I live in a small town of about 10,000 people. The houses are close together which makes it perfect for any solicitor to hit house after house. No joke, I probably get 3 people a week trying to sell me stuff. The easy answer would be to never answer the door. However I also get packages delivered and the occasional friend or my mother will stop by unexpectedly and I don't want to miss those people, so I have to answer the door. I also live close to a busy street, so I don't want my packages to stay in the front very long as I am sure there are people who would try and take some of these packages. You have probably seen the commercials for the Ring doorbell, so I thought I would give it a try and do a Ring Doorbell review. I have had this system for about a year, so I have had plenty of experiences with it.
About Ring Door Bell
Well I now have a solution to all my problems, it's called the Ring, which is a wifi video doorbell. The doorbell has a camera to record visitors. The doorbell is either activated when someone rings the doorbell or you can use motion sensors so it will alert you as someone is approaching. I believe the system uses infrared sensing so it won't give you false reads if a leaf or something other than a person passes by the doorbell. Since it is IR, it will also sense cars, but I will get into that later. Funny as I am writing this article, my phone alerted me to say someone is at the front door. Actually it was my wife and two kids which these are welcome visitors.
Ring Set Up
Set up couldn't be any easier, well I guess it could be if I had someone do it for me. The doorbell comes with all the tools and easy to follow directions. All you have to do is download the app, set up a free account, sync your doorbell and the plugin chime and you're set to go. You have to mount the doorbell on your desired location which is also easy (Comes with all the tools you need, even a screwdriver). Once you mount the plate, you can attach the doorbell using their special screws to make sure no one can steal it from you. Even if someone was dumb enough to try and steal it, you have them on video, so what's the point? As a note, you can also hard wire the unit if you want to use your existing chimes inside the house.
The app is simple and laid out nicely. On the home page you can see your devices and also see recent activity. On the top left, you can manage your account, view your plan and visit their store. To manage your device, just click on the device (doorbell or ringer) and you will enter another screen for more settings. For the doorbell, you can see your battery life (which it uses a rechargeable battery which you can charge by the provided cable). You can also set your call alerts or motions alerts on or off. If you choose to use motion alerts, they have created a brilliant design. To set up motion settings, there is a 180 degree diagram that shows different zones. This allows you to pick your zones and also how far you want it detected. There are a bunch of other settings, but those are the main ones. One great thing about this system is you can share users. So not only will I get alerts and be able to communicate with a visitor, but my wife can also use her phone without having to go through the set up process. For the chime settings, there really isn't much except turning up or down the volume and testing the sound.
I am not sure where to start because I truly love this system. It's easy to use, easy to set up and the voice and video quality are great. I love the fact that you can customize the motion zones and record what is going on automatically. After you buy the Ring doorbell system, it's free to use. Ring offers a service where it will store the recordings in the cloud. Here is the good news, they don't nickle and dime you. You can pay either $3/month or $30 per year, per device. $30 a year isn't bad at all to store your videos. I just like the fact that they make the price reasonable. I have seen other companies charge about $10 a month.
While the Ring doorbell system is great for convenience and screening your visitors, it truly shines for safety reasons. You never have to wonder who you are opening the door to. You can always screen your visitors to make sure they are safe. If there is any question about safety, you can always have a two way communication with them by simply using your phone instead of answering the door and gambling the other person is safe. Also, if you're at the store or out of town, you will still get alerts. The person at your door will never know you are not home. As far as they are concerned, you are busy doing something and don't want to answer the door. How cool is that?
For me it's really hard to come up with any cons to this system. If I had to find something to pick at it would be two things. First, it would be nice to be able to custom your doorbell or chime sounds. Not a huge deal, but it still would be a nice feature. The second is WIFI. This is not an issue of Ring, but any WIFI device. WIFI is great, but sometimes it's limited. A brick wall or certain features can limit your range. I ended up having to buy a WIFI Extender. Again, not a huge deal because I have other devices that rely on WIFI, so in the end it helped out. Now I am not sure if this is a Ring problem or where I mounted the unit, but I do get false readings, some days a ton and other days, none. I have my motion set to 5′, but there are plenty of times when the garbage truck is out front and it goes off. My street is about 20′ away, so I am not sure why it picks that up. As a side note, if you live in a colder environment, you might want to hard wire your unit. I notice when it gets below 0° F, my battery last about 3 days.
I love this system and feel it is worth every penny. Now if you live in a rural place where you don't get a lot of visitors, it's probably not worth the money. However if you live in a community where visitors are common, it's worth the money. Not only for the convenience of seeing who is at your door, but also safety reasons. We tested the Skybell not too long ago and the Ring system is 10 times better. I called customer service to see how well it was. They spoke English, answered my questions and the wait time was about 3 minutes, awesome customer service. Too bad all companies didn't have this type of customer service. The rechargeable battery is great and it's a nice looking doorbell system.