How to set up a video-entry system for your home. Install a smart doorbell and front door video security system. Why you need a smart security camera, entrance system.

Why you need a security camera / smart doorbell

So, 2015 is the year of the smart home: we all control our heating via our smartphones, record and watch TV remotely on the same device, and play music via our smart lightbulbs. We do, don't we? Well, we can. And the application of smartphone-controlled smart home technology is only going to become more affordable and prevelant. (See also: 9 best smart heating systems 2015 UK.)

But 2015 is also an election year: and that means a spate of well-meaning local politics types traipsing to your door to convince you to back their candidate. And if your street is anything like mine, we are just about to enter 'gutter season', in which a succession of local tradesmen knock on my door inviting me to pay them to clear my gutters (not a euphemism).

Benefits of a smart security camera, entrance system

Reader, call me a misanthrope, but I don't like people calling unnanounced at my door. More than that, just as the biggest security threat to your PC is likely to be your behaviour, the greatest opportunity for thieves and conmen is to catch you unawares at your front door. This is doubly true for vulnerable or elderly people. The world is actually a pretty safe place, but if someone wants to get into your home, the easiest way to do so is to persuade you to open up the front door.

In the past video-enabled entrance systems required a lot of money and expertise to install, and maintain. They were the preserve of swanky aparment complexes or spit-drenched local authority housing tower blocks, often in a state of disrepair. But now everyone with a smartphone can have a smart security camera and entrance system. Arguably they should. And if you are concerned about a relative or friend, you can set them up with one, and also see yourself who is at the door when they go to answer it.

Set up a security camera and video entry system for your front door

One reasonably inexpensive smartphone-connected doorbell and video entry system is the DoorBird, which will be available soon in the UK. You can pre-order this system now: it costs €349 for the DoorBird Video Doorbell itself, and €199 for the BirdGuard Add-on Camera. Simply head over to http://www.doorbird.com/ and order your system. If you have a home Wi-Fi network and at least one smartphone, set up is simple.

For this price you get an easy to install, Wi-Fi connected front doorbell and a Wi-Fi connected security camera that is designed to live outdoors. It also has a 180-degree field of view so that it is difficult to be surprised. To this you can pair up to eight iPhones, iPads or Android smartphones and tablets, and then answer the door from the safety of your phone screen. Whenever you are connected to the web you can listen to- and talk to vistors to your home, as the Doorbird works over 3G and 4G too. If like me you are paranoid about your home when you are on holiday, this is a handy feature to have.

Doorbird Field of View

The video is HD too, according to Doorbird (we have yet to try out the Doorbird, but will update this piece when we have). So you will be able to see the full horror of Halloween trick-or-treaters in glorious technicolor. For fans of Silence of the Lambs the Doorbird comes with night vision - you could always just set up an outdoor light, too. Perhaps as important: with Doorbird you can add in an additional camera, to cover any blind spots.

The security features look great, in fact. You can speak to people at your door, even if you aren't there. And when they ring the bell Doorbird takes a snapshot of them. If you have a bad experience with a courier or salesperson, they won't be able to wriggle out of it by saying it wasn't them.

You can even pair the Doorbird with an electronic lock, and open your door remotely. See also: Best smartphones of 2015: 49 best phones you can buy in the UK.

Doorbird