You shouldn't buy Amazon's Ring Video Doorbell 3
Video doorbells are some of the best examples of how the "connected home" can be truly beneficial. These doorbells can alert you to both visitors and intruders -- plus package deliveries and package thieves. Best of all, many models allow you to interact remotely, giving someone at your door the illusion you are home. Ultimately, they are ideal for both convenience and security.
Unfortunately, not all models are created equally. Amazon's "Ring" brand is undeniably the most popular video doorbell on the market, but sadly, it is also the most untrustworthy. You see, it has been found that not only does Ring have terrible security and privacy practices, but Amazon also has many deals with law enforcement. By purchasing a Ring, you are essentially helping turn your neighborhood into a police state.
And now, Amazon is pushing generation three of its popular, yet much-maligned, doorbell. There are two models -- Ring Video Doorbell 3 and Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus -- and the most notable new feature is "Pre-Roll" which will show you four seconds of video before motion is detected. In other words, Ring 3 is always recording video -- even when there is no motion -- just so it can show you those four seconds.
"Ring Video Doorbell 3 and Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus build upon the great features of the Ring Video Doorbell 2 to now also include a new, adjustable motion zone, called near zone, that can detect motion within five to 15 feet of the front door, as well as enhanced dual-band 2.4Ghz/5Ghz wifi for improved connectivity. Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus, Ring’s premium, battery-powered Video Doorbell, is Ring’s first battery device to offer Pre-Roll," says Amazon.
The online retailer further says, "With Alexa compatibility, users can simply say, 'Alexa, show me the front door,' to see their Ring Video Doorbell 3’s Live View, or say, 'Alexa, answer the front door,' to begin speaking with whoever is at their door. And with Linked Devices, available across all Ring products, users can link their doorbell to compatible Ring Cams or Smart Lighting to create an integrated, whole-home security system."
Jamie Siminoff, Ring’s founder, provides the following statement.
At Ring, we are continuously pushing the boundaries to bring the most innovative devices and features to our customers. While features similar to Pre-Roll have been available on our wired devices, we believe it is important to also offer this feature to users with a battery-powered Video Doorbell, so that no one ever misses a moment at their doorstep. With Ring Video Doorbell 3 and Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus, we’re excited to continue bringing customers even more home security options, while keeping user privacy and control front and center.
If you choose to buy the Ring Video Doorbell 3 or 3 Plus, you can get it from Amazon here, starting at $199.99 for the regular model. The Plus model is just $30 more. Should you buy it though? I say no. Look, there are plenty of other options available these days, such as the excellent Arlo Video Doorbell. Why support a product line that has already failed consumers? Amazon has a long way to go before anyone should begin trusting Ring again.