The Ring home security brand extends end-to-end encryption (also known as E2EE) support to more devices and also introduces a new data transfer feature. It’s a welcome security update, but it also forces the deactivation of some useful Ring features.
earlier, E2EE was only available for wired products such as the Ring Video Doorbell Pro and Floodlight Cam. utilities migrating support over to Ring’s wireless cameras and doorbells. However, it is unknown if everything in the lineup will get it. Nowhere in the announcement does it say whether all wireless devices will have E2EE support; nevertheless there are reports (opens in new tab) stating the aid is indeed universal. We contacted the company to see if it could clear up this confusion. This story will be updated if we hear anything.
As for the new data transfer tool, it is called Deactivated Device Status. Allows users to save previous recordings from an old Ring device to their account. In this way, you don’t have to manually download each video one by one. Users must remain a Ring subscriber to use this tool. Otherwise, they have to download everything to their local computer before the company removes the videos.
Instructions for saving recordings and deactivating devices can be found on the Ring website (opens in new tab). You must update the Ring mobile app and go to a device’s personal settings to track events.
Anyway, if you have a wireless Ring camera or doorbell, we recommend updating the mobile app to see if the E2EE is available. The company has a set of instructions (opens in new tab) on its website that describes how to set up end-to-end encryption. As with Deactivated Device Status, you need to update the app and go to the Control Center. From there, activate E2EE, create a passphrase, then add the desired devices.
It’s worth enabling E2EE because, somewhat obviously, it improves Ring Device’s security. Videos recorded on Ring cameras are uploaded to the company’s cloud storage, which, it turns out, isn’t the most secure. The company has a history of security vulnerabilities of: 1,500 passwords leak to the dark web to possible giving hackers a way to steal wifi from houses.
With end-to-end encryption, your recordings are protected and unreadable. No one – not Ring, Amazon, hackers or even the government – can view your encrypted videos. All they get is a jumble of data. Only the Ring user and the connected device can view recorded videos.
That said, there is a catch to having this level of security. End-to-end encryption on Ring devices disables many features, including Bird’s Eye View, Virtual Security Guard, Event Timeline, and Alexa Greetings to name a few. The full list of disabled features (opens in new tab) can be found on the company’s website. Users will essentially have to ask themselves whether the increased security is worth the loss of convenience.
Given Ring’s history, it might be better to go with security.
Room for improvement
Expanded E2EE support and the new data transfer feature are great and all, but Ring still has room for improvement. Cybersecurity research firm Checkmarx recently discovered a vulnerability in the Ring Android app that allows “threat actors to steal identity information, including geolocation and camera recordings.” In addition, this vulnerability could allow someone to upload malware to an Android phone and steal even more sensitive data, including addresses.
And what’s scary is that the Ring Android app has over 10 million downloads. Now that end-to-end encryption is available for most of RIng’s offerings, it may be time for the company to plug the holes in its own security and stop the constant leaks.
If you are interested in improving your home security, be sure to check it out Slice Mag’s List of the Best Home Security Systems of 2022.