Intercom: How to choose the best in 2021
Today we are going to talk about the intercom, one of the most sought-after solutions to reinforce the security – and also the practicality – of a property, whether residential or commercial.
When a visitor rings the intercom bell, you can answer it from inside your home, then just go to the gate to open it or press a button to release the visitor’s entrance (if you have an electronic lock).
The video intercom even allows the visitor to view. To help you choose the ideal equipment, we have prepared this article, with all the information you need to know about the product. Good reading!
First, the most important
- The intercom has two parts: the external unit has a bell, speaker and camera (video intercom) and the internal unit has a handset, LCD screen (if it is a video intercom) and commands to open and close the electric gate.
- When someone rings the doorbell, the intercom rings inside the home or business and you are able to speak to the person through a speaker system.
- Give preference to buy an intercom of national origin, to facilitate access to spare parts and technical assistance services. The main brands are: Intelbras, HDL, Thevear, Amelco and JFL.
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Best intercom models: Our recommendations
When deciding to install an intercom in your home, you will come across a variety of models, brands and accessories that are sure to leave you in doubt about which equipment to choose.
To help you choose a good doorphone, we have prepared a selection with the best models and brands on the market, according to the opinion of consumers. Check out.
- Video intercom IV 7010 HF Intelbras
- F8 NT HDL doorphone kit
- Video intercom Sense Light HDL
- IPR 8000 Intelbras intercom
- Force Line Intercom
The communication between the internal and external part of the house, apartment or company, needs to be done with the maximum possible security. The intercom establishes remote communication and stands out for being a practical and easy to use device.
But do you know what is the ideal model for your home or business? How should the doorphone be positioned and installed? How much does it cost and where to buy this device? You can check this and other information in this Buying Guide.
What is an intercom?
In addition to the physical barriers used to limit access to your home or business establishment, such as walls, doors and gates, the doorphone is an excellent alternative to increase the security of your property.
The main function of an intercom is to enable communication without the need for physical contact with those outside the property. With the intercom, you have contact with the person at your door and decide if you want to answer it or not.
The intercom consists of two devices: the indoor unit and the outdoor unit, to be attached to the gate. When someone rings the doorbell, the intercom rings inside the house.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of having an intercom at home?
The outstanding advantage, as we said, is obviously extra security.
Some models have the facility of not having to go to the gate, since after identifying the person, you can release the entrance to the visitor automatically, as the intercom has a remote opening system, just that the gate is equipped with electric lock.
And if the entrance to your property has a different entrance gate for pedestrians and cars, you should opt for a device that activates both locks at the same time.
Check out the main advantages and disadvantages listed below:
What are the different intercom technologies?
With the modernization of the intercoms, you will find models that allow the redirection of the ringer call to a cell phone number, this feature allows you to simulate the presence of residents, even when the place is empty.
In addition to answering, you can free the visitor’s entrance, if your device is equipped with this feature and your gate with electronic lock.
How should I position the intercom?
When installing an intercom, it is essential that the two devices (both internal and external) are in a visible and easily accessible location (at about 1.50 m in height), to facilitate access by people.
The equipment for external use should be next to the doorbell, installed at the entrance gate or wall, in a location that is easy to see and access, so you can easily hear and talk to the person.
Ideally, the equipment should be kept out of the reach of rain and sunlight, so as not to damage the electronic components. Some equipment is made of materials resistant to climatic variation, others have reinforcements to protect the equipment.
To ensure the integrity of the intercom, you can buy a protector for the equipment, these parts are manufactured with resistant materials such as iron and aluminum. Before buying yours, check the measurements of the intercom and purchase a protector compatible with the equipment.The appliance for internal use should be in a common area of the house, such as a living room or kitchen, preferably in a part of the house where it is possible to hear the bell easily.
It is also important to place the intercom in a location that is difficult to access for pets and young children. That way, you will be able to protect the equipment from damage, breakage or even being removed from the location indicated.
How should I install an intercom?
The simplest intercom models can be installed easily if you have some knowledge and familiarity with electrical and electronic equipment.
The installation of more sophisticated equipment, interconnected with magnetic locks and cell phone dialer, requires knowledge of specific systems, so it must be performed by a specialized technician.
The first feature you should look at is the intercom power supply. Usually the external unit is powered by the battery and the internal unit is powered by electricity. Some models are powered only by electricity and others by battery.
In the electric model, the ideal is to pass the wiring that connects the equipment through conduits, that is, those tubes that are suitable for electrical wiring and that are inside the wall.
You do not need a conduit just for the intercom wires, you can take advantage of one that is already installed, so you do not need to invest in renovations and avoid break-breaking.
To connect the two devices, observe the distance between the devices to acquire the correct wire. Give preference to a shielded telephone wire to avoid moisture interference.
This step is simple, you must follow the guidelines described in the installation manual and connect the cables to their respective terminals. A tip is to be guided by the color of the cables.
Oh, and if you are going to install an electronic lock on the gate, try to buy one of the same brand and use a wire with a larger gauge, if possible use a 1.0 mm crystal parallel wire, as the electric lock requires a higher amperage for activation.
André Mafra, from the Engehall Elétrica channel, teaches how to install an intercom model through this vidEO
What defects can a low quality intercom present?
When choosing an intercom, choose a model and brand of good quality, this will make a difference in both the efficiency and durability of the equipment.
Many people make the mistake of buying a low-priced intercom, often models of unknown brands and low quality, which do not last even a year, due to the lack of spare parts and technical assistance.
To give you an idea of how disadvantageous it is to buy a low quality intercom, we have brought some of the main defects that these products have:
- Transformer burns easily, as it is a low quality part, which does not support electrical oscillations or lightning;
- The buttons are released, since they are made with low quality materials that do not support temperature fluctuations and prolonged use time;
- Due to design flaws, some models have infiltration even in the lightest rains;
- Some models also present interference in the audio, because they do not have capacitor or filter to eliminate noise;
- Another defect in relation to the phone is the lack of volume adjustment, which sometimes makes it impossible to hear clearly what the visitor is saying on the other end of the line;
- Some models also have low voltage, less than an ampere, which causes the electric door lock to fail to open.
Intercom: Doorphone or video intercom?
You will find two pieces of equipment capable of establishing fast and secure communication between the interior and exterior of the house: the intercom (intercom) or the video intercom. We will explain the differences between the two throughout this section.
The doorphone is a simple and cheaper model, but just as efficient. The device can work alone, or as a complement to a security system, that is, for properties with surveillance cameras, alarms, electric fences, among others.
The intercom is also suitable for those who live in smaller properties and, especially, for those who want more affordable security equipment.
The main difference with the video intercom is a camera that is attached to the external equipment and that allows you to see the person on the other side of the gate, through a small LCD screen.
Another advantage is that the video intercom also photographs and / or films the images that are being captured, in real time. This equipment can also be connected to an electric lock.
The video intercom is ideal for those who live in larger properties and suitable for those who can invest a greater amount in security, as this model is more expensive. It can also act as complementary safety equipment.
The doorphone is an accessible device, the devices cost from R $ 85. You can find good options between R $ 150 and R $ 180 and the most expensive model reaches R $ 240.
Video entry is a more expensive option, models cost from R $ 700, there are good options between R $ 830 and R $ 890 and the most expensive model costs around R $ 1,000.
Where to buy?
You can buy the intercom at home and construction stores. If you prefer you can buy the product in department stores.
If you want to make the purchase in the comfort of your home, you can purchase the product over the internet. To find good models and brands, search for intercom on the sites: Amazon
Purchasing criteria: Factors for comparing the different intercom models
With the intercom, the first contact between the resident or employee with the visitor does not occur directly, so you will be protected if the stranger is malicious.
To choose the ideal intercom model, you need to analyze some characteristics that change from one model to another, they are:
- Operating mode
- Extra features
We will explain each of the items throughout this section.
When buying an intercom, you should note how the equipment works. Some models have power supply on the external unit, others on the indoor unit and, in some cases, both.
You can also find the battery-powered model. This is an interesting option for those who want to avoid doing the electrical installation of the equipment.
It is very important to analyze the material used in the manufacture of the outdoor unit (the one that will be on the street), if it is resistant to climatic variation, incidence of sunlight and humidity.
If the equipment does not have protection against rain, it will be necessary to invest in some protection for the device and this will increase the total cost of the equipment, as the part is sold separately.
The intercom can come with inputs for extra sensors, they are:
- Sensor for social gate lock;
- Sensor for garage door engine;
- Magnetic sensor to warn that the social or garage door is open;
- To connect the home alarm or central alarm.
The sensors can make the intercom more expensive. So, consider which of these may actually be useful to you, that way you won’t pay more for something you won’t even use.
If the entrance to your home or business has a pedestrian gate and one for the garage, choose a model that activates the two locks, using individual controls.
Another interesting function is the “follow-me”, which serves to direct the call from the intercom to your cell phone, so that when you are not at home, you can answer the person in the same way, without them realizing that you are being answered by phone.
The “follow-me” function also allows access to the gate, provided that the device has this functionality and the gate is equipped with an electric lock.
It is also worth looking for a device with anti-tamper / anti-theft system , which triggers an alarm if someone tries to steal or break into the equipment.
To find out if the door or gate of the house remains open after the visitor has been released, look for a model that beeps to alert you.