When it comes to choosing one of the best security cameras to look after your property, you don't want to leave it to chance: Ring (now owned by Amazon) makes some of the best models in the business and you can rely on these devices to alert you to any suspicious activity.
The question is – which device do you choose? Do you go for one of the full-on security cameras? Indoor or outdoor? Wired or battery powered? Is one of the best video doorbells a better option? We'll guide you through all the choices you've got and explain what all the specs mean.
- These are the very best security cameras you can buy right now
- Kit out your smart home with the best devices on the market
Before you rush out and spend any money think carefully about what you need from your Ring camera – should it be weatherproof? Do you need a siren? Or a spotlight? And how much are you willing to spend? Our breakdown of features below should help guide you.
From the app perspective, these cameras work more or less in the same way, with live feeds and motion detection alerts. You can also pay extra (from £2.50 a month or £24.99 a year) for 30 days of video recording archives in the cloud, ready to be reviewed if needed.
The best Ring security cameras and video doorbells
Built primarily for outdoor use, the weatherproof Spotlight Cam Battery is perfect for backyards or back gardens: as well as two-way audio and 1080p HD video, it also features a spotlight and a siren for scaring off would-be burglars. Infrared night vision is included too.
Battery power means you can put it anywhere you like, but it doesn't stand on its own: it needs to be fitted to a wall or a fence (everything you need is in the box). One battery is included, but the camera takes two, so you can use one while the other recharges.
See above, but this time you plug the camera in: more hassle in terms of installation and getting connected, but more convenient in that you don't need to worry about recharging batteries. The other features are largely the same as before, including the field of view.
One small difference is more customisation options over motion detection: because the camera doesn't need to save battery power, it can be always watching. Aside from that, you've got the same 1080p HD video, night vision, siren, spotlight and overall design.
The middle ground between the battery-powered Spotlight Cam and the wired Spotlight Cam – if you get a few hours of sunshine every day then that'll be enough to keep this going, but there's a battery inside to fall back on too, so it's the best of both worlds really.
All the other specs are the same, but as with the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery you don't get as much flexibility in terms of motion detection as you do with the wired model, to keep the power draw down. An appealing option for those of you who live in sunnier climes.
The name gives this one away – the key selling point here is the floodlight, which goes way beyond the spotlight you get with the Spotlight Cam models. Because of the extra power required for all that illumination, you need to connect this to a power socket somehow.
That means it's not quite as easy to install as a battery-powered Ring camera, but you don't need to worry about recharging batteries. The two-way audio is still here, so you can challenge anyone wandering across the garden, once they've been lit up by the camera.
This is the best Ring camera in terms of pure flexibility: you can stand it on a desk, you can mount it on a wall, you can plug it into the mains, you can power it over an Ethernet cable, you can use it indoors, you can use it outdoors... it does pretty much anything you like.
Add in two-way audio and 1080p HD video, and this is a camera well worth considering, no matter what your needs. This particular version needs a wired power connection of some kind (see below for the alternative), and you don't get any spotlights or floodlights here.
Just like the Ring Stick Up Cam above, but battery powered: you can position it anywhere you like, but you have to think about recharging the batteries every few weeks (you can actually fit two batteries inside the camera, so one can be used while the other recharges).
That lack of constant power means the motion detection settings aren't quite as advanced, and it's also worth noting that the field of view is 115 degrees as opposed to the 150 degrees of the camera above. You might think the flexibility of a battery is worth it, though.
As with the Spotlight Cam models above, Ring will sell you a Solar version of the Stick Up Cam, which is basically the battery-powered version plus an extra solar panel that can provide juice whenever the sun is shining. It's not for everyone, but it might be for you.
Ring says just a few hours of direct sunlight a day are enough to keep this camera powered without using battery power. Other than that, the specs are identical to the Stick Up Cam Battery – so there's the same 115-degree field of view and more limited motion detection.
And so to the video doorbells in Ring's line-up: obviously these devices are designed to stare out of the front of your door rather than look at your garden or watch the pets. The Video Doorbell is the cheapest of the current bunch but also one of the more versatile.
It gives you the choice of battery-powered or hard-wired operation, for example, so you can connect it up to existing cabling or create a new system from scratch. You've got an excellent 180-degree field of view, night vision and two-way audio included here as well.
Version 2 of the Video Doorbell keeps some of the original's features while adding some upgrades too. One of the key improvements is that this comes with a 1080p HD video feed, though the field of view drops to 160 degrees, so you can't see quite as much of a scene.
Like the standard Video Doorbell, this can run from a battery or a hard-wired connection, which means it works in homes with or without existing doorbell wiring. It's ever so slightly bigger than its predecessor, and comes with interchangeable faceplates too.
We're moving up through the price points now and the Ring Video Doorbell Pro earns its Pro label with the option of a faster 5GHz Wi-Fi connection, a hard-wired (with transformer) connection, and more customisation options for motion detection.
Its taller and thinner design gives it a slight aesthetic edge over the Ring Video Doorbell and the Ring Video Doorbell 2 as well, though your mileage may vary. There are interchangeable faceplates available for this too, so you can tailor it to your tastes.
You might be thinking the Pro is the ultimate in Ring video doorbells... but here comes the Elite model to try and change your mind. There's one key difference between this and the Pro, which is the Elite can work over wired Ethernet for a more reliable connection.
Ring recommends that you get this installed by a professional, and once you do, you've got pretty much the best video doorbell experience that the company offers. It is pricey though, and a lot of the key specs match up exactly with the Ring Video Doorbell Pro.
The newest entry in the Ring line-up is designed specifically for people who rent – it can be installed in an existing door peephole and doesn't need any wires to power it, so you can quickly install it and remove it again when you move out, without too much hassle at all.
Other than that you get all of the standard Ring goodies, including two-way audio and 1080p HD video and night vision. In fact the Door View Cam goes further than other models with privacy: you can mark out zones in the field of view that you don't want monitoring.