How Much Does a Ring Doorbell Cost?
As one of the most recognizable names in the doorbell camera market, Ring is the first brand many people reach for when starting their home security plan. A Ring doorbell costs between $64.99 and $349.99, with an average cost of $99.99.
- Typical Range: $64.99 to $349.99
- National Average: $99.99
For a variety of reasons, many homeowners and renters think they don’t want a full-blown security system. They may think it’s too expensive, too much of a hassle, too invasive, or just not practical for their lifestyle. They may wonder, “How much does a Ring doorbell cost?” or “Does Ring require a subscription?” The advent of the doorbell camera, heralded by Ring, gave people a gentle introduction to the idea that they could add security themselves by screwing a camera into their door frame and connecting it to the Wi-Fi. The Ring doorbell places control over the settings and video into the hands of the user in a way that feels more accessible to those who are less familiar with home security systems or who just want a simple way to check the front doorstep rather than encircling the entire home with security.
The success of the best doorbell cameras motivated Ring to further develop its system. From a simple app-connected camera evolved a broader set of options including video storage; neighborhood networking; and additional cameras, lights, sensors, and alarms. The average cost for a Ring camera is $99.99, but the range runs up to around $349.99 depending on the storage options and additional accessories, so it can be an extremely affordable way to add a bit of security or expand into a nearly complete home security option at a higher cost. How much does Ring cost a month? The answer depends on the customer’s choices, but the answer is between $0 and $20.
How Does a Ring Doorbell Work?
At its simplest level, a Ring doorbell is a combination doorbell and motion-activated camera that attaches to the front door or the frame of the front door. It can be hardwired into existing doorbell electrical wires, powered wirelessly by a rechargeable battery, or powered by a solar charger that is available for purchase separately. The camera built into the doorbell has a motion sensor, and when a person or vehicle enters the area covered by the camera, it will begin recording and notify the user through a smartphone app. The footage is viewable live, and depending on the model, the user may be able to converse with the person at the door through the device. If the user has opted for video storage service, the footage will be saved for a selected period of time. Users can choose not to use motion sensing and opt to have the camera activate only when the doorbell is pressed; it’s important to note that unless the user chooses to purchase the Ring Chime separately or integrates the doorbell with another smart-home device, there won’t be an audible sound in the house when the bell rings. All controls and notifications work through the Ring app.
The app associated with Ring is the interface for all the settings on the doorbell and camera. Users can control the device so it picks up a set motion-sensing area with the desired sensitivity and subjects (so insects and leaves passing within view aren’t sending unwanted notifications). It’s also possible to select the desired “doorbell” tone and use the app to connect multiple Ring devices on different doors throughout the home. Users also get access to Neighbors, which is a social network defined by area. Here they can choose to view and share Ring alerts of concern with others nearby.
How Much Does a Ring Doorbell Cost Per Month?
The first question many people ask is, “How much is a Ring subscription?” Once the device is purchased, users can install and use Ring’s basic features for free, with no required cost per month. That service will include Ring and motion sensor alerts, custom motion detection, the ability to interact with guests via the device, and livestream video as it’s happening. For some users, that’s plenty—if the goal is to be alerted that someone is at the door, check to see who it is and interact, or check to see if packages have been delivered, then there’s really no continuing cost to use the Ring doorbell.
Enhanced features are available through Ring Protect, which is a monthly or annual service plan. Ring Protect is available in three levels: Basic, Plus, and Pro. The Ring subscription price ranges between $3 and $20 per month.
Factors in Calculating Ring Doorbell Cost
How much are Ring doorbells once you’ve added the necessary accessories? The basic components of calculating Ring doorbell costs include the equipment itself, the installation, and the choices the user makes about how broad they want the coverage to be. Each of these costs is negotiable; there are several varieties of base unit, flexibility in monitoring and recording plans, and a range of optional add-ons. Not all of these choices need to be made at the start; new users may want to start with a simple doorbell and no service, then gradually add to the service and equipment as they become more familiar with the product and its features. Occasionally, Ring will offer packages that include trial periods of the different levels of Protect plans so that new customers can try out the plans before they commit to them.
Doorbell Model and Equipment
Ring offers its best video doorbells in a range of complexities. The Video Doorbell, Video Doorbell 2, Video Doorbell 3, and Video Doorbell 4, along with the Video Doorbell Pro and Video Doorbell Elite, are available in hard-wire versions and rechargeable battery versions to suit most entryways. The base units range from $64.99 to $349.99, with the primary differences being enhanced motion detection and Pre-Roll video previews that passively record constantly then capture the moments just before a motion sensor goes off. Several include free 30-day trials of Ring Protect Basic. The doorbells themselves are the foundation of the Ring System.
Ring also offers Doorbell Bundles, combining a base unit doorbell with select accessories at a lower cost than one would normally pay for both items individually. Some examples include a Ring video doorbell and a Ring Chime, which pair together and emit a standard doorbell chime sound in the house when the doorbell is pressed, even if the user isn’t close enough to their phone to hear the alert. Other bundles include accessories such as no-drill mounts, cameras, solar panels, smart locks, and full Ring Security Systems. For customers just looking for a doorbell, the bundles are worth considering for those who want a specific type of mount, such as an angled mounting block to help see around a corner or a wedge mount to angle the camera down a flight of steps, as the bundles do offer a solid savings. Customers who are interested in building up a more robust security system should check them out as well; all the accessories can be purchased later and separately, but some of the bundles offer a savings of more than $100.
Other devices such as cameras, floodlights, door and window sensors, and more can be selected in packages or a la carte over a range of prices to truly customize the building of a home security system.
Ring doorbells are fairly straightforward for customers to mount on their own. They come with detailed instructions, hardware appropriate for mounting to a variety of surfaces (and instructions for what hardware is used on which surfaces), and require only a couple of screws. The box also includes connecting electrical wires and a clear set of instructions for how to properly and safely connect to the home electrical supply. However, even some intrepid DIYers aren’t wild about drilling into door frames (that flashing can be tough to repair if it gets scratched) or siding, so Ring has contracted with OnTech Smart Services to handle installation. Appointments can be booked online in all 50 states, so if DIY isn’t the right fit, a professional installer can be at your doorstep pretty quickly. Installation of one device will cost between $99.99 and $249.99 (the higher end of the range includes retrofitting the Ring into an older alarm system if desired). An additional device such as a light or security camera will add $64.99 to $214.99, and installation of an accessory will add $34.99.
Customers who choose not to purchase monitoring won’t incur this expense—the Ring can be used without monitoring. Upgrading to Ring Protect Pro, which includes professional monitoring and other features, will cost $20 per month, or users can save by paying an annual cost of $200. Ring Protect Basic and Ring Protect Plus are less expensive plans that include data storage for easy video review, but they don’t include outside monitors.
The Ring doorbell will function just fine on its own, but the company offers numerous accessories to make charging, programming, mounting, and integrating the Ring easier and more useful. Ring can be integrated with an Amazon Echo Dot or Show as part of a smart-home system as well as other Ring security accessories such as cameras, smart locks, and smart lights to deck out the smart-home control system. Indoor and outdoor cameras can be added to the doorbell camera to give users a 360-degree view of their home just by glancing at their Ring app, or they can zero in on a few spots that may be at higher risk for break-in or theft. Siren alarms and an alarm base are additional components of a complete security system. Many of these customizations are bundled together for cost savings, but the whole system can also be built to fit a user’s needs, with customers having the option to choose individual components.
Ring also offers smart outdoor lighting that can be integrated with the app to improve visibility on the doorbell camera and other Ring cameras. These come in the form of path lights, floodlights, spotlights, and stair lighting.
Unhappy with the plain silver or black faceplate on the Ring doorbell? Ring offers a selection of easily changeable faceplates so that customers can match the doorbell to their siding or their door hardware. Faceplates cost $14.99 and are even available in cheerful holiday patterns.
Ring Doorbell Cost: Monitoring Plans to Choose From
Ring can be used without a monitoring plan, but the primary benefit of the doorbell without monitoring is that users can see who’s at the door and interact. The Ring Protect plans offer cost-effective solutions that increase the usefulness of the doorbell as a true security tool. With the least expensive option ringing up at $3 per month and the most expensive costing $200 annually, there are options that will fit the needs of most homeowners or renters without breaking the bank.
Protect Basic Plan
This is the lowest-level plan that Ring offers. Protect Basic includes cloud storage for video of up to 60 days (users can choose how long they want their videos saved) so that users can share video or review it later—or save it permanently. It also includes Snapshot Capture to allow still- frame captures from video. Protect Basic includes recording for one device and costs $3 per month or $30 for a year. While it doesn’t include professional monitoring, the video and snapshots that are captured can be accessed for review by the owner and shared with law enforcement in the event of a break-in or crime at the home or anywhere that the camera can see, so it’s a helpful feature in identifying porch pirates or suspicious vehicles.
Protect Plus Plan
Protect Plus is an upgrade from Protect Basic and costs $10 per month or $100 per year. Protect Plus includes all the features of Protect Basic, but while Protect Basic only records video for one device, Protect Plus records and stores video for all the Ring devices in the network. In addition, Protect Plus extends the warranties on all the Ring products at one address, and users with Protect Plus receive a 10 percent discount on all Ring products when ordered directly through Ring or from Amazon.
Protect Pro Plan
Protect Pro includes all the features of Protect Plus, but it steps up an additional level to include elements designed to work with a more complete security system. For $20 per month or $200 per year, customers with Pro can access 24/7 professional monitoring of all components connected to a Ring Alarm. The monitors will dispatch first responders when break-ins or other emergencies are detected by the Ring Alarm system. It also includes cellular backup for the alarm system: One of the biggest criticisms of WiFi-powered alarm systems is the frequency with which Wi-Fi or internet service blinks or fails. Ring will keep the alarm connected through cellular service until the Wi-Fi returns, keeping the home safe and protected. It will also keep devices on the system backed up through the cellular system when the internet isn’t working, with up to 3 gigabytes of data included. Alexa Guard Plus, which enables connected Alexa devices to be used for hands-free access to emergency help, is also integrated with Ring Protect Pro, and Eero Secure, which is a program that protects online activity and offers content filters, is included as well. Plus, most homeowners insurance companies will offer discounted rates to customers who have Protect Pro because it includes full-time monitoring, which helps defray the annual cost of the plan.
Benefits of a Choosing a Ring Doorbell
Why do you need a Ring doorbell? Can’t you just look out the window or peephole to see who’s there? Aren’t there other video doorbells that are less expensive? Yes, and maybe, but the Ring has advantages over both of those options. Checking the Ring app to see who’s at the door means less rushing up or down stairs, and interacting with visitors virtually can be safer than answering. The Ring app is easy to set up and use, and the video storage is helpful in several ways.
Ease of Setup
While customers can choose to have the Ring doorbell installed, it’s actually a very simple DIY install. Four included screws push through the back of the case and into the siding or door frame, then the battery is inserted and the faceplate snaps on and is fastened in place with a set screw. Once the user has downloaded the Ring app and installed the battery in the doorbell, the Ring itself will talk the user through connecting to Wi-Fi and adjusting the settings on the app. And that’s it!
If the front door of the home presents mounting challenges, Ring offers several “wedges” to place behind the unit to angle the camera properly. The wedges include appropriate hardware and instructions, so there’s no need to run to the hardware store to try to build out the doorbell.
Ease of Use
The Ring app is intuitive—there aren’t deep menus hidden in other menus, and the interface is customizable without digging around for a “how to” document. When someone rings the doorbell, the phone will vibrate or chime (depending on the selected setting) and a video will pop up on the screen showing whoever is on the step. Want to talk to them? Touch the little microphone icon at the bottom of the screen. It’s simple and straightforward to use, even for people who aren’t terribly comfortable with technology.
Peace of Mind
When the doorbell rings and you’re uncertain of who is at the door, you’re faced with a choice: Go answer the door (and hope you remembered to lock the storm door), or don’t answer. Neither is a great option, because it may feel unsafe to open the door to a stranger, but failing to answer may suggest that there’s nobody home, emboldening a potential intruder. The Ring doorbell allows residents to see who’s there and find out what they want, and even interact with them to let them know people are home without risking personal safety. The Ring app will notify you even when you’re not home, so you can interact with visitors as though you’re home, and they’ll never know the difference.
The Neighbors community allows those in the same geographic area to share video and photos from their Ring doorbells and Ring cameras when appropriate to warn them of hazards or dangers or ask questions. Whether it’s a bear wandering through backyards or a person committing a crime, choosing to join the Neighbors community can help provide a sense of connection between people who might not otherwise interact and band them together to keep their area safer.
The little blue glow of a Ring doorbell is a familiar sight to those who would break into a home. It’s a sign that the property is secured by a camera that will at the very least film their approach, and an indication that additional security is surrounding them, possibly with lights, more cameras, and alarms. The presence of that little blue circle can deter criminals from even approaching the door to try to kick it in or steal the package that’s on the step.
Evidence in the Event of a Crime
If someone is bold enough to approach despite the presence of the camera, the residents will have crisp, clear video and still frames of the approach and the crime. Many people don’t realize how wide the range of a Ring doorbell camera is, so identifying images may be caught before the person tries to hide behind a cap, hood, or mask. These images can be used to help law enforcement or to warn neighbors that there’s someone in the neighborhood approaching doors.
Ring Doorbell Cost: Who Is Ring Best For?
Because the Ring doorbell is easy to install and use, there aren’t many people who wouldn’t benefit from adding one to their security plan. However, there are some situations where a Ring is particularly appropriate. Compared with similar systems, the Ring is a great budget option that won’t sacrifice the features and services needed for a basic system. It’s ideal for parents whose children arrive home after school before the parents do; they can see the children arrive safely home and then handle from their workplace anyone who rings the bell, preventing the children from needing to open the door. Similarly, families who have older relatives living alone might choose to install a Ring so that they can address strangers from afar or be notified if someone is lingering nearby and summon law enforcement.
Ring is also best for homeowners or renters who aren’t in a position to want or need a comprehensive security system just yet, but want to add some security and retain the possibility of expanding to a more significant setup in the future without needing to dismantle one system and start over completely.
How to Save Money on a Ring Doorbell
While Ring offers devices and monitoring services at a range of prices, there are strategies to keep costs down.
- Keep it simple to start: Choose the doorbell model you like best, but hold off on accessories or monitoring until you see how you use the footage.
- Watch for sales on equipment.
- Check for sale packages; occasionally a retailer or Ring will offer a free year of monitoring with a purchase.
- Pay for monitoring annually instead of monthly to save.
There are more and more DIY security options on the market, and choosing one of the best wireless cameras or doorbell systems can be overwhelming. Ring offers quite a few models, options, and accessories, which can make the decision even harder. These are a few of the questions we see most frequently about Ring products; check out their answers to get you on track.
Q. How much is the monthly charge for the Ring doorbell?
If you choose not to subscribe to a Ring Protect plan, there is no monthly cost. Ring doorbell subscription cost depends on which plan will best fit your needs. Ring Protect plans cost $3, $10, and $20 per month, respectively, for Protect Basic, Protect Plus, and Protect Pro. Paying for those services annually rather than monthly will save some money.
Q. Can I use a Ring doorbell without a subscription?
Yes, you can! You won’t get video recordings to view later and will be limited only to viewing real-time video, but the doorbell will function the same otherwise.
Q. Where can I buy a Ring doorbell?
Ring products are available at Ring.com, Amazon, and many local retailers. If you choose to subscribe to a Ring Protect Plus or Protect Pro plan, you’ll save 10 percent off accessories and additional components if you purchase them directly from Ring or Amazon.
Q. Does the Ring doorbell ring inside the house?
The Ring doorbell causes the phone on which the Ring app is installed to vibrate or chime, depending on the phone’s settings and volume. If you’re choosing to hardwire the Ring to existing doorbell wiring, you can connect the Ring to the existing chime. Alternatively, you can purchase a Ring Chime or a Ring Chime Pro, which plug into an electric socket and connect to the Wi-Fi network to chime whenever the doorbell button is pressed.
Q. How long does the Ring doorbell’s battery last?
In general, the batteries should last between 6 and 12 months between charges. However, the actual length of time they’ll last depends on the settings the user selects. For example, if the motion sensor is set to be very sensitive, every passing bird and bunny will trigger the video to begin recording and an alert to sound, which will reduce the life of the battery. Using Rich Notifications, which send a preview of the video to the phone, or choosing the pre-motion video sensor to constantly record so that the user can see the moments beforethe sensor was triggered, will also reduce the battery life. Eventually, each user will find the balance of services they feel they need and the length of battery life they find reasonable. Ring also offers additional battery packs and charging stations, so if the battery life is too short with the settings you choose, you can opt to always have a charged battery ready to swap out.