An upgraded version of the original model, this camera is defined by its easy mounting and WiFi connection. Can be powered by its rechargeable batteries or existing wiring. Able to sync with Alexa and receive voice commands.
Mounting system can be hard to install on non-wooden door frames or other, more durable surfaces.
The hardwired connection means that this device doesn’t need the regular charging found in base model products. Adjustable camera and motion control settings, including infrared night vision. Can be controlled through an app, or with Alexa through Echo devices.
Requires professional installation.
An exceptional outdoor security camera with great smartphone app integration. See and speak to visitors and delivery services. Motion triggers light as a deterrent against trespassers.
The motion-activated light tends to stay on for long periods of time.
Monitors your home with live, HD-quality video. Built-in speaker and mic will let you soothe anxious pets while out of the house. Has motion detection capabilities and will send notifications via the app when movement is detected.
Does not have an internal battery, so it will stop working if your home loses power.
Simply plug into an outlet and complete the simple setup to extend your WiFi signal by 2,000 square feet. Ensures that your other Ring devices will never fail due to a spotty connection or that you miss a notification while away from your phone.
Setup can be a bit cumbersome, and this device must always have a power connection.
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Ring first entered the home security market with the Ring doorbell in 2012, but since then it has diversified with a number of alarms and cameras designed to help keep your home safe and your mind at ease. Ring cameras stand out for their excellent picture quality, on-demand video streaming, and built-in alarms.
There are many factors to consider when choosing a Ring camera, including your budget, any necessary features, and aesthetic concerns. You also have to think about where and how you intend to use the camera. Ring’s well-known doorbell cameras are great, but they’re not ideal for every situation. You might need a combination of several cameras in order to best protect your home.
We at BestReviews have put together this shopping guide to help you evaluate the options so you can determine which Ring camera is the best choice for your home.
Ring camera models differ, but here are a few features that are common to all.
HD wide-angle video (most are 1080HD; earlier models are 720HD)
Built-in microphone and speakers for two-way communication
Motion-activated video with custom motion zones
Infrared night vision
Mobile app for on-demand viewing (iOS, Android, and Windows 10 compatible)
One-year warranty for parts and theft protection
Your first consideration is how you intend to use the camera. A doorbell camera replaces your existing doorbell, enabling you to see and communicate with anyone at your door. However, this camera doesn’t cover as large an area as a security camera, so it isn’t ideal for full surveillance of your property. If you want to monitor the inside or the perimeter of your home, a standard security camera will do the trick. You can mount it high on the wall to get a full view of the surrounding area.
Ring cameras are powered by one of four sources: battery, plug-in, hardwired, or solar.
Battery: Battery-powered Ring cameras come with a rechargeable battery pack that you can easily slide in and out without taking down the camera. You can also purchase additional battery packs and swap them out if you don’t want to be without a camera while you’re recharging the battery.
Plug-in: These cameras have an electrical cord. The advantage is that you don’t have to worry about the camera dying. The disadvantage is that cameras can only be placed near an outlet and the cord hangs down the wall, which some people may not like.
Hardwired: These cameras sit flush to the wall and are one of the most secure options because they can’t be disabled by cutting a wire or removing a battery pack. However, the installation is trickier and could be too challenging for some people.
Ring claims that most of its security cameras can be installed without professional help in less than a half an hour, and some in as little as five minutes. Of course, this is an estimate and the real amount of time will depend on your technical abilities. As a general rule, battery-powered and plug-in cameras are the easiest to install while hardwired and solar-powered cameras will take a little more time. The cameras come with a simple installation guide that walks you through the process. You can also view these guides on Ring’s website.
Some Ring cameras have advanced features that might appeal to you, depending on your needs.
Advanced motion detection
This enables you to customize your motion zones so your camera monitors specific areas of your yard. It also has a Person Detection setting that will only alert you if a person enters the camera’s field of view, so you’re not alerted to innocuous things like pets.
Many Ring cameras have built-in, motion-activated LED spotlights or floodlights. These immediately illuminate the area when someone enters the camera’s field of view. The spotlights tend to be small, so if you’re looking for a large, bright light, you’re better off going with a floodlight camera. These lights will last a long time before needing to be replaced.
Ring security cameras come with a 110-decibel alarm that you can activate remotely from the Ring mobile app. It’s a great way to scare off potential intruders that you catch on the camera.
This is a minor concern compared to the features mentioned above, but Ring cameras do come in a choice of colors. Security cameras come in black or white, and video doorbells come in four finishes, including black, white, satin nickel, and Venetian bronze.
Ring cameras cost anywhere from $100 to $500, depending on the type of camera and the features it comes with.
Video doorbells tend to be more expensive than security cameras, with most of them costing $200 to $250, though top-of-the-line models can reach $500. There are no discounts for buying more than one of these because you will most likely only need a single doorbell camera for your home.
Security cameras start at $200 and go up to $250. There are discounts for buying some of the cheaper security cameras in bulk. If you purchase four of the $200 cameras, you’ll reduce your cost per unit to $150.
Ring cameras require a wireless internet connection in order to transmit video to the mobile app.
The Ring app will alert you when your battery-powered cameras need to be recharged. You can also sign up for low-battery email alerts.
Make sure to periodically check that your cameras are functioning properly even if you don’t get any alerts.
Once the cameras are installed, test all features, including motion-sensing lights and any alarms to make sure everything is working as it should.
For an extra fee, you can have your Ring cameras professionally monitored so that the authorities will be automatically alerted if anyone breaks into your home.
When you set up your cameras, give each one a unique name so it’s easy to quickly find the right one when viewing the camera feeds.
Periodically trim trees or shrubs that could obstruct the view of outside cameras or you could get false alarms.
Q. Do I have to sign up for a subscription to use Ring cameras?
A. No, you can view live video on demand at any time without a subscription. However, if you wish to review video from earlier in the day or if you want to record a live event for later viewing, you’ll have to sign up for a subscription. You can find out more details about these subscriptions on Ring’s website.
Q. Do I need a professional to install my Ring cameras?
A. In most cases, you should be able to install the cameras on your own using the installation guide and the resources on Ring’s website. If you need help, you can contact the company’s customer support team 24/7.
Q. How long does it take for the rechargeable battery packs to charge?
A. Depending on the type of charger, it could take from four to ten hours for the battery pack to charge fully.