Ring Base Station Gen 1 vs. Gen 2: Which is the Best?

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The Ring Base Station is the hub for all your Ring devices, a necessity for your Ring home security system. 

Ring released its 1st generation of this device suite in 2018 and instantly found success, with a large user base adopting its range of products. 

Two years later, in 2020, they updated their system, releasing Gen 2 of the Ring Alarm System.

Whether you’re an existing Generation 1 owner considering an upgrade or you’re brand new to Ring devices, we have you covered in this article. 

We’ll explain the similarities and differences between the two generations, helping you make an informed purchasing decision!

Ring base station gen 1 vs gen 2


Whether looking at the Gen 1 or the Gen 2 of these devices, the functionality and purpose are primarily the same

Your Base Station should be installed somewhere with a strong WiFi signal and near a power outlet. 

You can either wall mount this device or simply allow it to sit on a flat surface like a tabletop.

Wall-mounted Ring Base Station

Setup for these devices is completed through the Ring application on your smartphone, and we’ve found the steps to be straightforward and intuitive.

Connecting this device to your app will also allow it to download any necessary software updates, ensuring your Ring device operates with the latest and greatest technology!

Once set up, the Base Station can connect to all your additional Ring devices. Whether these are contact sensors, motion sensors, range extenders, or more, the entire suite of products will communicate directly to your Base Station.

So, we know how to use our Ring Base Station, but that doesn’t yet help finalize our purchasing decision.

 Read on as we compare and contrast the differences between the 2018 Gen 1 and the more recent 2020 Gen 2.

Key Similarities

Feature-wise, the two generations are incredibly similar. 

The similarities between both generations include the following:

  • A one-stop “hub” for all your Ring network needs
  • Connectivity to a diverse range of Ring products
  • Convenient setup flexibility, including wall mounting or flat surface options
  • Straightforward DIY setup using the smartphone app
  • Integration with Alexa for those with the Amazon Smart Home systems

Key Differences

With similar functionality intact, we can consider the differences between the two generations:

  • Gen 2 devices have a more elegant and finished external appearance
  • On top of looking better visually, the keypad is more responsive and effective
  • Includes “Quick Keys” for emergency responders such as police, fire, or medical services, which is particularly useful for older citizens who may live alone

If you have questions about other Ring Keypad functions, check out our guide on Ring Alarm Keypad Common Questions Answered.

Our Take: Ring Base Station Gen 1 vs Gen 2

In our view, the Gen 2 of the Ring Base Station makes some nice improvements on what was already a winning formula from the Gen 1 in 2018. 

Still, these improvements mostly fall into the “nice to have” category instead of being “must haves”.

If you’re new to the Ring product line and don’t already have a Base Station, we recommend kicking things off with the latest Gen 2 model.

Ring Keypad Gen 1 vs Gen 2 emergency buttons

With that being said, we don’t believe the differences in features justify an upgrade for existing Gen 1 owners. 

If you already have a Ring Gen 1 Base Station, we advise keeping your eye out for a potential Ring Gen 3.

Given the 2-3 year gap between Gen 1 and Gen 2, and with the latter releasing in late 2020, it’s reasonable to expect news on this to come at some stage next year.

The only exception to this advice would be any personal circumstances requiring the need for quick keys for emergency services.

As we mentioned in the previous section, those with unique living conditions, such as elderly residents on their own, may prefer the peace of mind these quick keys can bring. 

Knowing that emergency help is just one button press away can often be worth the price of this upgrade if you require a little more care.

Select Ring Base Station Gen 1 if:

  • You would like a cost-effective entry into the Ring product suite, mainly if you can find one on sale.
  • You’re an existing owner of a Ring Base Station Gen 1.

Select Ring Base Station Gen 2 if:

  • You prefer a newer device with more recent support and the potential for a warranty
  • You have personal requirements or prefer the peace of mind of having emergency quick keys

Check out Ring Solar Panel FAQ and Wasserstein vs. Ring Solar Panel for more related content.


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Hey! I'm Dennis M. Peterson, a tech nerd, a master of code, adept at handling gadgets, and up-to-date with the latest tech trends. I deeply understand of how tech works and what to troubleshoot when issues arise. I hope you've found what you were searching for!
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