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Here’s What You Need to Know About Video Doorbells
Posted on Thursday, March 14, 2024
Here’s What You Need to Know About Video Doorbells

March 14, 2024 - Since Ring invented the video doorbell a decade ago, you’ve probably noticed more and more homes swapping out their traditional doorbells — and for good reason. Video doorbells add essential protection to your front door and make it easier to keep track of what’s happening at home when you’re away.

Are you considering making the switch to a smart video doorbell? Here are some in-depth answers to your most pressing questions about everything from their capabilities and benefits to installation and cost.

How Do Video Doorbells Work?

A video doorbell replaces your traditional doorbell, but instead of just making noise inside your home when someone presses it, a video doorbell also lets you see and speak with who’s there — even if you’re nowhere near home.

In addition to a button guests can press, video doorbells have a motion-activated video camera that detects when people are outside your door and begins recording. Using your wifi signal, they send a notification to your phone, where you can view real-time footage and even talk to your guests, whether you’re stuck in the kitchen or pulling a late night at the office. And if you can’t check in when you get a notification, Ring doorbells can play a pre-recorded message and capture your visitor’s response for you to see later.1

What Are the Benefits of Video Doorbells?

A traditional doorbell can let you know when someone’s at your house — but only if you’re there, too. With a video doorbell, you can:

Remotely answer the door from anywhere: From delivery drivers to neighbors coming to return a borrowed tool, you can communicate with anyone at your front door from anywhere. Two-Way Talk enables you to tell a visitor you’ll be back in five or say thank you for a special delivery.

Get notifications when someone arrives and see who comes and goes: Visitors don’t have to ring the bell for you to know they’re at the door. After detecting motion, your video doorbell will send a notification, so you can check who’s there using Live View. With a Ring Protect subscription, sold separately, you can also look back on footage from the past 180 days on the Ring App to see who arrived if you missed a notification.1

Know when a package is delivered: With any Ring Video Doorbell and Ring Protect subscription, sold separately, you can get Package Alerts when a delivery is detected on your front porch. That way, you won’t have to check your doorbell’s footage when you get a motion notification — you’ll know that the activity around your door was a delivery.

Save valuable footage: Video doorbells can capture a lot more than deliveries and your kids leaving for school. From a video of your car getting damaged in an ice storm to your grandson saying hello, you can save and use clips for family group chats or insurance claims with a Ring Protect subscription, sold separately.1

How Do I Install a Video Doorbell?

The installation process for your video doorbell depends on the type you buy. A wireless battery doorbell from Ring only requires a mount, which you can attach with screws or removable adhesive. Once you click the battery pack into place, you slide the doorbell into the mount, and you’re done. If you want to hear your doorbell inside your home instead of just getting a notification, you can plug in an electronic Chime and connect it to your doorbell using the Ring App.

Wired video doorbells replace your existing doorbell and connect to your home’s wiring. Before installation, you need to shut off power at the breaker. Then, you connect a jumper cable to your existing chime system, enabling your video doorbell to sound inside your home. Outside, you’ll connect your old doorbell’s wires to your video doorbell and screw it into the wall next to your door. Once you turn the power back on, you can set everything up in the Ring App. If you choose a Power over Ethernet option, you’ll need to connect an ethernet cable along with the electrical wiring.

Ring offers all the resources you need to install a video doorbell, from written setup guides and videos to step-by-step instructions in the Ring App. But you can also schedule an appointment with our professional installation team if you prefer a hands-off approach.

Are Video Doorbells Worth It?

Whether you’re a frequent traveler, online shopper, or someone who doesn’t always hear people at the door, a video doorbell is a worthwhile investment. It’s simple to replace your existing device, and there are plenty of options to fit any budget.

More FAQs About Video Doorbells

How Much Do Video Doorbells Cost?

Video doorbells can range from less than $100 to a few hundred, depending on the features you’re looking for. You can also pay a little extra for professional installation, a plug-in Chime for your battery-powered doorbell, a subscription for cloud storage, and accessories like faceplates, solar chargers, and additional battery packs.

How Long Does the Battery Last on a Video Doorbell?

Ring doorbell batteries are designed to last months, but their actual performance will depend on how often your doorbell gets used. You can check the battery level from the Ring App, and you’ll get a notification if it drops below 30 percent. Extra battery packs are also available for purchase, so you don’t have to stop using your doorbell while the battery charges.

Do Video Doorbells Need Wifi?

Video doorbells need wifi unless they use Power over Ethernet, which provides a hardwired internet connection. Without wifi, your doorbell can’t transmit footage to your phone or send digital notifications.

If you have issues with your wifi signal reaching the front door, a Ring Alarm Pro can provide up to 1,500 square feet of connection.2 For larger homes, you can add eero extenders to help ensure the signal extends to your video doorbell.

How Do I Save Video From a Video Doorbell?

With a Ring Protect subscription, sold separately, you can access and download footage from the past 180 days on the Ring App. If you have a Ring Alarm Pro, a MicroSD card, and a Ring Protect Pro subscription, sold separately, you can also store and process your doorbell footage locally with Ring Edge.3

Do Video Doorbells Record 24/7?

In order to save power and capture footage when it’s most important, video doorbells only record when motion is detected or when Live View is activated on the Ring App. With a Ring Protect subscription, sold separately, you can also use the Snapshot Capture feature to see periodic photos of activity at your door between motion events.

Are Video Doorbells Waterproof?

Ring video doorbells aren’t waterproof, but they are water-resistant. That means they can endure snow and rainfall, but they aren’t designed to be submerged or sprayed with high-pressure water.

Can I Connect a Video Doorbell to My Existing Chime?

Yes — if you have an existing wired doorbell with an indoor chime, you can connect a wired video doorbell. When someone presses the button on your video doorbell, your chime will make noise.