Earlier this year, Ring launched a “technical preview” of its end-to-end video encryption software in the US. As of today, it’s been rolled out internationally (except in Belgium).
Ring already uses encryption when user videos are uploaded to the cloud and when they’re stored on Ring’s servers. But the company became associated with security issues after a number of Ring users' cameras were accessed by outsiders – often due to poor individual password management.
The new end-to-end encryption (E2EE) will help users to protect their accounts and prevent people from accessing their videos. However, it's not available on all devices and it'll disable a number of key features, so for now it's an opt-in service.
What is end-to-end encryption (E2EE)?
Simply put, it’s another layer of security that’ll allow videos to be viewed only on a chosen mobile device. Videos will be encrypted as they're uploaded from the camera, and can only be decrypted to become viewable on trusted devices.
From today onwards, in addition to authentication methods such as SMS, customers can use a compatible authenticator app as a second method of verification when logging in to their Ring account. Ring has more information about authenticator apps in the support section of its website.
Ring is also starting to roll out CAPTCHA in the Ring app.
Which Ring devices are compatible with the new E2EE?
The new E2EE won't be supported by any battery-powered Ring video doorbells or cameras. In addition, users won't be able to watch videos on the Rapid Ring app, Ring.com, the Mac desktop app, or the Windows app.
It's only compatible with these devices:
- Ring Video Doorbell Pro
- Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2
- Ring Video Doorbell Elite
- Ring Video Doorbell Wired
- Ring Spotlight Cam Wired
- Ring Spotlight Cam Mount
- Stick Up Cam Elite (2nd Generation)
- Ring Stick Up Cam Plug-In (3rd Generation)
- Indoor Cam
- Ring Floodlight Cam
- Ring Floodlight Cam Wired Pro
- Ring Floodlight Cam Wired Plus
Which features will be disabled?
If users opt for E2EE, some features will be disabled. They'll be accessible again if E2EE is switched off, although they may need to be manually reset.
Shared users will no longer be able to view clips, videos and links can't be shared, and the Live View won't be accessible from multiple devices at the same time.
Additionally, features including Motion Verification, People Only Mode, Snapshot Camera, Bird's Eye View, Pre Roll, Event Timeline and Rich Event Notifications will be disabled.
To see the full list of features that'll be affected, visit the Ring website. Ring does have plans to make some of these features usable with E2EE in the future, but there's no timeline yet for when that might be.
This could affect E2EE take-up as many of these features are only available on later generation Ring devices and may be the reasons that people upgraded in the first place.
Secure transfer of Ring devices
Ring is also launching a secure way for customers to transfer ownership of Ring devices, making it easier when people are moving house. The new owner of a device can just scan a barcode during setup and all videos and events belonging to the previous owner will be unlinked.