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What Ring Devices Work Without Subscription? All Ring Devices

Last Updated Jan 20, 2022
multiple security cameras on a pole

Home security is always a hot-button issue, particularly in a day and age when porch thievery is commonplace. Ring offers homeowners unique solutions for home security, which allow them to monitor their homes from afar. In the article below, you’ll learn how much these features cost and which ones require a subscription.

Across all models of Ring cameras and video doorbells, live video and two-way talk are standard out-of-the-box. The number of standard features varies depending on the model. However, if you want to view recordings or receive 24/7 professional assistance, then you’ll want to purchase a subscription.

You are encouraged to read on to learn about which features are standard in each Ring device and how you can unlock access to enhanced security attributes with a subscription. More about that later.

Do You Need A Subscription For Your Ring Device?

You don’t need a subscription to enjoy the basic features of your ring device. This includes attributes such as motion detection, bird’s eye view, and Alexa greetings, among others. Please be advised that there are different price tiers of devices, and the number of different features available increases with the price.

However, you can also greatly enhance your experience by subscribing to one of Ring’s subscription plans, which are discussed in further detail in the sections below.

Security Cameras

Ring’s security cameras offer customers the opportunity to continuously monitor their homes without having to pay a subscription fee. However, if you do decide to go with a subscription, you’ll be able to record videos.

Refer to the table below for the standard out-of-the-box features for Ring security cameras.

DeviceStandard FeaturesOptions
Indoor CamPlug-in Power, Live Video/Two-Way Talk, Motion Detection/Alerts inPlug-in
Stick Up CamPlug-in Power, battery, solar, Live Video/Two-Way Talk, Motion Detection/Alerts, Night VisionBattery, Plug-In, Solar
Spotlight CamRechargeable Battery, Plug-In, LED spotlightBattery, Plug-In
Floodlight CamSame as above plus: Hardwired, Audio+ Two-Way Talk, 3D Motion Detection, Bird’s Eye View (in pro tier)Battery, Wired Pro, Wired Plus

Video Doorbells

Keep your porch secure, even when you’re away from home, with a video doorbell. You can also communicate with those who ring your doorbell with the two-way talk feature, which is standard across all models.

If you want to customize which types of notifications you receive, you will want to sign up for a subscription. Otherwise, here is what you get out of the box:

DeviceStandard FeaturesOptions
Video Doorbell (2020 Release)Live Video & Two-Way Talk, Motion Detection & Alerts, Quick Replies, Rechargeable BatteryClick here.
Video Doorbell WiredLive Video & Two-Way Talk, Motion Detection & Alerts, Quick Replies, Hardwired Power SupplyClick here.
Video Doorbell 3Same as Video Doorbell with enhanced Wi-Fi, improved motion detection, simplified installationClick here.
Video Doorbell ProSame as Wired plus: Works with existing chime, Dual-Band Wi-Fi, Interchangeable Faceplates, Built-in Alexa GreetingsClick here.
Video Doorbell Pro 2Same as Pro plus: 1536p HD+ Video, 3D Motion Detection, Bird’s Eye View, Head-To-Toe VideoClick here.
Video Doorbell ElitePower over Ethernet (with adapter)Click here.

How Much Does A Ring Subscription Cost?

There are three different tiers of subscription plans for both security cameras and video doorbells. What does a subscription plan get you? First and foremost, it gives you the ability to record videos. This is not a standard feature in doorbells and cameras.

Stay tuned for a complete breakdown in the table below.

 BasicPlusPro
Price$3/month or $30/year$10/month or $100/year$20/month or $200/year
FeaturesVideo history for 60 days, Video Saving/Sharing, Snapshot, Person Alerts, Rich NotificationsSame as a Basic plus: Extended Warranties and 10% discount for select Ring products on AmazonSame as Plus but with 24/7 professional monitoring, Alarm cell backup, Alexa Guard, Backup internet (for brief Wi-Fi outage, online activity protection, eligibility for insurance discounts

In summary, a subscription to a protection plan through Ring is certainly not mandatory for your device to be effective, but it does give you access to:

  • Record and capture: Review, save and share the moments you capture on your video doorbell and/or security cam.
  • Customize alerts so that you only get alerts when a person is detected.
  • Photo previews of what triggered a notification without having to open the Ring app.

Additionally, the Alexa Guard feature gives you access to an emergency helpline, alerts, and notifications through your Amazon Alexa device. One nice thing is the fact that you can save at checkout by bundling Ring products and Alexa-eligible devices, as will be discussed in the section below.

How Can You Save Money On A Ring Doorbell?

There is certainly peace of mind that comes with a Ring doorbell or camera paired with a subscription. Sometimes what might not be so nice is the price, which can be pretty substantial if you’re going with one of the higher-end products. There are ways to save money on a Ring product, however.

One way to save money is to do a trade-in. On Amazon listings for Ring products, you’ll see a link that says, “Save 20% with a trade-in”. This is a good start, especially since you don’t see any such discount if you end up scrapping your old device. New Ring devices are released every year, which can impact the resale value of these as well.

Here are some other good suggestions:

  • Take advantage of product bundles: You can save with device bundles, such as this one of Video Doorbell Pro 2 and an Echo Show 5.
  • Upgrade to a continuous power source: Have trouble keeping your Ring device charged? Instead of buying a hardwired model, you might consider purchasing this small solar panel, which connects to several existing models.
  • Purchase an annual subscription: If you pay the monthly rate, you’ll spend $36 per year. An annual subscription costs $30, netting you two months for free.

Final Thoughts

You do not need to subscribe to a protection plan to use a Ring device. Live video, night vision, and two-way talk are all standard features. However, if you want to record and save captures for up to 60 days, you will need to sign up for a Ring subscription plan.

There are 3 different tiers of subscription plans, the most affordable of which can be purchased at a rate of $30 per year.

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