Ring Video Doorbell 2

Photo of Ring Video Doorbell 2
Company
Released
3 months ago
Price
$199
The second-generation Ring smart doorbell camera is a 1080p, wired or battery-backed camera designed to replace your existing doorbell. 

Ring is owned by Amazon, which integrates its cameras deeply into the Echo ecosystem, so you can see who's at the door on smart devices that feature a display.

The company, both before and after acquisition, has found itself at the center of a number of scandals in recent years, which are described in their respective sections below.
Last updated 1 week ago

Device score

Shitdex rating:

Learn more about how we calculate these metrics here.

  • Privacy πŸ’©
  • Data Ownership πŸ’©
  • Lifespan βœ…
  • Security πŸ’©
  • Standards support 🚨
  • Works offline πŸ’©
  • Subscription-free πŸ’©
  • Software updates βœ…

Privacy

Our score: πŸ’©
Ring has been embroiled in repetitive privacy scandals, which started with the company being accused of allowing unaudited access to unencrypted recordings of customer videos.

It later emerged that Ring also collaborates with police in secret to push sales of Ring devices for free, or near free, to build a surveillance network in neighborhoods on behalf of Amazon. Law enforcement is provided secret access to a dashboard that shows 'approximate locations' of all Ring devices in a neighborhood.

While police must gain permission to access footage from owners, Ring and Amazon also conspire on the best ways to convince users to give their footage over. Ring has participated in "sting" operations with police, and also promotes its own 'social' network in which users share videos with other ring users, without the consent of those recorded.

Data Ownership

Our score: πŸ’©
Files can be exported from the Ring service, however it is not possible to run a Ring camera without the Ring service–and many features require an active subscription.

Lifespan

Our score: βœ…
To date, Ring has not discontinued a doorbell camera or removed features from its existing products, and it has not deprecated any features that we're aware of over the 3+ years it's been on sale.

Security

Our score: πŸ’©
Privacy issues at Ring are well documented, and while no security breach has technically been reported, Ring has an incredibly poor record of properly securing its infrastructure. In 2018, The Information reported that Ring hired junior engineers that didn't understand security well.

The Intercept reported in 2019 that Ring had a history of "lax, sloppy oversight" with customer data, which is stored unencrypted at rest on an open Amazon S3 cloud bucket. Anyone within ring was able to access these files over the space of years, however there were also no logs of who accessed them.

For its part, Ring believed that there was a "sense that encryption would make the company less valuable" and that it would be too expensive to properly secure its infrastructure. This may have changed under Amazon after the company's acquisition, however it's unclear and the company remains silent.

Standards support

Our score: 🚨
Ring does not support any open standards, however it does integrate with Amazon's smart home products, including Echo. The company has applied for HomeKit certification with Apple, however it hasn't rolled out support yet.

Works offline

Our score: πŸ’©
Ring video cameras do not work offline–if constant internet access is lost, video is not recorded. The user is notified about the loss of internet, but video will not be recorded for the time the connection is offline. If the Ring services were to be unavailable in the future, it's unlikely the Doorbell camera would work much, if at all.

Subscription-free

Our score: πŸ’©
We don't have any data on this yet. Check back soon!

Software updates

Our score: βœ…
Ring provides regular software updates that are transparent to the user, on a surprisingly regular cadence. It often adds new features and functionality, and generally automatically installs these updates. 

Related products

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