Ring offers one of the biggest selections of video doorbells in the industry, and it’s clear to see why — they basically pioneered the technology. That said, it does make the selection process a little difficult, particularly when you consider the wealth of features offered as well as the pretty big disparity in price.
- The Ring Video Doorbell and Ring Pro offer roughly the same basic features, including motion alerts, two-way talk, and night vision.
- The price disparity isn’t big; Ring Video Doorbell costs $54.99 while the Ring Video Doorbell Pro costs $99.99.
- Ring doorbell cloud storage is surprisingly affordable. Store videos in the cloud for up to 180 days for as little as $3.99 a month, less than the price of cup of coffee at Starbucks.
When it comes to video doorbells, one of the biggest names in the game is Ring. And for good reason — they were one of the first manufacturers to bring a consumer-friendly video doorbell to market, and over the past decade or so they’ve been finely tuning these pieces of equipment with the customers’ needs in mind.
That said, with such a large product lineup, it can be difficult to know which doorbell you need. Don’t worry, though. We’ve done the homework for you.
Today we’ll take a close look at two of Ring’s most popular video doorbells: The Second Gen Video Doorbell released in 2020 and the Ring Video Doorbell Pro, released all the way back in 2016. They aren’t exactly the most recent products from Ring, but these two models definitely have staying power for both their quality and value.
Since these cameras are practically brothers, it’s understandable that there’s some pretty significant overlap in terms of functionality and features. Don’t think, though, that these two models are interchangeable. There are some pretty significant differences that sets the Ring Pro on higher footing than its predecessor. We’re going to get into all of these factors below.
Pro Tip: Want to know who’s at your door? Unfortunately, Ring can’t recognize faces, but one of its biggest rivals can. See our Google Nest Doorbell review and find out how Familiar Face Alerts works and how it improves doorbell alerts. It’s pretty remarkable.
Ring vs Ring Pro: Features and Similarities
Regardless of the model you select, you can tell Ring has put a lot of thought into their doorbells’ feature sets. So before we dive into what sets these two doorbells apart from each other, let’s take a look at some of their similarities.
- DIY Installation: Being able to install either model yourself saves time as well as money on installation costs. Both models are ultra-easy to install and set up, and you do not have to worry about ridiculous installation fees. We’re all about DIY installation. However, note that most brands on the market today offer simple setup.
- Reliability: Ring is known for its reliable equipment. So you can trust that either model offered by the company will perform well and last a long time. But that’s just the hardware. As far as software goes, there have been very few bugs or glitches reported for either device. This tells us that you can rely on their equipment to protect your home and family when you need it most.
- App-integrated: Both models are compatible with mobile devices. They can be monitored and operated from either Android or iOS platforms. This integration is extremely handy because it will allow you to manage, monitor, and control your Ring video doorbell from anywhere in the home or even remotely.
Did You Know? You can stream video from your doorbell no matter where you are as long as you have cell service. We’ve watched packages get delivered while we were on vacation hundreds of miles away.
- Night Vision: Both cameras have decent night vision capabilities that allow the user to see and record high-resolution video, even in the dark. Since a lot of break-ins happen at night, this is a great feature to look for. It might help you bust a nighttime porch pirate, too. Of course, the image quality isn’t quite as good as daytime video, but it’ll get the job done. Before we move on, it’s worth mentioning that Ring Pro has built-in LEDs for improved night vision. So it has a slight edge over the Ring video doorbell when it comes to night vision.
- Motion Detection: Both camera models have built-in motion detection technology that records video when motion is detected and will alert you of possible intrusion or trespassing. We really like the instant motion-activated alerts that Ring and similar brands deliver these days.
- High-Quality Video: Both the Ring and Ring Pro video doorbells record high-quality videos that can be seen clearly, whether they have been recorded in the day or at night. A surveillance system with grainy video quality is nearly pointless since the whole idea is to capture the details of an incident or criminal. So both devices make the grade here.
- Two-Way Communication: Another similarity between Ring and Ring Pro is that both models have two-way communication capabilities. Ring’s two-way communication (also called two-way talk) allowed us to speak with visitors at our door using nothing but our smartphone. Pretty neat! You’ll be able to find this feature with the best doorbell cameras available.
- Reasonably Priced: Both the Ring and Ring Pro video doorbells are relatively inexpensive. This is important to us, especially if we’re buying multiple pieces of security equipment to use in conjunction with one another. Also, note that neither of them require a monthly subscription fee.
Did You Know? Ring does offer a paid cloud storage plan at only $3.99 per month. This gives you 180 days of video history and image capture, download, and video sharing capabilities.
Differences Between Ring and Ring Pro
As we said above, there are plenty of similarities between these two pieces of equipment, but there are some notable differences. Here’s what you can expect to find when you put both of these doorbells side by side:
- Field of View: The field of view for the Ring video doorbell is 155 degrees. This is a fairly wide-angle and will include plenty of activity information in the videos that are recorded by Ring. But the Ring Pro has a slightly better field of view at 160 degrees. Keep in mind that the narrower field of view means that Ring will not pick up as much peripheral activity in the frame.
- Size: The Ring Pro video doorbell has a slightly smaller build than the Ring video doorbell. This is simply a design choice and has little-to-no bearing on function. You should keep in mind the size of your door and whether or not you can install the larger option before you make your decision. The size difference is not all that much, but if your door space is limited, be sure to take measurements. We personally like the smaller profile of the Ring Pro (although it’s not exactly “small” compared to other options out there).
- Cost: As you might expect, the Ring Pro video doorbell model is more expensive than the Ring doorbell video model. We cover the cost difference in more detail below. But we will say this — both doorbell cams are worth the money. You’ll just get more functionality and better connectivity with the Ring Pro.
- Installation/Wiring: The Ring video doorbell model is wireless, while the Ring Pro model must be hardwired. Each method has its advantages. Wireless equipment is handy and easy to install, while hardwired equipment tends to be more reliable and you won’t need to worry about changing batteries. But again, both are do-it-yourself easy. If you’re really interested in hardwired security cams, we recommend reading our guide on the best wired home security cameras available.
- Lighting: When using its night vision feature, the Ring Pro video doorbell uses LED lighting for a better image. The standard Ring video doorbell does not have LED lights built in. With this in mind, we prefer the Ring Pro when it comes to busting burglars in the night or preventing a home invasion from occurring. And we must say, Ring does lighting right. Check out our full review of the Ring Spotlight Cam and our Floodlight Cam review to see what we mean.
- Motion Sensor: We found that the Ring Pro video doorbell model has a more reliable motion sensor when compared to the standard model. And in our research we found that there have been a few, but not many, reports of lagging or failure to recognize motion.
- Alerts: The Ring Pro video doorbell gives you the option to customize the alerts that you will receive from the device. The Ring video doorbell does offer instant alerts, but you cannot customize the alerts to your liking.
Pro Tip: With custom alerts, you can really dial-in the notifications that are sent to your phone. However, both Ring models allow you to disable notifications altogether.
Ring vs Ring Pro: Cost Breakdown
When you’re choosing a video doorbell, you should always make sure that you find the right product for your budget. The Ring Video Doorbell (2nd Gen) is the most affordable battery-powered doorbell from Ring. It costs $54.99 in its most basic configuration. The Ring Video Doorbell Pro, on the other hand, is slightly more expensive at $99.99.
Pro Tip: One of the reasons we like Ring so much as a company is that they’re always innovating. For instance, have you heard about the Ring Always Home Cam? It’s a flying drone camera that’s pushing the limits of home surveillance.
Though the Ring Pro is a little more expensive, it has a slimmer and more streamlined look, an option for color night vision, and swappable faceplates to match your door’s design. It also uses a dual-band Wi-Fi, which means you can connect it to your 5 GHz network for faster video streaming. That’s a lot of extras for just $40 more.
In addition to the equipment cost, you can pay $3.99 per month to record videos to the cloud. Videos stay up for 180 days, and the monthly fee covers one doorbell or security camera. If you have multiple Ring devices, you can upgrade to the $10 per month Protect Plus plan to cover all your cameras.
Below are the latest costs of Ring’s different doorbells, including the Ring Video Doorbell and Ring Pro. And if you want to explore these devices further, have a look at our Ring Doorbell pricing guide. We’ve broken things down by power source, and keep in mind that some of these models are on sale — we’ve included pricing information as well.
Ring Wired Video Doorbell Breakdown
|Video Doorbell Wired||$34.99|
|Video Doorbell Pro||$99.99|
|Video Doorbell Pro 2||$149.99|
|Video Doorbell Elite||$349.99|
Ring Battery-Powered Video Doorbell Breakdown
|Battery Doorbell Plus||$129.99|
|Video Doorbell 3||$149.99|
Another great thing about Ring and Ring Pro video doorbells is that they are both designed for DIY installation. They’re really easy to install, especially if you choose the battery power option. More importantly, you won’t need to pay a technician to come to your house. That’s the advantage of modern, DIY security products: They’re inexpensive because there are no installation costs tied to them.
FYI: Ring recently announced its latest doorbell, the Battery Doorbell Plus. It’s an upgraded battery-powered doorbell camera that resembles the $150 Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2 in terms of features. It offers a head-to-toe view with a 1536p resolution, color night vision, and customizable motion zones for only $129.99.
How They Work
Ring video doorbells aren’t complete home security systems. Rather, they notify you when they spot suspicious activity at your door. It’s up to you to take action. That said, you’ll be notified instantly and you’ll have live-stream footage of the area so you can make the best call.
Still, I understand that alerts, no matter how fast or accurate, might not be enough protection for some of us. In that case, I’d recommend checking out Ring’s complete security systems, the Ring Alarm and Ring Alarm Pro. The nice thing about both is that you can hook up your Ring doorbell, or any Ring cameras you happen to own, to your Ring Alarm hub. More importantly in my book, the Ring Alarm and Ring Alarm Pro are both compatible with Ring’s professional monitoring service.
If you’re looking for comprehensive protections, Ring has your back. Ring Alarm and Ring Alarm Pro both work well with all of Ring’s equipment, so you can easily protect your home inside and out using only Ring products. Also worth noting is that these services are compatible with Ring’s professional monitoring.
FYI: The Ring Alarm is a DIY home security kit that comes in packages that fit most home sizes. Expect to pay around $200 for equipment if you live in a smaller home, and upwards of $500 if you live in a larger home (still, this is a relatively affordable system). Also, the Ring Doorbells seamlessly integrate into the system. You can read more about Ring’s plans and packages here.
Do Your Homework
When it comes to protecting your home and keeping yourself informed, you should never settle for less than the best. That is why you should always have clear expectations in mind about what exactly you want your surveillance system to accomplish. There are so many options out there with a lot of different features to sort through. Just be sure that you install and set up your system correctly so that there is no room for avoidable failure.
Are Video Doorbells Worth the Cost?
I definitely think so. Being able to see what’s on the other side of the door makes most homeowners with video doorbells feel considerably safer. Video doorbells are also excellent at detering would-be loiterers. And if you’ve got any four-legged intruders in the neighborhood, with a video doorbell like the Ring, you’ve got “proof of poop.”
Finally, video doorbells are getting more advanced by the year. The latest model Ring video or Ring Pro video doorbells know when you’ve got an Amazon delivery, so you can snatch it up before the porch pirates.
In short, a video doorbell is a great way to improve the security of your home, whether as a stand-alone device or as an addition to a pre-existing security system. Ring has user-friendly equipment and interfaces that can be easily installed and integrated. This comparison should have you well on your way to choosing which of the two Ring models is right for you.
Ring Doorbell vs Ring Pro: So Which is Better?
If you can afford it at $99, we recommend going with the Ring Pro. We like the slightly better field of view, the hardwired connection (it’s simply more reliable), the improved night vision with built-in LEDs, and the smaller build. Overall, it’s just a better product with great features.
That said, if you’re restricted by budget, the $54.99 Ring Video Doorbell is definitely better than nothing. In fact, we’ve used the Ring (2nd Gen) for a while with few problems. So keep it in your back pocket as an option! Either way, Ring offers a 30-day money-back guarantee on their products, so this should take the edge off your purchase, allowing you to find the doorbell cam that’s right for you and your household.
But if you’re still looking for something with a little more functionality, have a look at our guide to the best doorbell cameras on the market.