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

This Ring cameras review will highlight the benefits and disadvantages of this home security system while focusing on the quality of the equipment. In the past few years, this company has made it to the forefront of DIY household surveillance. Here’s a closer look at its reliability, overall value, and technological perks.

Emily Brooks

Emily Brooks - Editorial Staff

Updated: March 17, 2020

Ring Security Cameras Review: In-Depth

The Ring cameras are mostly what this brand is known for. That said, some other features and devices are worth looking into. Customers should take some time to explore the product line-up as well as the service plans for home security. This in-depth look took information from various tech reviews to create a comprehensive report.

Key Features

Each model presents a unique profile and great benefits for household surveillance. Below are just the key features of these devices.

  • Built-in siren
  • HD quality images & video
  • Infrared night vision
  • Mobile app control
  • Simple DIY installation
  • Two-way talk

Background Information

Amazon acquired the brand in 2018 for an estimated $1.5 billion. As of 2020, the company supplies sensors, alarms, and other recording gadgets, as well as subscription plans and a collaborative Neighborhood app. It hasn’t been without its setbacks, of course. This includes controversial unencrypted user data and allegations of sending customer details to marketing companies.

Security Features: Unique Products & Standard Services

Besides the Ring cameras, there are other gadgets that customers can expect from this brand. Below is a look at the top services and equipment offerings that help this company stand out from competitors.

App Control

Ring App Control

This is where clients can access their video recordings, mobile updates, and other important information. This is also how customers can remotely control devices, such as the built-in siren, contact sensors, and cam equipment.

Camera Previews

Through the mobile program, individuals can look through a snapshot version of their home recordings and image stills. The user interface is intuitive and uncluttered, allowing for quick check-ins and recent updates. Just tap to jump to different camera feeds.

Customized Zones

Each cam provides the opportunity to set up custom motion detection areas. This is great for properties that have hidden pathways or concealed entryways. Best of all, individuals can set the alerts to a timer so that it captures recordings and footage at the most susceptible times of day or night.

Event History Timeline

All Ring cameras can playback recorded footage with the push of a button. It’s not the most user-friendly since customers have to scroll back in the timeline manually. Still, it can provide the insight or evidence they need to nab a neighborhood thief.

HD Video Quality

Another feature of the Ring cameras is the impeccable image quality. Clients can watch their recordings in 1080p HD quality both indoors and outdoors. Even in the nighttime hours, the picture doesn’t falter, which explains why these products have become so popular in recent years.

Home Automation

Ring Home Automation

The ability to automate tasks is becoming synonymous with household security these days. Fortunately, the devices work with third-party integrations such as Amazon Alexa and Echo. This allows for smoother remote access and hands-free control, thanks to the voice commands. This can work both inside and outside the home via the mobile application.

Infrared Night Vision

Ring Infrared Night Vision

Ring cameras won’t let you down in the nighttime hours. Infrared lights allow the device to differentiate figures and other objects without giving away its secret surveillance. This makes a huge difference when looking back through recorded footage that took place in low-light settings.

Instant Alerts

The entire security ecosystem communicates around the clock to provide notifications as soon as anything happens. For instance, clients will get an alert when the sensors trigger movement or when someone knocks on the front door. There’s even the ability to view the camera feed live while you’re out and about.

Multiple Power & Installation Options

Some people think wireless devices are best, while others prefer a hardwired system. It doesn’t matter with this company because it provides various connection options. Hook everything up via WiFi or an Ethernet cable and enjoy battery backup. This is ideal for renters or those who aren’t good with do-it-yourself installation.

Neighborhood Watch

Ring Neighborhood Watch

This is the mobile application that every customer gets access to. It’s one of the best ways to keep in touch with fellow homeowners and stay aware of any threats on your block. Different users can add their reviews of different products as well as the latest news on thefts.

Siren

The outdoor cams have built-in 105-decibel sirens that can scare burglars and naughty kids away in no time. Paired with the movement sensors, it creates a secure network that will notify you when something feels off or wrong. This adds peace of mind and lets criminals know you’re serious.

Support for Mobile & Desktop Devices

Ring security cameras can send notifications and alerts to all kinds of devices. Most people prefer to get their updates on their phones, but they can also set it up, so they get the news on a laptop or tablet.

Two-Way Talk

Any Ring doorbell review will mention the convenience of its two-way audio. This allows clients to talk to their visitors from a mobile device, even if they’re currently out of the house. On the other hand, this feature makes it easy to yell at package thieves and scare them away.

Equipment & Installation

In addition to the Ring camera, there are other goodies to expect from this brand. Below is a glimpse at the rest of the collection, as well as some advice about installation.

Cameras

Ring Cameras

Floodlight Cam

This outdoor Ring camera is ideal for driveways and pathways that wind around the house. Customers can purchase it upfront or in monthly payments. It’s available in black or white as well as packs of one, two, three, or four. It is hardwired, so keep that in mind. The floodlights bathe the area in the light as soon as it detects movement.

Spotlight Cam

This Ring camera comes in a variety of models, including mounted, wired, battery-operated, and solar-powered. Clients can buy one or a multi-pack, depending on their property size. It, too, has a built-in siren and LEDs, as well as two-way talk and a wide-angle lens for easier viewing. Individuals can customize their movement detection zones for even more assurance.

Stick-Up Cam

This Ring camera is great for indoor or outdoor use. Clients can choose whether they want their model to be powered by batteries or a solar panel. There’s even a plug-in version. It’s available in black or white and in single or multipacks. Other features include two-way audio, HD image quality, movement detection, night vision, and instant notifications.

Video Doorbells

The Ring doorbell is one of the most popular products, and for a good reason. There are several models to choose from, which is even better. There are the 1st and 2nd generations, the Pro, Elite, and Peephole Cam. How it works is these products detect movement and send an alert to the client’s phone. From there, he or she can see who’s there and have a two-way conversation with the person.

Alarms & Sensors

Ring Alarms & Sensors

There are other devices to check out, including sensors and special alarm gadgets. Here is a brief rundown of those products and what to expect from each. Together, these items make for a complete starter set.

Alarm Indoor Security Kit

This DIY set comes with the base station, contact sensor, movement detector, keypad, and range extender. It’s also available in a larger size with additional sensors if necessary.

Alarm Keypad

This is a simple device that allows you to enter your passcode and arm/disarm the system. It’s super intuitive and quick for instant responses to alerts.

Contact Sensor

These little gadgets stick to the doors and windows. Whenever an entryway opens, the device will trigger the alarm, alerting your phone so you can take any necessary actions.

Flood & Freeze Sensor

Place these in basements and garages to get quick notifications of water leaks or plummeting temperatures. This is great during the winter when pipes can freeze over.

Motion Detector

This is an indoor device that will pick up on any movement within its detection zone. As you might guess, it sends instant notifications to your phone, so you’re always aware of suspicious activity.

Range Extender

Larger households can take advantage of this gadget, which amps up the range of service for movement detectors and alerts. Perfect for covering those hard-to-reach areas like back porches and driveways.

Smoke/CO2 Listener

This product keeps an ear out for the smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in the house. Whenever it hears those devices go off, it will send a mobile notification to the customer.

Installation

Something that most clients can agree on is that these products and systems are easy to install. Even the gadgets that require hardwiring don’t call for excessive drilling or all-day work. Sure, some clients may want to call in the help of a professional, but at least once those items are there, they won’t fall off or malfunction. This goes for both the interior and exterior devices and Ring doorbell models.

Ring Security Cameras Packages & Prices

Plans

Ring Plans

Now, a bit about the company’s subscription plans. Without a monthly plan, clients can’t see their recorded footage or playback files. The basic self-monitoring package costs just three dollars per month and comes with image capture and 60 days of media storage. The Protect plan costs $10 each month and adds professional monitors.

Comparison of Basic & Protect Packages

Basic Protect
Price$3/mo$10/mo
Live ViewYesYes
NotificationsYesYes
Theft ProtectionYesYes
60-Day HistoryYesYes
Snapshot CaptureYesYes
Pro MonitoringNoYes
Extended WarrantyNoYes

Equipment Prices

Many surveillance customers end up spending more than they anticipated because of add-on devices and unexpected charges. Here is a look at some of the equipment pricing and capabilities that this Amazon-based business has to offer.

Equipment Pricing Comparison Chart

Floodlight Spotlight Stick-Up Doorbells
Price$249.99$199.99$99.99$99.99-$499.99
Indoor/OutdooOutdoorOutdoorBothOutdoor
WirelessNoYesYesNo

Cameras

Along with the other smart equipment, the cameras are the prime pieces that clients should get their hands on. Fortunately, there is a range of options, and the prices are quite competitive.

Floodlight Cam: $249.99

This is perfect for adding more privacy protection to the home. The floodlights will go off whenever they detect motion, scaring intruders away.

Pros:

  • Siren included
  • Ultra-bright LEDs

Cons:

  • Recording capabilities cost extra

Spotlight Cam: $199.99

Let burglars know that you’re watching with this battery-powered device. It uses smart sensors to know when to start recording videos and blast the lights.

Pros:

  • Hardwired & wireless models
  • Wide-angle lens

Cons:

  • Outdoor use only

Stick-Up Cam: $99.99

This is the ideal smart gadget for living or bedrooms. Protect your privacy while keeping an eye on any suspicious behavior.

Pros:

  • Indoor/outdoor use
  • Live view

Cons:

  • Slightly distorted view

Video Doorbell: $99.99 - $499.99

A few different models, all with smart tech, are available to clients. Each one records in high definition and has a backup power source.

Pros:

  • 1080p HD quality
  • Rechargeable batteries

Cons:

  • Hardwiring required

Alarms & Sensors

These devices are great for filling in the gaps in surveillance, be it environmental threats or a bit of extra protection around vulnerable areas.

  • Alarm Indoor Security 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

Some extra bells and whistles can round out a great surveillance system. Consider a panic button for elderly family members, or the Z-Wave smoke alarm if you have other compatible devices.

  • 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

The majority of customers find their products to be user-friendly with minimal installation time. Even the hardwired devices aren’t a huge deal as long as you have a bit of prior knowledge. Even then, it’s nothing an expert can’t take care of in less than an hour.

Once those items are set up, keeping them connected, and in communication with each other is quite simple. There have been reports of glitches and connection issues, but a stable Internet hook-up bypasses that problem.

Customer Support

Terms & Guarantees

If you decide to return your kit, there is a $5 ground shipping fee. As long as you send the equipment back within 30 days, you are entitled to a full refund. The company accepts payment via credit/debit cards or PayPal. All devices are covered by a limited one-year warranty. However, the Protect plan does offer an extended warranty period. The subscriptions will auto-renew unless the customer opts-out. The company holds no rights over its customers’ recorded content. Even so, the privacy policy states that the business collects client information such as geo-location and services used.

Customer Care

Representatives are available 24/7 via phone and live chat. The website is a great resource, too. There is a help page and an entire listing of frequently-asked questions. These cover things like installation, product compatibility, shipping, and returns. There are also tutorial vids that clients can watch for additional information.

Trust Score (Trustpilot & BBB.org)

This company has a C- rating with the Better Business Bureau and two out of five stars on Trustpilot. The primary customer complaints center around the glitches in the mobile application as well, as the user-friendliness of some of the devices. For instance, some people complain that they need additional equipment to get the most out of their Ring doorbell. This is why the brand offers kits and subscription plans. Besides that, it gets good feedback for its pricing and choice of professional and self-monitored packages. Most people are satisfied with the selection and availability of products.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How Far Can the Ring Camera See?

    The viewing range is about 30 feet, and even in low-light settings, clients should still be able to see this far. One thing to keep in mind is that the wide-angle lenses can slightly distort the view by elongating things on the periphery. It’s still visible but isn’t true to size.

  • How Long Do the Cam Batteries Last?

    According to the website, the batteries will last for months. However, several factors can prolong or limit this timeframe. For instance, whenever the device triggers movement or another related event, it uses more energy than it typically would. Temperature changes can also cause the gadget to have an abnormal power output.

  • Can I Use the Ring Doorbell as a Camera?

    Technically, these smart gadgets are cameras, but they can’t take the place of the outdoor floodlight and spotlight cameras. The doorbell has a 140-degree lens, so it can see quite a lot. It also comes with similar features as the spotlight cam, in that it has two-way talk and 1080p HD quality.

  • Does Ring Work Without a Subscription?

    Yes. Anyone can purchase equipment from this brand without signing on to a term agreement. A monitoring plan is optional, but without a subscription, clients have more limits on their surveillance abilities. They can’t store media files or playback recording footage. Fortunately, a self-monitored plan is just three dollars per month, while the professional package is $10.

Ring Cameras Pros & Cons

This brand has a lot going for it. You may have heard of the Ring doorbell already, but there are plenty more options to check out. Plus, the monthly fees are affordable for most families. You don’t even need a contract or subscription to enjoy the equipment. The collection of services and features is excellent, and the set-up is quite easy. On the other hand, be mindful of the technical difficulties that past clients have complained about.

Pros:

  • Low monthly rates
  • Neighborhood mobile application
  • Range of equipment/accessories
  • Simple installation
  • Wireless models available

Cons:

  • Glitches are common
  • Some hardwiring required

What's the Final Call on This Company?

This brand isn’t even 10 years old yet, but it’s a leader in DIY surveillance solutions and no-contract plans. The equipment options are vast and varied and suit properties (and income levels) of all sizes. When it comes to household safety, anything is better than nothing, and this company is one of the most accessible and affordable.


Emily Brooks

Emily Brooks

Editorial Staff

As a journalist, Emily draws on her rich experience in home safety and seeks to research more on the topic. She is truly passionate about her interests. Emily is knowledgeable about security systems due to the in-depth studies that she has conducted for Securing Home.


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