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Need a Ring doorbell or camera subscription?

If you’re in the market for a video doorbell, security camera, or other smart home gadget, chances are you’ve already stumbled across several products from Ring. The company is one of the most popular smart home brands, producing reliable devices that are easy to use and easy to install.

You may also have noticed that they offer a monthly subscription known as Ring Protect. But do you need a Ring Protect subscription to use Ring products? Or can it be used for free after installation? Here’s a closer look at the service and whether you should sign up.

Do you need a Ring subscription?

The Ring Spotlight Cam is installed outside.

We’ll cut to the chase — no subscription to Ring Protect is required to use Ring products. This means that after installing a video doorbell or camera, you can dive right in and start monitoring your home. However, this is not the end of the story. Ring locks heaps of functionality behind a paywall, which means that some of the enticing features that made you buy your Ring product may only be available to Ring Protect members.

Without a Ring Protect plan, you’ll have access to the following features:

  • Instant alerts
  • Live View
  • Two way talk

You may get additional functionality depending on your specific product, but the above three features are available on most Ring products without a Ring Protect plan.

What is Ring Protect Basic?

Ring Floodlight Camera at night

Ring Protect Basic costs $4 per month or $40 per year for a single doorbell or camera. As a subscriber, you will gain the following capabilities:

  • Video history (180 days)
  • Save and share the video
  • Take a screenshot
  • person alerts
  • Rich notifications
  • 10% off Ring products
  • Download 50 videos at once

We recommend choosing this plan, as it’s reasonably priced and offers a lot of useful features (especially 180 days of video history). If you don’t fall into this category, you won’t get much value out of Ring’s doorbell or camera.

The devices are pricey on their own — it’s unfortunate that you need to pay to access all of these features — but it’s worth forking out the extra $4 per month if you really want to take advantage of everything your Ring product has to offer.

What is Ring Protect Plus?

The Ring Video Doorbell is satin nickel, mounted next to the doorway.

Ring Protect Plus costs $10 per month or $100 per year. It gives you video recording rights to all of your Ring devices, making it a great option for homes with multiple Ring cameras on the property. Aside from all the features in Ring Protect Basic, you’ll also benefit from extended warranties for all of your devices.

What is Ring Protect Pro?

The ring smart lights turned on outside the house.

Ring Protect Pro costs $20 per month or $200 per year. It offers several features that are probably not necessary for the average household, though it does turn your devices into a more powerful security system. Here’s what Ring Protect Pro brings to the table, other than everything mentioned above:

  • 24/7 professional monitoring
  • Cellular backup alarm
  • Alexa Guard Plus
  • Backup internet 24/7 with optional extra data
  • Digital security through eero Secure
  • Ring Edge with local video storage
  • Home insurance savings (up to $100)

If you need solid home security, but don’t want to shell out for a professionally installed system, this could be a great alternative. But for most homes with just a few security cameras or a video doorbell, you may not need all of these extra features.

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