Rob Gabriele

Learn More About Ring

Between these two security systems, our favorite is Ring.

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SecureScore™: 9.2/10

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’s no easy task deciding between all of its various products, especially given that different models often come with very different features.

  • The Ring Video Doorbell and Ring Plus offer similar basic features, including motion alerts, two-way talk, and night vision.
  • The price disparity isn’t big; Ring Video Doorbell costs between $49.99 and $99.00 depending on whether you choose the wired or wireless model, while both Ring Video Doorbell Plus models cost $149.99.
  • Ring doorbell cloud storage is surprisingly affordable, no matter which model you choose. 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.

Ring is the biggest name in video doorbells, and for good reason – it was the first brand to bring consumer-friendly video doorbells to the market. The company hasn’t been content to rest on its laurels, though. Ring continues to innovate, releasing new products all the time and tweaking existing products as well. In fact, at this point, you can purchase eight different video doorbells.

Two of Ring’s best doorbells include some of the company’s earliest offerings, the Ring Video Doorbell, which was released in 2016, and the Video Doorbell Plus, which was released in 2020. Sure, these are early models but keep in mind that they’re still wildly popular, which suggests they must be pretty solid products.

FYI: The Ring Plus Video Doorbell was previously known as the Ring Pro Video Doorbell. The company changed the name only recently when it released an all-new Video Doorbell that it has christened the Ring Pro.

Now, choosing the right Ring doorbell camera for your home can prove tricky. There’s some pretty significant overlap between them, especially in terms of features and functionality. Of course, there are some key differences as well; differences that, when the dust settles, make one better than another. In this review, we’ll take a close look at the Video Doorbell and Video Doorbell Plus to see which is a better option.

Now, the presence of “Plus” in the latter’s name might suggest to you that it would be the obvious winner, but don’t be too sure; despite its lower price and the fact that it was introduced nearly eight years ago, the Ring Video Doorbell is a surprisingly reliable device. Turns out Ring was well ahead of its time, so much so that its original product is still going strong.

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 Plus: Features and Similarities

Regardless of the model you select, you can tell Ring has put a lot of thought into their doorbells’ feature sets. Both of these doorbell cameras are packed with some great extra. 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: We’re fans of DIY installation–it saves us money–so long as it’s straightforward. Ring installation always is. The wired versions of these two video doorbells are a little trickier than the wireless versions, but once you’ve connected the doorbells, a helpful video walks you through the entire process, so either way you go, you can handle it, even if you aren’t quite sure what the claw end of the hammer is for.
Ring Doorbell Setup

Ring Doorbell 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 means you can manage, monitor, and control your Ring video doorbell from anywhere in your 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 solid night vision. Both, for instance, let you record high-resolution video, even in the dark. Not a bad thing to look for in your cameras, since break-ins frequently happen at night. You never know when you might catch a late-night porch pirate. Neither camera offers night vision image quality that’s as good as their daytime recording. Nevertheless, they are certainly clear enough to ID home invaders. If pushed, we’d give the edge in this category to Ring Plus, since it comes with built-in LEDs that help improve what you can see at night, but that’s certainly not enough to base a purchase decision on.
  • Motion Detection: Both the original Ring and the Plus model include built-in motion detection. That means the moment anyone steps foot on your property, the system goes into action. If you’ve signed up for professional monitoring, someone at the monitoring center will contact you and/ or alert emergency personnel. As for the self-monitoring with video storage plan, you’ll get an alert so you can review footage and see what’s happening at your home. And even if you’re doing true self-monitoring for free, you’ll get an alert so you can pull up live footage and check things out.
Ring Doorbell Motion Detection

Ring Doorbell Motion Detection

  • High-Quality Video: Both the Ring and Ring Plus 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.
  • Field of View: The Ring Video Doorbell has a field of 155 degrees. Pretty good, when you consider the max is 180 degrees. The Ring Plus field of view isn’t exactly the same. The wired version offers 160 degrees. The battery-operated version offers 150 degrees. Those are both similar enough to the Ring Video Doorbell’s field of view to call this a similarity rather than a difference.
  • Two-Way Communication: Another similarity between Ring and Ring Plus 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. To be honest, most doorbell cameras include this feature these days, but we still find it pretty cool to be able to tell the FedEx guy where to put our package.
  • Reasonably Priced: Both the Ring and Ring Plus 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.
  • Choice of Models: Both the Ring and the Ring Plus video doorbells come in two models. You can get either one in wired or wireless versions. Note that while the Ring Plus costs the same either way, the Ring costs about twice as much if you go wireless.
  • No local recording: This is a downside that all Ring doorbells and cameras share. Without local recording, they all need a cloud subscription to save videos. So while it’s not required, we strongly recommend getting 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.

Ring Doorbell Plus

Ring Doorbell Pro

Differences Between Ring and Ring Plus

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:

  • Size: The Ring Plus 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 always to measure carefully before you install a doorbell, to make sure that the model you choose will fit in the space. Ultimately, though, the size difference between these two isn’t much. Stylistically, we prefer the Ring Plus’s smaller profile. In fact, if we’re honest, there are even smaller options out there on the market that we like better.
  • Cost: As we’ve already mentioned, the Ring Plus 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, but you just get more functionality and better connectivity with the Ring Plus.
  • Lighting: When using its night vision feature, the Ring Plus 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 Plus 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 Plus 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 Plus 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 Video Doorbell

Ring Video Doorbell

Ring vs Ring Plus: Cost Breakdown

When you’re choosing a video doorbell, you should always make sure that you find the right product for your budget. The wired Ring Video Doorbell (2nd Gen) is the most affordable battery-powered doorbell from Ring. It costs just $49.99 in its most basic configuration. Or, you can spend an extra $50 and upgrade to the wireless version. The Ring Video Doorbell Plus, on the other hand, is slightly more expensive. Both versions cost $149.99.

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.

Of course, there’s a reason the Ring Plus is a bit more expensive. It’s slimmer, with a more streamlined profile; it comes with color night vision, and you can get a variety of faceplate designs to match your front porch decor. In addition, you get dual-band Wi-fi. That means you can connect the camera to your 5GHz network and get faster streaming.  You get all those additional features, but you pay just $40 extra.

If you’re looking to record, you’ll need to purchase a Ring Protect plan. Storage for a single camera, or in this case a doorbell camera, costs $4.99 a month. If you’ve got additional Ring cameras you can record footage from all of them for just $10 a month. Of course, you’ll pay these costs no matter which one of these two doorbell cameras you choose.

Below are the latest costs of Ring’s different doorbells, including the Ring Video Doorbell and Ring Plus. 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 Video Doorbell Breakdown

Model Retail Price
Video Doorbell Wired $49.99
Video Doorbell Wireless $99.99
Video Doorbell Plus Wired $149.99
Video Doorbell Plus Wireless $149.99

Another great thing about Ring and Ring Plus 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.

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.

All Ring doorbell cameras work the same way, and based on our tests, just a Ring doorbell camera might not be enough to protect an entire home. I’d recommend looking at Ring’s security systems, the Ring Alarm and Ring Alarm Plus. In addition to protecting your home with sensors, Ring’s security system works in conjunction with Ring cameras. You can even have the security system professionally monitored, something you can’t do with a Ring video doorbell or security camera.

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 Plus 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 Plus: So Which is Better?

If you can afford it at $149, we recommend going with the Ring Plus. 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 $99.99 Wired Ring Video Doorbell is a hardy device, and at $49.99 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.

Our Pick
Our pick is Ring
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SecureScore™: 9.2 / 10 This rating is derived from our editorial team's research, hands-on product testing, and customer surveys.
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