Ultimate Guide to Ring Video Doorbell: Everything you need to know

Everyone knows what a doorbell or door chime is. It’s the device in people’s homes used by guests from outside the door or the gate to inform people that they’re there without calling anyone out or shouting. Back in the day, before electricity, people rang a literal bell. With the advent of the power grid and batteries, it became possible for people to push a button and then the chime of a doorbell to ring.

01 door chime
Door chime – Image source by  Steve Garfield

 

However, we’re not here to talk about doorbells. We’re instead here to talk about Ring Doorbell, which is a brand of doorbell camera that combines a home security camera with a doorbell to allow you to see who’s visiting you when they ring the bell, so to speak.

Ring video Doorbell
Ring Video Doorbell – Image source by Steve Garfield

 

What Is a Ring Doorbell? 

A Ring Doorbell or Ring Video Doorbell—not to be confused with a doorbell that has a ringing chime to it instead of a bell sound or tune—is a brand of security camera mixed with a doorbell that also doubles as an alarm and intercom. Long story short, it’s a brand of doorbell with a Wi-Fi camera attached to it for extra security. It typically includes a 720p to 1080p HD video camcorder powered by your Wi-Fi connection and doorbell system that enables you to speak, hear, and see people from your Echo device, tablet, or phone.

03 Ring Video Doorbell
Image source by Steve Garfield

 

It also gives you notifications whenever the motion detection zones detect motion. There’s also the Live View, which allows you to check the state of your home via Livestream through the Ring Doorbell app. You can even connect Wi-Fi through the app and mount the device at your desired location. It’s a security camera placed with your doorbell to expand your front door or front yard security.

Who Owns Ring Doorbell? 

Ring Doorbell is owned by Ring Incorporated. In turn, Ring Inc. is a smart home and home security company owned by Amazon, the huge eCommerce company owned by the richest man in the world Jeff Bezos. The Ring Video Doorbell or Ring Doorbell is their most popular product, which is a line of motion-detecting cameras with a doorbell function.

It’s a smart doorbell and Wi-Fi camera in one device because it hosts an app that allows you to control the device through your cellphone or via Alexa, the voice assistant of Amazon. It uses state-of-the-art home security technology to safeguard your home. The app used for Ring Doorbell is known as Neighbors. It allows you to share captured footage among users in an online social sharing setting for extra security. 

How Does Ring Doorbell Work?

You can wire your Ring Doorbell to a power source like a regular doorbell or security camera. As an alternative, it’s also possible to put in a rechargeable battery to allow you to remove the Ring Doorbell and charge it using the Lightning cable (the Apple version of the USB-C cable). It works like a doorbell, wherein you can press the device to alert people of your presence.

On the other side, the user can use the doorbell like an intercom and a camera due to Wi-Fi camera and two-way talk tech. You can integrate it into what’s known as Google’s smart home universe that also links up to your other smart devices like computers, smartphones, tablets, and so forth. The smart device integrates many functions in a single product and it can be installed without doorbell wiring in case you live at a condo home or apartment.

How to Use Ring Doorbell

All models of the Ring Doorbell have two-way talk functionality like an Intercom. It also supports motion activation like one of those solar lights. You can also use it through its alerts. The camera can detect motion and capture videos during such instances that are stored into the cloud (warning, it includes a monthly fee for use).

04 How to Use Ring Doorbell
Image source by Steve Garfield

 

This allows you to keep your home safe from home invaders or detect package thieves. Since it detects motion, it activates to save battery life or electricity. On top of that, it can record during day and night using night vision with infrared light. It can even stream live footage that you can check out through the Ring app and share via the Neighbors social sharing service. All Ring Doorbell models can capture video and detect motion within 30 feet, thus instantly sending push notifications to your Smartphone. 

Guests Can Use the Ring Doorbell

Guests can also use the Ring Doorbell in that they can use the two-way talk intercom feature or alert you of their presence. They can even be given access to the doorbell cam if you wish. It’s like giving duplicate keys to your guests so that they can enter your home since you trust them, but for the doorbell camera context. As the owner of the Ring Doorbell, you can change camera access that users or guests to your location have.

You can grant them access like you do, allowing them to see what your doorbell camera sees or as a guest informs you that they’re coming even before they arrive. You can also limit Guest or Shared user access to the camera as the main user by opening the menu, tapping location settings, tapping users, and tapping the User you’d like o change. There are checkboxes there you can check on uncheck to see how much guest access to the Ring Doorbell they have. Save your settings changes once finished. 

How to Reset Ring Doorbell

If the Ring Doorbell is giving you problems, you can perform a factory hard reset on the device to get it working. If it still continues to malfunction after the reset, consult your manual or call the Ring Inc. technical support. Depending on your warranty, you can get the device replaced or repaired. Regardless, here’s how you should go about resetting the device. 

  • The Orange Button: Search for the orange button that should be found at the spine or back of the Ring Doorbell. That’s the reset button.
  • Press and Hold: You can’t just push it quickly. In order to do the full reset, you need to press and hold the button for about 15 to 20 seconds before releasing it. It’s like when you’re powering off your smartphone.
  • Flashing Lights: The doorbell should have a light in front of it that flashes a couple of times, which should indicate to you that you’ve done the reset properly and the device has gone to reset mode.
  • Reset Completed: Allow the device to complete the whole reset procedure for about 5 minutes or so. Afterward, the hard reset should be complete and the device should be available to you back in factory settings like you got it fresh off of the box.

See more: How to Reset Ring Doorbell and Make it Function Properly Again

Reset Ring Video Doorbell To Default Settings

Ring Doorbell Installation – How to Install Ring Doorbell?

In regards to installing the Ring Doorbell, it is best installed without a previous doorbell attached outside your home. It’s good to start fresh. Regardless, here’s what you need to do:

  • Charge The Provided Battery: Plug the Ring Doorbell to a power source using the orange cable. Fully charge the provided battery. Wait until the small light on the top to glow green, indicating a full charge. Insert the battery on the bottom of the device until it clicks into place as well.
  • Line Up Your Ring Doorbell: Line up your Ring Doorbell with a leveling tool that’s included with the package. Click the tool into the small hole on the front of the device below its camera. Place the doorbell next to your door at chest height, level the device, then mark the positions for mounting holes with your pencil.
  • Drill Holes: Drill holes where you marked the position of the mounting holes. If you’re mounting the doorbell on stucco, concrete, or brick, put plastic anchors into the holes to secure the doorbell. You may need to put them in using a standard hammer. Use screws if you’re mounting them in on vinyl or wood.
  • Place Your Ring Doorbell over the Holes: Place the doorbell on the holes, but don’t forget to remove the level tool before doing so. Use the mounting screws to screw in the Ring Doorbell. Use only the screws included in the package. Afterwards, install the faceplate by slotting it at the top then clicking it into place like with the battery. Finally, tighten it up with a security screw that has a star-shaped end to it.

How to Install Ring Video Doorbell Pro

 

 

How to Set Up Your Ring Video Doorbell

 

How to Troubleshoot Ring Video Doorbell Setup Issues

 

How to Remove Ring Doorbell

To remove the Ring Doorbell after installing it, you need to go backward with how to install it. The last few steps you followed in order to install it should be followed in reverse order to uninstall it. In other words, the first thing you need to do is remove the security screw with the star-shaped end (known as a Torx screw) using a Torx screwdriver. Unclick and slide out the faceplate from the slot of the doorbell. From there, unscrew the mounting screws with the appropriate standard Philips screwdriver. You can now remove the Ring Doorbell for the sake of recharging the battery, fixing the device, sending it out for repair, or getting it replaced when all is said and done.

How to remove Ring Doorbell Battery Cover and Battery

 

How to Remove Ring Doorbell Pro

 

Benefits of Video Doorbell Cameras

Here are the benefits of having a video doorbell camera. It mostly intersects between the benefits of a doorbell and a security camera on top of the benefits of an intercom. 

  • Deter Theft & Crime: The camera is there to deter crime and theft, but it’s not as big of a deterrent as an outright standard bullet camera you see in banks and stores. Some criminals might not even realize or recognize the camera in the first place. However, a video doorbell security cam should inform you of the face of package thieves, potential home invaders, and other suspicious individuals by capturing their faces on camera.
  • Monitor Activity: Indoor cameras are mostly used for monitoring activity of your babysitters or children through the nanny cam as well as a baby monitor for your infant. However, a doorbell camera can also enable monitoring of front door or front yard activity through motion detection or simple surveillance, even when it’s nighttime through night vision IR technology. You’ll be able to catch neighborhood kids playing “doorbell ditch” or people letting their dogs poop in your yard.
  • Create a Safe Environment: Ultimately, a surveillance camera, even a doorbell camera, is what you need to give you peace of mind due to its convenience and crime deterrence. It’s practical because it allows you to know if you have wanted or unwanted guests even before they ring your doorbell. It also enables you to track packages at your doorstep or if the delivery person is careful or not with them. Also, criminals will think twice before trying to burglarize your home.

Features to Look for in Video Doorbell Cameras 

A good video doorbell camera like Ring Doorbell should enable you to see what’s on the other side of your door whenever they ring the doorbell without having a looking or peering glass. You should be able to “spy” on your guests via smartphone or tablet as well as a laptop or PC using the device. The device can have motion detection to detect who’s at your door even when they decide not to ring the doorbell. 

Even when you’re not at home, you can monitor who’s at your door, ringing your bell. If it’s another Jehova’s witness, door-to-door salesman, or some other unwanted guest, you can avoid answering the door thanks to the camera. This doorbell camera can let you pick which guests to answer the door for and which ones to ignore. It even doubles as an intercom using its two-way talk feature.

Features to Look for in Video Doorbell Cameras
Image Source by Steve Garfield

 

Ring Video Doorbells Product Comparison 

There are many Ring Video Doorbells available. They mostly vary in terms of how good the resolution of the camera is, how long the battery lasts, the effective range of their motion detection zones, and so forth. However, in general terms, they all have the same combination of camera, doorbell, and intercom as well as smart device features such as app control and connecting to the Internet to save your footage in the cloud.

The Ring Doorbell has high-end versions known as Ring Doorbell Elite and Ring Doorbell Pro. These doorbell models allow you to take advantage of multiple finishes and customize motion-detection zones so that you can, for example, avoid activating the camera when pets or wildlife are around. Their resolution and field of view are basically identical. The Elite can’t run using a doorbell transformer because it needs an Ethernet cable. The Pro doesn’t have a battery, thus requiring doorbell wiring.

Aside from the Ring Video Doorbell Pro and Elite, there are budget versions available known as the Ring Video Doorbell, Ring Video Doorbell 3, Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus, and Ring Peephole Cam that you can insert right into a literal door peephole. These models range from being more doorbell-like that camera-like and looking like a peering glass used to see who’s on the other side of your door, but in security camera form. Some models even have sensors that can detect door knocking to boot!

Ring Video Doorbell Buying Guide 

When selecting a Ring Video Doorbell for you, there are several things to keep in mind. You should specifically have a checklist of important considerations to think about when you purchase and install your own Ring Doorbell. This guide will run through all the important considerations to ensure that you’ll get the right Ring Doorbell model when all is said and done. To wit:

  • Cost: Naturally, if you’re buying anything you need to have a cost-to-value analysis. In other words, when you set your budget, are you satisfied with the level of Ring Doorbell you can get for your money or are you willing to spend extra or save money to get something better in light of any extra features you want to get. Keep in mind that all of these doorbells are competitively priced to fit the needs and budget of various customers. 
  • Home Modifications: In what ways can you modify your home? If you can’t modify your home, you need a removable doorbell cam with a battery since you can’t hardwire it to your home’s electricity, like if you’re renting an apartment. If you own your home, you have the option to drill and put wiring to your doorbell to keep it powered up and some such.
  • Power Supply: Additionally, do you have an existing doorbell that you need to remove so that you can put its wires to your new Ring Doorbell? Do you instead have a separate power supply that you can connect to your video doorbell to? This will help you decide whether you need a model with a rechargeable battery or not.
  • Feature Set: Nearly all Ring Doorbell models have the basic feature set of having a two-way talk, a Wi-Fi camera, and a doorbell plus motion detection. They mostly vary in terms of power supply and expanded features, such as the ability to record, the ability to send the recordings to the cloud, how long the battery can last, the resolution of the footage, the type of lens or camera being used, the size, and so forth.
  • Installation: Some cameras are easier to install than others. The ones that require doorbell wiring will naturally need more than basic DIY installation experience, such that you might need to hire an electrician to install them. Others only require mounting that could easily be dismounted when needed in order to access and recharge the battery. These doorbell video cams are known for their easy installation and maintenance for the most part though.
  • Network Speed: Your home Internet service should at the very least do 1 megabytes per second for upload and 2 megabytes per second for download to allow live streaming and cloud computing. This ensures optimal transmission and video recording quality. The faster your Internet plan is the better the quality of the video. To know more about cloud storage costs, go to the FAQ section.

 

 

Head-to-Head Competition 

How does the Ring Doorbell fare head-to-head with its competition? It’s pretty impressive, actually. This is in light of the fact that Ring Inc. is a subsidiary of Amazon, and Amazon itself is well-known for its smart devices. However, the Ring Doorbell does falter to elite competition by looking much more basic in comparison to their features. It’s still the gold standard in doorbell cameras for the most part, but like with DeWalt and its line of power tools, it can be beaten by higher-quality, more cost-effective opposition.

  • Ring Doorbell vs. Arlo: The main takeaway we have regarding Ring Doorbell versus Arlo is that Ring is more of the total package. It’s a brand that offers total home security with its options such as floodlights, alarms, entry sensors, and a doorbell camera powered by an app and with two-way talk intercom capabilities to boot. Arlo is a system that’s more camera-based than doorbell-based or alarm-based. It also lacks entry sensors. Both brands offer well-designed equipment that’s built to be durable even when used outdoors. The deep pockets of Amazon give the research and development of Ring Doorbells the edge.

 

 

  • Ring vs. Nest Doorbell: Even though both the Ring Doorbell and the Nest Doorbell cost the same, the Nest Video Doorbell offers superior video and footage quality when compared to the more jack-of-all-trades offerings of the Ring. To be more specific, Nest Doorbell offers package detection and facial recognition. Meanwhile, Amazon’s Ring Doorbell only provides motion detection and intercom features but it’s much easier to install and has more smart home integration options. The camera features of Nest are simply much more advanced even at the same cost.

Ring Doorbell FAQs

Here are the most frequently asked questions regarding Ring Doorbell. 

Does Ring Doorbell need power?

Yes. of course. Like all devices, they need power. There are multiple ways to give a Ring Doorbell power. You can get it a rechargeable battery, you can wire it directly to your home power grid, or you can get solar panel technology into the mix depending on the make and model of Ring Doorbell you have. Its battery is long-lasting, with some lasting as long as 180 days before recharging but others last shorter depending on how much energy is consumed.

Is Ring Doorbell waterproof?

There’s a measure of water resistance to the Ring Doorbell but obviously it will get damaged if soaked or dropped into a body of water, so avoid doing that. Don’t let it slip from your hands into the toilet bowl or sink full of water, for example. The device can get wet and can resist rainwater as well as freezing temperatures though. In short, don’t submerge the unit or leave it out in severe weather conditions.

Does the Ring Doorbell ring inside the house?

Yes. The ring has engineered this doorbell to emit an alert outside of the home and inside of the house. The doorbell rings inside your home like a standard doorbell but also has an alarm or alert outside of the home in case of intruders. It’s capable of ringing inside the house through your smartphone or some other extra accessory, as required by your personal needs.

Does Ring Doorbell record footage?

Yes. It’s a doorbell and security cam rolled into one device, after all. It operates without any subscription or additional fee. You can avail of a Ring Video Recording Plan that can cost you a yearly or monthly subscription to upload your recordings to the cloud ($3 per month or $30 yearly). If you opt-out on recording and saving via the cloud, you will only see the live feed provided by the camera in real-time.

How long does the Ring Doorbell’s battery last?

The Ring Doorbell’s battery can run from 6 months to a year between battery charges depending on the operating environment and how often it’s used. In contrast, it takes approximately 4-5 hours to charge the battery with a 2.1 amp charger. A 1-amp charger instead takes 9-10 hours. Regardless, charging for 5-10 hours is enough to give you from half a year or a whole year of doorbell video cam action.

Does Ring Doorbell work with Alexa?

To pair your Ring Doorbell with Alexa, you need to first open Alexa then tap the three horizontal bars. Tap “Skills & Games” located on the resulting menu afterward. The next screen has a search box. Type “Ring” and search for it there. Once you’ve found Ring, tap “Enable”. Alexa will ask you to sign into your Ring account. Link your Alexa and Ring accounts by signing into your Ring account at the prompt. Once signed in, tap “Discover Devices”. All of the Ring devices in your area, particularly Ring Doorbell, should appear connected to Alexa in an automatic fashion.

How do you check the battery level on Ring Doorbell?

In regards to checking the battery level of the Ring Doorbell, there’s no need to fret. You’ll get email reminders in case the battery starts running low. The Ring Doorbell app even has a low-battery warning feature. There’s also a battery level indicator on the doorbell you can check any time you want for good measure.

How do you use Wi-Fi on your Ring Doorbell?

Your Ring Doorbell requires a Wi-Fi network to work. With it, it can send real-time notifications to your tablet or smartphone when someone is at your door in order to ring your doorbell or not. The doorbell cam is compatible with wireless routers running on 2.4 GHz at 802.11 B, G, or N. You can download the Ring app through Windows 10 App Store, Google Play Store, or iTunes App Store.

How do you factory reset Ring Doorbell?

As covered above, there’s a factory reset button at the back of the Ring Doorbell that’s colored orange you’re supposed to press for 15 to 20 seconds to initiate the factory reset. It takes 5 minutes for the doorbell to undergo this mode. You know the reset has been done properly if the indicator light blinks a couple of times.

How much data does the Ring Doorbell use?

If you have cloud storage, even if it’s HD video data, you should have unlimited footage for review back-dated in accordance with the date and hour it was recorded. For only $3 a month or $30 yearly, you can have footage stored for up to 60 days or two months that you can review at will then download in local storage in case there’s been some suspicious activity around your home.

How do you answer Ring Doorbell?

You can answer your Ring Doorbell a myriad of ways. You can answer it normally like a normal doorbell, with you opening the door to greet your guest as soon as you hear the chime or get a notification through your smartphone. However, that defeats the purpose of getting a smart doorbell with a multitude of features.

 

 

How do you do a two-way talk on Ring Doorbell?

Access Live View by opening your Ring app, go to your “My Devices” screen under your location then select the Ring Doorbell device. Tap the “Live View” button on the resulting prompt to watch a Livestream of what the Ring Doorbell cam is seeing from your smart device. Finally, press “Talk” to enable the two-way audio feature. You can now talk to the person on the other side of the door to ask him what he’s there for.

Conclusion 

If you’re thinking about adding a smart doorbell to your home, the Ring Doorbell is one of the best if not the de facto best video doorbell camera in the market to date. It was developed by Ring Inc., which is owned by Amazon. It doesn’t only have name recognition and pedigree—it also serves as a regular testing ground for smart home technology. It stretches and pushes boundaries to what a doorbell can do, making it as handy as a smartphone with the inclusion of the security camera, apps, and intercom-like two-way talk. If you want to know more about the Ring Doorbell models, from the Elite and Pro to the Peephole models, just visit the Ring Video Doorbell website for more details. 

References

 

James Core
I write dozens of helpful informational articles based on topics that I have identified again and again throughout my research and work experience. I am here to help you find the right home security products.

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