Many homeowners will choose Ring or Nest when shopping for a new video doorbell. Both companies produce top-quality video doorbells at very affordable prices. Which company should you choose to upgrade your doorbell’s security?
Ring offers seven video doorbells starting at $49 Ring Video Doorbell Wired and ending at the Ring Video Doorbell Elite ($349). Nest only offers two: the Nest Hello ($229) or the Nest Doorbell (battery), both priced at $179. However, there are many options. The best video doorbells are made by both companies, so it can be difficult to choose between them. To help you make an informed decision, we’ll breakdown the costs and features of both Nest and Ring video doorbells.
Pricing and Options for Ring vs. nest
Editor’s Note: Although this section shows the original pricing of all video doorbells, prices can change due to sales. This could make one doorbell more affordable than another. The Ring Video Doorbell 4 cost $199 at first, but it was $219 when it was launched in April 2022.
Nest offers two video doorbells: the Nest Doorbell (battery) for $179 and the older Nest Hello ($229). Now called the Nest Doorbell, wired.
Ring offers seven models: the Ring Video Doorbell Wired (59), the Ring Video Doorbell 2nd Gen ($99), and the Ring Video Doorbell 3 (3,179). The Ring Video Doorbell 4 (4,199), is the Ring Video Doorbell Pro, Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2 (249), and the Ring Video Doorbell Elite (349).
We’re going to compare the Nest Doorbell (battery), to the Ring Video Doorbell for the purpose of this faceoff. They’re both the most popular models.
This round is won by Ring, which costs $50 less than Nest. Ring offers many more models at different price points.
Winner: The Ring
Ring vs. Nest: Installation
The Nest Doorbell (battery), and the Ring Video Doorbell both can be connected to the internet or powered by internal batteries. This allows for easier installation and more placement options. The problem is that both devices require you to charge the whole unit. This means that you will be faced with a situation where you don’t have a doorbell.
Ring also offers the Ring Chime Pro ($49), and Ring Chime Pro ($29) alternatives to traditional doorbell chimes. Ring’s Chimes plug into an outlet and can be programmed with different sounds depending on the movement of the bell rung. The Chime Pro can also be used as a Wi Fi repeater, which is useful if your front door doesn’t have Wi-Fi coverage.
Nest does not sell a separate chime. Instead, you would need something like the Nest Mini ($25), if you want the bell to ring.
The installation of the Nest and Ring took approximately the same time. You can see the process in our guide to how to install a Ring Video Doorbell.
Ring vs. Nest: Video quality
The video quality is a major concern when purchasing a video doorbell. The resolution of the Nest Doorbell (wired), is 960×1280. This resolution is lower than that of the Ring Video Doorbell (1920×1080), but it doesn’t tell all. We prefer the Nest Doorbell’s 3:4 aspect ratio, which is more vertical. This allowed us to see more of the area where packages are likely to be dropped off, and it was also easier to use. Ring Video Doorbell’s camera is horizontal, so it works better when visitors come to your door from either side.
The vertical field view of the Nest Doorbell is similar to that of the Video Doorbell Pro 2 which has a greater 150-degree vertical view.
HDR is also supported by the Nest, which we found helpful when visitors were standing under shade (for instance, on a covered porch) or when the background was brightly lit.
We liked the fact that Nest Hello could show us a little more of our front porch, despite having a lower resolution camera than Ring Video Doorbell.
Ring vs. Nest: Features
Although the Ring Video Doorbell (battery), and the Nest Doorbell (battery have similar features, Nest’s are more robust in certain cases.
Custom motion zones
You can designate which areas of the camera it should ignore in case motion is detected with both video doorbells. They are simple to set up and configure and allow you to create polygonal shapes.
Person detection is a feature that both video doorbells offer. This can reduce the number of notifications that you receive. This feature allows you to be alerted only when the camera detects someone. The Nest Doorbell can also send you an alert if a friend, family member or relative is present at your door. This feature is not available without a subscription.
This feature is available on both the Nest Doorbell as well as the Ring Video Doorbell. It can tell you when a package was delivered and when it has been picked-up.
Continuous video recording
The cameras do not record continuous video; to capture that you would need the Nest Doorbell (wired), which was formerly called the Nest Hello.
Ring has a Neighborhood Alert feature that allows you to view incidents from Ring users around your area and also post video from your camera(s).
Video encryption from end-to-end
Ring introduced end-to-end encryption for its home security cameras and video doorbells. Unfortunately, this feature is not available to its battery-powered devices such as the Ring Video Doorbell. This feature is crucial as it blocks local law enforcement from viewing your Ring video footage. This shows you how to enable end–to-end encryption on your Ring video doorbell. However, this will also disable many features.
Extended Video Record
Video doorbells can sometimes detect motion so fast that you only see the back of the person when the camera starts recording. Ring solves this problem by recording continuously for 4 seconds. When the camera detects motion, it adds a few seconds before the event so you can hopefully see the entire person. Ring’s Preroll records this video at a lower resolution because it must be able to run on battery power alone.
The Nest Doorbell (battery), however, does not have this feature. However, the hardwired Nest Hello has a full-color and high-resolution preroll feature as does the Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2.
Ring vs. Nest: Smart home compatibility
A smart doorbell has the advantage of being able to link with other gadgets from our top smart home devices list. You could, for instance, have your front porch lights turn on when someone approaches you at night.
Both the Nest and Ring cameras can be used with Alexa and Google Assistant to some degree, as they have the best Google Assistant commands. You can use voice commands to inquire about the status of your cameras. Google Home devices, if you have the Nest Doorbell can also announce visitors.
Nest’s video-doorbell now works with Alexa. When you pair your device with Amazon’s assistant smart speaker, it will be able announce whether a package or person is at the door.
You can see a live feed from the Nest and Ring doorbells if you have an Alexa enabled smart display, such as the Echo Show or the FireTV. This is useful if you are in your bedroom but can’t reach the door quickly. Ring’s Video Doorbells can be linked to many other Ring products such as outdoor lights or motion sensors. This allows the doorbell to start recording as soon a movement is detected by another device.
Ring has also partnered with Lutron. When a Ring camera senses motion, or when the button on a doorbell is pressed on it, Lutron-controlled lights can be programmed to turn on. You can even set the interaction to occur only at night.
Alexa allows you to create more interactions between Ring cameras, smart home devices and other smart cameras than with Nest cameras or Google Assistant.
Winner: The Ring
Ring vs. Nest: Subscription fees
A monthly subscription is required to get the best out of your Nest and Ring doorbells. You can subscribe to NestAware to receive continuous recording and intelligent alerts telling you who’s at your doors, for example.
Nest Aware is $6 per month or $60 annually. You can store 30 days’ event history from unlimited cameras at one location. If you upgrade to Nest Aware Plus ($12/month or $120 annually), you get 60-days of rolling cloud storage plus 10 days of 24/7 video history. This means you can view any time in the past 10 days.
Ring’s basic plan is $3 per month ($30/year) per device, and gives you 60 days worth of recordings. Ring’s premium plan costs $10 per month and supports unlimited cameras. It also provides 60 days of event storage but no 24/7 video history.
The Nest Doorbell comes with three hours of rolling video storage. It also detects person, animal, vehicle and package, as well custom motion zones.
Check out our security camera storage plan comparison for a better look at Nest, Ring and Arlo.
Ring vs. nest: Overall winner
The Nest Doorbell (battery) just beat the Ring Video Doorbell in the battle of Ring vs. Nest. We liked its video and the Nest Video Doorbell’s features, including facial recognition and package detection. Many of these features are free. Nest’s subscription plan can be more affordable if you have more than three home security cameras.
The Ring Video Doorbell is a great choice. Ring is the doorbell I recommend for my mother. It’s also easier to charge and offers more integrations with smart homes. If you prefer a wider view of your front porch, it’s better than one that is narrower or taller. Ring also offers other video doorbells that are less expensive than the Nest but may have more features. It all depends on your requirements.
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