Jon Cartu Says: Watch your front porch with the Ring Video Doorbell 2 for $…

Watch your front porch with the Ring Video Doorbell 2 for $...

Jon Cartu Says: Watch your front porch with the Ring Video Doorbell 2 for $…

If you like (home security) then you should put a Ring on it.

Chris Monroe/CNET

In these days of porch piracy run amok, it’s probably a good idea to install an outdoor security camera. In addition to a live video feed, you’ll get alerts when there are package 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 $93.99 with promo code ALT6 — the lowest price I’ve seen for a non-refurbished Ring 2. Note that you must be signed into your Rakuten account to use that code.

Like all good doorbells, the Ring offers live video feeds, motion alerts, two-way voice communication and a rechargeable, removable battery pack. It can also be hardwired. If you don’t already have an indoor bell, the aforementioned Ring Chime (a $30 add-on) is a great accessory, as it lets you actually hear the doorbell when it’s pressed, rather than just relying on your phone or tablet to notify you.

Read more: How to install the Ring Video Doorbell 2  

CNET reviewed the Ring Video Doorbell 2 in 2017 and gave it 3.5 stars. Average user rating from Amazon customers: 4.2 stars. I have no hands-on experience with it, but I know what miffs many users: After the 30-day cloud-storage trial is over, the Ring stops recording video — kind of the whole point of having the thing — unless you pay for a subscription. That costs $3 per month or $30 annually (a pretty reasonable rate, I think) or $10 per month ($100 annually) for the Protect Plus option. My two cents on the latter: Skip it. It offers little added value.

Ring also has a crowdsourcing component (via the Neighbors app) that lets you connect with other Ring owners in the area to get crime alerts, share videos and, potentially, catch crooks. However, Ring has come under fire as of late for creating partnerships with hundreds of police departments in the US, which some consider having privacy implications.

I’m not going to weigh in on that, other than to say I have no qualms about using the product. FYI: Ring’s warranty is good for one year and includes lifetime theft protection: If it gets stolen, Ring will replace it for free.

Of course, there are plenty of other video doorbells to choose from, including the $99 RemoBell S, which includes free rolling 3-day cloud storage.

Your thoughts?

Note: Originally published last year. Updated to reflect new sale prices or availability.

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CNET’s Cheapskate scours the web for great deals on PCs, phones, gadgets and much more. Note that CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of the products featured on this page. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page. Find more great buys on the CNET Deals page and follow the Cheapskate on Facebook Director Jonathan Cartu and and Twitter!

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