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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20 Consumer Reviews for Ring Doorbell

Average Consumer Rating: 1.8
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 2 4 star: 0 3 star: 4 2 star: 0 1 star:  14
Bottom Line: 5% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 20
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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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  • 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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  • Doesn't work

    • Idaho,
    • Jul 24, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    It took me two months after purchasing the Ring Doorbell to get it to work. It worked ok for a couple of months but then stopped working. I have tried everything under the sun, and it doesn't work. This is not a problem with my internet connection or Wi-Fi. When it was working, it was hit and miss and often would not show live video. Very disappointed. I just spent another two hours on this and finally give up. It's going in the garbage.

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

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    • Aug 1, 2018

      Jennifer Finefrock, Community Manager

      Hi Sheila,

      I'm sorry to hear about your concerns regarding your Video Doorbell. I would be more than happy to assist with getting your device up and running to its full potential. Would you please email me at jennifer@ring.com? I look forward to hearing from you!

      Thank you,

      Jennifer F., Community Manager

      Jennifer@ring.com

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  • Updated review

    Update of review titled "Planned obsolescence"

    • Massachusetts,
    • Jul 4, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    This is an update of an earlier bad review I wrote. I had purchased a Video Doorbell, and had it for 22 months, at which time it went bad. I couldn't reach any resolution with the phone support, so I discarded the doorbell and left a bad review here. They contacted me, prompted by this review, and have since agreed to send me a brand new doorbell, free of charge. While I would have preferred not to have gone through the extra frustration, I am more than happy with their solution.

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

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    • Jun 26, 2018

      Jennifer Finefrock, Community Manager

      Hi Welton! I'm terribly sorry to hear about your recent experience with support. This certainly is not the Ring experience I want you to have. At your earliest convenience, will you please send me an email with your information so I can follow up on this and ensure we get all questions/concerns taken care of for you? Please email me at jennifer@ring.com when you have a moment. I appreciate your patience and look forward to hearing from you, Welton!

      Thank you,

      Jennifer F., Community Manager

      Jennifer@ring.com

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    • Previous review
    • Jun 25, 2018

    Planned obsolescence

    I bought the Ring in September 2016. It lasted 22 months then stopped working. I had spent the day charging it to 100%. The doorbell worked just fine during the day. However, upon putting it back in the mounting plate, the doorbell stopped working.

    I called customer support, who told me that I must have broken the doorbell by mashing it. I can see how that would have broken the button, but since I didn't do that, I don't understand how it did occur. This was clearly a product defect, but since the warranty is only for one year, unless you opt to spend an extra $100/year, I am out of luck. It seems to me that an inexplicable failure of this sort is suspicious, and a refusal to consider examining for a defect is poor business practice.

    (read moreread less...)

  • 4 out 4 people found this review helpful

    Deceptive packaging, issues with app

    • Carson City, NV,
    • May 24, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I got this for Christmas, and let me count the ways this is crap.

    First, nowhere on the packaging does it say that after 30 days, you need to pay a subscription to continue using the features you're told ON THE PACKAGING you received (this called bait and switch by the way).

    Second, the motion sensor settings are a joke. Set it at 5 feet and it goes off when cars go by 50 feet down the road, or the wind blows the branches of the bush that's 40 feet away.

    Third, the lag for the notification is so bad that the person ringing the doorbell is gone by the time I was getting the notification (and yes, my internet and cell provider speeds are just fine).

    Fourth, the app updated itself to a version that no longer works on my phone. I couldn't go back to the previous version of the app and was told by tech support "Oh, you'll need to buy a new cell phone!" Oh great, so now in order to use the new app that worked before, I have to go spend $600-$800 on a new phone?

    So now I have to go find a hacked older version just to get this damn thing to work again and be of any use. I think it's time to rip it off the side of the house, sell it on Craigslist to some other unsuspecting chump and find something that actually works and isn't going to lie on their packaging about costs.

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

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    • May 24, 2018

      Jennifer Finefrock, Community Manager

      Hi Todd, sorry to hear about your frustrations with Ring. However, we are more than happy to help. I would love to speak with you to learn more about the app concern you mentioned, as well as the notification delay. Furthermore, we do notify our customers about the cloud plan on our website (https://shop.ring.com/pages/protect-plans), in your Ring app during the first free 30-day trial of our cloud plan, as well as in your email about this service. I apologize for any miscommunication but we will work on providing even more transparency to our customers as we can in the future. Will you please email me at jennifer@ring.com so we can touch base on the above? 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

    Absolutely useless

    • May 16, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I was given Ring as a Christmas present. I have not had time to attend to it until this morning. Unpacking it WAS a huge mistake.

    None of the instructions work, and neither does the Ring App. Perhaps it's for the young techno-nerd not for the likes of me, who is NOT a young techno-nerd.

    The good thing is that I did not pay to buy it. The bad thing is that Ring has got my email and home address, which seems to be the very first thing any transaction online needs.

    I will definitely NOT recommend this useless piece of technology.

    What's wrong with the ordinary transformer doorbell or a wireless type which you just plug in? I have both already, and they serve me well.

    Goodbye and good riddance Ring.

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

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    • May 17, 2018

      Jennifer Finefrock, Community Manager

      Hey Naz,

      We are sorry to hear that your Ring experience has been anything less than stellar. However, we are more than happy to help. We would love to get in touch with you and personally help you set up your Video Doorbell. Would you please email me at jennifer@ring.com, so we can get started on that? I look forward to hearing from you!

      Best,

      Jennifer F., Community Manager

      Jennifer@ring.com

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  • 3 out 3 people found this review helpful

    Do not buy this product if you live somewhere cold!

    • Wisconsin,
    • Apr 15, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    It works ok in the summer months, but in the winter, it is awful. I was on the phone with the tech people every other week. I needed to uninstall it in below 0 weather and bring it in the house to recharge the battery multiple times this last winter. It also does not reconnect after a power outage and again drains the battery. LOTS of work for a doorbell. They replaced it with a new unit once as well, and we had the same issues. We are a very techy family and were very disappointed in the performance. The tech people are very nice but never solved the problems we were having.

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

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    • May 13, 2018

      Jennifer Finefrock, Community Manager

      Hi Chris,

      As the batteries are lithium-ion batteries, such as those used in Ring devices, you may need to bring it inside and charge it periodically. Here is an article with more detail, https://support.ring.com/hc/en-us/articles/115005939463-Cold-Weather-and-Battery-Powered-Ring-Devices. Please keep in mind battery life is contingent on the number of alerts you receive as well. Let's touch base and go over this in a little more detail, plus take any necessary steps to turn your Ring experience around. Please email me at jennifer@ring.com at your earliest convenience. 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

    My mistake...

    • Phoenix, AZ,
    • Mar 15, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    It was my mistake to waste money on this gadget. The zone settings are for a distance of 5 feet, and yet it picks up cars on the street 50+ feet away. Our cell phones are constantly ding, ding, dinging, and for no good reason. My tech-savvy son cannot get it to adjust better. So annoying!

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

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    • Mar 19, 2018

      Jennifer Finefrock, Community Manager

      Hi R D Lamon,

      I'm sorry to hear about your concerns with your motion detection. I would be more than happy to help find the best zones for you and your home. Would you please email me at jennifer@ring.com at your earliest convenience? In the meantime, please take a look at this article which explains how the motion detection works: http://bit.ly/2tBnm5j. I look forward to hearing from you!

      Thank you,

      Jennifer F., Community Manager

      Jennifer@ring.com

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  • 4 out 4 people found this review helpful

    Could be much better

    First off, when you get an alert on your mobile device, you have open the Ring app to view the image. By the time it opens most people have already left the area. Many times it won't connect to the doorbell at all, even though I have the latest technology router on the market.

    Secondly, and this should be most concerning is that nowhere on their website can you write a review. As if they know all the negative reviews would bring sales to a halt.

    The doorbell is okay but could be so much better if they addressed the issues and didn't hide from them.

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

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  • 3 out 3 people found this review helpful

    Deceptive packaging!

    The product does have a lag time of a couple of seconds, which I can live with. What I find deceptive is the packaging. They say the plans are posted on their website but who goes there when they are in the store buying the product? I did not know after 30 days they were going to charge me to view MY video. Nowhere on or in the packaging does it say you have to subscribe for a monthly fee. Shame on them. Now it's just an expensive doorbell.

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

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