The Ring Video Doorbell lets you watch over your home, even when you're a thousand miles away - here's how it works

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  • The Ring Video Doorbell 2 ($199) gives homeowners a real-time video view from their front door whether they're in a room down the hall or across the country.
  • The doorbell has security features including infrared night vision recording and an automatic motion detection setting.
  • Ring doorbells can be paired with Amazon's Alexa, sending you alerts and letting you use the two-way talk function through the speaker.
You can buy a perfectly decent DIY doorbell for less than twenty bucks. So why would you spend ten times that much for a $199 Ring Video Doorbell 2? Advertisement

Also, assuming you're using the battery-powered option, it takes about five minutes to install the doorbell and pair it with an app on your phone through which you'll be able to monitor the home from anywhere. $199 and five minutes' time - not bad, really. But let's take a closer look.


The basics of the Ring Video Doorbell:

After sunset, the camera uses infrared night vision to keep watch. And with the optional addition of the Ring Protection Plus program, which costs $10 a month, the video captured by your Ring is recorded and saved and can even be shared with others.Advertisement


How two-way talk works from anywhere:

Lots of doorbells have a two-way talk intercom; that type of feature had been available for decades. But with the Ring, you can make use of two-way talk from anywhere you have Wi-Fi signal or cell service.

So whether you just don't feel like getting off the couch and walking down the hall when a deliveryman rings the bell ("Just leave it on the porch please, thanks!") or you have detected a potential thief thanks to a motion detection alert sent to your phone even though you're in Albuquerque on a business trip ("Hey buddy, I see you there and you're on recorded video. Maybe leave without breaking into my house?") you can dialogue with anyone near your front door. (For the record, I'm assuming you don't live in Albuquerque - if you do, pretend I said Cleveland.)Advertisement

The two-way talk function is also a great way for your kids to let you know they got home safe and are headed inside.


Installing a Ring Video Doorbell 2:

If you're going with the battery-controlled option, then installing a Ring will take you about three minutes. A couple of screws and you're done. Then spend one minute getting the app downloaded and open and a couple more minutes getting it set up and paired with the hardware.Advertisement

The (few) drawbacks:

As noted, a Ring Video Doorbell 2 costs nearly $200, which is far from cheap. And to make meaningful use of its fine functions like stored video recordings, you really will need to pay for a monthly service, though at least a basic one is available for just $3 monthly.

Without either Ring Protect Basic or Ring Protect Plus (Plus comes with 24/7 professional security monitoring), you don't have access to past video. What's worse is that the Ring considers any video not opened in its app within five seconds of an alert to be past, so unless you're quick on the draw, you'll rarely even get to make use of the video function when someone comes near or rings the bell itself.Advertisement


Is the Ring Video doorbell worth it?

Pros: Connects homeowner to live video feed from anywhere, remote two-way talk feature, 1080 HD video with infrared night vision.Advertisement

Cons: Requires paid subscription for proper access to all features.

Get a Ring Video Doorbell 2 from Amazon for $199

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