Recently I came back from a vacation only to discover that while I was away somebody had attempted to break into my home. Luckily the burglar had trouble getting past my deadbolt and didn't make their way fully inside my house. However, the whole experience naturally left me shaken up and wondering if my home is at risk. I decided the only way to put myself at ease was to install a security system. That's when I decided to look into a new gadget called the Ring Video Doorbell.
Ring Video Doorbell Installation and Setup
The Ring Video Doorbell has a built in camera and motion detector. It works in collaboration with the Ring app and your home's wi-fi. Using the app, you setup a perimeter around the doorbell that you will receive alerts for. When somebody comes within that perimeter you get a push notification. When you open an alert notice you are able to see a live video stream of exactly who is at your door. If you want, you can even talk to them in real time! So let's say you get a package delivered when you are away and somebody walks up to your house and tries to take it. You will not only be notified, but you can actually talk to them and tell them to drop your package and scram. If you wire the Ring to your old doorbell's wiring, it can function off the power from your house. However if you don't do this the Ring can be battery powered. I have not had the device long enough to say exactly how long the battery lasts once fully charged, but I have read that it can last for up to 1 year before needing a charge. This also depends on your settings though. For example, they have a setting that allows the device to be extra sensitive sending you more frequent notifications. Also, if you set it to have too long of a perimeter range, and it is constantly setting off the app then you will go through your battery more quickly.
So far I have been very pleased with the Ring. In my opinion it is a very well designed device. I only had one issue with the setup. It requires two small screws on the bottom that help keep it in place. The screws are not very good quality and one of them became stripped. When we went to remove the device from the wall again it was a total nightmare to get the screw off. My advice is to be careful when you are installing it and take your time with those screws. Other than that debacle the installation process was easy and pretty painless. I started receiving notifications to my phone right away. When you first install it you'll want to play around with the settings. At times the device was too sensitive, because it picked up the cars that drive by my house or when somebody parked by my house. However, when I lower the range of my perimeter I don't get as many notices. I have tested the device with friends and found that the notices are indeed real time without much of a lag at all. I am very impressed and pleased by this.
As far as data storage goes, I opted not to buy a package to keep my footage stored in their cloud. However, if you do want a storage package, Ring charges $3 a month which is very reasonable compared to the cost of having a traditional security system. Ring doesn't offer anything as far as notifying the police in the event of an emergency. If you want something along those lines, or if you want a loud alarm to sound when somebody tries to break in, then I probably wouldn't choose the Ring. It is a fit for me, because I simply wanted a camera and motion detector that offered real time notifications. I figure this way I don't need to worry about setting or disarming an alarm system, and I can always decide to call the police myself if necessary. When you purchase the Ring Video Doorbell you do get the cloud subscription free for 30 days if that is something you are interested in trying out.
All in all I would say that I definitely recommend the Ring Video Doorbell system. There are a few different models, but I purchased the Ring Wi- Fi Smart Video Doorbell in the satin nickel from Best Buy for $199.99. This model's camera shoots in 720p, so sometimes the footage is slightly blurred and not 100% crystal clear, but I find it to be plenty sufficient for my needs, and I am definitely able to see what the person at my door is doing. If you are concerned about the quality of the camera though the newer Ring Video Doorbell Pro has a 1080p camera. That upgraded version is $249.99 at Best Buy. It is was definitely an investment to purchase it, but for me it was well worth it because it gave me back my peace of mind and sense of safety.
*Photo courtesy of the iTunes App Store