Having recently moved into our new home (yay!), home security has become one of the top of our list of priorities. Over Christmas we saw many adverts for the Ring Video Doorbell Pro on TV and thought it was a fantastic idea to be able to see who was coming by our front door when we weren’t in and so decided to give it a go. Here is what I think so far after using it for 2 months!
Installing the Doorbell
Firstly, the doorbell was not a straight forward thing where you just stick it on the front of your house and off you go. I thought my husband would be able to figure it out (as he is generally pretty good at things like this!) but it turns out that you do need to hire an electrician or someone who knows what they are doing. We did not have an existing doorbell and luckily had 2 spaces left in our fuse box. This was perfect for the transformer Ring comes with, which takes up a lot of space being an American design. It took a couple of hours to set up as we needed to have a hole drilled through the wall for the wire to reach the fuse box that is located in the garage. After it was all connected, a light kept flashing and not going round as it was supposed to. After about 20 minutes it started working, by which time we had realised it just needed charging a bit.
Start and Stop
It was rocky at first. We had some fantastic results with the doorbell ringing and answering (when we were at the door testing it) and checking Live View which shows you what is going on outside the front of your house at any time. Then after a few days, everything just stopped. We tried to talk to somebody on the Live Chat but nobody got back in touch. My husband eventually reset the system and it has been working okay since but it did make us worry that it would do that while we are away on holiday- how would we get the system working again from afar?
Things I Love About the Ring Video Doorbell Pro
I have used the device for 2 months now and these are the things I LOVE about this doorbell:
- It looks good. The box came with four faceplate choices (silver, black, cream, brown) and we love this black cover although sometimes I feel like the postman ignores it and uses the knocker instead- doh!
- The quality of the sound and video are great. I can see the faces clearly of anyone who comes to the door and can hear them brilliantly (well, sometimes… see what I don’t love about the Ring Video Doorbell Pro below). Even the night time mode for viewing is great with enough detail. The sound of the chime options when someone rings your doorbell/ motion alerts are varied and some funny (dogs barking!).
- I love stalking my family when I am away. I can be at the gym and see a notification to show motion outside my house. Then I check the app to see my husband and son heading out for a walk 🙂 It’s brilliant for keeping track that family is coming home when they should be for safety reasons etc. Although this may not have the same effect if you are planning a surprise…!
- Live View is brilliant for so many reasons! I might hear a notification for motion, I can then check Live View and see that it is just a cat walking past our drive- cute! It could be that I hear a sudden noise in the street, I don’t want to go right up to the curtain to peer out or maybe I’m upstairs/ on the toilet/ changing the baby etc, but I can check what it is on Live View without having to go to the door. The fact that you get a notification sound for motion before the doorbell is rung for example just gives you those few seconds to allow you to get to the door quicker for your guest. Generally I just love having a quick stalk outside from time to time to make sure things are as they should be!
- You can access it from your phone, computer or tablet and you can connect it with Alexa-enabled devices. We tend to just use it on the app on our phone but it’s good to know that you can check what’s going on using most devices.
Things That Could Improve The Ring Video Doorbell Pro…
- If the doorbell actually worked as a two-way talking device reliably, it would be the best. Unfortunately we have experienced instances where the postman simply cannot hear me because the line is crackly and the video has become unclear when I have answered a call/ ring. There is also a few second delay to connect and for the app to load, so sometimes I have missed it entirely and so we just see the postie walking away. As a breastfeeding mum it would be great to tell the person ringing the doorbell to wait a few seconds longer for me to get to the door. Apparently the internet connection is not strong enough (even though our router is in a good position for it). I have gotten into the mindset that that feature doesn’t work well so I don’t rely on it now (still making those trips to the parcel collection office sadly!)
- If the motion sensors could be sensitive enough to not alert for wind and headlights (we don’t mind seeing cats though!). We live on a quiet street but have had nights where car headlights are setting off the motion sensors constantly enough for us to have to put it on ‘snooze’ – though this setting is also great if you are having workers coming in and out of the house, otherwise you would go crazy with the bells chiming (we have set it to a wind chime sound). With the recent storms the alerts were also going off all day and night due to the bushes/ our hanging plant blowing in the wind.
- If the reviewing of videos was free, that would be fab. I know they are a company and they need to make money… but having to pay an additional £2.50/month when the doorbell was already pricey compared to similar devices (I bought it on Amazon for £199 during their special offer: https://amzn.to/2Un7NYK), I was a bit gutted for the further costs. But I do love being able to go through the videos after being out and seeing who’s been knocking at the door, which neighbours have kicked footballs into our drive and seeing all the neighbourhood cats who have passed by! The things that go on outside your home when you are not realising! It is pricey but kind of worth it for the security.
It is unfortunate that the two-way talking feature does not work reliably for us outside of Live View (I have read the same thing in other peoples’ reviews since), and I hope that is something that would improve with software updates. All in all though, the Ring Video Doorbell Pro has provided us with the extra security for our home which we were looking for and I love the easy to use app. It is nice to be ‘Always Home’ and checking in on your house when away and we would still like to try out future Ring home security devices so they can all be managed with the one app. I would give it 4 out of 5 stars. Do share about your own video doorbell experiences in the comments below, I would love to know about others around! 🙂