Today we are reviewing the Ring video doorbell, an Internet of Things device which is intended to make answering your door easier whilst also enabling you to effectively answer your door remotely. We investigate how good this product is, but is it also a security threat for your home? Lets dive in
The doorbell rings and the fear of uncertainty grasps. Yes, it happens and there is nothing appalling about it because if the world is full of good people then there are a bunch of bad ones too too – its an inescapable fact that some people have a form of phobia over an unexpected knock at the front door. If you are concerned about the security of your loved ones, your children, your parents or even for yourself, then the Ring Wi-Fi Enabled Video Doorbell is certainly going to be an interesting kid on the smart home block for you. This product has other use cases too – perhaps you’re at home and not in a position to answer the door (e.g. you are in the bathroom) or perhaps you are at work and would like to be able to ‘pretend’ your at home – whether acting as a security precaution to ward somebody off, or simply to tell the postman to leave the package by the rear gate. In an e-commerce era, that is a pretty useful feature to avoid an unwanted trip down to the local post office. However how good is the Ring Wi-fi doorbell really?
What does the Ring Wifi doorbell do? what are its key features?
With its simple and easy installation, you can just take a deep breath, sit back and relax, knowing you’ll be able to answer the door whilst at home or any part of the world. The amazing features that are encompassed by this wonderful product are just mind-boggling and astonishing. We really like the built-in motion sensors that have range of 9 meters, which means that the doorbell is able to alert you as somebody begins to approach your home, versus alerting you right as they are at your door.
Once the person gets to your door, you can actually talk to them by streaming live audio and video on your phone or tablet with the free iOS or Android app. Therefore you can immediately see who the person is, before opening the door, and you can also interact from anywhere in the world [so long as you have the app to hand on a connected device].
Additionally the Ring doorbell stores the recorded footage in HD format directly to the cloud. The cloud video recording captures the moments and freezes them to be able to provide access to them later, meaning it is acting as a quasi CCTV tool too. Note though, that this feature is free for the first 30 days but is an upsell (at additional cost) down the road. Its a feature that we would recommend that you utilise though.
The Ring is battery operated, it has an easy set-up procedure and syncs within minutes with your personal Wi-Fi. It requires one lithium ion battery that comes with the package. However, one can also power it with existing doorbell wires. This multipurpose product weighs just 454 g with 2.2 x 6.2 x 12.6 cm dimensions. Coming with one mounting plate, it has one toolkit, drill bit and spirit level, one USB cable and one user manual. So you can easily get the device installed on your own – this is nothing like installing say the Nest thermostat, which is a professional or at least semi-pro installation.
The night-vision, the motion activated alerts and the wide angles HD video make this a one stop shop for an entry level security system with some additional nice to have features. If you are concerned about it getting damaged with the harsh weather conditions, then to rule out this possibility it has been made fully weather resistant. And if still, it gets little ragged you can take the advantage of its lifetime purchase protection policy – so you are pretty well covered when buying the Ring. The lifetime purchase protection that the company endows to its customers is like a cherry on the cake. They guarantee to get it replaced and that too for free if the doorbell didn’t function properly or even if it gets stolen. The latter is a very interesting addition to any lifetime protection policy in our view!
In conclusion – the Ring Doorbell – what is our verdict?
The Ring offers an easy installation with simple instructions in the manual and some nice overall features, making it a fun and interesting addition to any smart home. The rechargeable battery and easy mobile accessibility are the add-ons making it one awesome product. It comes in four different colours that could be selected as per the preference. Venetian Bronze, Polished Brass, Antique Brass and Satin Nickel all look great, meaning that you will instantly want to grab one. With this smart video doorbell, one can monitor every activity; either suspicious or usual and can get alerted easily and instantly.
Our only concern with the Ring is that it could be an access point for a sophisticated hacker. We have heard some rumours from CNET to this point. This relates to a potential vulnerability, which renders the £140 doorbell smart but perhaps not quite smart enough to really bolster your security. Until we have further investigated this threat, we are reticent to recommend this product. We will keep you updated as we investigate