Ring’s flagship video doorbells now have end-to-end encryption

Ring now offers end-to-end video and audio encryption on its battery-powered video doorbells and security cameras, more than a year after adding the option to its hardwired and plug-in devices. End-to-end encryption allows users of the company’s video cameras to keep their footage secure, limiting access to their registered iOS or Android smartphone. Separately, Ring is making it simpler to keep recorded movies when a Ring gadget is sold or disposed of.

When end-to-end encryption is enabled, only the camera’s owner has access to the recorded video. Even if law authorities requested the footage from Ring or its parent firm, Amazon, they would be unable to deliver it. The video can only be accessed by the subscribed mobile device.

Ring encrypts video and audio recordings by default when they are uploaded to the cloud and stored on Ring’s servers. End-to-end encryption increases security by allowing only the device owner access to and management of their video on a single specified device and with a passcode only they know.

When Ring originally showed video end-to-end encryption in January 2021, the only video doorbells it worked on were the Ring Pro 2 and Ring Elite, leaving its most popular battery-powered devices — such as the Ring 4, Ring Video doorbell — out of the privacy party. It was also available on all of its wired and plug-in cameras, including the Ring Floodlight Cam, but not on the battery-powered Ring Stick Up Cam (battery).

End-to-end encryption is now available on all Ring cameras and doorbells, with the exception of the Ring Video Doorbell Wired, the company’s most affordable buzzer. Ring’s website has a handbook with enrollment steps.

But the new privacy safeguards come with restrictions. Users who choose end-to-end encryption lose the ability to preview videos on the Ring app’s Event Timeline view and in rich alerts, which offer a glimpse of activity before launching the app.

Furthermore, shared Ring device users cannot access movies on their devices, and no user may share videos from the Ring app or view footage on Echo Show devices or third-party applications. End-to-end encryption also prevents Alexa Greetings and Quick Replies, which allow a Ring video doorbell to react to a visitor automatically. Bird’s Eye View, a feature on certain Ring cameras that displays the route a visitor has walked to the doorbell or camera, will also not operate. All of these features are restored when end-to-end encryption is disabled.

However, the majority of these functions are only convenient extras that are not required for the primary function of a security camera. For many users, the additional privacy protection will outweigh the inconvenience.

Ring also announced a new feature this week to make it simpler to keep recorded footage when a user sells or disposes of a Ring device, such as when upgrading to a new model.

Deactivated Device State allows a user to store any films to their account without having to manually download them (the only option previously available).

When users attempt to remove the camera or doorbell from their Ring account, a new Remove Device option displays, enabling them to retain or delete events/videos from the device before deleting it from their Ring Account.

As long as the user has a Ring membership, the videos will be saved on the account. If customers cancel the membership, any videos they wish to preserve will have to be manually downloaded to a phone or computer.