Should I Get a Ring Video Doorbell?

October 24, 2018

About a year and a half ago I told you I was getting a doorbell for my home in Loreto Bay, Mexico. As there is a outdoor garden area between the door and the house, it is next to impossible to hear anyone knocking on the door. I now have a doorbell and chimes for two parts of the house. This has been a great help, but I still wonder if I need to go for video. Yes, I’ll post some links to Amazon for which I receive a commission. No, I wasn’t lucky enough to get any free products.

I was actually pretty excited about a different product, the Blink Video Doorbell, and was awaiting its release. Unfortunately the plans changed recently and any possible release is delayed indefinitely. Could it be because Amazon owns both Blink and Ring? I just though the Blink handled batteries better and integrated better with their security camera system. Oh well, it isn’t an option right now and I’ll focus on Ring.

Due to my configuration, any doorbell must run on batteries. There simply is no wiring in place and it isn’t reasonable to run wiring to the door. So while there are four different flavors of the Ring Video Doorbell available, only two of them apply to my situation. Should I get one, the Ring Video Doorbell 2 would be the choice as it comes with a removable battery pack. More on the batteries later in the post.

It runs on batteries and that is required for me. Internet is provided via WiFi and I’m confident I have a strong enough signal to the door. I also like that it works with my various Alexa devices. For me, being able to see who is at my door and talk to them is very useful. I’m not as concerned about security as simply being aware of visitors.

Next, let’s talk about notifications. When someone presses the doorbell, it does notify you via an app on your phone or tablet. While my phone is with me often, it isn’t always with me. So having a separate chime would be quite helpful. There is a specific skill for Alexa that will allow it to chime for motion or a doorbell press. Want to know exactly how it works and see it in action? Craig’s Tech Talk has a cool video showing the setup and usage.

While the Alexa option will work well for me, some of you may prefer having a dedicated chime. There are two different kinds offered. First is the Ring Chime which simply plugs into an outlet and alerts you with a doorbell press or motion detection. If you need a little more WiFi coverage, the Ring Chime Pro includes a WiFi Extender. Note that all methods provide a Do Not Disturb mode so you can set a timeframe where you will not receive alerts. I’d probably turn the motion detection off completely as it would be triggered very often so the Do Not Disturb mode wouldn’t apply for me.

Now let’s talk about the batteries. None of them last forever. The Ring Video Doorbell 2 features a rechargeable battery and there is a way to charge it while in the doorbell. But it requires connecting a USB cable to it and that would be a bit clunky for me. An alternative is to buy a separate Ring Rechargeable Battery Pack and swap it out on a schedule. From what I’ve seen, the battery is good for a full three months so maybe swapping them every two months would make sure you are covered. That schedule could be longer or shorter depending on your usage.

As of now I haven’t purchased. Prior to writing this post, I was in more of a wait and see mindset. Now that I’ve done more research, I’m leaning more towards getting one. For those who already have one, please leave a comment on the blog with your thoughts.

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Foster D. Coburn III

Foster D. Coburn III built his first Web site in 1995 and he has been working exclusively in WordPress since 2013. He has used the Divi theme exclusively since 2015. Earlier in his career he was the author of 13 best-selling books on CorelDRAW and has been a contributor to numerous technology and graphics-related magazines. Foster has taken many projects, including this Web site, from the early design stage through to a finished piece. He has been a featured speaker at many graphics conferences.

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