Steve asked: “Hi, Dave, technology is always changing and it is hard to stay on top of the best tech. I really would like to get into video doorbells but I am not sure who is the best at this time. Ring is so advertised they make you feel that they are the best but is this just due to advertising. Would you be able to recommend the best video doorbell at this time? In closing thanks for the show, I enjoy it very much.”
Steve, we should start off by saying that they’re all a little bit disappointing.
The one we’re currently using at our studios for example has a button to turn on the screen so we can see who is standing outside. That feature happens to take so long we don’t use it. We do get notifications when there’s movement in front of the door.
So far, every system we’ve tried that allows us to speak to someone at the door via a smartphone as if we were home has been a little sluggish to connect, which makes it hard to use the feature successfully.
Like you mentioned, Ring is heavily advertised and it does have a lot of satisfied users, but make sure you have a very strong WiFi connection at home because a very common complaint is that its WiFi reception is bad unless you buy Ring’s own network extender.
Ring does offer the option to store video in the cloud, in case you need it, but it will cost you an extra $3/month on top of the cost of the device itself which is not by any means inexpensive at $250.
August may interest you to. August is not a video doorbell but a combination device: a smartlock and a video doorbell. August is a little less expensive, though again not really inexpensive, at $200. August also offers paid cloud video storage, but at $5/month as opposed to Ring’s $3/month.
If you’re opposed to paying for cloud storage, SkyBell may work for you. It costs about the same as the other too, around $220, but there’s no monthly subscription to use their cloud service.
If you don’t mind waiting a little longer, you may end up getting a better doorbell video device in the future. The current ones do work, but they still have that “version 1” feeling. Maybe Nest Hello and the rest of the coming generation will feel a little more polished.