Consumer Reports recommends best video doorbells to safety greet guests at home

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- As Americans continue to grapple with ways to practice social distancing during the pandemic, even short encounters with a delivery person or neighbor could be a cause for anxiety.

One solution is a video doorbell, which can provide security and a safe way to greet people at your front door.

Consumer Reports has recommendations for which ones to buy.

Brandon Murphy's video doorbell was a car-saver when it captured his neighbor's vehicle being stolen in the middle of the night.

"The neighbor said his car got stolen, so the first thing I thought was, well we save five days worth of camera feeds off of the smart doorbell. Sure enough, it was on there," said Murphy.

The neighbor worked with local police and was able to retrieve the car with no damage.

And Murphy is not the only homeowner benefiting from video doorbells. In fact, video doorbells are so popular, global sales are predicted to grow to $1.4 billion by 2023.

Not only can video doorbells help with security and peace of mind, but when synced up to a smart speaker, like an Amazon Echo or Google Home, you can now answer your door while keeping a safe distance by using just your voice.

So how do you set up a hands-free front-door experience? Consumer Reports says the best thing to do is to keep it in the family.

"There are video doorbells that claim they work with digital assistants, but they may not offer all the features. To ensure compatibility is to stay within the same product ecosystem or product family," said Dan Wroclawski, Consumer Reports Home Editor.

If you're a Google Home user, CR recommends the Nest Hello Video Doorbell, paired with the Google Nest Hub Max Smart Speaker.

As for Amazon smart speaker owners, CR says a perfect pairing is the Ring Video Doorbell 3 and the Amazon Echo Show.

Once you're all set up, you'll be able to talk to visitors from even the farthest point of your home.

But as with any connected device, video doorbells can be hacked. One way to help protect yourself is to set up two-factor authentication, a critical security feature they look for in their data security tests.
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