Ring’s compact indoor camera packs all the reliable features the security system is known for, plus a slim, discreet design.
Forget the suped-up floodlights and slick hardware of cameras past. For this review, we’re unboxing Ring Indoor, the neat little camera from Amazon-owned1 security powerhouse Ring cameras that promises both top-notch security coverage and simple, no-fuss functionality.
We got our hands on this little treasure recently, and – we won’t lie – we’re smitten. It’s so compact, yet so well-equipped with all the powerful features we know and love about Ring’s cameras – infrared night vision, two-way talk, 1080p HD video, and motion-activated alerts.
This camera can fit almost anywhere in your home, and it can be controlled from pretty much anywhere in the world using your smartphone, tablet, or PC.
Indeed, Ring Indoor is small – less than 3 inches tall, not including the stand – but what it lacks in stature, it more than makes up for in performance.
That said, we did find a few bugs in this cute little gadget of ours. No deal-breakers, but we always share the good and the bad in our reviews. So read on for our full experience!
Open box, lift camera out, plug in. There’s not much more to it than that when you’re dealing with Ring Indoor. When it comes to the industry’s best DIY security equipment, it’s always comforting to know that it’s going to be an easy installation.
Pro Tip: Ring Indoor is a plug-in camera and does not have a battery. If you’re interested in cameras with no wires, head over to our best battery-powered camera guide.
We powered it on, scanned the camera’s QR code in the app, and followed the prompts, which included waiting a few minutes for the firmware to update, then syncing the camera to our smartphones. The whole thing took all of 10 minutes, most of which was spent deciding where we would place the camera.
Now, it was time to see how this thing would perform in real-life situations.
Since we planned to start off with the camera on a surface and not mounted to a wall, we didn’t need the mounting plate and hardware included in the box. But we did store it in case we ever do!
From there, we tilted the camera a bit forward from its attached stand, and set it down on an upper level of our bookshelf.
FYI: If you want to attach the camera to your wall, simply unscrew it from the stand and use the included screws, anchors, and instructions to mount it. This is super helpful for folks with limited counter or shelf space.
Now that we’d finished installing the camera, setting it up and updating the Ring app, we were able to appreciate all of the possibilities this pint-sized Ring camera offered us – the same things we’ve always loved about the Ring brand. But it wasn’t always a silky smooth experience.
Now, let’s cover what we loved about Ring Indoor – and what we didn’t.
With Ring, we can always count on precise, detailed motion alerts. Further, under motion settings, we could adjust the type of motion we wanted to be alerted to, as well as what time of day to receive the alerts. And, if we wanted the camera’s motion sensor to avoid certain areas, we could enable that, too, by adjusting “motion zones.”
Creating motion zones has always been easy with Ring, but it’s certainly not the only brand that makes this step a breeze. Reolink handles motion zones just as well, though those cams trend a bit higher cost-wise these days than Ring. We covered the full Reolink experience here, if you’re interested.
Going further, we set up motion snooze to ensure we wouldn’t be awakened in the middle of the night by notifications.
Note: When Motion Snooze is on, you can still go back and view video from activity the camera picked up overnight. You just have to go into the app and look at the camera’s video history to see it.
Then, we honed in on a few “areas of interest” in our home that we wanted more eyes on. One of them, inevitably, is the path our puppy takes when he gets up in the middle of the night. Was he eating? Was he trying to escape? Was he having late-night heavy metal parties with his no-good puppy friends?
In our initial tests, we placed the camera in our living room so it would record areas we knew our little bruiser would visit during those hours.
Then, we let our Indoor Cam handle the rest.
In the morning – after giving our puppy a firm talking-to about not climbing on the furniture – we moved the camera. This time, we zeroed in on a part of the house where our children regularly congregate – the office, in this case, to make sure our middle schoolers were getting their homework done.
A Note About Cameras and Kids: We used our camera to keep tabs on our preteen children while we adults left to run errands. Since they’re old enough to stay home by themselves for short periods, we felt comfortable using the camera for that purpose. But please, do not use this or any security camera as a substitute for a human babysitter.
As you can see, the freedom of movement this camera and motion flexibility provides really won us over. It made the whole setup experience easy and fast, and we think you’ll really like using it to keep tabs on multiple areas in our home – or even add on cameras for more 24/7 coverage if you choose.
Of course, no camera is perfect. As we tested different scenarios and functions in the camera, the communication between the camera and its cloud service was not always airtight. We encountered occasional (but thankfully short) delays in the two-way audio that made communicating difficult, but to be fair, it’s not the first time we’ve seen this glitch in a security camera. Almost all of the cameras we’ve reviewed have given us that dreaded audio lag2 at one time or another. Most of the time, we’ve attributed it to our home Wi-Fi speed in the past, and this could very well be the culprit now. Either way, the delay was negligible.
FYI: Ring Indoor has no weather sealing and has not been approved for outdoor use. If you’re looking for a nice camera for the exterior, though, we’d suggest giving the bigger of the bunch, the Ring Stick Up Cam, a look. That one’s approved for indoors or out, conveniently.
We also wished the cord was longer. Maybe it’s because we’re not the best planners; we kept having to climb up and climb down from tall places to find the next home for our camera, and we came a little too close to injury a few times. (Yes, we know we can use an extension cord. We did that when we chose the camera’s permanent location, don’t worry!)
For small devices like this, flexibility is key. And a camera with a 6.5-foot cord doesn’t fully get us there. Perhaps an 8-foot cord would be a sensible upgrade in future generations. Even Wyze, a low-cost brand of cameras with super-basic functionality, comes with a longer power cord than Ring’s in their $20 Wyze Cam. To learn more, check out our hands-on Wyze camera review. But we’re not picky; extension cords work, too.
Our final gripe, and it’s not a new one, is with night vision. This is where the limitations of security camera footage come into view. The picture was grainy, and it was hard to distinguish lighter objects from darker ones. Could we still see the dog’s eyes glowing (creepy much?) from clear across the room via our indoor cam in the middle of the night? Yes, but from our experience, we think most security cameras could handle that task these days.
In all seriousness, we do wish the overall picture was a little crisper. That could be accomplished with HDR, and Ring doesn’t offer that option (yet). Also, though, it’s not generally as important to have good night vision in an indoor camera than an outdoor one. If you do happen to prefer color night vision, a recent Arlo camera review of Arlo’s suite of cameras gave us some pretty stunning results. Just something to consider.
In cementing their reputation for hassle-free à la carte home security, Ring has kept prices low to make it easy for anyone to add security cameras to their homes. So low-cost options like Ring Indoor are great, but you also have options for more expensive models that offer more advanced features.
Here’s a detailed cost breakdown of Ring’s cameras:
|Ring Camera||Power source||Cost|
|Spotlight Cam Battery||Battery||$199.00|
|Spotlight Cam Wired||Wired||$199.00|
|Spotlight Cam Solar||Solar||$229.00|
|Spotlight Cam Mount||Wired||$249.00|
|Stick Up Cam Battery||Battery||$99.99|
|Stick Up Cam Wired||Wired||$99.99|
|Stick Up Cam Solar||Solar||$148.99|
So before you think that this $60 Ring indoor camera couldn’t possibly perform as well as its pricier brethren, the Ring Floodlight and Ring Spotlight cameras … think again. For high-quality 1080p video quality and excellent customization, the Indoor Cam gets the job done.
Pro Tip: If you’re not a Ring loyalist and are just looking for a small, inexpensive indoor camera, we recommend one of Wyze’s indoor camera models. Their plug-in V2 indoor cam is small and lightweight like Ring Indoor, and it’s only $19.99, making it one of the least expensive indoor cameras on the market. The only downside is that with Wyze, you can’t tap into all the customization options Ring offers.
We’ve seen subscription plans become more and more common in the home security industry over the years. ADT Home Security, for instance, and other full-service brands typically require signing a service agreement for monitoring. The advantage over those traditional brands is that with Ring Protect, you can sign up for a subscription and cancel at any time.
With Ring’s Basic Protect plan, we were able to view our recorded clips, download them, and share them on social media directly from the app. We think these are all great features to have — and at only $3 per month, it’s a no-brainer.
|Ring Subscriptions||Included Free||Ring Protect Basic||Ring Protect Plus|
|Instant Mobile Alerts||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Live Video Streaming||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|60-Day Video History||No||Yes||Yes|
|24/7 Professional Monitoring||No||No||Yes|
|Monthly Price||Free||$3 per month||$10 per month|
|Yearly Price||Free||$30 per year||$100 per year|
Since this was our fifth Ring camera – a healthy brood, we think – we decided it was time to spring for Protect Plus, for $10 per month. This way, we’d ensure that each camera would perform at the same level and that they’d communicate with one another seamlessly.
Ring, in releasing its indoor model, has made using home security cameras possible for almost anyone – penny-pinchers, tech-averse retirees, working parents (like us), and young people on the move. What we love about this camera, among other things, is that it can fit into so many small spaces and can be moved easily around our home if we choose.
And beyond that, we just love how easy it is to customize all of Ring’s features to our needs.
Pro Tip: Having all this control at our fingertips is a great feeling, but it’s not worth much if you don’t take a little time to learn how to use it. We highly recommend that you explore all the features in the Ring app and test them out, even if you don’t plan on using them right away. Take your time now, and feel more protected later!
And since we feel that it’s reasonably priced at $59.99, we could easily add one or two more around our home if we need to. With its simple plug-and-play setup, the Ring Indoor Camera perfectly rounds out our “Ring of Security”: more protection from criminals —as well as from misbehaving puppies.
In your app, use Modes to select a camera and choose Disarmed, Home or Away.
Yes, Ring offers a one-year equipment warranty. This is decent, but we’d like to see this extended to two to three years.
Indoor Cam is an indoor-only camera that plugs into standard power outlets for nonstop power. Stick Up Cam goes anywhere, indoors or out. It’s weather-resistant and comes in four different power options: battery, plug-in, solar, and power over Ethernet.
Ring sells its cameras directly on Ring.com, but you can also buy them on Amazon, as well as at Best Buy, Costco, and other retailers.
Yes, all Ring cameras work with Alexa. If you have an Amazon Echo Show, you can use it for hands-free control of your Ring camera.
Kim, E. (2018, February 27). Amazon buys smart doorbell maker Ring for a reported $1 billion. CNBC.
Axis.com. Axis Communications. (2015). Latency in Live Network Video Surveillance.
How Stuff Works. (2020). What does 1080p mean?