Ring Video Doorbells are a great option if you want to monitor the comings and goings of your home. To get the most out of your Ring, and make it less annoying, there are a few features you should use.
Note: Many of the features listed below are available to Ring Free users; however, some of them require a Ring “Protect” subscription. Ring plans start at $3.99 per month/$39.99 per year for the “Basic” plan.
Enable two-factor authentication
Let’s start with security. Your doorbell is likely at the main entry point into your home, so make sure no one can break into your account and spy on it. Two-factor authentication (2FA) is an absolute must.
To enable 2FA on your Ring account, open the mobile app and tap on the hamburger menu (three horizontal lines) at the top left. Go to Account Settings > Two-Step Verification. You will be able to choose “Text Message” or “Authenticator App” to receive the codes.
RELATED: What is two-factor authentication and why do I need it?
Jump directly to live view
By default, when you tap the camera preview in the main panel, you’re taken to the recent events timeline. You can change it so that tapping on the camera preview takes you directly to the live video feed.
Tap the gear icon on the doorbell camera preview and go to Device Settings > Video Settings. Turn on “Touch camera preview for live view”.
Make Custom Motion Zones
It’s very likely that your Ring Doorbell can see areas that mistakenly trigger motion alerts, like a busy road or a neighbor’s house. You can create a custom zone so that only movement in that area will send alerts.
Tap the gear icon in the doorbell camera preview and go to Motion Settings > Edit Zones. Use the handles to adjust the shape and size of the zone, and tap “Save” when done. You can create multiple zones.
RELATED: How to set up customizable motion zones on Ring security cameras
Block parts of the camera for privacy
Video doorbells can record a lot of activity in your home, but some of that activity may include your neighbors. You can create “Privacy Zones” to restrict video coverage of certain viewable areas.
Tap the gear icon on the doorbell camera preview and go to Device Settings > Privacy Settings > Privacy Zones. Tap “Add Privacy Zones” and draw over the areas you’d like to exclude from recordings.
Customize the shortcuts in the panel
The main Dashboard screen in the Ring app has a row of shortcuts for quick access at the top. You can customize and rearrange these shortcuts to your liking.
Tap on the hamburger menu (three horizontal lines) at the top left of the app and select “Settings”. Touch “Shortcuts”, then drag the handles to move the shortcuts. Drag the shortcuts to the “Hidden Shortcuts” section to hide them from the panel.
Put the app in dark mode
Here’s an easy tip that will make the Ring app a little easier on the eyes. Tap the hamburger menu (three horizontal lines) at the top left of the app and select “Show”. Change the mode to “Always Dark” and choose “Standard” for dark gray or “Extra Dark” for black.
Give other people access to the doorbell
If you live with other people, you may want them to be able to access the doorbell and receive alerts as well. You do not need to share a login with the same account. “Shared Access” features allow other Ring accounts to access the doorbell and customize (some) settings to their own preferences.
Tap on the hamburger menu (three horizontal lines) at the top left of the app and select “Settings”. Now go to “Sharing” and tap on the floating button with the plus icon to invite someone else.
Get smart alerts for people and packages
Ring may attempt to control the number of alerts you receive with a feature called “Smart Alerts.” He lets him decide what he’d like to receive notifications about, like people or package detection, and whether he wants video recorded for them.
Tap the gear icon on the doorbell camera preview and go to Motion Settings > Smart Alerts. There are three options: “Person”, “Other movement” and “Package”. You can decide if you want to record video, receive alerts, or both for each.
Disable motion alerts on a schedule
Another way to reduce the number of unwanted alerts is with a Motion Schedule. This allows you to disable motion alerts during certain times and days.
Tap the gear icon on the doorbell camera preview and go to Motion settings > Advanced settings > Motion schedules. Tap “Add Schedule” and follow the instructions to create a schedule. You can create multiple schedules.
Set up quick responses for when you can’t open the door
It’s nice to be able to talk to people at your door through the doorbell, but you may not always be able to. “Quick Responses” are pre-recorded messages that play through the speaker when you cannot open the door.
When someone presses the doorbell button, your selected message is played, after a set time, and the person can leave you a message. Note that this makes it quite obvious that you are not home.
RELATED: How to use Quick Replies with Ring Doorbell
With some of these changes under your belt, your Ring Doorbell should be more useful. While there are several great video door entry options on the market, Ring devices are some of the most popular.