Does Ring Cameras record 24/7 or is it activated by motion detection like any other camera out there? Does it have a 24/7 surveillance mode that’s practical and won’t cost you more in batteries or recharging?
Ring offers some of the best services when it comes to security cams and doorbell video cameras, with their specialty being their doorbell line of smart security devices such as Ring Video Doorbell 1 to 4 as well as 3 Plus. They also offer subscription plans for cloud storage and weekly or monthly archives.
Can its cameras or doorbells accommodate an archive of 24/7 recording even for a short period of time? Or is on-demand Live View and motion-activated events the more practical and realistic setting?
Does Ring Record 24/7 or on a Moment-by-Moment Basis?
No, but Ring originally intended to do so. Ring’s smart cams and doorbells don’t currently support 24/7 surveillance or 24-hour recordings uploaded to the cloud-like a bank would. They instead go for motion-based recordings and on-demand Live View with view caps if you have no subscription plan.
If you do have a subscription plan the cap or limit depends on how much cloud storage you’re paying for and for how long or how many weeks/months the archived footage (which you can download to your hard drive or flash drive for posterity) remains in the cloud.
In other words, Ring offers surveillance on a moment-by-moment basis instead of the 24/7 bank-like or commercial-grade surveillance.
Wait, Ring Tried to Do a 24/7 Service! What Happened to That?
Ring wanted their Ring Protect subscription plan to allow for 24/7 recording limited only by cloud storage. This fully protects your home like it’s a jewelry store or bank, with cameras running everywhere.
This should be similar to the First Generation Nest Hello Doorbell and its 24/7 recording. Just pay Nest Aware Plus plan for $120 and get 24/7 recording since the basic plan of $60 annually is more akin to the Ring Protect Plan.
The plan for round-the-clock surveillance became moot in 2019. The new feature and plan didn’t get released. Then the pandemic hit and Ring merely resumed offering its basic Ring Protect package.
The feature remains something Ring promised is “Coming Soon” but with no new updates or specific timelines given.
The 2018 to 2019 Promise for 24/7 Surveillance Explored
Back in October 2018, Ring made an announcement for 24/7 recording. This isn’t an unprecedented feature because, as mentioned, Nest already has a $120 24/7 surveillance plan. The ring was supposed to follow suit in order to compete with Nest better.
It’s availed of by hardwired models since battery cams and doorbells can save energy better using the default (and current) Ring Protect subscription plan. No battery-powered Ring Cam or Video Doorbell will get this particular feature.
It’s mostly availed of by hardwired devices like Ring Doorbell 1, 2, and 3, Stick-Up Cam Plug-In, and Doorbell Pro with hardwiring support.
Why Only Hardwired Devices?
Hardwired devices should be able to take 24/7 recording sessions versus batteries that record a few seconds to almost a minute of footage every time Live View or motion events are triggered. However, the 24/7 feature hasn’t become available to any Ring device as of 2021.
Nevertheless, never say never. Ring certainly didn’t. They didn’t cancel their plans outright and they might find a way to allow hardwired doorbells or cameras to do Nest-style 24/7 surveillance in the near future (perhaps after the pandemic).
Can You Get More Recordings Through the App Settings?
You can get more recordings by tweaking some app settings without activating the record cap. First, you can enable snapshot captures for additional recording on top of a few seconds of motion-triggered recordings.
You can also do the following:
- Using linked devices.
- Increase motion sensitivity.
- Increase the video recording length
The Specifics of Fiddling with Video Recording Length
Launch the Ring app, click on a device, and then click Device Settings. From there, find the Video Settings and finally go to Video Recording Length. Now you can access how long you record videos. You can set it to maximum recording length if you so wish.
Just remember that this setting works best with the cloud storage option enabled so that your video length cap mostly involves the limits of the storage depending on the Ring Protect Plan you’ve availed of rather than Ring noticing you using Live View a little too much and capping video length from there.
The longer the video length the more video you capture. You can raise the settings up to 2 minutes to get recordings beyond the default 50-second recording length.
Why is There a Cap or Limit to the Amount of Recordings You’re Making?
Ring caps the amount of Live View recordings you make unless you have a subscription plan, by which the cap involves mostly the amount of footage you can upload to their cloud storage. However, the system does punish you for “abusive” behavior as a free plan user in the form of caps or plan removal.
You should not avail of Home Assistant’s “24/7 recording” scripts and whatnot that uses Live View as a means to activate “free” recordings. If you’re going to record video extensively (but not for 24/7), get a subscription plan along with the system.
Contact a Ring representative for more details regarding these video caps. The caps shouldn’t activate as long as you don’t try any funny business with the device.
Should You Find a Hack to Allow 24/7 Ring Surveillance?
Probably don’t. If Amazon or Ring wanted you to get 24/7 surveillance, they’d rather do so as one of their packages instead of you exploiting loopholes when activating Live View. Don’t find hacks like Home Assistant scripts and whatnot because Ring could punish you for it with footage caps.
Following a subscription plan on an on-demand basis would work best because you’re playing by the rules set by Ring and you’re less likely to get those limits on footage since you’re paying for their archival.
However, to be safe, contact a Ring representative to set the ground rules on what’s acceptable on-demand surveillance so that you won’t hit a cap or break one of their terms of service.
Ring cams and doorbells are intended to do 24/7 subscription service for all-day and all-week surveillance, particularly in neighborhoods with high activity or high human traffic.
Perhaps they and parent company Amazon were looking into giving consumer-grade prices to commercial-grade security services. However, things fell through and the promised date of delivery—the Year 2019—came and went. It must’ve been a logistical nightmare that jacked up costs.
- Tristan Perry, “Do Ring Doorbells & Cameras Record Continuously (24/7)?“, SmartHomePoint.com, August 6, 2021