What is the Ring Camera? How does it compare to other security cameras it competes with in the market to date? Does it record continuously or does it stop and go in accordance to motion events like other cameras do?
Ring—a subsidiary of Amazon-like Blink—is another company that makes smart security devices powered by Wi-Fi and batteries or wired solutions. Unlike Blink, Ring is more well-known for its Ring Video Doorbell offerings even though it also makes Indoor and Outdoor smart security cams.
So does the ring camera record continuously? How about the Ring Doorbell, such as the Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus? Or the Ring Stick Up Smart Camera? Keep on reading to find out more about this topic.
Does Ring Camera Record Continuously or Not?
Ring’s smart cameras and doorbells don’t support constant 24/7 recording, even the hardwired ones. They were supposed to, but by practical application, they ended up using the current Wi-Fi consumer-grade surveillance camera standard of motion-based recording and on-demand Live View.
Ring promised to do 24/7 recording back in 2019 but it hasn’t come to fruition since then. You’d think you can sit back and relax with such a camera in order to protect you 24/7. It’s just not practical to do 24/7 video surveillance.
It’s better to do surveillance when it’s needed. Let it activate when it detects motion or triggers its sensors. Don’t let it shoot video at emptiness when nothing’s happening.
How Video Currently Works for Ring Cams and Doorbells
The Ring Video Doorbell brand line—which includes the Elite, Pro ½, the Wired, and Ring Doorbells 1 to 4 as well as 3 Plus—and the Ring Smart Cam—which includes Stick-Up Cams, Indoor Cam, and many light-based cameras—offer video capability similarly.
It offers Live View and Motion Detection specifically. Let’s talk about it in detail below. It saves you hours of useless footage and only records when it detects that something is amiss.
Ring Doorbells and Cams allow for on-demand Live View. It involves you logging into the Ring app using a computer or mobile phone in order to see the video feed or stream of your Ring unit. It can be a view of your property via cam or a view of your front porch via Ring Doorbell.
When using Live View, you get a live capture you can save into your cloud account. Or you can just see the Live View like a CCTV but without recordings a la spy cam. The cloud option requires you to pay a monthly fee for the Ring Protect plan that costs $3 for one unit or $10 per month for all Ring units.
When your Ring unit detects motion on certain spots then it starts recording. As long as you avail of a Ring Protect plan, you can save such a recording to your Ring account. You can also save it on your hard drive by finagling it with your settings.
Cloud computing or saving in the cloud allows you to access the video or footage later on in any device with a Wi-Fi connection and the ability to connect to your Ring account. If you lack the subscription plan, you’ll get a notification that the cam detected motion.
From there, you can scope out what triggered the alarm through Live View. It could be stray cat or a package thief. It might even be a burglar or suspicious stranger serving as a lookout for home invasion.
Another handy feature of the Ring Video Doorbell? All models of this brand line will start recording when the doorbell is pressed if you were to put that on its settings. The recording can start before the doorbell button gets pressed, but it’s reassuring to know there’s a failsafe.
In case the motion detection fails, you’re assured of a recording when the visitor clicks on the bell. This allows you to view and review the people who rung the bell while you’re away. It’s not necessarily just for detecting intruders.
Ring Alarm System
The Ring device with the alarm system armed or activated can record video as well. When its sensors are triggered by motion, it could record footage along with activating a siren to alert the neighbors and deter any would-be burglars from continuing their criminal acts of thievery.
Long story short, if you have a Ring Indoor Camera with the Ring Alarm then it will start recording when it detects an intruder or wayward motion in the bushes or right in front of its lenses.
Live View vs. Recordings
You need the Ring Protect subscription plan for $3 to $10 in order to save these videos for later viewing in the cloud. They could be used as evidence to the court later. Just access the cloud-saved video then save it on your laptop or cellphone for later use.
You might think it’s more practical to use Live View and just get 24/7 recordings from it. However, the recordings from Live View stop at around 10 minutes. Ring also reserves the right to take action in case you abuse their free services so it’s safer to buy a subscription.
A Recording Cap to Disallow 24/7 Surveillance
Ironically, not only did Ring break its promise of offering 24/7 surveillance. It also keeps “free” users or users who don’t avail of the Ring Protect plan from only using Live View to make recordings. It will give you caps or limits to your recordings every time you use them.
The company even reserves to close your account if you do everything you can to use its free version instead of the subscription plan. People who use the free use version of Ring noticed that their Live View and motion recordings get capped when attempting Home Assistant “24/7” recording scripts.
The caps can also come about from subscription plans to prevent you from recording more than your allotted cloud storage can allow.
Wrapping It Up
Let’s say you paid up to $230 for a Ring Doorbell 3 Plus. Then you got a Ring Stick Up Smart Camera for $100. You have them readily installed and ready to go. Should you expect them to record hours of footage like a bank surveillance camera at 1080p HD? No, you shouldn’t.
It’s just more practical to go for the standard on-demand Live View and motion-based recording. Even banks that can afford 24/7 surveillance have an infamously blurry video (whether analog VHS tapes or digital video) to accommodate that huge archive of hours and hours of footage.
- Tristan Perry, “Do Ring Doorbells & Cameras Record Continuously (24/7)?“, SmartHomePoint.com, August 6, 2021