Update on RING

I reviewed Ring, a combination doorbell, camera and intercom, a few weeks ago, and ran into problems with the installation. After discussions with the customer support people, the unit was replaced, and now is working properly. The previous unit caused the doorbell to ring or buzz on its own. The cause is uncertain, but might have been caused by an incompatibility between the Ring and my 20 year old NuTone inside bell.

As noted, Ring is a small box about the size of a pack of cigarettes that replaces your front doorbell. It contains a wide-angle video camera, a lighted doorbell, a speaker and microphone and a motion detector.

It connects to the WiFi network in your home and alerts you whenever someone approaches your door. Whenever that occurs the app on your iPhone or Android phone sounds a chime. You then open the app to see a real time image of your front entryway, with your visitor in view. You can greet the person, exchange information or send him on his way. While you may be hundreds of miles away, he is not aware of that and likely thinks you are home.

There are multiple uses for this product. First and foremost is safety. If you are home, you no longer have to open your door, or have a muffled conversation through a closed door when a stranger is there. If the person at the front door is an unsolicited salesperson, you can simply speak through the phone to tell them that you do not purchase or make donations at your door.

On the other hand, if a package is delivered when you are away from home, you can tell the delivery person where to leave it or when to come back.

The camera has a very wide angle that gives you a broad fisheye view. It can be mounted on the door or on a wall. I mounted it on a wall 90 degrees to the left of the front door right over the hole where my doorbell was located, about 4 feet from the ground.

It took me about an hour to install, first requiring me to connect it to my phone’s WiFi and then to my home’s WiFi.  Ring includes the special screwdriver, a Phillip’s screwdriver, screws and mollies, and a drill bit designed to work with cement and stucco.

Following video instructions that are part of its app, I removed my old doorbell that had 2 low voltage wires. Then I drilled 4 holes through the stucco siding, tapped in mollies, and screwed the mounting plate to the wall. Once the mounting plate was firmly screwed down, the two wires were attached to terminals on the plate.

The main unit is supposed to be pushed against the plate and then is intended to slide downward, with its slots locking onto 4 little plastic clips on the plate. This proved to be quite difficult on the first unit, because the clips were so small and fragile, and the plate did not lie perfectly flat against the wall. The replacement unit attached more easily, although it still took some force.



I’ve been using it for about 10 days and it’s worked well. I’ve used while in my home and while away. The camera provides a very clear view of visitors that ring the bell, and I can speak back to them and they hear me clearly. On one occasion a delivery person rang the bell at 9pm and I just instructed him to leave the package and waited for him to walk away to retrieve it. On another occasion a workman in the neighborhood rang my bell to ask if I needed gardening services. I answered, said no, and he left.  In both cases, in daylight and dark, I had a clear view of the person.

One feature that would be nice to have is the ability to use the camera to view my front entranceway when I chose to do so. As it’s now designed, the camera turns on only when triggered by a visitor.

While I went through a few weeks of troubleshooting, ultimately with the help of Ring’s excellent customer support department, the product is now working and living up to its claims. As the accompanying photo indicates, the $200 Ring comes in a several different colors.


by Phil Baker