If you buy a Ring Alarm after March 29th, you’ll need a Ring Protect subscription to access its most basic features. Additionally, a Ring Protect subscription will be required to set the Home and Away modes on Ring cameras and doorbells (including those purchased before March 29th).
The full details of Ring’s new policy are explained on a new support page. Basically, existing Ring Alarm users won’t see any change in their alarm system. But those who purchase a Ring Alarm after March 29th will need a Ring Protect subscription for the following features:
- Digital Arm and Disarm: Without Ring Protect, you cannot arm or disarm your Ring Alarm through Alexa or the Ring app. (So, if you skip the subscription, a Ring Keypad is required for arming and disarming.)
- Alarm Notifications: Your Ring Alarm won’t send real-time notifications to your phone or email address. (Without a subscription, you’ll only get siren notifications from the Base Station.)
- Event History: The Ring Alarm previously included 60 days of alarm history. Without a subscription, alarm history is reduced to 24 hours.
- Alarm Automations: Without a subscription, you cannot link Ring doorbells, cameras, or other accessories to the Alarm for home automations.
Again, if you already own a Ring Alarm (or buy one before March 29th), these features will remain free. Ring Protect costs $4 a month, so if you’ve been looking to buy a Ring Alarm, I suggest doing so before the cutoff date.
A Ring Protect subscription will also be required for the Home and Away modes on Ring cameras and doorbells (these modes allow you to turn Live View and recording on or off). That said, Ring will require this subscription from both new and existing customers.
Clearly, Ring is trying to force new Alarm buyers into a subscription, which is disappointing. Most of these features are essential to a modern security system—if you aren’t willing to pay for Ring Protect, I don’t suggest buying the Ring Alarm (unless you can get one before March 29th).