Outside of smart TVs, security cameras seem to chew up the most data. However, fortunately, unless your Ring Doorbell is constantly lit up, it’s not as drastic as streaming on a smart TV, and in large part, is dependent on the features of the doorbell.
The amount of data a Ring Doorbell can use varies but ranges between 50 and 300 GB per month. At its minimum upload and download speed of 2 Mbp, it would take 8.5 minutes of activity to exceed one gig of data.
Below, we’ll discuss the Ring Doorbell’s data usage and what you can do to reduce it if you’re on a limited data plan.
How Much Data Does Ring Doorbell Use?
It’s very difficult to determine the exact amount of data consumption from the Ring Doorbell, although it’s safe to say the resolution, motion detection, and maxed-out settings require more data while minimizing the doorbell’s activity requires less.
The more often your camera is active, the more data is used. However, generally, the Ring Doorbell may use between 50 to 300 GB/month.
How to Reduce Data Usage on Ring Doorbell
- Customizable motion zones
- Adjustable resolution settings
- Pet recognition
- Length of a clip
- Motion sensitivity
The way the Ring app is set up, each doorbell or device will have features that you can select and minimize. This is especially true with motion zones. Repetitive motion alerts triggered by traffic can be adjusted by reducing the size of your motion (activity) zones. You can also reduce motion sensitivity. At the maximum level, even a breeze is a potential motion trigger.
Your data usage will make or break you based on your personalization options. Resolution is the most data-consuming feature by far and is something you should adjust—if applicable—to 720p, so long as that resolution is effective.
If you have pets and your Ring Doorbell supports pet recognition, keep that feature on. As far as facial recognition is concerned, Amazon has filed multiple patents but hasn’t decided whether or not to integrate that feature in any of its cameras.
The length of video alerts is something else to consider. Some of Ring’s new updates have included “snips” and four-second preview clips to watch instead of the entire recording.
Ring Doorbell and Cell Phone Data
The most important facet of Ring security integration is the doorbell’s communication with your smartphone. Most ISPs have a data cap, and the same is true for cell phone providers.
Certain tiered plans offer unlimited data, but even that is subject to choking during peak hours. The more alerts you receive on your phone, the more 1080p HD video content you end up streaming on your device.
This is especially true with the Ring Doorbell 4 and the pre-roll or advanced pre-roll. This feature adds the four seconds before any triggered recording, making your streaming a little longer.
Unless you consider pre-roll an essential part of alerts, turning it off will save data. It’s important to note that pre-roll is automatically turned on with device activation.
Cell Data and MiFi Hotspots
Wi-Fi is a much more forgiving data pool for security cams. However, that may not always be an option. Ring Doorbells are perfectly suited for connecting to your smartphone as a hotspot or a MiFi hotspot as well.
For many of the reasons listed above—when it comes to cell phone data as a side-effect—smartphones and MiFi are potentially problematic. Of course, you can reduce data usage from smartphones and hotspots in all of the same ways you reduce them with Wi-Fi.
Unless you have a data plan that is not only unlimited but free of choking during peak network hours, using your smartphone isn’t a reliable option. Even MiFi hotspots, although they sound good on paper, are subject to even more stringent data caps than a smartphone plan.
Ring is consistently upgrading its software across all of its Ring Doorbells. New features can either add or detract from data consumption and should be considered every time a new update comes around. Fortunately, current features are not only accessible but also something you can adjust to lower your data usage.
Also, consider communicating with your ISP. Data plans are always changing, and it’s great to come across a massive data plan that’s less expensive than your current one.
With that being said, get into the Ring app, adjust your settings—including your smartphone—contact your internet service provider, and enjoy the security of your Ring Doorbell without the headache of flirting with your data cap.