In the world of smart homes, Ring doorbells have long set the gold standard for what a video doorbell should be. There are few competitors that offer high-quality video and easy two-way communication. Depending on how you look at it, Ring offers a product line that features many of the same benefits. This can make choosing the right one for your home a little tough. The good news is that no matter which one you choose, you’ll discover why Ring is one of the most popular smart home security products on the market today. So which one should you choose?
Ring Video Doorbell
The original Ring video doorbell is proof that just because a product isn’t new doesn’t mean it has to go away. Offering quick and easy installation in five minutes or less, the image quality remains outstanding. This battery-powered option is perfect for homeowners (condos and townhomes, too!) that just want the basics. By the basics, we mean an instant notification when visitors arrive or leave. And you’ll see all of your visitors in “crystal-clear” 720p HD video. You can also talk to arriving visitors or deliverymen through a two-way communication system.
Like its more expensive sister products, the original Ring still offers extras like custom motion zones, infrared night vision and theft protection. A fully-charged battery should last about six months before needing to be recharged. For anyone who wants to dip their toes into the world of smart homes and video doorbells and not spend too much, you can’t do any better than the original Ring video doorbell.
Ring Video Doorbell 2
The second-generation Ring video doorbell, also known as the Ring 2, is another solid choice. With upgraded live video view at 1080p, the Ring 2 makes a strong case to anyone who likes upgraded technology. As with its predecessor, there are plenty of features here to rave about. Motion-activated alerts are present and accounted for, as is two-way communication.
The Ring 2 also takes it up a notch with support for Alexa. That makes it easy to see live activity at any time just by asking Alexa to show you the live view. A removable battery pack makes it easy to recharge and/or swap out with additional batteries which cost around $20 or less on Amazon. The only potential downside to the Ring 2 is a slightly smaller field of view at 160 degrees versus the 180 degrees of the original Ring. Simply stated, Ring 2 is the best choice for any homeowner that wants the best of everything that Ring has to offer without suffering sticker shock.
Ring Video Doorbell Pro
When you add the word “Pro” to any consumer product, there’s an expectation that it will deliver. Fortunately, the Ring Pro does in spades. Instead, the Pro hardwires to existing doorbell wiring and stays powered up all the time. That allows the 1080p camera with infrared to constantly monitor the area around your front door with a full 160-degree field of view.
Extras like motion-activated alerts and two-way talk are included as is support for connecting to Alexa for voice commands. Because of the hardwiring, installation can take up to 15 minutes depending on your comfort level. One more “Pro” feature is support for 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi connections. Whereas the original Ring and Ring 2 only support 2.4GHz, adding 5GHz ensures you’ll receive a stronger signal for alerts. Ultimately, the Pro is perfect for anyone who wants a more video doorbell with a more modern design. It’s even recommended for anyone who doesn’t want to worry about swapping batteries
Even if the Peephole Cam name doesn’t win you over, the product sure might. Unlike the rest of its sister products, the Peephole Cam attaches to a door instead of the area around the doorframe. This not only provides similar 1080p video recording but adds some entirely new features. You can continue to see, hear and speak to visitors at your door from anywhere in the world, but you can also see them right through the peephole while recording.
Installation takes under five minutes and offers the same instant alerts as the rest of Ring’s product lineup. Support for Alexa and voice commands is available as is adjustable motion detection. Have a delivery coming? The Peehole Cam will send alerts as someone approaches your door. Instead of viewing the video on your device, you can choose to look right through the peephole. For anyone who lives in an apartment or condo, the Peephole Cam is the best option for an extra level of security.
Ring Video Doorbell Elite
Like the Pro, the Ring Elite offers a slim design that meshes perfectly with wall decor. The full suite of “Pro” features is available including 1080p video, night vision, live video view, and four interchangeable faceplates. Unless your primary focus is a professional-grade, flush-mounted smart doorbell that’s hardwired, you may not need the Elite. The almost identical feature set to the Pro at half the cost makes it an easy decision. At the end of the day, the Elite is the best choice for anyone who wants what the slimmest video doorbell Ring offers and doesn’t mind paying a premium to get it.
No matter how you slice it, there’s a Ring video doorbell for all budget levels. With a little know-how or some help from a neighbor, installation is super easy across the board. Ultimately, if you want a stronger Wi-Fi signal or care as much about looks as functionality, the Pro or Elite are the best choices. If you want it to “just work,” the original Ring or Ring 2 are the better options.
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