Digital Skills Help: Ring doorbell

'Ring, ring! Who's at your door?'

One of the most wanted smart technology items I demonstrate at Leuchie technology workshops is the ‘Ring’ video doorbell. Connected through Wifi, when someone presses the doorbell it will ring in your house on any smart device such as a smartphone, tablet or Amazon Echo Show. You can then choose whether to answer it or not and see and speak to the person at your door.

A guest first demonstrated Ring Doorbell to me at Leuchie on her phone – she could answer her doorbell while at Leuchie and ask deliveries to be left with her neighbour. Ring doorbell comes with motion detection, too, which you can turn off, or you can adjust it so that if you are on a busy street, it doesn’t alert you every time a car drives past.

If you want to control it by voice only, it works with Alexa, so you can say ‘Alexa, answer Ring doorbell’ when it rings, or “Alexa, show the front door camera” if you wanted to see what was going on outside your frontdoor (In this example you have named your door ‘front door’ instead of the default ‘Ring doorbell’).

Sometimes, you don't want to answer the door, but you still want to know who's there. If that's the case, you can say the command, "Alexa, show my front door" or "Alexa, show the front door camera" to get a live video without enabling your microphone. To end the view, say "Alexa, stop," "Alexa, hide my front door," or "Alexa, hide the front door camera."

Ring doorbell costs £89 and can be purchased from Currys, B+Q, etc. or online. If you want to retain the data so that in can be reviewed in case of theft or damage, this costs an additional £2.50 per month or £24.99 a year. There are now a few newer versions of Ring, which are all more expensive, although I don’t see much reason for getting the newer version, other than potentially longevity of support.

Leuchie have only purchased Ring to date, but there are many other smart doorbells out there, and here is a recent overview from Tom’s guide Best video doorbells in 2020.

by Elizabeth McDowelll, Digital Skills Assistant.