Since their rollout of the game-changing video doorbell camera in 2013, Amazon-owned1 Ring has grown by leaps and bounds to become the top pick for DIY security cameras. Their selection of high-quality, inexpensive cameras has allowed even the least tech-savvy homeowner to outfit their home with top-notch security technology, without breaking the bank.
With that in mind, I’ve thoroughly tested Ring’s full suite of Stick Up, Indoor, Floodlight, and Spotlight Cams.
But before getting too far into the hands-on experience of each of these cams, check out a few quick stats you’ll want to know about this popular brand:
|No. of Cameras||4|
|Video Resolution||1080p HD|
Now, while the system certainly isn’t flawless, you’re sure to be impressed with Ring’s long-admired DIY equipment and reliable protection. Today, let’s explore the good, the bad, and everything you need to know about Ring security cameras in this hands-on review. There’s lots to unpack, so stick around.
I’ve consistently ranked Ring No. 1 in a number of categories for their high-quality 1080p HD video resolution, night vision, easy DIY installation, and motion-triggered notifications. And they do a good job keeping their costs down, too. You’ll find a deeper breakdown of Ring’s camera prices and package deals a bit later on. For now, let’s go through the full hands-on experience with each Ring camera – starting with installation.
First off, I’m a big fan of Ring’s clean, rounded design and simple construction. The Stick Up Cam is available in black or white, too, which is nice if you’re going for a discreet or blended look. But no matter which color you choose, the Stick Up Cam won’t be difficult to work into your existing decor.
Installation won’t be difficult, either, though I always warn folks to work an extra half hour or so into any camera’s “suggested” installation time; you might run into unexpected curveballs or glitches.
With Ring Stick Up Cam2 (pictured above), everything’s ready to go out of the box. It’s your choice to use the camera with the provided battery or as a wired (plug-in) device; you can also hang the camera on a wall or simply place it on a flat surface.
Ring’s indoor camera is almost identical to the Stick Up Cam, as you’ll see in the image above, with two notable exceptions: The Indoor Cam is smaller and requires a power cord.
The power cord is pretty short at only 6.5 feet. If you’re doing something as simple as placing the camera on a flat surface, for example, the short, unsightly power cord might not blend with your decor quite as nicely as the battery-powered Stick Up Cam. And, you’ll be limited in how far away you can place the camera from a power outlet – although a simple extension cord will fix that pretty easily.
As far as the other two cameras in Ring’s suite – Ring Spotlight and Ring Floodlight – you might find that those installations require more complex wiring and a little elbow grease. In the case of the Ring Floodlight, for example, I actually sprung for a professional (third-party) installation; if you’re pressed for time and don’t mind spending a few bucks, this is always a wise option.
Those are really the only drawbacks I ran into installing Ring cams; otherwise, you’re going to get the same easy setup and installation as many wireless security cameras available today.
Beyond installation, let’s explore the ins and outs of each camera in Ring’s suite, starting with the Stick Up Cam.
While Ring doesn’t have the C-suite-level feature set of Google Nest’s Cams (see our full Google Nest Cam review here), I always get a reliable experience testing Ring’s home security equipment. There’s a reason they’re the top-rated security camera brand, after all.
FYI: Looking for a versatile camera at a reasonable price? Check out my in-depth Ring Stick Up Cam review.
This was no different with Ring Stick Up. All told, this is a versatile, dependable, no-frills security camera that easily taps into all of Ring’s well-loved technology. For my family of four plus two dogs, the Stick Up Cam did an excellent job monitoring areas where lots of feet go pitter patter, like the stairway, hallways, and entryways.
With two parents working from home and both kids attending school virtually, Ring Stick Up Cam excels at keeping tabs on everyone, human or canine. During a pandemic, this was especially helpful; but crisis or not, these are just handy, reliable cameras to keep around the house.
Next, let’s discuss a few more things you’ll want to know about the Stick Up Cam – the good and the bad.
Since it has both battery and wired options in one camera, the Stick Up Cam’s biggest strength is its flexibility. You can experiment with different mounting positions to get the best view of your living room, for example; or you can set it to monitor a single target, like that naughty puppy you just brought home, or a potential package thief3 who’s been spotted in your neighborhood.
If you have an open floor plan like I do, you might notice that Ring Stick Up has a somewhat limited field of vision. With a lackluster 110-degrees horizontal field of view, this camera won’t give you more than standard viewing angles. You can’t set it to pan over a room like a Reolink E1 camera, for example. So with the Ring Stick Up Cam, just be aware that you’ll probably need to play with angles and positions to get the most out of the camera.
Pro Tip: Reolink cameras don’t have the cache of a Ring cam, but they’re actually really impressive devices in and of themselves. Learn more about the brand in my full Reolink camera review. If you’re looking for an outdoor cam with pan-and-tilt technology, check out my latest Reolink E1 camera review.
Despite the fact that you can, in theory, install the Ring Stick Up Cam outside, I wouldn’t actually recommend doing so. While the camera comes with lots of sturdy hardware to mount it to an exterior wall, it’s important to remember that this camera is not fully weatherproof.
Personally, I didn’t have a great spot to place it outside, because it might fall victim to the elements. So that’s one drawback with Stick Up Cam; it says it’s for indoor and outdoor use on the box, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s great for the outdoors.
Here’s some good news: It’s really easy to integrate a Ring camera into any Amazon smart home ecosystem. (I covered the full step-by-step Ring home automation process here, if you’re interested.) It’s not much more than popping over to the Ring app’s Alexa tab and following the prompts. With the Stick Up and all the other Ring cameras, simply pull up the full Ring dashboard using voice commands like, “Alexa, disarm my driveway camera.”
FYI: If you’re interested in building or adding to a smart home – Alexa or otherwise – I do recommend visiting our full home automation guide first.
When it comes to the industry’s top-rated indoor cameras, sometimes less is more. Ring Indoor Camera is the smallest in Ring’s lineup, standing less than 3 inches tall without its support stand. So with this one, you won’t have to worry too much about the device taking up too much space or looking awkward in your home.
FYI: Interested in a Ring Indoor Cam? Learn how it measures up against other popular options in my full Ring Indoor Cam experience.
For people who like simplicity and minimalism in their security technology, this Ring camera makes the grade. But, like the previously mentioned Stick Up Cam, I did come across a few areas for improvement.
Glitches and delays in security camera footage are very common, so it’s important to remember that not all of your footage from your cameras – Ring-branded or otherwise – is going to look picture-perfect.
All of Ring’s cameras record video in up to 1080p HD video resolution. It’s the standard nowadays, so expect good-to-great video clarity in the majority of your recordings – but not quite at the level of a hardwired system like Vivint. (Catch up on our latest Vivint Home Security analysis.)
Since we’re talking about a wireless camera, you’re going to deal with the inevitable Wi-Fi slow down or app update that might affect the performance of the Indoor Cam. But again, this is a Ring camera, and it usually plays well with most home Wi-Fi setups.
As mentioned above, the power cord that comes with Ring Indoor is only 6.5 feet, so you might need to get creative with placement. But once everything is said and done, you’ve got a great little camera that you can set up and basically forget about. Through the Ring mobile app, you can set the indoor cam to record clips while you’re out of the house. And when you’re home, you can turn recordings off, or adjust motion settings to receive fewer alerts. It’s Ring, so you know you’ll get plenty of flexibility.
The word “cheap” has negative connotations. When you buy a product that doesn’t work right, you might call it “cheap.”
At $60, the Ring Indoor Cam is the cheapest camera in Ring’s lineup. But considering you’re still getting that impressive 1080p video quality in every recording, even at night – among all the other features of this cam, powered by Ring’s powerful cloud-based network – you’ll find no complaints on the price of this camera here. It’s “cheap,” sure, but you probably don’t need premium-level features in a camera like this, so you’re not going to pay premium-level prices. That’s how it goes in this industry, more or less.
Did You Know: If you’re really into the slim and simple theme, check out Blink, another Amazon brand similar to Ring. They won’t blow you away with features, but in my tests of the Blink camera system, the cameras looked nice and installed in a snap.
Spotlight Cam is Ring’s outdoor camera for all those areas outside the house you need to illuminate and capture at a moment’s notice. Note that it comes in wired or wire-free, black or white finish, and you can now use this camera (and all the other Ring cams) with a Ring solar panel for an even more convenient way to secure your home’s exterior.
FYI: Looking to shed some light on would-be burglars and thieves? Read more about my full Ring Spotlight Cam experience here.
Beyond that, you’ll find the same features in Spotlight Cam that Ring packs into its other cams: 1080p HD resolution, advanced motion detection, and two-way audio with noise cancellation. When I tested this camera, the motion-activated spotlight helped me make sense of the occasional mysterious activity lurking around my property. That’s news you can use – especially if your neighborhood has a history of (or a recent uptick in) break-ins. Combined with Ring’s Neighbors4 feature, the Ring app that acts as a neighborhood watch, you’ll have more insight than ever on what’s going on around your property.
This is a camera that’s meant to see things you can’t. With 1080p HD resolution, the Spotlight Cam has a pretty decent range day or night – but it’s not worth much without that LED spotlight. Once you’ve set it up where you want it, be sure to set the camera to activate the spotlight any time motion is detected. That was my default setting, and it’s really the best way to use this camera – for on-demand, motion-activated lighting.
Pro Tip: If you’re not a Ring loyalist, the Reolink Argus 3 Pro makes a solid Spotlight Cam alternative that’s a bit easier on the pocketbook. Visit my review of Reolink Argus 3 Pro to learn more.
With a Ring Spotlight perched over a driveway or garage (like mine is positioned in the above image), you might start getting a lot of unwanted or “nuisance” alerts from cars and pedestrians. If you’re self-monitoring your cameras – which the Ring app makes really easy to do – the best way to avoid unwanted alerts is to draw a privacy zone over part of the screen to block out the area you don’t want motion to record. As in the scene pictured below, “that kind of motion” was a car driving past my house, which happens about a gazillion times a day.
If you encounter this, I suggest using the motion sensitivity slider in the Ring app to a lower motion sensitivity. But also, you can pop into motion zones and black out part of the scene so that it would avoid detecting motion there. Those two combined should do the trick; if you’d rather avoid tinkering too much with the camera during busy times, you can always set a schedule to turn motion recording on and off. (Hint: This also saves battery life.)
The battery-powered Spotlight Cam costs $199, and you also have the option of buying a solar panel-Spotlight Cam package for $229, or a wired version for the same price as the battery-powered cam. That’s not exactly a bargain for one camera, but that spotlight is really this camera’s bread and butter. For the price, it’s not actually a bad deal to pay around $200 for a two-in-one device like this.
FYI: The Ring Spotlight camera tends to go on sale from time to time. Check out my full Ring camera deals and discounts guide for more ways to save on Ring devices.
Nestled firmly between two super-powerful LEDs, the Ring Floodlight Camera was the almost-perfect fixture to complement my outdoor decor. Aside from its slightly intimidating design, this camera is simply the best way to keep tabs on the exterior of your home and protect it from intruders.
Did You Know: Bright LED lights can serve as an effective crime deterrent. With this in mind, read about Ring’s most robust camera/light combo in my latest Ring Floodlight Cam review.
It’s important to note, though, that Ring is not the only company to make a floodlight camera. When it hit shelves in early 2020, the Arlo Floodlight Camera became a solid contender, but Arlo is battery-powered, while Ring’s floodlight camera is wired.
For my home, however, Ring’s hardwired setup worked best. It was the perfect opportunity to replace an old light fixture that was a little past its prime, with a shiny new floodlight-camera-in-one.
After thoroughly testing the Ring Floodlight Cam, I’m comfortable singing its praises, simply because it’s one of the strongest lines of defense you’ll have in your home security toolbox. You’re getting unprecedented range, a wide field of view, and a smooth two-way audio feature that can be used in tandem with motion-activated lighting to spook even the boldest of criminals – or just to say hi to a few unexpected visitors.
There are a few more things you should know about this camera before making your final decision, though, starting with that previously mentioned audio feature:
When it comes to audio on the Floodlight Cam, all was well with the exception of some interference due to background noise, usually on the outdoor end of the conversation.
It’s not the first time I’ve encountered this issue. Ambient noise5 – you know, the kind that happens outside that you can’t control or predict – can make communication difficult at times. But frankly, the issue is minor, and it shouldn’t affect the overall performance.
Since it’s made for the outdoors, Ring has their floodlight camera locked down with plenty of weatherproof hardware and protection from the outdoors. During my own tests of the device, I watched it sail through an intense late-winter band of snowstorms (you know, just another Ohio “second winter”) without missing a beat. After all that, the Floodlight Cam performed seamlessly and did not incur any damage, which is good, because I’d already thrown out the old light fixture.
The best way to get acquainted with any wireless camera is to learn everything it can do through the mobile app. With Ring, you know that’s going to be easy – and it will also help you prepare for the unexpected.
Occasionally, you might find a few rare instances of delay between the time the camera captures motion and the time you receive an alert. Again, that is standard in cameras that work with Wi-Fi, and a bit more common in outdoor cameras than indoor ones. But with a stable Wi-Fi connection, you should have no problem securing your home with a Ring Floodlight.
After successful sales of Ring’s first-generation Floodlight Cam, the brand recently added Floodlight Cam Wired Plus and Floodlight Cam Wired Pro. The Pro, I learned, has a couple of advanced features over the original, like 3D motion detection and two-way talk with audio+, as well as a few subtle design upgrades. At $249, it’s Ring’s most expensive camera. But now, you have the option of the Floodlight Cam Wired Pro, which doesn’t include the advanced motion features but does ease the sticker shock somewhat with a $180 retail price.
Speaking of reliability, it’s worth mentioning that the Ring Floodlight camera is another one I’ve seen marked down frequently throughout the year. It regularly retails for $249 (you’ll see a bigger breakdown below), but it happens to be a very popular device to snag around Prime Day, too. Look for those and other huge savings in my complete Prime Day home security deals and discounts guide.
“You get what you pay for.” You’ve surely heard that expression many times, especially if you’ve ever bought home security equipment before. Like buying a car, adding security cameras can be a very personal experience – so you want to get the product that’s right for you.
Luckily, Ring cameras are for the masses. They’re made for the everyday DIY user, and generally not recommended if you’re looking for wall-to-wall home security or 24/7 monitoring. For that, I’d go with a fully wired system like Frontpoint Home Security, or even something from SimpliSafe, a super-DIY setup.
For now, let’s break down how much you should expect to pay for each Ring camera. I also recommend checking out our comprehensive Ring camera package and pricing page for more cost considerations.
|Ring Camera||Features||Equipment Cost|
|Spotlight Cam Battery||1080p HD, motion alerts, motion-activated spotlight, two-way talk, siren||$149.00|
|Spotlight Cam Wired||1080p HD, motion alerts, motion-activated spotlight, two-way talk, siren||$249.00|
|Spotlight Cam Solar||1080p HD, motion alerts, motion-activated spotlight, two-way talk, siren||$229.00|
|Floodlight Cam Wired Pro||1080p HD, 3D motion detection, bird’s eye view, two-way talk, siren||$249.00|
|Floodlight Cam Wired Plus||1080p HD, motion alerts, motion-activated spotlight, two-way talk, siren||$179.99|
|Stick Up Cam Battery||Battery||$79.99|
|Stick Up Cam Plug-in||Wired||$79.99|
|Stick Up Cam Solar||Solar Panel||$148.99|
|Stick Up Cam Elite (2nd Edition)||Power over Ethernet (PoE)||$199.99|
You’ll like that Ring’s subscription model, known as Ring Protect, is more reasonable than many storage and monitoring packages out there – but since it’s a wireless system, it does have its limits. For $3 per month, you’ll get everything you need in a home security camera – with plenty of options to customize.
It’s a good plan for folks who don’t need professional monitoring with their home security setup. And it’s a pretty generous package, especially compared to heavy hitters like Nest Aware. However, while the Nest Aware/Nest Cam package offers some of the coolest tech I’ve seen in this biz, those fancy features do come with a hefty price. Ring Protect, on the whole, is just a better value.
You’ll find a full rundown of Ring Protect’s features below. And, for a more robust home security experience, Ring also makes an affordable alarm system, Ring Alarm, that’s a nice option for basic intruder protection. Read more about that system in our full Ring Alarm review.
|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|
It all started with the Ring Video Doorbell, now a fixture attached to millions of front doors around the world. These devices rewrote the rules of home security and made Ring a favorite in the industry (read our full Ring Video Doorbell analysis here). Not surprisingly, their suite of cameras has earned similar praise in recent years.
After extensively testing Ring’s indoor and outdoor security cameras for this review, I can report that the performance and appearance of these cams is easily on par with home security cameras in similar categories, like Arlo and Google Nest.
And that about wraps it up for Ring cameras. The takeaway? These cams continue to win out in overall performance and a decent set of features, making them an industry leader and a hot pick for Prime Day, Black Friday, and other seasonal sales. You’re sure to be pleased!
Gloomy Midwestern thunderstorms are no match for the Ring Floodlight. The camera is made to hold up in harsh weather like storms, wind, and rain.
Yes, with some exceptions. Ring cameras work with Amazon Alexa for hands-free voice control and video streaming on an Echo Show or Fire TV. Their compatibility with other ecosystems like Google Assistant and IFTTT are somewhat limited.
The two LED floodlights on the Floodlight Camera put out 1,500 lumens each, while the Spotlight Cam’s LEDs are 350 lumens. That makes Floodlight Cam about 4-5x brighter than the Spotlight Cam.
The Indoor Camera is susceptible to water damage and is not approved for outdoor use. The Stick Up Cam, on the other hand, is weather-resistant, but not fully waterproof, so keep that in mind when locating the camera.
A mixed bag, in my experience. You might not have the easiest time getting questions answered using Ring’s live chat, though it’s nice how easily accessible the chat feature is within their app. Other times, you’ll have better luck calling and speaking to a human.
Kim, E. (2018, February 27). Amazon buys smart doorbell maker Ring for a reported $1 billion. CNBC.
Business Wire. (2018, September 20). Introducing Ring’s First Indoor/Outdoor Security Cameras: Ring Stick Up Cams.
Hurst, A. (2020, July 9). Nearly 1 in 5 Consumers Experienced Package Theft Since the Start of Quarantine.
Business Wire. (2018, May 8). Ring Makes Successful Neighborhood Watch Network Available to Everyone With the Launch of the Free Neighbors App.
Science Direct. (2021). Ambient Noise.
Jaime Fraze is an experienced digital editor in the tech, business and food spaces, having produced content for clients ranging from Fortune 500 corporations to fledgling nonprofits for more than 15 years. As a wife, mother and homeowner, she understands that buying home security products can be confusing and overwhelming. That’s why Jaime has constantly strived to ensure that every piece of content she produces has met SafeHome.org’s rigorous standards, and that her readers come away with the power to make better, smarter decisions. Learn more about Jaime here