Many events occur on your front porch when you are not at home. And these may range from known guests to package thieves visiting your property, but how do you differentiate a genuine guest from a miscreant? This will lead us into reviewing one of the most popular smart video doorbells on the market.
There’s been a lot of hype surrounding Ring video doorbell pro ever since it was released. But in this article, we will review and analyze the video doorbell without exclusion of any valuable points. At the end of the article, you will be able to decide if it is worth buying or it’s just another crap.
Enough of the prologue, let’s kick-off.
Review of: Ring Video Doorbell Pro
Last update: 04.02.2020
A smart video doorbell built with advanced and reliable technology to offer you comfort.
You get amazing features for your money.
This is a Do-It-Yourself device. Setup is straightforward and relatively easy with instructions and guidelines.
Technical support is available via telephone. You can also get help by creating a ticket on the official Ring’s website, or by simply join the neighbor-to-neighbor community forum.
It has a sleek look
Smart home integration such as Alexa
Comes with 4 interchangeable faceplates
Works with 2.4GHz and 5.0GHz Wi-Fi connection
Uses main power only
No local storage
No artificial intelligence features
Access to recorded video files not free
Summary: Regardless of the decent aesthetic look that Ring video doorbell pro has, this smart video doorbell does exactly what it says.
Ring which was formerly known as Doorbot was founded in 2013 by Jamie Siminoff with headquarters in Santa Monica, California. The company has always been at the forefront of providing homeowners a line of preventative security products, in a bid to reduce crime in neighborhoods.
Ring was acquired by Amazon in 2018 for an estimated value of over $1 billion
Ring video doorbell pro was released in April 2016. It is state-of-the-art security equipment that is made to function as a doorbell, as well as a video surveillance camera.
The smart doorbell allows you to virtually attend to your guest at the front door while you are away.
As technology evolves, replacing your existing doorbell to a smart video doorbell is definitely worth every penny spent.
- 1080p HD Video
- 160° Viewing Angle
- Customizable Motion Zones
- Dual-Band Wi-Fi connectivity
- Two-way Audio
- Advanced Motion Detection
- Infrared Night Vision
- Works with Alexa
Breakdown of the Features
1080p HD video is an important requirement in video surveillance cameras. However, this must also be applied to a video doorbell system as much as they record and achieve to the cloud.
You don’t have to struggle to identify your visitor. Ring provides you nothing but a crisp and vibrant image when the video doorbell is being rung. If detail truly matters to you, Ring has got your back.
Ring lets you turn on the HDR (High Dynamic Range), which is an additional feature right inside the app in order to produce a more enhanced picture over a strong foreground.
The doorbell super-wide angle of 160° field of view is enough to capture the major sections of your front porch. Hiding on one side of the wall will almost be impossible due to the large depth of the image available with this setup.
Customizable motion zones option lets you set portions where you want to receive alert notifications if movement occurs. This way, you won’t be flooded with irrelevant notifications of every passing object.
Whilst 2.4 GHz has many short-comings such as picking up interference from other 2.4 GHz devices (garage door openers, baby monitors, microwaves, cordless phones) using the same spectrum, you should not rely on it.
5GHz is a clean band that is not overcrowded and hence, slower speed and intermittent connectivity issue is completely ruled out. When setting up your Ring, you should use a dual-band router, access point or internet modem.
The two-way audio lets you turn your doorbell into an intercom system using the built-in audio pickup device and speaker. It also has a built-in noise cancellation technology that allows audio clarity without being muffled.
What a great way to give a directive to a package delivery agent where to securely place your package.
Advanced motion detection lets you catch the glimpse of what triggered the actual motion. You get to see who is coming to your front porch before the doorbell is being rung.
Whether your front yard is properly lit or not at all, you have got nothing to worry about, the built-in infrared LED will provide the illumination needed by the doorbell.
Compatibility to Alexa, you can take your security to the next level. It is compatible with Alexa Echo, and Echo Show. You can easily enable Alexa Echo, and Echo Show to alert you when Ring is being pressed or captures motion.
Whenever the doorbell is pressed and you are probably charging your smartphone, Alexa can be your assistant by making it possible to see, hear and speak to visitors.
Design of the Product and its Installation
Ring video doorbell pro has a sleek and elegant design which makes it appealing to the eyes. Apart from the design, it is built to withstand the outdoor weather.
Ring can operate with a temperature of -5°F to 120°F (-20.5°C to 48.5°C), there is no need to fret about your doorbell breaking after few months of operation under hot temperature.
Unlike its predecessor doorbell 2 which operates on battery, Ring pro runs off electricity. You won’t have to worry about recharging it when the battery runs out.
Going with a smart doorbell such as the Ring Pro is the wise decision you can ever make, to protect your home from unforeseen circumstances.
Installation takes less than 1 hour because it involves hard wiring. Nevertheless, the process can be daunting if you are a noob but don’t worry, we will walk you through all the steps and you won’t be needing an electrician.
It is important to note that Pro version works on an existing doorbell, or you can get Ring transformer if you don’t have an existing doorbell system. So we assume that you already have an existing doorbell.
The first thing you want to do is toggle off the breaker switch that supplies electricity to your doorbell chime, which is usually located in the utility closet.
By turning off the circuit breaker, you eliminate the potential risk of electric shock even though it is a low voltage.
Head over to your internal doorbell and gently remove the cover, look for two terminals that read Front (Front Porch Doorbell Cable Lead) and Trans (Transformer Cable Lead).
Grab the included pro power kit and connect the cable leads to the two terminals on the internal doorbell.
The essence of connecting the pro power kit to the doorbell is to ensure that the Ring video doorbell receives sufficient power for the best performance.
Make sure the power kit does not obstruct any mechanical moving part of the doorbell. There is no color marking on the wires, connecting any wire to each terminal does not have any risk.
Cover the internal doorbell and move to your front porch to remove the existing push button.
Remove the faceplate from Ring pro, connect the two lead wires to the back of the Ring doorbell by wrapping them around the screws, it does not matter which wire you connect first, polarity is not important.
However, if you find it difficult to connect the wires to the doorbell due to the short length, you can use the included wire extender.
If you have a concrete wall, use the included masonry bit to drill holes for your doorbell. Thereafter, use the wall anchors and attach the doorbell to the wall with the provided screws, using your included Philip head screwdriver.
Turn on the circuit breaker switch, if you have done the connection correctly, the diagnostic light will start to spin and Ring will begin the setup process. After a few seconds, you will hear a voice prompt “follow the instructions from Ring app to continue”.
Download and install the Ring Always Home app from your respective mobile app store. The app will walk you through the entire setup process.
After the setup is completed, snap your preferred faceplate on to the doorbell. The faceplate comes in four colors (Satin Nickel, Pearl, Venetian, and Black). Then attach the included security screw onto the hole in the bottom to secure the faceplate to the doorbell.
User Experience and Performance
The installation was explicit and the performance of Ring video doorbell pro was awesome. We got to know that regardless of the hypes surrounding the video doorbell, Ring truly delivers on its promises.
Many users established the fact that Ring video doorbell has tremendously helped them to stop attempted thefts. Meanwhile, package thieves were later apprehended by the police after presenting the video footage.
Subsequently, some happy customers applauded Ring for the community feature, which has also allowed them to share videos of potential intruders and stalkers with nearby users, to help them be on a lookout.
Few users complained about intermittent power failure with Ring, but on a closer look, they were not following the instructions from Ring concerning the proper transformer rating to be used with the doorbell. And as soon as they used the right transformer, they got their doorbell back working.
Other complaints were based on the video lagging, which could not be attributed to the hardware but the internet bandwidth. Ring recommends upload speed of 1Mbps and download speed of 2Mbps, anything less than that would not bring better performance.
Ring Always Home app is intuitive and straightforward. It even contains all the required instructions to setup Ring doorbell pro.
Ring made the user experience seamless as you can watch your home on almost every device. Always Home is available on Android, iOS, Windows, and Mac. Regardless of your platform, you are not left out.
With Ring app, you will able to see and speak to your guests from anywhere. You can also live stream, and set your custom motion zones so that you are not bombarded with unnecessary motion alerts.
Whilst I was anticipating a higher rating for the Ring App, it was disappointing to see that the app only managed to score more than average rating.
The app scores 3.8 out of 5.0 on the Google play store, 3.9 out of 5.0 on the Apple store, and 2.4 of 5.0 on the Windows store.
I think this is not a deal-breaker in my opinion, Ring will have to fix this in their app update over time.
Interestingly, Ring has a default two-factor authentication which provides a high level of security to prevent unauthorized access to your account. The OTP (One Time Password) which is sent to your registered email would prevent attackers from accessing your Ring doorbell.
Smart Home Integration
Ring doorbell is fully compatible with Amazon Alexa, which means you don’t necessarily need to use your Smartphone to answer who is at your front door.
Setting up your doorbell with Alexa echo, echo show, fire TV stick, and IFTTT just come in handy.
With support for smart home integration and IFTTT, you can create custom modes that will make Ring doorbell to trigger other smart home devices.
You can have your Ring doorbell send a command via IFTTT to turn on Ring floodlight, whenever motion detection occurs on the doorbell.
Cloud Storage Subscription Costs
Ring has made it easier for you to have your video footage sit on the cloud for a much cheaper cost. You get to pay $3 monthly or $30 annually for the Protect Basic plan, which gives you a 60 day retention period on one doorbell.
Protect Plus plan of $10 monthly or $100 annually will allow you to also have a retention period of 60 days. This plan allows you to sync all your Ring devices at your one address/home to the cloud.
When you activate Protect Plus, you will enjoy 24/7 professional monitoring for Ring alarm, and extended warranty on all your Ring devices at this one address until you discontinue from the plan.
Ring included all the necessary tools and accessories to install the doorbell pro, and they are listed below.
- 1x Ring Video Doorbell Pro
- 4x Removable Faceplates
- 2x Wedge Mount and Corner Kit
- 1x Optional Retro Kit Plate
- 1x Pro Power Kit
- 1x Philip Head Screwdriver and Drill Bit
- 1x Mounting Screws for the Doorbell
- 1x Extra Screws and Wall Anchors
- 1x Doorbell Wire Extenders
- 1x Security Screws and Wire Nuts
- 1x Ring Security Sticker
- 1x User Guide
- The app is intuitive and straightforward
- Ring video doorbell pro has a noticeable rich video contrast
- The color night vision is pretty impressive, and the image did not appear grainy
- There is no wake-up period for the doorbell pro since it runs off electricity. Therefore, there is no wash-off video
- The app has a community feature that allows you to interact with nearby users, by sharing concerning videos such as theft or attempted theft with your identity concealed.
- Ring gives you the ability to set three custom zones for motion alert
- Pre-roll is not available in the free plan, you must subscribe to Protect plan to watch the six-second pre-recorded video that precede the actual motion footage.
- There is neither provision for local storage nor free cloud storage, you are forced to subscribe to the paid plan in order to access recorded video footage.
- There is no artificial intelligence such as facial recognition and person detection
Ring video doorbell pro comes with 1-year limited warranty, which allows you to get a replacement if your doorbell fails within 12 months of purchase.
However, you must meet the conditions set under the warranty policy to enjoy it. Warranty applies only to the original device purchaser and it is not transferrable.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What if I don’t have an existing doorbell?
You have two options:
- You can install the Ring video doorbell 2 (Battery version) which does not require any wiring but does not have all the features of the Pro version.
- Order the Ring video doorbell pro along with the plug-in power adapter which is easier than the hardwired transformer.
Does Ring Pro has free cloud storage?
Unfortunately, Ring does not have free cloud storage. You definitely need to subscribe to a paid plan to enable you to access the recorded video clips.
Will I get a replacement if my doorbell is stolen?
Thankfully, there is theft protection under Ring. You need to ensure you are the original purchaser of the device, and you must have your original sales receipt intact.
Report the theft to your local police and follow all instructions in obtaining a police report. Then, file a theft report to Ring within 15 days of the theft.
Troubleshooting Issues with Ring Video Doorbell Pro
Video lagging can be attributed to poor internet speed, make sure your internet bandwidth has a minimum of 1Mbps upload and 2Mbps download as recommended by Ring.
Perform a simple test by isolating less important devices to see if there is an improvement on Ring doorbell. If the problem persists, you may need to contact your internet service provider to upgrade your bandwidth.
Similarly, poor Wi-Fi signal to the doorbell can potentially cause video lagging. Try changing your router placement by bringing it closer to the doorbell, or by simply using a repeater such as Ring Chime Pro.
Ring worked for a couple of days and stopped
Poor wiring: Check to see if the pro power kit is properly connected to the doorbell, i.e. one wire connected to the terminal labeled Trans and the other terminal labeled Front.
Insufficient Power: Most homes with a single chime will require a transformer of lesser power rating than Ring. What you need to do is head over to the Ring app and check the device’s health.
Open the app and tap your Ring doorbell to open setting screen, then tap on device health. If the voltage shows good/very good, it means there is no problem with the power coming from your transformer.
Conversely, if it shows poor/very poor, you need to locate your transformer and check the rating on it.
Even if the power rating on the transformer is 16V, for as long as it’s connected to the internal doorbell chime, there will always be a power drain anytime the Ring doorbell is pressed.
You need to swap it to 24VAC by 30VA (Volt-Amps) to reliably drive both Ring and the internal doorbell chime.
If you feel that the transformer installation will be tedious, you can simply bypass it by ordering Ring plug-in power adapter. Connect the adapter wire leads directly to your doorbell and plug it to a nearby wall outlet.
Here’s a YouTube video that explains to you how to check transformer voltage with a multimeter.
No audio coming out from doorbell unit
If no audio is coming out from Ring doorbell, it means you have not granted permission to Ring to use your device microphone. Under your iOS device, navigate to privacy and toggle on the Ring app to use the microphone.
To enable audio on Android device, navigate to your app manager and tap on Ring. Tap on permissions and toggle on the microphone.
The Final Verdict
In spite of shortcomings on the Ring app, Ring video doorbell pro remains one of the best smart video doorbells on the market. This is the kind of smart doorbell you can rely upon for total security.
But if you are tight on budget, Ring may not be the best option to safeguard your front home. There is an alternative you can still explore here.
If you are having difficulties with your Ring video doorbell pro, you can share it in the comment box below and we will glad to help you out.