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
    4 out of 5 overall
    Affordable
    No battery-powered option
  • Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2
    3.75 out of 5 overall
    1:1 aspect ratio
    No battery-powered option
  • Ring Video Doorbell 3
    4.5 out of 5 overall
    Battery and hardwired power options
    Boxy design
  • Ring Video Doorbell Elite
    3.5 out of 5 overall
    Flat, wall-flush design
    Requires professional installation

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 favorite 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.

Ring video doorbells comparison
ModelImagePricePower sourceLearn more
Ring Video Doorbell Wired$59.99HardwiredView on Amazon
Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2$249.99HardwiredView on Amazon
Ring Video Doorbell 3$179.99Hardwired or battery-poweredView on Amazon
Ring Video Doorbell Elite$349.99HardwiredView on Amazon
Ring Video Doorbell Pro $169.99HardwiredView on Amazon
Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus*$199.99Battery-poweredView on Amazon
Ring Video Doorbell$99.99Hardwired or battery-poweredView on Amazon

Amazon.com List Prices (as of 06/16/21 8:30 MST) Full disclaimer

*Not currently sold by the manufacturer on Amazon.com

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 3 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.

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
PlanPriceVideo historyLearn more
Basic$3.00/mo. OR $30.00/yr.60 daysView on Amazon
Plus$10.00/mo. OR $100.00/yr.60 daysView on Amazon

Data effective as of 06/16/21. 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.

Info Box icon
Want a more secure video doorbell with local storage?
We recommend the Eufy Video Doorbell for a high-resolution doorbell camera with a local storage option. And you can get the Eufy Video Doorbell in a hardwired or battery-powered version.

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.

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FYI about internet speeds
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.

Heads Up icon
Voltage tip
The Ring Video Doorbell requires a voltage of 8–24 VAC. If you get the Ring Video Doorbell Pro, it’s 16–24 VAC. Especially if you live in an old house, use a voltage tester to check your power before installing the Ring.

Installation recommendations

The Ring Video Doorbell, Ring Video Doorbell 3, and Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus can all 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 in the butt to get out of the camera.

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Heads up
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

The Ring Video Doorbell Wired is Ring’s newest video doorbell, and it’s Ring’s cheapest one ever. At only $60, 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 Video Doorbell Wired 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
  • Customizable 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

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
  • Color night vision
  • 3D motion detection
  • Customizable 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 favorite 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 3 features

The Ring Video Doorbell 3 can be hardwired in or run off a battery pack

Ring Video Doorbell 3 being installed next to a blue front door

The Ring Video Doorbell 3 is the classic Ring Video Doorbell updated with Ring’s latest technology. It looks the same as the previous Ring Video Doorbell 2, but it has 1080p resolution instead of the Video Doorbell 2’s 720p resolution.

We consider 1080p to be standard for security cameras these days, and it will give you clearer, easier to see video than the old Ring’s 720p quality.

Ring Video Doorbell 3 features:

  • Motion detection
  • 1080p camera
  • Night vision
  • Two-way talk
  • Customizable 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 2, the Ring Video Doorbell 3 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

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
  • Customizable 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 3. Just like the much cheaper Ring Video Doorbell 3, 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.

Other Ring video doorbells

Ring has three other doorbell cameras on offer

Ring has three other doorbell cameras to choose from:

Ring Video Doorbell Pro

Ring Video Doorbell Pro installed next to a blue front door

Pros

  • Dual-band Wi-Fi capability
  • Color night vision
  • Built-in Alexa greetings

Cons

  • No battery-power option

The Ring Video Doorbell Pro is the previous version of the Ring Pro 2. It has a lot of the same features as the Pro 2, including Alexa-powered replies, interchangeable faceplates, and a hardwired connection.

The main difference between the Pro and the Pro 2 is that the Pro 2 has a better aspect ratio that lets you see people from head-to-toe instead of just a slice of part of them. The other Pro 2 features, like 3D motion detection and “Bird’s Eye View” aren’t really worth the upgrade.

Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus

Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus installed next to a light blue front door and a potted plant

Pros

  • Easy installation
  • Rechargeable battery pack is removable
  • Records 4 seconds before motion is detected

Cons

  • Pre-Roll footage is low-quality

The Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus is the exact same as the Ring Video Doorbell 3 except that it offers a “pre-roll” feature when used with a battery pack.

The pre-roll feature shows you video from about four seconds before the camera sends you a motion alert, which lets you see exactly what happened on your porch instead of just seeing someone’s back as they’re leaving.

Ring’s hardwired video doorbells have had a pre-roll feature for a while, but battery-powered versions don’t. The Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus is the only one with this feature, but fair warning: it doesn’t work very well. The pre-roll footage is grainy, black and white, and low quality.

Ring Video Doorbell

Pros

  • Battery and hardwire power options
  • Works with existing doorbell chime
  • Rechargeable battery

Cons

  • Battery pack is not removable

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 3. 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 3: The Ring Video Doorbell 3 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.

Is your house ready for a Ring video doorbell?

Security cameras can do a number on your internet plan if you’re not ready for them. Ring Video Doorbells don’t take up a ton of extra internet bandwidth, but consider upgrading your plan if you already have a lot of devices on the same Wi-Fi network.

Recommended mobile plans

Anytime you open a notification from your Ring Video Doorbell while you’re away from home, you’ll be using cellular data. We recommend unlimited plans to avoid data overages and slowdowns.

FAQ

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 apartments?

You’ll have to ask your landlord to know for sure, but yes, you can probably use a Ring Video Doorbell on an apartment. 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.

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  • ar

    Please be advised that ring products record streaming only for 2 months then they charge you 30 dollars per device. ..so really not worth it…they do not mention that on sale…to be fair the video quality is very good but battery is not as they say…easy to install but not worth it as a system ..you can’t link it to smart home systems and it does shut off a even before it gets to -20 degrees. ..was a disappointment

  • sandy havlen

    I’ve had my ring for 2 months worked great at first now can’t get the app to work no response from Ring. they also want us to pay $30 dollars to record information no one or anywhere in the information does it say you have to do this. not worth the money, now it sits in the box

    • disabledsfcvet

      You can still use with your own phone it doesn’t have to be monitored by them .it’s 30 a year and we’ll worth it.

  • MR

    Well, I have not had any problems. This product works as advertised. Video freezes up occasionally but recovers quickly. I did move my router inside the house and went from -61 to -48. Camera resolution is acceptable and the IR emitters work well up to about 20 feet at night. Customer service is good (at least the one time I called them). I recommend this product. ADT installed our system and stand behind their work.

  • DoneWithYouTrolls

    This has to be some of the worst customer service I have ever experienced. The web site is very slick, and the pre-sales information is very well prepared. The product does not work, and my Wi-Fi extender (that I bought just for this purpose) didn’t even get a usable signal from 15 feet away with no obstructions. So, after long chats (and waiting a LONG time to get someone on chat in the first place), I convinced them after several conversations to give me a refund… which never came. Three weeks after they received the product back, there was no refund. I went on chat to find out why, and TWO HOURS of chatting later (after their chat system kicked me out for inactivity while THEY looked up my information), they say a refund was issued, but refused to provide any email documentation stating such. This is absolutely unacceptable. I wish I had come to this site to look at these reviews before I wasted time and money on a product that doesn’t work, and which is supported by an incompetent support staff. RUN AWAY from this company! They pretty much stole $500 from me!