Ring Video Doorbell Review

Best for Budgets
Ring Video Doorbell
 
$99.99*
Pro Bullet Affordable
Pro Bullet Can be used wired or wireless
Best for Nonwired Homes
Ring Video Doorbell 2
 
$199.00*
Pro Bullet Adjustable motion zones
Pro Bullet Quick-release battery
Best for Aesthetics
Ring Video Doorbell Pro
 
$249.00*
Pro Bullet Sleek design
Pro Bullet Customizable motion zones
Best for Rural Areas
Ring Video Doorbell Elite
 
$499.00*
Pro Bullet Reliable connection
Pro Bullet Customizable motion zones
Best for Renters
Ring Peephole Cam
 
$199.00*
Pro Bullet Quick and easy installation
Pro Bullet Detects knocking
*Standard retail prices as of 8/19/2019. Prices and availability are subject to change and may vary by retailer.

Overview

Installing a video doorbell is a quick, no-fuss way to keep the most vulnerable part of your home—your front door—safe and sound. With video doorbells, you can livestream your doorstep, use two-way communication to talk to whoever is on the other side of the door, and download and record motion-triggered events. Plus, it’s cheaper than investing in a home security system.

Ring offers four different smart video doorbells and a peephole camera, so it’s easy to pick one based on your needs or your environment. If you’re on a budget, the original Ring Video Doorbell is your best bet. And if you live in a rural area where Wi-Fi is scarce, the Ring Video Doorbell Elite will be your pick.

Read below to learn more about Ring’s doorbells and which one is the right video doorbell for you.

Ring doorbell cameras in this review


Ring vs. Ring 2 vs. Ring Pro vs. Ring Elite vs. Ring Peephole

*Standard retail prices as of 8/19/2019. Prices and availability are subject to change and may vary by retailer.

Ring Video Doorbell Review: Best for Budgets

Best for Budgets
Ring Video Doorbell
 
$99.99
Tech specs
    Dimensions
    4.98 x 2.43 x 0.87 in.
    Resolution
    720p HD
    Field of view
    180°
    Operating temperature
    -5°F–120°F
    Power source
    Wireless or hardwired
    Night vision
    Infrared

    Ring Video Doorbell pros and cons

    Pros
    • Pro BulletEasy installation
    • Pro BulletLowest price of all Ring video doorbells
    • Pro BulletAdjustable motion zones
    • Pro Bullet180° field of view
    • Pro BulletWireless battery and hardwired options
    Cons
    • Con Bullet720p HD resolution
    • Con BulletSpotty Wi-Fi connection

    Why we recommend the Ring Video Doorbell

    It might not be the newest or shiniest, but the original Ring Video Doorbell will still send you alerts when it detects someone on your doorstep—whether they’re supposed to be there or not. It’s a great choice if you’re looking for some extra tech but don’t want to make a huge investment. And at about $100, it’s one of the most affordable smart doorbells you can buy.

    Ring Video Doorbell features and flaws

    The Ring Video Doorbell is easy to install and can either be used wirelessly with a rechargeable battery or hardwired into your existing doorbell setup. It also has an expansive 180° field of view, so you can see a good deal of your porch and make sure your packages are still where FedEx left them.

    You’ll also get adjustable motion zones—and you can play with the sensitivity of motion sensors for your doorstep and beyond. It’s helpful if you want to know what’s going on with your doorstep but you’re less concerned with your neighbor skateboarding down the street.

    The original Ring’s main drawback is its video quality. At 720p HD, video playback won’t be as crisp as 1080p HD. But it’ll still be clear enough that you can make out any would-be burglars and other ne’er-do-well types.

    ASecureLife’s recommendation: The Ring Video Doorbell is a solid and versatile doorbell that covers the basics. It’s budget friendly, works in a wired or wireless setup, and has a wide field of view. Get it if you want to dabble in the video doorbell game but don’t necessarily want to spend a ton of money.

    >>Buy the Ring Video Doorbell here.


    Ring Video Doorbell 2 Review: Best for Homes without Doorbell Wiring

    Best for Homes without Doorbell Wiring
    Ring Video Doorbell 2
     
    $199.99
    Tech specs
      Dimensions
      5.1 x 2.4 x 2.4 in.
      Resolution
      1080p HD
      Field of view
      160°
      Operating temperature
      -5°F–120°F
      Power source
      Wireless or hardwired
      Night vision
      Infrared

      Ring Video Doorbell 2 pros and cons

      Pros
      • Pro BulletEasy setup
      • Pro BulletAdjustable motion zones
      • Pro Bullet1080p HD resolution
      • Pro BulletQuick-release battery
      Cons
      • Con BulletBulkier design than Ring Video Doorbell
      • Con BulletSpotty Wi-Fi network connection

      Why we recommend the Ring Video Doorbell 2

      If your home doesn’t have any doorbell wires (or if you honestly can’t be bothered with becoming a DIY electrician), the Ring Video Doorbell 2 is a good fit. You’ll be able to talk with people on the other side of the door whether you’re home or not, which is perfect for accepting packages you forgot were arriving today. You’ll also be able to stream a live video feed and adjust motion detection zones.

      Ring Video Doorbell 2 features and flaws

      The Ring Video Doorbell 2 takes the best features of its predecessor and improves on them. You still have an easy, straightforward setup, but video resolution jumps to a crisp 1080p HD and the design features a quick-release battery, which makes it easier to keep your Ring 2 charged.

      The doorbell itself is bulkier than the Ring Video Doorbell, though its field of view is slightly narrower at 160°—but the Ring Video Doorbell 2 is still a solid, sturdy doorbell camera that does exactly what it’s supposed to.

      ASecureLife’s recommendation: The Ring Video Doorbell can be used wireless or hardwired, but we think it’s great for homes without existing wiring. Installation is breezy, video playback is crisp, and pricewise it’s pretty much in line with other smart doorbells on the market.

      >>Buy the Ring Video Doorbell 2.


      Ring Video Doorbell Pro Review: Best for Aesthetics

      Best for Aesthetics
      Ring Video Doorbell Pro
       
      $249.00
      Tech specs
        Dimensions
        4.5 x 1.85 x 0.8 in.
        Resolution
        1080p HD
        Field of view
        160°
        Operating temperature
        -5°F–120°F
        Power source
        Hardwired
        Night vision
        Infrared

        Ring Video Doorbell Pro pros and cons

        Pros
        • Pro BulletSlim, aesthetically pleasing design
        • Pro Bullet1080p HD resolution
        • Pro BulletHigher bandwidth with 5GHz support
        • Pro BulletCustomizable motion zones
        Cons
        • Con BulletNo wireless option
        • Con BulletSpotty Wi-Fi connection

        Why we recommend the Ring Video Doorbell Pro

        We recommend the Ring Video Doorbell Pro if you already have existing doorbell wiring and you’re looking for a doorbell that’s both functional and fashionable. It’s the least obtrusive of Ring’s offerings, and since it’s hardwired, you won’t have to worry about ever changing out batteries.

        Ring Video Doorbell Pro features and flaws

        The Ring Pro has a lot in common with the Ring and Ring 2. The main difference is that the Ring Pro is thinner, sleeker and, well, more stylish. The Ring Video Doorbell Pro also has a higher bandwidth, since it supports both 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi.

        Depending on your home, that could help make Ring’s Wi-Fi connection less spotty and boost video playback quality.

        Hardwire it if you want a live feed!
        Our Experience
        You can view a live video feed of your Ring Video Doorbell only if you hardwire it. Otherwise, you’ll just receive motion-triggered snapshots.

        You’ll also be able to create custom motion zones instead of picking from already established zones like you would with the Ring and Ring 2. This can be an especially nice bonus if you have certain areas that get a lot of action, like a playset in the front yard.

        The tradeoff for all those desirable features is that there’s no option for a wireless connection, since the Ring Pro requires an existing doorbell setup. But for most people, that’ll be no big.

        ASecureLife’s recommendation: Upgrade to the Ring Video Doorbell Pro if you want a good-looking smart doorbell without the fuss of remembering to recharge batteries. We like its streamlined design, higher bandwidth, and the ability to create custom motion zones.

        >>Buy the Ring Video Doorbell Pro.


        Ring Video Doorbell Elite Review: Best for Rural Homes

        Best for Rural Homes
        Ring Video Doorbell Elite
         
        $499.00
        Tech specs
          Dimensions
          4.8 x 2.75 x 2.17 in
          Resolution
          1080p HD
          Field of view
          160°
          Operating temperature
          -5°F–120°F
          Power source
          Power over Ethernet (PoE)
          Night vision
          Infrared

          Ring Video Doorbell Elite pros and cons

          Pros
          • Pro BulletSlim design
          • Pro Bullet1080p HD video quality
          • Pro BulletHigher bandwidth with 5GHz support
          • Pro BulletCustomizable motion zones
          • Pro BulletPoE for strong connection
          Cons
          • Con BulletProfessional installation

          Why we recommend the Ring Video Doorbell Elite

          Since it uses a PoE connection, the Ring Elite is a good fit for rural homes or places without a steady Wi-Fi network. It’s also good if you prefer something slimmer: The Elite has a sleek, flush-mount design that won’t look out of place next to your front door.

          Ring Video Doorbell Elite features and flaws

          The Ring Video Doorbell Elite may be the most expensive doorbell Ring offers, but it also has the most reliable connection. That’s because it uses Power over Ethernet (PoE), which lets a single cable provide electrical power and a data connection.

          That PoE connection does mean that you’ll need a professional to install the Ring Elite, unless you’re a DIY Dumbledore.

          Other than that, the Ring Elite has the same features as the Ring Pro: a slim design, crisp 1080p HD video, and a higher bandwidth. You can also still create custom motion zones, so you get the alerts that matter.

          ASecureLife’s recommendation: The Ring Elite is a major upgrade, but it’s a great fit for homes where Wi-Fi connections are spotty or nonexistent. It has a lot of the same features as the Ring Pro, but your connection is less likely to drop. Also? It just looks really good.

          >>Buy the Ring Video Doorbell Elite.


          Ring Peephole Cam Review: Best for Renters

          Best for Renters
          Ring Peephole Cam
           
          $199.00
          Tech specs
            Indoor dimensions
            2.26 x 4.4 in. x 1.6 in.
            Outdoor dimensions
            1.85 x 3.83 x 0.78 in.
            Resolution
            1080p HD
            Field of view
            155°
            Indoor operating temperature
            32°F–104°F
            Outdoor operating temperature
            -5°F–120°F
            Power source
            Wireless or hardwired
            Night vision
            Infrared

            Ring Peephole Cam pros and cons

            Pros
            • Pro BulletEasy installation
            • Pro BulletCustomizable privacy settings
            • Pro BulletAdjustable motion zones
            • Pro BulletImpact sensor that detects knocking
            Cons
            • Con BulletLimited field of view
            • Con BulletSome customer reports of delays

            Why we recommend the Ring Peephole Cam

            The Ring Peephole Cam was made with the renter in mind. If you live in an apartment building and you don’t have a doorbell hookup, the Peephole Cam can be a natural fit. Just to be sure to measure your door: it’s compatible only with doors with a thickness between 34mm and 55 mm.

            Ring Peephole Cam features and flaws

            The Ring Peephole Cam isn’t like Ring’s other smart doorbells. It’s easily installed through your existing peephole and starts recording when it’s triggered by impact (like knocking), motion, or someone ringing the doorbell.

            Like the Ring and Ring 2, the Peephole Cam has preset motion zones that you can adjust—so your camera won’t go record every time your neighbor walks down the hall.

            It also has customizable privacy zones, so you can tell your camera that the door to that same neighbor’s apartment is off limits. Once activated, these privacy zones will be blacked out, so you can protect, well, their privacy.

            Still, the Peephole Cam has the most limited field of view of all Ring doorbells, at 155°. Depending where your peephole is, that may make it hard to see if there are any packages waiting for you at your doorstep. And like most other Ring doorbells, some customers come into spotty Wi-Fi issues, causing a delay between when motion is detected and when the camera starts recording.

            ASecureLife’s recommendation: If you want to keep an eye on who’s coming and going in your apartment building, get the Ring Peephole Cam. You may not be able to see if any packages are dropped off, but you’ll be able to livestream your front door and record any suspicious activity.

            >>Buy the Ring Peephole Cam.


            How to install a Ring doorbell

            Depending on what doorbell you choose, installation will take anywhere from five to 15 minutes. No matter what, your Ring doorbell will come with all the hardware you need to get it installed.

            >>See our full guide on how to install a Ring doorbell.

            Installation will take anywhere from five to 15 minutes

            Installing wireless Ring devices

            If you’re installing the Ring or the Ring 2 wirelessly, you mount the bracket with provided screws (you’ll only have to drill if the existing holes for your doorbell aren’t where you need them for your Ring and you’re mounting on brick, concrete or stucco).

            From there it’s pretty straightforward: place your Ring doorbell over the holes, screw it in, and install the faceplate on top. The whole thing should take about five minutes.

            Installing hardwired Ring devices

            To install the Ring, Ring 2 or Ring Pro with an existing doorbell, you’ll first remove your existing doorbell and drill new holes if needed. Connect the wires, put your Ring doorbell over the holes you drilled, then screw everything in and install the faceplate. You might have an extra step or two if you have a digital doorbell, but the process should still take about 15 minutes.

            Ring recommends having a professional install the Ring Elite, since it has a power over Ethernet connection.

            Installing the Ring Peephole Cam

            To install the Peephole Cam, unscrew your current peephole on both sides first. Then place the outside portion of the Peephole Cam on the front of your door, then slide the indoor side of the Peephole Cam and twist clockwise. Insert the rechargeable battery and you’re done! The whole process should take about five minutes.


            Ring doorbell accessories

            If you want to extend your Ring’s network, or if you’re interested in a backup battery, part of your installation process might include some of Ring’s accessories. Read on to check out our favorites, or see our full list of our favorite Ring compatible devices.

            Ring Chime

            Ring Chime

            The Ring Chime lets you connect all of your Ring products—from doorbells to cameras—to get Ring sound notifications from one place in your home. It has multiple alert tones, volume control, and a Do Not Disturb mode.

            Ring Chime Pro

            Ring Chime Pro

            The Ring Chime Pro pulls double duty as a Wi-Fi range extender and indoor chime for Ring doorbells. It plugs into the outlet of your choice and extends your network, making your Ring work faster. Set it up somewhere like your bedroom, where you might not otherwise hear the doorbell chime.

            The Ring Chime Pro also lets you select different chime tones, control chime volume, and put it on Do Not Disturb, just in case you (or your little ones) want to take a nap undisturbed.

            Quick-Release Battery Pack

            If you’re worried about your Ring holding its charge, this battery pack acts as a backup—but only for the Ring Video Doorbell 2 and the Peephole Cam. It’ll keep your device charged for up to six months, and you can easily charge it up again with a micro USB.

            Ring Solar Charger

            If battery packs aren’t your thing and your doorbell just happens to be in a sunny spot, try Ring’s solar charger. The good: It’s essentially a solar-powered mounting bracket that keeps your Ring charged with just a few hours of sunlight. The bad: solar chargers are only available for the original Ring Video Doorbell.

            Ring app

            The Ring app is an accessible tool that lets you use your phone or tablet to monitor your Ring doorbell. You can use two-way communication, livestream video, and view motion triggered snapshots. It also lets you set up motion detection and privacy zones.

            The Ring app will also send you a real-time push notification when it detects motion. Plus, you can use the app’s location feature to see posts from other Ring owners in your neighborhood.

            Neighbors by Ring

            Ring also provides a separate app, Neighbors by Ring. Think of it as a digital neighborhood watch: you can get real-time crime and safety alerts from your neighbors who have Ring devices. So if your neighbor’s Ring Floodlight Cam catches someone stealing packages, and she shares an alert on the Neighbors app, you’ll get a notification. It’s a helpful way to make sure you’re not the next target.


            Frequently asked questions

            How much is the Ring doorbell?

            Ring doorbells range in price from $99.00 to $499.00, but unless you’re looking for a power over Ethernet connection, you’ll likely be satisfied with the doorbells offered in the $99.00 to $249.00 range.

            You’ll be able to use the Ring app to access live video on demand and motion alerts for free with your new Ring doorbell. But if you want to store, review, or share any of the video your Ring captures, you’ll also pay a little bit extra for a Ring Protect plan. Fortunately, they’re pretty affordable.

            The Protect Basic plan starts at $3 a month or $30 annually, and you’ll get access to cloud storage where you can review, share, or download videos for up to 60 days.

            The Protect Plus plan, priced at $10 per month or $100 annually, adds professional monitoring. You probably won’t need that upgrade unless you have another Ring device or two in your home.

            How does a Ring doorbell work?

            Ring doorbells connect to your Wi-Fi network and send notifications to your phone when it detects someone at your front door. It’ll also let you see what’s going on on your front step with a motion-activated camera. With the Ring app, you can stream video of your visitors and speak to them with clear, two-way communication. You’ll also get alerts when someone rings the bell—and the Peephole Cam also activates when someone knocks on the door.

            Ring doorbells connect to your Wi-Fi network and send notifications to your phone when it detects someone at your front door.

            How long does the Ring battery last?

            The Ring, Ring 2, and Peephole Cam should last six to 12 months with normal usage, but some customers say they have to recharge their Ring every month or so. Either way, you’re responsible for keeping track of the battery: the Ring app won’t tell you when the battery is low.

            Does Ring have any smart home compatibility?

            Ring is owned by Amazon, so you can use Alexa to send alerts to your Echo device when your Ring doorbell detects motion or when someone rings the doorbell. And if you have an Echo Show or an Echo Spot, you can use it to see, hear, and talk with your visitors.

            You can also use IFTTT to create triggers and actions, so if Ring detects movement, then the porch light will turn on. You can also, of course, integrate Ring with other Ring products, or as part of Ring’s DIY security system. Other than that, Ring is pretty limited when it comes to smart home integration.


            Which is the best Ring doorbell?

            With so many options, there’s a Ring doorbell for everybody. But overall, the Ring Video Doorbell 2 is the most well-rounded and versatile of the bunch. It has adjustable motion zones and crisp, 1080p video—plus, it can work as a wired doorbell or a wireless one. It’s a breeze to set up, and is the best of both worlds: it’ll work whether you’re a renter or an owner.

            >>Shut the front door. Buy the Ring Video Doorbell 2 here.