Do I Need to Pay a Monthly Subscription Fee for a Ring Doorbell?

If you were to buy a Ring doorbell, would you be hit with yet more recurring charges or could you avoid them? This is a popular question in today’s world, we pay for a lot of monthly subscriptions. If you use a video streaming service like Netflix, Hulu, or Disney+, you’re charged for these each month. The same if true if you’re a member of a gym or if you subscribe to a monthly mystery box/crate service. You don’t want to add another monthly fee on top of all these others, do you?

It’s not necessary to pay for a Ring doorbell subscription, as you can still use the full range of services offered by Ring without it, That said, if you do choose to pay, then you gain access to Ring Protect, a service that gives you more monitoring and video saving options.

If you’re curious to learn more about Ring Protect, including how it works and what you’d pay for it each month, keep reading. In this article, we’ll walk you through the Ring doorbell’s subscription service so you can decide whether it’s worth it.

What Is Ring Protect?

When you buy the Ring video doorbell itself, you get the peace of mind of knowing who is at your property at all times. You download an app that feeds you live video of the interior or exterior (even both!) of your home depending on where you put the camera(s).

While Ring’s features are very comprehensive, the company offers an extra layer of coverage in its Ring Protect plan. This is a monthly subscription service that allows you to take advantage of features you do not get otherwise.

For instance, Ring does professional monitoring around the clock under Ring Protect. It’s available 24/7 and can be especially handy if you need support during or after an emergency. According to the Ring Protect webpage (which we linked you to above), the call response time is 30 seconds on average for a subscriber. Also, Ring provides coverage in 50 states under its Ring Protect plan.

You also get the freedom to review in more depth the photos and videos the Ring video doorbell takes when you join Ring Protect. Should you want to keep these, you can, but you can also send them to the trash.

Which Subscription Options Are Offered Under Ring Protect?

Should you opt to subscribe to Ring Protect, there’s not just one plan to choose from. Instead, you have two options, the Basic or Plus plans.

Here’s a breakdown of the features included in both plans.

Basic Plan

The Basic Plan has a handful of features, such as:

  • Snapshot Capture: With Snapshot Capture, Ring will automatically take a series of continuous photos of what’s going on around your property. These aren’t necessarily used in lieu of video, but rather, can augment video in that you might be able to see some details more clearly in still photos.
  • Video sharing and saving: Should you decide there’s a video you’d like to hold onto, the Basic plan lets you save the clip. It’s yours to keep on your computer, phone, tablet, or other mobile devices. If you’d then like to share the video via text message, email, or even social media, you can.
  • 60-day video history: Even if Ring captured a photo or video more than a month ago, you can still access it as a Ring Protect member. It doesn’t get auto-deleted for 60 days.
  • Lifetime protection: Under Ring’s lifetime protection feature, you have 15 days to report a stolen Ring video doorbell and get a replacement at no cost to you.
  • Two-way talk: Using the two-way talk feature, you can communicate with the other person on your property should you want to.
  • Live View real-time video: With the Ring app downloaded to your phone, Live View lets you see who’s on your property in real-time.
  • Motion-activated notifications: Ring sends notifications straight to your smartphone if the video doorbell suspects someone might be around your property.

Plus Plan

By upgrading to the Plus Plan, you get all the above features as well as these other exclusives:

  • com product discount: Since you’re paying extra for a Plus Plan when you’re logged into Ring’s website, you can get certain products at a discounted rate of 10 percent.
  • Extended device warranties: If your Ring video doorbell is registered under a single address, you can request a lengthier warranty than the traditional one offered by Ring now that you’re a Plus member.
  • Ring Alarm 24/7 monitoring: This is the monitoring feature we described in the section above.

Regarding the discount, Ring says it only begins once your free trial ends. You also cannot have any other users or neighbors using a free trial of Ring Protect to get your 10 percent off. You can’t transfer the discount either, nor can you use it with other offers or for past purchases.

How Much Does Ring Protect Cost?

For these added features, what kind of monthly subscription fee are you looking at with Ring Protect? For the Basic Plan, which has far fewer features, you’d pay $3 a month. That’s $30 a year. If you wanted the best of the best from Ring Protect, aka the Plus Plan, that would cost you $10 a month or $100 a year.

Those are pretty low prices. You pay more for Netflix and Disney+ than you would for the Basic version of Ring Protect, at least as of this writing.

If you’re still on the fence, Ring does allow its customers to try Ring Protect free for 30 days as a trial. You might as well subscribe for a free month and see how you like either of the plans. Just make sure you cancel before the month ends or you may be auto-charged for the next month.

Should you decide you don’t enjoy the features of Ring Protect, then it was no harm, no foul. If your interest is piqued, then you can choose a plan that works for you and begin paying for it every month.

What Happens if You Don’t Pay a Monthly Subscription Fee for Your Ring Doorbell?

Let’s say you explored the Basic and Plus plans under Ring Protect after reading this article. You may have even tried the free trial. You’re not entirely convinced you need a monthly Ring Protect subscription, so you were thinking of passing on the whole thing.

If that’s what you wanted to do, what would happen?

Honestly? Nothing. You already paid for your Ring video doorbell, which only has a one-time fee. That doorbell is yours to use however often you want. You still get lots of great safety features that make the Ring video doorbell worthwhile, but you won’t have the extra perks available through a Ring Protect plan.

There are certain features that even “free” Ring doorbell users get. These are:

  • Lifetime theft protection
  • Two-way talking
  • Live View real-time video
  • Motion-activated notifications

If that’s enough for you, then so be it, you’re good to go. There’s no need to worry about monthly fees with your Ring. That said, if you’d like to expand what Ring can do for you, then the Ring Protect plan is a good place to start.

Is There Any Other Way to Get the Features of Ring Protect Without Paying Monthly?

What if you want all the protection Ring offers but without the monthly fees? Is there any way to make that happen?

No, there isn’t. The only way you can try Ring Protect without paying for it is to sign up for the free 30-day trial. Still, that’s only good for a month, and once that month elapses, it’s expected you’ll start paying for the protection or forego it entirely. There’s no workaround there.

We wouldn’t recommend you hack into your Ring. We just wrote a post on the dangers and risks of that, of which there are many. Plus, there’s your warranty to worry about.

Ring’s warranty is a limited one that lasts for a year, with that year beginning the day you buy the video doorbell. It covers the replacement of parts due to poor workmanship or defects. That’s it. You couldn’t tinker with your Ring to try and hack it and then claim foul, trying to use your warranty. Ring won’t accept it.


Ring’s doorbell has a one-time fee, but for a monthly charge, you can upgrade to Ring Protect. This offers more features that you don’t get with your Ring doorbell, such as the ability to save your videos for up to 60 days and emergency assistance.

Ring Protect has two plans: the Basic Plan for $3 a month and the Plus Plan for $10 a month. While you can try either for free for 30 days, there’s no way to enjoy continuous use of Ring Protect without paying for the subscription.

With all this info, you can now decide whether Ring Protect is right for you. Best of luck!

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