Is A Ring Doorbell Worth It Without Subscription? (What You Can/Can’t Do)

There’s no doubt that smart home devices like the Ring doorbell make life a lot easier.

Ring video doorbells have been a popular way to monitor doorways without having to peek through the doors or curtains. Of course, using the Ring doorbell through the Ring app allows users to keep an eye out on visitors even when they are not home. 

We must say, this company has a range of features that make for effective monitoring of the front door using smart devices. However, some features are locked permanently unless you pay a subscription fee every month.

So, the question is – is it worth paying this fee each month? 


Is A Ring Doorbell Worth It Without Subscription?

While there may be differing opinions out there, we are sold on the idea that a subscription makes the usage of a Ring video doorbell better. The basic Ring device features may be good enough for some time, but you’ll miss out on key features like Ring video doorbell recording. 

Thus, it won’t be possible to capture and review videos at a later date unless you subscribe to one of its plans. We’ll get into the feature details soon, but you might miss the opportunity to see who visited the house when you were away. 

Ring Doorbell Features Available Without Subscription Plan

Let’s say you have a Ring doorbell system without the monthly subscription plan. Yes, there are a few features that’ll be out of reach, but you get many useful features too. 

1. Real-Time Doorstep View 

Now, here’s a feature that you can make the most of – the real-time doorstep monitoring ability. The doorbell camera has a live stream feature that allows you to view the situation outside the front door on your device. 

Of course, this live video is available without a subscription to the Ring Protect plan and requires no fee. Thus, you can take a look at the ongoing events at the doorstep whenever you want with an uninterrupted view in real-time. 

Also, if you receive an alert for any reason, just check your mobile phone app for all the details captured on camera. 

2. Two-Way Audio

Apart from instant viewing from wherever you like, you get the option to communicate through two-way audio without a subscription. That’s right, the Ring security camera also has an audio feature at no additional cost, and you can hear the sounds or conversations of people in real-time. 

Needless to say, this comes in handy when you have someone visiting for delivery and need to provide instructions without opening the door. Alternatively, you don’t even need to be in the house to deliver instructions to someone at the doorstep. 

Simply check your phone for alerts or sounds, if any and let the person know when to come back. 

3. Motion Sensor Alerts

Managing the people at your doorstep is easier with a Ring alarm system that has the ability of motion detection without a subscription plan. As soon as the doorbell rings, the motion sensor of the camera doorbell activates, which sends an alert to your personal device. 

The good thing is that you can set up any device with an alert feature depending on what’s convenient. You can use advanced motion detection combined with smart doorbells to keep a careful lookout even when far from home.

Also, the Ring alarm feature is almost instant, giving you the quickest updates on any new occurrences outside your house. The specialised motion sensors have targeted detection zones that give a clear view of the most important areas. 

Besides, in some of the more premium doorbells, there is an additional feature of motion alert. This can give you a head up depending on how close or far the object is to the door of your house. 

4. Unlimited Users

Ring gives you the freedom to share the security camera livestream and alarm alerts with other family members and roommates. Thus, if you are busy, you could always ask someone else to check the cause of the alert from their device. 

Basically, you can add as many users as you want for a single Ring device without a subscription. The other members need to install the app just the way you did, and you can share access so that they receive all the alerts too. 

So, don’t worry the next time the doorbell rings and you’re in the shower because someone else can check the video doorbell easily. 

5. Smart Assistant Integration

One of the more useful features you can access without a subscription is the seamless integration with Alexa or Google Home. Since Amazon owns Ring, it would be unusual not to have integration with smart home devices. 

If you are building a smart home and already have devices like Echo smart speakers or Echo Show, Ring devices will fit right in. Use Amazon Echo speakers for the doorbell chime or check the live feed on the smart devices live. 

Ring Doorbell Features That Require A Subscription Plan

As you’ve already seen, there’s quite a bit you can do without a subscription, but there are some serious limitations to it. Make a note of what you’ll miss unless you opt for a Ring Protect subscription plan.

1. Review Video Recordings

The most crucial feature of security cameras that you can’t access is the storing and reviewing of video footage. If you miss the activity in the live stream, you cannot rewind and go back to review the video. 

In our opinion, this can be a pretty big disadvantage because there is no guarantee that you can always access your device when alerted. In a way, the whole point of a security camera is diminished since you can’t really catch anyone in action and check the footage later. 

2. Saving Or Sharing Videos

As mentioned in the previous point, it’s impossible to save Ring video footage without a subscription plan, and you can’t share it either. This is because there is no space to store the video footage locally and share it with others. 

This means that even if you get alerted and view some suspicious activity on the live feed, you can’t share it with authorities or the police. These two disadvantages can turn out to be a problem when you have the opportunity to catch someone red-handed. There will be no evidence to present even if you witness any incident live. 

Features Included In Ring Protect Plans

With the Ring Protect plan, you get the basic features, plus video recording and cloud storage. The extra cloud storage space gives you the benefit of expanding the otherwise non-existent local storage and allows for capturing crucial footage. 

All the video recordings are saved in the cloud and can be retried at a later date with precise timing and excellent video quality. What’s more, these recordings can be downloaded and shared with anyone with the Ring Protect subscription plan. Ring offers two types of plans: Ring Protect basic plan and Ring Protect Plus.

The first tier plan, the Ring Protect basic plan, is ideal for anyone who owns one Ring device. On the other hand, the Ring Protect Plus will cover multiple Ring devices like alarms, cameras, and doorbells in the home. 

In short, here are the features available in both plans-

Ring Protect Basic Plan

  • 180-day cloud storage
  • Video saving and sharing feature
  • Available for one camera

Ring Protect Plus

  • For all Ring devices in one home
  • Assisted monitoring (automated call alarm)
  • Extended warranty
  • All features of a basic plan

How Much Does A Ring Subscription Plan Cost?

Ring Protect Basic retails at £3.50 per month or £34.99 per year, and Ring Protect Plus costs £8 per month or £80 annually.

Are There Any Alternatives To Ring?

Some people may prefer to introduce smart video doorbells to the home by sticking to the bigger players in the market – Amazon Ring and Google. However, there are other video doorbell options that alert you when necessary-

1. Eufy Video Doorbell

This device comes in wired as well as battery-powered options, and both of them are pretty long-lasting. The wired video doorbell needs no charging, while the battery alternative can last six months on a single charge. With no subscriptions, all the features are free, including the video storage feature. 

2. Arlo Video Doorbell

Arlo is not limited to notifications on your devices; it also makes an alert phone call in case of a security breach. It can be attached to the doorbell through wires and has exceptional audio-capturing quality. 

Final Words

That said, it’s up to you to decide if the video saving and sharing feature is worth it. If you ask us, a security camera should have the ability to review and share footage. After all, one does not want to be stuck in a situation where one can see unscrupulous activities on their doorstep without the power to intervene.

In any case, we hope this short guide helps you decide whether to buy a Ring subscription plan or not. We also have a list of the best video doorbells without a subscription.

See you next time. Until then, stay safe!

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