- Simple wireless installation
- Excellent video quality and motion detection
- Easy integration with the broad universe of Ring smart home products
- Requires a peephole
- Paid subscription required to save recordings
The Ring Peephole Camera is an excellent choice for tenants who want to install a video doorbell without angering their landlord. It’s also a great solution for anyone who lives in an apartment or condo with an entry door that already has a peephole.
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Best Prices Today: Ring Peephole Cam
The Ring Peephole Cam gives renters the same peace of mind that homeowners enjoy when they install a video doorbell–all you need is a peephole in the door you want to install it in. There’s no need to drill holes for new screws or cables, you simply swap it for your existing door viewer, which should greatly reduce the risk of ticking off your landlord (although you might still want to let one know you plan to install it).
In terms of industrial design, the Ring Peephole Cam is a kissing cousin to the Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2, with a similar silver-and-black color scheme. A second lens on the front of the housing replaces your existing peephole, so you can still view visitors through your door. A second, larger white housing holds the viewing end of the peephole and the rechargeable battery and installs on the inside of the door.
Installation is a straightforward, but at times delicate, process. The first step is to remove your current peephole. Ring provides a peephole key for installing the Peephole Camera that can be used here as well. Once you’ve removed both halves of the peephole, it’s important to check for excess paint and sharp edges around the door hole, both inside and out. Anything jagged can damage the ribbon cable that connects the camera’s outside component to the battery housing on the inside. You can use the peephole key to chip away excess paint and smooth edges if needed.
This review is part of TechHive’s in-depth coverage of the best video doorbells.
Once the door hole is prepared, you put the front of the camera on the outside of your door, feeding its tube, which contains the connector cable, through the hole. You then slide the camera’s indoor assembly over the tube from the inside of your door, delicately pull the connector cable from the tube, and plug it into the port on the indoor assembly. Next, you secure the indoor assembly to the outdoor assembly by screwing a nut over the tube using the peephole key. Lastly, you insert the battery into the bottom of the indoor assembly until it clicks into place.
The final part of the installation is to connect the peephole camera to the Ring app. The app has a setup wizard that prompts you through the steps for connecting to your Wi-Fi, setting up motion detection, enabling audio, and other options. There’s room for experimenting as you can change any of these settings later from the app menu.
How the Ring Peephole Cam works
The Ring Peephole Cam works much like other Ring video doorbells. You get visitor notifications when someone rings the doorbell (a built-in impact sensor will also notify you if someone knocks on the door). A motion sensor will alert you to anyone lurking at your door. You can then view and interact with the person using two-way audio either on your smartphone or an Amazon smart display like the Echo Show. All you have to do is tap on the notification to open the camera’s live stream and use the app’s push-to-talk button to speak to the visitor.
You can also live-stream video on demand with the Peephole Cam, but you can’t record video unless you sign up for a Ring Protect plan. The Protect Basic plan supports one device and provides 180 days of recordings for $3.99 a month or $39.99 annually. The Protect Plus plan provides the same amount of storage, but covers an unlimited number of Ring devices at the same address for $10 a month or $100 per year. The latter plan also includes an extended warranty for every Ring device you own that’s still under its original 1-year warranty.
The Peephole Cam captures video in 1080p resolution and has a 155-degree horizontal and 90-degree vertical field of view. That wide viewing angle allows you to monitor activity around porches, driveways, and even the street in front of your home. Because of this relatively wide coverage area, you’ll want to take advantage of the Ring app’s many options for calibrating motion detection—including person alerts, customizable motion zones, and motion scheduling—so that you’re not inundated with notifications about incidental activity.
If you live in a larger home or apartment, you can plug in a $35 Ring Chime into an AC outlet. The Chime, in addition to your smartphone, will notify you when the Peephole Cam detects a visitor (be it from ringing the doorbell, knocking on the door, or loitering near it).
Video quality is sharp with rich, accurate color in natural light. Infrared night vision is enabled automatically when lighting dims, and it allowed me to see more clearly at night than my porch light alone does. The various motion detection settings are intuitive to set up, which is a great help when you live in an apartment building or housing complex where you have neighbors, couriers, and other people frequently passing by your front door. A little experimenting is all it takes to find the motion detection sweet spot for your particular situation. If you get stuck, though, the app includes a motion wizard that provides tips to optimize your settings based on common detection issues like receiving too many alerts.
In all, the Ring Peephole Camera is an excellent option for anyone unable or unwilling to hardwire a video doorbell or outdoor security camera on their front porch. At $129, it’s at the lower end of the price range for this type of security product, and the Ring Protect Plans are inexpensive compared to the rest of the market. That makes it a great place to start if you’re at all curious about Ring’s home security ecosystem.