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Smart Home

CNET Asks: Do you own a smart doorbell?

This modern-day alternative to peeking through the peephole combines security and convenience. Do you use one?

Chris Monroe/CNET

I was taught as a child not to open the door to just anyone and I still think that's a good rule. And now there's a device that makes it easier than ever to keep strangers out. 

The smart doorbell concept is simple: Someone rings the bell or approaches your door and you get a push notification to your phone -- which then shows you a live video of your front step. Some smart doorbells allow you to chat with your visitor through your phone and a speaker inside the buzzer. Some allow you to unlock your door from your phone. One of the most important features is the motion-activated camera, which can help guard against would-be porch pirates who could be after your deliveries.  

Things to consider when choosing between brands (other than cost) include the live view resolution, the latency between doorbell and push notification and the two-way audio. You can check out our list of smart doorbells and their respective features here.

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These devices sound like they'd come in handy and would do a good job at deterring theft. What are some other reasons you'd use them? Maybe you don't want to walk all the way to the front door just to find out your visitor was a solicitor. Maybe you have mobility issues. Or maybe you want to catch creeps like this guy. There's a wide array of reasons and a wide array of smart doorbells to choose from.

So we want to know: Do you own a smart doorbell already? Has it paid off? Have you caught a thief in the act? If so, please share! If not, do you find yourself wanting one? What features are you looking for? If you don't want one, how come? Check out the poll below and cast your vote to answer these questions and more. If you'd like to explain your vote further, please join us in the comments.

Check out previous installments of CNET Asks here, and cast your votes on a wide range of topics. If there is a particular question you'd like to see asked, or if you'd like a shot at being featured in a future edition, join us at CNET Member Asks and submit your topic idea. 

Read more: 7 smart doorbells that make screening visitors oh-so easy

Read also: Netgear adds a smart doorbell to its Arlo home security lineup