Ring limits more of its basic security features to its subscription plan

As of March 29th, new Ring Alarm owners will need to pay extra to fully control the system from the app.


Amazon's Ring smart home division will start charging users for more features that had been available to all customers at no extra cost. Starting on March 29th, you'll need to be on a Ring Protect plan to use Home and Away Modes for the company's cameras and video doorbells. This feature enables users to switch Live View and recording on or off in the Ring app whether they're away or at home.

Those who buy a Ring Alarm system on or after March 29th will need to pay extra to access several freshly paywalled features too. You'll need a subscription to arm or disarm it from the Ring app or an Alexa-enabled device. Otherwise, you'll only be able to do so from the Ring Keypad. Other features, such as real-time app and email notifications and the ability to connect your cameras and doorbell to the system, are moving behind the subscription. Those without a Protect membership will also be limited to 24 hours of Alarm event history, rather than 60 days.

These changes don't apply to those who already own a Ring Alarm system. Ring notes on a support page that those who buy a Ring Alarm before March 29th but don't activate it until on or after that day will still have access to these features without a paid subscription "for the expected life of the device."

Ring Protect plans start at $4 per month or $40 per year after prices went up last summer. The newly paywalled features will all be available on the basic tier, as The Verge points out.

In any case, those who buy a Ring Alarm after the end of March will have to subscribe to access some basic features. Not getting a notification when you're away from home and the system is triggered, for instance, kind of defeats the purpose of having a smart alarm setup.