Archive - December 7, 2016

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» REVIEW: Ring Doorbell and Stick Up Cam

» REVIEW: Ring Doorbell and Stick Up Cam

We live in a “safe” neighborhood but with young children, I wanted more peace of mind. Thanks to Ring and our internet recently being upgraded to faster speeds, we now have a reliable wireless solution instead of the traditional wired option. Once installed, setup for both the Video Doorbell and Stick Up cam are extremely easy as it is with almost all good smart devices these days.

Video Doorbell

Because the Video Doorbell was replacing our existing doorbell, we decided to have the power hardwired. This version also has an internal rechargeable battery so that you don’t have to use electric wiring if you don’t want to.

  • Compatible with all iOS and android Smartphone and tablets
  • Built-in motion sensors detect movement up to 30 ft. allowing you to know what is going on outside of your home
  • 720p HD Camera with 180° Field of View, 30 ft. Motion Detection, and Night Vision
  • Lifetime Purchase Protection: If your Ring Video Doorbell is stolen, we’ll replace it free of charge
  • Bank Grade Encryption
  • -5 to 120°F Operating Temperature

Elliott was excited to jump in and help make the swap. (I have to admit, I hated seeing our original-to-the-house doorbell gone… but I quickly got over it.) Everything you need is included in the box. Ring claims that the installation takes about 5 minutes but ours took a little longer since we had to make our wiring hole significantly larger to allow the new device to sit flush on the wall. Installation took about 20 minutes, you also have to consider that my nine year old was doing a majority of the work here.

If there’s motion or someone rings the doorbell, both Calvin and I get a phone notification. We can jump immediately to the live view and decide whether or not we want to talk to the other person or not. We’ve also taught the kids to use it as an emergency tool since they don’t have their own phones. So far I’ve been able to give instructions to the UPS driver and also turn away solicitors while nobody was home… nicely of course. There have been times that I didn’t get to answer on my phone in time but it was still great to open the app a few minutes later to see who just came by the house.

(photo blurred)

Stick Up Cam

The Stick Up Cam is very similar to the doorbell except it’s designed to be installed anywhere else outside the home (or inside if you prefer). We’ve started with one Stick Up Cam so we decided to put it near our garage door as the kids often will gather and play on the driveway. You can keep the unit plugged in via USB or solely rely on the unit’s rechargeable battery.

The installation was even faster for the Stick Up Cam as we opted not to keep it plugged in. Ring claims that the battery will last up to 8 months, but of course that will vary depending on use and the traffic of the area it is monitoring.

  • Motion detection
  • Night vision
  • Two-way audio
  • Weather resistant for outdoor use
  • Bank grade encryption
  • 80 degree field-of-view

The most practical use I’ve used it for so far is checking on the kids from inside the home to make sure they are being safe and playing nicely. The Stick Up Cam also has two-way audio just like the Doorbell product. Even with our Stick Up cam installed pretty high up on the house, the microphone/speaker have worked really well so far. We even discovered that we had a opossum trying to get dinner from our trash can one night. The Stick Up Cam doesn’t boot up as fast as the doorbell does and sometimes not at all. I’ve even tried this next to our router to make sure we were getting the strongest connection possible. This can be a letdown to many in a real emergency situation. Hopefully they may be able to fix this in an app or firmware update in the near future.

Conclusion

Having a few more eyes and ears outside never hurts. Ring makes everything super easy to install and set up on your iPhone. Considering the peace of mind and security that Ring products offer, it’s worth the cost of the equipment. I have found the doorbell to be a little more reliable than the Stick Up cam but I also think it’s because of less movement. When someone rings the doorbell, they normally stand and wait for the owner to open the door. With the Stick Up cam pointed at the driveway, there have been times the recording started a little too slow to catch what triggered it in the first place. You should also plan on adding the cloud video recording option that runs $3 a month or $30 a year (per unit) for unlimited video recording. I’m still hopeful that Ring will give price breaks for multiple units as it can get pricey if you’re looking to monitor your whole house.

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Ring website

 

 

 

Disclaimer: The folks at Ring kindly provided us a unit for this review. As always, the opinions are my own.

All Content © Erica Ho, Goodbye Normal