone app.
  2. Mount the Doorbell - The video doorbells we recommend come with a mounting bracket that you attach to the exterior of your home. Mounting anchors are supplied with the unit, but may not be suited for brick, stone, or concrete; so you might need to get your own specialty anchors and drill bits. The mounting bracket should be placed about 48"-60" high, in a location that gives the doorbell camera a good view of your entryway.

    Attach the doorbell to the bracket, making sure you attach the security screws that go into the bottom of the doorbell using the specialized screwdriver supplied by the manufacturer. These screws prevent someone from stealing the doorbell. If you're renting, ask permission from the landlord before drilling holes. For those who rent an apartment, the aptly named Ring Peephole Cam mounts in your apartment door's peephole.
  3. Configure the Doorbell - Download and install the manufacturer's app on your Apple or Android device (smartphone, tablet, etc.). Set up your account on the manufacturer's servers from your device.

    Next, connect your doorbell to your home's Wi-Fi network using the app. If you have a decent WI-Fi router you shouldn't have a problem, We've reviewed the best Wi-Fi 6 routers if you need additional information on a replacement device. Some manufacturers recommend you buy a Wi-Fi extender if your current router is producing a weak signal, but we feel that money would be better spent on a router upgrade that would also provide you with additional network performance benefits.

    Your video doorbell app will allow you to customize different settings on your doorbell, such as adjusting its motion sensitivity to eliminate false signals from rustling trees, passing cars, or dogs, and changing the length of video recordings to minimize storage requirements.
  4. Place the Doorbell Chime - A doorbell chime is usually an optional item that you have to buy separately (A few video doorbells include chimes.) The app on your phone alerts you when someone is at your door, but you might want a separate chime to alert other household members at different locations in the house when you have visitors.

    Simply plug your chime into any wall outlet and follow the setup instructions for it from your video doorbell app. Typically, you just connect it to your Wi-Fi network and pair it with your doorbell. That's it, your done. Now you can enjoy the safety and convenience of your new video doorbell.

Steps to Installing a Hard-wired Video Doorbell.

Some video doorbells, including some of the video doorbells we recommend, can be installed using your current doorbell's house wiring, instead of being powered by the battery; and some video doorbells are designed only to be powered by your houses existing wiring. These are the installation steps for a wired installation:

  1. Shut Off the Circuit Breaker for Your Existing Doorbell - To safely handle the electrical wiring connected to your existing doorbell, you need to shut off the circuit breaker for the doorbell in your electrical panel. If the correct breaker is not properly labeled in the panel, turn one breaker at a time on and off until your doorbell no longer activates your chime.
  2. Examine Your Current Doorbell's Transformer - You want to ensure that your transformer provides the right amount of voltage for your new video doorbell, typically 16 to 24 volts. If the transformer has a voltage level below 16 volts, there won't be enough power to make the video doorbell work. If the voltage level is above 24 volts, it could damage your new doorbell.

    If you don't know where the transformer is located, open your doorbell chime box and trace the wire connected to the chime's "trans" terminal. If tracing the wire from the chime doesn't work, check near the doorbell's circuit breaker, which is a location where these transformers are often installed. Another common installation location is unfinished parts of your home, such as crawl spaces and basements.

    The transformer should have a voltage label like "16-24V AC". If you can't locate the transformer's voltage label, you'll have to check the voltage with a multimeter (some video doorbell apps can also check it for you). If your transformer's voltage falls outside the 16-24V range, it will have to be replaced. You can purchase one at your local home improvement store for around $20. You just reconnect the wires from the old transformer to the corresponding terminals on the new transformer. If your uncomfortable doing this, you'll need to hire an electrician.
  3. Prepare your Existing Doorbell Chime - Remove the cover from your chime to determine if it's a mechanical or a digital chime. A mechanical chime has a striker that hits the chime whenever the doorbell button is pressed. Digital chimes play a tune through small speakers.

    If you have a mechanical chime, you're all set and you can move on to the next step. If you have a digital chime, you may need to install a special adapter provided by the manufacturer in the chime where the doorbell's wire terminals are typically labeled "front"; or, you may have to install a diode on the wire ends where your doorbell is located. Your video doorbell's instruction manual will provide you with any special requirements, if any, that will be needed for your video doorbell to work with your existing chime.
  4. Remove your Existing Doorbell - Remove the screws from your existing doorbell on your house's exterior and disconnect the wires from the two terminals on the back. It's important to tape the wires to the outside so they don't fall back inside the wall. On the rare occasion that the wires are too short to work, add extension wires using twist-on, crimp-on, or push-on splices that are available at your local home improvement store.

  5. Attach Doorbell to House - The video doorbells recommended by NetDigz come with a mounting bracket that you attach to the doorframe or house siding. Anchors for mounting come with the units, but you may need to purchase special anchors for brick, stone, or concrete. The mounting bracket should be between 48"-60" high, in a suitable location that gives the camera a good viewing angle.

    Pull the two doorbell wires through the hole in the center of the bracket before attaching it to the wall, using tape to secure the wires. Once the mounting bracket is secured, connect the doorbell wires to the two terminals on the back of the video doorbell and feed the excess wire back into the wall. You can use either terminal for either wire.

    Attach the bracket to the wall, then attach the video doorbell to the bracket, making sure you attach the security screws that go into the bottom of the doorbell using the specialized screwdriver supplied by the manufacturer. These screws prevent someone from stealing the doorbell. If you're renting, ask permission from the landlord before drilling holes to mount your doorbell.

  6. Setup the Doorbell - Turn the circuit breaker in the electrical panel back on to restore power to the doorbell. Install the manufacturer's control app on your interface device (smartphone, tablet, etc.). Set up your account on the manufacturer's servers from your preferred device.

    Next, connect your video doorbell to your home's Wi-Fi network using the app. If you have a decent WI-Fi router you shouldn't have a problem, We've reviewed the best Wi-Fi 6 routers if you need additional information on a replacement device. Some manufacturers recommend you buy a Wi-Fi extender if your router is producing a weak signal, but we feel that money would be better spent on an a router upgrade that would also provide you with additional network performance benefits.

    Doorbell settings can be customized from the video doorbell's smartphone app, including adjusting motion sensitivity to minimize false signals from rustling tree leaves and passing cars, and changing the length of video recordings to maximize storage capabilities.

Whether you choose to use batteries or existing house wiring for your installation, a quality video doorbell will provide years of convenience and safety. You'll wonder why you waited so long to buy one.