Ring's membership plan restricts more of its fundamental security capabilities

Ring’s membership plan restricts more of its fundamental security capabilities

Amazon’s Ring smart home business will begin charging consumers for additional capabilities that were previously free to all customers. From March 29th, you’ll need to be on a Ring Protect subscription to use the company’s cameras and video doorbells’ Home and Away Modes. This feature allows users to turn on or off Live View and recording in the Ring app when they are abroad or at home.

Customers who purchase a Ring Alarm system on or after March 29th will also have to pay a fee to have access to many newly paywalled features. To arm or disarm it through the Ring app or an Alexa-enabled device, you’ll need a membership. Otherwise, you’ll be limited to using the Ring Keypad. Other capabilities, such as real-time app and email notifications, as well as the option to link your cameras and doorbell to the system, are being phased out. Individuals who do not have a Protect subscription will also have access to only 24 hours of Alarm event history, rather than 60 days.

These modifications do not apply to Ring Alarm customers who already have a system. Ring states on its support website that people who purchase a Ring Alarm before March 29th but do not activate it until that day or later would still have access to these capabilities without paying a subscription “for the expected life of the device.”

Ring Protect plans begin at $4 per month or $40 per year, following a price increase last summer. According to The Verge, the newly paywalled features will all be available on the base tier.

In any event, anyone purchasing a Ring Alarm after the end of March will be required to subscribe in order to access certain basic services. Without receiving a message when you are away from home and the system is triggered, for example, defeats the point of having a smart alarm system in place.

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