Happy with your Ring Doorbell?

aja8888

Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Apr 22, 2011
Messages
18,986
Location
Conroe, Texas
Maybe after you read this you will have second thoughts:

https://wolfstreet.com/2020/01/28/r...-party-trackers-to-surveil-its-own-customers/

Internet of Things at Home: Ring sends the surveillance data of its own customers to third parties, including Facebook.

By Bill Budington, Electronic Frontier Foundation:

Ring isn’t just a product that allows users to surveil their neighbors. The company also uses it to surveil its customers.

An investigation by EFF of the Ring doorbell app for Android found it to be packed with third-party trackers sending out a plethora of customers’ personally identifiable information (PII). Four main analytics and marketing companies were discovered to be receiving information such as the names, private IP addresses, mobile network carriers, persistent identifiers, and sensor data on the devices of paying customers.

The danger in sending even small bits of information is that analytics and tracking companies are able to combine these bits together to form a unique picture of the user’s device. This cohesive whole represents a fingerprint that follows the user as they interact with other apps and use their device, in essence providing trackers the ability to spy on what a user is doing in their digital lives and when they are doing it. All this takes place without meaningful user notification or consent and, in most cases, no way to mitigate the damage done. Even when this information is not misused and employed for precisely its stated purpose (in most cases marketing), this can lead to a whole host of social ills.

Interesting article to read. Makes me think twice about IOT devices.
 
Yuck.

We got a Eufy doorbell, and it doesn't talk to anyone else's network or cloud, but only to us via wifi.
 
I refuse to allow any IoT devices in our home. Those who believe they are on the cutting edge by using them are inviting others to spy on them and potentially much worse.

Just go and read about Stuxnet or watch the documentary Zero Days.
 
This is the case for many if not most IoT peripherals. We do have a couple of these (cameras, Alexas, etc.) but I have them paired to another router that has firewall that alleviates some of the risk.

Nonetheless, those who say, "I won't ever use these" probably have mobile phones that are just as susceptible.

Yuck.

We got a Eufy doorbell, and it doesn't talk to anyone else's network or cloud, but only to us via wifi.

If it's on Wi-Fi and it's not firewalled in an effective manner then it's just as susceptible as Ring (and other IoT devices).
 
So help me understand, how is this any different than any other app I use? For example, Waze, Facebook, gmail (google) . . . The only difference I see (at least with my limited understanding) is that Ring and Alexa can transmit pictures. With Alexa, it sits in my kitchen, so if someone wants to see a picture of my refrigerator I guess that’s not a big deal and with Ring, the cameras all point outside so they’d see my driveway and my front porch. I’m sure I’m missing something, but my real question is, what am I really risking? That they’ll know me? Have at it, I’m pretty boring. Market to me? Again, have at it, I don’t buy much so I’m a low value target. I get the principle of them making money off me and how that is more than just a bit slimy, but that’s what it costs for using stuff for free. Of course, that is the one thing that is disheartening about Ring, nothing much is free with Ring.
 
The big danger with the Internet of Things (IOT) is that many of the manufacturers of cheaper products do not update the firmware/software when security problems are identified. From what I have heard, Ring does a good job of staying on top of security update. Perhaps a knowledgeable Ring owner can share his or her experiences with us.

I have one Wyze camera. I just received notice of a firmware update today. We'll see. I am very weary of any home camera that points inside the house. But, outside on the street side of my house is OK with me. Porch Pirates beware! I share my videos with the police - no warrant needed.
 
Last edited:
Most modern wifi routers have a Guest wireless network available, in addition to the regular wireless network. These two wireless networks are on different VLANs, completely separated from each other. It's common sense to attached IoT devices to the Guest network and not the network that your PCs/Tablets are attached to. Having a firewall is also great security practice (which most modern wifi routers can provide).

My Eero wifi routers receives regular firmware updates, as well updating the mobile app. I have Bell Doorbell Pro, Westinghouse oven, Dish Hopper, 3 TVs, Sprinkler system, and garage door opener all connected to my Guest network. They all provide personal advantages to being able to access the device remotely. The vast majority of the IoT devices get regular firmware updates.

I'm far more worried about personal privacy where the IoT mobile apps leverage 3rd party trackers to collect my private data without my consent. Now that's a different issue altogether. Bell.com device apps do this today, which is making me reconsider dumping the device altogether (https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2020/01/ring-doorbell-app-packed-third-party-trackers).
 
We got a ring doorbell for Christmas. I'm annoyed- the monthly subscription means you pay for a new doorbell every few years. A no-subscription Skybell or Eufy would be preferable.
 
OK, I am older than Methuselah:

If I am home and want to know who is ringing my doorbell before answering it, I look through the beveled glass door. Yes, this sometimes requires that I walk a whole 20 feet to the door in order to look (oh the horrors! :LOL: ). After determining who is ringing my doorbell, I only answer the door when I want to do that.

If I am away I don't care who is ringing my doorbell, and I'm not going to answer the door. We have never, ever had porch pirates, which I am guessing is partially because the second amendment is so popular in our neighborhood, and partially because everyone is watching out for everyone else.

I really don't need or want a Ring doorbell, much less any associated security worries. Basically I agree with njhowie:
I refuse to allow any IoT devices in our home. Those who believe they are on the cutting edge by using them are inviting others to spy on them and potentially much worse.

Just go and read about Stuxnet or watch the documentary Zero Days.
 
WR2, I totally agree. We had a small echo dot but got rid of it when some stories came out. Sometimes it would start talking when you hadn’t asked it anything.
 
WR2, I totally agree. We had a small echo dot but got rid of it when some stories came out. Sometimes it would start talking when you hadn’t asked it anything.
Wow, that would freak me out! I am glad you got rid of it.
 
We have the Ring Doorbell 2.

I have been quite satisfied with the product. Install was fairly easy. I did have to drill 2 holes into the brick to mount.

The setup and Ring app are good. The neighborhood features are interesting. If you have an incident you can post it for the neighborhood to view.

We live in a (really) cold area. Below 0F it goes into sleep/self preserve mode and motion detection doesn't work until it warms up. It seems around 0-5F and colder is where it goes to sleep. Not much you can do when it is -25F outside. I don't work well in -25F either.

If someone wants to try to hack into my network and watch my front door, go ahead. I like our Echo devices and we have an Apple HomePod. If someone wants to listen in and listen to us talking and watching TV, that is their choice. Seems quite boring.

Lots of cool tech and it is getting easier to setup/install and integrate with other devices.

I went back and forth about the Ring Doorbell 2 and Ring Professional. I didn't think the Professional added anything for the extra cost.

I would buy again.
 
We got a ring doorbell for Christmas. I'm annoyed- the monthly subscription means you pay for a new doorbell every few years. A no-subscription Skybell or Eufy would be preferable.

The $30/year subscription worked fine for me.

Do you have multiple devices? My Ring was $120. So 4 years of service to match the price.
 
We did get SimpliSafe security system when Noki died and I use it when my husband is away. We didn’t set up the camera or pay for monitoring. I would guess that the loud alarm going off would scare someone trying to break in.
 
If someone wants to try to hack into my network and watch my front door, go ahead. I like our Echo devices and we have an Apple HomePod. If someone wants to listen in and listen to us talking and watching TV, that is their choice. Seems quite boring.

The vulnerability isn't that they will just watch your porch and play music you don't like. These systems are connected to YOUR NETWORK and if you don't take precautions, they can access ANYTHING on your network...as in your desktop computer and associated files. They are used as portals.

We did get SimpliSafe security system when Noki died and I use it when my husband is away. We didn’t set up the camera or pay for monitoring. I would guess that the loud alarm going off would scare someone trying to break in.

Simplisafe is one of the easier alarms to hack. There are lots of stories/YT videos that illustrate this. I think it's good for situational awareness, but that's about it.
 
I don't have the Ring doorbell, but the Ring camera. Love it! At night, anyone approaching the house activates a motion sensor spotlight I have and the Ring starts recording. My iPhone sends me a notification then I can see the recording from anywhere in the world I happen to be at the time. I like the feature where others in the neighborhood post and share anything nefarious going on in the neighborhood. Great peace of mind!
 
Last edited:
We got our first ring doorbell at Christmas as a gift. After easy installation and testing, liked it and ordered a set of two interior cameras for the Ring system. Doorbell is on continuously and internal cameras to be used as additional protection (to watch other potential entry points while we are away overnights). We did opt for the basic online video storage plan which is necessary after first 30 days of use if you want to have recallable videos other than real-time camera access.
Is it worth it? Here are our initial pro/cons:
Pro - the motion sensitivity is good. Fields of view can be modified to include/exclude areas you wish to see/ignore for sensitivity activation purposes. This is useful to exclude cars driving past the house, but not in your driveway yet, etc.
Pro - video quality is good, and in color. Night sensitivity is good. Objects/people are recorded even in minimal exterior lighting
Pro - smartphone app and full Ring website are both excellent. We get smartphone notifications immediately upon motion detection. Recording begins for 60 seconds, and only continues thereafter if motion continues. Easy to view recent recordings and real-time camera action even on your cellphone.
Pro - when doorbell is rung, not only can you hear and see the ringer person, but you can optionally speak with them. Can be useful if you are actually NOT home but wish to pretend that you are.
Pro - Ring offers many other optional cameras, alarms and accessories that can enhance the system.
Con - audio to you (what you hear) is excellent, but your speaking to the small microphone installed inside the doorbell is garbled a bit and there can be a slight delay. Nevertheless, they can understand you basically, as you tell them you are busy and unable to come to the door.
Con - must pay annual or monthly subscription for video recordings. Approx $35 per year per device, or approx $100 for unlimited device recording storage in the cloud. Recordings are kept allegedly for 60 days.


So far we are happy with the minor investment, and I particularly like viewing the numerous intruders on the property, which so far have been limited to chipmunks, squirrels and yesterday, two groups of deer at dusk.

There is also an optional Ring neighborhood app that I use, where other users do post their lost dog, porch pirates, car-checking thieve videos. Site has comments section where many other neighbors can and do communicate on neighborhood disturbances. Can specify using a map how large/small of a geographic area you with to receive Neighborhood reports. The wider the zone, the more junk comes in for you to see and comment on.
 
We did get SimpliSafe security system when Noki died and I use it when my husband is away. We didn’t set up the camera or pay for monitoring. I would guess that the loud alarm going off would scare someone trying to break in.

I like that I can turn on monitoring for just a month or two.

Once we accidentally pushed the panic button at 1am when it was set to home, and didn't answer the phone when it rang, 4 cops were there in about 3 minutes.
So we know it works. :flowers:
 
I started with the Ring Doorbell but battery, as the home is unoccupied for long periods, would die. Added a Ring flood light camera at the garage which is great. For added security and peace of mind installed a Ring Alarm. Gets me freeze/fire protection monitoring as well. Installation couldn’t have been simpler and has been working great so far. Love being able to disarm the system remotely, see if guests arrived and got in safely, house keeper closed all the doors.

Yeah so Ring/Amazon can see my comings and goings if they want to and market to me...Mastercard can see every purchase I make too.. That they might share the video of me dragging a corpse from my house....probably a good thing, well if not for me than for society.

I understand that I might be giving something up for the added conveniences in my life but that is a conscious decision we make all the time. Radiation from microwaves in your kitchen or from your cell phone? Plastics leaching into food we eat, fumes from your heating system, pesticides on lettuce, fluoride and chlorinated water....etc etc. gotta take all these concerns with a grain of salt and enjoy the benefits too..
 
Back
Top Bottom