Most of us already have so many monthly subscriptions that it can be hard to manage them all, so the last thing we need is another one. I’m considering purchasing a Ring Video Doorbell for myself and a Ring Alarm for my parents, so I wanted to know if we could use our Ring products without a subscription plan. 

Does Ring work without a subscription? All Ring devices work without a subscription. However, Ring cameras and video doorbells will not record videos without a subscription plan, and a Ring Alarm system will not be professionally monitored. Ring offers two optional subscription plans for users who do want these features. 

Ring subscription plans are affordably priced, have no contract, and can be paid for monthly or annually. If you are still set on using Ring without a subscription, it’s important to know all of the details about what your Ring devices can and cannot do.

Ring Works Without a Subscription

What you can and cannot do without a Ring subscription plan depends on the type of Ring device you have. Ring smart light bulbs, for example, are fully functional with or without a subscription plan. Other devices are not. 

Ring Cameras and Video Doorbells

Here’s what you can do with your Ring security cameras and video doorbells without a subscription:

  • View the camera’s live stream anytime. 
  • Use two-way audio.
  • Receive notifications from motion alerts or when someone rings your doorbell.

In my opinion a Ring subscription plan is essential to using your Ring security camera or video doorbell efficiently because without it, you will not be able to record any videos. 

Without a subscription plan, if you are in a meeting or otherwise busy when you receive a motion alert, you will miss the chance to see why you received the alert. With a subscription plan, a video will automatically be recorded and saved to the Ring cloud for you to watch later.

With a Ring subscription, you can also:

  • Record videos manually any time.
  • Capture screenshots from Live View and from recorded videos.
  • Save recorded videos to your phone, tablet, or computer.
  • Share recorded videos with friends and family. 

None of these useful features are available without a subscription. 

Ring Alarm

If you don’t have a Ring Alarm subscription, you must monitor your alarm system yourself.

When a self-monitored Ring Alarm is triggered, here’s what happens:

  1. Ring sends an alert to your phone and email. 
  2. Ring sends alerts to the phones of any Shared Users on your account. 
  3. Emergency services are not automatically dispatched. You or your shared contacts need to call emergency services yourself if you need help.

Self-monitoring is a cheaper way to use Ring’s home security system, but it also leaves you only partially protected. For example, if there is an intruder in your home while you are away, but you and your Shared Users do not see the alert on your phones, then the intruder may be long gone before you are able to call 911. 

With Ring’s professional monitoring plan, here’s what happens when your alarm is triggered:

  1. You will receive a phone call from the Ring Monitoring Center. You will need to provide your verbal password to the monitoring agent. The monitoring agent will dispatch emergency services for you if needed. 
  2. If you do not answer the call, the Monitoring Center leaves you an automated voice message, and immediately calls the first person on your emergency contact list. If they answer, they will need to provide your verbal password as well and can confirm whether or not emergency services are needed. 
  3. The monitoring agent continues to call each person on your emergency contact list and leave an automated voice message until they reach someone. 
  4. If no one on your emergency contact list answers the call, the agent dispatches the police to your home. 

This whole process only takes a minute, so your home is protected even when you are busy or away from your phone.  

Subscription Plans

If you do decide to purchase an optional Ring subscription, there are two plans to choose from. No contract is required, and the plans can be paid for monthly or annually. Paying monthly means you can cancel your plan any time, but if you pay annually, you will receive a discount. 

Check out the table below to determine which plan is best for you. 

No Subscription PlanProtect Basic PlanProtect Plus Plan
Devices CoveredNoneOne Ring deviceAll Ring devices in your home
Live View and Motion AlertsYesYesYes
Video RecordingNoYes, recordings saved for up to 60 days.Yes, recordings saved for up to 60 days.
Video SharingNo YesYes
Screenshot CaptureNo YesYes
Professional Monitoring for Ring AlarmNoNoYes, 24/7. You also have the option to switch between professional monitoring and self monitoring any time in the Ring app.
Duress Code to discreetly call 911NoNo Yes
Extended WarrantyNoNoYes, all devices are covered under the Ring warranty while subscription is active.