About Ring Doorbell

Type the phrase “home security system” into any search engine, and you’ll come up with hundreds of different choices. But here’s the thing: most of the options only monitor the inside of your home, while leaving the exterior largely unprotected.

Enter Ring Doorbell. This easy-to-install video doorbell device features a 180-degree HD camera (with night vision!), along with configurable motion sensors and a built-in microphone for two-way audio. Once Ring is activated, it works seamlessly over your wireless internet and instantly sends mobile alerts to your smartphones and tablets.

This means you’ll be able to see and speak with whoever’s at your front door—even when you’re not home—and with Ring’s Cloud recording, you’ll be able to easily access, rewind, and share the video it records. In a very real way, all these features mean that Ring can provide you with convenience, monitoring, and security, and ensure you’re “always home.”

There’s not doubt Ring’s features are pretty cool. But do you even need a “smart” doorbell in the first place? And even if you do, is Ring necessarily your best option? Are customers happy? There are a lot of factors that go into any buying decision, and we’ll be sure to discuss Ring Doorbell’s most important aspects in this review.

First, we’ll take a look a Ring’s technical details.

Ring Doorbell’s Tech Specs

Each Ring Doorbell is about 5” long, 2.5” high, and 1” thick, and is constructed of an ABS plastic housing that’s outdoor approved for heat, rain, sleet, or snow (operating temperatures for Ring Doorbell are -5 - 120°F).

According to the company, the installation process is as simple as attaching the mounting bracket to a flat surface using the included hardware (for wood, brick, concrete, and stucco surfaces), and placing the device on the bracket. Then, to help prevent theft, you’ll secure it in place with a proprietary security screw.

Inside the Ring Doorbell, you’ll find a 720p HD camera that can detect motion up to 30 feet away, along with a built-in microphone with “perfectly tuned echo cancellation.”

Wondering how you’ll power your Ring? You can either use its rechargeable battery or hardwire it to your existing doorbell. If using Ring’s battery, the manufacturer claims it’ll last about a year, and it will send you an email alert when it’s running low and needs to be recharged (depending on the amperage of your charger, this can take anywhere between 4 and 10 hours).

At the core of Ring’s operation is the free app, which is available for iPhones and iPads, Android phones and tablets, and any Windows 10 computer or tablet, which connect to ring over your wireless internet connection. You can have more than one Ring device in your home (each Doorbell will have its own unique name), and you’ll be able to pair as many smartphones and tablets as you would like to any Ring Doorbell.

In the event of an alert, all users will automatically be notified. However, you can customize your settings, so that (for example) you’d be notified for all alerts, while other household members only receive alerts when the doorbell button is pressed.

Another thing you can customize through the app is Ring’s motion detection sensors, where you’ll be able exclude areas like busy nearby sidewalks and roads, so that you “only get notified when it matters.”

Chime Turns Ring Into a Standard Doorbell

Now, you might be thinking to yourself, “What if I don’t have my phone nearby when someone actives my Ring device?” Well, the company makes a complementary device call Chime, which plugs into any standard power outlet and provides an audible tone (much like a traditional doorbell) when someone’s at your door.

Like Ring, Chime connects to your Wi-Fi network, so you can set up as many devices as you want. Need a little peace and quiet? You can disable each Chime and customize volume settings through the Ring app.

Ring’s Stick Up Cam

If you’re looking for all the video features and none of the Doorbell, Ring also makes the standalone Stick Up Cam, which features much of the same motion detection, 2-way audio, night vision, weather resistance, and optional cloud video recording (more about this in a second) as Ring.

Stick Up Cam is wire-free and can be mounted just about anywhere, while the easily adjustable mounting bracket allows you to see, hear, and speak with anyone at the perfect angle.

Ring+ Technology

Do you also own a smart lock from Wink, Kevo, Lockstate, Kisi? If so, the company’s Ring+ technology allows you to connect your Doorbell to these products, adding even more convenience, monitoring, and security (you’ll be able to lock and unlock your door while monitoring activity outside your home!). The process works over 3 steps:

  1. Download one of Ring’s partner apps for iOS or Android.
  2. Locate the integration menu within the live event screen in the Ring App.
  3. Select a partner’s app icon to then open the app and perform an action.

Cloud Video Recording

All of the video recorded by Ring Doorbell or Stick Up Cam can be sent to an optional Ring Cloud Video Recording account, where you’ll be able to “view and download up to six months of previous events, share clips with friends, neighbors and local law enforcement, and delete events that aren't important pr keep ones that are.” We’ll come back around to this in the final section.

Whew! That’s a big list of features! But will it cost you an arm and a leg?

Will Ring’s Price Resonate?

Ring Doorbell is priced at $199, with faceplates available in Satin Nickel, Antique Brass, Polished Brass, or Venetian Bronze. All Ring Doorbell purchases come with 30 days of free Cloud Video Recording. After that, you’ll pay $3 per month or $30 per year.

The Stick Up Cam will also cost you $199, and Chime is priced at $29.95.

Shipping is free for Ring Doorbell, but Chime (without also purchasing a Ring) comes with a $4.95 S&H fee

All Ring Doorbells come with a 30-day return policy, less S&H charges, as well as a 1-year limited warranty against defective parts or workmanship. Ring’s Lifetime Purchase Protection will even replace your Ring Doorbell if it’s stolen (you’ll have to file a police report, and this is only good one time).

In order to request a refund, process a warranty claim, or anything else, Ring’s customer service department can be reached at (800) 656-1918.

Given Ring Doorbell’s relatively reasonable price, along with its strong warranty and refund policy, are customers pleased with its performance?

Is Ring Doorbell a Hit With Customers?

As you might imagine, with such cool technology at an achievable price point, the Ring Doorbell has received a ton of attention from industry giants and customers alike.

Tech Hive and PC Mag both gave Ring Doorbell 3.5-star ratings, both claiming that it was easy to install and that the app was easy to navigate.

Tech Hive also called Ring a “clever, well-designed gadget,” but noted that it “didn’t always deliver on its promises.” Specifically, lag was often long between the time the device’s button was pressed and when the notification was received on a phone (several times, it didn’t work at all), although they felt this was due to their Wi-Fi connection more than anything else (more about this in a moment). Also, the author noted that going through all the steps to access the video chat screen inside Ring’s app can be a “long, frustrating experience.” Ultimately, they concluded that if Ring was “hardwired to my home network, and not at the mercy of Wi-Fi and smartphone connections,” many of these core problems would be addressed.

PC Mag also discussed many of these same things, but added that their battery only lasted 2.5 months (although it was during February), and mentioned that the audio quality is “hit or miss.”

From a customer perspective, Ring Doorbell had an average rating of 4.1 stars based on a whopping 6,700+ reviews on Amazon. There, most compliments seemed to reference ease of installation and solid performance.

On the other hand, most complaints seemed plagued with software issues—specifically, that the device doesn’t automatically reconnect to your network (if the power goes down, for example), and that the camera only recorded as people were walking away.

What about the company behind Ring Doorbell? The device is manufactured by Bot Home Automation, Inc. based out of Santa Monica, CA. This is the same company who produced DoorBot (aka Ring version 1.0), which didn’t seem to get very good reviews from HighYa readers, with a 1.1-star average ratings based on complaints about failure to work and difficulty getting help from customer service. However, based on customer feedback, it seems that these issues were largely addressed with Ring.

Let’s go ahead and bring everything together.

Should You Splurge On Ring Doorbell?

So, who might Ring Doorbell work best for? In our opinion, the device’s target market is consumers who want to add some front door security, without all the hassle of setting up higher-end home automation cameras. Simply install it in a few minutes, download the app, link the device to your Wi-Fi signal, and you’re good to go.

But here’s the catch: This ease of use also creates two of Ring Doorbell’s biggest drawbacks (at least according to customer feedback): 1) Overall functionality is based on the strength of your Wi-Fi signal, and 2) you won’t be able to store any of the video Ring records on your own equipment.

This first concern could be addressed by maximizing signal strength at your front door, either by relocating your router or purchasing a wireless signal repeater. In fact, Ring’s manufacturer specifically recommends this option. Obviously, this means you’ll have to increase your budget to accommodate the extra hardware.

Speaking of which, by requiring you to store all your video on Ring’s Cloud (which costs $30 per year), you’ll have some long-term costs to factor into your budget.

Admittedly, both of these concerns could probably be addressed by allowing their customers to use Ring Doorbell within their own network. Will the company listen and change the device accordingly? Only time will tell.

In the mean time, unless you’re a hardcore home automation enthusiast who’s only interested in customization, Ring Doorbell might work for just about everyone else.

What’d you experience with Ring? Tell us about it by writing a review below!

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28 Consumer Reviews for Ring Doorbell

Average Consumer Rating: 1.6
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 2 4 star: 0 3 star: 4 2 star: 2 1 star:  20
Bottom Line: 4% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 28
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  • Ring 2 video doorbell does not like to keep working

    • Nov 21, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    Hello.

    It took two days to get Ring installed, including calling Ring support numerous times. Each time something would work for a while then quit, then something else would quit working. Also, when I added my wife's phone to it, Ring on her phone, it would only work inadvertently.

    Another complaint is after a couple of days it started sending me messages "You have 28 days to Purchase Protect Plan." Each day after that it would show one less day to order it.

    I called Ring support again and found out it costs $30.00 per year, and if I don't sign up, it will only show the last time someone pushed the doorbell or the last time the motion detector was activated.

    This makes it totally worthless. I am not paying the $30.00 per year. I will just send it back.

    Best regards.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • False advertising

    • United Kingdom,
    • Nov 19, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    Everyone, do not trust this company as they have lied and have advertised the Ring Doorbell 1 as having a 1080p picture quality when it really is a 720p picture quality. I have taken it up with Ring customer service, which is not very helpful, and Trevor, the manager, told me they are aware of the fake wrong advertising on the box specifications, and can only do an exchange for the Ring Doorbell 2, which is a 1080p but I will have to pay the difference. It is against the law. Also, I have a Ring Doorbell 2 and can honestly say I have had loads of issues with it and would not recommend this useless crap, it’s the same as the China quality doorbells. If there is anybody that can sort this silly company out then please email me.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    A total piece of garbage

    • Denver, CO,
    • Oct 31, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    It took me two days of running back to the store to exchange a defective one, and the chime still doesn't work. When I try to call the company, I wait on hold for hours only to be disconnected. The camera is terrible. Two tiny little screws are the only thing that keeps this on the door.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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    • Oct 31, 2018

      Jennifer Finefrock, Community Manager

      Hi Jennifer,

      We're here to help! Are you experiencing difficulties with both the Ring Chime and Doorbell? Let's touch base and go over this in more detail, so we can get everything up and running to its full potential. Will you please email me at jennifer@ring.com at your earliest convenience? Looking forward to hearing from you!

      Thank you,

      Jennifer F., Community Manager

      Jennifer@ring.com

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  • 2 out 2 people found this review helpful

    The Ring Doorbell is useless

    • Madison, AL,
    • Oct 23, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    The Ring Doorbell is useless after paying $200 for this thing. After the 30-day free membership trial, the Ring team terminates any and all useful features. It no longer records when someone is at my front door, so if someone is there stealing or is a threat to me and my family, I will not have anything to show the police.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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    • Oct 24, 2018

      Jennifer Finefrock, Community Manager

      Hi Eric,

      While subscribed to one of our optional Protect Plans, it allows you to access videos of every Ring, Motion and Live View event for up to 60 days. Without this, you will still be able to answer notifications as they come in as well as activate live view. Would you please email me at jennifer@ring.com so we can discuss this in more detail as well as find a plan that fits what you're looking for?

      Thank you,

      Jennifer F., Community Manager

      Jennifer@ring.com

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  • 2 out 2 people found this review helpful

    Jury is out, but not looking good...

    • West Palm Beach, FL,
    • Oct 11, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I bought the Ring Doorbell (base model) less than 30 days ago and have had to call Ring support at least 5 times to get it to function...sort of...

    As they say, the installation was pretty straightforward. But when I hardwired it to my existing indoor bell, the chime wouldn’t sound. So that was my first call to Ring Support, who had me try a number of things, including switching the red and white wires even though the video and everything you read says it doesn’t matter which terminal you hook the wires up to. Well, I switch the wires and the chime worked. Go figure. At that point, I didn’t much care - it was working. And it did work great for about 2 and 1/2 weeks.

    But then the doorbell decided at times not to function correctly. For example, the motion sensor would work some days and not others. Some days the sunshine hits it and sets it off (that doesn’t bother me so much though because at least it’s working!). So then my second and third, possibly the fourth phone calls to Ring support pretty much centered on the motion feature not working correctly. Remedies included (again) reinstalling the physical device, making sure that the firmware was up to date, changing the motion zones, and God knows what else at their end that they were pushing through and trying in order to make it work. Again, as long as it finally worked, I didn’t really much care.

    But then last week the Ring Doorbell just decided to give up the ghost entirely (motion sensor AND doorbell died), and that was my last phone call to Ring support. I did another hard factory reset, as the Support guy walked me through, and that seemed to fix it.

    So I’m holding my breath because it seems to be working properly and I can only hope it is in a good mood and will continue to function because when it works it’s really great. All I really needed was a peephole because with Florida hurricane impact doors installed, you don’t get peepholes and you can’t see who’s at your door when someone rings the bell. That was my main motivation behind getting the Ring Doorbell in the first place.

    I ultimately decided NOT to buy any of the video storage plans because I have such low expectations that I don’t think my Ring Doorbell will be functioning at the end of the year anyway. The Ring support people were very patient and helpful, which was good, but I think at the end of the day they’re fighting an uphill battle because the product just doesn’t live up to the hype.

    I’m glad I saved my old style doorbell. I have a feeling I’m going to be needing it in the future.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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    • Oct 11, 2018

      Jennifer Finefrock, Community Manager

      Hi Donna,

      I would personally love to connect with you and ensure we get your device up and running to its full potential. I would love to review your tickets with support and make sure we find a resolution to best resolve this. I'd also be more than happy to answer any other questions or concerns you may have. Would you please send me an email at jennifer@ring.com? I look forward to speaking with you!

      Thank you, Jennifer F., Community Manager

      Jennifer@ring.com

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  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Great for a college dorm or a mobile home or camper.

    • Port Charlotte, FL,
    • Oct 9, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    Not really a security system in the sense of a professionally installed system for a licensed security professional. These are a lick and stick system that will be very limited and easy to thwart by any low-level thief. I put in the cameras for a customer and she was very disappointed as her internet provider was not very robust in her area. The batteries had to be recharged somewhat frequently, and the doorbell was more of a novelty versus some type of real security device.

    I would never recommend this, and I urge folks to do the research before you buy this stuff. Everyone is different and most folks shop low price versus quality. Two thumbs down.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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    • Oct 9, 2018

      Jennifer Finefrock, Community Manager

      Hi Greg,

      Thanks for sharing your feedback. Battery life is contingent on the number of alerts you receive as well as some other factors. Ring does require a constant WiFi to properly operate, but all information needed is up on our website at Ring.com under the specific device FAQ. We would be more than happy to discuss this plus any other questions in more detail. Feel free to send me an email at jennifer@ring.com.

      Thank you,

      Jennifer F., Community Manager

      Jennifer@ring.com

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  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Junk

    • Missouri,
    • Sep 27, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    The Ring Doorbell does not work. They sent me two replacements and two Chime Pros and after 15 or more hours on the phone with their technical support none of the doorbells work. Don't waste your money and time on this poor product!

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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    • Oct 9, 2018

      Jennifer Finefrock, Community Manager

      Hi Doug,

      Sorry to hear about your recent Ring experience, however, I am more than happy to help. I would love to take a further look into your past customer support tickets and ensure we find a resolution to best resolve this. At your earliest convenience, will you please send me a message at jennifer@ring.com? I look forward to hearing from you!

      Thank you,

      Jennifer F., Community Manager

      Jennifer@ring.com

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  • 3 out 3 people found this review helpful

    Wouldn't have bought if I knew

    • California,
    • Sep 24, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    This thing only records for 30 seconds and stops regardless of activity. Thieves know this and they recognize the blue light at night. You simply trigger the Ring then wait, and if the alert is not answered, you are free to do what you want after 30 seconds. Also, a thief will see the Ring and know that's all you have for security.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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    • Sep 25, 2018

      Jennifer Finefrock, Community Manager

      Hi Larry,

      We’ve found that Ring acts as a great deterrent against potential criminals who know about the audio/video surveillance that we provide, as it puts them at a higher risk of being caught, and discourages them from approaching a Ring-protected home. If you have any other questions or would like to discuss this in more detail, please reach out to me at jennifer@ring.com.

      Thanks!

      Jennifer F., Community Manager

      Jennifer@ring.com

    • Sep 27, 2018

      Larry K.

      A very canned non-personal response that does not address the issue.

    • Sep 27, 2018

      Jennifer Finefrock, Community Manager

      Sorry you feel that way, Larry. I'm more than happy to help discuss this in more detail with you and answer any questions you may have. You can reach me at jennifer@ring.com.

      Happy to help however I can, Jennifer.

    • Nov 19, 2018

      Bill W.

      Hello,

      It took two days to get Ring installed, including calling Ring support numerous times. Each time something would work for a while then quit, then something else would quit working, also when I added my wife's phone to it, Ring on her phone it would only work inadvertently.

      Another complaint is after a couple days it started sending me messages "you have 28 days to purchase the Protect Plan." Each day after that it would show one less day to order it.

      I called Ring support again and found out it costs $30.00 per year, and if I don't sign up it only will show the last time someone pushed the doorbell or the last time the motion detector was activated. This makes it totally worthless. I am not paying the $30.00 per year. I will just send it back.

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  • Good..BUT, and a BIG but

    • Scotland,
    • Aug 29, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    Although I have to say for us, the bell was easy to install, no problems, and so far I have had no issue with this working well. The charge in the battery lasts quite long, so all in all happy...

    HOWEVER.

    As not mentioned in the advert to continue with the feature of answering your bell after 30 days without connecting to live view, you need to pay a subscription, this is not in the very good TV advert, not even in small print. So now if someone comes, say with a delivery, I have to log into live view to answer, and the time this takes normally means that the person has left. I was really disappointed after paying a lot for the Ring Doorbell to then find to use its advertised features that I then need to pay a yearly subscription. This is very disappointing.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful
    Updated review

    Nothing but problems in almost every area.

    • Denver, CO,
    • Aug 27, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    Ring is trying to assist me, but this is more trouble than it's worth and takes forever to get right. It's probably not for everybody but it has been for us. One excellent thing with Ring is that neighbors share their videos of crimes or attempted crimes which is very helpful.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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    • Aug 20, 2018

      Jennifer Finefrock, Community Manager

      Hi M.B.,

      I'm sorry to hear your Ring experience has been anything less than stellar. However, I am more than happy to assist with making this right and turning around your Ring experience. At your earliest convenience, would you please send me an email with more information? Your happiness and overall satisfaction with Ring is my top priority. I look forward to hearing from you!

      Thank you,

      Jennifer F., Community Manager

      Jennifer@ring.com

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    • Previous review
    • Aug 17, 2018

    Nothing but problems in almost every area.

    This doorbell takes a long time to install contrary to the "5 minutes" it states on the package. It took about three hours! It is hit and miss. I cannot get it to alert by any type of tone, it only vibrates no matter what I do. I have also tried others and they won't work. What's the point?

    Alerts after the person is already gone. What's the point? The batteries (I bought two doorbells), went dead after about a month and a half because they are constantly going off when nothing is there.

    The "support" is worthless. They were supposed to send me two widget sets to change the direction of the cameras and only sent one, even after I reminded them to send the second on. Never heard from them again. I would not recommend it. Too much stress and aggravation.

    (read moreread less...)

  • It only lasted 20 months

    • San Antonio, TX,
    • Aug 6, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    It started out great. My only concern at the time was with the night video not being very clear. I was happy with it but it stopped working after 20 months, and the warranty is only for one year, this is the reason for the 3-star rating. With a $300.00 price tag, it should have lasted longer. I'm not sure I'm ready to dish out another $300.00 to replace it.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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