Smart home security company Ring has revamped its indoor camera to include a manual privacy cover that disables all audio and video recording. This is the first Ring home security camera to come with a physical shut-off system. Previously, you had to use the app to turn off audio and video recording, unplug the camera, or purchase a separate $10 Privacy Kit with a cover that only disables video, not audio.
The new Ring Indoor Cam is available for preorder today for $59.99, shipping on May 24th, 2023. It has all the same hardware specs as its predecessor — a wired camera with motion-activated recording, two-way talk, a built-in siren, 1080p HD video, and color night vision. The only other difference with the new model is a redesigned mount that makes it easier to adjust the camera’s view.
The new camera is a good option for anyone who was considering a Ring Cam but was put off by the company’s recent decision to put its Home & Away Modes behind a paywall. That feature lets you turn the camera off in the Ring app with one tap on the homescreen. To disable it in the app without paying for a Ring subscription (from $4 a month), you have to navigate into the device’s settings. This takes several taps and isn’t convenient to do every time you leave or arrive home.
If you aren’t paying for a Ring Protect Plan, the camera wouldn’t be recording motion events anyway — you have to subscribe to record any video. But having a way to know that your camera isn’t on when you’re home is a key feature of many security cameras.
Indoor security cameras from Simplisafe, Arlo, and GE Cync all offer physical shutters, some of which can be controlled remotely. The downside of a totally physical one is if you want to check in on your home when you’re gone, and you left it on, there’s no way to uncover it remotely. The upside is no one else can open it remotely, either.
If you already have a Ring Indoor Cam, the Privacy Kit Cover option does include a power cord with a switch on it that will turn the whole camera off and is a bit easier than unplugging it.
Ring launches an SOS for Cameras subscription
The Indoor Cam also works with a new SOS feature that Ring started rolling out last week. SOS for Cameras adds an emergency button in the app for any compatible Ring cameras you have. This lets you request emergency dispatch directly from a live view or the app’s dashboard.
You need a Ring Protect Pro subscription for the feature, which starts at $20 a month. That plan includes professional home monitoring for Ring’s home security system, Ring Alarm, but you don’t have to have a Ring Alarm to use this feature, just a Ring camera. If you already have a Ring Alarm and subscribe to Protect Pro, you’ll see this feature on your cameras, too.
SOS for Cameras is similar to the option Arlo security cameras have to call 911 directly through the app — say when you’re viewing someone break into your home on your security camera while you’re away. The main benefit of these plans, besides speed, over calling 911 yourself is that you’ll be routed to emergency services at your home address, not wherever you are calling from.