Ring announced today that it’s increasing the price of its Protect Basic subscription plan. Starting on July 1, Protect Basic subscribers will pay a dollar more each month. Currently, it’s still $3/month or $30/year for the Protect Basic plan. It’s going up to $4/month, or $40/year if you pay upfront.
In an attempt to sweeten the deal, Ring will increase some of the offerings of this entry-level tier. It will include up to 180 days of video storage for its security cameras and video doorbell, about three times the amount offered before. It will also introduce a few features that have yet to debut, including more sophisticated sound detection and smart alerts that distinguish motion between animals and cars.
But the unavoidable price increase (Protect Basic is currently Ring’s cheapest plan) has marred any goodwill these new abilities would have given Ring. Perhaps the worst part of this deal is that Ring’s current subscribers seemingly weren’t privy to the price increase until now, including those who just bought into the system. According to The Verge, Ring has shared the news to subscribers without warning, aka on the same timetable as the rest of us. I’ve reached out to Ring to ask for additional details on this new pricing tier rollout.
The price jump might not seem like a steep one if you compare it to other security systems on the market. For instance, Google charges $6/month or $60/year for its lowest tier of Nest Aware, while SimpliSafe, another well-rated security brand, charges about $18/month, though it includes professional monitoring.
But for current Ring subscribers, it’s the pits. Those who have invested fully into the Ring security ecosystem and have more than one camera they’re monitoring will now have to consider the $10/month or $100/year plan. Some Ring subscribers used to get around the second-tier cost by doubling up or tripling subscriptions to cover each camera. Their monthly fees would hover around $9/month or $90/year for three separate cameras. But now, they’re forced to pay the full fee for all three.
Ring is one of the top-selling security systems in the U.S., so it’s no surprise that people are pissed about the rising subscription price. A glance on Twitter shows frustrated folks on both sides of the pond. The increase seems to affect Ring’s U.K. customers, too.
You don’t have to pay for Ring’s subscription service to use its products. The free tier still gives you access to motion-activated notifications, live real-time video, and two-way talking abilities. But you do have to fork over the cash if you want any video history, which is the reason people get security cameras in the first place—to see what happened while they were out.
I have reviewed other security cameras that don’t charge for archiving video. Though they’re not as sophisticated and robust as Ring’s algorithms and hardware, they get the job done. The $40 TP-Link Kasa Spot camera is excellent for watching over common rooms, and it takes a locally-inserted MicroSD card for storing footage. The Eufy camera lineup is also getting more buzz for its premium-grade feature offerings. Both of these devices are compatible with Google Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa.