One of the most practical and, strangely, fun product upgrades I have had installed, the Ring digital doorbell puts security and convenience within the touch of your fingertip. It is also a great gift idea for the holidays.

The Elevator Pitch:

We focus so much on making the inside of our home intelligent with smart lightbulbs, thermostats and TVs, but a digital doorbell is one of the most practical, useful and, oddly enough, most entertaining upgrades I have made recently.  Not long ago, I upgraded my home’s security system with an array of products, including a Ring Pro digital doorbell. I was missing too many packages, wanted to communicate with people at my doorstep without needing to open the door and desired the ability to check on the security of my home, no matter where I was.

The Ring doorbell has become a freakish obsession in my household, as my kids love returning home through the front door, so we can interact via the app; my husband and I compete to answer the doorbell digitally; and motion detection notifications give us peace of mind things are truly quiet on the home front.

The device can be easily installed by the technically-inclined, though mine was installed for me in less than 20 minutes.

digital doorbell

When someone rings the doorbell, you can visually see who is at the door and audibly respond from the app, without even opening your door.  Any movement triggers an alert and activates the night vision HD camera. You can then open up the app to see what was triggered.

Fine Print:
I chose the Pro model for a more finished exterior look and because the motion detection and camera features were superior to the basic model, which was criticized by reviewers. But to be fully powerful, the Ring doorbell requires signing up for the a $30/ year or $3/month cloud monitoring service. While not as expensive as other services, Ring’s ongoing cost is something to consider.  There are also minor flaws that you have to live with, like a delay between pressing the doorbell and your bell ringing.  Also, if the default camera view isn’t to your liking, you must physically tilt the doorbell unit to get the desired view. There is no remote panning available right now.

digital doorbell

Get It Now:
The app is available for Android and iOS. See the full array of security products on the company’s website. The Ring Pro is available for $228 on Amazon