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The Ring Doorbell and Chime Review

The Ring Door Bell is a Hardware / Software system that adds or replaces your doorbell button. It requires your home or business Wi-Fi to use, record and playback recorded video. It has a high quality video camera with sound, that catches and *records anyone that comes to your front door. The sound is high quality two way and with a free Android/IPhone downloadable App, it allows you to talk to your guest wherever you’re at in the country.

 

Our mission at ForSecuritySake is to provide products and information to help people be safer and more secure in their daily lives. Although as of this writing we do not sell this product, it falls within our mission and we feel that it needs to be brought to our customer’s attention.

 

We have been testing the Ring Doorbell and Chime for a while now and for a product about $200.00, it has many of the hardware and software features of higher priced recording systems.

 

We found a great deal that combined the Ring Doorbell with the Ring Chime; which is a receiver that can be plugged into any home power socket and emits a chime sound whenever the Doorbell is activated.

 

Hardware:

The Ring Doorbell has a professional look and feel and came with a one piece built in camera; sound circuitry; and rechargeable battery. There was a metal mounting plate that must be used to securely attach the system to your wall. The mounting plate has screw terminals that you can connect your current doorbell power to. If you want to mount the plate where there is no power, that’s ok because the system has a built in rechargeable battery that will power it; more on that later.

 

The chime is a simple one piece plastic box that plugs into any USA 120volt power plug. Setup on the chime must be done via the free phone apps mentioned above and below. There are no adjustment controls on the hardware.

 

Software:

Free Apps are available for IPhone and Android. The apps can be used to see battery condition, or hardwired in this case; match the doorbell and chime to your WI-FI; set the sensitivity; set motion alert zones; alert you to a doorbell ring or motion in the covered area; Allow you to talk and listen to guests at your door; *playback, share and download recordings of any alert; and something new that came out while testing -(Live View)- for hard wired installations. Per the company, Live View will be released for battery operated installations soon.

 

Testing Results:.

 

The test installation is hardwired, meaning we used the old doorbell power to run the new Ring doorbell. Our test results are based on this, so we can’t give you an estimate on how long the battery lasts in non-battery installations yet.

 

Setup:

was smooth, but we have a lot of experience setting systems up. But if you get stuck, Ring Support and video help is only a click away. After you download your app, Android or IPhone, you can add your device and name your doorbell location; set how sensitive the motion detection is; set active zones for motion detection; and more. You can also set up your chime location; match it to your doorbell; choose if the chime will ring on doorbell, motion detection , or both; and set the chime volume.

 

Support:

If you need help with installation, use your internet browser to go to ring.com . You can view video help on installation, contact support, and create an account. When you create an account, *you can use a windows PC to playback, download and share recordings from your doorbell.

 

We only had to contact support one time via email and response was quick and solved my problem.

 

The camera:

has excellent color and quality. The wide-angle lens gives a fisheye effect and sees wall to wall.  The camera faces south from this test covered porch area and as a result there is some backlighting from the direct sun. However the camera does well and shuts down to concentrate on the correct lighting for a person at the door. At night when the lights go out, there is black and white infrared coverage and since we have other cameras with infrared  lights in the area, the system uses that light to enhance the view.

 

The Sound:

is great both ways, however be careful not to have your phone or other device too close to the doorbell while talking or you will get feedback. You can have the sound off, listen without talking, or have a conversation with whoever is at the door from anywhere in the country when you have at least two bars of 4g cell service.

 

WI-FI:

service with the doorbell and the chime depends on Wi-Fi speeds and connection strength. You should be as close to your Wi-Fi router or range extender as possible, because the stronger the signal, the better the service connection times. Ring activation notifications are via the internet and as with all motion detection recorders, there is a delay between live detection and recording. This may only be 4 seconds, but if you can get it lower, it could be the difference between seeing a face, or a back.

 

*Recording:

With the purchase of the Ring Doorbell we received a cloud recording thirty day free trial. Each recording we played back was over a minute long. After the trial the cost for cloud recording is $30.00 a year per device (In case you want two doorbells or other Ring hardware). Considering what is recorded and the space required on a hard drive, this is a bargain to me. The recordings are stored in the Ring Cloud for a long time, but they will eventually go away. Anything you want to permanently keep should be downloaded to your computer. And if you have a recording you no longer want you can delete it from the list with your app.

 

To our eyes, we could not detect any difference to live view and recordings when played back. There is a recording timeout and it will stop recording a NON-answered activation after a minute or so. The only improvements we would want are for the system to continue recording until motion goes away and for the motion recording to start sooner.  As an example as a way to start recording sooner; police in car systems that record video have the ability to go back and record 30 seconds of video prior to the actual activation of the recorder. The is achieved by loop recording on the hardware, but this could add to the cost of the system.

 

Live View: .

 

The new Live View for hardwired installations is a big plus to the system. Live view allows you to manually open the camera with the same live view as if there is a ring or motion alert. You can keep it open and watch the area until you want to cancel it, or at least I didn’t keep it open long enough for anything to time out or stop working. These are recorded and can be played back, downloaded and shared

Remote use of the software when there is no Wi-Fi:

works well with our AT&T connection, as long as cell service has two strength bars of 4g. We used it a number of times while away and it was fun to catch sales people and guests at the door and talk with them without them knowing we weren’t at the home.

 

The Chime:

is separate piece of hardware that can be used to alert you that there is an alert or motion detection when your phone or other app is not available. Since my Ring Doorbell is hardwired to my old doorbell power wiring, it rings my old doorbell in the house when the button is pushed, but not motion detection. The chime also can be used to announce motion detection only in my case.

 

 

Thoughts:

are that this is a very worthwhile addition to any home or business security. Purchasing over the internet is on the rise and unless a signature is required for the shipment the delivery service will leave packages on the porch or other area near the door. So along with that the theft of packages from deliveries is also on the rise. According to the FBI Crime Clock there was a reported property crime every 3.8 seconds and a burglary every 18.2 seconds in the United States for 2014. This Ring Phone system is fast enough to alert you to a visitor or to confirm a theft while it is still in progress (a requirement for some agencies before they will respond to an alarm call). And a phone call to the police while watching the suspects can give the police a better chance of catching the suspect(s) before they get away. The Ring Doorbell gives more piece of mind and is a great addition to any security you may have.

You can find our professional Surveillance systems to work along side the Ring Doorbell by clicking here.

 

Click About Us for information about ForSecuritySake.

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