Ding Dong, It’s Ring Again (2.0)
If you are ready to move beyond the old peephole in your door as the only way to know who is on your doorstep, but you don’t want a complicated system with wiring and new holes in your door, then the Ring Doorbell 2 may be the answer for you. As you can guess, this is the second generation of an idea that has been getting a lot more popular lately: doorbell cameras, which are the 21st-century answer to the little looking-glass in the front door. The Ring Doorbell 2 gives you a lot more options and accessibility so that you can use the associated app to check in on your front door, wherever you are at.
Pros and Cons of second Ring Doorbell are
- Simple to install
- Rechargeable battery for power – no wiring or drilling through door or doorframe
- Sends alerts when activated
- Monitor remotely with the associated app
- 1080p video
- Large size is somewhat bulky
- Subscription is required to view recorded video clips
- No pre-buffered recording (that is, video recorded before doorbell rings)
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What’s this going to cost to get up and running?
Flat product fee of $199 (shop it here). This is for DIY installation; if you want a tech to wire it for you (not hard to do; about 15 minutes) then expect another $120-180. If you want to use their cloud services expect another $7+/mo depending on storage plans.
The Ring Doorbell 2 works independently of any other security cameras or system you may have. It is activated by a motion sensor that detects movement in its field of view and when the doorbell is pressed. It records high quality 1080 pixel video of anyone at your door, letting you view the video on the associated app.
3/5 difficulty. Harder than a security system but easier than a smart thermostat
The Ring Doorbell 2 seems to be designed around ease of installation, perfect for a simple DIY project to improve your home’s security. All the things you need to install the video doorbell are included, from mounting screws and anchors to two wedges to properly align the angle of the doorbell, and even a mini level so that you can be sure to get it set at the right angle alongside your door.
You have the option to wire the unit into your existing doorbell system so that the Ring will activate your door chime. The app provides detailed video instructions on how to install and set up the system and any wiring you need to do to get it to work with your existing doorbell.
What makes Ring better than the other smart doorbells?
The Ring Doorbell 2 features adjustable motion sensors, so you can be aware of the most important areas around your doorway. It also comes with a couple of choices in appearance, with two face plates included for the lower portion of the doorbell, so you can choose matte black (called Venetian) or silver (called Satin Nickel).
The company has improved the design over the original Ring so that the rechargeable battery can easily be removed from the unit by opening the faceplate. Once out, the battery recharges by plugging into a USB port with a standard USB cable that they provide with the unit.
Who they are and how they ended up watching your doorstep
The Ring company created and marketed their “doorbot” smart videocam doorbell with an appearance on TV’s Shark Tank, starting in November 2013. The company grew rapidly, with investors and great engineers, into the creation of the first Ring Doorbell that sold some 20,000 units shortly after it was introduced. The mission of the company is simple, as stated on the wall of the company’s office: “To reduce crime in communities.”
In the five years since they started, they have introduced new products with better features and improved the original Ring Doorbell. You can now get the Ring Pro or the Ring Doorbell 2, along with a host of other Ring security products, all with the goals of making safer homes and communities as residents have the power to see who is outside without opening the door.
After you buy it; do they care?
Because there is a monthly bill on the (for cloud storage) the short answer is yes; they will give you good support. We’ve seen bad support with one and done items (such as Swann or Night Owl security cameras) that customers rage about not getting any help.
While Ring is a company that is built on the idea of improving safety, some reviews show that they have not always been as responsive as they could be to customer concerns. Still, thousands of satisfied customers have enjoyed their products and gotten good results from the video doorbell, while many others have reported long wait times to talk to representatives, and technical problems that they had trouble getting the company to resolve. You may want to investigate the company and its responsiveness to customer concerns before investing in their product if you are worried about customer support.
The Ring Doorbell 2 adds some improvements to the original model, which was introduced nearly five years ago. The battery is easier to remove and recharge on the new model, with a simple push to free the button beneath the faceplate. The installation is designed to be smooth and simple with no elaborate wiring needed. The video quality is very good, with 1080p image quality that gives sharply detailed video images in day or night lighting. If you want a fairly simple, stand-alone video doorbell security system, the Ring Doorbell 2 is a good choice.