In these days of, it's not a bad idea to install an outdoor security camera. You can get alerts of deliveries, unexpected activity and potentially even criminals at work.
I've long been intrigued by the Ring option, but less enthusiastic about the $200 price tag. Thankfully, it just got a lot more affordable: For a limited time, and while supplies last, Altatac via Rakuten has the Ring Video Doorbell 2 for $119.96 with promo code HOME20 -- the lowest price I've seen yet. Price elsewhere (including Amazon): $199.
Speaking of members, note that you must have a Rakuten account to take advantage of this deal. There's no charge to get one, but of course it means signing up with an email address and password.
The Ring is a smart doorbell that offers live video feeds, motion alerts, two-way voice communication and a rechargeable, removable battery pack. It can also be hardwired.
in 2017 and gave it 3.5 stars. But I recently saw one of these in action: A friend was visiting from out of town and having another friend pick up his HelloFresh deliveries. The Ring notified him of front-door activity, at which point he checked the video and discovered that, yep, his box had been dropped off. Then he was able to ping the friend to retrieve it.
Ring also has a crowdsourcing component (via the) that lets you connect with other Ring owners in the area to get crime alerts, share videos and, potentially, catch crooks.
Something else I didn't know: If the Ring itself gets stolen, you can get a replacement for free.
Where I think people get a little miffed is that after the usual 30-day cloud-storage trial is over, the Ring stops recording video -- unless you pay for a subscription. That costs $3 per month or $30 annually -- a pretty reasonable rate, IMHO -- or $10 ($100 annually) for the Protect Plus option (which offers little value, again IMHO).
At this price, the Ring 2 is well within range of the RemoBell S, which is only $99 and includes free cloud storage -- but requires hard-wiring and doesn't have the aforementioned crowdsourcing or replacement options. At $120, this is definitely worth a look.
Originally published on Feb. 6.
Update, July 3: Lower price from different seller.
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