Video doorbells are a vital piece of a secure smart home, and right now one of favorites is at an all-time low. Amazon is selling the Ring Video Doorbell 2 for $160 todayRemove non-product link, down from a list price of $199. The Ring Video Doorbell 2 connects to your smartphone to bring video and audio of your doorstep wherever you are. When anyone comes to your door, you'll receive a motion-activated alert so you can see whoever's there in high-def or infrared video no matter the time of day. You can also talk through the Ring's speaker using your phone and customize the zones that are being watched.
Keeping an eye on the entryway to your home is easy with the smart Ring Video Doorbell 2, but normally it's a bit on the pricey side. Today, though, Costco members can get a video doorbell of their own, as well as a bonus Chime and one year's worth of video cloud recording, all for just $150Remove non-product link. The Ring Video Doorbell 2 alone has a list price of $199, so this bundle is a pretty killer deal. If you're not a Costco member, you can still get a deal on the Ring Video Doorbell 2 with a discounted price of $168 on Amazon, but it doesn't include any of the extras you'll get from Costco. This doorbell provides security monitoring right at your doorstep; if it detects motion or if the doorbell is pressed, it will send you real-time alerts via the mobile Ring app.
This post was done in partnership with Wirecutter. When readers choose to buy Wirecutter's independently chosen editorial picks, Wirecutter and Engadget may earn affiliate commission. If you want to see who's on the other side of your door without having to get up and look yourself, then the Ring Video Doorbell 2 is the best choice for most everyone. It lets you screen (and record) visitors and keep an eye out for package deliveries. Motion and ring alerts to a smartphone are typically fast, audio and 1080p video are clear, and the Ring 2 can be powered by either standard doorbell wiring or a removable rechargeable battery. The Ring Video Doorbell 2 performs like a cross between a modestly aggressive guard dog and a trusty digital butler. In addition to notifying you--audibly and via smartphone--of activity, it records all motion events to the cloud, letting you view those recordings (as well as live video) on your phone or computer any time. It's also compatible with a good number of smart-home devices, platforms, and monitored security systems. Though video recording and storage require a subscription, the $30 annual fee (a mere 8¢ per day) for 60 days of unlimited video storage is downright cheap compared with the competition. We like the Ring Video Doorbell Pro for all the reasons we like the Ring 2. Additionally, it has a much slimmer and sleeker design that will fit in more doorframes and includes the option for customized motion-detection zones.
Most smart home products sound great on paper but fail to deliver in real-life, which is what makes the original Ring Video Doorbell such a successful outlier. Ring just announced the Ring Video Doorbell 2--available at Amazon and Best Buy for $199--and while its upgrades are modest, everything about the new model suggest it's worth a $20 price hike relative to the original doorbell. The basic Ring Video Doorbell concept remains the same: You hardwire the doorbell to your existing electricity feed, or opt to run the unit on internal battery power. After a relatively easy install, the doorbell serves as a two-way communication device between you and whoever steps up to the door. If someone rings the doorbell, you can see his or her face via a video feed on Ring's mobile app.
The Ring Video Doorbell 2 ($199 on Amazon) is a relatively modest, incremental update to the original Ring Video Doorbell. And, wow, some of its set-up procedure was seriously frustrating. But as a more-or-less satisfied owner of Ring's first doorbell, I have to give Ring credit: Motion detection is better than ever, and once I got through some initial set-up hassles, Ring Video Doorbell 2 was actually easier to install than the first-generation product. Smart home gadgets are rarely as smart as we need them to be, and I've spent a lot of time on Ring tech support over the last two years, struggling to get the original doorbell working as advertised. But Ring has been tenacious, and through constant iteration the company has improved its core technology.