Top critical review
I tried, I really tried
September 27, 2018
Well, I tried – I really Tried.
But it turns out my expectations were way too high.
I was mesmerized by the commercials, captivated with visions of my gruff, electronically-brazened voice calling out over the speaker “Hey! Whutter you doin’ on my porch! Put that package down, the police are on their way!”
But it doesn’t work that way out here in Suburbia, not in the real world.
Oh, I tried, I really tried. I poured through the meek User Guide that came with the kit, graduated to the FAQs on the Ring website, and made so many calls to Ring Tech Support that I cringed each time in expectation that Ring would announce “You’re exceeded your limit!” But of course, they didn’t. They patiently answered my questions, helped me understand about 30-second versus 60-second video clips and the lag or buffering issue and zones and sensitivity. I learned about Device Health and Speed Test and download and upload speeds.
I moved my mailbox out of the way of the video doorbell. I bought a new porchlight that didn’t cast its ubiquitous glow onto the doorbell. I climbed into a 110-degre attic, swam through an ocean of blown-in insulation to find and replace a doorbell transformer. Because who among us has the tools or the skills to measure the output voltage of your doorbell wires? BTW, your local hardware store does not stock a doorbell transformer that matches the exact specs of the Ring Video Doorbell Pro, I had to order one online.
From a patient cable internet technician, I learned about updating the firmware on my wireless router (“You gotta do this 1, 2 times a year!”). But it was worth it, because now my download and upload speeds are in what Ring calls “the Good Range”. I also purchased and installed the Ring Chime Pro, even though my house is what I would call Small by today’s standards – under1,000 sq. ft.
But none of that helped. Even though when I go to Live View and can see all of my yard in vivid color (or stark black-and-white at night) and see every twig movement and hear far-away roosters crow, it still won’t detect and alert me to a person walking up my driveway, until they are actually standing on my porch directly in front of the camera. Oh, it will do it once in a while, maybe twice in a while, but it won’t do it every time, it won’t do it even a majority of the time. The only time it does it 100% is when the person is actually standing on my porch. I am confident that an intruder could roam my yard at will, do as they will to the cars in my driveway, as long as they don’t climb onto my porch. Well, I can go to Live View and watch every movement, but the Ring Video Doorbell Pro will NOT detect and alert me.
And that myth about me actually speaking to the person on the porch? Well, the ghost of that ship has done sailed, honey, far out into the sunset and ne’er to return. Only the Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Home Improvement Salesmen are willing to stay on my porch after they have rung the doorbell, waiting while it takes 10-15 seconds for the alert to hit my phone, and then the 2-5 minutes it takes for the video to become available for me to view. So no, my expectations were not met.
So, I will keep the new porch light, my wife likes it better than the old one. And I should have moved that mailbox long ago, it is much easier to empty in its new location. And I’ll keep the new doorbell transformer, it is a sturdy, handsome fellow even though it is buried beneath an AC return duct and 16 inches of powder insulation.
But my old doorbell is going back on my porch, and this Ring Video Doorbell Pro is going back to Amazon. It is too unreliable, and does not, can not, WILL NOT work as advertised.