Ring Doorbell Review

The Ring video doorbell started out as a pitch on the television show Shark Tank, where the investors actually turned down the innovative product. A short time later, the Ring doorbell became an instant hit, providing customers with an updated version of the old front door doorbell. It became so successful, Amazon acquired Ring in 2018 for around $1 billion. Now, the company sells an array of DIY home security items in addition to the doorbells, including motion sensors and traditional cameras.

Ring was a pioneer in the video doorbell market, and the company continues to innovate. Ring provides five different models with varying features. From doorbells with HD video quality and night vision to smart motion detection, you’ll be able to find a choice that fits your home’s security needs without dropping a ton of cash. Customers also get the added benefit of upgrading to a more comprehensive Ring security system down the line if they like the doorbell.

ring logo

Nerd Rating: 4 / 5

Nerd Pros

Price

Although Ring provides some powerful features with its video doorbell, customers can purchase one starting at $99, which is affordable compared to some other options. Ring does provide more pricey models all the way up to $500, but the average customer can purchase a video doorbell without a huge investment.

Installation

Ring doorbell installation is about as easy as it gets. The installation time for most of the doorbells range between 5 and 15 minutes. The Elite model, however, does require professional installation.

No contracts

You don’t have to worry about entering any lengthy contracts, even if you purchase the doorbell and opt for professional monitoring.

Video sharing

Ring provides a feature called Neighbors on its own app where users can share videos from the neighborhood to prevent crime and keep everyone on the lookout for possible thieves.

Smart detection

Higher tier models offer the option of smart detection, which means the doorbell will alert you of motion only if a person is detected. The models without smart detection still allow you to modify the sensitivity of motion detection to keep from constant motion notifications from passing vehicles.

Nerd Cons

Possible lagging video

Some users report issues with lagging video if the wi-fi signal is not strong. That means that owners without a solid wi-fi connection may experience some frustration with video quality.

Limited battery life

Ring tells users the battery will last anywhere from 6 to 12 months, depending on how often it is used. However, some users with a lot of activity report it lasting less than 6 months.

Ring Doorbell Camera Features

It’s important to note there are five different doorbell models, all with varying features. Below is a list of features offered by Ring’s video doorbells.

  • HD Video: The Ring video doorbell cameras range from 720p to 1080p resolution, giving you a clear look at who is at your door.
  • Two-way communication: This is an important feature to have with any video doorbell. Ring allows you to communicate with anyone standing in front of your door, and visitors will also be able to hear you and respond.
  • Mobile app with instant alerts: With the purchase of the Ring video doorbell, you will be able to utilize Ring’s easy-to-use app. If anyone approaches your door, you can choose to get an instant alert sent straight to your smartphone.
  • Night vision: Whether it’s a visitor you’re expecting or an unwanted trespasser, chances are someone will approach your front door at night at some point. With night vision, users can get a clear look at who’s there without grainy video some other cameras offer.
  • Video sharing: This feature is something that really sets Ring’s user experience apart from the rest. Users can share video within a neighborhood, so if there’s a bad guy around, everyone can know about it immediately. Think of it as a high-tech neighborhood watch.
  • Multiple power options: Users have the choice to power the doorbell in multiple ways. Some doorbells can be powered through battery or hardwired. The Elite model is the only one with power over ethernet. Some models also have removable battery packs to make changing out the power source easier.
  • Wide-angle lens: The Ring video doorbell has between a 160 and 180-degree field of view, which gives you a good look at exactly what’s happening on your doorstep.
  • Advanced motion detection: The more expensive models can tell the difference between just any motion, and a person approaching your door. Users can choose to get alerted based on the type of motion the camera detects. Users can also customize detection zones to fit their security needs.
  • Smart home integration: The Ring video doorbell can be easily integrated into your smart home and also works seamlessly with Alexa.
Source: Ring
Source: Ring

Ring Doorbell Installation

The majority of Ring’s video doorbell models have simple DIY installation and generally take anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes to install. You simply remove your old doorbell, and install the new one in its place with a fully charged battery, completing setup through Ring’s app. Ring’s Video Doorbell Elite is the only model that requires professional installation because it is hardwired, and utilizes power over ethernet. The Video Doorbell Pro is also hardwired, but installation is still simple enough and most users have been able to do it without professional help.

Ring Doorbell Pricing

Ring offers five different doorbell options with varying prices depending on the model. Customers can also choose to purchase a subscription plan for extra features, professional monitoring and video storage.

Ring Video Doorbell

The original doorbell offers 720p HD video and motion detection, along with two-way communication.

Sale
Ring Video Doorbell (1st Gen) – 720p HD video, motion activated alerts, easy installation – Satin Nickel
  • 720p HD video doorbell that lets you see, hear and speak to people from your phone, tablet, or select Echo device.
  • Get notifications whenever motion is detected by adjusting your motion zones.
  • With Live View, you can check in on your home any time through the Ring app.
  • Easily setup your Ring Video Doorbell by connecting to wifi via the Ring app and mounting in your desired location.
  • Powered by a built-in rechargeable battery or connects to existing doorbell wiring. With a Ring Protect Plan (subscription sold separately),...

Ring Video Doorbell 2

The upgraded version has 1080p HD video, adjustable motion detection and a removable battery pack that makes it easier to keep the camera charged.

Sale
Ring Video Doorbell 2 with HD Video, Motion Activated Alerts, Easy Installation
  • 1080p HD video doorbell that lets you see, hear and speak to people from your phone, tablet, or select Echo device. Includes privacy...
  • Get notifications whenever motion is detected by adjusting your motion zones.
  • With Live View, you can check in on your home any time through the Ring app.
  • Easily setup your Ring Video Doorbell 2 by connecting to wifi via the Ring app and mounting in your desired location.
  • Powered by a quick-release rechargeable battery pack or connects to existing doorbell wiring.

Ring Video Doorbell Pro

This model is hardwired and connects to existing doorbell wires. It also features crystal clear HD video and customizable motion detection.

Sale
Ring Video Doorbell Pro, with HD Video, Motion Activated Alerts, Easy Installation (existing doorbell wiring required)
  • 1080p HD video doorbell that lets you see, hear and speak to people from your phone, tablet, or select Echo device. Includes privacy...
  • Get notifications whenever motion is detected by customizing your motion zones.
  • With Live View, you can check in on your home any time through the Ring app.
  • Easily setup your Ring Video Doorbell Pro by connecting to wifi via the Ring app and mounting in your desired location.
  • Connects to existing doorbell wiring for constant power. Requires a transformer (not included): 16-24VAC, 40VA max, 50/60Hz. No halogen or...

Ring Video Doorbell Elite

This is the highest tier video doorbell, which is hardwired and uses power over ethernet. It has customizable motion detection, HD video, and a modern design.

Ring Video Doorbell Elite
  • Connect your Ring doorbell with Alexa to hear announcements on your compatible Echo device when your doorbell is pressed and see a live view...
  • Lets you see, hear and speak to visitors from your phone, tablet and PC
  • Sends alerts as soon as motion is detected or when visitors press the Doorbell
  • Connects to ethernet cables for power and internet connection
  • Monitors your home in 1080HD video with infrared night vision

Ring Door View Cam

Although this model is still considered a video doorbell, the Door View Cam installs over a peephole, perfect for apartments or condos. It also has knock detection, so you can be notified if someone doesn’t ring the bell. It has all the same features as a standard Ring doorbell, but installs in a different place.

Sale
Ring Peephole Cam - Smart video doorbell, HD video, 2-way talk, easy installation
  • Upgrade your door’s peephole with a 1080p HD video doorbell that enables you to see, hear, and speak to visitors from anywhere.
  • Get alerts on your phone, tablet, and PC when anyone knocks on your door, presses the doorbell button, or triggers the motion sensors.
  • Peephole Cam is easy to install and comes with all the tools you need to replace your peephole in under 5 minutes; no wiring or drilling...
  • Connect your Ring doorbell with Alexa to hear announcements on your compatible Echo device when your doorbell is pressed and see a live view...
  • Advanced Motion Detection lets you easily adjust the built-in motion sensors to focus on and detect what’s important to you.

Customers receive motion-activated notifications, real time video streaming, two-way talk, and theft protection without paying any extra fees. But Ring also offers two subscription plans to unlock extra features and video storage for your doorbell camera.

  • Protect Basic: For $3 a month, customers receive video saving and sharing, as well as video storage for 60 days.
  • Protect Plus: For $10 per month, customers receive everything from the basic plan, along with professional monitoring with Ring Alarm, extended warranties, and a 10% discount on Ring products. Users must have Ring’s security system with base station to utilize professional monitoring.

 Protect BasicProtect Plus
Number of cameras1Unlimited
Monthly Plan Cost$3$10
Annual Plan Cost$30$100
Video Recording (Days)6060
WarrantyNoExtended warranty

Home Automation Options

Because Ring is owned by Amazon, the doorbells work seamlessly with Alexa. It is also compatible with IFTTT technology. The doorbell also works with several different smart locks as well as smart lights, meaning you can answer your door, unlock your door and turn lights on and off from your smartphone.

For customers who choose the entire Ring home security system, there are even more home automation options. It is important to note that Ring doesn’t have as many third-party integrations as other companies, but there are still plenty of choices to round out your smart home.

Security Plans & System

Ring is more than just a video doorbell company. Customers have the option of purchasing entire home security systems from Ring, including motion sensors, environmental monitoring and traditional indoor and outdoor cameras to cover your property.

Equipment is ala carte, so you can customize the system based on the coverage you need without paying for any unwanted equipment. You also don’t have to worry about entering any long-term contracts. Ring Protect Plus is the only subscription option Ring offers where homeowners will get 24/7 monitoring with Ring Alarm. If you purchase an annual subscription, Ring offers monitoring for $100, which saves you $20 annually.

The Bottom Line

Whether you want to start small and purchase only a Ring video doorbell, or if you think that your home needs an entire security system, Ring offers multiple options for any budget. Ring’s five different video doorbell options appeal to homeowners and renters alike thanks to simple installation and affordable pricing.

It’s also simple to build your own security plan through Ring, starting from the video doorbell. You can add smart home options like lighting, locks and environmental monitoring without having any professional monitoring costs. And if you want to upgrade, Ring offers a full alarm system with traditional cameras and motion sensors that work seamlessly with the doorbell. No matter the size of your home and security needs, Ring has something to make your home safer.

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About the Author

Erin MaloneyErin Maloney
Erin is a freelance video producer and writer based out of Florida. She works with major retail companies and digital startups as a brand storyteller. When Erin's not writing, you can catch her scuba diving and spending time with her dog (not at the same time).