Now in order to activate and connect the various devices, you will need to download the Ring App. There will be instructions provided by the App to connect the various devices. I had no problems getting the Ring Doorbell and the Ring Chime connected. It all starts with the Setup wizard which is very easy to follow.
Once the various devices are connected, then it is possible to set the various settings to your preferences and also to see the information of the attached devices (firmware version, battery life, MAC ID etc). I’ve connected both the Doorbell and Chime, but can always add further devices to it e.g. another Chime for the kitchen or the Stick up cam for the back garden.
When the Ring Doorbell detects any activity, it will show in the menu below. Tapping on any of these activities will show up the video of what was detected and recorded. Now as the iCloud recording provided is only for a 30 day trial, beyond that time you will need to subscribe (£2.50 monthly or £24.99 annual payment) in order to continue to access video recordings. This is probably the biggest down side of the Ring Doorbell, as there are other devices out there which allow for using own Network storage devices to record videos.
Now the Ring Chime allows for an audible notification in the house that someone has rung the doorbell – as a doorbell should. It can also be customised to sound for motion alert or be switched off (Do Not Disturb) when you do not wish to be disturbed. But sadly it only comes with one ring tone. Hopefully they will come up with more options with future updates.
The zone of detection of motion can also be customised, to detect only motion which interests you. Here it is set up to the area just up to 5ft in front of the doorbell.
What I like about the Ring Doorbell?
- Easy to install – great instructions. Comes with all necessary equipment to install it.
- Less costly than other similar devices
- Can be installed using built-in battery, so no need for trailing wires or connections to mains supply.
- Customisable and allows for many different devices to be connected to suit individual needs.
- Allows for answering the door (has built-in mic and speaker) via the App even when away from the house – so you do not miss that caller to the house.
What could be improved?
- There is a slight lag from the doorbell ring to actual visuals reaching the App. There is also a lag (about 0.5 sec) of audio and video conversations from the doorbell to the App, which can be expected when using the phone network. But at least it works.
- The Ring Chime has only one ring tone, so if you don’t like it then it won’t be great.
- There is a cost for ongoing iCloud recording, with no options for using a home Network Storage Device. And the cost only covers one device, so each device will require its own individual subscription for iCloud recording, which means more cost.
- To recharge the battery, the Doorbell would have to be dismounted from its bracket. Perhaps in future, there should be an option of charging using a stick-on adapter for charging.
First impressions are that it was reasonably priced, easy to install, works well and is customisable to meet the needs of different households. The two gripes I have with it are that for iCloud recording (after the first 30 days trial) requires further cost, and that there is no option for charging the Doorbell without removing it from its bracket.
But as the positives outweigh the negatives, I would say that it is worth getting. And the extra cost for the iCloud recording is worthwhile for the extra security it provides.
But this is only the case if you wish to only use one device, as adding more devices will multiply the cost by the number of devices connected. Recommended but only if you intend to use one device for your home. If you intend to haves multiple camera setup, then look elsewhere for ones which allow for saving of recording on home network storage devices.
Having used it and been able to answer the doorbell when I was out, has made me think that it is definitely a great product; I was able to answer the doorbell for a delivery and was able to give instructions to the courier to leave the delivery where it was safe. Now I do not have to worry about missing a visitor/delivery, as my phone will buzz to indicate motion detection at my front door.
The storage of recordings on iCloud means that there is security of these video clips from theft (any burglar could potentially steal the network storage device as well, which eliminates the evidence of the break in), which makes any added cost worth while to protect your home and property. The addition of the Ring stick up cam for the backyard will ensure all-round protection of the home; this will likely be my next purchase, as it is also wireless and battery operated, so no need to hook up to a mains supply. The ease of installation and featured in-built battery, make it a unique product compared to its rivals.
At the cost of £50 per year subscription for the two devices (front and back of home) for iCloud recording, it is well worth the cost to protect your house. Highly recommended.
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