Security begins at home for your loved ones!
When it comes to protecting our family members, nothing else comes first!
The Traditional Front Door Eye Viewer- Peephole
For ages, we have been using this simple peephole to provide for home safety.
The traditional peephole viewer(non-tech) has a distorted view due to its type of fish-eye lens. There are also blind spots due to the limited viewing angle.
When was the last time you had difficulty looking out through the peephole of your front door, side door or back entrance?
I remember I had to press one eye against the tiny peephole. The view was too small to be seen.
I used to have a fear of looking into the peephole while I was a kid. Afraid that someone will poke into my eyes even though it is not possible.
Sometimes, the peephole viewer may be positioned too high such that one has to tiptoe.
It’s not that I’m not tall enough, just that some standard peephole viewers are already in place at a certain height when we moved in.
Furthermore, regardless of tall or short people, it is still not an easy task to get a clear view.
Sometimes, we will not be able to see who is standing (or even hiding) outside our doorstep.
Has anyone used the Chain Door Guard before?
A door chain guard is a simple fixture attached to your door and door frame which allows the door to open with a small gap, restricted by a chain.
Thus, it allows communication with people outside your door.
When I was small, my house used to fix a chain door guard so that the door can be opened slightly to see who is outside your door.
Installing it is not an easy task too. You must ensure to drill the hole first, and all the other measurements. It is quite a hassle.
Most importantly, it must be firmly installed. If not, it could be easily kicked in, due to weak door restrictor or poor installation.
You might say by fixing the chain door guard seems to resolve the safety issue, yet there’s still fear within us.
Who dares to open?
If we have our family members, especially our elderly or the young ones home alone, it is something which we are very concerned. They may not be quick enough to react and close the door should an intruder try to force his/her way through with some weapon, knife or gun. Not to frighten you. Anything is possible.
It is always good to have a door chain better than none, yet it is still not a perfect solution.
Is there a solution? Definitely!
My Recommendation For You
We know about Security Cameras which can help to provide an eye for our home (If you have read my previous article on Best Wireless Home Security Systems Cameras -How to choose?
You still can do it, but if your purpose is to know who is at your doorstep, then it will not be feasible to install an IP camera outside your home.
I would recommend a digital peephole viewer for your doorstep. It will be the most appropriate choice.
What is a Digital Peephole Viewer?
You might have heard of many names for it. Some people called it Door Ring Bell Camera, Door Bell Camera System or Front door camera system.
It is a combination of a doorbell and a camera for the front door activities.
There are so many choices in the market, how are we going to choose the best digital peephole viewer? What are the things we need to know?
There are a couple of things you have to know.
Let me help you. Over here, I will be showing some photos of my digital peephole viewer. So it’s useful to know what to look out for before you make that purchase.
I will show you my real-life pictures you can hardly find it elsewhere.
At least, it will be easier to show picture illustrations rather than only using words. You do not have to use your imagination due to limited pictures available which are not what we want.
Take note: The Digital Peephole Viewer pictures provided are based on the model I am using. Technically speaking, it should be quite similar unless there are features which are unique or different.
Wait! Wait! Before you make your purchase
Before I move on to share with you, there are two important factors you must take into consideration! I do not want you to waste your money and end up with another white elephant in your house.
1) Door Width
Door thickness is from 35mm to 105mm.
If it is not within the range, then you have to look for the appropriate one.
Say, if it is less than 35mm, there will be a gap and not tight. You have to think out of the box to resolve the gap issue, and sometimes it may not hold properly. If the door is thicker than 105mm, then it is not fully tightened.
You have to take your own risk.
2) Barrel Diameter
You need to check:
(I) Can the digital peephole replace the standard sized peepholes in your door?
The barrel diameter is 14mm to 22mm.
(II) Require any additional work to install? Say, for instance, some doors do not even have a peephole, and you must first find out if it is feasible (or easy) to drill a hole through the door.
For me, it was quite an easy job, with no sweat. When I removed my traditional peephole viewer, it just fit easily into the existing hole.
FUNCTIONAL PHOTOS & MORE!
Show you how it looks like: Indoor and Outdoor view
About Setup /Features & How To Use
The Digital Peephole Viewer is very easy to set up and operate.
Outdoor Device Unit:
When the visitor presses the “Bell” button, the display screen automatically turns on and take a photo.
The IR (Infrared) LED provides a clear night vision. The LEDs will turn on automatically under poor light condition.
Lens: High Definition Color Sensor, 120 degree wide angles viewing.
Indoor Device Unit:
Setup (Main Page):
Do Not Disturb Function:
This is to decide if the ringing tone is to be heard when someone presses the bell.
Selecting “Off” means the ringing tone can be heard.
When “On” is selected, that means it is in silent mode.
The Digital Peephole Viewer comes in 8 languages.
English, French, Espanola, Italian, Arabic, Turkish, Russia and Mandarin. (Not all shown here, as I did not scroll down further)
Use the up/down buttons to select accordingly.
Doorbell Ring Volume:
There are 3 modes to choose -High, Medium or Low
There are 32 ringing types available. Ding Dong, Birthday, Christmas, etc.
Auto Power Off: (The How long will the screen be lit?
You can decide how long you want the display screen to be lit before it turns off automatically.
Either 10 seconds, 20 seconds, 30 seconds or “Off”.
”Off” means the display screen will not be turned off and will stay there until the battery goes flat.
How to power off manually?:
To turn off the display, simply press and hold the “Power On/Off” button (Right-hand side) for at least 1 to 2 seconds and you can let go your finger once you see the “Goodbye” message.
Display Screen Size:
Other factors to consider is, how big/wide you want the display screen to be?
I was looking for a mid-range size then. To what I had researched then, the bigger the display screen, the higher the price. Of course, different brand/model and screen display type, promotions and discounts will also be other contributing factors.
The one I am showing you over here is a 3.5 inch TFT LCD (Thin-Film-Transistor Liquid-Crystal Display) screen. TFT LCD has improved image quality.
It will not have a distorted view (Fish-eye lens) from the traditional peephole viewer.
There are different screens sizes: 2.4 inch, 3.0 inch, 3.5 inch, 4.3 inch, etc.
The Display Screen will be turned on:
(I) When someone presses the bell and a photo will be taken.
(II) By pressing the “Power On” button.
Digital Zoom In/Out:
Press the “Up” or “Down” buttons to zoom in or out.
After pressing the “Power On/Off” button, press the“Power On/Off” button again.
You can take as many shots as possible by pressing the “Power On/Off” button several times.
This depends on your MicroSD storage size but normally photos will not take up much storage compared to video recordings. So far, I have about 293 photos and videos to-date (Cumulative of 4 years since Feb 2015) on my 2GB MicroSD card
To view photo, press the “Video/Photo Review” button
After pressing the “Power On/Off” button, press on the “Video Recording” button
To stop recording, press the “Power On/Off” button
To view video recorded, press the “Video/Photo Review” button
Date & Time Stamp feature:
Whenever someone presses the doorbell, it will automatically take a photo.
There will be a date and time stamp at the bottom right screen for every photo taken.
MicroSD Adapter & DC 6V Power Adapter Inlet:
It comes with a MicroSD card socket (Support Maximum 32GB for my model.
There are 64GB available for other types).
You may want to use the power adapter(6V DC) or 4 pcs AA Batteries (Refer to picture below, under “Battery Compartment”)
Zoom In: MicroSD Adapter (“TF”), MicroSD Card and DC 6V Power Adapter(“DC 6V”)
For any photos and video recordings taken, it stores on the MicroSD card.
You can remove the MicroSD card at any time, to save or transfer it to your computer.
It uses x4 AA Batteries. So far, I prefer to use batteries as I do not like to have any power cord running on my door.
It does not look nice on a personal view. It’s up to your preference.
Low Power (Battery) Indicator:
When the battery is about to turn flat, you can notice from the red battery indicator.
How long will the batteries last?
It varies. I change it about 2 to 4 months. It depends on how you used it:
- The longer the time the display screen is on.
- Video recording, especially the longer the recording time, it will consume more power.
How to fix or remove the Indoor Host Device?
From the picture below, the outdoor device already in place (but still can be uninstalled easily, from inside):
You can remove the Indoor Host device by disconnecting the connector.
There are many brands and models, sizes, features and functions. Hence, the price range varies from about US$ 50 to US$100 (The price is an estimate and will change over the time due to various reasons: Brand, New/Old Model &/or Version, Price competition, Sales, Promotions, Discount, etc.).
Nowadays, it has become more and more affordable as people are more willing to invest in the safety of their loved ones.
For the traditional peephole, any movement inside the house, especially when you are at the peephole, it will be noticed from the outside. We used to have that fear and do not want to get close to the peephole until after ‘cooling period’ (Lol but it’s true).
Digital Peephole Viewer is a very helpful digital device which could easily solve the difficulty of viewing through a narrow hole in the door to see outside. It has a wide display screen, and we do not have to strain our eye by peeping into a narrow hole.
It only takes a couple of seconds to check who is outside your doorstep, with the press of a button.
If you’re expecting someone, it will be easy to have a quick look before opening the door.
You will be able to see very clearly who is outside your door by looking at the brightly lit wide display screen, without any fear that the person outside will know if you are watching them. That’s the best part.
Ever since I installed it, it gives me a sense of security not only for me but my mum when I am not at home. Nowadays, burglars or intruders will be smart and definitely will avoid when they notice some device with an eye is on your door. This acts like a good ‘talisman’ (Ha).
It is very simple to install and very easy to use.
When I purchased mine, I did not opt for the knocking sensor feature. It works by recording the visitor(or visitors) image automatically, as soon as someone knocks at the door.
There is another type which has the motion detection sensor which automatically records the activities when there is any movement outside your doorstep. Hence, it will use up more data capacity and power consumption.
Thus, different digital peephole viewers will have their own distinct features.
What I have shared covers the basic functions which is more than sufficient. Of course, it will be good to have more features. In that case, it will definitely cost more. It’s up to individual preference.
When it comes to home security, it is not only for us but most importantly we should consider investing a digital peephole viewer when we have our seniors and children are home alone. They are the usual vulnerable groups. It provides an additional layer of security and protection for you and your loved ones.
Thank you! Cheers and Take care too!