Ring Doorbell Camera
Ring offers three doorbells cameras: the Video Doorbell 2, the Video Doorbell Pro and the Peephole Cam, designed specifically for peepholes.
- Low price-point of only $99
- Only takes 5 minutes to install
- Mobile app for remote access
If Ring’s appearance on Shark Tank in 2013 rings any bells, pun intended, then you’ll also know that the company was originally called Doorbot. Five years and a name change later, Amazon purchased Ring for over a billion dollars1, and from there, the humble beginnings of a five-person team2 grew into one of the most renowned smart security brands in the industry. Their flagship product, the Ring Video Doorbell, has a habit of cloning itself into new and improved versions (not literally, of course), totaling Ring’s product line to seven different video doorbells. That’s a lot to take in, but we’ll save you the trouble of browsing their extensive list by covering everything that there is to know about Ring’s video doorbells — from features that we enjoyed to how they compare to industry standards and more.
A Worthy Opponent
Market growth for home video doorbells is projected to reach $1.4 billion in 20233 which means more competition among top brands and new ones to come. To see how Ring fared against other competitors, we compared Ring to Nest, which is owned by Google, a battle for the ages. The most apparent difference between the two is that Nest only offers one video doorbell at $229. Ring’s Video Doorbells range between $99.99 to $349.99, so in this case, the more options, the better when it comes to pricing.
Ring’s monthly subscription plans are among the most affordable that we’ve ever seen. Ring Protect Basic and Plus cost $3 and $10 per month, or $30 and $100 per year, respectively. When we looked at Nest’s second-generation subscription plans, they were a little more expensive — Nest Aware costs $6 per month and Nest Aware Plus costs $12 per month. Plus, professional monitoring is a separate cost, either $19 or $29 a month, so overall, we paid much more for Nest Hello than we did for all of our Ring video doorbells.
For both of Ring’s plans, 60-day video history is included while only the Nest Aware Plus includes 60-day video history. We’d be paying $9 extra for the same amount of video history as Ring’s basic plan if we went with Nest Aware Plus.
We should note that Nest’s second-generation subscription plans now cover all cameras while Ring’s basic plan only covers one device. Still, if you’re like us, we prefer accessing our video history for up to 60 days. So while we signed up for the Ring Protect Plus, we feel more inclined to recommend Ring Protect Basic if you only have one Ring Video Doorbell and value the 60-day video history.
|Nest Free||Nest Aware||Nest Aware Plus|
|Event video history (in days)||3 hours||30||60|
|24/7 video history (in days)||0||0||10|
The Price to Pay for Equipment
We briefly touched on equipment pricing for a few Ring Video Doorbells, but here’s where we can go all out. The most affordable Ring Video Doorbell, the original, costs $99.99 while the most expensive is the Elite at $349.99. Considering all the video doorbells in between, we felt that the price points were fair. The chart below provides a snapshot of the equipment pricing, as well as monthly payments through Affirm,4 for all Ring Video Doorbells:
|Camera||Price||Minimum Monthly Fee through Affirm|
|Ring Video Doorbell Elite||$349.99||$30|
|Ring Video Doorbell Pro||$249.00||$21|
|Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus||$229.99||$20|
|Ring Video Doorbell 3||$199.99||$17|
|Ring Door View/ Peephole Cam||$129.00||$11|
|Ring Video Doorbell 2||$99.00||$17|
|Ring Video Doorbell||$99.99||$17|
Here’s a side-by-side comparison of the prices and features across all Ring Video Doorbells:
Ring Doorbell Comparison
|Ring Video Doorbell||Ring Video Doorbell 2 (available for preorder on website)||Ring Video Doorbell Elite||Ring Video Doorbell Pro||Ring Door View/ Peephole Cam||Ring Video Doorbell 3||Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus|
|Wifi Compatibility in Ghz||2.4||2.4||2.4 or 5||2.4 or 5||2.4||2.4 or 5||2.4 or 5|
|Operating Temperature||-5 to 120 degrees Fahrenheit||-5 to 120 degrees Fahrenheit||-5 to 120 degrees Fahrenheit||-5 to 120 degrees Fahrenheit||-5 to 120 degrees Fahrenheit||-5 to 120 degrees Fahrenheit||-5 to 120 degrees Fahrenheit|
|Hardwired or Battery?||Either||Either||Power over ethernet||hardwired||Battery||Either||Either|
|Video Quality||720p HD||1080p HD||1080p HD||1080p HD||1080p HD||1080p HD||1080p HD|
|Video Field of View||180||160||160||160||155||160||160|
|Two-way audio with noise cancellation||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|Infrared or Color Night Vision?||Infrared||Infrared||Infrared||Infrared||Infrared||Infrared||Infrared|
|Cloud Storage||60 days with both paid plans||60 days with both paid plans||60 days with both paid plans||60 days with both paid plans||60 days with both paid plans||60 days with both paid plans||60 days with both paid plans|
|Smart platform integration||Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant||Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant||Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant||Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant||Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant||Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant||Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant|
|Artificial intelligence||None||None||Person detection with Basic or Plus plans||Person detection with Basic or Plus plans||None||None||None|
|Installation Requirements||None||None||Power over Ethernet adapter (included)||16-24 VAC transformer||Door 34 to 55 mm thick, need standard width door with peephole||None||None|
|Extras||Motion zones||Motion zones||Motion zones||Motion zones||Impact sensor, motion zones||Motion zones||Motion zones, pre-roll|
Looking for more information on how well each video doorbell works? Check out our reviews of the individual doorbells, specifically the Ring Peephole Cam, Ring Video Doorbell 2, and Ring Video Doorbell Pro.
The Price to Pay for Monitoring and Storage
Since we purchased every single Ring Video Doorbell, we wanted to choose a monthly subscription plan that not only covered all our devices but also didn’t break our bank into the ground. As we mentioned previously, Ring Protect offers two plans: Basic and Plus. We opted for the Plus because it covered all of our Ring Video Doorbells and included 24/7 professional monitoring. Thankfully, we didn’t encounter any intrusions during testing but knowing that real-time dispatchers were on call gave us extra assurance. For those who prefer self-monitoring, the Basic plan is your go-to.
Ring Monitoring Plans
|Free||Protect Basic Plan||Protect Plus Plan|
|Coverage||x||One Ring Doorbell or Security Camera||All Ring devices at one address|
|Ring and Motion Alerts||✓||✓||✓|
|Custom motion detection||✓||✓||✓|
|Person only mode||x||✓||✓|
|Interact with visitors remotely||✓||✓||✓|
|Warranty||1 year||1 year||Extended warranty|
|Length of cloud storage (in days)||x||60||60|
|Review, share, and save Ring videos||x||✓||✓|
|Professional Monitoring for Ring Alarm||x||x||✓|
|Exclusive discounts at ring.com||x||x||10% off Ring products|
What’s better than accessing our video history and seeing clips of first-time visitors at our apartment or our neighbor’s golden retriever poking his nose in front of our Ring Video Doorbells? Nothing, because without this feature, we wouldn’t be able to look back at these moments and save them on a hard drive to revisit them later.
Ring doesn’t offer local storage, which, after this discovery, we looked sadly at our pile of micro-SD cards. Instead, we could only rely on Ring’s cloud storage, which we could then manually download onto our local storage devices. Both Ring Protect plans include up to 60 days of video history, so even if we wanted to downgrade our plan from Plus to Basic, we’d still receive the same amount of storage. As a refresher, Basic costs $3 per month or $30 annually while Plus costs $10 per month or $100 annually. After perusing through our old livestreams, we’d save the ones we wanted to keep on a hard drive and share them with friends and family (although this didn’t happen very often).
Free storage only exists through Ring Protect’s 30-day free trial, which was included with each video doorbell. We love free stuff, but considering how affordable Ring Protect plans are, we kept the complaining to a minimum. However, note that after this trial ended, we didn’t get any cloud storage until we officially signed up for a paid plan.
Buyer’s Tip: While we didn’t commit to the annual plan, we recommend this option if you think you’ll stick with Ring in the long run. You can save $6 on the Basic plan or $20 on the Plus plan through an annual purchase.
With so many Ring Video Doorbells to choose from, we pinpointed the features that we loved across the board:
- Video doorbells for everyone: One glance at Ring’s video doorbells was all it took for us to feel overwhelmed — at first. After familiarizing ourselves with each video doorbell, we were able to pick out features and price points that suited different types of homeowners. Sure, the broad range of options is intimidating, but earlier generations of the video doorbells would appeal to those on a budget while the tech-obsessed would enjoy the Ring Video Doorbell Pro and Elite devices.
- Hardwired or wireless options: While we’re Team Wireless all the way, we know that there are plenty of Team Hardwired folks out there who prefer the secure connection. Ring gave us the option to choose either or, and while not every video doorbell could go wireless, we were happy with the options regardless. This made our setup process run faster than if we had to hardwire every single Ring video doorbell.
- Artificial intelligence with Ring Video Doorbell Pro and Elite: Like human life, technology evolves and becomes more intelligent as time goes on thanks to Ring’s hard-working engineers. With smart home security systems, we take a shine to products that implement artificial intelligence, which was the case for the Ring Video Doorbell Pro and Elite devices. We liked that they identified people from moving objects like cars or animals, which prevented false notifications.
- Affordable monthly subscriptions: Compared to other home security brands, we found that Ring’s monthly subscription costs are pretty tame. Unlike their product list, Ring only offers two plans: Basic and Plus. We chose the Plus for $10 per month as it includes 24/7 professional monitoring. The Basic plan costs $3 per month, which, in our opinion, is a tough price to beat for 60 days of cloud storage. But even with no plan at all, we could still receive notifications, livestream footage, and control devices remotely through the Ring— Always Home app.
- Smart home integrations aplenty: Amazon owns Ring, so it goes without saying that we were able to control our Ring Video Doorbells by issuing commands to Alexa on our Echo Show 8 without lifting a finger. For example, we said, “Alexa, answer the side door,” and a livestream of our side door appeared on our Echo Show in seconds. We were also pleasantly surprised to find that Ring pairs with Google Assistant, as well as a handful of third-party devices.
FYI: The Ring Video Doorbell Pro and Elite aren’t powered by batteries, so if you prefer a quick, wireless setup, we recommend going with the other video doorbells such as the original, 2, 3, 3 Plus and Peephole Cam.
Pairing Ring With Smart Home Integrations
It’s hard to imagine how our life was before smart home automation. Almost every nook and cranny in our apartment has some type of smart home device, and with our Ring video doorbells, we wasted no time integrating them. Shocking no one, we spoke commands to Alexa to control our Ring video doorbells. We also tested out controlling our Ring video doorbells using Google Assistant and connecting them to a few third-party brands such as Dome and Schlage, but let’s get to the voice assistants first:
- When our hands were full, we relied on Alexa to either help us answer the front and side doors of our apartment or show us a livestream on our Echo Show. Examples of commands we issued were “Alexa, stop the front door camera” or “Alexa, show me the most recent activity from the side door.” Admittedly, there were times when we were too lazy to reach for our phones and access the Ring mobile app, so Alexa was super helpful in this regard. There was even an instance when one of us was stuck in bed with the flu, and when someone appeared at our front door, we simply told Alexa to answer before we stepped in to communicate with the visitor through Ring Video Doorbells’ two-way audio feature. In short, there was little to no effort on our part, and that’s just how we like it!
- We noticed that there were fewer capabilities with Google Assistant, but it still got the job done. We said things like, “Hey Google, talk to Ring about starting a new recording” and “Ok Google, talk to Ring about the health of my devices.” Like Alexa and our Echo Show, we were able to view the livestream on our Nest Hub, even though Chromecast compatibility would’ve been our preferred choice so we could view the footage from our TV.
As for other third-party smart home devices that we integrated with our Ring video doorbells, we had a Schlage Encode Smart WiFi Deadbolt installed on our side door and a Dome Siren in our apartment. When a friend came to visit, we accessed the Ring mobile app and unlocked the Schlage Deadbolt without appearing at the door all from the Ring app, like a magic trick. Our friend knows about our smart home obsession, so they weren’t stunned or amazed by the door unlocking itself. As for the Dome Siren, our grandparents stayed over for one week and both are hard of hearing. Whenever the Ring Video Doorbell Elite detected someone at the door, the siren would go off, letting them know that there was a visitor (or an intruder but thankfully, that was not the case).
Other third-party brands that are compatible with Ring include:
- Yale Locks
- Philips Hue
Does the Ring Fit?
At last, we come to the end. With seven Ring Video Doorbells, we were able to try out different features without feeling bored over the course of testing. Most of the video doorbells could be powered by batteries instead of hardwiring them into our existing doorbell setup, so our installation process ran a lot faster and without any migraines. Also, Ring Protect plans offer some of the lowest monthly rates that we have seen from security brands — with a whole lot of goodies packed into them.
Our only wish was for the Ring video doorbells that aren’t the Pro and Elite to include artificial intelligence like person detection. That way, we would save ourselves from going crazy over false notifications. Granted, what we paid for was what we got, even though we paid for seven video doorbells overall; the monthly fees were low enough to make it worth our while, and the individual doorbell prices weren’t bad. In conclusion? There’s something for everyone with Ring’s affordable and flexible video doorbells.
CNBC. (2018). Amazon buys smart doorbell maker Ring for a reported $1 billion.
Ring. (2014). The History Behind Ring. blog.ring.com/2014/09/26/scrappy-dedicated-humbled-proud-and-excited-the-history-behind-ring/
Statista Research Department. (2019). Global smart home video doorbell products market size forecast in 2018 and 2023. statista.com/statistics/828230/world-smart-home-video-doorbell-spending/
Ring. (2020). Financing Available Through Affirm. shop.ring.com/pages/financing