Ring vs. Ring: Which Ring Video Doorbell is Right for You?

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Amazon Ring dominates the video doorbell market. Of course you can buy a Google Nest Buzzer Where one from Arlo – and both offer solid alternatives to Ring – but most people looking to buy a doorbell camera go with the biggest brand in the industry.

Ring has a fairly extensive selection of video doorbells at this point, so it can be difficult to determine which one is best for your home. Looking for a wireless or wired option? Do you want something affordable, or do you want all the bells and whistles? Ring a a complicated history with partnerships between privacy and the police: Do some devices protect your privacy better than others? It turns out that video doorbells can lead to a lot of questions.

Well we have all the answers for you. Let’s take a look at Ring’s most popular recent devices – the Ring 4, Doorbell Pro 2, and Video Doorbell (2020) – and help you break down the options.

Chris Monroe / CNET

In 2021, Ring launched its latest main video doorbell, the Ring 4. It costs $ 200, offers 1080p resolution, 160-degree field of view, and two-way talk, plus many other perks like pre-roll. in color (which captures a few seconds before motion is detected, for more context). The Ring 4 can be used wirelessly with its battery, or it can be wired – although that won’t allow it to use your existing doorbell chime, unfortunately. For that, you’ll either need to get a separate plug-in chime or use your Echo devices as a replacement.

A few downsides: The Ring 4 has a wide-angle aspect ratio, so you can easily see things from side to side, but when a visitor approaches the door, their head and feet (or one package, if it leaves one) can be easily cut from the frame. Another downside: for the moment, the Ring 4 still cannot send you parcel alerts like the Pro 2 or the Ring (2020). That’s quite disappointing considering that every major competitor can send you parcel alerts at this point – and given the importance of video doorbells in protecting parcels during online shopping season.

Read our review.

David Priest / CNET

Ring’s top-of-the-line video doorbell, the Video Doorbell Pro 2, comes with some great features for its $ 250 price tag. You get a 1: 1 aspect ratio so you can see people from head to toe, razor-sharp 1536p resolution and even radar, so you can follow the route of visitors or delivery people. right up to your door. In short, this thing has all the extras you could want.

In addition, the Pro 2 takes full advantage of the cabling; it can use end-to-end video encryption (unlike the other two options on this list), it can send package alerts (unlike the Ring 4), and it can use your existing doorbell chime. I liked the Ring Pro 2 a lot when I tested it in 2021, although I wondered how many people really needed features like radar tracking. That said, if you’re interested in those features and are willing to part with the $ 250, the Pro 2 is a solid gadget.

Read our review.

Chris Monroe / CNET

Ring’s $ 100 Video Doorbell is its most basic offering – almost identical in hardware to its wired $ 60 Ring Video Doorbell, except for its included battery. If you’re looking for a smart start-up alarm, this one is a great option – and it even works with Ring’s latest Parcel Alerts feature.

While the Video Doorbell (2020) is great, it won’t win any awards for the smartest features. It doesn’t have a pre-roll like the Ring 4, let alone radar or end-to-end encryption like the Pro 2 (although the wired version does offer that feature).

The big downside here is the need to remove the entire doorbell in order to charge the battery.

Read our review.

The verdict

When looking for a video doorbell, the most important question isn’t “which one is better?” As well as “Which one is best for me?” All of Ring’s video doorbells perform well – and all come from the same company, with the same troubling history of making it easy to share video with the police. Not all will be ideal for you.

If you want to try out a video doorbell for the first time, mainly for its basic features like live monitoring, two-way chat, etc., a basic device like the Ring Video Doorbell (2020) (or its wired version) should do what you need.

On the other hand, if you really want to see what a smart video doorbell can do in 2021, the Video Doorbell Pro is pretty unbeatable in terms of features – and especially with that option to use end-to-end video encryption.

That leaves the Video Doorbell 4 as a middle kid, with a bit for both types of people, but not necessarily the best value or the best features.

If you are interested in video doorbells, please remember to take a look at the competition, too much.

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