Ring Wi-Fi Video Doorbell – Should you buy one? The full, honest review.

Chip Smart Home Security 6 Comments

If you haven’t heard about Ring, the Smart Wi-Fi Video doorbell, here is a quick overview:

Like many others, after I saw Doorbot on Shark Tank, I pre-ordered one. Happy with the Doorbot, I order the new Ring when it came out. The shortcut: I give this product an A!

Ring Installation

I’ll admit, I was a little worried about the installation. I’ve now installed my Ring at two different homes. At one home, I thought I had a wired doorbell, but upon removing my old fashioned doorbell, I realized that it was completely wireless. I thought that it wouldn’t work. Have no fear, after glancing at the instructions, I realized it was very easy to install the Ring. If you don’t have a hard-wired doorbell, you’ll simply have to charge your Ring every couple of months. Don’t worry, the app will remind you to charge it.

It comes with everything you need to install the Ring Doorbell – from a leveler, to the mount, to the screws. You simply go to the Ring website and it walks you through all of the steps. You install the App on your phone and it easily connects to the Ring. It literally took me about 10 minutes to install the Ring. My wife was shocked that it was so easy and quick.

It’s even better when you have a hard-wired doorbell installed. The Ring Doorbell can use the same wiring for power and ring the previously-installed chime. If you only have a wireless doorbell, you can buy the Ring Chime from Amazon. You can plug this in anywhere you have an outlet to act as the chime when someone rings the Ring.

If you have a hard-wired connection, you also get Live View! Live View is the ability to check what it outside your door without someone ringing the doorbell! If you are wireless, this feature, sadly, doesn’t work.

Ring Safety

The main reason that I purchased the Ring was safety. Our front door is surrounded by windows. You can’t easily walk down the stairs to look and see if you want to let the person in. We needed an easy way to see who was at our door without the guest seeing us. The Ring works perfectly for this. Whenever someone comes to our door, the App sends a push notification that someone is at the door. You can easily see who is at your doorstep and communicate directly through the phone. You can use the app on many devices, not just one.

Why did I buy the Ring Doorbell? It’s simple: for issues like this:

Yes, that’s my house and yes, that’s a teenager (I assume) stealing a pumpkin. Funny story: the lights take a couple of seconds to turn on after the Ring senses motion (connected via Wink). So the poor guy gets scared by the lights coming on and the pumpkin was OVER 50 POUNDS! His adrenaline was probably pumping.

The best part of the Ring Doorbell is that it works wherever you are. I am able to respond to the person at the door while I’m at work (granted, 95% of the time when the Ring rings at work, it’s the UPS). But, when we’re traveling, the person at the door doesn’t know that we are traveling. They think we’re in the house just like any other time. I can also answer when my wife is home alone and I’m out. She doesn’t ever have to answer the door and put herself in a compromising position.

If, for some reason, someone steals your Ring, they will even replace it for free. Their customer service is awesome!

I also love that Ring just introduced Ring Neighborhoods, a way for you to selectively share rings to others in your neighborhood.

Another reason to buy the best video doorbell, Ring Neighborhoods.

Here’s what happened in one neighborhood in a beta test:

Pretty crazy, huh? Luckily I haven’t had to use this yet, but it’s an innovative feature.

What else do I need to know about the Ring?

Just like your iPhone, the Ring Video Doorbell gets software updates, both on the door bell and on the App. What does that mean? It means that it will always be improved. They’ve introduced a lot of great features since I’ve been a customer. They recently added Ring Live View, which I mentioned above.

The best part of the Ring Doorbell is the customer service! I’ve had a couple small issues. One time, I broke the frame it stands on when I was moving. They sent me a new one right away. I also had the button fall of the front (the facade, not the actual button). Ring Support sent me a WHOLE REPLACEMENT right away. Awesome customer service!

Like I mentioned, I used to use the battery for my Ring. According to Ring, the battery should last a full year. When it is running low, it will push a notification to your phone with plenty of warning. Simply unscrew the Ring (takes less than a minute) and plug it into any USB Charger. A couple hours later, you’ll be fully charged for the next year or so. GREAT! What’s why I would recommend the Ring over the Skybell any day.

What does Ring work with?

The Ring works with a lot of other Smart Home products. It works with Wink and IFTTT, most importantly for me. It can change the light color when you have the chime turned off (perfect for my sleeping newborn). I also have a Wink Robot set up to turn on the lights full blast outside when someone Rings the doorbell. At night, I even have the Wink trigger some inside lights a couple seconds after the Ring is rung.

What does the Ring monthly service cost?

It can cost nothing! I like to have recordings, which are stored in the cloud, for $3 a month per Ring. I think that’s a fair price and don’t have a problem paying it.

What’s not to love about Ring?

The one thing I don’t love about the Ring is that motion alerts are too sensitive. Facing the street, there are a lot of false positives, especially with sun shining on trucks as they pass by. If that’s my biggest complaint – it isn’t too bad! I just chose to not get alerts for motion and it’s ok. The video still records and saves in the cloud.

Should you buy a Ring Smart Video Doorbell?

I wouldn’t hesitate to buy a Ring. It is an incredible gadget that can give you amazing piece of mind. The only thing that stops my from giving the Ring an A+ is that it sometimes takes a second for the feed to open up. Obviously, this isn’t a big deal because it would take you a couple seconds to get to the door anyway. 

If you are looking for piece of mind and a great tool to make your home feel safe, buy the Ring today. For $199, you can’t beat it. Sure, the SkyBell is cheaper, but the Ring is much better.

I’ll try and review the new Ring Pro soon.

Comments 6

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