About Ring Doorbell

By HighYa Staff

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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Read 41 Ring Doorbell Customer Reviews and Complaints

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Average Consumer Rating: 1.5
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 2 4 star: 0 3 star: 4 2 star: 5 1 star:  30
Bottom Line: 2% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 41
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  • 3 out 3 people found this review helpful

    Misleading sales practices

    • California,
    • Apr 1, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    After my house was burglarized I bought a security system.

    On top of that, I was offered a Ring system. I thought I was purchasing "a system," camera and phone app. Only to find out one month later, that my "free trial" was over and had to sign up for the plan. This is a monthly fee that was never explained. My security system costs me enough monthly. I do not need to pay another fee so that I can be annoyed 15-20 times per day when the camera senses motion at my door, on windy days tree branches have activated it, moths have activated it, cats, etc...

    I am not a big fan of this system!

    I believe they deliberately do not inform customers of future fees. If you do purchase this product for $150-$200, understand that you will be paying additional fees, monthly.

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

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    • Apr 2, 2019

      Bot Home Automation, Inc.

      Hi John,

      Our optional Protect Plans allow you to access, download and share any past video. Without this service, you will be able to answer notifications in real time as well as check live view. Will you please email me at jennifer@ring.com to discuss this in more detail? Thanks!

      Thank you,

      Jennifer F., Community Manager

      Jennifer@ring.com


  • 3 out 4 people found this review helpful

    RIP off

    • Romford, Essex, England,
    • Mar 29, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I purchased a Ring Doorbell 2 one month ago. All was ok until I had the ability to view my footage taken away because my trial period had expired. I was told I had to pay £24.00 a year to get it back. Now I realized there was a trial period the app tells you. I at least thought that I would be able to view footage the same day, but not if someone rings your doorbell and you are not in the app it bars you from viewing the footage. What a RIP-OFF, DON'T BY ONE. I am going to send mine back and get a full refund.

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

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    • Apr 2, 2019

      Bot Home Automation, Inc.

      Hi Andrew,

      In order to access, download and share any past video, you will need to purchase one of our Protect Plans. Without this service, you will still be able to answer notifications in real time as well as answer and check live view. Our plans are available on a monthly and yearly subscription. I'd love to talk to you about this in more detail, would you please email me at jennifer@ring.com?

      Thank you,

      Jennifer F., Community Manager

      Jennifer@ring.com


  • 3 out 4 people found this review helpful

    SCAM

    • Warwick, RI,
    • Mar 21, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    They don’t tell you that after one month you need to join a subscription at a cost of $3.00 per month or you lose all video feed to review. It has now become nothing more than a doorbell button.

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

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    • Mar 26, 2019

      Bot Home Automation, Inc.

      Hi Joe,

      Our optional monthly subscription allows you to access, download and share any past video. Without this option, you will still receive real-time alerts sent straight to your smartphone. Our plans start at $3/month or $10/month for unlimited cameras. Please email me so we can discuss this in more detail. Thank you!

      Thank you,

      Jennifer F., Community Manager

      Jennifer@ring.com


  • 4 out 4 people found this review helpful

    Long time user and beta tester not happy with long term experience

    • New York,
    • Mar 14, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I bought the Ring Doorbell about three/four years ago when they first started advertising on TV, and I am part of the beta test group. I am also the owner of a home electronics installation company. I have been in business for 30 years. I have installed about 16 of the Ring Doorbells for my customers. Last week I had a unit that would no longer ring the customer's indoor chime. The circuit in the Ring Doorbell had blown out. The voltage from the doorbell transformer was between 16 and 21 volts AC just where it is supposed to be. Ring technical support had no idea why it had blown out, but since the unit was over 2 years old, the customers only recourse was to buy another unit with a $50.00 discount.

    NOW my Ring Doorbell stopped working the other day. It can no longer connect to the Ring produced network during setup. The Ring technician told me it was because MY internet connection was too slow. My answer was…how come it worked for the last 3 or 4 years (?), and I have a fiber optic network connection, the fastest available. I asked to speak to someone more knowledgeable and it was determined that the Ring Doorbell was faulty. But AGAIN, my only recourse is to buy another doorbell with a $50.00 discount. In my quest to write a review, I find that there is no way to directly mail or talk to anyone higher than a technical support person about any complaints you have.

    NOT GOOD.

    I will no longer be installing or using the Ring Doorbell, there are other options.

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

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    • Mar 26, 2019

      Bot Home Automation, Inc.

      Hi Jim,

      More than happy to take a further look into this. You can reach our 24/7 support at 800-656-1918, help@ring.com or our chat feature. Not to mention, there are multiple team members available. Feel free to email me at jennifer@ring.com with any questions or concerns.

      Thank you,

      Jennifer F., Community Manager

      Jennifer@ring.com


  • 3 out 3 people found this review helpful

    A piece of junk

    • Washington, DC,
    • Mar 13, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    One star is the best I can do for this system (and I'm being generous). Everything triggers Ring, and the video isn't much better. I contacted the security company I'm with for another week, due to this calamity, to complain. I was sold Ring as part of my plan, but everyone with whom I spoke said Ring is one of the worst and now I believe it. A flying bag, piece of paper, steam rising from my laundry room vent, snow, rain, and wind all trigger it.

    I called another security company and told them about Ring. They assured me it was not a good system and they don't recommend it to consumers due to the very experiences I have had. I even had several videos record and stop while people were still at my door! Ring was supposed to be part of a grander security system I'm installing, including top-of-the-line infrared security cameras, so I expected it to work well. Since it doesn't, I will be moving to another superior doorbell system. Don't let high-pressure sales tactics push you to purchase Ring. The reviews across the web aren't good.

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

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    • Mar 14, 2019

      Bot Home Automation, Inc.

      Hi Pam,

      Motion detection can be tricky, but it really boils down to how you have your camera installed and it's point of view. We have many certain tools to help improve your motion detection and ensure you're only getting alerted for objects that come within your view. It also sounds like you're unfamiliar with how the product actually works, as Motion Frequency plays a huge part with notifications. Did you happen to check out our support page? Here are a few articles that will help:

      https://support.ring.com/hc/en-us/articles/115003477106-Understanding-and-Optimizing-Motion-Detection-with-Motion-Frequency

      https://support.ring.com/hc/en-us/articles/360022650691-Motion-Detection-in-Ring-Battery-Devices

      Not to mention there is a motion wizard in the app to help find the best settings for you and your home. We also have an outstanding 24/7 support staff to help with this as well. I'm more than happy to personally assist with finding the best zones for you and your home. Why don't you email me at your earliest convenience? My email is jennifer@ring.com and I'd love to talk to you in more detail and help get your device up and running to its full potential!

      Thanks,

      Jennifer F., Community Manager

      Jennifer@ring.com


  • 3 out 3 people found this review helpful

    Needs some serious work

    • Oklahoma,
    • Feb 22, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I had my Ring video doorbells for a few months now and have to say this product/company is going way downhill.

    I cannot even tell you how many false alerts I got today and it was not even sunny. I already moved this camera around 3 times since the sun would set it off. First north, west, now east. To get a rep on the phone is a minimum of 15 minutes now, used to be 2-3 minutes.

    They need to do better, it was very hard for me to even give it two stars right now. One star is more accurate at the moment. I liked it in the beginning but it has gotten so much worse.

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

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    • Feb 27, 2019

      Bot Home Automation, Inc.

      Hi Tina,

      It sounds like you need assistance finding the best zones for you and your home. Did you reach out to support? Sometimes, you may need to install one of our Install Kits to help angle or point the camera just a bit. I would be more than happy to personally help you find the best zones for your home. Will you please email me at jennifer@ring.com so we can take a look at this?

      Thank you!

      Jennifer F., Community Manager

      Jennifer@ring.com


  • 5 out 5 people found this review helpful

    Scary!

    • Upper Marlboro, MD,
    • Feb 13, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    We have had the Ring devices now for almost a year. They are so choppy and unreliable that it scares me to answer the doorbell when I am away - wouldn’t take long for someone to figure out that the house is empty. In the beginning, I called Ring almost daily and after several months, gave up and just accepted that their devices are crappy. I would NOT recommend a Ring device unless you want to look outside from inside, but then I guess you could just go to the window.

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

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    • Feb 14, 2019

      Bot Home Automation, Inc.

      Hi Denise,

      Choppy video may be attributed to the WiFi connection and speeds to the device, even the connection your phone is receiving. There are a few things that the team and I can take a further look into. At your earliest convenience, will you please send me an email at jennifer@ring.com? Looking forward to hearing from you!

      Thank you,

      Jennifer F., Community Manager

      Jennifer@ring.com


  • 3 out 3 people found this review helpful

    Marginal to adequate performance

    • Texas,
    • Feb 10, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I have the Ring Pro 2 and it works nothing like their TV advertisement. From the time my doorbell is activated, or I’m notified of motion on my porch, a minimum of 30 seconds transpires before the activity shows up on my cell phone. My router is located about 20 feet from the ring device and I sit about 2 feet from my front door. I can hear the postman place items in my mailbox, my phone will chime notifying me of motion detection, but nothing shows up in the "History" for about a half a minute or more after the event. Originally, I installed the device on my router with a 2.4G frequency. I changed it to 5G hoping this would improve the latency problem. No change. If you don’t care about quick response, this is an adequate product but don’t expect to be able to tell people to "Get off my front porch!"

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

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    • Feb 11, 2019

      Bot Home Automation, Inc.

      Hi Bobby,

      Just to clarify, do you have the Video Doorbell 2 or the Ring Pro? If it is the Video Doorbell 2, it can only run on 2.4GHz. However, regardless of the device, I would be more than happy to take a further look into this. It may be a setting on your phone that is causing the delay. Please send me an email at jennifer@ring.com so we can take a further look into this for you.

      Thank you,

      Jennifer F., Community Manager

      Jennifer@ring.com


  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Doorbell

    • United Kingdom,
    • Feb 2, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    As an electronics engineer with 30 years in the industry, I can categorically say that this product is utter rubbish. Overpriced and a greedy company wanting even more money to record your videos.

    As previously stated, it doesn't work, even on fast broadband at close range. Pathetic battery life. Oversold and underdeveloped crap. The PR lady Jennifer is doing her best to defend the indefensible, but she really needs to accept that her company really has a rubbish expensive product and it should be withdrawn.

    Ring? More like "Wrong."

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

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    • Feb 4, 2019

      Bot Home Automation, Inc.

      Thanks for reaching out, Rob! To clarify, I am the Community Manager not PR. I'd like to discuss a few topics you mentioned in your review. Battery life can drain more quickly due to cold weather. It does appear you are from the UK, which has been experiencing some cold weather, which then can cause this and lead to other concerns. You're able to learn more, here: https://support.ring.com/hc/en-us/articles/115005939463-Cold-Weather-and-Battery-Powered-Ring-Devices. Also, even though you may have fast broadband, there may be certain obstacles causing interference from your router to your device. I would love to compare notes and talk about this in more detail. Please feel free to email me at jennifer@ring.com.

      Thank you,

      Jennifer F., Community Manager

      Jennifer@ring.com


  • 6 out 6 people found this review helpful

    Quality/customer service

    • California,
    • Jan 21, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I paid to have my Ring floodlight camera installed. Now it doesn't work. Ring says I will have to pay someone to come back and reset the chime button. They wanted me to do it. I said I am a senior citizen and can't climb a ladder. So they said I will have to pay someone. An awful company. They were very condescending.

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

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    • Jan 22, 2019

      Bot Home Automation, Inc.

      Hi Mary,

      This certainly is not the Ring experience we want you to have. Would you please email me so I can review your ticket and help get your device up and running to its full potential? I look forward to hearing from you!

      Thank you,

      Jennifer F., Community Manager

      Jennifer@ring.com


  • 4 out 4 people found this review helpful

    Ring Doorbell 2

    • United Kingdom,
    • Dec 22, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I have installed two of these devices for friends and the installation took about 5 minutes. A further 15 minutes to download the app and set up the device on their phones. The only problem I have come across is extreme lag. When someone presses the doorbell, it takes a while to open the app and open live view. By this time whoever was at door has now gone. Motion detection is "hitty missy" at best. But the first time got over 100 motion detections in one day, but after setting motion zone correctly, this reduced significantly and the battery lasted longer but did not rectify the lag.

    I would not recommend this to anyone with standard broadband speeds. Fiber broadband is highly recommended on these devices with a speed of at least 15mb for it to work to its full potential. Also, at no point during the install was I notified of this being a subscription service. And nowhere in the instructions does it state this. At no point when buying these devices were we told it was subscription.

    Being a technical engineer for over 15 years, I have the expertise of installing and setting up devices like these. So would I recommend these devices to a friend? It depends. If their internet speeds are fast, it should be fine and work well. Remember also it's upload speeds not download speeds, if not, stay clear of this device.

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

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    • Jan 22, 2019

      Bot Home Automation, Inc.

      Hi Shaun,

      Thank you for your feedback. I would like to further assist and help answer any questions/concerns you may have as well as discuss your experience in a bit more detail. Would you please email me at jennifer@ring.com at your earliest convenience?

      Thank you,

      Jennifer F., Community Manager

      Jennifer@ring.com


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