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The Ring Video Doorbell for Airbnb [2020]: Why Every Host Should Have One


Lately, I’ve been researching ways to enhance security at my Airbnb. I know that a lot of hosts use smart doorbells, such as the Ring Doorbell 2. It’s probably one of the better-known brands out there, and being backed by Amazon is a big plus for many. I decided to do some more digging, and I’m excited to share some of the things I found out. 

The Ring Doorbell 2 is a motion-activated video camera that detects when someone approaches your doorstep. The doorbell then notifies your phone (or whatever device you have connected) and allows you to virtually “answer” your door. You can see and speak to the other person, but they cannot see you.

Why is the Ring Doorbell for Airbnb a Good Option Hosts?

The great potential of the Ring Doorbell 2 for Airbnb hosts is obvious. In a way, it almost functions like an employee. It monitors when your guests come and go, and shows hosts how many guests there actually are. This is an excellent feature to avoid being taken advantage of and keeping your guests from violating the rules outlined in your Airbnb listing/ house rules. If a dispute arises, you would have concrete proof of how many people were occupying your rental space. 

You can check out this video by Ring for a quick overview of the doorbells features:

Another way the Ring Doorbell 2 functions like your very own personal assistant is that it not only notifies you when guests come and go, but can also be programmed to create links between events that trigger additional actions. 

Take check-in and check-out, for example. The Ring can be linked (often via an Alexa smart home setup) with the lights in an Airbnb. When guests arrive and depart, it can turn the lights on and off. Think of how nice it would be to arrive for a late-night check-in and have the house light up when you set foot on the doorstep! 

Recent updates also allow users to see all of their Ring cameras on one dashboard. This is especially great for monitoring multiple properties, or even multiple entrances to the same property. It makes the tedious parts of hosting so much less labor-intensive and can also allow you to “greet” your guests upon arrival, even if you’re miles away! 

Ring Video Doorbell 2 with HD Video, Motion Activated Alerts, Easy Installation

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Pros and Cons: Just How Good is the Ring Doorbell 2?

ProsCons
Alexa capabilityPaid plan required to view non-live video
Lifetime theft protectionMust purchase pricey add-ons to enjoy full functionality
Great app features including social networkingMixed customer experiences with installation and WiFi connectivity
Very clear image and soundPackaging lacking in instructions

Pros for the Ring Doorbell 2

Clearly, the Ring Doorbell 2 has some very exciting features. Its Alexa capability is where it can really shine, in my opinion. As mentioned earlier, the ability to trigger other events, such as lights turning on and off, automatically is a game-changer when it comes to hosting. There is also an Alexa skill that enables viewing of the Ring’s live feed on an Echo or Fire TV. 

The ability to track the coming and going of guests in real-time is also a terrific feature for hosts. Not only does this help you avoid potential rental agreement issues and enforce late check-in and check-out policies, but it is also an easy way to figure out the best time to enter your Airbnb if needed. Sometimes cleaning staff may need to make a mid-day sweep of the home, or you might need to replenish some towels and snacks. It’s easier than ever to get housekeeping tasks done without awkwardly barging in on your guests during their stay. 



The Ring Doorbell 2 is covered by a lifetime warranty on theft. For some people, the worry of losing a costly item is enough to keep them from ever purchasing one in the first place. Ring eliminates this concern and puts consumer minds at ease with their excellent replacement policy. As an added bonus, this doorbell is one of the few that also has the benefit of being able to identify who stole it!

The tech specs are another area where the Ring really shines. Lots of users appreciate the app’s great features, including its Neighborhood section. This acts like a local social network where other Ring users can share photos and video with each other. 

At first I was a little unsure of the necessity of this feature; after all, don’t we all have Facebook? But it really is useful for a number of reasons. It allows users to ask questions about what is going on in the area, which is great for public safety issues. It also makes it easy to share images of suspicious visitors and to find out who has had similar issues with them. 

Ring Video Doorbell 2 with HD Video, Motion Activated Alerts, Easy Installation

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$85.22  in stock

1 used from $85.22
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Features

  • 1080p HD video doorbell that lets you see, hear and speak to people from your phone, tablet, or select Echo device. Includes privacy features, such as customizable privacy zones and audio privacy, to focus only on what's relevant to you.
  • Get notifications whenever motion is detected by adjusting your motion zones.
  • With Live View, you can check in on your home any time through the Ring app.
  • Easily setup your Ring Video Doorbell 2 by connecting to wifi via the Ring app and mounting in your desired location.
  • Powered by a quick-release rechargeable battery pack or connects to existing doorbell wiring.

A big selling point of the Ring doorbells is how easy they (supposedly) are to install. While some customers have experienced issues with the installation (more on that below), many report it going very smoothly. 

The Ring Doorbell 2 has the option of either hardwiring it into your existing doorbell’s electrical system or just using the battery pack. For those who opt to use battery power, installation is as simple as picking a spot to attach it to your house and putting it there. It’s very plug-and-play! The lack of hardwiring makes it easy to install multiple doorbells on a property if needed. For example, a duplex rental or one with a rear or side entrance could have both doors monitored easily. 

This version of the Ring also has an upgraded video quality compared to the older model. At 1080p, it has one of the highest video resolutions on the market. This makes identifying visitors super easy, and isn’t that the point?

Finally, the Ring 2’s ability to fine-tune its motion sensors will keep you from being notified of every passing car or dog walker on your street. You can set your limits on sensitivity and distance to avoid constant annoying alerts. Some users even report that the wind can set off the motion sensors, which truly speaks to their quality but is not necessarily what most people are looking for in a video doorbell. 


Cons for the Ring Doorbell 2

Tech devices, and especially super “smart” devices, are never without their faults and bugs. While Ring does update their app pretty frequently with new features and fixes, lots of users report frustratingly long wait times to get problems fixed so that they can actually use their pricey new doorbell. 

A big complaint among users is that it wasn’t clear to everyone that the Ring Doorbell itself (the base model and no additional subscriptions) only includes live video feeds and two-way talking. There is no way to view pre-recorded video without a paid plan, which is very frustrating for those who bought it with the intention of replacing a typical security camera. For hosts looking to maximize profit from their Airbnb, this could be seen as another unnecessary overhead. 

While the plan is not too cost-prohibitive, at $3 per month or $30 per year, it is understandable how people were disappointed with the lack of any video storage being included in the purchase price. Unfortunately, this is not where the paid add-ons end. 

Although the Ring Doorbell 2’s camera quality is top-of-the-line, the live video can often be spotty and pixelated. There is probably some dependence on your WiFi speed and other factors, but it does seem a shame to waste such a great video resolution if it doesn’t actually turn out well. The pre-recorded video does seem to turn out much clearer (probably due to the fact that it has time to load), but you won’t be able to enjoy this featuring without one of Ring’s subscription plans. 


User Impressions: What are people saying about the Ring Doorbell 2?

Specs Make it Impressive

To reiterate, the specs of the Ring Doorbell 2 are very impressive. Its camera is high enough quality to be able to see and recognize faces, which is great if you’re ever unlucky enough to be struck by a porch pirate. This is also great for confirming guest arrival, as well as the arrival of potentially unexpected guests! It also has infrared night vision, a great feature for late Airbnb check-ins and check-outs. 

  • Product
  • Features
  • Photos

Ring Video Doorbell 2 with HD Video, Motion Activated Alerts, Easy Installation

& Free shipping
Last update was on:
$85.22 $199.00

As previously mentioned, the fact that you’re able to adjust the Ring’s motion sensors to avoid unwanted notifications is somewhat unique in this market. The adjusting is done in its very user-friendly app, and making quick changes is super easy. It also comes with angled plates that install behind the doorbell, to get the camera angle just right. 

Looks-wise, unlike the older models the Ring 2 comes with two faceplate options: matte black and silver. Now you can “try on” each cover and see which one looks best outside of your Airbnb. The body of the Ring Doorbell 2 is weather-resistant, so uncovered porches or harsher climates are no big deal. It does have a functionality range of -5 to 120 degrees Fahrenheit, so if you live in a very extreme climate you may run into some issues. 

Add-Ons Can Really Add Up

Again, many users were very frustrated to learn that it is impossible to view non-live video without a paid subscription. For hosts, this means that keeping a virtual guest log would be nearly impossible unless you always had your phone at the ready and could keep tracking the live feed. 

Also, in the event of a dispute you would have no evidence of guest arrival or identity. While the subscription fee isn’t necessarily going to break the bank for most of us, it’s just another added cost that might cut into a host’s profits. 

Installation May Not Be So Easy

Ring advertises their installation time as “five minutes or less”. While this may be how long it takes to stick or screw in the unit to the side of your house, the actual setup process is more arduous. For the longest time, the packaging was famously lacking in clear instructions. This left people feeling frustrated and helpless with their expensive new gadget. 

Something else that kept popping up during my research was that almost everyone had an issue with removing the battery pack from the body of the doorbell. The battery needs to be charged before use, making it essential for new users to get the ball rolling immediately. Lots of people reported having to contact tech support for help on this (allegedly) simple task. 

Another common installation hurdle was connecting to WiFi. This device requires WiFi to work, and should be able to connect to the network you already have. However, many people reported having to rename or otherwise change their network settings in order to get it to connect. Those that purchased the Chime Pro WiFi extender said that it worked great, so if you anticipate having an issue that may be a consideration. 

Thankfully, Ring’s tech support is very responsive and can help talk people through almost any issue. Since the barrage of user complaints about unclear instructions Ring has beefed up the paperwork that comes in the package to be much more helpful.


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Finals Thoughts

Overall, the Ring Doorbell 2 is an excellent device for Airbnb hosts. The peace of mind it provides is well worth the price tag. It can be your extra set of eyes and ears and also allows you to communicate instantly with guests in case of a lock-out or other issue.

I would also recommend going ahead and purchasing the subscription plan (known as Ring Protect Basic) so that you have a log of your guests at the ready. Ring also offers a Plus plan that includes 24/7 professional security monitoring of your home for $10 a month or $100 a year. If you seem to have consistent security issues in your Airbnb, this is definitely a worthwhile investment. 

If you decide to incorporate a Ring Doorbell or any other exterior surveillance device into your Airbnb, remember that it is required to notify your guests that they are being monitored. I hope my findings have helped you decide whether or not the Ring Doorbell 2 will be the next addition to your Airbnb!

I'm an Airbnb Superhost sharing my Airbnb journey and tips that I've learned along the way.

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