The Setting You Should Avoid Using On Your Ring Doorbell And Why

When you are looking to upgrade your home's security, installing a video doorbell seems like a no-brainer decision. However, with so many choices on the market, it's easy for a novice to make some mistakes with their doorbell cameras, even if you stick with well-known brands like Ring. In addition, there are some hidden downsides to using doorbell cameras, including accurately managing the settings on the tech. With Ring, one of those potential downsides is dialing in the motion sensitivity settings of the unit. 

You can set up your Ring Doorbell hardware to give you an alert whenever it detects motion. If you find that the alert notifications are overwhelming you when you are at work, though, you can set up the "people only" mode under Smart Alerts, in which you tell Ring to only alert you if it detects motion from a person, rather than from stray cats or cars driving past your home. This setting is only available to Ring Protect subscribers. However, some customers report that this setting simply doesn't work correctly, failing to spot people. Ultimately, this "people only" setting in the Smart Alerts model potentially deliver such a high level of errors that it may be a bigger hassle than it's worth. You may have to turn off this mode and attempt to dial in the sensitivity settings manually to receive notification alerts when you actually have a person at your front door.

How the Smart Alerts setting works on Ring

The Ring Doorbell has a small camera inside its hardware that you can mount next to your front door or anywhere on your property where you want to use it. If it detects motion within the camera's field of view, it generates an alert that you receive via a push notification on a tablet or smartphone app. 

Ring uses technology to analyze any motion it measures in the doorbell video it's recording to try to identify the cause. It then runs comparisons with previous videos where it didn't detect movement to determine whether what it is measuring is noteworthy. Next, it tries to determine what exactly is causing the motion, whether it's headlights at night, an animal, or a delivery person at your door.

Most customers do not want to receive push notifications for motions unrelated to people. If you don't want to manually adjust the movement sensitivity settings, you can use pre-set Smart Alerts settings on most Ring devices. Within the Smart Alerts settings, you can request push notifications only when measurements indicate that a person is moving inside the camera's field of view. Open the Motion Settings menu for your Ring Doorbell and activate notifications under the "person" setting. Deactivate notifications under the "other motions' setting. Ideally, this would reduce the number of false alerts you receive. However, some customers in the Ring community forums report problems with the accuracy of this setting.

Ways you can improve the performance of the Ring Doorbell for detecting people

Unfortunately, once you lock into using Smart Alerts to send notifications when the Ring Doorbell believes it is measuring a person's movement, you cannot make other adjustments to the motion sensitivity settings. For example, Ring locks in the motion sensitivity setting for the device at 30% when you enable the Smart Alerts for people detection. To feel completely comfortable using it, you would have to test this setting to be certain that it is properly measuring the movement of people and is not giving you too many (or too few) push notifications.

Rather than using Smart Alerts, you could adjust the sensitivity settings on your own, using trial and error to try to find the sweet spot for measuring the movement of people near your front door so you receive accurate push notifications. You can start by adjusting the motion sensitivity slider bar to a percentage that gives you the results you want.

Additionally, you can adjust the settings for the motion zones for the Ring camera. If you are near a busy street, you can block the camera's motion zone for the street so you don't receive alerts. Finally, adjust the angle of the Ring camera to remove things like moving trees or a neighbor's driveway from the background of the motion zone near your front door where people may walk so the Ring can just measure the movement of people rather than background items.