Ring has just introduced end-to-end encryption (E2EE) to a select number of its smart home cameras, securing videos with an extra layer of protection captured by your Ring gadgets. This still doesn’t make us excited about Ring devices, specifically, given all the problems the platform has faced, but if you’re already using a Ring doorbell or camera, it’s a function worth learning about.
While they are uploaded to Ring’s cloud servers, ring videos are encrypted, but this new feature secures them with an extra 128-bit AES encryption layer that can only be decrypted and accessed on a mobile device enrolled in Ring’s E2EE program. (In a recently released white paper on the functionality, you can read more about Ring’s E2EE policy.)
E2EE can avoid the interception and viewing of videos by outsiders when capturing or sending them to your devices; not even Ring can decrypt them. Ring’s E2EE, however, also disables a handful of user-end functions, including motion verification and the ability to view live feeds of the Ring camera on an Amazon Echo Display or Fire TV unit. It will be more safe for your stored videos, but you will lose real-time viewing and cloud-based monitoring functionality that might be as essential as the additional encryption layer E2EE adds.
If you’re fine with the tradeoffs, as long as you have the right hardware, it’s easy to toggle on Ring’s latest E2EE. E2EE is only available at launch on a handful of devices:
- Doorbell Pro footage
- Doorbell Elite video
- Cam Floodlight
- The Cam Indoor
- Cam Spotlight Wired
- Camera Install Spotlight
- Cam Plug In Stick Up
- Camera Elite Stick Up Up
In the future, more support could be added, but for now, to use E2EE, you’ll need one of those devices. The latest version of the Ring app will also be required on any Android or iOS device that you choose to sign up for. You should toggle on E2EE in the Ring: app if you meet those requirements.
- Open the software Ring.
- Go to Control Center > Video Encryption > Settings in Advanced.
- Select “End-to-End Encryption for Video.”
- To turn the function on, tap the slider and tap ‘Get Started.’
To register your account, mobile devices, and ring cameras for End-To-End Encryption, follow the in-app instructions.
By switching off the “Video End-to-End Encryption” slider, you can disable E2EE at any time.
During setup, you will be asked to create a password-don’t forget it! It can not be retrieved and it will lose any encrypted videos you have. To use E2EE again, you’ll have to start over with a new mobile device.