Ring doorbell

Ring Doorbell Comparison

Ring is best known for its revolutionary doorbell. After starting out as a pitch on the popular television show Shark Tank, the Ring video doorbell became a huge success, changing the way people answer their doors and providing more security than ever.

Since being acquired by Amazon in 2018, Ring has expanded its home security offerings and beefed up its product line to include more doorbells, as well as security cameras and home automation options. (You can find our review of Ring cameras here.) Ring sells an array of video doorbells with varying features. So which should you use? Here, our SecurityNerd breaks down the similarities and differences, so you can make your choice, whether you’re weighing the Ring vs. Ring 2, Ring Doorbell 3 vs. Pro, or all of the offerings.

Ring Video Doorbells: What do they have in common?

  • HD video: Whether you’re deciding between Ring vs. Ring 2, or Ring Doorbell 3 vs. Pro, know that each camera option will have crystal clear video, giving users an extra layer of security and assurance that the camera will catch what’s going on outside.
  • Two-way talk: Each Ring doorbell model offers two-way talk with noise cancellation. You’ll be able to communicate with and see anyone on the other side of the camera without worrying about wind or traffic noise.
  • Night vision: It doesn’t matter the model, each doorbell camera has night vision that can catch details even in the dark of night.
  • Real time alerts: Each model will send you alerts in real time when the camera sees movement in your yard. Whether it’s a person dropping off a package or a guest arriving, each Ring doorbell will keep you up to date.
  • Smart home options: Ring has some great home automation features, including voice activation with Alexa and compatibility with smart locks from third-party companies.
  • Simple setup: Most of Ring’s doorbells are incredibly easy to set up. The Ring Pro may need a little more DIY know-how, but at the end of the day, none of Ring products are exceedingly difficult to figure out.
  • Video storage: Customers can opt for video storage on any one of these Ring products. The catch is, you’ll have to subscribe to a monthly plan in order to save and record the video.
  • Adjustable motion zones: If you’re getting too many alerts due to cars driving by or neighbor kids playing, you can tell the camera which areas of your yard you want to hone in on for notifications.
  • Video recording and photo grab options: When purchasing the Ring monthly plan for video storage, you’ll also get video recording and photo grab options, so you’ll be able save and share recordings with friends, neighbors or family members.
  • Ring App: Each of the video doorbell models comes with the Ring app. With it, you can see who’s at your front door and communicate with them through your mobile device. You’ll be able to see live video, screen capture, download video and more.

Ring Video Doorbells: What are the differences?

  • Wi-Fi: Each one of those models has roughly the same Wi-Fi connectivity. Users had been complaining about some video lagging issues. Most recently, Ring has introduced the Ring Video Doorbell 3 and Ring Video Doorbell 3 plus with enhanced 5GHz dual-band Wi-Fi, which will make video transmission even better.
  • Motion sensitivity: Nothing is more annoying than a video doorbell that is too sensitive, tipping you off to squirrels running around in the yard. When deciding between Ring and Ring 3, it’s important to note that Ring Video Doorbell 3 has a new “near” motion sensor. The goal is to reduce those notifications of neighbors walking by every five minutes, and only give you an alert when someone is actually in your yard.
  • Strength: There’s another big difference between Ring and Ring 3, and that is Ring 3’s improved mounting screw strength, making for an even sturdier installation.
  • Installation: If you’re on the fence between Ring 2 vs Ring Pro, one of the main differences is that Pro is hardwired, making installation more difficult. (You may want to hire a pro.) The Ring Doorbell Elite model also has a more intense installation process because of its PoE connection.
  • Pre-roll technology: There’s only one camera that boasts pre-roll technology, and that is the Ring Doorbell 3 Plus. That means it records an automatic 4 seconds of video prior to when motion triggered the system, so if something happens, it’s much easier to catch the entire incident on camera.
  • Price: Prices vary between all of the models, starting out at just about $100 for the traditional Ring, and going all the way up to $499 for Ring Video Doorbell Elite.
  • Power options: When deciding between Ring vs Ring Pro, deciding whether you’d like a battery-powered option or hardwired doorbell is important before you purchase any doorbell.

Ring Video Doorbell, 1st Generation

Also known simply as Ring, this is the original model, offering 720p HD video and motion detection. It provides two-way communication and the option to add a solar charger.

Pros

Price: The affordable price tag makes this an easy choice for anyone looking to add an extra layer of security to their front door. 

Two-way communication: Being able to see and communicate with someone at your front door is a powerful way to keep your home safe.

Home automation options: Even though this is the basic doorbell model, you’ll still get to choose from a variety of home automation options, in case you want to turn your house into a smart home. 

Cons

Lower video resolution: When deciding between Ring and Ring 2, it should be noted that Ring has a lower video resolution at 720p, so the picture isn’t quite as sharp as it is with other models. 

Lagging video: Some users report lagging video, which is likely due to Wi-Fi issues. Ring has fixed those issues with the new Ring 3 model.

Ring Video Doorbell (1st Gen) – 720p HD video, motion activated alerts, easy installation – Venetian Bronze
  • 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.
  • Connect your Ring Video Doorbell with Alexa then enable announcements to be alerted when your doorbell is pressed or motion is detected....

Ring Video Doorbell 2

The biggest difference between Ring 1st Generation and 2nd Generation (a.k.a. Ring and Ring 2) is the video resolution, which is upgraded to 1080p in the Ring 2 model. It has a removable battery pack that makes it even easier to keep the camera charged.

Pros

Video resolution: When deciding between Ring vs. Ring 2, this version will get you a clearer picture for only an extra $40. The upgraded resolution is a big step up from the original model. 

Price: The differences between Ring Video Doorbell 2 and Pro are few, so if you’re looking to save some cash, this version may be your best option.

Cons

Motion detection: While there is motion detection with this model, it is not as sophisticated as the wired Pro version which also has activity zones that cut down on false alarms.

Lagging video: This has been an underlying issue for some of the Ring models because of Wi-Fi issues. Users complain of lagging video within the app with this model.

All-new Ring Video Doorbell – 1080p HD video, improved motion detection, easy installation – Venetian Bronze (2020 release)
  • 1080p HD video doorbell with enhanced features that let you see, hear, and speak to anyone from your phone, tablet, or PC.
  • An update from the original Ring Video Doorbell, enjoy improved motion detection, privacy zones and audio privacy, and crisper night vision.
  • Receive mobile notifications when anyone presses your doorbell or triggers your built-in motion sensors.
  • Powered by the built-in rechargeable battery or connects to existing doorbell wires for constant power.
  • Easily setup by connecting your Ring Video Doorbell to wifi through the Ring app and mounting with the included tools.

Ring Video Doorbell 3

This is an all-new model, improving upon the Ring 2. If you’re on the fence between Ring 2 vs. Ring 3, seriously consider the 3. It has enhanced Wi-Fi connectivity which takes care of those lagging video issues, along with a “near” motion sensor that eliminates false alarms from far away.

Pros

Better Wi-Fi: This model has 5GHz dual-band Wi-Fi, which provides a stronger connection and better video transmission.

Fewer false alarms: This is the only Ring camera with a “near” motion sensor, that focuses on everything from 5 to 15 feet in front of the doorbell to eliminate false alarms.

Easy installation: The automatic chime connection makes installing this doorbell easier than ever, and it was pretty easy to begin with.

Cons

Motion detection: While there is motion detection with this model, it is not as sophisticated as the wired Pro version which also has activity zones that cut down on false alarms.

Lagging video: This has been an underlying issue for some of the Ring models because of Wi-Fi issues. Users complain of lagging video within the app with this model.

Ring Video Doorbell 3 – enhanced wifi, improved motion detection, easy installation
  • 1080p HD video doorbell with enhanced features that let you see, hear, and speak to anyone from your phone, tablet, or PC.
  • An upgrade from the original Ring Video Doorbell 2, enjoy improved motion detection, privacy zones and audio privacy, and dual-band (2.4 or...
  • Receive mobile notifications when anyone presses your doorbell or triggers your built-in motion sensors.
  • Powered by the rechargeable battery pack or connects to doorbell wires for constant power.
  • Easily setup by connecting your Ring Video Doorbell 3 to wifi through the Ring app and mounting with the included tools.

Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus

This has all the same features as the Ring 3, with one exception: The Ring 3 Plus provides a 4-second pre-roll feature. When motion is detected on this camera, you’ll also get to see what happened 4 seconds prior to the incident, allowing for the full story of what’s been going on in your yard.

Pros

Pre-roll technology: The biggest plus to this new product is the lookback feature, which you don’t see in many doorbell cameras.

Better Wi-Fi: Just like the Ring 3, this model gets rid of lagging video issues due to stronger Wi-Fi connections.

Fewer false alarms: The new motion sensor focuses on what’s going on closer to the camera and reduces risk of false alarms. You can also pair this feature with activity zones, for even more control if you purchase a monthly plan with Ring.

Cons

Price: The Ring 3 Plus could be out of some people’s budgets, especially when the traditional Ring camera is dependable and will get the job done at less than half the price.

Lack of advanced features: Some video doorbells have some great AI features like recognizing who is walking up to your door. At this price point, our SecurityNerd expects at least one smart detection feature to let you know if a human is at the door, or if the motion was from an object.

Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus – enhanced wifi, improved motion detection, 4-second video previews, easy installation
  • 1080p HD video doorbell with enhanced features that let you see, hear, and speak to anyone from your phone, tablet, or PC.
  • An upgrade from the original Ring Video Doorbell 2, enjoy improved motion detection, privacy zones and audio privacy, and dual-band (2.4 or...
  • Exclusive to Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus, get 4 extra seconds of black and white video to show you what happened before motion was triggered...
  • Receive mobile notifications when anyone presses your doorbell or triggers your built-in motion sensors.
  • Easily setup by connecting your Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus to wifi through the Ring app and mounting with the included tools.

Ring Video Doorbell Pro

The Ring Video Doorbell Pro is hardwired and connects to existing doorbell wires. It also features crystal clear HD video and customizable motion detection.

Pros

Hardwired: You won’t need to worry about changing the battery in this model, thanks to its hardwired design.

Fewer false alarms: The Pro version has a sophisticated motion detection system which only comes with the hardwired version. It allows users to choose motion zones to cut down on getting alerts whenever a car drives by.

Cons

Installation: The hardwired installation is more involved than the wire-free models. It’s not difficult if you’re handy, but it will take some DIY know-how. If you don’t feel comfortable working with wires, you may want to call a profession to install it.

Only wired option: The Ring Video Doorbell 2nd Generation can be either hardwired or battery operated. With the Pro version, you only have a hardwired option.

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

The Elite version is the only Ring model that’s powered over ethernet, which will give you the best picture quality and speed. But it is also the most expensive.

Pros

Better picture quality: Thanks to the PoE connection, you’ll get the best picture quality possible with the Elite when compared to its Wi-Fi counterparts.

Lower risk of losing power: The power over ethernet also means you’ll be able to stay online in case of a power outage.

Cons

Price: It will be hard for many people to justify the price tag on this video doorbell. It is professional grade, but you’ll pay half the price for a model without PoE.

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 Doorbells: Which One Is Best?

For most people. we recomend the Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus, thanks to its upgraded Wi-Fi connectivity, new motion zone sensors and lookback feature. Although it’s expensive compared to the first generation Ring Video Doorbell, its extra bells and whistles will be worth the extra cost to some consumers.

Although we like the Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus best, any of the Ring doorbells are a solid choice to beef up your home’s security. If you’re on a budget, you won’t go wrong with the Ring Video Doorbell 1st Generation.

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This article has been reviewed and approved by Officer Banta.

Officer James Banta

Officer Banta is the official SecurityNerd home security and safety expert. A member of the Biloxi Police Department for over 24 years, Officer Banta reviews all articles before lending his stamp of approval. Click here for more information on Officer Banta and the rest of our team.