How Ring Doorbell Works

What's really going on with the doorbell everyone loves to watch

Doorbell Camera Ring Delivery Security

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With smart homes quickly expanding, chances are you've seen a product by Ring. Now featuring security lighting and home alarms, their most popular product is their doorbell. But what is it, what's different between versions, and how does a Ring Doorbell work? Let's break it down so you can decide if a Ring Doorbell is right for your home.

How a Ring Video Doorbell Works

No matter what version you choose, your Ring Doorbell will connect to your home Wi-Fi network once it's mounted and will send you alerts when it detects motion or when someone presses the button on your doorbell.

A Ring Doorbell can be wired to a power source, like a regular doorbell, or it has a rechargeable battery that allows you to remove the Ring and charge it via lightning cable.

The Ring App, available for free on iOS, Android, and Windows 10 devices, also allows you to see an HD video stream of the person at your door and speak to them using two-way audio communication. 

In addition to motion alerts and someone ringing your doorbell, your Ring will also alert you when the battery is low.

Installing a Ring Video Doorbell

To install a Ring doorbell, you'll need a wireless router running 802.11 B, G, or N on 2.4 GHz. It comes with special screws to secure it to your wall, and you can either attach it to existing doorbell wiring for power or run on battery.

You'll also need to download the free Ring App and follow the in-app instructions for setting up your device.

Ring App Video Doorbell App view

Worried about your Ring being stolen? If someone manages to remove it in spite of the special security screws, file a report with Ring to have it replaced free of charge.

Ring Doorbell Features

Ring makes four versions of their video doorbell, with an additional model designed to replace a peephole for apartments. All versions include:

  • Two-way talk function
  • Support motion-activation
  • Can record during the day and at night using infrared for night vision
  • Stream live footage you can check via the Ring app
  • Provide alerts when the camera detects motion
  • Allow videos to be captured and stored in the cloud, for a monthly fee
  • View shared footage from neighbors, check history of events, or check the doorbell's status via the Ring app.
  • Turn motion alerts on and off and change alert settings from Ring app.

Ring doorbells detect and capture video for motion within 30 feet, which instantly sends a push notification to your device.

View from Ring Doorbell Video Doorbell

If you choose to answer the alert, you can watch the video live; those who subscribe to a plan will have all activity automatically recorded and stored for 60 days.

Ring Video Doorbell Models

Aside from resolution and field of view, the functions of all doorbell models are essentially the same. However, each model has slightly different specifications and features:

  • Ring Doorbell: The base model, with a 180 degrees horizontal field of view at 720p HD resolution.
  • Ring Doorbell 2: The slightly larger upgrade, which includes 160 degrees of vision horizontal and 90 degrees vertically. This one also has 1080p HD resolution. Both the Ring Doorbell and Ring Doorbell 2 have five zones to customize the sensitivity of the motion detection feature.
  • Ring Doorbell Pro and Ring Doorbell Elite: Both models enable you to customize motion detection zones and take advantage of additional finish options, and the field of view and resolution are basically identical. However, the Elite cannot run using a doorbell transformer (it needs an Ethernet cable) and the Pro doesn't have a battery, so it's dependent on existing doorbell wiring.

Upgraded Ring Video Doorbell models come with higher resolution, but that means higher demands on your Wi-Fi. The Pro model allows you to run the doorbell on the 5GHz band of your Wi-Fi router. It's a bit slower, but offers longer range if your doorbell is farther from your router.