Starting March 29, smart home brand Ring will require users to purchase a Ring Protect Plan for its devices as it puts several currently free features behind a paywall.
At that day, owners of a Ring doorbell or camera (opens in new tab) loses access to Home and Away Modes on the official app and Amazon Alexa without a subscription.
Home mode (opens in new tab), for those who don’t know, deactivates internal sensors to allow people to move freely inside while leaving the sensors activated outside a home. Away mode fully secures a home by turning on all sensors and letting the cameras record constantly; great for people who want to keep an eye on things while they are away. As you can see, Ring is going to charge people for using two of its more basic features. However, not everything changes. Other features like Two-Way Talk plus Motion Detection remain free.
Ring alarm changes
In addition, all in-app features of the Ring Alarm security system will be placed behind a paywall in the United States and Canada that day. This includes tools such as the ability to enable or disable sensors via the app, digital notifications, and home security automations. However, this only applies to future purchases.
If you already own or plan to purchase a Ring Alarm before March 29, these changes will not apply to you. This also applies to accessories for the system. And even if you don’t activate Ring Alarm until after that date, you can still access the in-app features without the need for a subscription. It seems that the most important thing is that you purchase the setup before March 29.
As you can imagine, many people are not happy with the looming subscription requirement, as many have taken to social media en masse to express their frustration. One user on Twitter (opens in new tab) said that “this kind of stunt” makes them consider switching to another brand. On the Ring subreddit, some say they now regret purchasing their Ring setup (opens in new tab) and will no longer expand their home system due to this news. The silver lining (if you can call it that) in all of this is that the price of Ring Protect isn’t going up – it’s staying the same.
We asked Ring why it decided to require a Protect subscription, but we didn’t really get a straight answer. A spokesperson for the company simply reiterated the company’s statement, pointing out that Ring Alarm customers can change alarm modes via the physical keyboard without needing the app. We have pressed for more details, but at the time of writing, the spokesperson has not yet contacted us. The new direction could be an attempt by the company to increase sales. If suggests a person on the subreddit (opens in new tab)maybe not enough people bought the subscription.
Be sure to check out BingoTingo’s list of the best security cameras for 2023 (both inside and outside) if you want to better secure your home.