Door Phone or Intercom?

When shopping for an intercom system you'll see both the terms door phone and intercom used. What's the difference between a door phone and an intercom? These terms are often used interchangeably, even in the same product description.

A door phone is a system that enables you to receive "calls" from your front door or some other door on the outside of your building. When someone arrives at an outside door, they press a button that alerts one or multiple inside stations and then the people inside the building can talk to them by pressing a button on an inside station.

The first decision to make before purchasing a door phone intercom system for residential or business is whether to purchase a wired or wireless system. The second decision is whether you need an audio only or a video intercom.

The cost of installing a wired system is often prohibitive for pre-existing buildings. Unless you install the wire yourself, you'll usually end up hiring an electrician to come out to do the installation and this can be very expensive. For buildings under construction, it's always best to install a wire whether you plan to use it or not since you will never have the opportunity to install it so cheaply again.

You can quickly install wireless systems by yourself and they usually work very well. How well a wireless door phone system will work for you depends on the distance between the door unit and the inside station, building construction, and anything that may interfere with the wireless signal. To learn more about the range of wireless, see this article: two way radio range.

Whether you need an audio only system or a video system depends mainly on the level of security you need. If you plan on opening the door remotely and need to see who is at the door, you'll need a video door phone. If you just need to talk to whoever is at the door, an audio only system is all you need.

To see what type of door phones are available click here: door phone intercoms