Why Ring Video Doorbells Are Not Your Best Option
Jan 29, 2019
Video doorbells are a great addition to your home security, and Ring has shown to be a popular choice for many, particularly the DIY crowd. However, there are some concerns you should be aware of before going with Ring.
Monthly Fee for Storage
The cheapest of the Ring doorbells is $99.99, with the next model promptly jumping up to $199.00. While it's not required, if you want any cloud storage of your footage, then you'll have to pay for Ring's Protect Plan which ranges from an additional $3-10 per month. Without it, you'll be unable to view any footage more than once. Meanwhile, professionally-installed video doorbells such as Skybell come with free cloud storage.
Some Limited Options
While Ring does have some uniquely useful features like "motion detection zones," the low-end Ring only offers you a 720 HD camera. For 1080 HD, you'd have to get its more expensive cousin for double the price; however, you then wouldn't be able to record in 720 HD. As a point of comparison, Skybell allows you to choose either 720 or 1080—the advantage being that you can decide which quality you want since the lower quality might be useful if you have a slow internet connection that could affect the video latency.
Ring has hit some bumps along the way with some surprisingly insecure design flaws. One issue that surfaced revolved around a vulnerability that would allow hackers to gain access to the owner's wifi name and password. Removing the doorbell with a screwdriver would reveal an orange button on the back that is used during the installation; pressing this would put the doorbell into a setup mode, that hackers would then be able to exploit. Ring claims to have since solved this problem with a firmware update.
Another security flaw allowed for any user who previously had access to be able to continue accessing the video doorbell, even if the owner had changed the password. This would be a major concern for any person who wanted to make sure that their ex-partner or former roommate is no longer able to access their video. Not only would they be able to see the live feed, but they would also be able to download any videos. Ring has tried to resolve this by instructing users never to share passwords, but rather to add "Shared Users." Unfortunately, flaws like this don't exactly instill confidence in Ring's ability to provide security.
Many Other Options on the Market
There are a lot of options nowadays for video doorbells: Ring, Skybell, August, Nest, Vivint, etc. If this is one of your first pieces of security equipment for you home, be sure to consider how you might build upon it. If you think later down the road you may get a professionally monitored system with door alarms and a central keypad, it may be worth getting the installation all done at once, which would cut down on the individual cost for each item. You would also be guaranteed that all pieces work in unison.
If you have any questions about the different home security options, our specialists are happy to help you figure out what works best for your situation.