There are nearly 4 million home invasions a year in America, often occurring while the family is home and frequently involving force. Most of those attacks started when the intruders tried the front door, even if they later moved around to the back or the side of the house.
Doorbell cameras are one of the best ways to prevent break-ins. Some criminals will back off if they see a camera. These camera security systems can also alert law enforcement while a burglary is in progress and provide evidence for later investigation.
To help keep families safe, ADT has partnered with Google to build a smart home security system around the latter company’s Nest doorbell camera. The smart doorbell camera uses Google’s advanced face recognition software and wireless connectivity to give homeowners a real-time feed from their front porch. This review focuses on the ADT Google doorbell camera features and pricing with the aim of helping you make an informed decision about which home security system is right for you.
ADT Google Doorbell Camera Overview
Google’s Nest video camera is a compact, slick-looking unit available in both battery and hardwired options. Both units are easy to install and priced competitively against Ring, a leading competitor. Both Nest models have excellent video resolution and solid 6x zoom. Unlike simpler doorbell cameras, Nest is part of a smart home system and integrates with Alexa and a customizable mobile app. The system has a sophisticated person recognition algorithm it uses to alert you to visitors, even if they don’t ring your bell. These alerts are viewable for up to three hours after the event.
Features of the ADT Google System
The ADT Google video doorbell system has a lot to offer, with more than a few specs beating the competition and one or two that leave something to be desired. Here are a few of the basic features of the system:
|Feature||ADT Google System|
|Installation||Simple DIY installation|
|Video Resolution||960 x 1280 pixels|
|Low-Light Capability||Night vision included|
|Saved Video||Up to 3 hours|
|Field of vision||Up to 145 degrees|
|Doorbell ring notifications||Yes|
|Alerts||Email, text and Alexa|
|Summon Law Enforcement||Via ADT|
|Facial Recognition||Optional upgrade|
The real power of the ADT Google security camera system is in how well it integrates with smart home systems, especially Google’s Alexa. It’s also got some innovative features that make it extra useful for most homeowners. Smart features that are either standard with the basic package or that you can opt for include:
- Familiar Faces: You can program the doorbell with the names of frequent visitors to your home after their first video capture. Using facial recognition, the system can learn what your friends look like and let you know when they’ve dropped by. The other side of this is that unfamiliar faces can be set to trigger a special alert.
- Activity Zones: Activity zones are areas of special interest you can set to pay closer attention to the things that matter while ignoring areas that don’t. If, for example, your front door faces the street, you can program the camera to alert motion in the activity zone close to your door or on your driveway but to ignore passing cars and foot traffic on the sidewalk.
- Custom Notifications: ADT Google’s system lets you decide what notifications to get and how you want to be alerted. If you’re concerned about having anybody on your porch, you can set the system to alert you to every person who gets close. If you’re expecting company, the system can be set to not alert you about familiar faces. You can also get alerts via Alexa when you get home or via email and text while you’re away. With the app, it’s fairly easy to customize the alerts almost any way you want.
- Package Tracking: This system has a smart package tracking feature that lets you keep an eye on parcels the delivery service leaves on your porch. Besides the solid deterrent effect of having a visible camera to turn away thieves, the system monitors packages until you can get home. If someone steps onto your porch and tries to steal a package, the system can alert you immediately and let you contact law enforcement before the thief leaves your property.
How the ADT Google System Stacks Up
ADT Google’s partnership is a bit odd in some ways. You would expect ADT to take the lead in manufacturing the hardware for this system, but in fact, Nest is a Google product. ADT provides the monitoring, while the smart features run through Google. Google also handles the integration throughout the Nest network, especially with its proprietary Alexa home smart system.
The system is generally good for hardware, at least when compared with the similarly priced competition. It has an excellent camera, solid zoom, good low-light capabilities and a high enough resolution to provide reliable facial recognition under varying light conditions. It’s easy to install and works seamlessly with your existing smart home system.
The basic ADT Google system is available as a simple non-smart bit of hardware for $179.99. However, this is not even close to your final price since the unit isn’t meant to operate independently. To get the most out of the ADT Google doorbell camera, you must sign up for ADT’s $1,000+ total home security package and pay a monthly monitoring fee. If you were planning to invest in a home security system already, this is a sunk cost for you, but as an add-on to make the doorbell camera work, it can be a bit steep.
Is the ADT Google System a Good Choice?
Whether or not you should invest in the ADT Google doorbell camera depends on your needs and plans. If you’ve never seen the need for a doorbell camera or are interested but don’t have a sense of urgency, this is probably too expensive. It’s a sophisticated package, which usually turns off new or inexperienced buyers, but Google is a master at making complicated things relatively simple. If, however, you’re in the market for a decent mid-range doorbell camera with multiple smart features, this ADT Google partnership could be just the thing for you.
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