Disclosure: The Ring Doorbell was provided by Ring for review in this article. However, my opinions can never be bought.
In the last two years, there have been multitudes of “smart home” products that have come out to (hopefully) make our lives easier. The Nest thermostat started the trend and was the first item to become a household name. Now we have connected devices from cameras to coffee makers to wall outlets that are fighting for your attention.
Today, we’ll focus on a doorbell, yes, a doorbell that promises to increase your security and give you a view on any door you’d like. The Ring Doorbell is a connected doorbell that connects to your home’s WiFi and has an HD camera, real-time motion sensing triggering, night vision and the ability to speak with those on your porch.
The Ring is 5” x 2.4” and attaches to any surface including wood, cement, brick, vinyl or stucco. It works in temperatures from -5 to +120 degrees Fahrenheit and connects to your 802.11 b/g/n wireless network. In the package, there’s a toolkit that has everything you need to mount the device.
Installation & Set Up
I found the Ring doorbell to be simple to install. I had an existing doorbell on my front porch and I simply removed the old one and wired the Ring Doorbell in. It took maybe 12 minutes in total. If you have a spot with no existing wiring, Ring can use a rechargeable battery in the unit that says it’ll work for 6-9 months between charges.
By using the Ring Doorbell app on your iPhone or Android, you set the Ring Doorbell up and define Ring’s sensitivity to motion. For example, you can set it to sense motion within 5 feet or as far out as 30 feet. I set mine to about 10 feet so that we’ll be alerted to visitors approaching our door, but not cars on the street and passers-by on the sidewalk.
Seeing and Talking to Visitors
When the doorbell is touched or when motion is sensed, my Android and Mac (which I have downloaded the Ring Doorbell app onto) are notified. I can view the video or hit Talk and talk with 2-way audio with the visitors on my doorstep. It doesn’t matter if I’m in truly home or at work or on a trip, I can see the visitor and speak with them. This is a huge deal for my wife, who wants to be able to answer the door without actually opening the door.
In our trials over the last two weeks, we haven’t had any issues with the Ring Doorbell. It rings our doorbell and alerts us on our phones every time. Our Wifi is known to be spotty on our phones in the area of the house where we have our Ring located and the video has never cut out and audio has always been clear in the app.
For those who buy a Ring Doorbell, be sure to spend the time to optimize the motion sensing range. If you live in an area with lots of cars driving by or folks walking by, your phone will constantly alert you with false positives.
In a world of ‘smart home’ devices, not many gadgets serve a practical purpose and are easy to use. Ring Doorbell checks all the boxes for this family with regards to a useful smart home device. Ring is easy to install, operates reliably with little worry and actually secures the main entry point of our house. As an added bonus, we know when deliveries take place, which was a huge ‘nice to have’ this holiday December.
The Ring Doorbell is highly recommend for your family. It’s a product that has become a part of our smart home mix and has made our front door more secure as a result.