Ring Video Doorbell 2
This excellent video doorbell connects to your smart phone via your household’s wifi. The principal is very simple: when someone pushes your doorbell, your phone rings and you see a video image of the person at the door and even converse with them. The supplied plug-in chime also rings for extra peace of mind.
This system has many great uses but one of the most practical is when you’re due a package delivery. You know the scenario… An important delivery is due and you can be certain the courier or postie will turn up while you’re in the back garden out of earshot of the chime or taking the dogs for a walk or, as in most cases, at work. It is one of life’s ridiculous situations, especially given that most couriers (with the exception of DPD) can’t even give you a delivery window of a few hours; it’s always sometime between 9am and 5pm. Fedex and UPS, are you listening?
Now, while it’s true that a smart phone-connected doorbell won’t solve the problem of missing a delivery, the fact that you can converse with the courier wherever you are makes it a whole lot more practical. You could, for instance, tell him or her to leave the package behind the bins or with a neighbour.
Another great thing about smart doorbells is that whoever rings your bell will initially think you’re in. This is the kind of thing burglars do when casing a joint. They ring the bell and if there’s no answer, chances are the house is empty. An easy break in.
Ring is at the forefront of smart doorbell design. Its latest Ring Video Doorbell 2 is available in wired or battery-powered configurations and it’s one of the easiest wifi products to set up. Simply attach the doorbell to an area within range of your wifi router (it comes with two clip-on covers, one in black, the other silver), plug in the supplied chime and download the free Ring app (Android and iOS).
Now, when someone presses the doorbell, the chime will ring and so will your phone. Answer the phone and you’ll see the person on the screen in ultra wide-angle HD. You’ll be able to converse with each other via the doorbell’s microphone but the person on the other end won’t be able to see you. This is a good thing, since you don’t want to be answering your doorbell to a prospective burglar while the lights of Times Square are flashing away in the background.
There is a caveat, mind, and it’s related to your home’s layout. This writer’s flat, for instance, is not the best abode to use a Ring because my wifi router is well out of range. Ring supplied a clever wifi extender-cum-chime (Chime Pro, £49) but the signal still wouldn’t reach around our heavy brick wall. So I’ve had to place the doorbell module on the front wall which isn’t ideal.
Without a decent signal, the system simply won’t work so bear that in mind or you’ll be spending ages trying to get it to function satisfactorily. Given the anomalies of wifi, remember too that the whole system will fail if your router gives up the ghost or there’s a broadband fault in the area. But that’s the price of having a connected home.
The Ring 2 can also be used as a bona fide security camera with built-in motion sensor though you may have to lower the sensitivity considerably if your doorbell is mounted within range of the street or you’ll keep getting annoying notifications every time someone passes your property.
So far this writer is very impressed with the system’s functionality and reliability. I’m now able to move around a lot more without having to wait in all day for a damn courier to arrive. And that alone is worth the Ring Video Doorbell 2’s weight in gold.