If you want a low-budget, low-commitment do-it-yourself (DIY) home security system, you won’t go wrong with the Ring Alarm System like Ring Cameras and the Ring Doorbell (that also double as a camera). Both homeowners and tenants (renters) alike depend on this affordable home cam system.
One of the things that make Ring so popular? It features compatibility with third-party devices like light automation, smart speakers, and smart locks. However, does the Ring line work with third-party cameras?
What do Cameras work with the Ring?
Plenty of third-party devices work with Ring cameras and video doorbells. However, when it comes to cameras from their competitors, it’s best to keep it within the Ring Family.
Thankfully, the Ring alarm system offers plenty of cameras to choose from, including doorbells with cams. Amazon’s Ring brand provides customers with loads of outdoor cameras, wireless cameras, indoor cameras, and video doorbells that earn top spots in many recommendation lists.
Every Ring smart device comes with an HD live feed, decent battery life, and easy setup. What more can you ask for? Yeah, it’d be better if they can work with other cameras, but aside from that, it’s good to go.
Do Blink Cameras Work with Ring?
Blink and Ring both have Amazon as their parent company. So can you consider Blink as a first-party device that works along with Ring? No. Blink Cameras belong to a totally separate system from Ring Cameras. They can’t work with the Ring.
However, the Ring’s Neighbors Program and the Blink Home Monitor App offer a measure of compatibility with one another. You can see the footage recorded by other camera users in your neighborhood while also sharing your own clips for them to peruse.
However, you can’t post Blink footage directly to the Neighbors app. You need to first save the video first locally then upload it manually instead.
Which Third-Party Devices Work with the Ring?
The third-party accessories, peripherals, and appliances you can use to supplement Ring Camera include smart speakers and TVs, IFTTT and Z-Wave devices, plugs and wall outlets, smart lights and bulbs, and smart locks. Naturally, first-party devices work better with Ring than third-party ones.
However, Amazon knows that in order for Ring to stand above its competition, it needs an edge. Its edge involves third-party compatibility.
Peripherals That Enhance the Security Experience
Instead of only working with smartphones that you downloaded the Ring App with, Ring Alarm Systems work with various other devices. Things like speakers and displays allow your Ring to be better than it normally is. You can see footage in HD quality and the sounds in high definition.
Google Home and Amazon Alexa (not third party though) can enhance Ring with voice commands. The speaker can also allow for better two-way communication. Locks also enhance the security and safety afforded by the Ring brand security and alarm system.
Which First-Party Accessories Work with the Ring?
Ring provides bundles with its video doorbell packages. This means if you lack a Ring Alarm system (Ring Doorbell plus Ring Cams), you can add the doorbell to your camera kit for a small discount on Amazon. You can also get bundles for compatible Ring cameras and smart locks.
The doorbells offer first-party solar chargers or a chime box to give your device a more traditional doorbell feel when push comes to shove. You can also add the Amazon Echo for good measure (like the Google Home smart speaker).
The beauty of a smart assistance speaker? It can announce when someone’s at your door through the screen or speaker along with the chime. This allows you to keep playing with your kids, watching television, or cooking and answer the door simultaneously.
What Does the Ring Brand Bring to the Table?
The Ring Brand offers smart cameras as part of its alarm system but it’s most famous for its Ring Video Doorbell series. At the time of this writing, Ring offers 9 video doorbells. Many of them share the same features. However, they differ in terms of the installation process in terms of power source.
They mostly feature a measure of weatherproofing and water resistance because of their placement as doorbells on your front door (sometimes the backdoor) but not to the level of an outdoor Ring Camera.
Ring Video Doorbells (Hardwired vs. Battery)
Some units require hardwiring (a professional electrician might be called for) while others could simply be plugged in or work with a battery. You can choose from any of them and enjoy quality smart features like two-way talk and motion detection.
Other units like the Ring Doorbell, Ring Doorbell 3, and Ring Doorbell 3 Plus work with batteries. You can plug them in then use the batteries for auxiliary power or charge the batteries and have it last about 6 months or less till the next recharge.
You may also like: Ultimate Guide to Ring Video Doorbell: Everything you need to know
Ring Cameras Like the Ring Spotlight Camera
You only have a handful of Ring brand cameras compared to the handfuls of video doorbells available from Ring. These smart cameras can be added to the Sync Module freely, so you can add freely eyes to your security system in a modular way.
In other words, you can add more cameras down the line. You can add something like the Ring Spotlight Cam along with various perimeters cameras in your garage, backyard, front yard, and so forth.
The great thing about the Ring Spotlight cam (costs about $200) is that it’s a small but powerful camera with its own spotlight. It warns intruders to back off because they’re being recorded. It also streams a 1080p HD live feed to the app from outside your home as well.
What’s the Deal with That?
What’s the deal with Ring cameras working with third-party devices but not with third-party cameras? Even with Blink cameras, it isn’t in the best interests of Amazon to allow Ring to work with its competition. At most, it could link with third-party peripherals.
However, as far as Amazon is concerned, customers should only use Ring products as their video doorbell and camera solution. Other accessories such as smart speakers and TVs, IFTTT and Z-Wave devices, plugs and wall outlets, smart lights and bulbs, and smart locks are fair game.
- Katie McEntire, “Ring Security Compatibility and Equipment“, Safewise.com, July 23, 2021