It looks like Ring is tightening the noose in an attempt to raise more profit for the company. It is doing this by taking away some of the free features that came with its Ring Alarm system, forcing users to pay into a Ring Protect subscription.
Thankfully. this doesn’t affect anyone who has already purchased into a Ring Alarm and you also have until March 28th to buy one before having to face these new requirements. However, as of March 29th, the changes will take place for new users buying into one of these.
One of the affected features includes the ability to arm and disarm the system remotely using the app or compatible Alexa devices (ie, Amazon Echo speakers). Instead, those preferring to not pay anything will be limited to just using the physical keypad.
Another is the ability to receive alarm notifications on your phone. Without a subscription, users will only experience the siren locally (coming from the base station). This would kind of defeat the purpose of spending extra money on a fancy alarm system when any boring analog system can accomplish this.
Event history within the app will also be limited to only 24 hours without a subscription. Users will get 60 days if they decide to pay up for the paywall (subscription).
They also hide the ability to pair your Ring cameras and devices to the Alarm. This would normally allow you to automatically record from these devices when an alarm is triggered. So it looks like without a subscription, you won’t be able to make use of these other devices through such automations.
There are a few other changes as well, but really it all sums up to “either pay for the subscription, or consider buying something else”. Without the subscription, the Ring Alarm is pretty much worthless. Again, though, this doesn’t take affect until March 29th and beyond. So if you already have one before then, you should be fine.
We are big fans of Ring devices as they really know how to make a good product. However, this does (sadly) seem like a desperate attempt to force people to pay up. It will likely drive away a lot of hardware sales, limiting most sales to just those looking to pay for the subscription.
Thankfully, the cost of the subscription isn’t that bad compared to the old-school systems that are managed by alarm companies.