Ring devices are undoubtedly one of the best home security systems on the market. Ring also has monthly and annual subscription plans which offer additional smart features for Ring devices. These subscription plans are affordable and have no contract.
But if you still want to use your Ring devices without a subscription, it is essential to know all the details on what your Ring devices can and cannot do.
All Ring devices will work without the Ring Protect subscription plans. But the Ring Protect subscription plans unlock additional features depending on the Ring device you have. Also, some Ring devices do not even require a subscription.
Many homeowners with Ring devices are curious about the necessity of paying for a Ring subscription plan. It’s important to know the limitations you’re likely to face without a subscription and the advantages of the Ring Protect plans.
This article gives you details on what happens if you do not subscribe to Ring.
Can you use Ring without a subscription?
You don’t require a subscription plan to use Ring devices. Ring sells home devices that fall into four main categories:
- Smart video doorbells
- Indoor and outdoor cameras
- Smart alarm system
- Smart lighting
Let’s see how each category functions without a subscription plan.
Ring smart doorbells and cameras
Without a Ring Protect subscription, you can still view real-time video for Ring doorbells and security cameras and answer doorbell notifications. Unfortunately, you will not get video recordings without a subscription plan.
The Ring doorbell and camera subscription plan allow you to save, review and share video recordings from your Ring devices to your Ring account.
The basic Ring doorbell and camera features you can access without a subscription plan include:
- Real-time view of your doorstep, including the two-way audio: This feature allows you to converse with whoever is at the door.
- Motion detection alerts on your linked device: You can also set up certain areas as ‘Activity zones’ and prioritize motion-based alerts on whether the motion was closer or further from the doorbell.
- Google Home and Alexa integration: You can link your Ring doorbell and camera with any smart voice assistant like Alexa and Google Home. You can also link it to your Amazon Echo smart speaker as a doorbell chime or use Echo show to live-stream footage from the camera whenever you get an alert, or someone rings the doorbell.
- Theft protection: In case of theft of your Ring device, you can report the theft within 15 days and get a free replacement without a subscription.
Although your Ring doorbell and cameras are functional without a subscription plan, there are benefits you lose; they include;
- Recorded and saved footage: If you’re asleep, indisposed, or away from your device and something triggers motion detection, you won’t have a recording later showing what triggered the motion event. But a subscription plan will automatically record the video and save it to your Ring cloud for you to view later.
- Video sharing: A subscription plan will allow you to download footage from the Ring cloud onto a local device and share it with others.
- Captures screenshots or camera preview: This feature takes a screenshot every 30 seconds to three minutes, depending on user settings, to alert you on what’s happening outside the door. It comes in handy when you cannot get to Live view at a certain time.
With the helps of some technical skills, some people have figured unofficial ways of saving Ring Doorbell footage to a local NAS or server without the subscription. However, you will be intentionally breaking the Ring Doorbell terms and conditions and if the company finds out, they will shut down your Ring account.
Ring alarm system
Your Ring alarm system will still work without a subscription. Still, you will lack professional monitoring, leaving you partially protected. This means that if you don’t have the Ring Alarm subscription, you will have to monitor your alarm yourself. You will also not have any cellular backup without a subscription plan.
Having a subscription plan if you have the Ring alarm system is highly important as you will be missing out on the following essential features:
- Professional monitoring: This feature under the subscription plan monitors your system and automatically contacts emergency services and law enforcement if something suspicious triggers the alarm.
- Cellular backup: The cellular backup is helpful in case your WiFi connection fails; your Ring alarm system will still alert you when there is an intrusion attempt.
It’s important to note that the features under the subscription plan vary per country since not all countries have a cellular backup or professional monitoring. So if you don’t live in North America, confirm whether professional alarm monitoring and cellular backup are available in your country before paying the subscription plan.
Ring smart lighting
Other Ring devices do not need a subscription plan to function fully. For instance, the Ring smart lighting range will work with all its features, with or without a subscription.
How long does Ring last without a subscription?
All Ring devices can perform basic functions without a subscription. Therefore, the lack of a subscription plan doesn’t affect the longevity of any of your Ring devices. Your Ring devices are still susceptible to factors such as theft, wear and tear, physical damage and damage from the elements.
The standard Ring warranty for subscription-based and non-subscription devices is one year in America and two years in some countries like the UK.
Also, if your Ring Protect plan or trial expires, and you do not subscribe, Ring will erase all recorded videos and will not store any new footage. That means Ring will revoke all subscription plan privileges depending on your device.
If you don’t want a subscription plan, then Ring is not the device for you. Thankfully, there are reliable alternative doorbell cameras that work without subscription such as Eufy and Arlo. These brands use local storage, therefore, they save recordings on the device or unit in your home.
How long are Ring videos saved with a subscription?
When an event triggers motion detection, or someone presses the doorbell, Ring cameras and doorbells will save the footage to the Ring cloud for 60 days. This will allow you to go back and access old videos. However, in some countries such as the UK and Europe, Ring doorbells and cameras will save the footage for only 30 days.
You will also get 24/7 professional monitoring and cellular backup when your internet connection drops if you have the Ring alarm subscription in North America.
Ring devices do not rely on subscriptions to work. However, premium services under the Ring Protect plans will enhance their functionality. For instance, you may have to buy a subscription for the Ring alarm system to work effectively, whereas the Ring lighting system does not need a subscription.
We recommend paying for a subscription plan for the Ring doorbell and camera and home alarm system to ensure your home is safe and secure.