You’ll catch the sneakiest porch pirates, the stealthiest salespeople, and even those scheming raccoons eyeing your trash cans at 3 a.m. with snappy alerts that let you see, hear, and speak in near real time to whoever’s approaching your doorstep.\
We recently reviewed the Ring Video Doorbell and found it to be solid, reasonably priced, and one of the most functional video doorbells out there. Ring made video doorbells a household name when it launched this product nearly 10 years ago, so you can bet it’s a great product.
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Now, installing the Ring Video Doorbell should take less than 30 minutes, though times vary depending on the type of doorbell attachment you’re installing. Ring offers three:
- No-drill mounting plate
We’ll guide you through installing the wired version of this product. The battery-powered version has a similar installation plate, only without having to deal with wires, and the no-drill mounting plate simply requires a clean, flat surface that isn’t glass.
And since we’ll be dealing with electricity and wiring, be sure you feel totally confident before moving forward. Better yet, call a professional installation company or an electrician who’s experienced in this sort of thing.
FYI: The Ring Doorbell battery-powered model has no-drill mount sticks with adhesive strips that can be removed later. While helpful for renters or folks who don’t like to make holes in their walls, we always recommend securing video doorbells and security cameras using screws, which makes them much more difficult for thieves to steal.
Ready? Let’s go!
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Before You Start
I try to gather every tool I think I’ll need before starting these kinds of projects because it often saves me time and prevents me from getting too distracted.
Here’s a list of what I had at hand before I installed anything:
- A pencil for marking screw holes
- A screwdriver and/or drill (Ring includes a screwdriver in the box, but I typically prefer to use my own tools.)
- A multimeter/voltage detector (optional but nice to have for safety reasons)
- My cell phone with the Ring app installed (all major app platforms should have it)
- My Wi-Fi password
If you have these things ready and you’re sure your transformer meets specifications, let’s get started.
Pro Tip: Wired doorbells use doorbell transformers. Be sure that your doorbell transformer meets the specifications for your specific Ring doorbell before doing anything. You can typically find these transformers tucked away near the doorbell chimes.
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Step 1: Turn Off the Power
Safety should always be the first priority. I’ve seen comments on demonstration videos where people ask if it’s necessary to cut the power to two little wires when replacing a doorbell.
If you ever have the possibility of getting electrocuted, take the time to prioritize your own safety. Maybe the commenter doesn’t have access to their home’s electrical panel. This is why the battery-powered/no-drill versions exist.
So for this step, find your home’s electrical panel or circuit breaker and turn off the power to the doorbell circuit. If your circuit breaker is not clearly labeled (which could be a great project down the road when you have some free time), you may need to turn on some lights around the doorbell area and test each breaker to see what works.
This is why a multimeter comes in handy. Having to guess takes a lot of time.
Step 2: Add the Jumper Cable to Your Chimes
Once you’ve found the circuit to the doorbell and have cut the power (please be sure to do this step!), install the included jumper cable to your existing doorbell chimes.
Remove the chimes cover and locate the two terminal screws, labeled “Front” and “Trans.”
Loosen these screws and leave the connected wires in place. Connect each end of the jumper cable to each screw, making sure the wires beneath stay connected to their screws, and then tighten everything down.
Replace and secure the chimes cover, and then head outside to your doorbell.
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Step 3: Swap Your Doorbells
Remove the old doorbell from the wall outside.
Pull the connected wires out from the wall as much as you can, and make sure they don’t slink back. Unscrew the terminal screws attaching the wires to the old doorbell, and remove the ends of the wires from them. If you have a multimeter, check your wires to make sure you’re in the clear.
Pro Tip: If your wires don’t seem long enough, Ring includes wire extenders that are easy to attach. You can connect the end of the extender kit to each wire using the provided wire nuts.
Grab your Ring doorbell and remove the faceplate. Use the Ring base plate as a guide for where you’ll need to add screws. Put it up against the wall, and use your pencil to mark the holes.
If you’re installing on concrete, brick, or stucco, use a quarter-inch masonry bit to drill these holes, and then insert the wall anchors included in the box.
Wood or siding shouldn’t require any pre-drilling.
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Step 4: Connect the Wires
Loosen the terminal screws on the back of your Ring doorbell. Loop each wire around a screw and then tighten them down.
Feed the excess wiring back into the wall, and then line up the doorbell base plate with your pencil markings. Make sure the base is level, and then install the long mounting screws either in the holes with anchors in them or directly into the wood or siding.
FYI: Some Ring doorbells come with a small level that attaches to the doorbell so that you can see if it’s level before securing it in place. Note that the best doorbells, including the Google Nest Doorbell we reviewed, offer this nice little touch in their packaging.
Step 5: Restore Power
Go back to the breaker and restore power. After a minute, the Ring doorbell should light up, letting you know it has power and is ready for setup.
Grab your cell phone and pull up the Ring app that you downloaded previously. Create an account if you haven’t already, and make sure you’re logged in.
On the home screen, tap the menu icon and then tap “Set up a device.” Select “Doorbell” from the options; it should ask you for a QR code.
This code is included on the box and may be on your Ring doorbell itself. Find the QR code and scan it.
Follow the instructions in the app. It will ask you where you’re installing it and if you’d like to give the doorbell a name (Front Door, Back Door, etc.). It may also mention the security screw that secures the faceplate.
Pro Tip: Install the security screw last after you’ve finished testing the camera’s view.
It should walk you through connecting to your Wi-Fi network. And you’ll want to be sure to keep that password handy.
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Once you’ve set up your doorbell in the Ring app and connected it to Wi-Fi, it will most likely need to download firmware updates. This can take some time, but once it’s finished, it will notify you that it’s ready to go.
Now it’s time to configure your doorbell’s settings, such as motion zones, notifications, and video quality (if it gives you those options). You can also skip these settings and set them up later if you’d like.
Step 6: Check Your Camera’s View
Tap on your doorbell camera in the app, and then tap again to view the live camera feed. This could be more or fewer taps, depending on if the app has been updated. It should be straightforward.
Check out the live view of what the camera sees. You may need to use an angling wedge if the view is too far off. These wedges may come with your Ring doorbell; they can also be purchased from Ring directly.
If everything looks good, secure the Ring faceplate and install the security screw. Don’t forget this step!
The security screw keeps people from tampering with your doorbell, so you don’t want to skip this step.
FYI: If you’re into cutting-edge gadgets, take a look at Ring’s Flying Home Security Camera. Yes, you read that right. A camera that flies. To be more accurate, it’s a drone that follows a predetermined route, but you get the idea.
Nice work. You’ve installed your new Ring doorbell camera. You now have the power of enhanced security accessible from an app on your phone.
You could be on the beach while checking to make sure your neighbor was kind enough to grab the Amazon packages piling up on your doorstep. They don’t have to know that you’re sipping on a cold drink while getting some sunshine.
Be sure to go through all of the detailed settings for your doorbell camera in the Ring app so that it works for you and your security needs. Use the motion sensor filters so that you don’t get a notification every time a car drives by (unless that’s what you want).
The Ring Video Doorbell fits in nicely with the Ring Alarm and Ring’s other home security products, so if you’re looking to expand your system and smart home, this is the perfect first step. Ring also works well with Alexa (it’s part of the Amazon family) so that your smart home automation options can grow over time.
Let’s be honest. Sherlock Holmes might be jealous of all that Ring has to offer.