Keep your property safe, and answer the door wherever you are, with the best video doorbells from Ring
Video doorbells have become more and more popular in recent years, with many consumers lured by their home security and remote communication features and the peace of mind those bring.
Ring is one of the biggest and most well-established brands in home security. Founded in 2012 and now owned by Amazon, its video doorbells and security cameras are popular for good reason. However, with multiple models to choose from, all ranging in price and functionality, it can be difficult to know which is the best Ring video doorbell for you.
To make the task of deciding that little bit easier, we’ve summarised the best reasons to buy each of the current crop of video doorbells from Ring. You’ll find our recommendations after our buyer’s guide, which should demystify some of these differentiating features.
Best Ring video doorbells: At a glance
How to choose the best Ring video doorbell for you
What can I do with a Ring video doorbell?
The major selling point to Ring video doorbells is the ability to respond to a knock on your door from your mobile device and to provide home security. For many, Ring doorbells provide peace of mind as they act as a deterrent for would-be burglars.
They give you access to a video feed of what’s happening outside your door and, with a subscription to the Ring Protect Plan, the doorbell will record things happening outside your front door (triggered by motion) and store footage in the cloud.
What is the Ring Protect Plan, and do I need one to use a Ring Video Doorbell?
You do not need to subscribe to these plans to use the Ring Video Doorbells. You can view the video feed and take advantage of remote two-way communication without a subscription, but you will not be able to access archival footage.
The Ring Protect Plan comes in at two price points, basic and plus. Both variants grant users access up to 180 days worth of recorded footage. The major difference between the two plans is in how many devices are covered. The basic plan covers just one Ring device, with the latter allowing for an unlimited number, which includes security cameras as well as video doorbells.
The basic plan costs £3.49 a month but can also be paid in annual instalments of £35, with plus plan running subscribers £8 a month, or £80 a year. Either plan comes with an extended warranty, of up to a year, on your Ring products and theft protection; if your device is stolen, the company will send you a replacement. None of these plans tie you into lengthy contracts, as you are free to cancel any time.
What features should I look for?
When considering which Ring Video Doorbell to purchase there are a few things to consider. These factors are the ease of installation (some doorbells need a hardwired power source, others are powered by a removable battery pack), compatibility with smart home devices such as Amazon Alexa, and the extent of the motion detection technology.
READ NEXT: The video doorbells to buy
Wired or wireless: What’s the right choice for me?
Ultimately the answer will come down to user preference and what’s already in place in your house. For us, a wired doorbell is the best choice because you don’t have to worry about recharging batteries and you can connect the doorbell to a regular wired chime, giving you the best of both worlds.
If you’re a confident DIYer, and you have a normal doorbell powered by a mains transformer, you may even be able to simply connect up your new doorbell using the existing wiring.
On the other hand, if your existing doorbell is battery powered or there are no existing wires, you’ll need to have a professional electrician fit the doorbell, which will add to the cost.
In this case, you may want to consider a battery-powered Ring doorbell instead, which can be easily fitted with a few screws. And don’t worry too much about recharging as it doesn’t need to be done too often. Ring quotes battery life at anywhere between six months and a year, depending on use.
What is a Ring Chime and do I need one?
Normally, notifications are delivered through your smartphone from Ring Video Doorbells. In order to have your Ring unit be heard throughout the house, you will need a Ring Chime.
These are speakers that plug into any wall socket of your home and, as the name would suggest, chime when the doorbell is rung. The Ring Chime is configured and managed the same way as all video doorbells from Ring are, through the companion app.
There are currently two models of Ring Chime on the market; a base and pro model. The key difference between the two is in the Chime Pro’s ability to act as a WiFi extender for Ring devices.
The Ring Chime is available for £30, whereas the Ring Chime Pro comes in a little pricier at £50. Certain Ring video doorbell models come bundled in with Ring Chimes from Amazon.
What other differences are there?
Although some Ring Doorbells are battery-powered and others are “wired”, all the video and audio data is normally sent over your home Wi-Fi network, and there is some difference between how the various models connect.
The cheaper models only support single-band 2.4GHz Wi-Fi and may struggle for a reliable connection in areas of particularly high Wi-Fi congestion. More expensive models support dual-band connectivity.
While every Ring video doorbell has a level of motion tracking capabilities, the newer and pricier models give you more adjustability.
The best Ring video doorbells to buy in 2023
1. Ring Video Doorbell Plus: The best Ring doorbell for most people
Price when reviewed: £160 | Check price at Amazon
Our new favourite doorbell is the Ring Video Doorbell Plus and it brings with it a number of improvements over the regular Video Doorbell 4. Chief among these is its ability to capture a so-called “head-to-toe” image of visitors – a vertical field of view of 150-degrees – which means that not only can you see your visitors shoes but you should also be able to see if they’ve left a package on your doorstep. Not only that, but the resolution is improved, from 1080p to 1536p and it’s just as easy to use and responsive as the Doorbell 4, too. Other improvements include the introduction of colour night vision and package detection.
You can use the Doorbell Plus as a battery powered doorbell or mains powered and connect it to an existing mechanical/electrical chime if you want, and the only real caveat is that it doesn’t come with some of Ring’s more advanced features: video pre-roll, for instance, or 3D Motion detection. You have to opt for the Ring Doorbell 4 for the former, or the Ring Doorbell Pro 2 if you want both. The Doorbell Plus also only works over a single-band Wi-Fi connection but that shouldn’t affect its performance unduly.
In our view, the improved camera makes the Ring Doorbell Plus the best Ring doorbell for most peope, notwithstanding the missing advanced features. It’s our new favourite Ring doorbell.
Key specs – Camera: 1536p; Field of view: 150˚ (horizontal and vertical); Installation: Battery/Wired; Dual-Band Internet: No
2. Ring Video Doorbell 4: A find all-rounder with advanced features
Price when reviewed: £180 | Check price at Amazon
The Ring Video Doorbell 4 is a mid-range video doorbell with some impressive features. Easy to install, the Ring Video Doorbell 4 can be connected to any preexisting doorbell wiring or run off of its rechargeable battery. If you opt to wire it up then it’ll even ring a traditional chime.
The Video Doorbell 4’s headline feature is its colour pre-roll function. With this enabled the doorbell can save up to four seconds of video footage before the motion detector is triggered, streaming the footage direct to your smartphone. This greatly reduces the likelihood that you’ll miss recording an important motion event. While the Video Doorbell 3 Plus offered a black and white version, the Doorbell 4 is currently the only battery-powered bell to offer colour pre-roll, making it a real standout.
Read our full Ring Video Doorbell 4 review for more details
Key specs – Camera: 1080p; Field of view: 160˚; Installation: Battery/Wired; Dual-Band Internet: Yes
3. Ring Video Doorbell Pro: The best wired-in Ring doorbell
Price when reviewed: £155 | Check price at Amazon
Unlike other Ring Video Doorbell products, the Pro model can only be powered by your home’s main power supply, and it comes with the tools and equipment you’ll need to install it yourself.
The key benefit here is that the Pro model offers colournight vision (where other Ring Video Doorbells only offer black and white), as well as advanced pre-roll, where you get those few seconds of footage recorded before motion is detected. Design wise, the Pro is sleek and built to sit flush on any surface it’s installed into, being less bulky than some other models.
Key specs – Camera: 1080p; Field of vision: 160˚; Installation: Wired; Dual-Band Internet: Yes
4. Ring Doorbell Elite: The best high-end Ring doorbell
Price when reviewed: £300 | Check price at Amazon
With a hefty asking price, the Elite doesn’t come cheap, but it benefits from a sleek design and superior internet stability thanks to the way the device is installed. Instead of Wi-Fi connectivity for video and data (although it does support this, too), the Elite is designed to hook up to your home or business network via Ethernet cable; it can even be powered via Ethernet using PoE (Power over Ethernet), although you need a PoE switch of your own to supply power.
Other than this, the Elite offers much the same feature set as other premium Ring doorbells, including 1080p resolution video, advanced motion tracking with customisable motion zones, noise-cancelling microphones and dual-band Wi-Fi for those who prefer wireless data connectivity over Ethernet. A 50m Ethernet cable is included in the box.
Key specs – Camera: 1080p; Field of view: 160˚; Installation: Power over Ethernet (PoE); Dual-Band internet: Yes
5. Ring Video Doorbell (2nd Generation): The best affordable Ring doorbell
Price when reviewed: £100 | Check price at Amazon
The 2nd-gen Ring Video doorbell is an excellent entry-level option for those interested in trying home security systems. It can be either hardwired directly into existing doorbell wiring, a compatible transformer, or can run completely off battery power.
Although it’s much cheaper than some other Ring models, the 2nd-gen Ring Video Doorbell has everything you need to keep your home safe and give you peace of mind; night vision, adjustable motion tracking, 1080p HD video conferencing, smartphone notifications and Amazon Alexa baked in.
What it lacks, compared with the most recent Doorbell 3 at least, is dual-band Wi-Fi connectivity, so you can only hook it up to slower 2.4GHz networks. It doesn’t have the pre-roll recording capability of the 3 Plus either and also misses out on the more advanced motion tracking. Indeed, where the Ring 3 allows you to customise motion-detection zones using “near” and “far” zones, the Doorbell 2 only allows you to segment the motion detection zones horizontally.
This Ring Video Doorbell comes bundled in with a Ring Chime unit.
Key specs – Camera: 1080p;Field of view: 155˚; Installation: Battery/Wired; Dual-Band Internet: No