The dilemma certainly has its reasons, both are able to send video and audio communications in real time. Both can also provide some form of security to your house, and you can technically put an intercom on your front door to act as a doorbell (a common practice even before the smart era).
So, which one will actually be a better choice? To answer this question, let us first discuss the basic principles behind the two.
Understanding Wireless Intercoms
What is an Intercom?
The intercom was (and still) originally designed as a mean to communicate within a vicinity, whether a household setting, office or many other purposes.
With that being said, most intercom products will offer several devices in one package, with at least two included. Due to that purpose, there are many features of smart doorbells not included in wireless intercom products, and vice versa.
For example, some wireless intercom products provide features to control music and entertainment, which is unnecessary in a smart doorbell. There is also usually a feature to do group calls, as well as monitoring functions for children rooms.
Understanding Smart Doorbells
Why Smart Doorbell?
Smart doorbells indeed adopt many features from intercoms. Many households have used intercoms in the past to be able to do real-time communications with visitors. Using video feed to see visitors is also a feature adopted from intercoms.
So, what make smart doorbells different than wireless intercoms?
The main difference is the integration to a smartphone through app technology, which is an essential function for ‘smart’ doorbell products.Smart doorbell products also feature at least some security functions, such as the ability to do motion detection, sound detection, and facial recognition.
Smart doorbell products also feature at least some security functions, such as the ability to do motion detection, sound detection, and facial recognition.Understanding Your Own Needs
Understanding Your Own Needs
To answer the question of which one you will need, you must first understand your own purpose. We understand that it can be confusing, so here are a few considerations you can use:
- Are You Often Away From Home – If the answer is yes, you will definitely appreciate getting real-time notifications on your smartphone. In this case, a smart doorbell is most likely a better pick. However, if there’s another person who is actively at your home at all times, an intercom can also be viable.
- How Many Stays at Your House – If you are living alone, the need for intercoms is almost nonexistent, so again a smart doorbell will be a better pick.
- The Need of Security – Do your neighborhood often experience thefts and burglaries? In this case, you might not only need a smart doorbell but also smart security cameras to complement it.
- The Need of Children Monitoring – Of course, this is one of the main features of wireless intercoms nowadays, and it can be an answer to your problem.
- What Other Features You Might Also Need – Do you need the additional feature to control your home entertainment system? Do you need group call feature? This will be a subjective answer, and might also vary with different brands.
Integration: Getting The Best of Both Worlds
After you have answered the questions above, another question might appear: what should you do if you need both of them?Or at least, some features from both? The answer is integration.
Another benefit from smart home technologies nowadays is their ability to integrate to each other, even when they come from different manufacturers.
With integration, you can have a smart doorbell that can send the signal to your intercom while you are at home while sending alerts to your smartphone when you are away.
There are many ways to achieve this, but the easiest way is to get a smart home hub or controller to integrate both devices. For example, most renowned smart doorbell products can integrate to Amazon Alexa via Echo, and some wireless intercom products, such as Nucleus Anywhere, are also Alexa-compatible. This way, you can use Amazon Echo to integrate both devices, effectively getting the best of both worlds.
Wireless intercoms and smart video doorbells have different purposes to each other and will cater to different needs. To make a better purchase decision of which one you actually need, you will first need to consider your actual needs, and how each of them will benefit your situations.