The days of getting up to see who's at your door are over. With a video doorbell, you can greet your guests and keep an eye out for intruders — all without getting up from your couch.
Ring appears several times on our list of the best video doorbells for a variety of reasons. The Ring Doorbell 2 is our favorite wireless model, the Ring Video Doorbell is our favorite under $100, the Ring Doorbell Pro is the best at motion detection. And, the Ring Peephole Cam is great for those who want to replace their peepholes with a camera.
But which should you buy? We've compared all four devices to help you decide which one is best for you.
Regardless of which video doorbell you choose, make sure it's secure by using a strong password. Here's how to enable two-factor authentication (2FA) for Ring cameras.
Ring Video Doorbell Pro & Chime Pro Bundle w/ free Echo Show 5: was $299 now $179 @ Best Buy
For a limited time at Best Buy, get a Ring Video Doorbell Pro and Ring Chime Pro bundle, and you'll automatically get a free Amazon Echo Show 5. The bundle lets you remotely see and talk to visitors at your front door. View Deal
|Ring Video Doorbell||Ring Video Doorbell 2||Ring Video Doorbell Pro||Ring Peephole Cam|
|Dimensions||4.98 x 2.43 x 0.87 inches||5.05 x 2.50 x 1.08 inches||4.5 x 1.85 x 0.80 inches||4.4 x 2.3 x 1.2 inches|
|Wiring||Wireless or hardwired||Wireless or hardwired||Hardwired||Wireless|
|Field of View||180 degrees||160 degrees||160 degrees||155 degrees horizontal, 90 degrees vertical|
The Ring Video Doorbell, Ring Video Doorbell 2 and Ring Video Doorbell Pro are relatively similar in design; they're all black and gray, with a camera at the top and an illuminated button beneath. The Doorbell 2 is slightly larger than the Doorbell, but otherwise identical. The Doorbell Pro is much smaller and thinner (not needing to accommodate a battery).
The Doorbell 2 and the Doorbell Pro both offer interchangeable face plates, making it easier to match your home's decor.
Installation and setup
Of all of RIng's video doorbells, the Ring Peephole Cam sports the simplest design and simplest setup. The device consists of two pieces: one that sits on the outside of the door, and one that you look through from the inside, connected through the peephole. It doesn't require any tools or permanent modifications, and should take only a few minutes.
The other three devices are a bit more complicated to install, but you can (in theory) set them all up yourself. In our testing, we had some trouble with the Doorbell 2's security screw, but found the process easy overall.
The Ring Video Doorbell and Ring Video Doorbell 2 can both be battery-powered, meaning they'll still work when the electricity's out — provided your internet connection is still up. This also means that you can mount them anywhere, and don't have to worry about connecting them to an existing doorbell's wires.
The Ring Pro is more complicated. It's the only Ring video doorbell that requires hardwiring. You'll need to upgrade your transformer if your old doorbell isn't getting 16 volts of power. You'll also need to install a Pro Power kit (included with the device) in your home’s chime box.
Ring video doorbell audio and video
At 720p, the original Ring Video Doorbell sports a lower resolution than the Doorbell 2, Doorbell Pro and View Cam, all of which offer 1080p. (However, the original Doorbell is the only device with a 180-degree field of view).
In our testing, we found the Doorbell 2's footage to be choppy and pixelated, but reasonable compared with other video doorbells we've tested. The Pro's video was better, but not perfect: It would start out pixelated and then clear up as the subject left the frame.
The Doorbell, Doorbell 2 and Doorbell Pro all have comparable audio. In our testing of the Doorbell 2 and Doorbell Pro, we found decent sound with a brief but manageable delay.
The Peephole Cam's video and audio quality was also excellent, but for one thing. If you have a storm door, it will cause the Peephole Cam's motion detection to stop working.
Ring Video Doorbell features
All of Ring's video doorbells have motion detection; when the device detects movement, it sends an alert to your smartphone. You can customize how far the sensors stretch. If you have a Doorbell or Doorbell 2, you'll select from pre-drawn zones. If you have the Pro, you can draw the zones yourself.
The Pro is also the only doorbell that supports 5.0GHz connections, which allow for faster and more reliable connectivity.
In addition to improved video quality, the Doorbell 2's main advantage is its quick-release rechargeable battery. All you need to do is remove the battery to charge it. (To charge the Doorbell, you need to pull the entire thing off the wall and bring it inside).
The Peephole Cam has a few new features, including "motion stop," which pauses the camera's recording to conserve battery life if it deems motion unimportant. Like the Doorbell 2, it also has a removable battery pack.
In most other features, the three doorbells are on a par with each other. They all offer two-way communication, which you can use to greet your guests, or scare off burglars, and infrared night vision. They all work with Alexa, Smartthings and IFTTT, and you can watch the doorbells' footage and communicate with guests using the Echo Show and Echo Spot, as well as all generations of the Fire TV. Unfortunately, Ring does not work with Google Assistant/Home devices.
MORE: Which Security Camera Has the Best Storage Plan?
As a bonus, you can connect them with a number of smart locks from Kevo, LockState, Kisi or Lockitron. This will allow you to unlock your door — and let your guest in — directly from the Ring app.
Ring Video Doorbell Price
The Doorbell Pro is the most expensive of Ring's devices, at $249. The Doorbell 2 and Peephole Cam are both $199. The original Video Doorbell is the most affordable at $99.
Keep in mind that you'll also have to pay for cloud storage if you want to save footage to the cloud. Cloud storage is $3 per month (or $30 per year) for 60 days. If you have multiple Ring cameras, you'll pay $10 per month, or $100 per year, to save money.
Which Ring Video Doorbell is best for you?
We recommend the Ring Video Doorbell 2 for most customers — especially those who aren't comfortable messing around with their house's wiring. It's $50 less expensive than the Pro, but you'll get comparable video and audio quality, and most of the same features. You'll also have an easier installation process, and the added benefit of a rechargeable battery.
If aesthetic appeal is paramount for you, the Ring Video Doorbell Pro is sleeker and, owing to its smaller size, will better fit on narrower door jambs. Additionally, if you're particular about where your motion sensors should be looking, you'll probably appreciate the ability to draw your own motion zones with the Doorbell Pro. However, make sure you're comfortable with the Doorbell Pro's involved setup process, or with hiring a professional.
For those on a budget, the original Ring Video Doorbell offers a lower resolution than its peers, and lacks a quick-release battery, but otherwise has all the same features.
Finally, we recommend that renters, or those who want a very quick setup, the Ring Peephole Cam is the best option. Just make sure your door has a peephole.
Credit: Tom's Guide