wireless video intercom

Key takeaways

  • The best wireless video intercom system is ButterflyMX.
  • Most modern intercom systems are wireless because they’re easier to install and require minimal wired connections.
  • A wireless video intercom is a door entry system that includes a camera for video-calling functionality.
  • Wireless intercoms work by transmitting audio and video signals to substations, usually through cellular signals or the internet.


If you’re in the market for a building entry system, you’ve probably encountered a lot of different options. From apartment video intercoms to door buzzers to telephone entry systems, there are countless options out there. But one system stands apart from the rest: the wireless video intercom.

In this buyer’s guide, you’ll first discover what the best wireless video intercom is and the many features it encompasses. Then, you can learn more about what these systems are and how they work. Finally, you’ll find the advantages wireless intercoms are capable of providing.

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What is the best wireless video intercom system?

The best wireless video intercom system is ButterflyMX.

Established in 2014, ButterflyMX’s flagship product, the wireless video intercom, has been installed in more than 10,000 buildings with more than one million daily active users. Not to mention, with over 20,000 five-star reviews, it’s one of the most trusted video intercom systems on the market.

The ButterflyMX video intercom is a wireless, cloud-based system that enables tenants to use their smartphones for access. As for property managers, you can use the mobile app or web-based dashboard to edit permissions, view audit logs, and integrate with your third-party software. Regardless of whether you’re on-site or at another property, property managers or owners can easily manage access to the property from anywhere.

Of course, ButterflyMX encompasses a wide range of features beneficial for both property managers and tenants.


ButterflyMX wireless video intercom features:

  • Cloud-based. Cut down on installation costs and enjoy your video intercom for longer thanks to its cloud-based technology. The ButterflyMX video intercom doesn’t require in-unit hardware, so installation is much faster and more affordable than its wired counterparts.
  • Mobile app. Manage user access, review past entries, and integrate with property management software using the ButterflyMX mobile app. Meanwhile, tenants can grant access for themselves or remotely to their guests, delivery drivers, and service providers using their smartphones.
  • Built-in camera. See who you’re speaking to with a built-in camera that enables two-way video calling. Residents and property staff feel safer when they can see who is requesting access at the entryway.
  • Multiple credentials. Access the property in more ways than one. The ButterflyMX wireless video intercom supports mobile access, PIN codes, and virtual keys for guests and delivery drivers.
  • Delivery solutions. Give major couriers access to the property using ButterflyMX deliver PINs. This feature allows couriers like Amazon, FedEx, USPS, and more to access the property on their own. As a result, residents receive their packages without delay.
  • Integrations. Centralize all of your property’s software and hardware in one place thanks to ButterflyMX’s integrations. The ButterflyMX video intercom integrates with a wide range of PMS and security hardware to pave the way for a comprehensive solution.
  • ButterflyMX ecosystem. Benefit from the entire ButterflyMX ecosystem with the vast range of solutions offered, such as elevator controls, vehicle readers, access control, and more. Most importantly, all of ButterflyMX’s products integrate seamlessly with each other, allowing for simple management on one platform.


How much does ButterflyMX cost?

The ButterflyMX wireless video intercom comes in two sizes — 7” and 11.6” — both available starting at $3,995 and $5,995, respectively.

In addition to hardware costs, ButterflyMX charges per unit for software and hosting services. Thus, you can expect to pay between $30 and $42 per unit per year. However, costs will vary based on features, integrations, and additional hardware.

Lastly, these costs do not include installation. Nonetheless, our team will help you locate a certified installer in your area to ensure your system maintains its two-year warranty.


ButterflyMX video intercom system


Can an intercom be wireless?

Yes, an intercom system can be wireless. In fact, most modern video intercom systems utilize the cloud to eliminate extensive wiring to individual units.

While wireless door video intercoms appear to be wireless, they are usually not entirely without wires. Rather, these systems require a few simple connections, including a power source, an internet connection, and a door strike.

Because of these few wires, installation is simple, and the intercom is more dependable. After all, wireless internet connections can be unstable. So, a direct connection provides peace of mind for property managers and owners.


What is a wireless video intercom system?

A wireless video intercom is a door entry system with a built-in camera for video calling and doesn’t require physical wiring between the system’s hardware. The system wirelessly transmits audio and video footage when a resident and a visitor communicate. It also provides a way for residents to open the door or gate for their guests. Also, it often relies on an internet connection.

Video intercom systems offer either:

  • One-way video calling. During a video call, a resident can see visitors on their device’s screen, but visitors can’t see the resident from the outdoor station.
  • Two-way video calling. Residents and visitors can see each other during a video call.


What is the difference between a doorbell and an intercom?

A doorbell differs from an intercom in that it is an alert system that doesn’t allow for two-way audio communication between a resident and a visitor. Most intercom systems with in-unit hardware do have a buzzer of sorts that alerts a resident to their control panel. Many residential buildings will have an intercom system for the whole building and individual doorbells at the door to each unit.

A wireless video intercom simplifies both systems with the added benefit of a camera and other features.


How does a wireless intercom work?

A wireless intercom works by transmitting audio and video to tenant substations. The method in which the information is transmitted depends on the system, but the most common include the internet and cellular signals. In either case, the wireless intercom uses a variety of components to fulfill its task.

Every video intercom system requires a base station at the property’s entrance. This hardware contains the resident directory, which visitors use to find a tenant. The base station also has a speaker, microphone, and camera.

Wireless intercom systems also need substations, which are the devices residents use to answer calls from visitors. And finally, wireless video intercoms have a door release mechanism, which empowers residents to unlock the door or gate remotely.

There are two types of wireless video intercoms:

  1. Systems with in-unit hardware. A video intercom with in-unit hardware requires you to install substations in every unit throughout the building. These substation devices contain a microphone, speaker, and sometimes a camera. The devices communicate wirelessly with the intercom base station.
  2. Smartphone-based systems. Instead of requiring in-unit hardware, these video intercoms operate with residents’ smartphones. Residents download a mobile app, which they use to answer video calls and open the door remotely.


What is the difference between doorbell and intercom?

A doorbell differs from an intercom in that it is an alert system that doesn’t allow for two-way audio communication between a resident and a visitor. Most intercom systems with in-unit hardware do have a buzzer of sorts that alerts a resident to their control panel. Many residential buildings will have an intercom system for the whole building and individual doorbells at the door to each unit.

A wireless video intercom simplifies both systems with the added benefit of a camera and other features.


visitor using a video intercom doorbell


What is the advantage of a wireless intercom system?

The advantages of a wireless intercom system include increased security without sacrificing convenience for all tenants and staff. Not to mention, intercom systems with cameras, integrations, and other features provide a slew of benefits to reap.

With that said, here are a few advantages of choosing a wireless video intercom system:

  1. Increased property security
  2. Attract and retain residents
  3. Never miss a visitor or delivery
  4. Affordable installation


1. Increased property security

Nobody wants to live in an unsafe building. So, you need a device that will improve security.

Having a wireless video intercom with door release at your front entrance lets you keep the door or gate locked without hampering access for residents, guests, and delivery carriers. The intercom system prevents access for anyone who shouldn’t be there while providing an easy way for visitors to request access.

Additionally, the video component adds an extra layer of security. Video calling allows residents (and property staff) to visually confirm who’s requesting access. That way, they can monitor who they’re letting in before opening the door.

Pro tip: Choose a wireless video intercom that takes a photo of every door and gate release event. The property staff can monitor this audit trail at their convenience to maximize security. Cameras of any kind can also help deter criminal activity; they don’t have to be security cameras.


2. Attract and retain residents

A wireless video intercom benefits your bottom line as a developer, owner, or property manager.

Tenants expect a reliable door entry system anywhere they live. By adding a video intercom system, you’re not just meeting residents’ expectations — you’re exceeding them.

A video intercom doubles as an apartment amenity because it:

  • Ensures successful package deliveries.
  • Empowers residents to open the door from anywhere.
  • Lets residents create virtual keys for guest access.
  • Eliminates the need for physical keys.

By adding this convenience- and safety-focused amenity, you’ll better attract and retain residents, maximizing your NOI (net operating income).


wireless video intercom system


3. Never miss a visitor or delivery

Everyone can relate to the frustration of missing a package delivery or an unplanned guest. Fortunately, a wireless video intercom ensures that staff and multiple tenants can always grant access to couriers and visitors from anywhere.

With a video intercom system, you’ll say goodbye to package theft and those pesky “Sorry we missed you” notes. Delivery carriers can use the intercom to get inside the building and safely leave packages as opposed to dropping them off at the front of a gate or doorway.

A wireless video intercom also ensures access support for dog walkers, service providers, and even friends dropping by to say hi.

For example, even if a resident isn’t home, they can answer video calls from visitors and unlock doors right from their smartphone. This eliminates the need for residents to be continuously monitoring their intercom.


4. Affordable installation

You know your apartment needs an effective door entry solution, but you might be concerned about the cost of installing a new system. Not to worry: Wireless video intercoms don’t require expensive wiring, so they’re cheaper to install than a wired system.

If you purchase a wired intercom, you’ll also have to pay for all the wiring to connect the device. On top of that, installers charge more to install wired systems since they have to break down walls and pavement to lay all the wiring. In contrast, wireless intercoms have the advantage of only requiring you to install the hardware at doors and gates.

Pro tip: Choose a video intercom system without in-unit hardware. That way, you’ll avoid the cost of purchasing, installing, and maintaining hardware. Since residents use their own smartphones with the intercom, it won’t cost you a thing.


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Johanna Gruber

Based in Los Angeles, I enjoy learning and writing about the real estate industry, and exploring how proptech can help people live and work better.