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Blink vs. Ring: Video doorbells compared

 Blink and Ring video doorbells side by side.
Blink and Ring video doorbells side by side.

Blink and Ring produce some of the best security cameras and video doorbells we've tested. Both also happen to be owned by Amazon. Blink's entry-level approach means its devices are more affordable and simple to use. On the other hand, Ring's professional hardware extends advanced security and automation features to products as far as sprinklers and smart lighting systems. How much control you want over your security system will be the deciding factor of which video doorbell is the best fit for your home.

Blink has just a single video doorbell aptly named Blink Video Doorbell ($59, Amazon). Ring's lineup consists of eight different models. These range from the $65 Ring Video Doorbell Wired to the Ring Video Doorbell Elite ($349). Bigger isn't necessarily always better, however, the selection doesn't hurt. Both companies' models are among some of the best video doorbells around, so choosing between the two can be a challenge. Read on to see a breakdown of the features and costs of both the Blink and Ring video doorbells to make it easier to decide which is best for you.

Blink vs. Ring: Pricing and options

Editor's note: This section relies on the original pricing for all the various video doorbells, but prices can fluctuate due to various sales, which may make one video doorbell a better bargain than the other. 

Blink sells just the $59 Blink video Doorbell. It can be purchased in a bundle together with the Blink Sync module for $69 which lets you store videos locally on a USB stick.

Ring offers eight different models: the Ring Video Doorbell Wired ($65), the Ring Video Doorbell 2nd gen ($99), the Ring Battery Doorbell Plus ($179), the upcoming Ring Battery Doorbell Pro, the Ring Video Doorbell Pro, the Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2 ($249), the Ring Peephole Cam ($129) and the Ring Video Doorbell Elite ($349).

For this showdown, we're going to compare the $59 Blink Video Doorbell to the entry-level $65 Ring Wired Doorbell, since they're the most alike in price and features. The Blink Video Doorbell comes in two colors (white and black), while the Ring only comes in black.

Winner: Blink

Blink vs. Ring: Specs compared

Blink vs. Ring: Design

Your video doorbell is the first thing guests see as they approach your door. Of course, you're going to want to make sure it looks pretty. Beyond the eye candy factor, there are other things to consider when looking at the build of each model.

Let's start with size: At 5.1 x 1.65 x 1.1 inches, the Blink Video Doorbell is longer and wider than the 3.98 x 1.8 x 0.88-inch Ring Video Doorbell. So, if you have a particularly narrow door frame, Ring's more compact rectangular body may fit better without overhang.

You can purchase the Blink Doorbell in an inoffensive black or white color. The entire doorbell is the same color throughout the body.

Ring's Video Doorbell Wired comes in just a two-tone look — the outside edges are dark gray, while the center is black. It's a sleek-looking design that feels modern but leans a bit more industrial than homey.

Winner: Blink

Blink vs. Ring: Installation

While it's larger, the Blink Doorbell does have a major advantage over the Ring Video Doorbell: it comes equipped with an onboard battery in addition to a traditional wiring installation option. This makes it more versatile since you don't need existing power lines to install it, and it can be placed on any entryway. So, if you want to add a video doorbell to your back or side door, you can simply screw on a mounting plate onto a wall and slide it on rather than install a new transformer or run wiring through your home.

The Ring Video Doorbell relies on a constant power supply through a wired connection. This makes the installation a bit complex and limits the options for where you can place it. Ring's most basic option doesn't work with your existing doorbell chime, so you'll have to buy the Ring Chime ($29) or Ring Chime Pro ($49) as an alternative. Ring's Chimes simply plug into an outlet and can be customized to play different sounds based on whether it detects a motion event or someone rings the bell. The Chime Pro also doubles as a Wi-Fi repeater, which is especially useful if your front door is out of range of your home Wi-Fi network.

Blink does not offer a separate chime; instead, you'd need to hardwire it to your existing system or use something like a Blink Mini Camera or Amazon Echo Dot ($25) if you want to hear the bell ring throughout your home.

If you want to see how long it takes to install a wired doorbell or how it should look when it's done, be sure to check out our guide on how to install a Ring video doorbell.

Winner: Blink

Blink vs. Ring: Video quality

Video quality should be a top priority when you're looking into buying a video doorbell. You're going to want a high-definition image that can make out details like the text on a shirt or the shape of a tattoo. The Blink Video Doorbell has a resolution of 1080p which matches the Ring Video Doorbell Wired. However, the Ring has a slightly wider field of view in both horizontal and vertical measurements to see more of what's going on at your front door. Overall the picture is relatively the same but Ring gets the edge.

Winner: Ring

Blink vs. Ring: Features

The Blink Video Doorbell and the Ring Video Doorbell Wired have many comparable features, but Ring's offerings are almost always more fleshed out.

Custom motion zones
Both video doorbells let you use the app to map out areas within the camera's field of view to ignore motion activity detected in specific areas. Both are easy to set up and configure, and let you drag from different points to create invisible barriers.

Person detection
Both video doorbells offer person detection with their subscriptions, which can greatly cut down on the number of notifications you receive. Enabling this feature ensures that you only get alerted when the camera detects a person and not something like moving tree branches or a deer.

Package detection
Select Ring cameras can tell you not only when a package has been delivered, but when one has been picked up, too. However, neither the Blink nor the Ring Video Doorbell Wired have this feature.

Continuous video recording
Neither the Blink or Ring camera has continuous video recording.

Neighborhood Alerts
Ring also has an exclusive Neighborhood Alert feature, where you can view incidents from other Ring users in your area, as well as post video from your own camera(s).

End-to-end video encryption
Ring's end-to-end video encryption feature works for its wired video doorbells and home security cameras. End-to-end encryption is the only sure way to prevent local law enforcement from accessing your Ring video footage. We've gone over how to enable end-to-end encryption on a Ring video doorbell; however, keep in mind that you'll also disable a number of features by doing so.

Local storage
The Blink doorbell can save footage to a separately sold Sync Module and USB flash drive so that you can bypass paying for monthly cloud storage. This lessens the chance of missing something if there's an interruption in service. None of Ring's video doorbells have this feature.

Winner: Ring

Blink vs. Ring: Smart home compatibility

Smart doorbells can be linked to virtually all of the gadgets on our list of the best smart home devices. For example, you could have your sprinklers and outdoor lights turn on when someone approaches your door in the middle of the night.

Both the Blink and Ring cameras make up two of the best Alexa skills so they play nicely with the Amazon Alexa platform over Google Assistant. Using voice commands, you can ask about the status of the cameras. Ring takes things even further by automatically pulling up a live video view of who's at the door on Amazon Echo Show smart displays or Fire TV devices.

This is handy if you're cooking in the kitchen or watching TV in a den on another floor and can't get to the door as quickly as you'd like. Additionally, you can link Ring's Video Doorbells to other Ring smart home devices like its motion sensors so that the doorbell will start recording as soon as some other device detects movement. Unfortunately, neither Blink nor Ring works natively with HomeKit.

Winner: Ring

Blink vs. Ring: Subscription

To get the most out of the Blink and Ring doorbells, you'll need to subscribe to a monthly plan. For example, in order to even save video recordings you'll need to subscribe to Blink Basic or Plus, the company's cloud-recording solution.

Blink starts at $3 per month (or $36 annually), you can store 60 days of event history from a single camera; if you upgrade to Blink Plus ($10/month, $100 annually), you get coverage for unlimited devices, plus the custom notification snooze feature, which means that you can temporarily pause motion-activated alerts for up to 24 hours.

By comparison, Ring's basic plan costs $4 a month ($40 per year) for one device or $10 per month for unlimited Ring devices and gets you 180 days of recordings. Ring's premium Protect Pro plan, which costs $20 per month, adds professional alarm monitoring which Blink lacks entirely. This lets a monitoring service dispatch emergency services to your home in case of a break-in. The fees might be higher on the Ring models but they offer more bang for the buck.

For a more detailed look at the plans for Nest, Ring, and Arlo, check out our comparison of security camera storage plans.

Winner: Ring

Blink vs. Ring: Overall Winner

While it was close, the Blink Video Doorbell just edges out the Ring Battery Doorbell Wired. Both are inexpensive, but RIng's is not as cheap as its initial price may suggest since it requires you to purchase a second device if you want to hear your doorbell ring.

Both models deliver a clean and clear video, but Ring does give you a slightly wider field of view. You'll also need a monthly subscription to access all of the features of both video doorbells; Ring's subscription is $1 a month more than Blink's, but you get a bit more out of it.

On the other hand, only Blink's video doorbell lets you save videos locally, which can be helpful if your internet goes out. And, Blink's video doorbell can run on battery power alone, so you can install it in more places than you can with Ring's.

Ultimately, your choice comes down to what you're looking for in a video doorbell; if your budget is your biggest concern, then go with Blink over Ring.

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