Ring Security Cameras
Ring has a ton of security cameras to choose from, and our experts have tested them all.
- Two-way talk feature
- Crisp HD image quality
- Smart Home Integrations
On Feb. 24, 2021, Ring added 3D Motion Detection and the Bird’s Eye View feature to the Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2. These features tell the user the exact time and locations of motion events as well as aerial views of movement.
On Feb. 17, 2021, Ring introduced Geofence, which creates fewer alerts from the Ring app when users return home or leave, automating the arming of all Ring devices.
Among the startups that entered the home security scene in recent memory, Ring is one of the few that actually made it — and in a rather spectacular fashion. From being a former Shark Tank reject, Ring has become one of Amazon’s highest valued acquisitions worth over $1 billion.1 To those familiar with Ring, it wasn’t all too surprising; Ring has always attracted a lot of consumers thanks to its high-quality products, affordable subscriptions, and solid smartphone apps.
If you’re one of the folks considering buying Ring security cameras, we’ve put together an objective guide that details how much their security cameras cost, whether you should get a cloud storage subscription or avoid monthly fees, and how Ring compares with its most formidable rivals.
Our Favorite Things About Ring Security Cameras
- 1080p resolution: All the Ring security cameras we tested recorded and streamed in 1080p. They captured crisp and clear videos without hogging too much of our network’s bandwidth.
- Smart features: All of Ring’s cameras were not created equal. Some have extra smart features, like built-in motion-triggered floodlights or spotlights, customizable activity zones, and AI-based person detection.
- Affordable cloud storage: Cloud storage plans start at only $3 per month for every camera or $10 per month to cover an unlimited number of cameras and video doorbells in one location. The latter is a great deal if you plan on getting multiple Ring products or want 24/7 professional monitoring.
- Flexible equipment options: Ring offers lots of security camera options. There are indoor and outdoor cameras, cameras with built-in smart lights, and even battery and solar-powered variants.
- Voice assistant integrations: As an Amazon-owned company, Ring’s products are well-connected to Alexa, Amazon’s voice assistant. But if you prefer Google Assistant over Amazon, Ring offers useful integrations with Google Assistant as well.
Camera Comparison: Prices and Features
All in all, Ring offers 10 security camera options. That sounds like a lot, but in reality, some of those cameras are pretty similar; the only difference is the accessories they come with, which affect how they get power. As an example, the Ring Stick Up Cam comes in a Wired, Battery, and Solar version. The Wired version was designed to be plugged in, the Battery version comes with a rechargeable battery and the Solar version comes with a solar panel. All three variants share the same hardware features (resolution, viewing angle, audio, etc.), but some features, like person detection, are only accessible when the camera is plugged-in. Here’s some more brief information on each of Ring’s cameras:
- The Ring Indoor Cam is a simple indoor camera designed for wall, ceiling, or shelf placement. It has the same video quality as the other Ring cameras but a narrower field of vision.
- The Ring Stick Up Cam is an indoor/outdoor model. It can be plugged in, battery-powered, or solar-powered with the right accessories. It’s best placed on porches, patios, or sheds.
- The Ring Stick Up Cam Elite has the same capabilities as the Stick Up Cam but with uninterrupted power and internet connection thanks to its Power over Ethernet (PoE) adapter.
- The Ring Spotlight Cam is an outdoor camera with two built-in, motion-activated, smart LED spotlights that are effective thief deterrents.2 It can be plugged into a regular wall outlet or hardwired to replace existing spotlights. It can also run on batteries or solar power.
- The Ring Floodlight Cam is the centerpiece of Ring cameras. Like the Spotlight Cam, it has two smart, motion-activated lights, only brighter and has a wider coverage because each floodlight can be independently aimed. The Floodlight Cam is hardwired.
Breakdown of the Various Ring Cameras
|Ring Stick Up Cam Battery||Ring Stick Up Cam Wired||Ring Stick Up Cam Solar||Ring Stick Up Cam Elite||Ring Spotlight Cam Wired||Ring Spotlight Cam Battery||Ring Spotlight Cam Solar||Ring Spotlight Cam Mount||Ring Floodlight Cam||Ring Indoor Cam|
|Wireless or Plugged in||Wireless||Plug-In||Both; solar panel and backup battery pack||Plug-in||Plug-In||Wireless||Wireless||Hardwired||Hardwired||Plug-In|
|Video Quality||1080p HD||1080p HD||1080p HD||1080p HD||1080p HD||1080p HD||1080p HD||1080p||1080p HD||1080p HD|
|Video Field of View||130||130||130||150||140||140||140||140||140||115|
|Color Night Vision||X||X||X||X||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||X|
|Infrared Night vision||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|Two-Way Audio with Noise Cancellation?||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|Cloud Storage||60 days with Ring Protect Plan||60 days with Ring Protect Plan||60 days with Ring Protect Plan||60 days with Ring Protect Plan||60 days with Ring Protect Plan||60 days with Ring Protect Plan||60 days with Ring Protect Plan||60 days with Ring Protect Plan||60 days with Ring Protect Plan||60 days with Ring Protect Plan|
|Smart Platform Integration||Alexa, Google Assistant||Alexa, Google Assistant||Alexa, Google Assistant||Alexa, Google Assistant||Alexa, Google Assistant||Alexa, Google Assistant||Alexa, Google Assistant||Alexa, Google Assistant||Alexa, Google Assistant||Alexa, Google Assistant|
|Artificial Intelligence||X||Person detection with Ring Protect Plan||X||X||Person detection with Ring Protect Plan||X||X||X||Person detection with Ring Protect Plan||X|
|Extras||Privacy zones, can disable motion recording, alerts and audio||Siren, up to three motion zones||Motion zones||Motion zones||Built-in LED light strips and siren||Built-in LED light strips and siren||Built-in LED light strips and siren||Built-in LED light strips and siren||Two LED floodlights, siren, motion zones, scheduling||Motion zones|
Buying Tip: The Stick Up Cam is now on its third generation, while the Stick Up Cam Elite is now on its second. When buying Ring cameras, be sure to purchase the most recent version to enjoy its latest features.
Aside from cameras, Ring sells accessories that make their cameras more flexible and convenient to use. For instance, when we went out of town, we purchased a solar panel for our Stick Up Cam Battery to make sure it never ran out of juice. The solar panel essentially turned our Stick Up Cam Battery into a Stick Up Cam Solar. Here are the other security camera accessories sold by Ring.
|Super Solar Panel||$99.00||Stick Up Cam Battery
Spotlight Cam Battery
|Chime Pro||$49.99||All Ring cameras|
|Solar Panel||$49.00||Stick Up Cam Battery
Spotlight Cam Battery
|Solar Security Sign||$49.00||All Ring cameras|
|Indoor/Outdoor Micro USB Power Adapter||$39.99||Stick Up Cam Wired
Stick Up Cam Elite (2nd Gen)
|Indoor/Outdoor Barrel Plug Power Adapter||$39.00||Stick Up Cam Plug-In|
|Chime||$29.99||All Ring cameras|
|Quick Release Battery Pack||$29.00||Spotlight Cam Battery/Solar
Stick Up Cam Battery
|Ceiling Mount||$19.00||Spotlight Cam Wired|
|Wall Mount||$19.00||Spotlight Cam Wired|
|Mount||$19.00||Stick Up Cam (2nd and 3rd Gen)|
|Security Yard Sign||$15.00||All Ring cameras|
|10 Feet Power Adapter||$12.99||Indoor Cam|
|Window Security Syckers (pack of four)||$4.99||All Ring cameras|
|Spare Parts (Floodlight Cam)||$2.00||Floodlight Cam|
|Spare Parts (Spotlight Cam Battery)||$2.00||Spotlight Cam Battery/Solar|
|Spare Parts (Spotlight Cam Wired)||$2.00||Spotlight Cam Wired|
Did You Know: Ring offers Theft Protection. If a Ring camera or video doorbell is stolen, Ring will replace the stolen item at no additional cost to you.3
Ring Protect: Free vs. Basic vs. Plus
We have good news and bad news for you. Bad news first: Ring cameras don’t support local recording and there is no free cloud storage, so a paid Ring Protect subscription is required to access recordings. But the good news is, the Ring Protect plans are affordable.
|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|
Let’s break down the Ring Protect plans. Right out of the box, each Ring camera comes with the free version of Ring Protect that enables motion alerts, customizable motion detection, or activity zones, live streaming, and two-way audio. But without cloud storage, there’s no way for the camera to record footage so we could view it later. That might be a problem if we end up having an intrusion and need video evidence.
Ring Protect Basic adds video recording thanks to the 60 day cloud storage. This means recordings triggered by motion events remain in the cloud for 60 days, available for viewing, downloading, or sharing. After that, they are gone for good. However, Ring Protect Basic covers only one camera.
If you plan on getting multiple cameras, the $10 per month Ring Protect Plus plan makes more sense. You can add an unlimited number of cameras to your Ring account and they will all get 60 days of cloud storage. The only restriction is that they have to be installed under one roof. When we moved some of our Ring cameras to a friend’s house, for example, we were asked to purchase a separate subscription. Aside from cloud storage, the Ring Protect Plus plan gave us benefits like exclusive 10% discounts at Ring.com and professional monitoring for our Ring Alarm security system that we also tested as well as our Ring cameras and video doorbells.
Promo Alert: If you don’t mind committing, Ring offers one-year subscriptions to the Basic and Plus plans for $30 and $100, respectively. That’s like getting two months of free subscription as compared to the monthly rate.
What Works With Ring?
One of the many advantages of Ring is its ever-expanding list of integrations. Though most of the integrations were made for Ring Alarm, there are a few third-party smart home products that work directly with Ring cameras and video doorbells.
Amazon owns Ring now, so it’s only fitting that Ring cameras work with Amazon’s voice assistant. We tried this integration when we tested Ring cameras and it worked flawlessly. We asked Alexa to show us live feeds and the latest motion event clip on our Echo Show. To make things easier, we named our cameras based on where we placed them so that we could simply say, “Alexa, show my backyard,” or “Alexa, show my front door.” We also discovered that it’s possible to initiate a two-way communication between Ring and our Alexa speaker. Using this feature, we answered our door conveniently without having to stop whatever we were doing on our phones. Lastly, we set our Echo Dot speakers to make an announcement when our Ring cameras detect movement or a person. Alexa even told us which camera detected movement or a person, keeping us up to speed completely hands-free.
Although we love our Alexa speakers, we like having options, so we also have Google Home speakers set up around our house. Ring also works with Google Assistant, the voice assistant of Google Home, but the integration didn’t offer us much in terms of features. We used it to trigger a recording (“OK Google, talk to Ring about starting a new recording.”) and to check the battery health of our battery and solar-powered cameras (“OK Google, talk to Ring about the health of my devices.”).
Ring vs. Other Brands
Nest, as a company under Google’s umbrella, rivals Ring in terms of integrations. In fact, Nest works well with both Alexa and Google Assistant, not to mention all the other integrations made possible by the Works with Google Assistant program, which includes Philips Hue smart lighting, among others.
In terms of video quality, Arlo has the upper hand. Unlike Ring, Arlo offers security cameras with resolutions beyond 1080p. The Arlo Ultra, in particular, has a 4K resolution, twice the amount of pixels as 1080p HD. As for the cost, Canary has the cheapest cameras, with all three of their products selling below $200. In comparison, most of Ring’s cameras are priced $200 or more, with the exception of the Ring Indoor Cam and all the Ring Stick Up Cam variants. Those cameras are within the $60 to $150 price range.
So where does Ring win? Ring cameras are inexpensive compared to Nest and Arlo cameras, but they are not cheaply built. Second, Ring’s cloud storage plans are affordable. Ring Protect Plus offers 60 days of cloud storage for an unlimited number of cameras plus professional monitoring for only $10 per month or $100 per year. Arlo and Canary’s 30 day cloud storage options are feeble in comparison to Ring Protect. And last but not least, Ring has the Neighbors App, a location-based virtual neighborhood watch feature that promotes safety not only within your property but also in your community. On the app, users share real-time community alerts, crime and safety-related recordings, and public safety notifications. Neither Nest, Arlo, nor Canary has a similar feature.
The Overall Value of Ring Cameras
In the end, only you can tell the overall value of Ring cameras to your home security and if Ring is the right security camera brand. However, we can give you some key pointers.
On the hardware side of things, Ring is solid. The company has spent years developing its products. Compared to what we saw a few years ago when we first tested Ring, its cameras are a lot better now yet the price didn’t increase that much. Ring also offers plenty of options. Whether you’re looking for security cameras, video doorbells, security systems, or even smart accessories like lighting systems, Ring has something for you.
In terms of video storage, it’s unfortunate that Ring doesn’t have any local recording options, but with Ring Protect, you can store unlimited clips from unlimited cameras for cheap. It’s also worth noting that cloud videos last for 60 days while other companies usually offer 30 days. Smart features like person detection and integrations with voice assistants made the experience even better. Overall, Ring is a promising brand that only gets better over the years. If you ask us, it’s a security camera system worth investing in.
CNBC. (2019). Amazon bought ‘Shark Tank’ reject Ring last year—here’s what the founder says about Jeff Bezos.
State Farm. (2020). How to deter burglars by pretending to be home. statefarm.com/simple-insights/residence/pretend-you-are-home-and-more-ways-to-deter-burglary
Ring. (2020). Warranty. shop.ring.com/pages/warranty