- Privacy concerns over the last few years with Ring cannot be ignored.
- Adding a Ring Video Doorbell to your house also means another subscription to track.
- Thieves are still brazen enough to try and steal your Ring doorbell.
- Ringâs 160-degree field of view range is limited compared to the competition.
- If you live in a place where it can get below zero frequently, Ring might not be for you.
In today’s world of frequent deliveries, a video doorbell can be a great way to keep a close eye on your home. Whether you are inside your home or half a world away, it’s comforting knowing you can quickly look to see who is at your door and why.
While Ring video doorbells have become the most popular way to provide yourself with some extra home security, they have also raised some pretty serious security concerns. Having a live feed from your home not only means that you are recording everyone and everything that comes close, but if you are not careful, this video footage could be viewed by anyone.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at the 10 reasons you might want to avoid a Ring Video Doorbell in the future.
Privacy Concerns Should Not Be Ignored
The biggest concern for potential Ring buyers is around privacy, especially when you consider that you might be recording your neighbors walking their dogs on the sidewalk in front of your house. With Ring cameras being able to record as much as 20 feet away, there is a very good chance your camera might unintentionally pick up footage it doesn’t need.
None of this is to say that your footage will be used maliciously, but it’s the mere idea that potential privacy concerns exist that should be a warning sign.
Subscription Costs Are Necessary
While the idea of buying something that can give you more home security feels good, it also comes with a price. Not only do you have to buy the camera itself, but to really take advantage of its feature set, you need to purchase a monthly subscription.
Admittedly, prices can start at $3.99 a month, which is great for most people and arguably just means giving up one cup of Starbucks coffee each month. With this subscription, you get 180 days of cloud video history, notifications, personal alerts, and video saving and sharing.
However, if you want an extended warranty on your Ring or if you want to connect it to Ring’s broader alarm system, you have to fork over $10 or $20 a month, depending on your needs. Now you’re talking about more than just a monthly Starbucks swap, and these costs, along with other subscriptions in your life, can quickly add up.
Video Doorbells Are Theft Targets
The idea that someone might try and steal your Ring Video Doorbell while it’s recording might seem odd, but it happens all too often. Thieves consider video doorbells as electronics that are in high demand and so thefts of Ring doorbells have increased as their popularity has grown.
The good news is that it takes a bit of muscle to really pry a Ring Video Doorbell off a wall and it’s still recording while a thief is attempting to free it from its security bracket. However, if you have a thief who is skilled at taking these off a home or is okay with just ripping it off a wall, they will get your video doorbell whether you want them to or not.
While the theft of a Ring is a nuisance, there is always hope Ring can replace your doorbell for free. Under certain conditions, Ring will provide you with a free replacement, but that’s only after you have reported it to the police, received a copy of the police report, and reported the theft to Ring within 14 days. If you’re on the 15th day and then you try to file for a replacement, you are out of luck.
Viewing Ranges Are Limited
Depending on your home and how your front door and surrounding area have been built, you might find that a Ring Video Doorbell doesn’t provide much in the way of benefits. The angle of installation matters quite a bit as you want to be able to cover as much of your doorway as possible. Even with a field of view that can go up to 160 degrees horizontally and up to 90 degrees vertically, it still might not be enough to fully capture the entirety of your front porch or front door area.
The likelihood that at least part of your doorway will be monitored is high, but with a purchase like a Ring Video Doorbell, you want maximum viewing range protection. If you really want the best viewing range possible, you have to look beyond Ring Video Doorbells and to products like the Arlo Video Doorbell, which offers up to 180 degrees wide field of view.
Operating Temperature Limitations
While this won’t be a hassle for everyone, it’s important to note that, depending on your geographic location, there are temperature limitations that need to be factored in. While the upper range of heat at 120 degrees Fahrenheit isn’t likely to be as strong a concern, the -5 degrees Fahrenheit restriction is likely to be a factor for a lot of people during winter months.
Once the temperatures go above or below these points, Ring units can start to quickly lose a charge, or worse, stop working altogether and no longer provide any home security advantages. In fact, Ring even recommends that during these types of temperatures, you disconnect and bring your Ring Video Doorbell inside and wait until the temperature returns to within proper operating parameters.
Fast Internet Required
If you want the absolute most out of your Ring Video Doorbell, you need to make sure you have fast enough internet. Whether you go wired or wireless for your connection, if you have slow(er) wireless internet speeds, there is a good chance your Ring Video Doorbell won’t operate under optimal conditions. This can impact overall video quality and make it difficult to identify who or what is triggering your doorbell alerts. Weak internet can also mean choppy audio as well as simply taking your video doorbell offline intermittently.
No 2K or 4K Quality Available
While only a small group of Ring’s competitors offer 2K or 4K video quality, Ring’s current video doorbell quality only extends up to 1536p. That’s not quite 2K quality. So, if you want the absolute best picture quality around with your video doorbell, you need to look beyond Ring for the best available options.
What’s worse is that Ring has not indicated when to expect 2K or 4K camera options to hit the market, which is disappointing because competitors like Arlo and eufy have already released improved video quality products.
It’s true that not everyone is going to have an issue installing a Ring Video Doorbell, but knowing your comfort level with self-installation is important. If you are not comfortable installing on your own, you may need to hire a handyman or professional installer and this is undoubtedly going to lead to another charge.
While the installation process isn’t tedious or very time-consuming, the last thing you want is to worry about additional charges or headaches while installing. Setup should be relatively straightforward, but should is very much a hope and not always the reality.
False Alarms Are Frequent
There is always going to be hope that Ring Video Doorbells only catch active alerts when someone approaches your door. However, false alarms can be frequent, especially if you try to stretch your Ring’s range up to its full 20 feet. This means passing cars or neighbors walking could just as easily set off your Ring alerts as your delivery person dropping off your most recent Amazon order.
Finding the right distance settings to pick up on motion without constantly triggering false alarms can be difficult and frustrating. If you do live in a neighborhood or apartment building with lots of foot traffic, you have to really consider what your tolerance level is for frequent false alarms before making a purchase.
Hacking Concerns Are Real
Arguably one of the most important reasons to avoid a Ring Video Doorbell outright is hacking concerns. Ring Video Doorbells have been hacked before and this news was very public and created some immediate security concerns for both Ring and its parent company Amazon. More than a few people sued Ring and Amazon back in 2020 due to the lax security measures they felt Ring was taking to protect their accounts and their data.
Over 15 families would claim their Ring cameras were hacked and used to talk to their children, which undoubtedly created huge levels of fear for both parents and children alike. What’s worse is that should someone hack your Ring Video Doorbell, they are likely to gain access to the entirety of your Wi-Fi network, which could lead to far more problems than just your doorbell.
Just think bank passwords are inputted on the same Wi-Fi network as your video doorbell and that alone might be reason enough to scare you away from picking up a Ring Video Doorbell.
Alternatives to Ring Video Doorbells
Best Overall: Arlo Essential Video Doorbell
- HD video
- 180-degree view
- Night vision
- 2-way audio
- Direct to Wi-Fi with no hub needed
When it comes to the best overall video doorbell that offers a stronger field of view and improved video quality, the Arlo Essential Video Doorbell is the right choice.
Right away, the Arlo differentiates itself from Ring’s doorbell selection by offering a 180-degree field of view. As this is 20 full degrees more than Ring’s best option can deliver, you can feel even more confident the entirety of your front door approach is covered and recorded. You can also connect your Arlo to your smart home so you can use it with any Alexa, SmartThings, or Google smart home device.
Unlike Ring, Arlo also prompts a video call directly to your phone from the doorbell camera so you can quickly chat with your guests or use a pre-recorded message to tell them to go away. The Arlo also wins when it comes to comparing subscription options as it’s only $4.99 monthly for its doorbell plan, which offers 30 days of video recordings.
Best for Dual Cameras: eufy Video Doorbell
- Dual motion detection
- Package detection
- 2K HD
- Family recognition
- No monthly fee
- Motion only alert
If you want a dual-camera video doorbell option that offers improved video quality and extra views of package deliveries, the eufy Video Doorbell is for you.
You immediately know the eufy is looking to differentiate itself from the Ring Video Doorbell lineup by adding 2K HD video quality. This HDR-ready quality greatly enhances the level of detail that you can see on a person, package, or anything else that might be approaching your front door. Another advantage of the Arlo is instant notifications with Delivery Guard, which alerts you as soon as a package arrives.
Where the eufy separates itself from the pack is the inclusion of not one, but two cameras. The primary camera focuses on whoever is approaching your door while the second camera quickly picks up and works with the Delivery Guard feature to notify you a package has arrived. Should anyone attempt to take a package from your door, auto-response alerts warn evildoers to back off and that they are being recorded.
Reasons to Avoid a Ring Video Doorbell Summary
|1. While you want to think the best, privacy concerns over the last few years with Ring cannot be ignored.|
|2. Adding a Ring Video Doorbell to your house also means another subscription to track.|
|3. Even if it seems like a bad idea, thieves are still brazen enough to try and steal your Ring doorbell.|
|4. Ring’s 160-degree field of view range is limited compared to the competition.|
|5. If you live in a place where it can get below zero frequently, Ring might not be for you.|
|6. To really take advantage of a Ring, having fast internet is a must.|
|7. Even as 1080p video quality is good, a lack of 2K options is noticeable.|
|8. As much as Ring promises easy installation, you still might need help, and that can mean extra costs.|
|9. Having an alarm is a good thing, but Ring doorbells are prone to false alarms.|
|10. One of the biggest reasons to watch out for Ring is hacking concerns, as they have been hacked before.|
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Andrew Angelov/Shutterstock.com.