Ring Wi-Fi Smart Video Doorbell: Find out who's at your door, even when you're away from home. Just connect the doorbell via Wi-Fi and use the Ring app on your iOS or Android device to interact with visitors, receive alerts and review footage.
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Posted by: TomJ from: on
I was very unhappy to find out, if you don't pay the monthly subscription fee, you lose most of the functionality of the device. You either pay for their cloud storage service or you have no way to even record video. This should be stated clearly on the box. I'm aware the subscription is very low, but I am categorically against this new micro purchase trend with products and am absolutely tired of being nickel and dimed for what should be a one time purchase.
195 out of 213 found this review helpful.
A Good Product with Some Limitations
Posted by: htheater from: Atlanta, GA on
We have used several brands of video doorbells through the years, including dedicated, proprietary hardwired units, but for this review I will address only ones that I feel are competitive with Ring.
IMHO, its main competitor is the SkyBell HD as they are similar priced and have similar capabilities. The yet-to-be-released August Doorbell should also be a consideration once it ships (if ever, as it is waaay delayed!).
The Ring has an edge over the SkyBell in installation flexibility (can run on batteries), more setup customization and better Customer Service.
SkyBell advanatages are "video monitoring" (see below), FREE cloud recording and action based integration.
SkyBell's video monitoring feature is a big plus and one that Ring has promised is "Coming Soon" for over a year now. This allows you to press button in the app and see a real-time video image. Why is this important? If you miss the notification response window and want to see who it was, OR if you know workers are supposed to be there and you want to check up on them, OR if you hear a noise but the motion detection hasn't picked up anything and turned the camera on, etc.
So, which would I recommend?
If you have no preference on aesthetics or any physical restrictions, they both are good alternatives so you will need to look at their differences to help you decide. If "on demand" viewing and FREE cloud viewing is important to you, choose SkyBell. If you don't have the necessary wiring for SkyBell and need a battery powered model, then Ring is your only choice.
If your budget allows, you should also consider DoorBird:
Hardware wise neither the Ring or SkyBell compare to the DoorBird (more expensive, but, you get what you paid for). The German quality is obvious at first touch.
Even though it is 720p like Ring vs 1080p on the SkyBell, due to its lens quality and size, it offers the best picture of the three. It also has the best audio (same reasons) available and its motion detection is flawless. The app could use some work as it isn't as polished as Ring or SkyBell.
DoorBird also offers a POE connection for those fortunate enough to have a network wire at their door. There are terminals to connect to an existing door chime or door opener (it can even trigger your garage door to let people in) and seems to have a lot of integration partners.
Doorbot also offers a flush mount version and a full stainless steel surface mount version (front plate and box), but they go even higher in price.
One thing to keep in mind on ALL THREE of these is that their functionality is dependent on their apps & servers. If the company bails, your investment is gone. Ring is the #1 seller in the US. DoorBird is the #1 seller in Europe. SkyBell's first two efforts were less than stellar. Their never HD model seems to have corrected all of the complaints and added missing features.
There are a lot of angry posts about Doorbot and the product never working as promised. Ring IS Doorbot so they have a past. Many claim that they never took care of their issues while other say that they were fairly treated with free or discounted product. YMMV.
130 out of 141 found this review helpful.
Wanted to like it...
Posted by: CoffeeRoaster from: on
The install was easy but performance was disappointing. The live video was choppy/distorted most of the time, but the recordings were clear. When i did get the alert on my mobile it was too late to see what had triggered it. I would watch the recordings and all i would see was a car driving by my house: no people, only cars. The camera didn't even catch the mail-person delivering my mail (mailbox is 8 feet from camera) but i probably can tell you all of the cars that drive by my house approximately 40 feet from the doorbell. I was able to catch UPS delivering but that was probably because his truck triggered the recording. I did not realize how many cars passed by my house before this cam. Even trying different settings within the software failed to produce good results. I did not like the idea of cloud storage either. It should be ONVIF compliant so it can be added to an existing surveillance recording system since it is already on my network, or be able to point it to a NAS. The camera would benefit from being able to tilt, or swivel, to accommodate various doorbell position scenarios. The phone app seemed to work well (Android version). I like the idea of a video doorbell however after reading reviews of other similar products it appears the issues i experienced with Ring is common with them as well.
48 out of 50 found this review helpful.
Poorly Designed Product
Posted by: Emorin30 from: Boston, MA on
I have had so many issues with this product it's unbelievable. The one bright spot is there customer service has been friendly and easy to get in touch with.
The first Ring i purchased had a battery life of approximately 6 days. Expected battery life is about 6 months, so i clearly had to return this one and get a new one.
The new Ring (and the original one as well) picks up on average 20-25 false positives a day. This means that when trucks drive down the street it records, when the sun changes positions and glares on the camera it records. Now this is more of an annoyance than an actual issue BUT, the product DOES NOT RECORD when people actually walk up to the door to delivery packages. I cannot fathom how frustrating it is to get 20+ notifications a a day, none of which are the packages that have actually been delivered.
This product is awful and I would specifically advise everyone to avoid buying it.
69 out of 77 found this review helpful.
Great idea, still needs work
Posted by: Wally from: on
I love the concept of the Ring doorbell and chose it over the Skybell based on online reviews. I've had it about a month. While it does work, but it definitely could use improvements.
I didn't have trouble physically installing the Ring and I was able to power mine off the old doorbell wiring. However, I did have trouble connecting to WiFi to set up the Ring. In my case, I had a hidden WiFi network ID and the connection attempts would time out. Once I made the network visible but still secured, I was able to connect. (I recently read that hiding the network causes its own security issues, so having a visible network with proper security is better based on what I read.) The Ring instructions say it should have been able to connect even to a hidden network, though.
It does send an alert to you when someone rings the bell or approaches the door. But there is often a delay in getting this alert. Probably what's happening is that the message is sent to Ring's cloud and back, so even while you're in your house, there can sometimes be a considerable delay (10 or 15 seconds) before you get the alert. At least once, the visitor almost left before I could answer. Another issue is that it doesn't start the video recording until it's sure it sees something/someone. For instance, if a delivery man quickly drops a package off, he might not be in the video because it started to record after he was out of frame. You will see the package in the video if it's large and in the field of view. The camera also has to adjust the exposure if it's looking into the sun and can be blinded for a couple of seconds when it begins to record. So don't expect it to capture everything -- as a security camera, it's not ideal.
The field of view is pretty large and is definitely good enough. The lens is sort of a fisheye lens so there is some distortion toward the edges, but I didn't find that to be a problem. The best case video quality is pretty good as well. However, the video does sometimes suffer from artifacts and may stutter at times. Some of these artifacts may have come from trying to view video over the cell phone network while away from the house, but again I'm not sure. The app works although occasionally it responds slowly and sometimes moves the delete trash-can button to a different corner of the screen.
As for the motion detection, that has some issues too. I have gotten a considerable number of false alerts. I have kept reducing the detection range, and while this helped, it hasn't totally solved the problem. I think some false alerts are coming from trucks (delivery, garbage, etc.) which have a fairly large heat signature. If they are moving in the correct direction, I see them on captured video. If they are moving the opposite way, they often escape before being captured on video as I mentioned in the prior paragraph, so I can't verify if trucks actually tripped the motion detector. Other times I think the motion detector sees plants in my yard when the wind gets high. There is at least once where the motion detection probably failed. I asked a neighbor to return something to me by leaving it on my doorstep. They did, but I never got an alert. I'm not sure what happened and have some guesses, but somehow they did not trip the motion detector.
Ring does require a subscription to store video in the cloud. It's only $30/year right now, but I suppose that some people would object to that cost. It would be an easier sell if the problems above weren't present.
If there was a "maybe" setting for recommending to a friend, I would select that instead. But there's only "yes" and "no" and I have to select one.
35 out of 36 found this review helpful.
Expensive and deceptive
Posted by: JB2727 from: on
Just returned on that was a gift. Had my eye on these for a while. The whole concept intrigued me and seemed like a great idea. I installed it, and it took multiple attempts to get the unit running through the app process. Each time you try to link it with the app on your phone, it must be removed form the wall so you can press the button on the back. Got it working for a few hours any way, and then it stopped sending alerts and video. After a few more attempts, I contacted the company who told me I have to purchase a wifi extender. I have multiple wifi devices in my home and no issues whatsoever with connection. Only the ring has issues. I break down any way, and go and purchase an extender. Mind you, the ring is already expensive at $200, now add at least $40 more for an extender and that is a bottom of the line one!! I get everything installed and then it stops ringing my home bell now!! I test the home bell and it's wiring and all is fine. (i am an electrician) I try the unit multiple times again and it has stopped functioning all together. Let me remind you that every time you have to link this unit, it must be removed from the mounting base on the wall. The unit comes with proprietary security screws and a screwdriver for them. They are located on the bottom of the unit at the rear side, which means good luck getting under there with your hand directly up against the wall trying to turn these screws. After so many attempts, I decided it wasn't worth the trouble or the cost. Only problem is that after having to do this so many times, one of the screws stripped!! Took a lot of effort and time to finally remove it so that I could return it.
Let me add another issue. For cloud storage, you must pay $3 a month or $30 a year. Not a lot of money in and of itself, but add that into the cost of the unit and an extender and this becomes one VERY expensive door bell. No where on the package does it indicate that this requires almost a direct internet connection. I don't know many people that have their routers located within 10 feet of the front door.
37 out of 40 found this review helpful.
Read This Before you buy!!!!
Posted by: SunRisesInTheEast from: on
The product is great "IF" your house isn't facing the east and you don't plan to use the motion detector. Remember - sun rises in the east. If you place this where the sun is hitting it and cars passing by, you will get a lot of notifications for motion detection.
Pros - the concept is great specially if you sign up to their $30 annual cloud membership where it saves all the videos. If their motion detection is working fine, this would have been a 5 star. I understand that previous versions didn't have motion detection. It was recently added so they need to do better.
Works great if your house is facing the north or south (against the sunrise/set).
Big Con - when you turn on the motion detection, it suggests that you watch the video of the company owner promoting the product. The video will tell you how you can adjust the motion detection coverage so it doesn't get moving cars, tree branches, etc. I played around with it to the shortest distance 5ft and then the least amount of notifications. According to the inventor, it should only track heat within 5 feet of the house (least coverage setting). ALAS! I get the same amount of notifications, if not more from light bouncing off the gadget. So I went to their website and told them about the unwarranted motion detection. Here is what the guy told me - Set it to the maximum amount of coverage - like 30 feet and then to the maximum amount of notifications. I said "are you listening to my complaint? why would I want to have a wider coverage and more notifications?"
The Million Dollar Answer - "Well the product will actually do the opposite. If you set it to a higher coverage, it will give you less notifications. The product actually will do the opposite!" To everyone reading this, have you ever bought a product where you have to do the opposite of the instructions to get the product to work?" I'm sure they will deny this if they read this but this really happened.
Another Con - they give you tools but the screws are the cheapest kind like the ones that screw plastic toys. You can actually break them with your fingers. I had two of them break just by tightening the screw. I made the mistake of pre-drilling only to have the screws break. I had to move it out of those holes since they're useless with half the screw covering two of the holes. I moved them and bought new screws from Home Depot.
Final review to make it a 5 star product
a. Do not use the motion detector
b. If you plan to use the motion detector, make sure your door is facing North or South.
c. Do not use the supplied screws. Buy your own at Home Depot or Lowes .
Thanks for reading
21 out of 21 found this review helpful.
Great buy but has a couple flaws
Posted by: boadie from: on
This is great! I love the fact that you can see who is at your door before answering it. I work from home and as a woman don't want to answer to every person who comes to the door. You can also see when packages are delivered or ask the delivery person to leave it at another door.
It's much more sensitive to motion on warm sunny days because it goes by heat. We face a street so we have it on the lowest motion setting because it used to pick up every car that went by. Other critique is that every so often it freezes when I "answer" so I can't always see who is at the door which defeats the purpose. Wondering if that's a bug in the app, wifi problem, or a problem with the actual unit.
18 out of 18 found this review helpful.
Posted by: dj93274 from: on
1) audio is mute for a few seconds after the video starts. Trouble shooting and customer service were not much help, hopefully a software update will fix that in the future. Might not bother anyone else or maybe it's just mine, either way I live with it.
2) motion distance setting needs some work. While passing cars trigger a recording at 30 ft away, a person can walk up to my door and at times even begin to walk away before the motion triggered recording starts. I've set and reset motion distance settings but I hope with a future update it can be fixed.
3) motion recordings. I wish Ring would incorporate technology that is already being used with other security cameras. Although I don't know the exact lable for what I'm talking about, those with security cameras or dashcams will understand. When a motion is detected and recording starts, I wish the recording would save the first few seconds before motion was triggered. I'M NOT ASKING RING TO READ THE FUTURE.
4) Ring supply's just about everything needed to install their product, but those with an existing doorbell wired through a gang box might need to use there heads a little more. The gang box is to large for the Ring doorbell to cover the hole and no way to attach it to the wall. So while you remove your existing door bell cover from the gang/electrical box, don't break or toss out that cover. Reuse it or take the existing doorbell cover to Lowes, Home Depot or someplace you can purchase a cover. Match size and holes if purchasing a new cover to the color of your choosing. (It helps if you take the rear frame of the Ring so you can decide if you'd like a larger size cover). While there decide how you'd like to attach your frame to the cover, there are a number of ways. If you purchase new screws be sure they have a flat top, so Ring can be placed properly. After installing the new cover, place the template over the cover and mark the holes. I predrilled small holes I marked from the ring template while attached to the wall (stop the drill as soon as it goes through and back it out, just so your sure your wires aren't harmed).
Overall, I love it. I don't have to rush downstairs to greet a rude solicitor. Sorry for any misspellings, grammar, or punctuation mistakes. Other than the gang box issue, Ring was easy to install.
22 out of 24 found this review helpful.
Posted by: Techlover from: on
This doorbell has a known issue. You cannot answer the doorbell if your cell phone is not connected to a WiFi network. Since I spend most of my time connected to a 3G/4G network, the doorbell is useless. If the known issue is fixed, it can be a great product. They should improve the battery usage also. The battery drain so fast and you must remove the doorbell from the door to recharge the battery. An external connector to recharge the battery could solve this.