Answer your door from anywhere. Ring video doorbell allows you to instantly answer your doorbell and get alerts when visitors press your doorbell or trigger the built-in motion sensors. Using the Ring app you can see, hear and speak to guests from your smartphone, tablet or PC.
The team over at Ring offers many different models of doorbell. They have the new video doorbell 2, Video Doorbell Pro, Video Doorbell, and the Video Doorbell Elite 1080 flush mounted version with power over ethernet.
Ring also offers some security cameras and accessories to pair with your doorbell of choice.
Ring is the invention of Jamie Siminoff, as he set out to reinvent the doorbell. That he has, as its created a whole new category. They are based in Santa Monica, California. Their mission, as a company, to reduce crime in our communities. I think that is something we can all rally behind isn’t it? Offering a range of video products, they will definitely extend the monitoring of our doorsteps and houses.
Ring Video Doorbell – Review
In this review I will be going through the Video Doorbell. Which I believe is their biggest seller and initial product offering. They were one of the first and have done a lot to create a whole new class of doorbell.
The Ring video doorbell has a lot of features to arm your entry way.
- Motion sensor
- 720HD video Camera
- 2 way talk through Ring app
- configurable motion zones
- Infrared night vision
- lifetime purchase protection
In this review, I will go through the Ring video doorbelll, whats included in the box, the installation, the setup, the overall performance and ease of use. I will explore how easy it is to configure and make it a seamless part of my smart home.
Ring – Installation
Installing the Ring Video Doorbell was fairly straightforward. Ring includes a lot of help in the box. There is a drill bit for the included wall anchors, a handle and a dual bit that has a philips and a small torx end for use with
mounting the Ring. There is also a level that snaps into the mounting plate to make it easier to align it during installation.
The first step in the installation process is to charge your Ring Video Doorbell. In the quick start guide this is part of the getting ready for setup.
The Ring video doorbell can work with our without a wired doorbell connection. If you do not have a wired doorbell, you can use the ring as is. You will have to charge it from time to time. There is a note stating it will last 6 to 12 months. Although if you do get a lot of visitors and motion events, it may drain faster.
The light around the button of the Ring Video Doorbell indicates its charge level. I took a chance and when it was over halfway I unhooked it and started the setup.
Having a hardwired doorbell, I was pretty sure it could finish charging later. Once I had it on its base hanging on the porch.
Setting up the Ring Video Doorbell was really easy. The folks at Ring did a great job with their app. Once you download it, it walks you right through the process.
The first part of the app setup is the account creation. The Ring app walks you right through that part. Once your create an account, the Ring app asks you to choose a product to install.
I chose the Ring Video Doorbell. The app even does a good job of offering suggested names when you are prompted to name the doorbell. Of course, I chose Front Door. Sometimes when you get creative with the names it comes back to haunt you when you have to ask alexa to interact with it. The app also asks for your location.
Once you configure your location the setup starts. The setup is easy to initiate as its done with the press of an orange button on the back. This causes the Ring Video Doorbell to enter setup mode and be ready to pair with your phone.
The Ring app does a great job of connecting your phone to the doorbell and displaying wireless networks that are available. Once you enter in the password and connect. The Ring app quickly returns your phone to the network you were on before.
I do appreciate it when the mobile app takes some of the work out of the process for you. The ability to automate the network configuration will help many users easily install the Ring.
It was cool to be able to configure the Ring Video Doorbell while you have it in your hand. Running off its internal battery, you have easy access to the setup button and the doorbell button for testing.
Once you get the Ring Video Doorbell on the network, the ring turns blue and you are ready to go. On to the mounting plate!
The Ring mounting plate does not have screw holes that line up with traditional doorbell mounting holes. The mounting plate is secured to the wall with 4 screws, one in each corner. I couldn’t find a way to get them to line up so that I didn’t have to drill new holes.
As I mentioned above, there is a small little level that snaps into the mounting plate. It makes it easy to make sure its level when you are marking the spots drill for screws.
Once you attach the wires and secure the mounting plate, its easy to slide the Ring Video Doorbell onto the backing plate. it is secured in place with two set screws on the bottom that lock it onto the backing plate.
Take a look at the images below. I have added enough to walk you though the process I went through and allow you to see what it takes to setup and install the Ring Video Doorbell.
The Ring Video Doorbell is now mounted and functioning. I have setup my account and all is working. On the next page I will go through the Ring mobile app. I will take you through the features and configurations that are available. I will also let you know just how well they worked for me. With no further a deu on to the next page.
The Ring mobile app is your gateway to answering your Ring Video Doorbell from anywhere in the world. You will be able to see and hear whomever may be at your door. The Ring app is also where you can view your motion events and saved videos.
Ring has done a good job with their mobile app. It is packed full of features and helpful tools to get your Ring video doorbell installed and test it should you have issues. My favorite is the configuration for the motion sensor. I will get into this more further down the page, but its very nice and well laid out.
The mobile application from Ring is separated into 4 sections when you open it. The sections are all activity, rings, motion, and starred.
These sections help to organize your saved videos. They are also pretty self explanatory. The starred section is where you will find videos you have selected to save and keep around when you are deleting large batches. You also have the ability to download videos which is good if you need to save it and send it to someone, say the authorities.
Ring does require you to subscribe to an optional service in order for you to have the ability to save
videos and connect to home automation partners. The service which they call Ring+ has two levels, basic and Protect.
Basic is $3 a month or $30 a year. While Protect is $10 per month or $100 dollars a year.
Each service has varying features that go with them. Take a look at the chart to the left for the full list.
The Ring+ optional service is your access to saved videos. As well as videos from motion alerts. You will also have access to Ring+ partners and connecting your Ring video doorbell to other home automation products.
The Ring Video Doorbell comes with a 30 day free trial of the basic service. There is an orange bar at the bottom of the screen reminding you of your time left in the trial.
If you choose not to enroll in the Ring+ optional service, the features of your Ring Video Doorbell become pretty simple. You can still adjust all the settings and configure your doorbell. Lost is the ability to view saved videos in the mobile application. Motion events will not automatically record a video for you to review. The connected home portion of the Ring Video Doorbell is also dependent on the Ring+ service.
The Ring application is pretty straight forward to use. The Icons are large and features are easy to find.
On the device page you have easy access to all the major settings
- Event History, which brings you to all the stored events and their videos.
- Device Health, shows you the battery level, network information and firmware information.
- Motion Settings, your doorway to configure the Motion Zones, a motion scheduled, and smart alerts.
- Linked Chimes allows you to connect to any Ring chimes you have purchased to spread the sound of your doorbell throughout your house.
- Shared users, where you can add additional users to have access.
- Ring+, where you can configure your Ring Video Doorbell to work with compatible smart home partners.
- Live View Settings is the place where you configure your live stream features and performance.
The two main sections you will want to tinker with are the Motion Settings and Live View Settings.
The Motion Settings has three sections:
- Motion Zones, to adjust the size of the area that you want to Ring Video Doorbell to monitor
- Motion Schedule, so you can set a schedule for when you want the monitoring to occur.
- Smart Alerts, where you can adjust the amount of alerts you receive by changing the sensitivity of the Motion algorithm.
During my testing of the Ring Video Doorbell, I had to continually adjust the Motion Zones. My front door is about 25 feet from the street. I was getting motion events every time a car or a walker passed by. The motion sensor is very sensitive. I ended up landing on a distance just over the 5′ mark, so its probably around 8′.
You want to make sure and manage your alerts. If you get to many that are false alarms, you will start to ignore them. When a real event occurs you may not answer it and miss it all together.
The other section, Live View Settings, is self explanatory. I do recommend visiting this area so you can adjust you video settings for the best possible experience.
I kept my Ring Video Doorbell on standard and it worked great. You do have to visit here to enable the live view. I tried both the normal and faster settings. They were both good. I am not sure I noticed much difference with the faster enabled.
Take a look at the screen shots below. They will give you a virtual tour of the Ring application and you can take a look at how its laid out and the simplicity of it. The layout for motion settings is very intuitive and worth a look.
The Ring app has another unique feature that I have not witnessed on any other video doorbell system.
The Ring+ mission statement is as follows, Our mission is to reduce crime in neighborhoods, but we can’t do it alone. With the help of our partners, it will be easier than ever to be #AlwaysHome
Ring neighborhoods is a feature that allows you to pull together with other Ring Video Doorbell users in your area and share videos of suspicious activity. If any of you are users of the neighborhood app, Nextdoor. Its the same concept, but only with the ability to share videos.
I enrolled in my local Ring neighborhood. I was a little disappointed to only find 2 shared videos. One of the doorbells had a rather questionable name. Over the couple months of use, those were the only two videos that were ever shared. They were already very dated when I joined.
Perhaps the team at Ring can look at getting some integration into Nextdoor, to allow a larger user base. Nextdoor is even used by our local police for announcements and questions.
So far in the review, I have provided a tour of the Ring app, covered the service options and special features. I do hope you clicked through the screen shots. Its important to know what applications have in store for the user, they are such an important part of the overall system.
On the next page I will go over the Ring Video Doorbell’s support for home automation. This is always one of my favorite topics.
Ring Video Doorbell brings a lot to your front porch. The ability to answer your doorbell from anywhere as well as get notified when motion is detected. Equipped with a 720p camera, there is plenty of resolution to show you what is taking place on your door step. Easy access to the settings through the mobile app let you fine tune the notifications and the motion sensor. This gives
you the ability to cut down on false alarm notifications.
Ring has innovative social features with the Ring Neighborhoods. Allowing neighborhoods of Ring users to share videos and compare notes over suspicious activity. My neighborhood wasn’t active at all, I am sure this must vary from place to place.
The Ring Video Doorbell worked very well through out the review period. Once it was setup, it was ready to go non stop. Below I have summarized the different areas of the review for your reading pleasure.