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Doorbells

The humble doorbell has come a long way from a simple bell on a string. Modern doorbells come with a host of features that could barely have been imagined as recently as just a few decades ago. What was once a simple way for visitors to announce their presence has become a key feature of many home security systems.

Wired and Wireless

Traditional chime doorbells are wired right into the mains, and while they do nothing more than announce visitors, they do that very well. As with anything else, going wireless brings its own set of tradeoffs. Wireless doorbells are easier to install; you just mount them in place, but they need batteries, which bring another set of responsibilities to the table.

Intercoms

Once common only in flats, intercom doorbells let you speak with your visitors before you let them in. It's a great way to protect your privacy, as well as verify just who is at the door before you go down and open it. It's a great step up for large families, as you can ask who's there so you know who to send to the door to open it.

Video Doorbells

The latest wrinkle is the video doorbell. Hook one of these up to your doors and you can not only talk to your visitors, but also see them. Some video doorbells have motion sensors that trigger when someone approaches and then send the feed right to your mobile. That way, even if you're not home you can see who's there and deal with your visitors on your terms.

Hardware

Anyone looking for new doors and door hardware should think long and hard about what they want from a doorbell. It's no longer enough just to think about whether you're going to like the chime. Now you have to balance features against ease of installation and a whole host of other factors.

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