If you want to improve your front door security but are uncertain which Ring product to choose, you have come to the right place.
Ring video doorbells and peephole cams are getting more and more popular for a reason: they offer cutting-edge technology from a reliable manufacturer for a reasonable price. Also, they have far more features than regular peepholes and doorbells.
However, before choosing between the available Ring models, it can be useful to compare them side by side.
First, let’s see what they have in common.
Similarities: Ring Video Doorbell 1, 2, Pro, and Peephole Cam
1. Two-Way Communication
Ring video doorbells and peephole cam (aka door view cam) allow two-way talk with noise cancellation.
This means that you can communicate with your visitor through your mobile device (whether you are at home or at the other end of the world). It is very similar to a video chat, however, while you can both hear and see the person in front of your door, they can only hear you.
2. Live View On-Demand HD Video
Each device allows you to check what is happening at your door at any given moment. All you have to do is enable Live View on your phone to get real-time HD quality video (and audio). This way you can easily check in on your home even if you are at work or on vacation.
3. Motion Detection
Both Ring peephole cam and all Ring video doorbell models feature adjustable motion detection. This means the device sends you motion-activated alerts to your smartphone, tablet, or other smart devices each time someone approaches your door.
The sensitivity of the motion detector is adjustable, so if you live in a busy area, you can avoid false alerts by tweaking the settings.
4. Compatibility with Alexa
Ring video doorbells, as well as Ring peephole cam, all work with Alexa.
If you have an Echo device (such as Echo Show, Echo speakers, or FireTV) you can connect it to your video doorbell or peephole cam and get announcements when someone approaches your home or presses the doorbell button.
You can also use your Echo device to communicate with your visitor or voice control your Ring devices.
5. Night Vision
Each device comes with infrared night vision. This technology allows you to check what is going on in front of your door even if it is completely dark outside.
Besides being very helpful, the capability of recording video at night also improves security as any intruder who approaches your home will be recorded instantly (and you will get notified) regardless of the time of the day.
All Ring devices are compatible with 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi networks (802.11 b/g/n). The vast majority of modern routers use this frequency, so compatibility is usually not an issue. Moreover, Ring Doorbell Pro can also use 5.0 GHz networks.
It is useful to know that at least 2 Mbps upload speed is recommended for the best performance. If your Wi-Fi signal is not strong enough at your door, you may want to consider upgrading your router or getting a Wi-Fi range extender (such as this one).
7. Weather-Resistant Design
Ring video doorbells and peephole cams are weatherproof and can operate in a wide temperature range (-5°F to 120°F and 32°F to 104°F regarding the indoor unit of the peephole cam), so you can safely install them on doors that face the outside.
8. Protect Plans
Ring devices will work without a subscription. However, if you need additional features, such as video saving or video history, you may want to consider subscribing to the Basic or the Plus Protect Plan.
9. Integration with Other Smart Devices
Ring products can be connected with many other smart devices through the Ring app. These include, for instance, smart locks from Kwikset, Schlage, Yale, GE, and many others. This way you can easily integrate your Ring device into your smart home ecosystem.
10. Lifetime Theft Protection
All Ring devices come with lifetime theft protection. So, if your Ring doorbell or peephole cam is stolen (and you report it within 15 days), you get a new device free of charge. Keep in mind that you will need to include the sales receipt (so make sure you keep it) and a copy of the police report too.
This service is available without a subscription too. You can find more details about theft protection here.
Did you know that a doorbell can ring by itself? It is more common than you might think. Find the reasons and solutions in this guide.
Differences: Ring Peephole Cam vs. Ring Video Doorbells
1. Power and Battery Life
It is important to know that the Ring Doorbell 1 and Doorbell 2 can be hardwired to your existing wiring but they can also be powered by a battery (Doorbell 2 comes with a removable battery that makes charging a whole lot easier).
On the other hand, Video Doorbell Pro requires an existing doorbell wiring to work.
In contrast, the Peephole Cam will only work with the (removable) battery pack that comes with the device (so no hardwired option is available).
The battery life of Video Doorbells 1 and 2 is usually anywhere from 4 to 12 months. This is the period of time the device will run on a single charge.
Peephole Cam has a much shorter battery life than Video Doorbells: according to several reviews, it rarely lasts more than 3 months.
Keep in mind that battery life depends on many different factors, such as usage, features enabled, temperature, etc.
Winner: Video Doorbell 2 (it gives you more flexibility than the others)
Sometimes visitors (who knows for what reason) knock on your door instead of using the doorbell button. This is where the knock-detection feature comes in. The Ring Peephole Cam comes with a built-in impact sensor that detects knocking and lets you check who is at your door. In contrast, Ring Video Doorbells do not have this feature.
Winner: Peephole Cam
3. Field of View
The wider the field of view, the greater the area the device sees. Surprisingly, the first-generation Ring Video Doorbell has the widest field of view: 180 degrees horizontal and 110 degrees vertical.
Both Ring Doorbell 2 and Pro have a field of view of 160 degrees horizontal and 90 degrees vertical.
The Ring Peephole Cam lags behind with 155 degrees horizontal and 90 degrees vertical.
Winner: Ring Video Doorbell 1
If you are on a budget, probably the first-generation Ring Doorbell will be your best bet. While being the cheapest model, it is just as reliable as other Ring products (here you can check out the current price on Amazon).
Doorbell Pro (current pricing on Amazon) is somewhat more expensive than the other models, in return, it offers some extra features, such as advanced motion detection or compatibility with 5 GHz Wi-Fi networks.
Winner: Video Doorbell 1
Installation is easy and in most cases, can be done in just a few minutes regardless of which device you choose (hardwiring takes a little longer).
However, there is one thing you should keep in mind. When hardwired to existing wiring, Ring Doorbell 1 and 2 require an 8-24 VAC doorbell transformer, while the Doorbell Pro needs a higher voltage of 16-24 VAC. So if your wiring is old, it may be useful to check the power before buying, especially in the case of the Doorbell Pro.
It may sound obvious, but don’t forget that the Peephole Cam must be installed on the door (for that you have to remove your existing peephole).
Winner: Peephole Cam (fastest installation)
6. Video Quality
When it comes to Ring products, video quality is not a concern. All of them record pretty good quality video that is more than enough to clearly identify your visitor. Therefore, if you use your doorbell only to check your guests, I think resolution should not be a priority when buying.
There is a difference, though, between the devices: Ring Peephole Cam, Video Doorbell 2, and Doorbell Pro feature 1080p HD video resolution while Video Doorbell 1 can record in “only” 720p HD resolution. So there is a noticeable difference in resolution but it only has a major significance if you use the digital zoom.
What is more important is that you can only enjoy on-demand videos if you hardwire your Ring Video Doorbell. So, if a live feed is important for you, forget the batteries. Of course, the Peephole Cam can’t be hardwired, therefore it streams live videos on batteries.
Again: if you don’t hardwire the Video Doorbell (any model), you’ll only get motion-activated records.
Winner: Video Doorbell 2, Pro, and Peephole Cam feature the same 1080p resolution
There is not much difference in size between the Ring devices. The Peephole Cam is the smallest (outdoor unit: 3.83 in x 1.85 in x .78 in), next comes the Doorbell Pro (4.50 in x 1.85 in x 0.8 in), then the Doorbell 1 (4.98 in x 2.43 in x .87 in), and finally, the Doorbell 2 (5.05 in x 2.50 in x 1.08 in) being the largest.
While the Doorbell 1 and 2 have a very similar rectangular shape, the Pro version is narrower and has an improved, sleek design. I think the Doorbell Pro looks more stylish than the other models, but that is simply a matter of preference.
Regarding appearance, Video Doorbell 2 and Pro come with additional faceplates (such as Satin Nickel and Venetian), so you can easily and quickly change the color of your device. Faceplates are also available for the Ring Peehole Cam (but you have to buy them as an additional item), but not for the first-generation Video Doorbell.
Comparison Chart: Ring Peephole Cam vs. Ring Video Doorbell 1 vs. Doorbell 2 vs. Doorbell Pro
Which One Should You Choose?
For condo owners and renters, Ring Peephole Cam might be the ideal choice as it is really easy and quick to install without any drilling or screwing. When you move to another apartment, all you have to do is replace the Peephole Cam with the existing peephole. This way you can restore the original state completely within just a few minutes. And there is the knock-detection feature that can be pretty useful if you live in an apartment.
If you live in a house and you have the budget, I would recommend that you go with Doorbell 2 or Pro. If the design and interchangeable faceplates are important, and you have a 5 GHz network at home, you may want to consider Doorbell Pro (just keep in mind that it must be hardwired). Otherwise, stick with Doorbell 2.
If you need a reliable video doorbell on the cheap, opt for the Ring Doorbell 1. It has been on the market for several years now, and it does a really good job. Indeed, you can’t replace its faceplate and the video quality is not full HD, but it is still a great value for the money.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you hardwire the Ring Peephole Cam?
No, the Ring Peephole Cam is powered by a battery and, unlike the Video Doorbells, it cannot be hardwired.
Do Ring Peephole Cam and Video Doorbell work without an Internet connection?
No, they all require a wireless Internet connection to work. Otherwise, they can’t communicate with your mobile device.
Are power wires required?
All the above-mentioned Ring devices can work wirelessly except the Doorbell Pro which requires hardwiring.
Can people with hearing loss benefit from Ring products?
Yes, indeed, though much depends on the severity of the disease. If you suffer from hearing issues, I would suggest you connect your doorbell (or peephole cam) to a Ring Chime (Pro) unit. As a side note, we have a full guide on the best solutions and doorbells for seniors and those who suffer from hearing impairment here.
Are Ring products waterproof?
They are weather-proof and water-resistant, so they can get wet and withstand rain, but they should not be submerged directly into the water.
Will my Ring Video Doorbell and Peephole Cam work without a subscription?
Yes, many of the features, such as motion alert, real-time video, and two-way communication, will work without a subscription, however, some services, such as video saving, will only work when you subscribe.