Get the top 5 daily headlines and breaking news alerts from Seattle’s #1 morning news

Is It Worth it?: Video doorbell

A lot of people buy video doorbells to see when their packages are delivered or if they are worried about package thieves.

Q13 asked the experts at PEMCO Insurance to see if it’s worth buying a video doorbell.

Video doorbells cost about $200. They work by connecting to your smart device and then you can see or hear who is at the door.

“Some of them offer two way audio so you can hear people or you can speak to them if you have a question or you want to chase them away if they’re trying to steal your package,” said Communications Manager at PEMCO, Derek Wing. “Some of them also offer video recording so you can actually keep a record of anyone who comes to your front door.”

PEMCO Insurance says video doorbells are also helpful for people who have trouble getting around the house and parents can see their kids get home safely from school.

If you're thinking about getting a video doorbell, there are a few questions to ask yourself:

  1. Is my Wi-Fi signal strong enough?
  2. Does the app on my phone respond quickly?
  3. Can it be installed wirelessly?
  4. Does it require a subscription to get video clips?
  5. Does it officer a video community to share clips?
  6. Is it compatible with my other smart home devices?
  7. Can I get one through my security company?

PEMCO says there are a few concerns when it comes to a video doorbell. If your doorbell is too far from the Wi-Fi router, it might have a long lag between the time it detects motion and notifies you on your phone.

"Another thing is if you buy one you're probably going to need to adjust the sensitivity because you don't want the doorbell to go off if there's a tree branch that sways in the wind or a car that drives by," said Wing.

Also, with any new technology there's also the possibility of hacking. So is it worth it to install a video doorbell?

"Yeah, I mean it seems like it's a pretty good idea," said Wing. "But of course we also want to make sure that people do their research, make sure that they find the right one for them and then just test it out to see how it works for them. "

If you do decide to buy a video doorbell, PEMCO suggests telling your insurance company because you could be eligible for a discount.