Believe it or not, there was a time when video intercoms only belonged in sci-fi movies. Fast forward to 2022, and these once futuristic systems are fast becoming a part of our everyday lives. Today we take a high-level look at the best video intercom systems that are finding their way into homes, offices, multifamily, and multi-location facilities.
Best Video Intercom Systems for Home Use
Home video intercom systems, also known as single-family systems, are inexpensive devices that you can buy at Amazon and other retailers. Home intercoms can include:
- Video doorbells with two-way audio calling and door release
- Baby video intercom monitors that can also be used for senior care
Best Baby Video Intercom Monitors
Baby monitors with an integrated video intercom function are great for keeping an eye on your little one while you’re in another room. These top-rated baby video intercoms have all the features you need to keep tabs on your child, including two-way talk, night vision, temperature and humidity sensors, and more.
This is an easy-to-use video baby monitor that has great reviews and is very affordable. It comes with a 3.5″ color LCD display, two-way audio talk, room temperature ,monitoring, and night vision.
Buying Link: Philips Avent SCD630
Summer Infant Video Baby Monitor is a high-quality device that comes with a 5″ color LCD display, two-way audio talk, digital zoom and infrared night vision.
Manufacturer’s URL: Summer Infant LookOut
The Motorola baby monitor is a great choice for those who want a video baby monitor with a large screen. It comes with a 3.5″ color LCD display, two-way audio talk, and night vision.
Buying Link: Motorola MBP36S
An affordable video baby monitor that boasts a 2.8″ color LCD display, two-way audio talk, and night vision. Eufy is the top baby video intercom as per a Wirecutter review.
Buying Link: Eufy Space View
Our top pick for 2022, this device comes with a 3.5″ color LCD display, two-way audio talk, and night vision. It also has temperature and humidity sensors, as well as a breathing monitor.
Buying Link: Infant Optics DXR-8
Best Home Video Intercom Doorbells
Modern-day families use video intercom systems to monitor the main entrance, take visitor calls, and unlock the door remotely. The essential features of these systems include two-way audio calling, one-way or two-way video, SIP calling to mobile phones and landlines, remote unlocking, and call recording. Plenty of home intercom devices are available, including wireless and hardwired systems. Our top pick for home entry video intercom systems include:
Ring Video Doorbell and Intercom System
The hugely popular Ring offers at least seven different types of doorbells with slightly varying features and video quality. The common trait is that they can all place one-way video calls to your smartphone when someone presses the doorbell and you are not home. The Ring connects with Alexa to sound alerts and can also sound a chime that has to be bought separately from the doorbell. Depending on the model, you can connect solar panels, alarms, cameras, chimes, and more. Price can range from ~$60 to ~$960, depending on what you buy.
Manufacturer’s URL: https://ring.com/doorbell-cameras
Nest Doorbell Front Door Video Cam
Sold by Google himself, the Nest doorbell is now a part of Google Nest, the new moniker that covers all of Google’s smart home devices—security camera, smart speakers, thermostats and more. Nest doorbell is available in wired and battery operated variants and streams video to the Google Home app. Priced from $179.99.
Google Store Link: https://store.google.com/us/product/nest_doorbell_battery?hl=en-US
Grandstream IP Video Intercom Door System
Grandstream video intercom systems can be used with mobile phones and landlines. It comes with two-way audio, one-way video, remote unlocking, and call recording features.The door station can stream 1080p video to indoor stations, NVRs, IP phones, and smartphones simultaneously. Some of their models have built-in RFID card readers. Price starts at $315 for the outdoor station.
Manufacturer’s URL: http://www.grandstream.com/products/facility-management/facility-access-systems
AMOCAM Video Intercom System
AMOCAM is an inexpensive home video intercom system that installs on 4-wire cable. It comes with two-way audio, one-way video, and remote unlocking features. The system is not compatible with mobile phones and can only place calls to the indoor station. The price starts at around $200 for the complete kit.
Buying Link: Amcom Wired Video Intercom
Aiphone JO Series
Aiphone is a leading manufacturer of video intercom systems for homes and offices. Their JO series is an IP doorbell that can route visitor video and audio to an indoor station as well as to Aiphone’s mobile application. The indoor station serves as the master station and has a built-in memory for storing recordings. The device only provides two-way audio and one-way video and you need to install a relay to operate the door strike. Price starts at around $420.
Manufacturer’s URL: https://www.aiphone.com/products/jo-series
Hikvision provides a range of video intercom products for home. Their 2-wire series devices just need a power cable and an Ethernet cable to install. These may not be as convenient to install as wifi devices, but the presence of wires gives them great picture quality and eliminates the delay between push of button and appearance of picture which is a limitation some wireless systems may face. Priced from $545 on Amazon (for the kit).
Manufacturer’s URL: https://www.hikvision.com/mena-en/
Best Video Intercom Systems for Apartments
Video intercom systems play a crucial role in enhancing security and convenience at apartment buildings and condo communities. Modern IP based systems make it possible for residents to answer visitor calls from anywhere through their mobile phone. Some of the must-have features of apartment video intercom systems include remote management, remote unlocking, keyless entry, and mobile video calling.
Swiftlane Video Intercom and Access Control System
Swiftlane offers a true cloud-managed solution that enables visitors to call building occupants on their mobile phones via two-way video and audio calling. The innovative Swiftreader and Swiftreader X door stations are PoE enabled door readers that allow two-way video and audio calling with card, mobile, and face unlock functionalities.
Key features include:
- VoIP and SIP based two-way video and audio calling to mobile devices, landlines and indoor monitors
- Keyless entry via mobile, cards & fobs, and PIN codes
- Hands free facial recognition access
- Mobile app remote and proximity door unlock
- Smart elevator access
- Remote entrance monitoring
- Voice activated parking gate or garage door unlock
- Visitor access codes and scheduling
- Built-in PMS integration
- Centralized remote system management via mobile app and browser
AlphaTouch Video Intercom System
Alpha Communication’s, AlphaTouch is a cloud-based multi-tenant video intercom platform that includes IP 65 rated water and dust resistant 7” touchscreen entry stations and 7” and 10” indoor monitors. The system runs Android based AlphaTouch firmware while the hardware is manufactured by Akuvox. Visitors can use a scrollable touchscreen directory to place video calls on indoor stations and smartphones running the AlphaTouch mobile application.
Alpha Touch URL: https://www.alphacommunications.com/
Detailed Review: Alpha Communications AlphaTouch Pricing & Comparison
Latch Video Intercom System
Latch is a full building operating system that also includes two-way audio intercom built into its locking hardware. An external video camera needs to be installed to achieve video intercom and video monitoring functionalities. The system consists of an innovative entry station with tactile buttons and proprietary Latch door locks on each apartment door.
Closer Look: Latch Intercom Overview & Pricing
ButterflyMX Video Intercom System
ButterflyMX is a rather pricey cloud-based video intercom system that comes with two-way audio and video, landline and mobile calling, remote unlock and door release, and hands-free Siri enabled voice controls. There are many similarities between ButterflyMX and Swiftlane video intercom systems, but Swiftlane edges ahead when you compare the pricing and detailed features of both systems. For example, 95% of residents prefer Swiftlane’s built-in face unlock, reader call back, and intrusion detection features. ButterflyMX does not have these features despite its steep pricing.
ButterflyMX URL: https://butterflymx.com/
Related Post: ButterflyMX Review and Comparison with Swiftlane
Best Commercial and Business Video Intercoms for Offices
These systems are designed for businesses and office buildings, and they offer a variety of features that can make your life easier. For example, systems like Swiftlane allow you to control office entry and exit and view live entrance footage, so you can always keep an eye on what’s going on around your office. Here are our top picks:
Aiphone IXG Series
Aiphone IXG Series is a network-based solution that can support up to 9,999 devices and apps including door stations, gateways, and elevator control hardware. The system comprises PoE based stations that you can manage through a cloud-based mobile app.
Manufacturer URL: https://www.aiphone.com/products/ixg-series
Closer Look: Complete Aiphone Video Intercom System Review & Cost
Also suggested: Best Business Intercom Systems
Swiftlane Business Video Intercom System
Thanks to its sophisticated access control and security features, Swiftlane works perfectly as a business video intercom system for commercial and multi-tenant office buildings. Unlike Aiphone, you don’t need to lay cabling and install indoor stations in each office suite. The system uses modern cloud-based architecture, which makes it more responsive and easier to scale compared to older systems.
Swiftlane’s features specific to commercial and office buildings include:
- Easy one click employee enrollment
- Keycard, PIN and mobile access control
- Facial recognition access control for added convenience and security
- Multi Factor authentication
- Elevator access for authorized users
- Time barred access codes for visitors
- Remote video monitoring and door release via mobile app and browser
- Suitable for outdoor use, parking garages and gated facilities
- Enterprise grade data and communication security
Request a Quote: https://www.swiftlane.com/get-quote/
2N Video Intercom System
2N is an established player in the office and business video intercom market. It manufactures two flagship office intercom models, namely the 2N IP Verso and the 2N IP Style. The Verso has a modular outdoor station with the option to install a touch display, Bluetooth module, or fingerprint reader. The Style features a 10” display in its outdoor station.
2N Website: https://www.2n.com/en_US/
Suggested Post: 2N Intercom Review and Pricing
Best Video Intercom Selection for Multiple Business Locations
If you’re looking for a solution to improve security and communications at multiple business locations or branch offices, a multi-location video intercom and access control system is the answer. Today’s cloud-based systems are easy to scale, quick to deploy, and simple to manage.
A multi-location system should provide centralized global management, multiple methods of entry, and crisp audio-visual communications between locations. It should be a reliable system with fail-safe protection against internet and grid outages, so that your organization stays connected, no matter what.
Here are the top 3 video intercom systems recommended for multiple business locations:
Swiftlane Video Intercom and Touchless Access Control
Swiftlane tops the list because of its easy scalability, great features, and wireless as well as wired connectivity. Read more about Swiftlane or watch how it works:
ButterflyMX, though it is more expensive than Swiftlane and has fewer features, is another great choice for multiple offices because of its cloud-based ecosystem and mobile compatibility. Read more about ButterflyMX or watch the video below.
2N IP Video Intercom
2N is an established intercom brand that stands out because of its reliability and build quality. It lacks a mobile-first approach and is harder to scale compared to Swiftlane or ButterflyMX. Read an in-depth 2N review or watch this video.
Best Wireless Intercom Systems for Apartments: How to Choose?
A wireless video intercom system is the ideal solution if you want to run cables to each apartment unit.The important question is, which particular intercom system should you choose? Here are a few considerations that will help you make the right choice.
Considerations When Choosing a Wireless Video Intercom System
- How many units do you need?
- Do you need an audio only system or a video intercom system?
- What is your budget?
- What type of installation do you want?
- What basic features do you need?
- Do you need additional features?
- Do you need to manage multiple business locations?
- Do you need a fully managed cloud-based solution or will you rather DIY?
- Do you need live video monitoring?
Wireless Video Intercom Systems for Apartments: Must Have Features
A modern apartment intercom system should offer convenience, security, and ease of use for you and your residents. Look for the following basic features:
- Ability to call multiple numbers and devices in each unit; including mobile phones, smartphones, landlines, and tenant stations
- Fail-safe protection during outages—the system should stay up even when the internet is down
- High quality audio and video, even under sunlight and low light conditions
- Protection against water, dust and vandalism—look for IP65 and IK08 certified outdoor stations
- Freedom to choose a variety of access control methods including key cards, key fobs, mobile and facial recognition access
- Timed access for deliveries and regular visitors, including temporary access codes and mobile entry options
Related Post:Condo Intercom Systems- A Guide to Upgrading
Type of Wireless Video Intercom Systems
All wireless access control systems are not created equal. At least three types of wireless systems are available on the market, so you should select the one that best suits your needs.
- Radio Frequency (RF) Based Video Intercoms
These types of systems use radio frequencies to transmit the video and audio signal from the outdoor station to the indoor monitor or monitors. The main advantage of an RF based system is that it does not require any internet connection. The main disadvantages are that these systems are limited in range and interference from other electronic equipment can disrupt the voice and video signal.
- IP Based Wireless Video Intercoms
An IP based wireless video intercom system uses your building’s existing Wi-Fi network to transmit the video and audio signal. The advantage of an IP based system is that you can use your smartphone or tablet to answer the door, even when you are not at home. The disadvantage is that the video and audio quality may suffer as a result of choppy internet coverage.
- PoE or Ethernet Based Wireless Video Intercoms
Most IP based video intercoms come with the option to connect via WiFi as well as Ethernet cables. For example, Swiftlane’s SwiftReader entry station mounts on your existing LAN. It can relay voice and video through the Ethernet cable and also wirelessly using VoIP and LTE technology. A PoE or Ethernet based system provides better video quality compared to a completely wire-free solution. Just as with IP intercoms, you can use your smartphone or tablet to answer the door, even when you are not in the building.
Top 3 Wireless Systems for Apartments
Based on the above considerations, the best wireless intercom systems include:
Swiftlane IP Based PoE Video Intercom System: As discussed above, Swiftlane offers multiple access methods, mobile and landline calling, real-time video monitoring, and fully cloud-based remote management.
Latch Video Intercom and Access Control System: Latch, being a full-building security and access control solution, is a good option if you are okay with installing an external camera for capturing video and replacing all door locks with Latch door locks.
OpenPath Video Intercom and Mobile Access Control System: Openpath has lately added a video intercom to its reader. The Openpath Video Intercom Reader Pro can stream one-way video and two-way audio to smartphones running the Openpath app.
Openpath URL: https://www.openpath.com/
Closeup Look: Openpath Review, Pricing and Comparison
How to Choose the Best Video Intercoms with Door Release?
Most video intercom systems allow the call recipient to unlock the door remotely. This can be done either using wires or wirelessly using smart locks. Let’s look at some of the factors to consider before you buy a system for your home, office or building.
Compatibility with Locks: Some of the systems are compatible with standard electric locks while others use proprietary locking hardware. Hardware agnostic systems tend to be more future proof and easier to integrate.
Door Release Method: Modern systems allow users to release the door by pressing a button on the tenant station, landline phone and mobile phones. Readers and controllers are hardwired to electronic deadbolts door strike or maglocks, unless you have a system that works with wireless smart locks.
Fail Safe Protection: The system should be able to work without the internet. Latest systems can communicate through LTE and internal Ethernet LAN during internet outages. You don’t want to be locked in or out of the building when the web is broken.
Lag Time: There should be no noticeable lag between the pressing of the button on your mobile or indoor monitor and the unlocking of the door. Even some modern systems that offer remote unlocking via mobile have a significant amount of delay, which can be quite frustrating for users.
Entry Methods: The best video intercom systems with door release offer several unlocking methods including RFID cards, proximity cards, mobile, facial recognition, and even physical keys.
In this post we have taken a high-altitude view of the best video intercom systems for homes, offices, apartments, and offices. To get a closer view of different systems, navigate our blog by following the links that we have enclosed in each section. We hope this reading will help you select the best-fit solution for your facility. Happy video calling!
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