The Security Camera Buyer's Guide

Ring Security Cameras offer a wide array of features as well as peace of mind when it comes to monitoring and protecting your home or place of business.

However, given our wide variety of available products, the most important things to consider when deciding which (or how many) cameras to purchase is the configuration of your home. Do you have a broad, flat expanse of grassy yard? Do you have a dark corner on your property hidden by trees? Do you have a large side yard or a narrow alley between you and the house next door? Considerations like these will help determine what kind of cameras you need and where they should be placed.

This article will walk you through the process of finding the right security camera for your home or business to help keep your property and loved ones safe. 

Home Configuration Considerations
Before you buy a security camera, draw out a map of your home and yard(s) (be sure to include any large features such as trees or a pool) and figure out exactly how and why you want to view each area. It might look something like this:

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Once you’ve mapped out your property, deciding where to place your cameras really comes down to what you want your cameras to do and see. Here's one example of an effective configuration:

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Many neighbors use security cameras to: 

  • Secure areas of their property that are concealed or would otherwise make an inviting entry point — such as a basement door or a group of trees that conceals a part of a fence. 
  • Covering obvious routes of entry, such as a front or back door or first floor windows.
  • Monitoring backyards, barns, or sheds for unwanted animal activity.
  • Watching for suspicious activity or unusual traffic outside your home.
  • Keeping an eye on parked vehicles to prevent theft or vandalism.

To see a Ring Security Camera comparison, click here.

Click here for more information on placing security cameras.

Don’t forget the Ring doorbell! One of the most important functions of a security system is to monitor your home's main entry point: your front door. The front door is the single most common  point of entry for break-ins. It's where package thieves look first. And it's the most likely place you'll want to keep an eye on at all hours of the day, no matter who comes knocking. This is exactly what Ring Video Doorbells were made for!

Click here for our Ring doorbell Buyer’s Guide.

Other Considerations When Buying a Ring Security Camera
There are other considerations besides home configuration to take into account when deciding which and how many security cameras you’ll need. This Buyer’s Guide will go into more detail about each of these factors, but for now, here’s a short list of other considerations:

  • Home Modifications: What kind of modifications can you make to your home? This may depend on things like whether you own or rent. You’ll also need to consider the construction of your house. Mounting a security camera on stucco can be a bit different than mounting it on vinyl siding. Some Ring cameras require mounting for full functionality, while others do not. Be sure to consider whether or not you'll want to mount the camera when choosing a model.
  • Camera Purpose: Are you looking to keep an eye on your dogs while you’re away? Are you concerned about animals in your backyard? Are you looking to protect your home from break-ins? Different purposes may require a different configuration of cameras.
  • Power Supply: Some Ring camera models can be powered by batteries, wired power, or even solar power. The way the camera you choose is powered will affect certain features of the camera, where in your house you can place it, and what kind of maintenance you'll need to perform.

    For security cameras that require hardwiring, there are potential hazards.

    WARNING: Electric shock hazard. Shut off power to installation area at your circuit breaker or fuse box before beginning installation. Always use caution when handling electrical wiring.

    Installation by a qualified electrician may be required in your area. Refer to your local laws and building codes before performing electrical work. Permits and professional installation may be required by law.

  • Feature Set: What features are important must-haves for your configuration? Do you need night vision? A very bright spotlight? Specific power options? Look over the list of major features to find one that best fits your needs. 
  • Network Speed and Range: We recommend approximately 2Mbps download and 2Mbps upload speed for optimal video and transmission quality — but the faster your internet speed is, the better. In addition, wifi transmissions sometimes have trouble reaching cameras placed outside at great distance, necessitating the use of a network extender, such as a Ring Chime Pro, or upgrading your network to a mesh system with a much greater coverage area. 

Click here for more information on the Ring Chime Pro. 

Click here for more information on optimizing the range of your wifi signals.

The rest of this article will go over each of the available models of Ring security cameras in relation to these considerations, as well as their individual technical specifications.

Compare indoor and outdoor Security Camera features.

Ring Security Cameras - Click on a model:

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Ring Indoor Cam

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Ring Stick Up Cam

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Ring Stick Up Cam Elite

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Ring Spotlight Cam

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Ring Floodlight Cam


Buying a Ring Indoor Cam

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The Ring Indoor Cam is the smallest next-generation Ring security camera specifically designed to be used indoors to bolster security around your home. The Ring Indoor Cam is lightweight, compact, and has flexible mounting options.

Let’s go over the list of security considerations:

Home Configuration: The Ring Indoor Cam is easily one of the most versatile security cameras when it comes to placement inside your home. While it can’t be used outdoors, it can be placed indoors anywhere with access to a power outlet. The compact Indoor Cam can be placed on a table or out of the way on a high bookshelf. It can also be mounted on a wall, in the corner of the room, or even on the ceiling!

Our online Help Center has more details about the Ring Indoor Cam. 

Home Modifications: Modification considerations make the Ring Indoor Cam one of the most versatile cameras Ring has. Renters concerned about damage to a home or apartment can simply place the Indoor Cam wherever there is access to a power outlet. Those who own their own home will find that installation of an Indoor Cam is quick and easy and requires virtually no DIY skills. 

Camera Purpose: The Ring Indoor Cam is a wonderful all-purpose indoor monitoring device. Use it to keep an eye on the dogs or the inside of your house while you’re at work, or even a way to monitor what’s happening while you’re home but in another room. Really the Indoor Cam works great for any use case that doesn’t require night vision or thermal detection. It can even act as a supplemental security camera to other measures during the day. 

Power Supply: The Indoor Cam uses a standard plug, meaning it can be placed anywhere in your home that has access to a power outlet. Running off wired power also means you’ll never have to worry about replacing batteries, making maintenance as simple as occasionally dusting the cam.

Feature Set:

  • HD 1080p image: The crisp and clear image offered by the Indoor Cam allows you to get a detailed picture of what’s happening in your home. 
  • Small size: The Indoor Cam is smaller than other Ring cameras, making it easily concealable in the dark corners of a room or on high shelves. 
  • Indoor power cable: Place the Indoor Cam anywhere within reach of a power outlet - or even outside it with the use of an extension cord.
  • Live View and two-way audio: Instantly let the dog know he’s not allowed on the couch or that the kids need to stop their pillow fight in the living room with noise-cancelling two-way audio.
  Indoor Cam
Camera Resolution 1080p HD
Field of View 115 degrees horizontal, 60 degrees vertical
Power Supply Indoor power cable
Connectivity 2.4GHz Wireless 802.11 b/g/n
Connection Speed Requires a minimum upload speed of 1Mbps, but 2 Mbps is recommended for optimal performance
Audio Specs Two way audio with noise cancellation
System Requirements  iOS 12 or later, Android 6.0 or later
Size 1.81 in. x 1.81 in. x 2.95 in. (46 mm x 46 mm x 76 mm) (without stand)

Installation: The Indoor Cam installs in a couple of minutes. 

Buying a Ring Stick Up Cam

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The Ring Stick Up Cam is a next generation security camera that can be used both indoors and outdoors to increase security around your home. The Ring Stick Up Cam features multiple power options, 1080p full HD image quality, night vision, two-way audio, and HD video recordings and is especially useful in tight or confined spaces around your home. 

Let’s go over the list of security considerations:

Home Configuration: Like the Indoor Cam, the Ring Stick Up Cam is extremely versatile when it comes to where it can be set up inside or outside your home. While it is slightly larger than the Indoor Cam, its small size makes it excellent for mounting on indoor walls or ceilings and its included mounting accessories make it perfect for mounting in smaller or out-of-the-way areas outside of your home. The Stick Up Cam is particularly useful in monitoring tight, confined areas such as side yards.

Our online Help Center has more details about Ring’s Stick Up Cam

Home Modifications: A variety of power and mounting options make the Stick Up Cam an easy choice for both renters and homeowners. Renters can use the included stand to unobtrusively place the camera around the inside of their home. Homeowners will find the Stick Up Cam extremely easy to install anywhere on the inside or outside of their home. 

Camera Purpose:  If you’re looking for a general purpose camera that can cover most of your security camera needs, the Stick Up Cam is a good bet. Think of the Stick Up Cam as an Indoor Cam with a few extra features — such as night vision and advanced motion detection capabilities — that transform it into a full-fledged security camera. And like the Indoor Cam, the Stick Up Cam can be used as a pet-sitter or to keep an eye on the inside of your house during the day.

Power Supply: 

  • Stick Up Cam Plug-in: This version of the Stick Up Cam comes with an indoor/outdoor power adapter that uses standard power outlets for uninterrupted power. This is the version to get if you’re looking to use the Stick Up Cam indoors or in an out-of-the-way place where others can’t reach the cord. This version can also use a Quick Release Battery Pack (sold separately) for backup power.
  • Stick Up Cam Battery: If you’re installing the Stick Up Cam out of reach of a power outlet, the Stick Up Cam Battery may be just what you need. Purchase an extra Quick Release Battery Pack and you can pull out the battery pack and quickly replace it for around the clock security. This unit is also compatible with our solar panel (sold separately) accessory that can be installed for extra power.
  • Stick Up Cam Solar: Depending on where you live and how much sunlight you get, the Stick Up Cam Solar can use direct sunlight to keep your camera charged. This is an excellent choice for remote locations where external power is intermittent or nonexistent.

Click here for more information on the Stick Up Cam Plug-in.

Click here for more information on the Stick Up Cam Battery/Solar.

Feature Set:

  • 1080p HD image: The beautifully clear image offered by the Stick Up Cam allows you to get an instant picture of what’s happening inside or outside of your home. 
  • Multiple power options: Choose the power option that’s right for where you want to place your Stick Up Cam.
  • Live View and two-way audio: Instantly let the dog know he’s not allowed on the couch or a trespasser that he’s unwelcome with noise-cancelling two-way audio.
  • Night vision: For unwanted visitors that skulk around in the dark.
  Ring Stick Up Cam Battery/Solar/Plug-In
Camera Resolution 1080p HD
Field of View 110 degrees horizontal, 57 degrees vertical
Power Supply

Three versions:

Indoor/outdoor power adapter

Quick Release Battery Pack

Solar Power (with Quick Release Battery Pack backup)

Connectivity 2.4GHz Wireless 802.11 b/g/n
Connection Speed Requires a minimum upload speed of 1Mbps, but 2 Mbps is recommended for optimal performance
Audio Specs Two way audio with noise cancellation
System Requirements  iOS 12 or later, Android 6.0 or later
Size 2.36 in. x 2.36 in. x 3.82 in. (60 mm x 60 mm x 97 mm) (without stand)

Installation: The Ring Stick Up Cam has a simple installation process: 

Buying a Ring Stick Up Cam Elite

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The Ring Stick Up Cam Elite is a next-generation security camera that can be used both indoors and outdoors to bolster the security around your home. It has all the great features of the Ring Stick Up Cam such as 1080p full HD resolution images, night vision, and HD video recording (with a Ring Protect Plan) along with a wide viewing angle and a Power-over-Ethernet adapter that delivers consistent power and reliable video transmission. However, it will take some DIY knowledge or a professional installation to get it set up.

Let’s go over the list of security considerations:

Home Configuration: The Ring Stick Up Cam Elite trades some versatility in where it can be located for greater reliability in terms of power and image transmission. When you install the Stick Up Cam Elite you’re going to also have to run a Power-over-Ethernet cable. This means professional installation or some DIY skills. The benefit for this is that once installed you’ll have a reliable full-fledged component of a powerful security system. 

Our online Help Center has more details about the Stick Up Cam Elite.

Home Modifications: The need to run a Power-over-Ethernet cable to the Stick Up Cam Elite makes this unit tough to recommend for renters who may not be able to make alterations to their homes. For homeowners who plan to be in their homes for a long time though, the extra effort in installing a Stick Up Cam Elite may be just the thing if you're looking for a long-term, reliable security solution.

Camera Purpose: Just like the other versions of the Stick Up Cam, the Stick Up Cam Elite can be used as both an indoor and outdoor camera. The increased reliability of the Power-over-Ethernet cable though, makes the Stick Up Cam Elite better used as one component of a tighter, more serious security system consisting of multiple cameras and/or a Ring Alarm System.

Click here to learn more about the Ring Alarm system. 

Power Supply: The Stick Up Cam Elite’s power supply is its most distinctive feature. The camera runs off of Power-over-Ethernet. Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) is a protocol that transmits both data and power simultaneously to network devices, greatly reducing the cost of installation and maintenance. Installing a PoE device will require a bit of DIY skill to run the ethernet cord, but the reliability of both power and data transmission you receive is more than worth it.

Click here to learn more about Power-over-Ethernet.

Feature Set: 

  • 1080p HD image: The beautifully clear image offered by the Stick Up Cam Elite allows you to get an instant picture of what’s happening inside or outside of your home. 
  • Power-over-ethernet: Power-over-Ethernet offers a more reliable power supply and image transmission along with reduced maintenance needs.
  • Live View and two-way audio: Scare away thieves when you’re not even home with noise-cancelling two-way audio.
  • Night vision: For unwanted visitors that skulk around in the dark.
  • Broad field-of-view: The 150 degree horizontal and 85 degree vertical field-of-view gives you the ability to monitor a lot of the space around your home.
  Stick Up Cam Elite
Camera Resolution 1080p HD
Field of View 150 degrees horizontal, 85 degrees vertical.
Power Supply

Power over Ethernet with included PoE adapter.

Connectivity 2.4GHz or 5 GHz Wireless 802.11 B/G/N
Connection Speed Requires a minimum upload speed of 1Mbps, but 2 Mbps is recommended for optimal performance
Audio Specs 15mm H x 40mm W x 18mm D Speaker and one Omni Directional microphone
System Requirements  iOS 12 or later, Android 6.0 or later
Size 2.36 in. x 2.36 in. x 3.82 in. (60 mm x 60 mm x 97 mm) (without stand)

Installation: The Ring Stick Up Cam Elite has a simple installation process: 

Buying a Ring Spotlight Cam

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The Ring Spotlight Cam can be a powerful addition to your home security. Its variety of power options mean you can monitor virtually any dark corner anywhere on your property. The motion activated alerts, bright spotlights, and user-activated siren lets you catch suspicious strangers and scare them away.

Let’s go over the list of security considerations: 

Home Configuration: Like the Ring Stick Up Cam, the Spotlight Cam’s multiple power variations are designed to provide flexible installation options. Whether you need to light up a dark corner of your yard, the side of the house to chase away some pesky raccoons, or supplement your Ring doorbell covering your front lawn, a Ring Spotlight Cam has got you covered. 

Home Modifications: The Spotlight Cam’s bright lights and included siren are designed for larger spaces than an average apartment. If you’re a renter, you might be better served with one of Ring’s smaller cameras such as the Stick Up Cam or Indoor Cam. Depending on the scale of exterior alterations you’re allowed to make if you rent a house or large condo, some types of Spotlight Cam such as the Spotlight Cam Battery or Spotlight Cam Wired might work for your situation. For homeowners, though, the Spotlight Cam combines security with versatility, making it an indispensable part of a serious home security system.

Camera Purpose: The Spotlight Cam is designed to be a capable security camera and theft deterrent for your security system. And with the Ring app, you can create and customize your own motion zones so you can focus on only the most important areas of the yard. With built-in spotlights and night vision, you’ll get great video from your camera 24/7 with or without the lights on. Even better, if you catch a suspicious stranger at your home, you can use the powerful siren to scare them away.

Power Supply: Like the Ring Stick Up Cam, the Spotlight Cam comes in multiple power configurations for maximum versatility in placement around your home:

  • Spotlight Cam Wired: The Spotlight Cam Wired comes with an indoor/outdoor power cable that allows you to put up the camera anywhere there is a home outlet. This offers a constant power supply for increased security.
  • Spotlight Cam Battery: This version of the Spotlight Cam is designed to run off of battery power, meaning you can mount it anywhere you need it.
  • Spotlight Cam Solar: Depending on your climate and weather conditions, a Spotlight Cam Solar can be just the things for a constant-yet-economical power supply. The unit also comes with a battery, which is charged by the solar panel during the day and used for backup power when the sun goes down.
  • Spotlight Cam Mount: This version of the Spotlight Cam is the one that requires the most DIY skills to set up, as it needs to be connected directly to your home's electrical wiring. The benefit to this is a 24/7, uninterrupted power supply that can’t run out or be easily disrupted. 

Feature Set:

  • 1080p HD image: The crisp, clear image offered by the Spotlight Cam allows you to get an instant picture of what’s happening inside or outside of your home. 
  • Multiple power options: Choose the power option that’s right for where you want to place your Spotlight Cam.
  • Live View and two-way audio: Scare away thieves even when you’re away from home with noise-cancelling two-way audio.
  • Siren: To really scare away intruders, whether you're home or not.
  • Night vision and powerful spotlights: For unwanted visitors that skulk around in the dark.
  • Broad field-of-view: The 140 degree field-of-view and 270 degree motion detection angle for the lights gives you the ability to monitor a lot of the space around your home. 
  Spotlight Cam
Camera Resolution 1080p HD
Field of View
140 degrees horizontal
Power Supply

Three versions available:

  • Wired to standard AC power
  • Quick Release Battery Pack
  • Solar Panel
Connectivity 2.4GHz Wireless 802.11 b/g/n
Connection Speed Requires a minimum upload speed of 1Mbps, but 2 Mbps is recommended for optimal performance
Audio Specs Two way audio with noise cancellation
System Requirements  iOS 12 or later, Android 6.0 or later
Size

4.96 in. x 2.72 in. x 2.99 in. (12.6 cm x 6.91 cm x 7.59 cm)


Installation:The Ring Spotlight Cam has a simple installation process: 

Buying a Ring Floodlight Cam

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The Floodlight Cam is a motion-activated HD security camera that includes two independently aimable floodlights, a remote-activated alarm, and two-way audio with noise cancellation. With Floodlight Cam you can see and hear any activity within range of the unit night or day and speak with anyone you can see. 

Let’s go over the list of security considerations: 

Home Configuration: As a device that needs to be connected to your home’s electrical wiring, the Floodlight Cam isn’t suitable for renters except under the most extraordinary circumstances. For homeowners, though, the Floodlight Cam can easily become the centerpiece of your security system, blanketing broad swathes of the outside of your home or property with light and night vision video coverage, leaving only dark corners and side yards to be covered by smaller cameras such as the Spotlight Cam

Home Modifications: The Floodlight Cam is a large unit that needs to be wired directly to power. As such, it is only suitable for outdoor use, and will require serious DIY skills if you’re going to install it yourself.

Click here to learn about Amazon Home Installation.

Click here to learn about installing the Floodlight Cam yourself.

Camera Purpose: Ring’s Floodlight Cam is designed to be the centerpiece of a solid security system. When mapping out your home and determining where you need camera coverage, you can comfortably place a Floodlight Cam to protect the largest swathes of your home such as front lawns or backyards. The 1080p HD night vision camera offers great visuals of your home day or night, while the two powerful independently aimed floodlights will bathe your property in light.

Power Supply: It’s important to understand that the Floodlight Cam’s wide array of features, bright spotlights, and powerful siren can’t be run with battery power. In fact, the Floodlight Cam has to be hardwired into a standard junction box. While everything you need to install the Floodlight Cam comes inside the box (except the junction box itself) it’s highly recommended that you enlist the services of a licensed electrician or installer (such as Amazon Home Services) to install your Floodlight Cam.

Feature Set: 

  • 1080p HD image: The beautifully clear image offered by the Floodlight Cam allows you to get an instant picture of what’s happening inside or outside of your home. 
  • Live View and two-way Audio: Scare away thieves when you’re not even home with noise-cancelling two-way audio.
  • Siren: To really scare away thieves when you’re not even home.
  • Night vision and independently-pointed 1800 lumen spotlights: Bathe your home in light to chase off unwanted visitors that skulk around in the dark.
  • Broad field-of-view: The 140 degree field-of-view and broad motion detection for the lights gives you the ability to monitor much of the space around your home.
  Floodlight Cam
Camera Resolution 1080p HD
Field of View 140 degrees horizontal, 78 degrees vertical
Power Supply Hardwired (110-240V)
Connectivity 2.4GHz Wireless 802.11 b/g/n
Connection Speed Requires a minimum upload speed of 1Mbps, but 2 Mbps is recommended for optimal performance
Audio Specs Two way audio with noise cancellation
System Requirements  iOS 12 or later, Android 6.0 or later
Size 11 in. x 8.25 in. x 7 in. (28 cm. x 21 cm. x 17.8 cm.)

 

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