[Updated] Ring locking Alarm in-app features like digital notifications, arming & disarming behind a subscription met with backlash

New updates are being added at the bottom of this story…….

Original story (published on February 28, 2023) follows:

Ring is a well-known company in the home security segment. They offer an extensive catalog of cameras, alarms, and other IoT devices to set up a home surveillance system.

You can manage Ring devices with an app that allows you to access multiple features like notifications or to ‘Arm and Disarm’ alarms. So far, these features mentioned above have been free all along. But not anymore.


A change in the terms of use of the Ring app now states that digital notifications, arming and disarming, and alarm event history will require a subscription through Ring Protect, which is attracting plenty of criticism.

Ring Alarm in-app’s digital notifications, arming & disarming now require subscription

It’s worth pointing out that the change in terms of use for the Ring app and products will not apply to everyone.

Those who will have to pay for in-app features that were previously free are the ones who purchase Ring products starting March 29, 2023. That is, current users will be able to continue using the features for free.

However, that hasn’t prevented a backlash from current Ring users towards the decision:


I chose ring over simplisafe because it’s not neutered if you don’t pay the sub. At least I’m not losing anything but not a great decision, in my opinion.

The longer I own my Ring setup the more regret I have. Will no longer expand this system, this type of behavior has eroded all trust in them.

Could Ring start charging current users in the future for in-app features as well?

They argue that, in the near future, the company could charge them too. Not charging current users for subscription to use the Ring in-app features may be a strategy to ‘tie’ them to the brand.

But nothing guarantees that Ring will not make a subscription mandatory for them also if they want to use the current features (or even new features).

An example of this ‘modus operandi’ is Google. As a Ring user points out, Google offered services such as infinite storage of high-quality photos in the cloud, but later this feature became paid once they had ‘captured’ users.


The current Ring Alarm in-app features (which will be paid for by new users starting March 29, 2023) include the following:

– Arm and Disarm Digitally
– Alarm Notifications
– Alarm Event History
– Create home security automations with Alarm
– Camera Home and Away Modes (Ring doorbells and cameras)

You can learn more about each option on the Ring official website alongside the new terms of use and some FAQs.

What’s your take regarding the change in the terms of use of Ring in-app features? Feel free to leave your comment in the box below.

Update 1 (March 14, 2023)

02:07 pm (IST): Even though the company claimed that the users can keep the paid features for free, some reported that they lost features like push notifications, have recorded clips, or ‘home’ and ‘away’ modes.

Featured Image: Ring

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Jean Leon

A tech enthusiast since ever. I like to always be up to date on the latest news in the industry and write about it. Twitter: @jean_ERdC