Ring Video Doorbell vs Arlo: Which Is Better?

Ring VS Arlo Doorbells

Choosing between the Ring Video Doorbell and the Arlo Doorbell is a difficult choice, especially when you want to make the “right” decision. Recently I was thinking about getting an outdoor smart-video device, both Arlo and Ring kept coming up in my search, so here is how I decided between the two.

So, did I pick Arlo or Ring? The Ring video doorbell provides both audio and visual to the app of the user. Arlo’s doorbell is an audio-only device. Because I would have to buy both an Arlo camera and the Arlo doorbell to get the same functionality as Ring, I went with Ring.

The decision you make really depends on what you want your product to do, and if you have already started going down the Ring or the Arlo route with other devices. I analyzed their specs that way you could make the choice that would be right for you.

Ring Video Doorbell

Before I delve into the functionality and specs of the Ring Video Doorbell, I decided to make a table for you to show you the differences between each of the Ring doorbells.

Ring 1Ring 2Ring ProRing Elite
Motion Detection5 selectable zones and customizable sensitivity scale. 5 selectable zones and customizable sensitivity scale. customizable motion detection zonescustomizable motion detection zones
Detection Angle180 degrees180 degrees160 degrees160 degrees
Detection MethodInfraredInfraredCameraCamera
PowerBattery poweredRemovable battery pack or hardwiredHardwiredPower over Ethernet

The Real Difference between the Pro and the Elite

The Ring Elite Pro is Ring’s newest model in their doorbell line. It boasts the highest price, but the biggest payout. The Ring pro and the Ring Elite are very similar if you are just not sold on the price.

The main difference between the pro and the elite is that the pro is an easy DIY installation, and the elite will take some major effort or a professional install. Why? The Elite is made to be powered via Ethernet.

In some cases this may allow your devices to function at the most optimum level, making them work faster and more efficiently than receiving power other ways.

Ethernet is also a plus for those that do not have a hardwired doorbell they are replacing.

Ring 1 vs. Ring 2

In another post, I compared the differences between Ring 1 and Ring 2. While largely minor differences, the Ring 2 knocks the Ring 1 doorbell out of the park.

The Ring 1 came onto the market with a few bugs that were resolved with the release of Ring 2 instead of revamping the Ring 1.

The largest difference between the two is the video resolution. To some who don’t understand video resolution, it is just a number. However, I have to tell you that the jump between 720p HD and 1080p HD is significant.

It can be the difference between seeing a blurry image and a perfectly clear image. If you really want to know who is at the door, I would go with the Ring 2.

So, What Does Ring Do?

Ring produces a line of security products mostly focusing on cameras. Their Ring video doorbell is a 3-in-one device. 1. Doorbell. 2. Two-way audio. 3. Video.

This is the ultimate device for the security conscious or introverts who want to know what in the world is going on without leaving their bed and having to talk to people.

The world is your oyster when you can pull up the video feed on your app and see that it is the Jehovah’s Witnesses without having to go to the door and have the awkward “I don’t want to be rude but go away” conversation.

From the privacy of your room, you can just watch them on your app, or using the speaker tell them to go away. (I know that sounds kind of creepy, but they are on your property after all).

This comes in real handy when you can just tell the UPS guy or the pizza guy to set down their package and get it at your leisure. It can even make all of your Home Alone fantasies come true (well, some of them).


Before I write my little blurb about the Arlo Doorbell, I’ve made a handy dandy table that will give you the lo-down if you are just interested in specs.

Mobile NotificationsYes
Visitors can leave messagesYes
Quick RepliesYes
Integrates with your existing ChimeYes
Weather ResistantYes
DIY InstallationYes
Silent Mode (for naptime)Yes
Battery PoweredYes

What is it?

Arlo is a company that produces cameras for security purposes. The Arlo Audio doorbell was announced in June 2018, so it is still pretty new to the market.

The Arlo doorbell is a two-in-one product. 1. Doorbell. 2. Two-way audio.

The reason why Arlo chose not to integrate a video functionality as well is that they did not like the idea of the camera being relegated to that one position.

Some might say that they just want you to also buy their camera, but it makes perfect design sense, especially for those who have doorbells in a convenient doorbell location, but a not so convenient video location.

Ring vs. Arlo

Both Ring and Arlo are companies that produce multiple home security devices specializing in cameras. Arlo’s doorbell is new to the market, but its cameras have been going strong for a while.

Ring EliteArlo
Video1080p HDNone unless you buy an Arlo camera which will sync with your doorbell
FootageLive only unless users have a $3/month subscription, then 30 days of footage access.7-day rolling cloud storage acces without a subscription

Pros of Ring

Ring has pretty much every feature that Arlo has, plus some.

Ring doorbells come with audio and visual while Arlo is an audio-only doorbell leaving purchasers needing to buy an Arlo camera if they do not already have one.

Ring offers an optional 24/7 monitoring service. Yes, it will cost a little extra, but it is nice to have that option on the table, especially for people that are really concerned about security.

I don’t know about you, but if I was getting a smart doorbell to help with security, I would not want to be responsible for constantly reviewing footage to ensure that no shady characters keep stopping by.

It just gives a little peace of mind to know that someone else has your back.

Did I mention someone having your back? Ring offers a neighborhood watch feature for anyone who downloads the Ring app.

Ring users can post videos of attempted burglaries to warn other Ring users (or non-ring users with the app) to be on the lookout. This is helpful because it provides a community where everyone can be aware of potential dangers.

This Neighborhood Watch is a function unique to Ring alone, in this way it is able to trump other smart doorbell competitors like Nest.

Cons of Ring

Cost is inevitably Ring’s downfall. That $500 price tag is pretty steep by itself, but especially when compared with Arlo’s $80 one.

Still…if you decided you could live without the pro, the price difference between the Ring 1 and Arlo is only a $20 difference. And, I mean, who wouldn’t cough up an additional $20 for video?

Unless users have a $3/month subscription, they can only view live video footage.

Slowness? This is generally only a problem for users with a WiFi router that cannot support Ring. This can (rarely) result in slowness or a lower-quality video image despite it being 1080p HD.

I don’t know whether to call this one a con or a pro, but if users choose to subscribe for cloud storage, it can add up over time. However, that subscription for that many days of video can be worth it.

Pros of Arlo

Depending on what you are going for, this product is for you. If you are blind, then the audio only is exactly what you need, no video required. It would just be a useless feature if you did have a visual function.

Arlo offers a $0 subscription for 7-days of video footage. Which is 7 days more than Ring without a subscription.

Because Arlo’s doorbell does not have a visual function, it can integrate with its other cameras allowing better visual placement.

The “silence is golden” function allows users to set time periods where the doorbell will not send out an audible chime, making it nicer for mothers with napping children

If you aren’t home, people that come to your door can leave a message like a voicemail, but at your door. You can listen to the messages whenever you want via the app.

There is a possibility for users to have a local video storage backup like to a USB. However, this is only possible if users have a cloud storage subscription.

If you connect a USB, it will record both to the USB and the cloud. If you do not have a cloud subscription and you try to just download via USB, it will not work.

This is better than Ring in the local backup sense because Ring only offers 60 days of cloud storage then it is gone forever. If you have a cloud storage subscription and you keep buying USBs, you can keep all of your video footage.

Cons of Arlo

The most obvious con on the table compared to Ring is that the Arlo doorbell is audio only, while Ring has both audio and visual detection from its doorbell.

If you want both audio and visual detection at your front door, you will need to purchase an Arlo cam as well as the Arlo doorbell. Luckily both devices can sync and the network is pretty user-friendly.

Like I’ve mentioned before, the Arlo doorbell is new to the market, so we could potentially see future models of the doorbell coming out with both audio and visual capabilities.

Right now though, Ring trumps Arlo on functionality if users were to buy the doorbell alone.

Arlo does not offer 24/7 security monitoring. Users are entirely responsible for their own security without outside protection. I don’t know about you, but sometimes I forget to do laundry for a week, I can’t even imagine the weight of security resting on my shoulders needing me to review cam footage all the time.

It is a potentially adjustable setting (and if it isn’t it should be), but Arlo will give your phone a call every time your doorbell rings.

This can be particularly annoying if you are trying to get some work done on your phone (or, you know, scroll through your feed) but keep getting not only ding-dong-ditched but also prank called at the same time.

The app may not be quite what it is cracked up to be. Many users have reported that the video streaming quality in-app is not the greatest.

Ring has a streamlined app, but it doesn’t look like Arlo quite competes with a flawless app. If ease is really important to you, then Ring would be a better choice.

The Arlo doorbell is so new. The newness can rub some people the wrong way when there is no rapport developed to establish credibility.

Both Arlo and Ring

Arlo and Ring were created with the up and coming generation in mind…no commitment! The contract is month-to-month so there is no year contract and fees for breaking the contract.

Ring and Arlo provide free apps so if users start purchasing either company’s entire product line, they can all be controlled and adjusted via an app.

Either device will get you started on a more secure direction. For the security conscious, it is helpful to know who is at your door, and even speak with them without opening it up. That open door can be a vulnerability, one we don’t think about.

If you are a smart device junkie, either will be alright. Both devices are capable of integrating with IFTTT or some other smart device integrator. Neither are optimized for smart integration.

Ring can integrate better with Amazon products because it is Amazon-owned. Because Arlo is so new, kinks are not quite worked out, and much of its integration capability hasn’t been fully explored.

Related Questions:

Is Ring compatible with Arlo? Ring is not the absolute greatest at smart things integration. If you have something like IFTTT, then Ring and Arlo cameras, or Ring cameras and the Arlo doorbell, can work with one another. However, because both Ring and Arlo are competitors they are not made for optimized use with one another.

How does Ring compare to Nest? Nest is built for more optimized smart-home integration. Nest’s parent company is Google, making Google home integration a primary goal for all Nest products. Ring is a staunch competitor, owned by Amazon, Alexa integration is better. Ring has a greater space-saving design, but if you would rather your doorbell have more features than less, the Nest doorbell has facial recognition and Ring cannot compete.

Luke Miller

Luke Miller is a writer, real estate professional, rental property investor, and home renovation enthusiast based in Phoenix, Arizona. He grew up in Iowa in a self-sufficient household where he learned the skills to do everything from plumbing, drywall, to basic handyman repair for everyday problems. He enjoys sharing his vast experience and his continuous learning with fellow DIY enthusiasts.

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