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Ring Security Cameras Review: Benefits, Drawbacks & Overall Camera Quality

Ring Security Cameras Review: Benefits, Drawbacks & Overall Camera Quality

Joshua Hilsberg 
June 23, 2020

The following Ring security cameras review will look at the upsides and letdowns, keeping in mind the quality of the product. Ring’s security system, despite the company being a newcomer on the home surveillance market, has become increasingly popular in recent years. We are taking a deep dive into the specifics of Ring security cameras.

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Total Score 8.0/10

Features

8.0/10



Equipment

8.5/10



Price

8.0/10



Ease of Use

9.0/10



Trust Score

7.0/10




  • Infrared night vision
  • Mobile app control
  • Built-in siren
  • Glitches are common

Ring Security Cameras Comprehensive Review 

Security cameras delivered by Ring are the company’s trademark. Having stated that, we advise to take a look at the specifics of the security system, especially at cameras. We are providing a guide into technicalities and applications of existing cameras supplied by Ring,

Key Features

While there are several major types of security cameras presented by the manufacturer, they all share the same key features. There are differences, of course, but we will sort them out later in the review.

The key features include:

  • Built-in siren
  • HD images & footage
  • Infra-red vision
  • Mobile app
  • DIY installation
  • Two-way audio

Background Information

The enterprise started its business in 2013 and raised $364,000 by a then-unusual way of crowd-funding, making $115,000 more than the initial goal set by the provider was. The company’s extensive media appearance heated the hype, and the enterprise earned $5 million in sales eventually. The company is headquartered in Santa Monica, California. In 2018, the enterprise was purchased by Amazon, which resulted in the significant soar of sales of the main product: security cameras.

Security Features

The Ring cameras are flagships of the company, while several signature features are well-adapted for the modern use in any household. We are looking at them below.

App Control

The Neighborhood App is available on iPhone (iOS) and Android smartphones, smartwatches, and tablets. The app allows customers to instantly access their video accounts, updates, and many more. This is how clients can remotely control gadgets, for example, the alarm, sensors, and cam gear.

Cam Previews

With the mobile app, users can look at the video footage captured by cameras, and also the images. Updates are self-installed.

Customized Zoning

A user can customize the areas inside the household to provide motion detection where needed. The feature comes in handy when your household has a lot of tricky entryways and hidden passages.

History Tracking

The full history of recorded footage is accessible at all times for the user and can be navigated through the mobile app.

HD Video

The robust feature of the security system is the capability of cameras to record the footage in Full High Definition quality of 1080. This is a significant advantage of the system, as most systems provide only 720p video at basic plans.

Home Automation

For users of Amazon Alexa or Amazon Echo, integrating these with the security cameras is a subject to consider, as all mentioned products are owned by Amazon. However, users with Google Home Assistant, Nest, and others would not be able to do the same.

Infrared Night Vision

The cameras of the security system are provided with the ability to capture footage in the nighttime, owing to the infrared frequency on board.

Instant Alerts

The doorbell cameras, as well as the rest of the installed cams, provide an instant alert to the user’s app on the smartphone.

Multiple Power and Installation Options

The system can be connected both via Wi-Fi or through the Ethernet cable. While many users prefer internet connection to organize their home automation, there are still those who opt for the reliability of land cables.

Neighborhood Watch

Neighbors can watch one another`s premises with the capabilities of the system, connected to the group functions, and they can exchange the information on safety and security of the shared space.

Siren

The sirens inside the system are available for outdoor devices only. The siren is as loud as 105-decibel, and the experience shows that this is more than enough to scare a burglar away.

Compatibility with Mobile & Desktop Devices

The cameras are compatible both with Mac and Windows 10 and perfectly fit into any device that uses these, be it your laptop, home PC, Echo-connected device, or tablet.

Two-Way Audio

Through the doorbell cameras that are used with the system, users can use the app to talk to visitors. The Ring doorbell cameras with two-way audio are one of the best on the market among the security components.

Equipment and Installation

The devices are all well designed and are DIY by nature. That means they are very easy to install by the customer himself. We are discussing major equip pieces below.

Cameras

Cameras are the thing that the enterprise is most popular for. These items accompany battery replacement and back-up also, to add to the functionality and ease of use.

Flood-light Cam

This out-door Ring camera is perfect for driveways and pathways and can only be hardwired. The floodlight is strong and detects the motion easily.

Spot-light Cam

This spotlight camera can be mounted, hardwired, battery-operated, and solar-powered. The cam features a built-in siren and several LEDs come with two-way audio and a decent wide-angle lens for broader viewing.

Stick-Up Cam

The stickup cameras are used both outdoors and indoors. The camera comes in several designs and colors, two-way audio, motion detection, night vision.

Video Doorbell Cameras

The company is famous first and foremost for its doorbell cameras, and they can be Pro, Elite, and Peephole types. The cameras are perfect for instant notification if a user wants to know who is there at the door.

Alarms & Sensors

We are providing an overview of alarms and sensors offered by the company.

Alarm Indoor Security Kit

This D-I-Y set-up includes the base station, contact sensors, motion detectors, keypad, and, above all, a handy range extender.

Alarm Keypad

The keypad allows a user to set his passcode for arming/ disarming the system.

Contact Sensors

Contact sensors are aimed to protect your doors and windows from intrusion. They are quick in reacting and instantly send the alert to the mobile app.

Flood & Freeze Sensors

Flood sensors come in handy in areas where there is a lot of water around, for instance, swamps or small rivers, that can cause troubles. It also helps in the regions with heavy rain. Freeze sensors would be useful if a user experiences severe winters with excessive cold.

Motion Detectors

Motion detectors are part of any modern security system and can detect motion of approaching burglars. The motion detectors are highly customizable and can be adjusted not to react on your pets.

Range Extender

Customers can utilize range extenders to expand the signal range of the kit motion sensor.

Smoke/CO2 Alert

The smoke and CO2 detector are necessary for every household to protect it from a possible fire. The device can be replaced with the First Alert Z-Wave Smoke/CO Alarm.

Installation

While most of the security systems are powered by Internet connection and require stable Wi-Fi, some parts of this one are hardwired and will require an additional installation. However, most of the items of the system are extremely easy to install, and, with a help of a manual, any user can set the system up independently. Some of the doorbell cameras may require the help of the professional certified by the company.

Packages & Prices

Plans

With all plans, customers can view their footage only with a monthly subscription. The basic self-monitoring package goes for $3 a month and comes with image capturing and 60 days of storage. Protect plan comes at $10 and includes monitoring. Below is the comparison table of existing plans and packages.

Comparison of Basic & Protect Packages


Basic

Protect

Fee

$3/mo

$10/mo

Live View

Yes

Yes

Notifications

Yes

Yes

Theft Protection

Yes

Yes

60 Day History

Yes

Yes

Snapshot

Yes

Yes

Professional Monitoring

No

Yes

Extended Warranty

No

Yes

Equipment Pricing

Equipment pricing is generous with the company, as it provides something for any given budget.

Equipment Pricing Comparison Chart


Floodlight

Spotlight

Stick-Up

Doorbells

Fee

$249.99

$199.99

$99.99

$99.99-$499.99

Indoor/Outdoor

Outdoor

Outdoor

Both

Outdoor

Wireless capabilities

No

Yes

Yes

No

Cameras

The security cameras are the cornerstone of this security system, and the provider has taken care to expand its catalog and include all sorts of cameras that might be needed for the perfect security of one’s household.

Floodlight Camera

The floodlight cameras are priced at $249.99

Pros:

  • Excellent siren
  • Ultra-bright LEDs

Cons:

  • Extra charge for recording

Spotlight Camera

The spotlight camera is priced at $199.99.

Pros:

  • Hardwired & wireless installation models are available
  • Features wide-angle lens

Cons:

  • Can be used only outdoors

Stick-Up Camera

The stick-up camera is priced at $99.99

Pros:

  • Can be used both indoors and outdoors
  • Provides a live view

Cons:

  • The image can be a bit distorted

Video Doorbell Cameras

The front runner of the product range of the provider, doorbell cameras are priced at $99.99–$499.99, depending on their capabilities we discussed elsewhere in the review.

Pros:

  • Excellent 1080p HD video footage resolution
  • Re-chargeable batteries

Cons:

  • Might require hard-wiring

Alarms & Sensors

Alarms and sensors are essential parts of any security system and serve a user when there is a need for an alert to be sent by the mobile app. All kinds of threats are preventable with the help of an alarm system: burglars, wild animals, floods, fire, etc. We are taking a look at how the alarms and sensors are priced by the provider:

  • Alarm Indoor Kit: $199.00
  • Alarm Keypad: $50.00
  • Contact Sensor: $20.00
  • Flood & Freeze Sensor: $35.00
  • Motion Detector: $30.00
  • Range Extender: $25.00
  • Smoke/ CO2 Listener: $35.00

Accessories

Extra add-ons and accessories would be needed if a user wants something beyond the basic security control. Z-wave alerts, panic buttons, window magnets, and other useful add-ons are generously provided by Ring. We are featuring the current pricing on these.

  • Access Controller Pro: $299.99
  • First Alert Z-Wave Smoke/CO Alarm: $40.00
  • Open Window Magnet: $5.00
  • Panic Button: $35.00
  • Retrofit Alarm Kit: $199.00
  • Slim Magnet: $5.00
  • Solar Sign: $49.00
  • Window Stickers (4-pack): $4.99

Ease of Use

Most reviewers who installed the system themselves were happy with easy installation, that was required for the product to get launched. The Wi-Fi connectivity is easily established, while the DIY-installed cameras are ready for action in a couple of minutes. There are also hardwired components inside the system, and these may require the help of a professional technician, who can be hired by the company’s staff.

Customer Support

The company has gained a high rating for its customer support alone. The acquisition by Amazon, with its signature support, helped enhance the quality of the provider’s feedback to its customers. The website ring.com is well organized and features prominent buttons to reach customer support.

Terms & Guarantees

A user who decides for return within 30 days from the date of the purchase, will receive a full refund. All pieces of equipment are covered by a solid one-year warranty. Important note: the Protect comes with an option of extended warranty. The subscriptions are self-renewed unless the customer opts for auto-renewal and loses the subscription if the bill was not paid. The privacy policy is very strict with the company and guarantees full non-disclosure to any third party.

Customer Care

The customer support is ready to assist its users 24/7 via the telephone and also live chat accessible through the official website of the provider. The customer support has received high ratings from users who asked for a helping hand from the provider. The staff is quick to reply, understanding and provides extra support in cases of emergency.

Trust Score

So far, the provider has not received great scores from trustworthy aggregates. The company falls behind on trust scores and tech stability. A-C - rating was granted by the Better Business Bureau while the score of two out of five stars was gained on the Trustpilot. The main concern is the glitches with the application, which were noticed in separate resources by a certain number of customers. Also, a lot of customers were misguided by the basic, affordable plan, which entailed a lot of malpractice. As the provider notes, extra kits and accessories are required for uninterrupted service.

FAQ

What is the range of cameras?

The viewing range of Ring cameras is about 30 feet, and that should be sufficient for most of the customers. Wide-angle lenses provided by the company are very good, yet as that was noted above, they can distort the picture, as wide-angle lenses tend to do.

When the battery should be replaced?

The provider claims that batteries have the utmost durability. Several things should be taken into consideration when calculating the lifetime of the battery: for instance, if you live in the cold environment, the battery may last up to 3 times less compared to the warm environment.

Can a ring doorbell serve as a camera?

Doorbells essentially are cameras, and they are used as such, one way or another. The doorbell camera has a 140-degree wide-angle lens, and its viewing capabilities are top-notch.

Can I use the system without subscribing to a plan?

Yes, a user of Ring can get a security set without subscribing. A pro monitoring plan is only optional. It should be noted, however, that without a subscription, a customer has somewhat limited functionality at hand. For example, a user without a subscription cannot store captured media, either video or stills, and also cannot playback the footage. Worth noting, the subscription is so cheap, anybody can afford it. A plan that includes self-monitoring is priced at $3 per month, while the professional monitoring package is priced at $10.

Pros & Cons

The Ring security systems are distinguished for providing the friendliest pricing among leading providers. Any household, however low its income might be, can afford the basic Ring security system and install at least the doorbell. Another major upside of using the company’s service is the absence of monthly fees. Contract obligations can be a major hindrance to security providers, and Ring manages to get away without utilizing these.

Pros:

  • Availability of low-priced monthly rates
  • Neighborhood watch mobile app
  • Wide range of equipment/accessories
  • Simple installation
  • Wireless

Cons:

  • Glitches of the equip
  • Hardwiring is required for an advanced system

Summary

The provider is relatively new to the market of security systems, yet its progress is impressive. Among the DIY providers, the cameras by Ring are featured as one of the ablest. Flexible subscription and contract policy that does not bind the user is looking to the future. Equipment is perfectly ranged for different purposes and features one of the best optics you can find. The downside noted several times is the glitchy mobile app, which is still under testing and construction.

Best Inclusive Home Security

Total Score 8.0/10


Features

8.0/10



Equipment

8.5/10



Price

8.0/10



Ease of Use

9.0/10



Trust Score

7.0/10



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About the author 

Joshua Hilsberg

Joshua Hilsberg is at the forefront of our editorial team. Being a sensitive and thoughtful leader, Joshua has learned management and planning while working in the management team of one of the leading security providers in the country. Joshua is the chief strategist of Espysecurity, responsible for building the overall content strategy of the platform.


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