Which Ring camera is best?
Ring manufactures cameras that go inside or outside of your home as part of your security measures to protect your family and valuables. The Ring Spotlight HD Cam is a battery-powered security device you can place nearly anywhere you desire. It has a number of other features that can help enhance the security of your home.
What to know before you buy a Ring camera
Why you should choose a Ring camera
A Ring camera lets you check in on family, pets and guests when you’re not home. The right model allows you to communicate with individuals who approach your home, and some models even allow visitors to leave messages. With the right Ring camera and a Ring Protect plan, you can record and save footage to show the authorities, if needed.
Where you should place Ring cameras
Security cameras need to be in strategic positions to be of value. If the Ring camera is not battery powered, these locations need to provide a source of power and a source of light. Place a Ring outdoor camera in any area that makes an inviting entry point, such as a basement window, a back door, a garage or any first-floor window.
A Ring doorbell camera is ideal for monitoring front-door activity, while a Ring indoor camera can monitor the interior of your home. Each camera needs to have a single viewing area, whether that’s the driveway, the yard or front door. When possible, it should be in a position to catch individuals walking across the camera’s field of vision.
Should you invest in Ring Protect?
While all Ring security cameras offer free Live View, which lets you see what is happening in real time, you need a Ring Protect plan to record and save video. There are two plans: a Protect Basic Plan for one device and a Protect Plus Plan for multiple devices. Ring Protect is available as a monthly or yearly subscription.
What to look for in a quality Ring camera
Pre-roll video previews
This important feature allows users to view what happened up to six seconds before a motion sensor was triggered. This means no more missed visitors.
Motion detection features
Some models offer a motion detection angle of 110 degrees while others have a 160-degree angle. The best Ring security camera features adjustable detection so you can fine-tune the camera to your specific needs.
Color night vision
While most night vision modes offer color footage, a few models still lack this feature. If having color footage at night is important to you, make sure the model you’re considering offers this.
Some Ring cameras are hardwired while others must be plugged in or run off a battery. If you need a camera in a remote location, make sure you have a way to power it. If you have a battery-powered Ring camera, consider getting a solar panel to provide a continuous charge.
Some Ring models have lights that trigger when motion is detected, while others have an option of remotely sounding a siren to help scare away unwanted guests. There are even some models with built-in greetings and others that can take messages from visitors when you’re occupied.
How much you can expect to spend on a Ring camera
Individuals on a budget can get a basic Ring camera for around $60, while others who want all the bells and whistles may pay up to $350 for a single doorbell camera.
Ring camera FAQ
Do battery-powered Ring devices work in the cold?
A. Cold weather doesn’t affect the Ring camera itself, but it diminishes the functionality of the lithium-ion batteries Ring uses to power its cameras. As temperatures fall, you may have performance issues. According to the company, here are the key temperatures: Below 36 degrees Fahrenheit, you have to charge the battery more often; below 32 degrees, the battery won’t charge; and below -5 degrees, the battery stops working.
If you live in an area where these types of temperatures are normal, you’ll need to bring your device inside and warm it up before charging. You’ll also need to charge your camera to 100% before remounting, for best results.
What is firmware?
A. Firmware is the updatable software that defines the way your Ring camera works. Without the latest upgrade, your camera may not perform as expected. Since performance is affected during updates, automatic updates for Ring cameras occur during off-peak hours.
What’s the best Ring camera to buy?
Top Ring camera
What you need to know: If you need to put a security camera in a remote location, this battery-powered model is the perfect option.
What you’ll love: This home spotlight cam features motion detection that triggers HD Live View, which begins running video. You also get an alert sent to your phone that allows you to see and hear what’s going on. The device has two-way talk and a remote-activated siren that can help scare away unwanted guests.
What you should consider: Since this is a battery model, when temperatures dip, performance may be unreliable.
Top Ring camera for the money
What you need to know: lf you’re looking for an entry-level indoor security camera, this low-priced model is your best option from Ring.
What you’ll love: This compact security camera is only 3 inches tall so you can place it almost anywhere in your home. It installs in about five minutes and has a 115-degree lens with Live View that you can check through the Ring app.
What you should consider: Some individuals don’t like the blue light that turns on when it records, but you can cover that with tape if it becomes a nuisance.
Worth checking out
What you need to know: When you hear the name Ring, this video doorbell is likely what you think of.
What you’ll love: This video camera doubles as a doorbell so you can see, hear and talk to anyone who comes to your door, no matter where you are. It can get power via a built-in rechargeable battery or you can connect it to existing doorbell wires for constant power. The motion sensor sends notifications to your mobile device each time it triggers so you never miss any activity.
What you should consider: This is the 2020 model, so while that saves you a great deal of money, a couple of the most modern features, such as pre-roll video, are missing.
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Allen Foster writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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