Video doorbells help you keep your distance from others and stay informed about who’s at your front door — regardless of your location anywhere in the world. Amazon recently introduced the Ring Video Doorbell 3 and Video Doorbell 3 Plus, both of which are available now. There has been no announcement to the effect, but it also appears the Ring Video Doorbell 2 may be no longer in production, replaced by the VDB 3.
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The top Ring video doorbell deals
How do you choose a video doorbell?
Ring has seven video doorbells in its lineup. Four current models, the Ring Video Doorbell, Ring Video Doorbell 2, Ring Video Doorbell Pro, and Video Doorbell Elite install outside an entry door, usually on or adjacent to the door frame, held in place by a security bracket. The fifth model, the Ring Peephole Cam, as its name denotes, installs using an existing entry door peephole, through which the unit’s outside and inside components connect.
Two new models, theand are available now for preorder for $200 and $230, respectively. The new models will be released on April 8, 2020. The Ring Video Doorbell 3 upgrades (and appear to have replaced) the Video Doorbell 2 with improved motion detection, privacy zones, audio privacy, and dual-band Wi-Fi connectivity. The Video Doorbell 3 Plus adds the Pre-Roll feature, an extra four seconds of black and white video prior to the regular video being triggered by motion detection or a doorbell press.
The various Ring Video Doorbell models range in list price from $100 for the Video Doorbell to $500 for the Video Doorbell Elite. The five models differ in video camera resolution and field of view, dimensions (smaller costs more), Wi-Fi connectivity, and whether they require power from batteries, hardwiring, or Power over Ethernet. All five models support on-demand video two-way talk, and motion-activated alerts and all work with Amazon Alexa.
Advanced features in the more expensive models, the Video Doorbell Pro ($249 list) and Video Doorbell Elite ($499), include dual-band 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi connectivity and advanced motion detection for customized motion zones in the camera’s field of view.
You can use the Ring app or specific Alexa-enabled display devices and screens to view live video and talk with callers. If you want to see video clips stored in the cloud, you’ll need a subscription to Ring Protect. Subscriptions start at $3 a month after a 30-day free trial period.
It helps to talk with friends or acquaintances who use Ring Video Doorbells to learn from their experiences. You can also read reviews on Digital Trends and Amazon customer reviews. Most customers will be well-served by the Ring Video Doorbell 2 or Ring Video Doorbell Pro, although the other models also get the job done and could be considered, depending on how tight or fat your wallet is currently.
Another factor to consider when selecting a Ring Video Doorbell is your full smart home configuration, current and planned for the future. If you decide to spring the $500 for the Ring Video Doorbell Elite, which is also the only model for which Ring recommends professional installation and an additional cost, that takes $200 to $300 from your budget that could have purchased Ring or other brand security lights, additional indoor or outdoor cameras, or perhaps an extra smart display you can dedicate for use with your home security devices.
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