Ring Wi-Fi Video Doorbell Review – Answer the Door From Your Phone

Screenshot of Ring Wi-Fi Video Doorbell View from Front Door Package
Looking to add some extra security and peace of mind to my Home Security and Home Automation, I thought a Video Doorbell would be a great place to start. Back in April of 2016 when I was looking, the 2 choices for me were the Ring Video Doorbell and the Skybell HD. I read some reviews and comparisons online, but I also had a friend who loved his Ring Video Doorbell. I went with Ring!

These normally retail for $199 on Amazon, but they often have open box specials where you can save a few dollars, which is what I did. Check here for current used/open box deals.

**For Father’s Day Amazon has these on sale for $149!!**

The Ring Video Doorbell will use your existing doorbell wiring or it can be battery powered. There is also a newer Pro version now available for $249 that is smaller but does not have a battery. The Pro also offers 1080p video resolution vs 720p for the standard model. Another major difference is the Pro supports both 2.4Ghz & 5Ghz wifi networks where the standard version only supports 2.4Ghz Wifi.

Had the Pro been available at the time of my purchase, I may have paid extra for it, but I am still very happy with the standard Ring Video Doorbell.

Disclaimer: Most, if not all, the product links on this page will be Affiliate Links. Purchasing through these links doesn’t cost you any more money but it does help us pay for things like website hosting along with more bits & gadgets to write about.

Before installing your Ring Video Doorbell, make sure you have a decent WiFi signal by your door or you be disappointed with it! The simple way to test is to take your smartphone over to the spot where you plan on installing the Ring and see how the reception is. You can also install a free app like WiFi Analyzer for Android or Apple’s own Airport Utility  (Airport Utility used to have a WiFi Analyzer built in but I no longer have an iOS device to test.)

If you do have a good WiFi signal….continue on! If you don’t, a quick fix might be to install a WiFi extenders like this highly rated TP-Link AC1200 WiFi Extender for $49.

We just replaced an Apple Airport Time Capsules with 2 AmpliFi HD Home Wi-Fi Routers (AFI-R) in mesh mode and now have great WiFI coverage on both floors of our house.

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Amplifi also makes an HD version that includes 2 WiFi Extenders that just plug into electrical outlets.

Other options include the new Google Wifi, Eero and Netgear Orbi.

Before you start working on the mounting bracket or download any software, plug the Ring unit into your computer using the supplied USB cable. This will charge up the battery a little bit.

Setup Your Ring Video Doorbell In Minutes:

  • Download the free Ring app (iOS and Android)
  • Connect the doorbell to your Wi-Fi network (using the app)
  • Mount the doorbell!

Ring has a nice Install video which I have embedded above. The mounting steps are as follows and the original install page is here:

  • Remove your existing doorbell button (optional)
  • Line up the mounting bracket using the provided mounting level
  • Install the mounting bracket using the provided screwdriver bit and handle
    1. Brick – use concrete screws and anchors
    2. Concrete – use concrete screws and anchors
    3. Stucco – use concrete screws and anchors
    4. Wood – use wood screws
    5. Vinyl – use wood screws
  • Remove the mounting level
  • Connect your doorbell wiring to the terminal screws located on the mounting bracket (optional)
  • Place the device on the mounting bracket
  • Tighten the security screws

If you are installing into Brick, Concrete, or Stucco you may need to use the Masonry Drill Bit which is included in the box.

Picture of Ring Wi-Fi Video Doorbell Whats in the box

Picture of After Ring WiFi Video Doorbell Mounting Bracket Installed

 


About to Install Ring WiFi Video Doorbell Onto Mounting Bracket

Picture of Before Ring WiFi Video Doorbell Installed

Old Doorbell

Picture of After Ring WiFi Video Doorbell Installed

Ring Doorbell Installed

Besides the smartphone apps, there are also Windows and Mac apps which you can download here: https://www.ring.com/app

I do like the desktops apps because you get a larger view screen. Hey look I have a package!

Screenshot of Ring Wi-Fi Video Doorbell Mac App

 

Yes, you can have the Ring App on multiple devices and it will notify all of them simultaneously when there is motion(if you have motion alerts enabled) and when someone rings the doorbell. I don’t know if there is a device limit, but I have 2 smartphones and 2 desktops running the app.

You can also setup “Shared Users” to give family/friends access or maybe temporary access to your Ring Doorbell.

Screenshot of Shared Users Ring Wi-Fi Video Doorbell Mac App

 

Device Setting can be accesses from the Desktop App, although you get a few more options on the Smartphone App

Screenshot of Device Settings Ring Wi-Fi Video Doorbell Mac App

Mac App

Screenshot of Device Settings Ring Wi-Fi Video Doorbell Android App

Android App

For Motion Alerts there are a few screens you will want to play with to get working well for you. You might notice in my screenshots, that my Ring is installed in a covered entrance way and there is a lot of light contract coming from the opening to that area. That opening is also pointing towards my neighbors driveway and if I set the motion sensitivity too high it will trip the motion sensor when they come home!

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Screenshot of Motion Zone Settings Ring Wi-Fi Video Doorbell Android App

You can turn certain Motion Zones On & Off as well as controlling the approximate range from 5ft out 30ft. The Smart Alert screen below will let you “Quiet down” motion alerts.

Screenshot of Smart Alert Settings Ring Wi-Fi Video Doorbell Android App

 

You can also schedule to disable alerts for certain days and times.

Screenshot of Motion Alert Settings Ring Wi-Fi Video Doorbell Android App

 

Ring also works with some Partner Apps and Services including Wemo, Wink, ADT Pulse, Kevo and a few others. We don’t use any of these currently though and couldn’t test them out.

Screenshot Ring Partners Settings Ring Wi-Fi Video Doorbell Android App

Ring does work with IFTTT so you can trigger other services like Philips Hue lights when your doorbell rings or when there is motion.This also let’s me tie Ring Motion events into openHAB. See this link for different services you can use Ring with on IFTTT: https://ifttt.com/ring

Screenshot of IFTTT Applets whenever your Ring doorbell rings

 

Overall the Ring has been a great addition to our home security and home automation. We love having the ability to “Answer the Door” even when we are not home. Yup, you can speak with people at your door when you’re not home…if you have Internet and are in Tahiti, you could do it from there.

Live View can occasionally be buggy or delayed to open, but we noticed a huge improvement with this once the new WiFi went in. I’m ok with an occasional false alarm when the sun is  hitting the Ring at a weird angle.  I also love knowing when packages get dropped off.

You will get a 30 day free trial of video storage, and after that you will need to pay $30/year to access motion and doorbell video events. (There is no local storage available)

Next on my list is the Ring Outdoor Camera which runs off a battery, usb or an optional Solar Panel!

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Disclaimer: Most, if not all, the product links on this page will be Affiliate Links. Purchasing through these links doesn’t cost you any more money but it does help us pay for things like website hosting along with more bits & gadgets to write about.