Exterior Home Security

Here’s How Ring Works to Protect Your Home

From a simple doorbell camera to fully integrated smart-home security with professional monitoring, Ring has entered the comprehensive home security market.
Meghan Wentland Avatar
How Does Ring Work
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Q: I’ve been seeing a lot of videos posted by neighbors from their Ring cameras. I’m intrigued, and like the idea of being able to see who’s at the door before I open it, but I might need more security than just a camera. How does Ring work?

A: Ring has certainly shot up in popularity recently, and it’s true—videos of porch pirates and suspicious door knockers abound on social media and can provide useful information to law enforcement to help regain stolen property and identify criminal behavior.

While Ring is best known for having one of the best doorbell cameras on the market, the Ring home security system is actually much more comprehensive, allowing customers to add cameras and smart lighting to their system. Ring’s equipment is remarkably easy to set up and connect to a home’s Wi-Fi, so many customers are able to take care of Ring doorbell installation themselves. However, for those who are uncomfortable tackling this process, professional installation is also available for an additional fee.

Think Ring is the right home security system for you? Check out Ring’s top-of-the-line security products Protect your home with Ring Security.

Ring is a home security company primarily known for its video doorbell. Devices connect to a home’s Wi-Fi network and users can monitor and control their devices via the Ring app.

Ring, which is considered one of the best home security systems, builds a “ring” of security around a home by connecting all of its devices to the home’s Wi-Fi and a mobile app.

Because the devices connect to the Wi-Fi, alerts and alarms can be transmitted to the Ring doorbell app regardless of a customer’s location, alerting them to the presence of someone on their doorstep or near a camera. This allows customers to monitor their home security from their smartphone whether they are at home or away.

When someone approaches a Ring doorbell and presses the button, the owner will get a notification on their smartphone. Users will also get an alert if the doorbell senses motion at the door.

How does a Ring doorbell work? The Ring doorbell sends an alert to the customer’s smartphone or tablet when someone presses the doorbell button or if the doorbell senses motion in the vicinity of the door.

While all Ring products are available in wireless versions, there are also a variety of wired doorbells to choose from. All Ring doorbells include HD video with night vision for crisp, clear video even in the dark.

Think Ring is the right home security system for you? Check out Ring’s top-of-the-line security products Protect your home with Ring Security.

Ring doorbell costs will vary depending on the model a customer chooses. A basic wired doorbell costs $64.99, while the range-topping Video Doorbell Elite costs $349.99. For an additional cost, some Ring doorbells can be customized with faceplates and other accessories to fit in smoothly with the home’s front-step decor, and customers can even choose from a variety of Ring doorbell sounds in the app.

Customers can complete a quiz on Ring’s website to help them select the right one. Otherwise, Ring customer service agents are available to talk through what customers are looking for and help them make their selections.

Ring customers can answer their doorbell from their phone, whether they are home or not, and communicate with the visitor via two-way communication.

Ring’s app is the center of its home security system. Through the app, customers can view and communicate with people outside their door and turn cameras and floodlights on and off.

Ring also connects with a range of smart locks, outlets, lights, and devices, making it possible to build a truly smart home from inside the app. So if a customer hears a noise outside at night and the motion sensor doesn’t turn on a floodlight, they can use the app to turn on a light and a camera and view what’s outside.

If the noise was made by something innocuous like wildlife, the customer can record the video if desired, then turn off the lights and go to sleep with peace of mind. If, however, the noise was made by a person who managed to evade the motion detector, a few swipes can turn on the camera and more exterior lights, turn on interior lights, summon the police, and tell the person to leave the premises immediately.

The Ring app and its components make it easy to stay aware of a home’s surroundings for improved safety and protection.

Think Ring is the right home security system for you? Check out Ring’s top-of-the-line security products Protect your home with Ring Security.

How Does Ring Work
Photo: istockphoto.com

In addition to the video doorbell, Ring offers a variety of home security devices, including entry sensors and security cameras, to provide customers with complete home protection.

The Ring doorbell camera is the best-known component of the Ring system, but the range of equipment options Ring offers allows customers to build a complete home security system.

In addition to having one of the best doorbells available, Ring’s peephole cameras make it possible to monitor the doorstep and interact with visitors.

With Ring security cameras, which are stick-up indoor and outdoor cameras powered by batteries and solar panels, customers can view every angle of their home inside and out.

For those with particular concerns about nighttime security, the Ring series of outdoor floodlights with cameras powered by the customers’ choice of battery, hardwired power, or solar will light up the home’s exterior using motion sensors or controlled manually through the app.

Path and step lights (also controllable through the app), along with smart plugs, outlets, and door locks, allow the integration of smart-home devices into the security system.

Ring also offers sensors to build a security system customized to an individual home. Starting with a digital keypad, Ring offers motion detectors along with door and window entry sensors that connect to cameras and the app to send alerts in the event of an intrusion. Smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, and flood and freeze sensors protect the home and family from dangers within, and a panic button makes it possible to summon help immediately at the first sign of a threat. Ring even offers mailbox sensors which will notify customers when mail has been delivered and alert them if someone opens the mailbox later.

Think Ring is the right home security system for you? Check out Ring’s top-of-the-line security products Protect your home with Ring Security.

All of Ring’s components work together through the app (and the keypad, if the customer chooses to add an alarm system to their camera and lighting options), creating a comprehensive system that covers all aspects of home security. Ring also provides the base station and extension devices to build an eero mesh wireless system in the home if the existing Wi-Fi isn’t strong enough to handle all the extra components.

Because the components are designed to be easily installed by the user, it’s possible to add pieces as needed instead of selecting and purchasing the whole system at the beginning. That said, there are plenty of Ring security system packages that can save customers money over buying the components individually, and they are designed to suit different sizes of homes and businesses based on the user’s needs.

Ring is owned by Amazon, which means it’s designed to integrate with Amazon Alexa devices. Ring devices can also be integrated with Google Home, though functionality will be more limited.

Those who are choosing between SimpliSafe vs. Ring may be surprised to learn that Ring has the upper hand when it comes to smart device compatibility. Ring works with Amazon devices like Echo and other Alexa-compatible devices, which means that customers can integrate home convenience and security. One benefit of this is that Alexa will announce the arrival of visitors when the doorbell rings. Users can also command Alexa to arm or disarm their system.

The Echo Show is one of the most useful Amazon devices to integrate with Ring as users can view their Ring footage on a larger screen than their phone with the added ability to rewind, fast-forward, and pause while watching. They can also see footage of their front porch in real time and use two-way talk to speak with the person at the door.

Those who don’t have Alexa will be pleased to learn that Ring works with Google Home as well. While there are fewer capabilities available for Google Home than there are with Alexa, customers can still monitor activity and receive alerts from their Ring doorbell via Google Home. They can also look at past data, such as time stamps of when the doorbell rang, and they have the ability to view the doorbell’s battery life. Finally, Google Home can be used to disarm and arm the Ring system remotely via the app.

Customers who want comprehensive security coverage can opt for a Ring Protect subscription plan, which includes video recordings for one or more devices.

When they were first designed, Ring wireless security cameras and doorbells were intended to be self-monitored security systems, allowing homeowners to see alerts and videos and use that data to protect themselves. As the system evolved into a complete home security option, however, it became necessary to offer a higher level of service in order to compete with more mainstream and traditional home security products.

The Ring doorbell subscription plans, called Ring Protect, offer a two-tiered monitoring option that offers video storage and professional monitoring. Ring subscription costs depend on the level of service a customer chooses, (but if a customer is comparing ADT vs. Ring, most of Ring’s plan prices cost less than those offered by ADT).

  • Ring Protect Basic costs $3.99 per month or $39.99 per year, and it provides active video recording for one device.
  • Ring Protect Plus costs $10 per month or $100 per year and offers video recording for all Ring devices plus an extended equipment warranty.
  • Ring Protect Pro costs $20 per month or $200 per year and comes with 24/7 professional monitoring in addition to video recording for all Ring devices and an extended equipment warranty.

When a motion sensor in the device is triggered, Ring will notify the customer so that they can watch the stream live, but it will also automatically begin recording the stream, offer the ability to capture still frames from the stream, maintain a video history online for 60 days, and allow customers to download and save all videos for review later.

How Does Ring Work
Photo: istockphoto.com

Ring Alarm customers can also opt for 24/7 professional monitoring, which can help dispatch emergency services if needed when the alarm system is triggered.

Insurance companies often have homeowners insurance discounts for security systems that have professional monitoring. Ring Protect Pro checks this box: Offering all the benefits of Ring Protect Basic and Plus, it adds video recording and storage for up to seven devices and includes full-time professional monitoring of all Ring Alarm products (and also includes a 10 percent discount on all products from the Ring website). For $20 per month or $200 per year, this monitoring program can be a considerable savings over other security options.

Think Ring is the right home security system for you? Check out Ring’s top-of-the-line security products Protect your home with Ring Security.

The Ring Neighbors App allows users to share security camera footage, which helps keep neighbors alert to potential security threats.

When neighbors gathered on front porches each evening, it was easy to keep tabs on how everyone was doing and discuss concerns within the neighborhood. It still doesn’t hurt to start a neighborhood watch, as these groups are a great way to build community and enhance safety and peace of mind.

However, busy lives mean it’s easier to communicate online, and Ring’s Neighbors App connects neighbors in a virtual community. Neighbors can share videos of suspicious situations with other users, receive real-time crime alerts from surrounding streets and law enforcement, pull together after a disaster, and help roaming pets find their way home by connecting through the app.

It isn’t necessary for users to share anything they don’t want to, and the Neighbors App will not automatically share videos—users can decide what to share and can customize the alerts they’ll receive. Many customers have expressed privacy concerns about this app, especially those who have connected in-home Alexa devices or extensive home automation. These are valid concerns, but the settings on the app make it possible to control the access the app has to the home, and customer service agents are happy to address any concerns and walk through setting up the privacy options.

A Ring home security system is a solid option for a variety of customers with differing home security needs, from a basic Ring video doorbell to a full system that includes an alarm, security cameras, and more.

The Ring security system started out as a doorbell camera, and if that’s all a customer needs, it’s a great option—and the video has improved substantially from those grainy black-and-white low-resolution images. Others may be ready for a step up and want to add more cameras and some lighting. If so, Ring has individual components to support what features are needed and has several packages of equipment geared toward that level of security.

Thinking about interior video monitoring as well? Ring has it covered. And if it’s time for complete home security, including smart-home automation, door and window sensors and locks, and home safety monitoring equipment that customers can monitor themselves or opt to have professionals monitor instead, Ring has a bevy of equipment to choose from, and services to back it up.

Think Ring is the right home security system for you? Check out Ring’s top-of-the-line security products Protect your home with Ring Security.