Ring cameras vs. Ring doorbells: Which is better?
Differences between Ring cameras and Ring doorbells
When it comes to home security cameras, Ring is a leader in a crowded market. Ring offers both doorbells and cameras that you can mount at your residence to keep an eye on the property when you aren’t home. While both Ring cameras and doorbells capture live video, they serve different security purposes in your home. A Ring camera may work as a security camera for the property, while Ring doorbells allow you to monitor and respond to visitors at your door.
What are Ring cameras?
A Ring camera gives you a live feed of areas inside or outside your property, allowing you to check in on your home or business at any time through the Ring app. While all Ring cameras offer excellent video quality, they may be powered by batteries, wall outlets, hard wiring, or solar panels.
When made for use outdoors, Ring cameras usually include a security light that reacts to motion. Indoor cameras do not have an extra light, so you’ll need to leave the lights on in the home or select a camera with night vision.
Ring cameras start at $59.99 and cost up to $249.99 for high-end models.
Ring camera pros
- HD video resolution yields sharp images
- Some cameras include night vision capabilities
- Indoor and outdoor options to monitor many parts of your home
Ring camera cons
- Installation can be challenging
- Camera must be in range of your WiFi network
- Far pricier than motion activated spotlights
Best Ring cameras
Ring Floodlight Camera: Available at Amazon, Best Buy and Home Depot
Keeping an eye on areas of your property away from your front door is easy with this camera and floodlight combination. You can speak to someone through the Ring camera app on your smartphone with this device, or you can activate a siren and alarm to scare off any intruders.
Ring Indoor Security Camera: Available at Amazon, Best Buy and Home Depot
With this indoor camera from Ring, you can keep an eye on your children after school, your pets throughout the day or someone doing work inside your home. It provides a live feed through the Ring app that you can access at any time. Multiple indoor cameras can network together for full coverage.
Ring Spotlight Camera: Available at Amazon, Best Buy and Home Depot
This outdoor security camera includes a spotlight to highlight the area any time there’s movement. Additionally, this camera operates from a battery, so you don’t need to have an outlet nearby.
How does a Ring doorbell work?
A Ring doorbell provides the features of a regular doorbell along with a built-in video camera. When a visitor approaches your door, all Ring doorbells include a motion detection feature, altering the Ring app on your smartphone about the visitor. You can answer the door when you’re away from home, and the doorbell stores video footage of visitors.
Ring doorbells connect to your WiFi network, sending a signal to your smartphone through the app no matter where you are. Entry-level models start at $59.99, while their most sophisticated models cost $349.99.
Ring doorbell pros
- Offers two-way communication
- Many doorbell cameras have HD video resolution
- Motion detection features alert you to visitors
- The Ring app saves a recording of videos
Ring doorbell cons
- Some people struggle with installation
- Certain models require preexisting doorbell wiring
- Cameras may have a few blind spots
Best Ring doorbells
Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus: Available at Amazon, Best Buy and Home Depot
This high-end Ring doorbell includes a full HD video camera, giving you a sharp image on the Ring app. Ring greatly improved the motion detection sensors in this model compared to the previous version, leading to fewer false alarms and errors.
Ring Video Doorbell Pro: Available at Amazon, Best Buy and Home Depot
This Pro version of the classic Ring doorbell works over either 2.4GHz or 5.0GHz WiFi connectivity, giving it excellent versatility. The full HD camera offers clear video through the Ring app, and its motion detection features are more reliable than those of cheaper models.
Ring Video Doorbell: Available at Amazon, Best Buy and Home Depot
If you want the quality of a Ring doorbell at a reasonable price, this model is the best option. The 1080p resolution camera matches those of more expensive models, and the motion detection system works well. Compatible with Alexa for voice-commands.
Should you get a Ring camera or a Ring doorbell?
Ring cameras and Ring doorbells serve different purposes in your home, so you should consider your security needs when choosing a model.
If you want to keep an eye on visitors who come to your door or to speak to package delivery people when you aren’t home, a Ring doorbell with its built-in camera is your best pick.
For outdoor security lights or a network of indoor cameras, Ring security cameras keep tabs on your home in ways that a video doorbell can’t.
Kyle Schurman is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. BestReviews and its newspaper partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.