Today we’re looking at the Ring Video Doorbell 2 

Ring Video Doorbell 2
Ring Video Doorbell 2
 

My wife and I live in a fairly old, split-level house.  Our old doorbell wiring didn’t work at all when we bought the house, so we “upgraded” at the time to a wireless doorbell system.  That wireless doorbell system served us well for many years.  

Wireless Doorbells are simple little systems you can pick up at Big Box Hardware stores.  You essentially mount a small wireless, battery-operated doorbell near your front door, and a larger battery-operated wireless/chime receiver inside your house that plays a chime when someone rings your doorbell.  These actually work great if that is all you need.  

We recently discovered that the Ring Doorbell Company was making wireless, battery-operated, Video Doorbells that worked with Amazon’s Echo Devices.  You essentially mount the Ring battery-operated video doorbell near your front door, and if someone rings the doorbell, Alexa will announce that someone is at your door.  If you have multiple Amazon Echo Devices, they all announce that someone is at your door. This is awesome for a split level home.  

You can even watch over your home and answer the door from your phone, tablet and PC with the Ring Video Doorbell 2.  Ring sends you alerts when anyone comes to your door, so you can see, hear and speak to visitors from anywhere.  Ring will alert you when it detects motion, and it will also alert you when the doorbell is rung.  

After having some bizarre package delivery incidents, we decided to upgrade our old wireless doorbell to a Ring Video Doorbell 2 wireless system. 

Video Doorbell 2 - Venetian Faceplates
Video Doorbell 2 – Venetian Faceplate

What’s in the Box?

  • Ring Video Doorbell 2
  • Quick Release Battery Pack
  • Satin Nickel and Venetian Faceplates
  • Adapter Plate
  • Wedge and Corner Install Kits
  • Installation Tools and Screws
  • USB Charging Cable
  • User Manual
  • Security Sticker

I was duly impressed by the box packaging.  You get two different colored faceplates to pick from – Nickel and Venetian.  These are basically silver and a dark bronze.  

You also get two angle wedges plates so that you can angle your Doorbell left, right, up, or down.  These come in handy if you are mounting your doorbell in an awkward spot, like maybe your angled siding.  I actually used one of these plates to angle mine to the right. 

They also give you all the tools and screws needed to install your doorbell.  You get wall anchors for masonry or stucco.  You also get a masonry drill bit which was unexpected.

You get a USB charging cable to charge the quick release battery, but you don’t get a USB wall socket for the charging cable.  You should charge the battery fully before install.  

Another nice inclusion is a tiny bubble level tool, to help you mount your doorbell straight. 

You also get directions and parts needed for a hard-wired doorbell.  Once connected to a hard-wired doorbell, pressing the button on your Ring Doorbell will trigger your existing chime. The wiring from your existing doorbell will charge the battery in the Ring Video Doorbell, so with normal use your battery will stay charged.

Setup & Install of the Ring Video Doorbell 2

The Ring Video Doorbell 2 was actually simple and easy install.  Every house is different, but I simply had to screw mine into the aluminum siding on my house.  There are installation videos online for about every situation. 

After mounting the the doorbell, you insert the battery, and mount the faceplate of your choosing. You then use a Ring Security Screw to secure the faceplate.  This is small deterrent to keep folks from tampering with your battery.  

After that you can download the Ring App to your cell phone, and connect Doorbell to your cell phone.  Then you can get alerts on your phone if your Ring Doorbell detects motion, or gets rung.  You can also set sensitivity and motion zones with the App. 

You can also set it up to work with Amazon Echo devices.  It’s nice to have Alexa announcing doorbell rings wherever you have her.  I have a split level house, and have Echo Minis on all levels of the house.  Alexa announces “There is someone at the front door” every time the doorbell is rung.  You can even have Alexa play wind chimes when there is motion near the front door.

Monthly Fees

You don’t have to pay any monthly fees to Ring if you don’t want to.

For Free – You Get:

  • Ring and Motion Alerts
  • Custom motion detection
  • Interact with visitors from anywhere
  • Live video on demand
  • 1 year warranty

Protect Basic Plan – is $3 per month, or $30 (USD) annually – You Get:

  • Everything from the Free plan, plus
  • Access videos of every Ring, Motion, and Live View event for up to 60 days

There are no long term contracts, and you can cancel at any time.  I personally opted for the $30/year program so I could access videos for 60 days.  If you are away from home, you can see who stopped by, or who stole a package from your door.  You wouldn’t be able to do that with the Free Subscription.  

Ring Video Doorbell 2 App

Ring App
Cell Phone Ring App

Let’s have a look at the Ring App.  

The app shows you you’re battery life.  It lets you toggle Ring Alerts on & off.  It also let’s you toggle motion alerts on & off.

If you click on “Live View” it brings up the Live View.

The Event History, if you pay the monthly fee, will show you a 60 day history of activity.  It records every time it detects Motion.

Motion Snooze allows you to snooze your notifications for up to two hours. The camera will still record, it just won’t bother you.  Handy if you’re at a movie or at church.

Linked Chimes will allow you set up a Ring Chime, in case you don’t have an Amazon Echo device, or a hard-wired doorbell chime.

Device Health shows you your Battery Level, Wifi Strength, Firmware, etc.

App Alert Tones lets you customize your Alert tones.

Video Settings lets you enable HDR (which increases video quality, but eats up more battery life).  

Review and Conclusion

I have been extremely happy with the Ring Video Doorbell 2.  Motion detection works great, and the quality of daylight images are pretty good.  You can see faces really well when people are ringing your doorbell.  

The camera has a wide-angle, fish-eye lense.  So it can capture wide area.  Wide angle isn’t really needed with the design of my house, but it might be a bigger deal for you.  

Ring Screenshot
Ring Screenshot

It’s nice to be away from home, and still be notified that someone is at your front door.  And you can answer the door from your phone, which can be awesome.  Is there someone at the door you don’t recognize.  You simply answer the app on your phone, and found out who the heck they are!

You will see delivery people walking right up to your house and leaving packages.  Delivery people don’t always ring the doorbell, but the motion alerts will notify you anyway.  And you get bring your packages in right away, and get them away from package thieves, or get them out of the rain.  

And I love Alexa announcing to me that someone is at the door.  I couldn’t hear my old doorbell chime when using my PC, but I have small little Amazon Echo at my desk, and Alexa tells me when there is someone at the front door.  

The Ring App software is simple and straightforward.  

My battery has lasted about 30 days, before needing a recharge.  If you decide to buy a Ring Video Doorbell 2, you may want to consider purchasing a 2nd battery.  This will allow you to charge one battery while the other is being used.  Then, when you are alerted to change the battery, you can simply pop in fully charged battery, and have no downtime.

Amazon Echo’s Alexa Assistant vs Google Home Assistant – Ring Doorbells vs Nest Hello Doorbells

If you are not aware, Amazon owns Ring and Google owns Nest.  

Google wants you to buy their Nest Doorbells, so Ring Doorbells will not work with Google Home Voice Assistant.  

Currently both Ring and Nest Doorbells work with Amazon Echo devices.  But who knows if Google will stop that in the future?

So if you are looking for a doorbell, and you have Alexa Assistant in your house, you may want to choose a Ring Video Doorbell …. and vice versa if you have a Google Home Assistant.  

I personally chose the Ring Doorbell because they have a battery-operated doorbell. There isn’t a battery powered version of Nest Hello.  I’m guessing Ring Doorbells and Nest Doorbells both work well, and have similar functionality.  

One last thing to mention is that if you have an Amazon Echo Show, Alexa can show you who is at the front door.  This might be awesome for the elderly who don’t typically use gadgets like smart phones and tablets.  

Echo Show and Ring
Echo Show and Ring