Ring Video Doorbells review 2021

Ring Video Doorbells are extremely popular, but you should know about their privacy and security flaws

Ring Video Doorbell Wired
Ring Video Doorbell (wired)
4 out of 5 stars
4
  • Check
    Affordable
  • X
    No battery-powered option
Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2
3.8 out of 5 stars
3.75
  • Check
    1:1 aspect ratio
  • X
    No battery-powered option
Ring Video Doorbell 4
Ring Video Doorbell 3
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5
  • Check
    Battery and hardwired power options
  • X
    Boxy design
Ring Video Doorbell Elite
3.5 out of 5 stars
3.5
  • Check
    Flat, wall-flush design
  • X
    Requires professional installation
Mindy Woodall
Managing Editor, Home Security & Smart Home
Read More
Edited By Jessica Brooksby
November 30, 2021
10 min read

Ring Video Doorbells let you take a peek at what’s happening on your front step without having to open the door—or even be at home. If you’re frustrated by porch pirates or pushy salespeople, then video doorbells like Ring’s are one way to protect your stoop.

Ring’s doorbell cameras aren’t our favourite models on the market. They have some concerning privacy and security flaws, and there are other models with smarter features like package detection. But Ring is a popular brand, and these cameras will work with any other Ring stuff you have, like Ring smart lights.

Let's get into the details to find which Ring doorbell is best for you.



Ring video doorbells comparison
Model
Image
Price
Power source
Learn more

Ring Video Doorbell Wired

$89.00

Hardwired

Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2

$336.95

Hardwired

Ring Video Doorbell 4

$271.15

Hardwired or battery-powered

Ring Video Doorbell Elite

$499.00

Hardwired

Ring Video Doorbell

$109.00

Hardwired or battery-powered

Amazon.com List Prices (as of 01/12/21) Full disclaimer 

What to look for in a video doorbell

The best video doorbells are easy to install, give you clear video footage, and have a sufficient amount of cloud storage.

Features to look for in top-rated video doorbell:

  • Delivers HD video quality
  • Motion detection
  • Infrared vision for nighttime
  • Cloud storage
  • Connects with your smart devices

A great video doorbell is going to give you clear, HD video recording so you can make out clearly who is on your front step. 

Video doorbells should have motion detection, night vision, and enough video storage space. We'd recommend about a two-month storage capacity so you don't have to worry about clearing your storage too often.

And lastly, it's ideal to connect your smart doorbell with your smartphone so you can be alerted of any movement on your front porch. Some might even connect to your smart home.

How Ring video doorbells work

Ring Video Doorbells let you choose from hardwired and battery-powered models

Ring has a bunch of different video doorbell models, and the main differences are power source and style. If you want something smaller and slimmer that uses your existing doorbell wiring, then Ring’s affordable Ring Video Doorbell Wired will do the job. If you prefer something that runs off a battery, then the Ring Video Doorbell 4 Plus will be better.

Ring Video Doorbell shown on a wooden table surrounded by the tools and accessories that come with it

All Ring Video Doorbells have the same basic features

No matter which Ring doorbell camera you get, you’ll have access to most of the same basic features, including two-way talk, HD video recording, motion detection, and night vision. All of Ring’s doorbell cameras also work with Ring’s Protect plans, which give you access to 60 days’ worth of cloud storage and human detection capabilities.

We recommend subscribing to a Protect Plan if you want smarter alerts, instead of just getting a notification every time your Ring video doorbell detects motion.

Video encryption
Heads Up

We’ve got good news and bad news for you. The good news is that Ring has finally added end-to-end video encryption (called Video E2EE). That will keep your Ring videos from being watched by anyone but you. The bad news is that to use E2EE, you have to give up a lot of Ring functionality. You won’t be able to share videos, use the Ring Event Timeline, or watch video clips on an Amazon device, for starters.

All Ring Video Doorbells use cloud storage

Ring Video Doorbells save video footage to the cloud (if you subscribe to a Ring Protect plan). None of Ring’s doorbell cameras offer local storage, which is disappointing if you want more secure video storage that will be harder for hackers to access.

You also have to pay for the privilege of Ring cloud storage. If you don’t subscribe to a Ring Protect plan for a monthly fee, then you only have access to your camera’s livefeed and real-time notifications.

Ring Protect plan pricing
Plan
Price
Video history

$4.00/mo. OR $40.00/yr.

60 days

$10.00/mo. OR $100.00/yr.

60 days

Data effective as of 01/12/21. Offers subject to change.

You can answer your door from your phone if you catch the notification in time, but the camera won’t record anything. And you can’t check footage later to see what you missed.

Ring Video Doorbell camera quality

Ring Video Doorbells have decent video quality, but it’s not the best we’ve seen

In our tests, Ring image and audio quality were both decent. Not amazing, crystal-clear, feel-like-you’re-right-next-to-me awesome, but decent. We could hear and see everyone who came on the porch, which is what matters.

And, of course, one of the best things about any (good) video doorbell is that you can talk to visitors. You can welcome your kids home from school or tell the postal worker to leave a package at the side door instead of on the porch.

FYI about internet speeds
Bullhorn

Ring recommends an internet speed of at least 1 Mbps. But remember that’s just for the camera itself, not for all the laptops, iPads, TVs, and whatever else already using bandwidth on your Wi-Fi network.

If your internet is fast enough but your signal doesn’t quite reach the porch, you can get a simple Wi-Fi range extender, or consider upgrading to a mesh Wi-Fi system that will cover any dead spots.

Ring Video Doorbell integrations

Ring Video Doorbells integrate with a bunch of different smart home brands

Ring products integrate with a bunch of different smart home devices, including smart lights, smart locks, and, of course, Amazon Alexa.

Ring smart home integrations:

Of course, Ring doorbells also work with the full Ring Alarm security system.

How to install Ring video doorbells

Ring Video Doorbells are pretty easy to install, but you may have to mess with a couple electrical wires

Ordering and installation are easy overall. You order your Ring doorbell camera online, and it arrives in a compact box with the camera and everything you need to install it except for a drill.

You’ll need to drill four holes for anchors. (Ring does give you the proper drill bit.) If you have a concrete or brick wall, you’ll need to use the provided anchors.

Included Ring installation tools:

  • USB charging cable
  • Wedge and corner kits
  • Mounting bracket
  • Screwdriver bit and drill bit
  • Spade connectors
  • Screws and anchors
  • Level (mini)

Ring has setup guides and installation videos for all of its products, including all its video doorbells. The videos are easy to follow and make it clear what goes where.

And yes, the Ring works as a regular doorbell, even without its camera function. There are a few types of chimes the Ring can’t work with (check the list of compatible chimes), in which case you can use Ring’s external chime that lets you receive a notification anywhere in your house.

Ring also offers the Ring Chime Pro, which combines a chime with a Wi-Fi extender.

Installation recommendations

The Ring Video Doorbell, Ring Video and Ring Video Doorbell 4 can work from battery packs—you don’t have to hardwire them. That said, we don’t recommend the battery packs because they’re a pain to track and recharge. If you can hardwire your video doorbell then do it.

If you do decide to use the battery then just remember you have to disable your Ring every time it needs a charge. (Or you can buy an extra battery.) The battery is also a pain to get out of the camera.

Heads up
Light Bulb

The Ring Video Doorbell’s battery life can last several months at a time depending on how much you use the cam. So at least you don’t have to go swapping out the battery pack every weekend.

Ring uses special screws that require a specific screwdriver head to open the battery case. It comes in the package with the camera, but even so, you have to track down that one specific screwdriver every time you need to take down the cam.

We get that the screws are an anti-theft feature, but they make dealing with a rechargeable battery a hassle. Hardwiring is more reliable and all-around easier.

Ring Video Doorbell Wired features

The Ring Video Doorbell Wired is Ring’s most affordable doorbell camera
Ring Video Doorbell Wired installed next to a blue front door
Ring Video Doorbell Wired
Pro Bullet 1080p HD video
Pro Bullet Two-way talk
Pro Bullet Advanced motion detection
One-time purchase of
$89.00

Amazon.com List Prices (as of 10/20/21 9:30 MST) Full disclaimer 

The Ring Video Doorbell Wired is Ring’s newest video doorbell, and it’s Ring’s cheapest one ever. At only $89, this is a cheap doorbell camera by any standard. But it’s on par with most of Ring’s more expensive models.

The main difference between the wired video doorbell and some of Ring’s other options is that it can only be hardwired into your existing doorbell wiring. If you need a video doorbell that runs off a battery pack, this one ain’t it.

Ring Video Doorbell Wired features:

  • 1080p camera
  • Two-way talk
  • Night vision
  • Motion detection
  • Customisable motion zones
  • Hardwired power
  • Person detection
  • Cloud storage (with subscription plan)
  • Smaller than other Ring doorbell cams
  • Amazon Alexa and IFTTT integration

We don’t consider the hardwired aspect a negative. Hardwired doorbell cameras (usually) perform better than their battery counterparts. And for the price, the Ring Video Doorbell Wired gets you all the classic Ring features and the same Ring mobile app as more expensive models.

Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2 features

The Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2 is Ring’s most advanced doorbell camera
Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2
Pro Bullet 1080p HD video
Pro Bullet Two-way talk
Pro Bullet Advanced motion detection
One-time purchase of
$336.95

Amazon.com List Prices as of 01/12/21) Full disclaimer 

The Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2 is Ring’s best and brightest doorbell camera. It has a 1:1 aspect ratio, which means you can see people head to toe and see packages left on your porch. (Most video doorbells only let you see a slice of your porch, and it tends to cut off important bits.)

The Ring Pro 2 also has prerecorded Alexa greetings that can tell delivery people where to leave boxes or alert you when something needs a signature.

Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2 features:

  • 1536p camera
  • HD two-way audio
  • Prerecorded replies
  • Colour night vision
  • 3D motion detection
  • Customisable motion zones
  • Hardwired power
  • Person detection
  • Cloud storage (with subscription plan)
  • Dual-band Wi-Fi capability
  • Interchangeable faceplates
  • Works with existing doorbell chime
  • Amazon Alexa and IFTTT integration
  • Built-in Alexa greetings

One of our favourite features of the Pro 2 is that it has an audible warning that lets people know they’re being recorded by a Ring camera. This could work to not only scare off intruders but warn people when they get in your camera’s field of view.

Pros aside, the Pro 2 Video Doorbell is really pricey. It costs around $50 to $100 more than most of Ring’s other doorbell cameras, so make sure you really want those premium features.

Ring Video Doorbell 4 features

The Ring Video Doorbell 4 can be hardwired in or run off a battery pack
Ring Video Doorbell 3 being installed next to a blue front door
Ring Video Doorbell 4
Pro Bullet 1080p HD video
Pro Bullet Motion detection
Pro Bullet Easy installation
One-time purchase of
$271.15

Amazon.com List Prices (as of 01/12/21) Full disclaimer 

The Ring Video Doorbell 4 is the classic Ring Video Doorbell updated with Ring’s latest technology. It looks the same as the previous Ring Video Doorbell 3, but includes colour pre-roll video previews.

Ring Video Doorbell 4 features:

  • Motion detection
  • 1080p camera
  • Night vision
  • Two-way talk
  • Customisable motion zones
  • Removable, rechargeable battery pack
  • Hardwire power option
  • Person detection
  • Cloud storage (with subscription plan)
  • Dual-band Wi-Fi capability
  • Interchangeable faceplates
  • Works with existing doorbell chime
  • Amazon Alexa and IFTTT integration

Like the Video Doorbell 3, the Ring Video Doorbell 4 can be either hardwired into your existing doorbell connection or set up using a rechargeable battery pack. This camera’s battery pack is removable, so you don’t have to take down the entire doorbell camera every time it needs to be charged. You can just slide out the battery pack, and even swap it with a charged backup if you want.

Ring Video Doorbell Elite features

The Ring Video Doorbell Elite requires professional installation
Ring Video Doorbell Elite installed next to a blue front door
Ring Video Doorbell Elite
Pro Bullet 1080p HD video
Pro Bullet Two-way audio
Pro Bullet Motion detection and infrared vision
One-time purchase of
$499.00

Amazon.com List Prices (as of 01/12/21) Full disclaimer 

You can install all of Ring’s doorbell cameras yourself except for one: the Ring Video Doorbell Elite. The Ring Elite requires professional installation, and it also costs significantly more than Ring’s other doorbell cameras.

What do you get in exchange for the higher price and the installation hassle? A flat, flush doorbell camera that fits right into your wall. Most of Ring’s video doorbells are bulky, boxy devices that stick out of your doorframe, but the Elite is made to blend.

Ring Video Doorbell Elite features:

  • Flat, flush mount
  • 1080p camera
  • Power-over-Ethernet power source
  • Two-way talk
  • Motion detection
  • Customisable motion zones
  • Interchangeable faceplates
  • Prerecorded replies
  • Dual-band Wi-Fi capability
  • Night vision
  • Person detection
  • Amazon Alexa and IFTTT integrations
  • Requires professional installation

The Ring Video Doorbell Elite also uses a PoE (Power over Ethernet) connection, which is faster and more reliable than a regular Wi-Fi connection.

Aside from its “elite” design features, the Ring Elite is pretty similar to the Ring Video Doorbell 4. Just like the much cheaper Ring Video Doorbell 4 the Ring Elite has 1080p video resolution, cloud storage, two-way talk, and customizable motion zones.

If you want an even more advanced video doorbell than the Elite, you should actually go with the Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2.

Ring Video Doorbell

Photograph of Ring Video Doorbell
Ring Video Doorbell
Pro Bullet Battery and hardwire power options
Pro Bullet Works with existing doorbell chime
Pro Bullet Rechargeable battery
Con Bullet Battery pack is not removable
One-time purchase of
$109.00

Amazon.com List Prices (as of 01/12/21) Full disclaimer 

The Ring Video Doorbell is built like the original Ring doorbell cam. It has a blocky design that looks a lot like the more advanced Ring Video Doorbell 4. You can also choose from hardwired or battery-powered connections.

Just know that the Ring Video Doorbell’s battery pack is built in. You can’t remove it to charge it, and you can’t swap it out with back-up battery packs. When this camera needs to be charged, you have to take down the entire device.

Recap: Do we recommend Ring Video Doorbells?

Ring Video Doorbells have decent features and come in several different model options

Ring Video Doorbells are very popular, and they work pretty well.

  • Ring Video Doorbell Wired: The Ring Video Doorbell Wired is a new, budget-friendly addition to the Ring lineup. It hardwires into your existing doorbell connection.
  • Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2: The Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2 is pricey, but it’s Ring’s most advanced doorbell camera yet. It has 3D motion detection and a Bird’s Eye View feature, but the best thing about it is its 1:1 aspect ratio.
  • Ring Video Doorbell 4: The Ring Video Doorbell 4 can be either hardwired into your doorbell wiring or run off a rechargeable battery pack, so you don’t have to play electrician.
  • Ring Video Doorbell Elite: The Ring Video Doorbell Elite runs off an Ethernet connection, and it has a flush design that will fit flat against your wall. This one requires professional installation.

Want to learn more about how to choose the right doorbell camera for your house? Check out our Smart Video Doorbell Buyers Guide.

Methodology

We research, personally tested, and compare video doorbells based on these five categories:

  1. Price
  2. Video quality
  3. Smart home integrations
  4. Ease of installation
  5. Basic features

We are a big proponent of getting the most out of your money, so price comes first. 

We tested the Ring doorbells ourselves to let you know how we liked the video quality, smart home integrations, and the installation process. 

Lastly, we make sure each outdoor video doorbell has the necessary features, such as motion detection and night vision.

FAQs

Are Ring Video Doorbells waterproof?

Yes, all of Ring’s video doorbells are water resistant, but they shouldn’t be submerged. They can stand up to rain and snow, but don’t dunk them in puddles.

Are Ring Video Doorbells wireless?

Ring has three wireless doorbell camera models that can run off battery packs. All three of Ring’s wireless doorbell cameras can also be hardwired into existing doorbell wiring. Hardwired connections are faster, more reliable, and give you access to better features. But battery-powered doorbell cameras work well for renters and people who don’t have doorbell wiring.

Are Ring Video Doorbells allowed in rentals?

You’ll have to ask your landlord to know for sure, but yes, you can probably use a Ring Video Doorbell if you're renting. Ring does recommend its doorbells be screwed into a wall, but if you’re not allowed to do that, then just get a battery-powered video doorbell and stick it up with adhesive tape.

Is the Ring Video Doorbell an actual doorbell?

Yes, all of Ring’s video doorbells are more than just a camera: they work like a regular doorbell. When visitors press the button, your doorbell chime will ring.

Certain content that appears on this site comes from Amazon.com. This content is provided “as is” and is subject to change or removal at any time. Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon.com at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. Reviews.org utilises paid Amazon links.

Mindy Woodall
Written by
Mindy Woodall

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