The Ring Video Doorbell Pro is a smaller and smarter member of Ring’s popular video doorbell family. It’s $50 more expensive than Ring’s second-generation battery-powered device, but this additional investment could considerably cut down on the number of false alerts you receive and leave you a much more satisfied owner.

That’s what happened to me when I swapped out the Ring Video Doorbell 2 for the Pro version. The secret to the Pro’s porch success at my house is its more complex detection zone setup.

Cutting down on false alarms

The Ring Video Doorbell 2’s motion detection is based on passive infrared sensors that look for moving heat sources, such as humans, animals, and cars. Users are able to set detection based on broad and fairly vague areas that require a bit of trial and error to get right. 

Here’s what detection zone setup looks like on the Ring Video Doorbell 2:

180806 ring 2 Martyn Williams/IDG

These are the user-selectable motion-detection zones on the Ring Video Doorbell 2.

On the Ring Video Doorbell Pro, detection is based on actual analysis of the video signal. This can be problematic initially, because its sensor notices everything, including trees moving in the wind. But that’s where detection zones come in. Users can draw up to three areas on the screen and limit alerts to just what happens inside those boxes.

Here’s what motion detection zones look like on the Ring Video Doorbell Pro:

180806 ring 1 Martyn Williams/IDG

Motion detection zones for the Ring Video Doorbell Pro can be somewhat abstract shapes, enabling you to avoid bushes and other objects that might lead to false alerts.

The difference is clear and so are the results. With the Ring Video Doorbell 2, I was getting a handful of false alerts every day, despite all my tinkering with the settings. The culprit was trucks driving by and car headlights in the evening.

With the Ring Video Doorbell Pro, I managed to almost eliminate false alarms, so that just about the only thing that set off an alert was an actual person at my front door. I occasionally got an evening alert when a car with exceptionally strong headlights went by—I presume because it illuminated the lawn and that was interpreted as movement—but the level was much lower.

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