The new Ring Video Doorbell is the latest in smart security technology. It acts as a normal doorbell, alerting you when someone pushes the button, but also acts as a security camera with additional smart features. Ring offers a variety of video doorbells to suit all needs and budgets. Let’s take a detailed look at what they have to offer.
The standard video doorbell comes in four different colours including black, white, gold and grey. Obviously, Ring doorbells aren’t just your standard doorbell, they also have a camera which is situated above the ring button. The Ring video doorbell connects to your smart phone via the Ring App and notifies you when someone presses your doorbell, perfect for when you are not at home.
Not only does the Ring App allow you to see who is at your door, but to also hear and speak to them, allowing you to have a conversation with whoever is there, even when you’re not at home – all in a minimum of 720p HD (these specs change depending on which model you have).
The Ring Doorbell has motion sensors that also allow you to be notified when someone is approaching the door, rather than just when someone pushes the button and even has night vision, so you won’t miss anyone in the dark. The Video Doorbell runs off a battery or can be hardwired in like a regular doorbell.
Video Doorbell 2
The Video Doorbell 2 comes with everything the original Video Doorbell features, but is more enhanced. It also has live view, which allows you to check the camera at any time and also shows a 1080p HD display. It also comes with two interchangeable faceplates, black and white, which you can change to fit your style.
The Video Doorbell 2 also comes with adjustable sensors, allowing you to change the distance and areas that you wish to monitor. The Video Doorbell 2 can run off a battery or can be hardwired in like the regular Video Doorbell.
Video Doorbell Pro
The Video Doorbell Pro comes with a different design to the Video Doorbell and Video Doorbell 2, and comes with four interchangeable faceplates, so you can change the colour of your doorbell to suit your style.
These come in silver, black, white and gold and allow you to see 160 degrees horizontally. The Video Doorbell Pro requires existing doorbell wiring unlike the Video Doorbell and Video Doorbell 2.
Video Doorbell Elite
The Video Doorbell Elite is the top smart doorbell of the range that Ring offer. This model runs off the internet and is hardwired in over Ethernet. This gives you a more reliable connection, ensuring that your connection is the most secure it can be. The field of view for this edition is also a lot better, allowing you to see 160 degrees horizontal and 90 degrees vertical. The Video Doorbell Elite also comes with four interchangeable faceplates, so you can change the colour of them with ease.
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Overall Ring has you covered for any king of smart doorbell you need. The features and functionalities are perfect if you want to keep an eye on who is coming to your door, keeping your mind at ease when you are not at home.
British Gas originally invented Hive to allow its customers to control their heating from their phone. This allowed you to turn your gas on or off when you were out; perfect for those winter months when you forget to put your heating on a timer. From there, Hive have introduced a variety of different smart home plans and products to allow you to control your entire home from your phone. Let’s take a look at what they have to offer.
Hive have a variety of monthly subscriptions plans available to get your home smart ready but they also sell individual products so you can tailor your home to all your smart needs:
- Hive Active Heating Kit – The Hive Heating Kit allows you to remotely control your heating from your smart phone wherever you are. You can easily set your heating to come on and go off at specific times and change this while you are on the go. This could save you hundreds of pounds a year if you’re prone to forgetting to turn your heating off when you go out.
- Hive View Camera – This indoor camera starts recording when any motion is detected and sends a notification to your phone instantly. The camera records in HD and also includes the sound. Playback and watch your recorded videos in HD quality and even tell the Camera to ignore pets, this smart camera is all you need to keep your home safe.
- Hive Camera – This indoor camera continuously records and allows you to log on to your Hive App wherever you are and check on your home. You can also speak through the app and it will play through the camera – perfect if you’re missing your pets! You can zoom in and out form your smart phone and the camera also has night vision settings so you don’t have to worry about missing anything at night.
- Hive Window and Door Sensors – The Hive Window and Door Sensors are perfect if you’re worried about intruders entering your home. Attach them to any door or window in your home and you will receive a notification to your smart phone is one of them is opened. It also allows you to check whether you have closed the windows properly when you’re out.
Hive have a variety of fun smarty light bulbs available, our favourites include:
- Hive Active Light Colour Changing Bulb – This colour changing bulb allows you to change the colour of the room to one of 16 million colours via your smartphone. You can schedule the brightness and colours to come on at any point wherever you are!
- Hive Active Light Cool to Warm – If bright coloured lights aren’t your thing, you may want to try the Hive Active Light Cool to Warm White bulb, this allows you to adjust the brightness and warmth of the room with ease. Perfect for those night owls who want soft lighting in the evenings.
- Hive Active Plug – The Hive Active Plug allows you to control a plug socket from your smart phone wherever you are. This is perfect for those who forget to turn their TV or hair straighteners off or want to turn a light on when they are getting home late. Simply plug it into the socket and plug the device you want to control into the Active Plug and away you go.
Hive home plans are monthly subscription services providing you with a variety of different gadgets to fill all your smart home needs. Let’s take a look at the most popular plans.
The Welcome Home Plan transforms your home into a smart home in an instant and includes a bit of everything to make coming home more pleasant. It includes a Hive Hub which connects all the products together and connects to your smart phone, 2 Hive Active Light Bulbs, 1 Motion Sensor and finally 1 Hive Active Plug.
The Heating Plan comes with everything you need to control your heating from your smart phone. This plan comes with the Hive Hub, Hive Active Heating, Hive Receiver which connects the Hive Thermostat to your boiler. The perfect addition to any home in those cold winter months.
Warm welcome home
Have you ever been away for the week in the winter and dread coming home to a cold, dark home? With the Warm Welcome Home Plan, you’ll be excited to get home to your well-lit and warm house. This plan comes with the Hive Hub, 2 Hive Active Light Bulbs, 1 Hive Active plug, a Hive Active Heating Kit and 1 Hive Motion Sensor. In addition to this, this plan also includes an Amazon Echo Dot Speaker which can be controlled by your voice and includes the personal assistant service Alexa.
Close to home
The Hive Close to Home Plan is a security plan comes with a variety of smart security devices that will keep your mind at ease whilst you are away. The plan comes with the Hive Hub, 2 Window and Door Sensors that alert you with any movement, 1 Hive Active Plug, 2 Hive Active Light Bulbs, 1 Hive View Indoor Camera and Video Playback. All the smart gadgets connect to your smart home and can be monitored and controlled wherever you are.
From security cameras to heating control to coloured lighting Hive really do have smart home covered allowing you to control all aspects of your home from your phone.
Home security has a whole new meaning in today’s world. Most homes don’t come with much more security than door and window locks and the days of the single burglar alarm are over. A variety of new smart security devices have now been introduced to the market making you increasingly aware of the security of your home.
What is a Smart Home Security Device?
Smart Home Security Devices are essentially alarms/detectors that you can connect to your smart phone or tablet to allow you to have additional security features and notifications. Most of the Smart Home Security Devices come with a set of cameras and/or motion detectors that are wirelessly connected to your smart phone for you to be instantly alerted if a security breach were to happen.
Our Top 5
Yale Smart Home Alarm Kit
The Yale Smart Home Alarm Kit comes with all you need to hit the ground running to make your home more secure. Yale are a big player in terms of security and just having the yellow exterior siren on your house is bound to scare off any potential intruders. All the features work together and connect via the Yale App so you can arm and disarm your intruder alarm via your Smart Phone at any time. Every time the alarm is triggered a notification will be received on your phone. The Alarm Kit comes with an Alarm Hub, Exterior Siren, 2 PIR Motion Detectors which can be added to any room with a notification coming to you if it is activated, a Door Contact which you can attached to any door in your home allowing you to be notified if the door is opened, Key Pad which can be used to arm and disarm the alarms and a Fixing Pack.
Hive Close to Home Plan
Hive have come up with a Home Plan that you pay for on a monthly subscription which includes everything you need to set up your first smart home security plan. The plan comes with the
- Hive View Indoor Camera – The Hive Indoor Camera starts recording as soon as it detects any motion and it can be set up to send a notification to your smart phone when it starts recording.
- Hive Hub – The Hive Hub allows you to connect all your products together so you can easily control from your smart phone
- Hive Active Light Cool to Warm White – Interactive light bulb which can be controlled by your smart phone including changing the brightest and warmth of the light. Ideal for when you’re away and want some lighting on at home.
- Hive Window or Door Sensor – These can be connected to any door or window in your home and will send notifications to your smart phone when one is opened.
- Hive Active Plug – The Hive Active Plug is an adaptor than you plug into your plug socket which then allows you to control it from your smartphone.
- Hive 30-day Video Playback – Watch back the videos from your camera from the last 30 days with Hive’s 30-day Video Playback.
The Ring Doorbell is a battery powered doorbell which has a camera above it. The doorbell connects to your smartphone so that when it is activated you can see exactly who is at the door through the Ring app. The app not only triggers when someone presses the doorbell, but also when there is movement around the doorbell with the customisable motion sensors. The app also allows you to talk to the person at the door through your phone, so you can deter them away, or have a chat if it’s someone you know.
Nest Cam IQ Outdoor Camera
For those who don’t feel it’s necessary to have all the bells and whistles of a full smart security system, Nest offer a variety of different smart cameras that all connect to your phone. Our favourite is the Nest Cam IQ Outdoor Security Camera. This camera has a range of cool features including person alerts which detects a person up to 15 metres and instantly alerts you with a photo of them straight to your smart phone. The camera also has a familiar face feature which stops unwanted alerts when family members arrive home. The camera records in 4K and has a close up tracking view allowing you to zoom in when needed.
August Smart Lock Pro+ Connect
If you’re worried about having lots of keys cut for you house with the risk of people losing them then the August Smart Lock is something you need to look at. This smart lock is fitted to your door and allows you to lock and unlock your door with a smart phone. You can also set it to auto-unlock the door as you approach and auto-lock your door when you leave. The app has the ability to show you whether your door is fully locked or not, easing your mind when you are out of the house. The main feature of this smart lock is that you can send access to your friends and family allowing them to enter your home temporarily or permanently with the app via a code.
There are a wide variety of Smart Security Devices available to buy for all budgets and tech abilities. Start making your home more secure today!