Best Video Doorbell for an Apartment

I rented my first apartment when I was a senior in college. This apartment was a security risk in every way possible. There were no locks at either entrance, a single deadbolt on your door, and no people. In addition, there weren’t any interior or exterior security cameras. Thinking back, this place was there a Dateline investigation waiting to happen

Everyone living in this apartment would have benefited from a video doorbell of some sort. Today, I will discuss the best video doorbell for any apartment, including the security nightmare I mentioned above.

In this post, I will discuss who needs a video doorbell for their apartment, what is a video doorbell, features that make this the best video doorbell doorbell for your apartment, where to install a video doorbell for your apartment, why you should install a video doorbell for your apartment and how to determine the best video doorbell for your apartment.

In addition I will also discuss a few other video doorbells that could also fit nicely for your  apartment.

Click here to check the price of the Ring Video Doorbell 2 on Amazon.

Before purchasing a video doorbell for your apartment make sure you get clearance from the management company. While some management companies will be okay with you drilling holes in the wall others will not. Make sure you get written permission that it’s okay for you to drill or a series of holes in your walls prior to purchasing a video doorbell.

Also, you will need materials to fill the holes when you’re ready to move out. usually, you can purchase a drywall patch kit or stucco filler or something along those lines from the local hardware store. If you do not patch and fix the holes you will be charged for them as well as the time it takes to patch and fill the holes. The apartment owners will charge you an exorbitant charge so make sure you spend the 10 minutes to do it yourself.

Note: you will need a Wi-Fi connection in order to use all of the features included in the Ring Video Doorbell 2. Without the Wi-Fi connection, you will be unable to access the device remotely, view recorded events online, and use features like the two-way audio.

In my opinion, the Ring Video Doorbell 2 is the best video doorbell for an apartment. This doorbell is great if you live in a high-rise with hundreds or thousands of tenants, or if you live in a condo with a few other tenants nearby. In the following sections, I will discuss the features that make the Ring Video Doorbell 2 the best video doorbell for apartment owners.

Why You Need a Video Doorbell for your Apartment

The biggest problem with living in an apartment is that there isn’t really a whole lot of security. In addition, there are tons of people going in and out of your apartment complex throughout the day. In general, a video doorbell will provide an additional layer of security and provide peace of mind for the homeowner, roommates, and any guests that you may have.

How many times have you opened your apartment door and seen someone that you’d never seen before? How many times have you expected someone and they were already at your doorstep because one of your neighbors let them in? Installing the Ring Video Doorbell 2 will help reduce some of those scarier times when someone’s at your door and you don’t know.

Installing a video doorbell can also reduce the chances of someone breaking into your apartment while you’re not home. One of the best benefits of having a video doorbell is the ability to record events that are happening in and around your apartment whether you’re there or not.

Which Apartment Owners need Video Doorbells

There’re just a few types of people that need video doorbells installed at their apartment:

  • People that live by themselves
  • People that are new to a city, state or neighborhood
  • People that have expensive or valuable equipment in their apartment
  • People that do not trust their roommates, landlord, or Neighbors

Let’s take a quick look at these different groups of people

People that Live by Themselves

Apartment owners that live by themselves should consider purchasing a video doorbell because you enjoy the benefits of seeing all that happens even when you’re not home. one of the most unnerving things that can happen to people that live by themselves is coming home to an empty, dark, house and not knowing what’s behind the next corner.

People that are new to a city, state, or neighborhood

People that are new to a city, state, or neighborhood should consider buying a video doorbell because they are unfamiliar with their surroundings. Until they fully understand how the neighborhood operates they should add an additional layer of protection and increase their security wherever possible. In reality, the best type of security is the type of security that can see and hear day and night without rest.

People that have Expensive or Valuable Equipment in their Apartments

People that have expensive or valuable equipment in their apartment should also consider buying a video doorbell as a way to keep their valuables safe. Just think, you bring home an expensive 60 inch flat screen 4K TV. There will be a number of people that have watched you bring it up the stairs or elevator, install it in your apartment, and throw the box in the trash. These could be the same people that attempt to steal your TV.

A great way to keep all of your stuff in your home is to install a video doorbell that detects motion. In addition, if you notice repeated motion events you can log into your video doorbell from anywhere in the world and see what’s going on.

People that do not trust their Roommates, Landlord, or Neighbors

If you do not trust your roommates, landlord, or Neighbors having a video doorbell is a great way to see who is entering and leaving the apartment, the time they are entering, and the time they’re leaving.

In the next section, I will discuss some of the features that make the Ring Video Doorbell is the appropriate video doorbell for someone that lives in an apartment.

Features

As a former apartment dweller here are some of the features that I wish I had when I lived in my apartment. These features would have provided an additional layer of security, trust, and knowledge about who was coming and going around my apartment.

In my opinion, these are the most important features for a video doorbell used by an apartment owner:

  • Motion detection
  • Remote viewing
  • Shared access
  • Two-way audio
  • No wires
  • Limited Drilling
  • Easy installation

In the next section, I will discuss each of these features more in-depth, and discuss why they are important for someone that lives in an apartment.

Motion Detection

By default, most video doorbells have some sort of motion detection. Motion detection is when your video doorbell sends a notification to your mobile device or computer letting you know that someone or something has moved in the area. Motion detection can be configured by distance and sensitivity.

The Ring Video Doorbell 2 has a maximum motion detection distance of 30 feet and 3 motion zones. If you live in an apartment you can reduce the motion distance to as short as three feet. In addition, you can adjust the motion sensitivity on your ring doorbell. You can adjust your doorbell so that it notifies you when anything large or small enters the field of view. You can also customize the sensitivity to only let you know when there is an adult at your doorstep.

Finally, the Ring Video Doorbell 2 has two ways to customize the way you receive notifications. They are called motion scheduling and motion snooze. With motion scheduling you can schedule when your video doorbell sends push notifications and when it doesn’t. Motion scheduling can come in handy if you are expecting high traffic to occur outside of your front door.

For example, if a moving crew is moving in new neighbors, you may want to schedule your ring doorbell not to send motion alerts during this time frame.

Motion snooze is similar to motion scheduling in that it can disable push notifications but motion snooze is different because it is short-term. For example, I use motion snooze when I’m cutting the grass or doing yard work so that I don’t have 50 motion events of me cutting the grass. As an apartment owner, you may want to enable motion snooze if you’re having a new couch installed in your home.

So to clarify, motion snooze should be used in short-term, unexpected events. Motion scheduling, however,r should be used or recurring events, or events that have been scheduled in advance.

Remote Viewing

Remote viewing is a feature that allows you to view and interact with your Ring Video Doorbell from anywhere around the world. As long as you have access to the internet you can receive push notifications when motion is detected or when someone rings your doorbell. In addition, you can activate live viewing, which is the ability to look at your hallway to see what’s currently happening at your front door.

With remote viewing, you give the impression that you are always home even if you are at work, in class, or on vacation. Remote viewing is as easy as opening up the ring mobile application, navigating to your video doorbell device, and hitting the live view option. With live view enabled you can hear and see everything that’s going on.

Note: the live viewing feature may not work in all situations. For example, live viewing will not work if your battery is close to expiring.

Shared Access

Shared access is the ability to allow others to access your ring device. With shared access, you can give users temporary and permanent access to your Ring Doorbell. This feature is great if you have roommates or house guests and they want the ability to see what’s happening in and around their front doorstep. There are two types of users shared and guest, which I will discuss next.

Shared User

A shared user is someone, like a roommate, who you want to have access to your Ring device but you don’t want them to be able to make changes to the owner account. For example, if you have roommates you want to give them shared user permission so that they can answer push notifications and doorbell rings.

Note you should never give your admin username and password to anyone. If someone has access to your owner permissions they can make changes to your account including your password, push notifications, and motion detection.

Two-way Audio

The Ring Video Doorbell offers two-way audio, which is the ability to hear and speak with guests on the other end of your video doorbell. By default, when an event occurs, one-way audio is enabled. This means is a microphone begins listening when motion is detected. The microphone will continue listening until the event has ended.

Two-way audio can be enabled by simply pressing a green button while live viewing an event. Once 2-way audio is enabled, you can speak directly with your guest from anywhere on the world. They will have no idea if you’re in the bedroom of your apartment, or if you’re sitting on a beach Halfway Around the World. Two-way audio remains enabled until you press the red hang up button.

Removable Battery

The Ring Video Doorbell 2 has an easy to remove, rechargeable battery that enables you to place the video doorbell almost anywhere. This battery can be recharged in a few hours, and you don’t have to remove your video doorbell begin recharging. I recommend buying a few extra batteries and keeping them fully charged in the event your installed video doorbell battery dies. Changing a battery is as simple as unscrewing the security screw, pressing the unlock button, removing the old battery, and installing the new battery.

In general, these batteries can last anywhere between a few weeks in a few months depending on the user settings. The higher the sensitivity and the further the motion detection distance will result in more push notifications and shorter battery life. In addition, live viewing through your video doorbell will decrease battery life.

I recommend spending a few months trying the settings to make sure you have an equal balance between battery life and capturing the number of events you feel comfortable with.

Installation

You can install the Ring Video Doorbell 2 in less than 20 minutes. Installing the Ring Video Doorbell is as simple as finding a flat surface, leveling the included mounting bracket, and installing with the included screws. In addition, Ring provides everything you need to install the video doorbell.

Once you install the mounting bracket, simply place the doorbell on the four hooks, secure the video doorbell install the battery and you’re ready to begin using the device. Once you install the hardware you will need to download the app and begin connecting the Ring Video Doorbell to your Wi-Fi. Depending on how long it takes for the Ring Video Doorbell to find your network you can be up and running in less than 10 minutes. Simply follow the directions noted on the mobile application and you will be all set.

As I mentioned before make sure you contact the apartments manager to gain approval to install a video doorbell and drill holes in the wall.

Where to Install the Video Doorbell at Your Apartment

I recommend installing the video doorbell on the same side as your doorknob. You should install the doorbell about 6 inches to a foot higher than the location of your doorknob. Installing your video doorbell on the same side is your door knob will enable you to catch the faces of your guests because they’ll look down to grab the doorbell.

Why the Ring Video Doorbell 2 is Best for Apartments

Personally, I feel the ring video doorbell 2 is best for apartments for the following reasons

  • Battery operated
  • Quick installation
  • 1080p video resolution
  • Removable battery

In the next section, I will cover a few video doorbells that could also work well for people that live in apartments. In addition, I’ll discuss why they fall short of being the best video doorbell for an apartment.

Honorable Mention

In this section, I will discuss two other video doorbells that may work well were using at your apartment

Ring Video Doorbell 1

The Ring Video Doorbell 1 is an entry-level video doorbell also offered by Ring. This doorbell can run on both battery and a wired connection. This video doorbell is a cheaper alternative to the Ring Video Doorbell 2 and has its own strengths and weaknesses.

You will want to consider the Ring Video Doorbell 1 if the Ring Video Doorbell 2 is out of your price range, or you have a wired doorbell already at your apartment. The Ring Video Doorbell 1 includes all of the same features as the Ring Video Doorbell 2 and as I mentioned is a slightly cheaper alternative.

While the Ring Video Doorbell 1 is a great alternative, it does have a few downsides. First, the video resolution on the Ring Video Doorbell 1 is only 720, while the Ring Video Doorbell 2 video resolution is 1080. Second, while the Ring Video Doorbell 1 does include a rechargeable battery, you have to remove the entire device from the mounting bracket to recharge the internal battery. This is a drawback because you are unable to charge the device while the device is mounted to the mounting hardware.

Zmodo Greet hd

Another great option is the Zmodo Greet HD Video Doorbell. This device has all of the same features as the Ring Video doorbell 2, in addition, the doorbell features greeting settings that you can enable if you aren’t home.

While there are a number of benefits to this video doorbell, there are a few downsides as well. First, the night viewing distance is much more limited than the Ring Video Doorbell product line. Second, the monthly subscription plan is more expensive and provides fewer features than the Ring Video Doorbell. Finally, you may need to use a wired connection with this device.

Conclusion

To conclude, I believe the Ring Video Doorbell 2 is the best video doorbell for an apartment owner for the following reasons:

  • Motion detection
  • Removable and rechargeable battery
  • Easy installation
  • Small footprint
  • Push notifications
  • Interchangeable faceplate
  • Two-way audio
  • Remote viewing

Have these features will provide you with an additional level of security and provide peace of mind that you cannot be guaranteed otherwise. As I’ve mentioned a few times in this post, make sure you check with the apartment management to make sure that it’s okay to install this type of device. Make them aware that you may need to drill for small holes in the drywall but you will patch and paint those holes if and when you move out.

Click here to see the current price on Amazon

Additional Questions

Is there a Monthly Charge for the Ring Doorbell?

To take advantage of all of rings features yes there is a monthly charge for the video doorbell. You can elect to pay the charge for the entire year, or you can pay at a certain time each month.

Can you use the Ring Doorbell without the Subscription?

Yes, you can use the ring doorbell without the subscription. However you will not have the ability to use most of the features. Without the subscription, you will only be able to view live events. You will not be able to view recorded events save to the cloud.

How Long Does the Ring Video Doorbell Last?

This varies greatly on a number of factors including motion sensitivity, motion distance, and the location of your video doorbell. For example if you have your video doorbell set to the maximum distance of 30 feet, the highest sensitivity, and it sits on a busy Street, your battery will only last a few weeks. However, if you reduce the sensitivity and the motion distance you should be able to get at least a month of battery life.


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