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Do Ring Cameras Require Subscriptions?

Last Updated Aug 26, 2021
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Over the last decade, high-tech security systems have become commonplace in the average household. From multi-camera systems to simple doorbell cameras, there is something to meet each homeowner’s needs. Ring has developed a security product line that provides peace of mind at even their most basic functionality. 

All of the standard features of a Ring camera can be utilized without a monthly or yearly subscription. The camera’s capabilities to assist homeowners is limited, but it is still functional in the most basic applications. 

However, for a minimal fee, you can subscribe to a Protect Basic or Protect Plus plan’s additional features. Whether you choose to take advantage of the subscription features or use the free services, a Ring camera can help a homeowner feel safe and secure in their home. 

What Services Can My Ring Camera Provide without a Subscription?

If you purchased a Ring camera without understanding that it involved a  subscription plan, don’t worry. The camera is still functional, and there are many features to enjoy.  Let’s take a look at what the Ring camera offers on its own.

View Your Camera in Real-Time

At any time, you can log in on your Ring app and view your camera. You can watch the live video as long as you wish. 

Ring operates by an algorithm that allows the user to receive detection alerts almost instantaneously. When the motion detector is activated, the Ring app will send a notification to your phone or any other device that you have set up to receive alerts. Then, click “Live View” to view what your camera has detected. 

Two-Way Talk

This feature allows you to speak through the app to the camera to another person using two-way audio communication. 

Lifetime Theft Protection

Ring offers free replacement if your camera is stolen. Just reach out to the company within 15 days of the reported theft and Ring will send a replacement camera. 

Can I Record Video from My Ring Camera without a Subscription? 

Some phones and laptops can record your screen while you’re viewing the Live View of your Ring camera. This allows you to use the benefit of video saving without a subscription. However, Ring is aware of this type of loophole and frequently updates its software to keep this from happening.  Ring can stop you from doing this by suspending your account. 

While there are other alternatives to hacking into the video your camera records, they are unstable, complicated, and leave you open to hackers. Because of this risk, they are not recommended. 

Here are some of the pros and cons of trying alternate recording options.


  • Helps improve security because there is a recorded version of events. 
  • Saved videos can be stored on a Cloud service for future viewing. 
  • Many recording options are free. 
  • Save money by not paying for a Ring subscription. 


  • Risk of Ring account being suspended or canceled.
  • Setup can be complicated for those without technical knowledge.
  • Utilizing a recording option other than what is offered from Ring opens you up to hacking and compromised security risks.

How Can I Benefit from a Ring Subscription?

For some, the cost of a Protect Basic or the Protect Plus plan may be worth the extra cost. These plans provide extra features that are unavailable in the Free plan. Here’s an overview of the services that each of these plans offers and the features they provide. 

Protect Basic Plan

This Plan is $3/month or $30/year. Its primary feature is the ability to record, save, and share videos. Another important feature is called “Snapshot capture.” Throughout the day, your Ring camera will take random photos. In “People Only” mode, the Ring camera will notify you if the device detects any people. 

Protect Plus Plan

This Plan is $10/month or $100/year and offers 24/7 professional monitoring that gives homeowners peace of mind. You get all of the features of the Basic Plan with the addition of dispatchers that can let responders know if there has been a break-in or emergency at your home. It will also detect extreme changes in temperature, flooding, smoke, and carbon monoxide levels. 

The Protect Plus Plan also extends the warranties of all your Ring devices as long as you remain at your address. 

Compare the three options and decide which plan is the best for your needs. If you pay from month to month, you can always change your plan to another option until you see which features you need the most. 

Final Thoughts

The Ring offers protection services that make a homeowner feel safe and secure. Whether you choose to pay for additional plans or utilize the free plan, you will still benefit from a Ring camera. 

The good news is that the Ring Protect Plus plan is available for free for a 30-day trial once you have set up a new Ring account. This gives you the opportunity to try out the features and see if it is worth your money.

Either way, the Ring camera is a necessary part of a home safety plan with or without a subscription. 

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