Ring now offers end-to-end encryption of video and audio on its battery-powered video doorbells and security cameras, more than a year after adding the option to its wired and plug-in devices. End-to-end encryption allows users of the company’s video cameras to keep their footage locked, making it accessible only on their registered iOS or Android device. Apart from that, Ring also makes it easier to save recorded videos when an owner sells or disposes of a Ring device
When end-to-end encryption is enabled, no one except the owner of the camera can access recorded images. Even if the police asked Ring, or its parent company Amazon, for the video, they couldn’t provide it. Only the enrolled mobile device can unlock the video.
By default, Ring encrypts video and audio recordings when uploaded to the cloud and stored on Ring’s servers. End-to-end encryption increases the level of security, allowing only the device owner to access and control their footage on one designated device and with only a passphrase they have.
When Ring first showed an example of end-to-end encryption of video in January 2021, Ring Pro 2 and Ring Elite were the only video doorbells it worked on, leaving the most popular battery-powered devices like the Ring 4, Ring Video doorbell, out of the privacy lottery. It was also an option on all his wired and plug-in cameras — including the Ring Floodlight cam — but not on the battery-powered options like the Ring Stick Up Cam (battery).
Now, end-to-end encryption is available on all currently sold Ring cameras and doorbells, with the sole exception of Ring Video Doorbell Wired, the cheapest buzzer. Ring has a guide on her website with instructions for registration.
But the increased privacy protection comes with caveats. With end-to-end encryption enabled, users lose the ability to watch videos in the Ring app’s event timeline view and in verbose notifications that show a snapshot of the action in the notification before opening the app.
Also, shared users of Ring devices will not be able to view videos on their devices, and no user will be able to share videos from the Ring app or view images on Echo Show devices or third-party apps. End-to-end encryption also disables Alexa greetings and quick replies, where a Ring video doorbell can automatically respond to a visitor. Bird’s Eye View also doesn’t work – an option on some Ring cameras that shows the path a visitor has taken to the doorbell or camera. Disabling end-to-end encryption will restore all of these features.
However, most of these features are useful conveniences – not essential to the core use of a security camera. For many users, the increased privacy protection will be worth the loss of some convenience.
This week, Ring also introduced a new feature that makes it easier to save recorded videos when a user sells or disposes of a Ring device, such as selling it to upgrade to a new model.
Deactivated device status lets a user choose to save videos to their account without having to download them manually (the only option available before).
When they go to remove the camera or doorbell from the account in the Ring app, a new Remove Device option will appear, allowing them to keep or delete events/videos from the device before deleting it from their Ring account.
The videos will be stored on the account as long as the user has a Ring subscription. If they cancel the subscription, they must manually download all the videos they want to keep to a phone or computer.