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Can I Use Ring Doorbell Without A Subscription?

The Ring Doorbell is arguably one of the best smart security doorbells on the market. However, one of the downsides is that Ring requires a subscription to access advanced features. So, what can you do without a Ring Subscription, and is it worth it?

You can view real-time live footage of your doorstep, use two-way audio, and receive alerts without a Ring doorbell subscription. You will need a subscription to save and store videos, share videos, and access snapshots. The basic Ring Protect Plan costs $40 per year with no contractual obligation.

If you’re considering a Ring Doorbell, you might also want to pay for a subscription. But there’s a lot to consider before jumping in. Luckily, we cover everything you need to know in the article below. Read on for more information.

Can I Use a Ring Doorbell Without a Subscription?

Close up a thumb press button of a Ring Doorbell

After spending a hundred dollars or more on a Ring Doorbell (on Amazon), you might be wondering,” Is a Ring Protect Plan really necessary?”

Unfortunately, if you don’t have a subscription to a Ring Protect Plan, you won’t have access to past video footage or the ability to store and share clips.

It’s crucial to understand the features of a Ring Doorbell and what you might miss out on if you don’t opt for the Ring Protect Plan before you purchase a device.

What Am I Able to Do Without a Ring Subscription?

Although the Ring Subscription allows you to use a device to its full capability, some models don’t require a subscription to work well.

For example, the Ring Smart Light Bulb can access all its features with or without an active subscription. A Ring Doorbell without a subscription doesn’t make it completely useless, either.

You can use the basic features of a Ring Doorbell without a subscription, including the following:

Real-Time View of Your Doorstep

Without a Ring Subscription, you can still access a live view of your doorstep from any location. You also have access to the two-way audio feature, allowing you to talk to anyone at your front doorstep.

Motion Detection Notifications

You still have access to alerts on your smartphone or any connected device, even without a Ring Subscription. For example, you’ll receive a notification when an individual presses the Doorbell or the camera receives motion. You can then tap Live-View to view the video footage of your front doorstep.

Google Home and Alexa Integration

Luckily, you don’t need a Ring Subscription to integrate your Doorbell with other smart assistants like Alexa or Google Home.

For example, you can use the speaker on an Amazon Echo or Echo Show as a doorbell chime. You can also use the Echo Show to stream a live video feed from the Ring Doorbell when an alert comes in.

Theft Protection

Lastly, you don’t need a Ring Subscription to protect your device from theft. If your Ring Doorbell is stolen and you report the incident within 15 days, you’ll receive a free model replacement, with or without a subscription.

What Am I Unable to Do Without a Ring Subscription?

Ring doorbell installed onto a white door

Unfortunately, you lose out on many valuable features and tools without a Ring Protect Plan Subscription. Although the basic functionality of the Ring Doorbell still works, here’s what you can do with a subscription.

Save and Store Recorded Footage

With a Ring Subscription, you can record video footage and save videos manually when the Doorbell is rung or motion is activated. You can easily store them securely and privately in Cloud storage, which you can access whenever necessary.

This feature allows you to use your Ring Doorbell as a security device to view footage from the past 30-60 days, depending on the situation. Unfortunately, you cannot store footage locally without a subscription.

Share Video Footage

With a Ring Protect Plan Subscription, you can download saved videos onto your device and share them with other devices of family members, friends, or authorities. You can also save stored Ring footage to your personal computer for later.

View Snapshots

The Snapshot feature, or Camera Preview, is only available with a Ring Protect Plan Subscription. The Snapshot feature takes a screenshot every 30 seconds to three minutes, depending on the configuration.

This allows you to stay aware of what’s happening outside your door without hassling with the live video feed. The feature can be helpful when you don’t have time to access live video while in a meeting or elsewhere.

How to Save Ring Videos Without a Subscription

Luckily, there are straightforward ways to save video footage from a Ring Doorbell, even if you don’t have a subscription. Here are some options to consider.

Use the 30-Day Free Trial

One way to capture and save videos from your Ring Doorbell is to use the free 30-day trial. The trial will give you 30 days to see if you want to invest in a subscription. If you live in a safe neighborhood, you might find that a subscription isn’t necessary.

Use Screen Recording On Your Phone

Another way to capture and save videos is to use your smartphone’s screen recording feature. For example, when your Ring Doorbell sends you an alert, simply activate the screen recording feature to save the video feedback.

Unfortunately, the only downside of this method is it only works if you receive an alert from your Ring Doorbell.

RecordVideo for Free on Computer

Another method is to use free-screen-recording software on your computer and log into the official Ring website. You can view your Doorbells live feed on the official site and use the screen-recording tool to capture the footage.

This method can be useful when you go on trips, but you’ll need to ensure your PC has enough storage space to capture the footage. Although this method isn’t perfect and can be time-consuming, it can be worth it if you are serious about security but don’t have the budget for a subscription.

What are Ring’s Subscription Options?

Ring Doorbell and two Ring Cameras

Ring offers different subscriptions and plans depending on the user, model, and situation. Any plan can be paid monthly or yearly and has no contractual obligation.

Ring Protect Basic

Ring Protect Basic is paid per camera or device. The subscription costs $4 per month or $40 per year. You also receive the following benefits:

  • Video footage is saved for 180 days.  
  • The option to share and save footage.
  • Snapshot videos or camera previews.
  • Discounts on various Ring products.

Ring Protect Plus

Ring Protect Plus is per Ring Account and covers all Ring Cameras, Doorbells, and Alarm Systems. The subscription costs $10 per month or $100 per year. You also receive the following benefits:

  • Video footage is saved for 180 days.  
  • The option to share and save footage.
  • Snapshot videos or camera previews.
  • Discounts on various Ring products.
  • Extended warranty on all Ring devices that meet eligibility factors.

Is a Ring Subscription Worth it?

So, is a Ring Subscription actually worth it? The short answer is: yes, a Ring Protect Plan is worth the investment. Without a subscription, you lose out on several valuable features like saving footage, sharing videos, and viewing snapshots.

Although there are ways around saving footage without a subscription, it can be time-consuming and tedious. The basic Ring Protect Plan costs $40 per year, and there isn’t a contractual obligation, allowing you to end it at any time.