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Ring Floodlight Cam Review
(plus lots of other Ring cam related information)
duckware.com/ring -- June 5, 2017 -- Version 5.0a (updated July 28, 2019)

1. Ring Floodlight Cam Review
2. Core issues with the cam
3. Bugs Ring must fix ASAP
4. Other issues Ring must fix
5. Analyzing Ring's MP4's
6. Use Ring provided stickers
7. My 2.4 GHz wifi setup steps
8. The KEY for Ring cam success
9. Troubleshooting
10. Contact us
  (A) 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz wifi
(B) Avoid Ring's PoE adapter
(C) Long Reach PoE
(D) Ring's DFS channel problem
(E) Decoding Ring Serial Numbers
(F) Ring's FCC information
(G) Ring's FCC problem?
(H) Video Doorbell Pro V1 Recall?
(I) Stealing Ring cam video feeds


TIP: The Ring Stick Up Cam Wired/PoE is a GREAT alternative to the Floodlight cam!

Show more (obsolete) updates


1. Ring Floodlight Cam Review
Ring Floodlight Cam
Ring Floodlight Cam press photo
The Ring Floodlight Cam Review: The Ring Floodlight Cam is a cloud-based security camera -- with floodlight, siren, and two-way talk.
Videos are uploaded to the 'cloud' LIVE via your internet connection and saved for 60 days (with a subscription plan).
My testing: I installed and tested three Ring Floodlight Cams at three different homes in the summer of 2017. The first was installed on May 6, a second was installed on May 21, and a third was installed on May 22.

This review documents my first hand experience that I had with the Ring Floodlight Cams for over a month of extensive testing...

The bottom line: The Ring Floodlight Cam is a great product idea and has a TON of potential, but the Cam is NOT ready for prime time due to (1) poor video quality, (2) significant reliability problems, and (3) the numerous other bugs encountered.

UPDATE: Ring has resolved most of the video quality issues (by significantly increasing the video bitrate).

UPDATE April 6, 2018: I now recommend Ring cams for most people. Yes, the cams still do have some minor annoying remaining issues, but I have seen steady improvements over the last year as the video bitrate has been significantly increased -- from 0.75 Mbps (May 2017) to now to around 3.0 Mbps (November 2018) -- BUT NOW DOWN TO AROUND 2.4 MBPS (May 2019) and as firmware continues to get updated, and as newer revision hardware is produced. Most of the cam problems found in this review have been fixed by Ring. Please DO give Ring products a try (I now have fourteen Ring products installed in various places) -- BUT, do purchase Ring from a retailer that has a "no hassle" return policy (like Home Depot, etc) -- just in case you run into a show stopper problem (or you don't like the resulting quality). TIP: Make sure you purchase an unopened box (security seal not broken) -- as I once made the mistake of not noticing I had purchased an 'open box' (or returned) item that was missing minor parts!

The Floodlight Cam 'mostly' works, but it is sure frustrating that the Cam does NOT produce "1080p HD video" out of the box, as is claimed. If Ring fixes all of the bugs disclosed in this review, the Floodlight Cam will in fact be a great product that I could then highly recommend to everyone.
On May 25, I noticed that I could no longer view recorded/cloud videos from all Cams. The 30-day trial for cloud video recording stopped working. The response from Ring was: "we have just been informed there is an issue with the recordings where some are recording and some aren't registering. However our engineers are working on the situation as we speak". As I was doing extensive testing, I could not wait -- I got off the trial and signed up (paying) for cloud recording (which fixed the problem). Not a good impression.
Ring Floodlight Cam promises 1080p HD Video
Ring Product Box promises "1080p HD Video"
Hey, this is NOT "1080p HD video" quality! What sold me on the idea of this product was that the Cam was advertised (see product box right) as a security camera that takes "1080p HD video".
I've installed true high end 1080p security systems before. I know what video quality to expect from a "1080p" system.
However, the reality is that the video quality of the Cam 'out of the box' is nowhere near "1080p HD video", and Ring tech support actually acknowledged that in writing! See further below.

The Ring videos ARE 'sized' to 1080p HD size (1920×1080), but the quality of the resulting videos are NOT HD (the bitrate is too low / compression is too high). Here is an example of the very poor quality I see -- notice the significant 'blocking' and ghosting (blue jeans leaves a blue trail):

Poor Ring Floodlight Cam video quality
650×440 crop from Ring video - notice bad blocking/ghosting - NOT 1080p HD quality

A great comparison: Watch this YouTube video fullscreen on a large 1080p HDTV (not your phone) -- but set the YouTube video quality to 144p, and that is around the video quality I got from my Ring Floodlight Cam! And the YouTube video at 480p is WAY better quality than what I see from Ring Floodlight Cam.
The gritty details: One 63 second MP4 from the Cam was 6.3 MB (or 868 kbps). The 480p YouTube video above uses 770 kbps. Now set the YouTube video to 1080p HD quality. The video now looks fantastic, but it also dramatically increases bandwidth to 2358 kbps (3 times more bandwidth)!

Just think about it. If what Ring claimed were actually true -- "1080p HD Video" in under 1 Mbps -- that blows away what Netflix or YouTube can do by a LOT. But we know that Ring videos use H.264/MPEG-4 AVC, which is a well known industry standard -- So, no, not true.

How YOU can calculate Ring MP4 bitrates: Download a Ring video, multiply the file size (in bytes) by 8 and divide that by the number of seconds in the video to obtain 'bps'. Divide the answer by 1000 to get 'kbps'. Or divide the answer by 1000000 by get 'mbps'. Note that this results in a combined audio+video bitrate.
Ring's problem: Ring states in product documentation 'in the box' that they only need 1 Mbps upload bandwidth for the Ring Floodlight Cam. 1 Mbps is 1000 kbps. But that 1 Mbps limit dramatically limits the quality of videos that the Cam will produce!

The result: 'blocking' and significant 'ghosting' on moving objects: Notice the significant 'blocking' in the first video frame (click on image to zoom in and see the blocking -- especially the palm trees in the background against the blue sky) -- But you must look at this frame on a 'large' PC (or even HDTV) screen and not on a small phone screen (where it is very hard to see detail):


Click to zoom in -- Ring Floodlight Cam 868 kbps quality -- notice significant 'blocking'

RSSI (dBm)Signal
-30100%
-40100%
-50100%
-6090%
-6480%
-6870%
-7360%
-7750%
-8240%
-8630%
-9120%
-9510%
Source: Netgear app
Ring tech support blames wifi (RSSI) for my bad video quality: Ring technical support is both amazing -- for being available 24x7 via phone and chat (which I prefer so I have a written record) -- and sometimes amazingly wrong. When I contacted Ring support about the poor video quality, they blamed wifi RSSI for the poor video quality and asked for the RSSI (wifi Received Signal Strength Indicator) value in the "device health" screen, and stated "RSSI needs to be at a level of -44 for the device to function" (RSSI has a scale from 0/best to -100/worst; see table right).
UPDATE: Ring is not always available for chat anymore. Instead, questions are submitted in writing and Ring responds in writing.

UPDATE: It turns out Ring was wrong. My cam RSSI was just fine. It turns out that Ring simply had set a bitrate for my cam that was WAY too low.
But a RSSI of -44 dBm means Ring requires a signal strength of 100% (5 out of 5 bars), which quite frankly, is not realistic! To actually obtain -44 dBm, I needed to be within 10 feet line-of-sight (no walls) to my Netgear R6250 access point.

[Source: "Netgear WiFi Analytics" app; a great tool in this regard; see table right generated from this tool; also this resource]

Ring sent me a "Chime Pro" (a wifi extender) for free, but when I tried to set it up, all I got was a cryptic "Setup didn't complete" error message. Even Ring tech support could not get the Chime Pro set up and working!
UPDATE: Ring admits that their own internal (daily!) 'iperf' performance tests from my Cams to their servers shows a 6 Mbps upload path to the Internet (and that the Cam should be using a bitrate nearer to 2 Mbps, not the 1 Mbps that is seen. Ring is investigating.

My fix: Install wireless APs to dramatically improve RSSI: My quick fix to get past Ring support blaming my wifi was to install a wireless access point right next to the Floodlight Cams. Finally, with a great RSSI (-32 to -40), tech support would now FINALLY listen to me (and the quality of videos of course did not change with the great RSSI).
My prior RSSI was -66 and the Ring Floodlight cam was communicating with the wireless network just fine. It was just that the video quality was really poor. After I installed an access point 2 feet from the CAM, RSSI is now great, but the video quality from the Cam remains unchanged.
Ring HIDES a video quality setting from end users! Long story short, with good wifi, I complained to Ring tech support that their video bitrate (less than 1Mbps) "is not high enough to support 1080p". The Ring tech's answer was "You're right, it's not"! This same tech admitted that the Floodlight Cam has an internal "auto/720p/1080p" video quality setting that was hidden from customers, but that it was a setting he could change (not me). So he changed it from 'auto' to '1080p' and the bitrate of videos increased immediately, but only slightly.
UPDATE 2018/01/11: I just confirmed (via Ring chat) that Ring support still can set the Cams to auto/720p/1080p.
A slight jump in bitrate: Now 63 second MP4's from the Ring Floodlight Cam were around 8.4 MB (or 1118 kbps). This proves that (1) the poor video quality problem was NOT my wifi, and that (2) 'out of the box', the default 'auto' video quality is not 1080p! There was a slight increase in the quality of videos (click on image below to zoom in):


Click to zoom in -- Ring Floodlight Cam 1,118 kbps quality

Once in a great while, Ring video quality is MUCH better: Once in a great while, Ring Floodlight Cam MP4's are around 13.5 MB (or 1798 kbps). These videos look MUCH better (click on image below to zoom in):


Click to zoom in -- Ring Floodlight Cam 1,798 kbps quality
THIS is the video quality that I should be getting ALL of the time. My internet upload speed at the time was 3000 kbps. I upgraded it to 6000 kbps, but that made NO difference.
UPDATE: I just discovered a 63 second Ring video from my Floodlight Cam that was 18.8 MB (or 2506 kbps)! Clearly the Ring Floodlight Cam is capable of higher bitrates, so why the Cam almost always uses a bitrate less than 1 Mbps on a 6 Mbps (up) internet connection is a serious problem for Ring to immediately fix!
New Feature: Ring should allow the upload bitrate of a Cam to be set by the end user. In many situations, a bitrate of around 2.5 Mbps would work great and result in really good video quality. But there ARE situations (lots of motion through frame) where a bitrate closer to 4 Mbps is required.
My internet connection: And for the record, the internet connection at all three locations is fantastic. The speeds at each house (down/up) are: 120Mbps/6Mbps, 75Mbps/6Mbps, 75Mbps/6Mbps. I have been testing Internet speeds at each location a lot lately, and I never obtained a bad result. I always see full download/upload speeds from reliable speed test websites.
My Test Procedure: (1) Make sure no one else is using the Internet. (2) Run a speed test. (3) Cause the Ring Cam to capture a video. (4) Run another speed test. In all cases, both speed tests results are great (show 6 Mbps upload speeds), but the Ring Cam video is poor quality. I have even gone so far as to monitor the bytes transferred statistics in my router -- which verifies nothing else (besides the Ring Cam) is using the Internet.
Problem verified with a third party: I contacted a friend with a Ring Floodlight Cam, and a 63 second Ring MP4 was 5.8 MB (or 771 kbps). They are having the same problem!

BITRATE UPDATE 2018/07/10: Ring cams now use an 'adaptive' bitrate algorithm. Ring told me "Streaming bitrate is managed by adaptive bitrate algorithm based on network connection quality and wifi condition and depends on input video picture type (static scene or motion, light condition, day/night, etc.) ... Usually bitrate does not go higher than 2.5 Mbps in current production firmware."


2. Core issues with the Ring Floodlight Cam
ISSUE: Ring's reliance on 2.4 GHz wifi ONLY was a mistake: The Ring product should have been dual band -- also supporting 5 GHz. The Ring website states that the reason the Cam does NOT support 5 GHz and only supports 2.4 GHz is because 2.4 GHz has more range. While that may be 'technically' true, in reality, that ignores MIMO, wider channels, and beamforming benefits in 5G, and Ring tech support requires such a ridiculously good RSSI (100% signal quality), that you actually can't get any 'increased' range -- And how close you need to be to the router (less than 10 feet for a Netgear R6250) anyway means that 5 GHz actually works MUCH better at 10 to 30 feet.
Wider channels: 802.11ac in 5 GHz supports 80 MHz channels, or 433 Mbps. Whereas 802.11n in 2.4 GHz only supports 72 Mbps. What this means is that a poor 802.11ac wifi signal would blow away (have much more usable bandwidth) than a perfect 100% 802.11n wifi signal. [source]
It was a mistake for Ring to focus entirely on RSSI 'signal strength'. Because in the end, what really matters is 'actual usable bandwidth', not signal strength.

As proof, take the time to understand the graphic below/right -- where a laptop 3× further away from the SAME wireless AP the Ring cam is using, but using 802.11ac, has a MUCH higher bandwidth than a Ring cam much closer to the router (and the laptop has a worse RSSI than the Ring cam)!

5 GHz has much better speeds
MIMO: And range is only half the story. The other half of the story is actual usable bandwidth. Because MIMO and channel bonding is very common in the 5 GHz band, actual usable bandwidth in 5 GHz with MIMO (and low signal strength) can be MUCH better than 2.4 without MIMO (and high signal strength). My laptop at 30 feet connects to my Netgear R6250 at over 500 Mbps with a RSSI of -60 (88% signal strength) and works great -- at over 500 Mbps!

Beamforming: This 5G technology increases wifi range.

5 GHz capacity: In the US, 2.4 GHz has only 3 non-overlapping 20Mhz channels whereas 5 GHz has 25 non-overlapping 20Mhz channels (see full details far below)! The 2.4 GHz band is quite simply way too crowded. [source]

2.4 GHz range is a HUGE disadvantage if you live close to neighbors: There are just too many devices using 2.4 GHz, and with close neighbors (condos and townhomes), increased range is actually a huge disadvantage, because you see all of your neighbors wifi devices -- and you all must SHARE the same 2.4 GHz band! At one summer vacation townhouse, I see 30 wifi radios/BSSID in the 2.4 GHz band. It does not matter if 2.4 GHz has increased range, because in the middle of summer, the 2.4 band is so crazy busy, you can't get bandwidth to actually transmit a MP4 wirelessly to your router (and then to the cloud) fast enough.

2.4 GHz is plagued by non-wifi interference: And worse of all, 2.4 GHz is is plagued by non-wifi interference. Just using a microwave can kill the 2.4 GHz wireless band. The first time you use a microwave and you kill access to your Ring cam, you will not want to use another 2.4 GHz wireless security camera! In one house this happens to me, but in another house it does not.
ISSUE: The Cam fails as a security camera: Ring itself states "The world's only motion-activated HD security camera with built-in floodlights, a siren alarm and two-way talk." So, the Ring Floodlight Cam is firstly, a security camera. However, if your Internet connection is down for any reason, you will have NO record and NO video of the security incident -- because the Cam is NOT capable of buffering and uploading the video when the Internet comes back on. Failing to record a security incident is an outright FAIL for any security camera!
How I tested this: I disconnected the wireless AP from the Internet (so Floodlight cam was still connected to wireless AP, but not to the Internet), walked in front of the Ring Floodlight Cam, reconnected the AP to the Internet, and there was NO video recorded in the cloud. This is simply not acceptable for any true 'security' device. It is so easy to implement simple buffering of the video (store with no Internet and transmit once Internet comes back up), that this decision (to drop videos) shows that this Cam is NOT (currently) a true security camera.

The Ring Floodlight Cam IS a great 'tool', but it is NOT a 'security' camera -- because it can easily miss and not record security incidents.

Ring cams must buffer video when the internet is down.

I was told by a Ring executive that Ring would like to do this at some point in the future. Ring must make this a priority -- since a true 'security' camera must ALWAYS (eventually) record a security event, period.
ISSUE: One Cam went offline and STAYED offline: One cam went 'offline' (as reported by the Ring app) and refused to provide live view or record motion events (from May 26 6:35pm until May 31 9:45pm). But the Cam was still connected to the wireless AP -- the Cam continued to obtain an IP address (via DHCP) from my router every single day, and the Cam provided 'device health' updates to the Ring cloud. I gave the Cam five days to see if it would recover on its own and it did not. Rebooting the AP did not resolve the issue. I had to eventually reboot (power off/on) the Cam, which instantly was reported by the Ring app as back online.
This 'manual power reset' is totally unacceptable for a security camera, and I think this demonstrates that Ring rushed the Floodlight Cam out the door -- with critical bugs. When I contacted Ring support, they replied: "Our latest firmware update 1.6.71 was actually a hotfix to improve the algorithm for reconnecting Floodlight Cameras that are offline." -- so Ring KNEW that there is an 'offline' problem with the Floodlight Cam!
UPDATE 2017/08/16: The same thing happened to another one of my Ring Floodlight cams. The cam 'locked up' for days and would not recover on its own until it was hard power reset.
UPDATE 2018/03/29: I did not notice this problem for months, so I assumed that Ring finally fixed this bug. However, a few days ago, I received an email from someone stating their cam was 'hung' and today, one of my cams 'hung' again! THIS BUG IS NOT YET FIXED!

3. Bugs Ring must fix ASAP
  • NEW 2019/06/11: cam setup problems: On many many occasions, while setting up a new cam, the Ring app would blindly report that setup failed (without providing a reason)! So I just retry and it (usually) works. But today, setup failed over and over and over (for over three hours). I must have tried 30 times to set up the cam. Most frustrating is that I could go into my router log file and see that that cam had successfully connected (obtained an ip address) via wifi to the router a few times! From prior discussions with Ring tech support, there is no local handshake (between cam and phone app) to confirm that the cam properly setup. Instead, the cam attempts to connect to Ring servers (and so does the app), and that is how a successful setup is detected.
    It is very VERY clear that Ring still has a very significant wifi setup bug. Given the number of years that Ring has been in business, this is totally unacceptable. Rather than a generic 'setup failed' error message, Ring MUST provide DETAILED and accurate error messages on failure. This setup took place in a very congested wifi space (lots of SSID's visible). I suspect that this bug is related in some way to that fact.
  • NEW 2018/10/07: DHCP network flood: I just noticed that some of my floodlight cams were flooding the network with DHCP "get ip address" requests -- once every second instead of once every 12 hours (or so). Nothing in the network had changed (except for possibly firmware on the ring cam). Power cycling the router did not fix the problem. Power cycling the cam DID fix the problem.
    TIP: So, if your ring cam is flooding the network with DHCP requests, the first step is to power cycle the ring cam to see if that fixes the problem.

    UPDATE 2019/01/14: I am still seeing some cams make a lot more DHCP requests than they should (but not as often as a second). There is still some bug here to fix! Again, rebooting the Ring cam solves the problem (for a while).
  • NEW 2018/08/28: Nothing recorded for a week: I just noticed that one of my Ring Floodlight cams at a remote location recorded NOTHING over the last week. And going to live view resulted in only a black screen (and black recorded videos). Strangely, 'device health' in the app still functioned and said everything was OK.
    Since 'device health' was operating, I chatted with Ring and got them to remote reboot the cam, which resolved the problem. Ring must (1) add a remote reboot ability to the app (so I can reboot the cam without contacting chat) and (2) implement a watchdog timeout that looks for no recorded videos over a period of time (like 24 hours), and automatically reboots the cam on timeout.
  • NEW 2018/08/22: Pauses in every video: All recorded videos have a 'pause' of several seconds at the beginning of the video (around seconds 2 to 5) -- this affects ALL my Ring Floodlight and Elite cams at ALL locations around the country. This bug is somehow related to sound, as the problem videos also had no sound at the start of the problem videos as well (sound kicked in around 5 to 9 second mark).
    UPDATE 2018/08/27: Today it appears that all cams are once again working properly. Ring must have had an issue.

    UPDATE 2018/08/28: Ring acknowledged that a 'security issue' was blocking the start of videos, which was resolved.
  • NEW 2018/06/21: The lights on the Floodlight cam do NOT come on! With ambient light at night, the cam thinks nighttime is daytime: The lights on the Ring Floodlight cam do NOT come on with motion/recordings. The problem appears to be (update: confirmed) that the light sensor on the front of the Floodlight cam (seen below right) is tricked by the ambient light in the scene into thinking it is 'daytime', when in fact, it is clearly nighttime. If the IR LED's on the front of your Floodlight cam are OFF at night (very visible red dots), you have replicated this problem! As a result, on motion/recordings, the lights on the Ring Floodlight cam will NOT come on. UPDATE: A fix is to glue a tiny 'L' bracket over the light sensor -- that blocks direct (bright) light, but still allows ambient light to hit the sensor. Here is an example of the Ring Floodlight cam thinking it is daytime:

    Ring Light Sensor
    Click to zoom in -- Ring Floodlight cam thinks this is 'daytime'

  • NEW 2018/09/09: Repeated Ring Elite cam sound problem: My Ring Elite cam has now on numerous occasions totally lost sound recording ability. In the middle of a video, sound drops out, and on all subsequent videos, there is NO sound. The cam does NOT recover on its own. The only fix is to reboot the cam.
    UPDATE: I have not noticed this problem in quite a while. Hopefully this means that Ring has identified and fixed this bug?
  • UPDATE 2018/01/02: The lights on my Floodlight Cam 'strobe' in very cold weather: I suspect that in some (early?) revisions of the Ring Floodlight Cam, the lights on the Cam 'strobe' (or flash/pulse) in very cold weather (like 9°F), even though the Cam is technically rated for -22°F to 120°F. This first time this happened, chat support asked me to power reset the Cam. After multiple resets, the issue want away, but I now believe that was just a coincidence due to warming temperatures at the time. The next day, just as temperatures went down again to 9°F, the Cam started strobing, again. Chat support now blamed 'low voltage' (it measured normal/fine), even though the Cam is rated to work at 100-240V. A Google search reveals that other people are seeing this 'strobing' problem (a YouTube video), so this sure seems like a hardware component problem with the Cam (relay that turns lights on)?
    UPDATE 2018/01/05: This appears to be almost certainly a temperature issue with the Cam. This morning, as temperatures dropped again to 10°F, the problem came back, and more importantly, went away as temperatures warmed up!
    This behavior was replicated again due to cold temperatures on 2018/01/06 and on 2018/01/07 -- and was not replicated on 2018/01/08 when temperatures were not cold enough. For me, this verifies a temperature problem.
    At the problem location, I also have a brand new (later revision) Floodlight cam (on the same wiring) that does NOT have the strobing problem in cold temps. My guess is that Ring knows about this issue and has fixed it in later revisions of the floodlight (or that a component supplier briefly supplied a bad component)?
    Ring Floodlight Cam motion failure
    Ring Floodlight Cam fails to capture car leaving driveway
  • The Ring Floodlight Cam OFTEN fails to record motion! At one house, the Cam overlooks a driveway (with motion triggering on virtually the entire visible frame). I see the Cam record two people walking and getting into the car (right). The 63 second video ends, and there are NO other recorded videos -- even though the car then leaves, the Cam fails to capture the car leaving! I then go into a 'live view' and the car is gone!
    UPDATE: This bug now actually happens very frequently, after Ring changed the default recording time from 60 seconds to 30 seconds. I often see a video of people approaching a car in the driveway (to leave), but then there is often NO video of the car actually leaving the driveway.

    UPDATE: This bug now happens less frequently after Ring changed the 30 second videos back to 60 second videos.
  • Some 'security' incidents are simply NOT recorded at all: As a test, I turned on motion alerts on my driveway / front door Floodlight Cam and ordered Pizza. The Ring app on my phone never alerted me when the pizza was delivered to my front door and there was NO VIDEO RECORDING OF THE PIZZA DELIVERY IN THE RING CLOUD! Strangly, the Cam did record the delivery guy leaving.
    UPDATE: This still happens once in a while. I suspect the ring cam is 'hung up' and clears itself later. There is still room for improvement here.
  • Two way talk did not work at all: This feature not working is not something that I care about that much (if there is a security incident, I want the videos to go back to), but when I did test it out over several days, it did not work. Voice from app to Cam worked, but there was no voice from Cam to app (same result at all locations and tested on multiple phones).
    UPDATE: This now appears to be fixed -- so this was clearly a bug (software problem) that Ring fixed (and not a hardware problem).
  • Sound in videos is VERY problematic: Sometimes there is NO sound at all for an entire 63 second video. Other times, the first few (4-5) seconds of the video has no sound. I can find no video with sound in the first couple of seconds of the video.
    UPDATE 2018/01/04: The first several (4) seconds of videos never have sound for me. And then after that, you do get sound, but the sound is NOT synchronized to the video -- it is 'time shifted'. Ring needs to make this a priority to fix. There is no reason that audio+video can not be perfectly synchronized.

    UPDATE 2018/03/07: I noticed that most of my cams now have sound starting immediately. It appears Ring is pushing updates out that fix this issue.
  • Inability to set house address: During install, the app auto-detects your house address. It is impossible to change this auto-detected address. The app provides a way to set/change the address, but it does not work AT ALL (not during install, nor after the fact).
    UPDATE: This bug appears to be fixed.
    Ring Floodlight Cam Cloud Recording Failure
    Ring Floodlight Cam fails to record videos to the cloud
  • Cloud Recording Failure: All of a sudden, 47 days after signing up for cloud video recording (and 7 days after charging my credit card for service for 30 days), on July 11, 2017, cloud video recording for all three cams FAILED (see right). And worst of all is that Ring's status.ring.com did NOT show any problems -- which indicates that Ring's 'status' website is not accurate. This problem went away one day later.
    UPDATE: I have not seen this happen since.
  • Blank videos V1: There are Floodlight Cam videos recorded in the cloud that are 100% black (strangely, for exactly 40 seconds). Why? What failed? Ring technical support told me to just be patient and that the videos would eventually appear. I checked a week later and the videos are still black. I then checked back 38 days later and the videos are still black!
    UPDATE: This still happens one in a great while, but a LOT less frequently.
  • Blank videos V2: There are videos recorded in the cloud that are 100% white. There is sound, but NO video.
    UPDATE: I have NOT seen a repeat of this issue, so I assume Ring fixed this bug.
  • Blank videos V3: There are Floodlight Cam videos recorded in the cloud that have 25 seconds of no motion. I can see a person walking, and then that person freezes in mid stride for 25 seconds (the MP4 progress bar continues to advance), and then after 25 seconds, the person instantly vanishes. Why?
    UPDATE: I have NOT seen a repeat of this issue, so I assume Ring fixed this bug.
  • Live view has issues: Multiple times "live view" failed (app complained that it could not connect to the Cam), only to later find that the 'live' video was recorded and exists in the cloud.
    UPDATE: Live view now almost always works right away, but once in a while there are still problems.

    Clearly behind the scenes Ring must know WHERE the problem is. Be much more customer friendly and disclose to the end user what went wrong. I would rather see an accurate error message rather than a blank black screen.
    Ring Floodlight Cam Cloud Favorites Failure
    Ring Floodlight Cam Favorites Failure
  • 'Favorites via web browser do not work -- at all: The Ring interface has the ability to mark videos as a 'favorite'. One day I selected favorites and saw them all. The next day, I clicked on favorites and not a single video showed up! Ring instead displayed a "You don't have any favorites. To add a favorite click the star icon next to an event." This bug was with the web interface, not the phone app.
    UPDATE: This is still a bug and is NOT FIXED. It looks like in the web interface, the 'filters' only get applied to the events that are in the 'downloaded' event list on the screen -- a huge design flaw. Because the list on the screen typically only displays a day (or hours) of event activity. So any event from yesterday, or before, is NOT found.

    Ring Web Interface is not formatted properly
  • Web Interface formatting: There are major formatting (too much white space; video too small) problems in the web interface used to review captured videos. To the right is an example of what I see in my web browser on a Dell notebook PC with a 1920×1080 display.
    UPDATE: This is long-standing bug that is still NOT FIXED.

    UPDATE: Ring changed the web interface, but the revised version is now MUCH WORSE. I can't scroll through the list of motion events because of some scrolling bug. When I click on the list of my devices, the list goes off the bottom of the screen, so I can only select half of my devices. And there is still tons of unused white space. Ring's graphical user interface designer should be fired.
  • Power outage problem: After a power outage, the lights turn on and STAY on. You must MANUALLY turn off the lights via the Ring app. Very annoying! Apparently this is a 'feature' for people who want to hook up the cam to a real light switch (turning the lights and recording on/off at will) -- but this ignores the most common use of the cam (a 'security' product that is ALWAYS ON).
    Honestly, how many people buy an expensive 'security' Cam just so they can turn the lights on the cam on and off with a light switch? Ring needs to make this a configurable setting in the app (after a power failure, turn lights on: yes/no).

    UPDATE 2018/09/12: Just noticed that this appears fixed. After a power outage, the lights on the cam come on for a few minutes, and then turn off.
  • Motion Zones are NOT accurate: Configure motion zones on a phone with a 2220×1080 screen and then review the zones on a phone with a 2560×1440 screen -- and the motion zones have MOVED. Because the zones 'move' depending upon the aspect ratio of the phone screen being used, who knows what motion zones the Ring Cam actually uses! Below is the SAME motion zone on two different phones. So is the motion zone (that the Cam uses) to the edge of the video frame or past the edge of the video frame -- who knows?
    UPDATE 2018/06/25: I just noticed that this issue appears fixed. Not sure when the fix was implemented, or how accurate the fix is.
  • The Ring cams require a GREAT Wifi signal: The cams don't work at a distance that my notebook computer still works great. The Ring cams apparently require a GREAT Wifi signal (70% signal strength or better) in order to work properly.
    Ring should consider adding wired ethernet to all of its 'wired' (plugged into electricity) devices. Second best would be to add 5 GHz support to ALL cams.
  • Zoom: You can 'zoom' into 'live view' video on the phone app, but if you playback any previously captured video, you can NOT zoom in. Annoying.
    UPDATE 2018/01/22: I noticed today that I can now zoom into video playback!
  • No 5GHz Wi-Fi DFS channel support: UPDATE 2019/01/18: I just noticed that my Ring Doorbell Pro cam has problems connecting to my router when the router uses DFS channels (A router is fully permitted to use DFS channels when the router detects that the frequency is open and available). I was shocked when Ring responded with "Our devices aren't compatible with DFS frequencies." Surprised, I chatted with Ring a second time and the resonse was: "We do not support DFS channels at this time." That means that Ring does not support 67% of the available 5GHz Wi-Fi channels (channel list), and if your router uses one of those channels, the Ring cam will NOT connect to it!
    It is interesting to note that the 'tech specs' for the Ring cams state: "802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi connection @ 2.4GHz and 5.0GHz". But upon closer inspection, notice that support for 802.11ac is NOT listed. Most people when they see that "5Ghz" wifi is supported will naturally think of the standard 5GHz wifi (802.11ac) -- but that is NOT the case! Buyer beware.

4. Other issues Rings must fix

  • Ring app thinks PoE/Ethernet is wireless
    Bugs repeatedly reported for YEARS are not fixed: I installed a Ring Elite cam in 2017 and ran into a bug in the app -- Under "Device Health", the app reports that the cam is connected via "Ring-Wireless" wifi (with an impossibly bad RSSI -256 signal strength), but the cam is really connected via PoE/Ethernet (seen right). I REPEATEDLY reported this bug to Ring (chat, the CTO, the COO, and others) over the years (2017, 2018, 2019). But as of August 2019, the bug still remains. And worse yet, this bug now happens for Ring's newest Stick Up Cam Wired.

  • Sometimes "1080p Video" is only 720p, 480p, or even 360p! Bizarrely, some of my cams that have been producing 1920x1080 videos for years, have recently started to produce 720p, 480p and even 360p videos! I can fully understand a transient network issue causing this, but Ring must 'adapt back to normal' much faster!
    Don't get me wrong. If the cam must use a lower bitrate, the image quality at high resolution is horrible. Dropping resolution (720p, 480p, etc) results in a much better end result. The problem I have is that Ring cams don't adjust back to normal 1080p fast enough.
  • Floodlight Cam hardware component (sound) failure: Several of my floodlight cams have all failed with the exact SAME problem -- no more sound in recorded videos. And because this has happened to multiple Floodlight cams, not just one, that tells me that Ring likely has the same hardware component failing in all cams -- namely, a defective hardware component (microphone/amp/???).

  • Ring MUST STOP the 'blame game': Read this entire paper and something stands out. Ring chat/support always blames something other than their camera for problems (almost always blaming poor wifi signal strength). But in reality, the Ring cam (firmware) or app (software) has almost always been to blame.
    I have even had Ring tech support blame wifi -- for a cam using PoE / Ethernet.

  • The missing ethernet jack: Quite simply, the Ring Floodlight Cam is missing an ethernet jack. Tech support would not listen to my 'video quality' concerns until the RSSI on my Cam was at least -44 (or better). The only way I could obtain this RSSI was to install a wireless access point right next to (just feet away) the Cam. Which meant I had to run ethernet cable to the Cam. So I now have the Cam outside, and a wireless AP inside, less than two foot away from the Cam. That is crazy. Just provide an ethernet jack on the Floodlight Cam at that point!
    And then any cam providing an ethernet jack should also support PoE (if possible, given power requirements)!

    It turns out that Ring IS coming out with a new stick up cam in mid October 2018 that can be powered over ethernet!

  • Speed Test Problems: The Ring phone app sends people to bandwidthplace.com to test Internet connection speeds. But something is very wrong with that site -- as the site reported I had a download speed of 3 Mbps, whereas two other speed test sites reported a correct 120 Mbps.
    I was told by Ring that bandwidthplace.com is known to be inaccurate, but Ring is still using that site. I personally use speedtest.xfinity.com because Comcast has tons of bandwidth (they are the biggest broadband company in the US), and their speed test has always (so far) provide me with accurate speed test results, even on mobile devices.
  • Pulsing in Videos: When Floodlight Cam videos are played back on a large (non-phone) screen, there is a very noticeable 'pulsing/stutter' in the video every second. This may be a real issue, or just related to the incredibly low MP4 video stream bitrate?
    As of Jan 2018, the 'pulsing' in videos is still there, but is not as noticeable with a 2 Mbps MP4 bitrate. Ring needs to find out why this is happening -- there should be NO noticeable periodic 'pulsing' in videos, which indicates an algorithm error.
  • Firmware upgrade: The steps Ring publishes to upgrade the firmware in the Cam don't work. Why not simply add a button into the app to do this? Also, there should be a button in the app to 'reboot' the Cam.
    Sadly Ring has removed Firmware version information from the app -- and now only just displays "Up to Date" for the Firmware version.
  • Time gaps: There is some strange maximum video length of 63 seconds, and motion immediately after that may not trigger a recording to the cloud. With motion events longer than 63 seconds, I see a 63 second video recorded, then nothing (no other video). OR, I see a 63 second video, and then another video that starts many seconds later (a time gap).
    2017/07/07 UPDATE: The Ring Floodlight Cam appears to have switched to a maximum video length of around 31 seconds, which now makes this issue even more pronounced. I now see a lot more missing time gaps between videos.

    UPDATE: At some point in later 2017, Ring switched back to 60 second videos.
    It is bizarre that Ring cuts off videos at 63 seconds when it clearly knows there is still 'motion' in the video. Rather than creating a second 63 second video (with a several second gap between the videos), just keep the first video going!
  • Ignoring 5 GHz: Ring (tech support, their app, etc) does not understand the 5 GHz wifi exists and is very common. Support will ask you to run tests against your wireless router, but then they don't check (verify) to see if you are actually connected at 2.4 GHz (most devices, when faced with a dual band router, prefer to connect at 5 GHz instead of 2.4 GHz). So when Ring asks you to test speeds, you may be testing 5 GHz speeds, not 2.4 GHz speeds, and not even know it!
    Apparently the Ring Doorbell Pro/Elite are (currently) the only Ring device that DO support 5G. I have not yet tested these devices on 5G. UPDATE 2018/03/28: I have just tested the Ring Doorbell Pro on 5 GHz and it appears to work very well (wifi speed between router and cam is very fast).

    All Ring devices must support 5GHz. I don't know if it is true (if it would translate to Ring devices), but everyone claims that at least on phones, 5 GHz is MUCH more power/battery efficient than 2.4 GHz.
  • MIMO: When I asked tech support if the Floodlight Cam supported MIMO (and if so, should I buy a MIMO wireless AP), the answer was 'that is proprietary and internal information we can not disclose'. That attitude hurts Ring customers. Because if the Ring cams do actually support MIMO, that helps in deciding which MIMO (or not) access point to purchase.
    In a chat in Dec 2017, Ring admitted that Ring Cams DO NOT support MIMO! But I don't know if that is true, because sometimes, tech support that I have received via chat has been horribly wrong.

    Regardless, MIMO is very important because it is a direct bandwidth multiplier (and consequently, it also cuts transmit time 50%, 66%, or even 75%). I hope that when Ring designs 'version two' of their products, that they include 5 GHz support in everything, with full MIMO support.
  • Mbps: Floodlight Cam product documentation inside the product box states "For an optimal experience, we recommend Internet speeds of at least 1Mbps", but the Ring website in the 'Floodlight Cam FAQ' states "For best streaming performance, we recommend 2 Mbps upload and download speeds". And yet with a verified 6Mbps up internet connection, the Ring Floodlight Cam refuses to use more than 1Mbps, resulting in horrible video quality. Something is going on here that Ring must fix ASAP...
    UPDATE 2018/11/01: I now see some of my cams regularly using 3.0 Mbps for video, which is GREAT for video quality. And nothing has changed in my Internet or network, which clearly demonstrates just how much Ring cam firmware is solely responsible for video quality issues.

    UPDATE 2018/04/02: I now see some of my cams using 2.5 Mbps, which again dramatically improves video quality.

    UPDATE: Ring has changed something as the Cams now do seem to use 2Mbps instead of 1Mbps, which has dramatically improved video quality.

    Now Ring, PLEASE provide a setting that allows me to customize the Mbps rate for each of my cams! I want to tune the Mbps rate on a per-Cam basis. Many I would set to 2.5 Mbps. And a couple I would set to 4 Mbps.
  • WiFi Roaming: I just found out that Ring devices are dumb (Ring support told me this) when it comes to multiple wireless access points with the same SSID (wifi roaming). Ring devices just blindly connect to any random AP with a matching SSID and do not pay attention to the signal strength (or effective bandwidth; or if the AP has a working internet connection) of the AP. Most client devices (phone, tablets, notebook computers, etc), DO automatically (smartly) switch.
    UPDATE 2018/01/01: I was told by Ring (but I have not yet tested) that a Ring cam 'will roam to the strongest signal IF it determines the signal it is on is not adequate' -- but I have not yet tested nor verified this.

    Why this matters: Because Ring devices can connect to a far away weak/slow AP when there is a strong/fast AP right next to (installed just feet away from) the Ring device! This actually happened to me, which is why I discovered this issue.

    Also, it sure would be nice if the Ring devices were smart enough to 'hunt' for an access point with the best internet connection speed. Consider the case of many access points, all with the same SSID, and maybe one AP of many has no internet.
  • Video Size is NOT 1920×1080: Why does this MP4 analyzer report that the video stream in Ring Floodlight Cam MP4's is 1909.89×1080. The result under Windows on a 1920×1080 display is a visible black vertical bar (around 5 to 6 pixels) on the left and right side of the display. For some reason, this impacts Floodlight cams, but not some of Ring's other doorbell cams. Strange.

  • Motion Alerts are SO slow: Why does it take several (3+) SECONDS for my phone to alert me to motion on a Cam? This instead should easily be nearly instantaneous.
    I can connect to and download an entire simple web page in less than 0.623 seconds with 2.4 GHz wireless (duckware.com home page using Google Chrome, 24 requests, and looking at the F12 Network waterfall). So Ring sending a simple notification from the Cam into the 'cloud' and back to a phone should actually be much faster than this. So why is it so slow?
  • Alphabetic ordering of Cam names: In the phone app, Cams are grouped first by doorbell cams, then by security cams, and then alphabetic within each group. Annoying since I have fourteen Ring cams.
    This issue was mostly resolved when the Ring app implemented camera previews. I can now tap/hold and move and reorder the cams as I see fit.
  • Random ordering of cams in web interface: In the web browser interface, cameras are ordered randomly. With lots of cameras, this makes selecting a single camera frustrating (manually searching a list).

    Processing Done Indicator
  • Videos are still being processed indicator: The app prevents you from clicking on a video that is still being processed in the cloud (it does not put a 'right arrow' on the video until it is ready). However, the web app puts a 'right arrow' on every video, even those still processing in the cloud -- and you then get a "This video is processing" error message.

5. Analyzing Ring's MP4's
MP4 Analyzer: Use this online web based MP4 analyzer to analyze Ring MP4 vidoes. Or, try this online MP4 file parser.

Audio+Video: Ring's MP4's have a single video track and a two channel audio track. The audio tracks use the mp4a.40.2 codec and results in an overhead of around 102.3 kbps. The remaining bits in the MP4 (minus a little overhead) effectively goes to the video track.
So just knowing the file size of a Ring MP4, and video length, you can quickly assume 102.3 kbps for audio, and the rest of the kbps to video (without using the analyzer above).
Ring changed MP4 encoding parameters! Analyzing Ring MP4's from May 2017 vs recent MP4's in Jan 2018, it is clear that Ring changed MP4 encoding parameters. In May 2017, videos were encoded at 30fps with a keyframe every 250 frames, or 8.33 seconds. But now in Jan 2018, videos are encoded at 15fps with a keyframe still every 250 frames, but this is now every 16.66 seconds.

Video quality improved dramatically in late 2017: The combined effect of Ring (1) doubling the MP4 bitrate (1Mbps to 2Mbps) and (2) halving the frame rate (30 to 15) resulted in video quality improving dramatically!
When I first installed my Floodlight Cam, a MP4 from the Cam had a video bitrate of 636 kbps and an audio bitrate of 102 kbps. After getting Ring to change to Cam from 'auto' to '1080p', the video bitrate increased to around 950 kbps. In Jan 2018, the video bitrate was upwards of 1660 kbps.

Another big jump: And now in April 2018, I regularly see video bitrates around 2.5 Mbps.

Another jump: And now in November 2018, I see some of the cam video bitrates around 3.0 Mbps.

But, a reduction! But now in early 2019, most cam bitrates are now 2.4 Mbps.
Ring is IMPROVING the MP4 bitrate over time: Ring cam video quality has improved dramatically over time. At least for my cams, I saw a clear change from Ring using around 0.75 Mbps in upload bandwidth in May 2017, to using around 2.0 Mbps in upload bandwidth in late 2017. Then again in early 2018, some cams appear to now use around 2.5 Mbps in upload bandwidth. Ring must change all cams to use 3 Mbps.

WARNING/NOTE: The MP4's that we see are transcoded MP4's (produced by Ring in the cloud). What format Ring uses from the Cams to the clould is not necessarily known.


6. Use those Ring provided stickers!
Ring Sticker
This information is NOT legal advice, and should NOT be construed or considered as legal advice.

Can you legally record audio? This legal situation is very well understood when you are one of the parties being recorded. Search Google for one-party vs two-party states. However, what if you are recording a third party, and you are not present (or do not answer the ring call on your phone), so you are not a party to what is being recorded?

Can you then (when you are not present) legally record audio? If the audio recording is not disclosed, then no, you absolutely can NOT legally record audio.

Implied concent: Audio recording in a 'security' setting seems to all come down to 'implied consent'. If your use of a video and audio recording device (Ring Cam) is prominent and obvious (so do NOT hide the Cam!), and it is disclosed that you are recording audio, then any third party that stays around to be audio recorded is deemed to have given 'implied consent' for you to record their audio.

Disclosure is key: So DISCLOSE that you are recording audio by using those Ring provided stickers (seen upper right) -- which provide notice and discloses that both audio and video surveillance is taking place!

I find it a little more than interesting how many local police departments / communities are endorsing Ring cams, many offering incentives and discounts for purchases in exchange for a promise from homeowners to turn over recorded videos when there is security incident. That says a lot about this 'recording sound' issue!

UPDATE 2019/08/12: However, equally interesting is that Ring just changed their systems to allow audio recording for a camera to be turned OFF (seen upper right)!

7. My 2.4 GHz wifi setup procedure for Ring Cams
Netgear WiFi Analytics Logo
WiFi Analyzer
Site Survey / Channel usage: Understand what other wifi devices are visible at your install location (and what channels are being used). There are lots of free apps and tools that do this. One great tool for your phone is WiFi Analyzer. Another tool is Netgear's "WiFi Analytics" app.
Or, under Windows, go into a DOS command prompt and type "netsh wlan show networks mode=bssid" to see similar information.

Quite frankly, the 2.4 GHz band is WAY too crowded to reliably support 'realtime' video. I often see 20+ SSID show up in scans, which is crazy. And that is at the end of a cul-de-sac (no homes on one side of me). And strangely, this is why the 5 GHz wifi band is actually much better! Since 5 GHz has a reduced range (over 2.4 GHz), you simply will not see, and will NOT have to compete/share the wireless band with as many neighbors (you might very well get the band all to yourself)!

So paradoxically, the reduced range of 5 GHz actually is a huge benefit for everyone -- as everyone can then have their own wifi band to themselves, that is NOT shared with neighbors!
WiFi Analyzer Access Points
WiFi Analyzer Access Points
RSSI: Next, at the proposed Ring Cam installation point, understand what RSSI (wifi received signal strength) will probably be for the Ring Cam -- by holding your phone at the Ring Cam installation location, with the WiFi Analyzer app running and take note of the RSSI (dBm) value for your router / access point. Note that Ring Cams need a RSSI of -64 or better to operate properly.
TIP: And make sure that you are looking at 2.4 GHz access points (channels 1 to 11) and not 5 GHz access points (channels 36 to 165). Also, the advantage of the phone app is that you can physically move your phone to the Ring Cam installation point -- like against a wall for a doorbell Cam, or up high for the FloodLight Cam, etc.

My experience is that the RSSI observed by the phone will be very close to the RSSI observed by the Ring Cam. Very nice for planning before you purchase a Cam.
Install a new WiFi Access Point: If RSSI is poor, you will need to move your existing wifi router closer to the Ring Cam. Or, if that is not possible, you will need to add another wifi access point closer to the Ring Cam installation point. If possible, always connect the access point to your main router via wired ethernet.
TIP: In most cases, regardless of RSSI, I install a new access point. This allows me to set/fix a wifi channel in the AP that is unique/different from the wifi in the rest of the house. In this way, the AP servicing the Ring Cam gets its own dedicated wifi channel, and is NOT impacted by heavy wifi use on other wifi channels at the house (but it could be impacted by neighbors)! I have been buying a new "wave 2" 5GHz router for the main house and then repurposing the old router as an access point for the Ring cam. I then move as many wifi devices in the house as possible onto the new 5 GHz band (and off the 2.4 GHz band).
Ring Cams work best with a very strong wifi signal. Yes, they do work with an 'OK' wifi signal, but I use Ring Cams as a 'security' device, and I want to guarantee very strong (reliable) signal for the Cam.
Extenders: I avoid wifi extenders at all cost. By definition, they consume wifi bandwidth to accomplish their task (receive a wifi signal and then retransmit that same wifi signal). It is for this reason that I would never use a Ring Chime Pro to 'extend' wifi range for a cam. Whenever possible, always run wired ethernet and add a new 'access point'.

If you need to purchase an AP: Most routers today have the option to be configured as an 'access point'. So buy an inexpensive 2.4 Ghz only 'router' and configure it as an 'access point', meant to be used only by the Ring Cam. I have been picking up Netgear JNR3210's (a N300 Gigabit router) for under $20 on eBay.
QoS: In my main router (not AP), I set up a 'Quality of Service' rule to give 'highest' priority to the MAC address of the Ring Cam. In this way, heavy wifi/wired internet use by a family member should NOT negatively impact the Ring Cam (because the router will give priority to the Ring Cam over the rest of the house, on conflicts).


8. The KEY for Ring cam success
THE KEY: A great wifi signal. A great wifi signal. A great wifi signal. Get it? Ring cams require a GREAT wifi signal -- between the cam and your router / access point:
1) Ensure a strong wifi signal: Install a Wifi Analyzer on your phone, and place your phone at various Ring cam installation spots -- and select a spot with the best / strongest wifi signal (or move your router, or add an access point)! A "dBm" value of -40 or -50 (or better) is great. A dBm value of -60 is at the limit of being OK. But a dBm value of -70 (or worse) is not good (for Ring cams).
TIP: You can avoid all wifi issues by using a Ring cam that supports PoE. Currently, there are two such cams: (1) Video Doorbell Elite, and (2) Stick Up Cam Wired.
2) Verify good Mbps throughput: There is a new troubleshooting section below that helps you to verify good Mbps throughput. This allows you to find where upload speeds are slow -- as slow upload speeds somewhere are a major cause of Ring cam quality problems.
TIP: Ring says "Requires a minimum upload speed of 1Mbps, but 2 Mbps is recommended for optimal performance". BUT, Ring cams use around 2.5 Mbps upload bandwidth per cam NOW (July 2019), and in the future, will likely use 3+ Mbps per cam. So, budget 4+ Mbps upload bandwidth per Ring cam.
3) Wait for firmware update: Do NOT immediately interact with the cam after installing and setting up the cam! It is very hard to not immediately play around, but WAIT (usually just only minutes) and give the cam time to update its software (firmware). Wait until the firmware version in the "device health" in the app shows "Up to date" -- and THEN start playing around.

4) Leave your network alone: Give your Ring cam time to detect your network conditions and 'ramp up' the video Mbps rate to higher quality settings (I have seen the ramp up take place in one afternoon, but it may take days). The video bitrate right after installing your cam will likely be low (around 1.0 Mbps) -- but after a day or so, the Mbps will be much higher (like around 2.5 Mbps provided your network supports that). Ring appears to allow a faster ramp up for cams connected PoE/ethernet vs cams connected wirelessly.

9. Troubleshooting -- Where is the upload speed slow?
Ring RSSI
UPDATE: Ring app RSSI information
UPDATE 2018/04/01: The Ring app now says that a RSSI of "-60 or higher" is just fine. See the screen snapshot from the Ring app, seen right. However, RSSI is only half the story. Since wireless is a shared resource, the other half of the story is actual observed throughput (you could have a great RSSI value, but poor throughput, if the wireless channel is too congested). RSSI is like the speed limit on a road -- knowing the speed limit is very misleading during 'rush hour' times (when things come to a crawl).

The problem: Most Ring cam problems (choppy audio/video, unable to 'live view', etc) in my experience are caused by the cam experiencing slow upload (Mbps) speeds (which results in packet loss). So the key question is: Where is the upload speed slow? Is the upload speed slow (1) from your cam to your network, or (2) from your network to your ISP?

STEP ONE: Test Internet upload bandwidth: First, connect a PC wired (not wireless) to your router and run several different speed tests. Refer to the "Other HTML5 Speed Tests" section on cfspeed.com. I find that Google Fiber and Comcast often provide the best (most accurate) speed test results.
The goal is to have a reliable Internet UPLOAD speed of at least 4 Mbps per camera. And hopefully you will have actual upload speeds well above that. It is now very common to see ISP uploads speeds of at least 12 Mbps.
ping 62500 bytes
msMbpsPHY
8127195
1285130
166398
214772
244265
273858
362843
531929
711422
107914
21457
MAC efficiency 65%
STEP TWO: Test cam speed to/from your network: Second, connect a PC wired (not wireless) to your router and run a large sized ping test to the IP address of your cam (if you don't know the IP address, look at your router's 'attached devices' list). Under Windows, go into a DOS window and type "ping -n 10 -l 62500 cam-ip-address", and take note of the minimum "ms" time result observed. Then divide this observed "ms" time into 1000 to obtain the approximate Mbps speed to and from the cam (see table right).
For example, on one of my Floodlight cams with a RSSI of -56, I saw a ping test result of 22ms, which means 1000/22 or 45 Mbps. Please note that this Mbps value is actual throughput. Actual throughput is around 55% to 75% PHY wireless speed -- so PHY wireless Mbps speed is around 133% to 181% of actual throughput Mbps. Understanding wifi speeds.

Next run the ping test above several times. Are the ms times seen relatively flat or all over the place? ms times 'relatively flat' implies the cam has wifi mostly to itself. ms times 'all over the place' implies that there is wifi contention / interference / etc.

In my testing, I have never seen a Ring cam connect to a router at anything other than a single 20 MHz 802.11n wifi channel. And since Ring cams have a single antenna (no MIMO), that means a maximum PHY speed of 72 Mbps and maximum actual throughput of 'around' 47 Mbps!

Some Ring cams reportedly do support 40 MHz channels, but I have not seen that happen.

This computed Mbps contains overhead (up to several milliseconds), and therefore is an underestimate of the actual Mbps, but that is OK and intentional. Also, this test assumes that the speed wirelessly to the cam is roughly the same as the wireless speed from the cam (which may not be true in all situations).

The Mbps math is: "62500×2×8/1000000 / ((ms-overhead)/1000)", which simplifies to "1000/(ms-overhead)". And since we are OK with a small underestimate of the true Mbps speed, we can set the unknown 'overhead' to zero, resulting in a final calculation of: "1000/ms" (actual Mbps speed is this value, or larger).

NOTE/WARNING: If a ping of size 62500 to your cam fails, just use any large ping size that works and then use the full Mbps formula.

A final note: Because Ring cams use wireless (a shared resource), upload throughput will change over time as other people (or even neighbors) use the same wireless channel.
STEP THREE: Test speeds to/from other points in the network: There are many other points in the network along the path to the internet, so use the ping test above to test to each one of these points. Some of these devices may not like large pings, so start with a normal sized ping and gradually work up to the largest size that works. In each of these tests, you should see solid ms times with no lost packets. These steps were written to work with most home internet connections (but your internet connection may be different):
  • Access Point (AP): If your cam is connecting to an access point (and not the wireless in your main router), test to the ip address of the AP while connected to the wifi of the AP. If under Windows, use "netsh wlan show interfaces" and confirm that the BSSID your PC is connected to is a MAC address from the AP. Because for this test, you want your PC connected (wirelessly) to the AP and not wireless device like your main router.

  • Router: To find the ip address of your router, run a "ping -i 1 8.8.8.8" and take note of the device replying with a "TTL expired in transit". The ip address will be something like 192.168.1.1, 10.0.0.1, or similar. If under Windows, this ip address should match the "Default Gateway" reported by running "ipconfig".
    TIP: Unless you really know what you are doing, you may end up connecting your PC to a wifi AP that is different than what you cam is using. This is especially a concern if your 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz wireless bands have the same SSID name. Maybe temporarily rename other SSIDs to something different and unique so your cam (and you) connect to the same (only one possible) SSID.
  • Modem: If you have a separate modem (not a router+modem integrated into a single device), 192.168.100.1 is a very common ip address for modems. To test and verify, go into a web browser and type in an address of "http://192.168.100.1" -- do you get a web page from your modem?

  • First Internet Hop: Use "ping -i 2 8.8.8.8" and take note of the ip address reporting "TTL expired in transit". Note that speeds to this ip address are most often asymmetric (download speed is much faster than upload speed), so what matters more than absolute "ms" timing is seeing consistent "ms" reply times and NO dropped packets. In a cable system, this hop is often times the CMTS.

  • Ring Servers: Ring uses AWS (Amazon Web Services). It would be very unusual, but possible, for your ISP to have peering problems with AWS.


10. Contact
You can contact the author of this review by using this contact form.






(A) 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz wifi
These sections have grown so much that they have been moved to their own post.



(B) Avoid Ring's PoE adapter
Ring PoE
Ring PoE
The bottom line: Don't buy Ring's PoE adapter (seen right) -- not because it does not work, but because it only supports ONE camera. Instead, it is a LOT smarter to buy a PoE switch (for the same price!) that supports four or more cams. Because if you buy one PoE cam and like it, you will buy another one.

Ring's PoE cams: In October 2018, Ring released V2 of their Stick Up Cam wired. A significant improvement is that the 'wired' version of this cam supports PoE (power over ethernet). The only other Ring cam that (currently) supports PoE is the Ring Elite doorbell cam. Hopefully this is a very good sign and indicates that Ring will continue to add PoE into their (wired) cams!
PoE's huge advantage: No wireless issues whatsoever! Both power and ethernet enter the cam via a single Cat5 cable. Hopefully Ring will add PoE/ethernet jacks into all future 'wired' cams.

Amcrest PoE+ Switch
Amcrest PoE+ Switch
TIP: Avoid Ring's own PoE adapter because the adapter only supports a SINGLE cam. Because what if you have four Ring PoE cams? Do you really want four Ring PoE adapters (each one with an electrical plug) -- No! The solution is to just use ONE PoE+ switch (note: 802.3at, NOT 802.3af) that supports multiple PoE cams. In the past, I have successfully used a four-port AMPS5E4P-AT-65 to power all of my Ring cams. Just make sure to buy a PoE+ switch with enough ports to meet your needs.
Warning: Do NOT get a 'passive' PoE injector. Instead you want a true ethernet network switch (802.3at standard) with 4 (or more) PoE+ ports.

My Ring PoE cams use 4 Watts: When I asked Ring how many 'watts' their PoE cams use (or alternatively, what power class the cam is in), Ring was unable to answer the question! So after receiving the cams, I hooked up a Kill-A-Watt electricity meter, which indicated that the new Ring Stick Up Cam wired (V2 2018) and AMPS5E4P-AT-65 together uses around 4 watts (with IR on; less with IR off).

(C) Long Reach PoE
Long Reach PoE Test
Long reach PoE test
Ring PoE cams: A single CAT5 cable both (1) powers the cam and (2) provides wired Ethernet to the cam. But the maximum distance that PoE Ethernet should be run is just over 300 feet.

1000 feet: I had a unique Ring PoE Cam installation requirement -- install the PoE cam over 1000 feet away from the router (at a security gate), but with NO electrical power available along the way nor at the destination (camera) end!
UPDATE: Some 10/100 PoE+ switches now come with an 'extend' switch, that when enabled, claim to support PoE up to 800 feet but only at 10 Mbps speeds. I was looking for a solution that could provide Fast Ethernet speeds at 1000 feet.
Solution: I found a 'long reach ethernet' device that actually works great AND is able to power a PoE device (the Ring PoE cam) at the far end: Planet LRP-101C-KIT PoE Over Coax Extender Kit [Datasheet].
UPDATE: The first thing I did is TEST. I took the 1000' spool of coax, added ends, connected everything up, and the Ring cam worked right away (see photo right). I also ran a speed test and got the Fast Ethernet speeds I was looking for. After this successful test, I dug a trench from the house to the security gate, buried the coax in conduit, connected it all back up and everything has been running rock solid since Nobember 2017.
I then power everything (both Planet extender boxes and the Ring PoE cam at the far end) with a single 802.3at PoE+ switch (I used a AMPS5E4P-AT-65) at the source end (Note: 802.3at PoE+, not 802.3af PoE).
Long reach Ethernet

(D) Ring's DFS channel problem
I own several Ring Video Doorbell Pro cams and they all have problems connecting to a router/AP setup on DFS (5 GHz) channels 52 to 144.
My cams were installed in 2017. In mid 2018, Ring came out with a new hardware revision of the Ring Video Doorbell Pro cam. One way to tell which hardware revision you have is by looking at the FCC ID stamped on the cam label. The first hardware revision is 2AEUPBHALP011. The second hardware revision is 2AEUPBHALP021.
Expected 25 channels: Ring says that their 'Video Doorbell Pro' DOES support 802.11n in 5 GHz. And since there are 25 channels in 5 GHz for 802.11n, support for all 25 channels was expected.

Ring FCC filings disclose the limitation: But according to documents Ring filed with the FCC for that cam, the cam only supports four lower channels (36,40,44,48) and five upper channels (149,153,157,161,165) -- leaving ALL 16 remaining channels in between unsupported. [all channels list]
But what is bizarre is that Ring technical supports says that the cam DOES support DFS channels (even though Ring chat says the cam does not) -- even insisting that internal testing at Ring shows the cam working on DFS channels. But this same tech person could NOT be my cam working on DFS channels.
Testing confirms the problem: And first hand testing confirms the problem with the Ring Video Doorbell Pro. When I configured my AP to use DFS channels, the Ring cam refused to connect to it.

Why? Is this a cam problem? Is this a FCC filing problem? Or is it something else? We won't know until Ring figures this out.


(E) Decoding Ring Serial Numbers
Ring S/N: "BHPPYYWWFFXXXXXX"
BH = Company: BH=Bot Home Automation (aka: Ring)
PP = Product: SW=Stick Up Cam Wired, F1=Floodlight Cam, etc
YY = Year manufactured: 18=2018, 19=2019, etc
WW = Week manufactured
FF = Factory location/code: CH=Chicony, HZ=Huizho, LH=Long Huan, etc
XXXXXX = Unique ID
[Source: FCC filed document]


(F) Ring's FCC information
View all recent FCC filings by Ring LLC. Here are some of Ring's products:
DateFCC IDRing ProductS/N PPPoE
2019/07/11 2AEUPBHASC071 Stick Up Cam Lite SL -
2019/06/20 2AEUPBHAFL011 Floodlight Cam (V2) F2 -
2019/05/24 2AEUPBHADV001 Door View Cam RV -
2018/08/21 2AEUPBHASC051 Stick Up Cam Wired SW YES
2018/03/06 2AEUPBHALP021 Video Doorbell Pro (V2) -
2017/03/28 2AEUPBHAFL001 Floodlight Cam (V1) F1 -
2017/05/11 2AEUPBHAJB001 Video Doorbell Elite J1 YES
2016/04/27 2AEUPBHALP011 Video Doorbell Pro (V1) L1 -
Decoding Ring FCC ID's: All Ring FCC ID's start with the "2AEUP" prefix, as that means "Ring LLC". Next, "BHA" means "Bot Home Automation". Next is a five character code identifing the type of Ring camera.


(G) Ring's FCC problem?
Due to all of the 5 GHz wifi problems that I have had with Ring products, I decided to test Ring's new Stick Up Cam Wired via wifi -- and it seemed to work (just to test wifi, as I only use that cam with PoE). However, something was unexpected. The cam connected to my router, which uses a DFS channel.

But according to all the documents Ring has filed with the FCC, the Stick Up Cam Wired does NOT support DFS channels. I double checked, and sure enough, the cam had connected using a DFS channel. That implies that the Ring Stick Up Cam Wired is operating outside of FCC approved frequencies.

I notified Ring executives of the problem on July 25, 2019 and they said they would look into it.

Clearly, the long-term solution for Ring is to have their cams support all 5 GHz wifi channels, AND for Ring to file the appropriate paperwork with the FCC to use DFS channels/frequencies.

Only time will tell to see how this is resolved...


(H) Ring Video Doorbell Pro V1 Recall?
Ring Video Doorbell Pro
Ring Video Doorbell Pro
What is going on (what is wrong) with the Ring Video Doorbell Pro version 1 hardware?
If you installed a Ring Video Doorbell Pro before the Spring of 2018, you almost certainly installed V1 hardware. V1 hardware has FCC ID of "2AEUPBHALP011"
I have to ask because Ring has REPEATEDLY offered to upgrade my two Ring Video Doorbell Pro cams to the latest version (version 2 hardware) for FREE -- even though I am well past the one year warranty.

And I have repeatedly asked Ring for what exactly has changed between version 1 and version 2 hardware, and all I get is a non-answer answer. Because if the change was minor, why waste my time upgrading. However, given how insistent Ring has been at trying to get me to upgrade (for free, past my one year warranty), I have to assume that something is wrong with V1 hardware.

And even when I contact Ring to discuss a problem with a different cam, Ring offers to upgrade my other two cams for free.

Something is definitely going on.

While Ring has NOT publicly announced a recall for this cam (that I am aware of or seen), Ring's behavior to replace V1 cams for FREE with V2 hardware sure feels like an attempt to get all of those V1 cams back in-house and replaced with V2 hardware -- and that feels like a recall!


(I) Stealing Ring camera video feeds
Background: Today Aug 18, 2019 I received an email from someone describing a very distressing situation. This person caught an estranged spouse on camera standing on their vehicle, resetting a Ring camera, and all of a sudden, the Ring cam was GONE from their Ring account! And the spouse tried to do the same thing to a second cam, but failed. Clearly, somehow, the spouse had transferred the Ring cam to a new Ring account. When Ring was contacted for help, Ring refused to help (refused to get cam ownership back) because the cam was now 'owned' by someone else.

Shocking test results: So I decided to test this for myself. I created a new Ring account, and 'setup' a camera that was already owned (by me; the cam listed under a different Ring account). IT WORKED. The camera was GONE from my primary Ring account. I contacted Ring asked them to restore my 'stolen' camera. But Ring said that they could NOT change ownership of cams -- and that the only way for me to get the cam back was to set the camera up again!
Given that I use Ring cams to keep tabs on remote locations (that I am not at), Ring's attitude of 'oh well, just set the cam up again' does not work (since I am clearly not at the cam).
The flaw: Ring's fatal flaw is that Ring allows ANYONE with physical access to a Ring camera -- to remove that camera from the owner's Ring account without the owner's authorization or permission.
How? Easy, just go to any Ring cam, open the Ring app on your phone, create a new dummy Ring account, click on "set up device", and just follow ALL of the directions in the app (the app tells you to perform a critical step that I am not disclosing here)! At the end, you will see the Ring cam in your Ring app/account (and the cam will be removed from the owner's Ring app/account) and as far as Ring is concerned, YOU now 'own' that Ring camera. Congratulations!

The prior owner WILL be notified and receive a "Your Ring Device Has Changed Ownership" email from Ring, but contacting Ring and telling them that the ownership transfer was not authorized does not help to get your camera back. Ring will tell you to go to the cam and set the cam up again. And worst of all, the "Event History" of recorded videos will be wiped clean, so you will have no idea who stole ownership of your cam.

Why this works: Apparently because Ring's only test for camera 'ownership' is: If you can physically touch the cam and set it up, you are the owner of the cam.
Ring's response: When I contacted Ring about this security flaw (unauthorized camera ownership transfers), their response was "We have completed the work to resolve this and will be releasing it by the end of this week".

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