(3TV/CBS5) -- Brandon Murphy’s video doorbell was a car-saver when it captured his neighbors’ vehicle being stolen in the middle of the night. “The neighbor said his car got stolen, so the first thing I thought was, well, we save five days’ worth of camera feeds off of the smart doorbell. Sure enough, it was on there,” Murphy says.

Because they were able to confirm the car was stolen, their neighbor worked with local police and was able to retrieve the car with absolutely no damages found.

And Brandon’s not the only homeowner benefiting from video doorbells. In fact, video doorbell global sales are predicted to grow to $1.4 billion by 2023.

Not only can video doorbells help with the security and peace of mind of homeowners, but when synced up to a smart speaker, like an Amazon Echo or Google Home, you can now answer your door while keeping a safe distance using just your voice.

So how do you set up a hands-free front-door experience? Consumer Reports says the best thing to do is to keep it in the family. “There are video doorbells that claim they work with digital assistants, but they may not offer all the features,” says Dan Wroclawski, a Consumer Reports tech expert. ”To ensure compatibility is to stay within the same product ecosystem or product family.”

If you’re a Google Home user, Consumer Reports recommends the Nest Hello Video Doorbell, paired with the Google Nest Hub Max Smart Speaker.

As for Amazon smart speaker owners, Consumer Reports says a perfect pairing is the Ring Video Doorbell 3 and the Amazon Echo Show.

Once you’re all set up, you’ll be able to talk to visitors from even the farthest point of your home!

Consumer Reports reminds people that video door bells can be hacked. So, when installing one, make sure you use two-factor authentication.

Gary Harper's 3 On Your Side reports air weeknights on 3TV News at 9.

 
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