Zmodo was founded in 2009 and has since sold more than 8 million products in the smart home market. The Zmodo Greet Smart Doorbell are widely regarded and have recently been seen on the Harry Show. Additionally, Zmodo is one of the few smart home equipment companies that own both their hardware and user experience end-to-end. Zmodo Greet Smart Doorbell is always striving to deliver high-quality products at affordable prices. And with the Zmodo Greet doorbell cameras, you simply install the doorbell by connecting it to your home’s current wiring, download the app, which is free, and use the instructions provided in the app to set up your new doorbell while connecting it to your Wi-Fi service. This entire process can be completed within minutes.
Home security is constantly evolving as technology advances. If the solutions used to secure your house were to stagnate, your home would become relatively simple to break into within the course of a few years. While burglars may be a deplorable lot, they are dedicated, so security always needs to stay one step ahead of them.
There are plenty of different home security systems, and each of them has their pros and cons. Before we get to our review of this doorbell camera from Zmodo, let’s go over them and see why this type of security product is so popular. There are a few reasons why many opt for a doorbell camera over other security methods.
What is a Doorbell Camera?
As the name suggests, a doorbell camera acts as a doorbell and a camera. Doorbell cameras, also called video doorbell cameras, have become a staple security measure for many homes across the country. That is, it monitors your entryway and delivers serious peace of mind for you and your family. (Most doorbell cameras are much more than just a camera, as we’ll soon find out.)
With a doorbell camera, your packages stay relatively safe, as the devices serve as a great first line of defense against ‘porch pirates’. They also protect against more nefarious crimes such as break-ins, burglaries, home invasions, and the like.
These doorbell cams come in both hardwired and wireless options. With a wireless (battery operated) doorbell camera, setup is a cinch and you’ll be up and running in less than 30 minutes.
Also, most doorbell cameras come with a companion app, so you can control the features and functions via your smartphone, tablet, or even desktop computer. And the capabilities are nothing short of impressive. With many doorbell cameras, you can do anything up to and including:
- Remotely monitor your front door, doorstep, or entryway
- Live-stream video and tap into the stream via companion app
- Record activity and store it either on the cloud, on the device itself, or on an SD card
- Detect would-be intruders even at night with night vision and HD image quality (some cameras have up to 1080p resolution)
- Pan and zoom technology to get the full picture
- Scare off would-be intruders or thieves with 2-way talk, featured on the camera’s companion app
- Withstand the most severe elements with weatherproof construction
- Seamlessly connect to third-party home-automation platforms
- Some cameras can even recognize family and friends!
When it’s tripped, the motion-detection feature on the doorbell camera triggers the recording. The duration of the activity is then recorded and stored accordingly. Other cameras offer continuous recording, day and night. If your budget allows for it, it’s best to upgrade to cloud video storage, which can offer virtually limitless storage, so long as you’re willing to pay for it.
Another great thing about doorbell cameras is that most will send a text alert when they sense activity. This way, you can open the app and see exactly who’s at your door, and of course, take any necessary action.
Like any security solution, doorbell cameras do have their faults. For instance, thieves have (ironically) learned to steal the very doorbell cameras themselves. Also, many of the cameras have limited range and/or panning functionality.
But all in all, the advantages of owning a video doorbell camera far outweigh the disadvantages.
Pro Tip: Not sure what to look for in a doorbell camera? Head over to our Doorbell Camera Buyer’s Guide to learn about the features and tech and other important info. It’s all there!
Do I Need a Doorbell Camera?
Nobody really needs a doorbell camera, but these nifty devices sure make life safer and more convenient. With this in mind, doorbell cams are more important than other tech gadgets like smart watches, TVs, and other smart home features.
Doorbell video cameras are ideal for those who:
- Have experienced package theft in the past (or their neighbor has)
- Have frequent visitors to their home
- Travel often for business or pleasure
- Have a larger-than-average home
- Are smart home automation enthusiasts
- Desire an added layer of protection for their home
It’s a good rule of thumb to expect the unexpected. You simply never know if and when a criminal is going to target your home. And a quality doorbell camera has stopped many-a-criminal in their tracks. So while you don’t necessarily need a doorbell camera, they are more than worth the money and highly recommended.
An excellent, affordable option
You’ve watched the viral internet videos of mysterious sightings, criminals caught in the act, and car crashes all caught by video doorbells. With those tantalizing images in mind, the decision to step into the 21st century and install a smart doorbell at your front door starts looking less like a luxury and more like a necessity.
Now, shopping for the right smart doorbell begins. Although there are many options on the market, each is subtly but importantly different. One of the most affordable options, however, is the Zmodo Greet Smart Doorbell, but it is it any good? I recently installed one on the front of my home to find out. Over several weeks of testing, the results—and its bona fides—became clear.
What We Like
- Relatively easy to install
- Limited audio and video lag
- Good audio quality on both ends—from device and app
- Premium look
What We Don’t Like
- Difficult to set up on some Wi-Fi
- HD image, but not as high definition as many competitors
- No tools included in the kit
Doorbell cameras have the advantage of being much cheaper than most other security solutions. While a doorbell cam may not provide the same level of comprehensive security as some of the alternatives which are available, it is simple to install, and it will not burn a sizable chunk of cash.
A camera on your doorbell is also a matter of convenience as much as it is a matter of your security. When there is a camera feed from your doorbell that can be checked in moments, you always know who is at the door, whether they are door-to-door salesmen or a group of friends.
This solution also works well with other budget home security products. When you combine a doorbell camera with a comprehensive array of IP cameras around your home, you will have a security setup unlike any other. Having nearly full camera coverage of your house will let you know if something fishy is going on.
As you can see, there are many reasons why you would want to invest in a doorbell camera, and they are not all directly related to keeping your home safe, which may be surprising. Now, we will go over an aspect that is critical to mull over when you are buying your next doorbell camera.
Design: Simulated brush steel
As I mentioned in the intro, there’s no shortage of entrants in the smart doorbell market, some of which have embraced an Apple-like white color scheme. Others go for a darker motif with piano-black gloss plastic bodies. The Zmodo Greet, however, has a nice simulated brushed steel face, which makes it look substantial and premium by comparison.
Despite its looks, the Greet is actually fairly lightweight, tipping the scales at just 0.36 pounds. I was initially worried, based upon its looks, that the heft of the thing might overwhelm my wood siding. However, it’s such a featherweight that it was barely heavier than the standard non-smart doorbell that it replaced.
Before the install, I was also worried that visitors wouldn’t instinctively know which feature on the face of the Zmodo Greet to push in order to ring my bell. The always-on camera looks a bit like a button. However, when it’s powered up, the doorbell button has an illuminated ring, drawing the user’s eyes away from the sizeable camera and to the bell button itself. Crisis averted.
Setup Process: Get ready to reset your Wi-Fi
The smart doorbell is one of the few crossover tech items that require the user to be both somewhat tech-savvy as well as proficient with home repair and tools. This can be a deterrent or annoyance for those who are not both. I happen to be, so it wasn’t too much of a hassle for me. I know not everyone is, though, so take into consideration your own interest/skill level in messing with home wiring.
First of all, you must have a doorbell switch hardwired to a physical bell chime with a range of 10 to 36 AC volts. If you don’t, the standard Zmodo Greet setup will not work for you. If you do, you can proceed as normal.
Past the prolonged setup process, I found the Zmodo app and the Greet performed well.
Turn off power to your doorbell at your home’s fuse box. Unscrew your traditional doorbell from the wall. Measure and drill holes for the Zmodo Greet mounts. Attach it to the wall with the supplied screws, then slide the body onto the mount plate. Flip power back on to your doorbell and test it. If it all works, you’re ready to move to the next step. And this is where it can get tricky—it did for me.
My standard Wi-Fi router connection is a 5-gigahertz network connection. The Greet requires a 2.4ghz network connection—no more, no less. No problem, I have one of those, too. However, the name of mine includes a “!” and that threw off the Greet’s connectivity.
This forced me to call my landlord, who controls my Wi-Fi and alter the network name and settings. This was an annoyance for everyone involved. Even when the Wi-Fi network was appropriately named and calibrated to Zmodo’s preferences, connecting the Greet to my Wi-Fi network wasn’t super fast and required several attempts.
Like considering if you want to mess with home wiring before you purchase a smart doorbell, you’ll want to take into account your home Wi-Fi network and its available bands and settings. If you don’t have a 2.4ghz network, the Greet is probably worth skipping.
Performance/Software: Not a highly-rated app
While the Zmodo app isn’t particularly user-friendly or intuitive, I didn’t find it onerous enough to merit it’s current 2.1 star rating on the Apple App Store. Past the prolonged Wi-Fi setup process, I found the Zmodo app and the Greet performed well. When motion is detected, the Greet sends an alert to the user’s phone and records 10 seconds of video, which the user can review at any time.
When someone rings the bell, a push notification is sent to the user’s device. From the app, they can remotely speak with the person at the door through the Greet’s built-in microphone and speaker.
Of our eight favorite smart doorbells, the Greet is one of the cheapest options.
There’s very little lag between audio and video. Both I on the smartphone app and visitors to my front door found the audio quality fairly clear and audible with few exceptions (occurring only when there was excessive background noise).
The first 8GB of video recordings are saved in cloud storage by Zmodo. If you wish to access video further back, you’ll need to upgrade to a monthly subscription.
This doorbell camera has several features that we consider impressive, especially for its price. Some notable features:
This camera is capable of everything that you would need in a doorbell camera, it records in 720P, which is clear enough for most needs, and it can record in IR night vision. This doorbell camera can also be accessed wherever you go through the companion app on your phone.
Price: One of the least expensive
The Zmodo Greet is no longer new and been replaced in the marketplace by recent models with higher resolution and broader connectivity options. However, if you don’t need the newest and highest resolution smart doorbell on the market, the Greet is a good, inexpensive choice. Although it once retailed for well above $100, it can frequently be purchased on Amazon for around $99.
Of our eight favorite smart doorbells, the Greet is one of the cheapest options. Aside from lacking 1080p, it offers virtually the same features and options as other contenders for two thirds of the price.
Zmodo Greet Smart Doorbell vs. RCA Doorbell Video Camera
Comparing these two smart doorbells is a question of paying now or paying later. Let me explain. The RCA Doorbell Video Camera can be had on Amazon for around $129. The Zmodo Greet, however, can be purchased for $99. The RCA is true HD, with 1080p HD images, and can attach to either a 2.4 or 5-ghz Wi-Fi connection. It also comes with a 16GB micro SD card.
The Greet, as we discussed, only outputs 720p images and can only connect to 2.4ghz Wi-Fi networks. All of its video is stored in the Zmodo cloud, and that last factor is what will get you in the long run.
Although the Greet is cheaper upfront, it may cost you more throughout ownership. That’s because if you want to store more than a dozen hours on the Zmodo cloud, you’ll need to pay a monthly subscription fee. By comparison, the RCA can be upgraded by the owner from the included 16GB to a 128GB micro SD card and stores all video data onboard (though that too is an additional expense).
A strong contender, but outdated in the marketplace
The Zmodo Greet Smart Doorbell is a strong offering in the video doorbell segment. It’s relatively easy to use, affordable, and it’s not too difficult to install, granted you have a 2.4 ghz Wi-Fi network and own a power drill. However, as it ages, and the competition gets stronger and cheaper to purchase, the Greet’s bona fides quickly fade. If initial cost is your chief concern, the Greet is a great choice. Otherwise, you might be better suited looking to one of its higher-powered, more expensive competitors.
This doorbell camera is superior to a lot of the competition since it is so much more user-friendly. If you want a doorbell camera, but you have never owned one before, this is the best choice for you.
The instruction manual that comes included with this camera is clear enough to be understood without too much trouble. This doorbell camera is also much easier to install than other models since you just have to drill it into a spot near your door and then access Beam Connect to ensure that it is working.
- Product NameGreet Smart Doorbell
- Product BrandZmodo
- Product Dimensions2.75 x 1.41 x 5.03 in.
- WarrantyTwo-year limited
- CompatibilityiOS and Android
- Camera720p HD
- Night VisionInfrared, up to 10 feet
- Motion SensorsYes
- Connectivity OptionsHigh-speed broadband internet (>1 Mbps upload) – 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi