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Can You Use a Ring Doorbell Without WiFi?


The Ring Doorbell is a multi-feature, intelligent doorbell device that will bring your house into the twenty-first century.

The built-in camera, motion detector, and two-way audio work together seamlessly to let you keep an eye on what’s happening outside your front door even when you’re out of the house.

A common question people often have, though, is whether or not a Ring Doorbell will work without WiFi, and that’s what we’ll be answering in this article.

You cannot fully use a Ring Doorbell without WiFi. Without the internet, the device cannot transmit live stream data to smartphones, tablets, or computers, and it cannot save recordings to the cloud. A Ring Doorbell becomes a basic doorbell (i.e. without ‘smart’ features) when WiFi is unavailable.

Read on to find out which features stop working on a Ring Doorbell device without an active internet connection and whether you can use your phone’s hotspot as a substitute for when you don’t have access to WiFi (answer: you can, in theory, but it isn’t recommended).

Does a Ring Doorbell Work If the WiFi Is Down?

No, a Ring Doorbell will not work without a live connection to a wireless router.

Should your WiFi connection go down due to a power cut or local connectivity issues, your Ring Doorbell will be cut off from the ‘outside world’ and have no way of communicating with your phone, laptop, desktop computer or tablet.

Therefore, you will not be able to get a live video or audio feed, nor will you be notified when a visitor (or even an intruder) approaches your front door.

Here are some of the features you will miss out on if your Ring Doorbell loses its WiFi connection:

  • Notifications to your smartphone when motion is detected within the area of motion or when someone rings the doorbell.
  • Access to the live video feeds recorded by the Ring Doorbell and any additional cameras you have set up.
  • The camera won’t be able to record or store video in the cloud.
  • Remote control of your Ring Doorbell device from your smartphone.

Network issues such as a power outage, poor internet connection or an updated WiFi network password might all be to blame if your Ring Doorbell stops working.

If your Ring Doorbell stops working, it’s worth trying one or more of the following:

  • Asking someone in your household if they have updated the WiFi password.
  • Checking if a power outage has blown a fuse and therefore cut off your router’s power supply.
  • Rebooting your wireless router by unplugging it for 30 seconds and plugging it back in again.
  • Working with your Internet Service Provider to change your WiFi password.
  • Checking that all the wires in the back of the wireless router are still connected correctly.
  • Opening the Ring app on your smartphone to reconnect your Ring device to the WiFi network.
  • Checking that your Ring Doorbell is getting sufficient power.

If none of these options work, we’d recommend checking out the user manual for your Ring Doorbell.

can you use a ring doorbell without wifi article image - an image showing the manual of a ring doorbell device

©adrianhancu/123RF.COM

You can also check out Ring’s support page for more information.


How Do I Know If My Ring Doorbell Has WiFi?

As mentioned above, there are several reasons why Ring devices can lose connectivity to the wireless network.

You can use the Ring app to check your Ring device is connected to the WiFi network from wherever you are in the world.

If you’ve tried opening the app and are unable to view the live video feed or if you’ve stopped receiving live notifications from your Ring device, there’s a chance it may have become disconnected to your home’s internet connection for various reasons.

Open the Ring app on your smartphone or device, select the Ring device you want to check in on and select ‘Device Health’.

If it says “Offline” under the ‘Network’ heading, your Ring Doorbell isn’t connected to a wireless network, and you will not be able to connect to its built-in audio or video features.


How Do I Know If My Ring Doorbell Has Poor WiFi Signal?

If you’re finding that your Ring Doorbell is performing poorly, it could be down to the strength of the WiFi connection.

Here are some of the symptoms to look out for:

  • Video quality is poor;
  • Audio quality is poor;
  • There’s a delay to the live notifications sent from the Ring device;
  • The motion detectors aren’t picking up on all the movements within the motion zone;
  • The Ring device continuously disconnects from the WiFi;
  • Live feed video has trouble connecting.

How to Check the Wireless Network Strength of a Ring Device

First, open the Ring app and tap ‘Device Health’.

can you use a ring doorbell without wifi article image - an image showing the ring app

If the app says that the device is “Online”, but the ‘Signal Strength’ is “Poor” or “Very Poor”, there is a WiFi connection, but it is not strong enough to run seamlessly.

Reasons for the Poor Signal Strength on Your Ring Doorbell

Here are a few reasons why your Ring Doorbell might not be getting a sufficient WiFi connection:

  • The wireless router is situated too far away from the Ring device.
  • The layout of your home interferes with the wireless signal.
  • Devices, such as televisions or gaming systems, within your home are causing interference and blocking the signal from reaching the Ring device.
  • Building materials within your house such as brick, metal or windows made from Low-E glass.

Does the Ring Doorbell Use Cellular Data?

If your WiFi service goes down, you may be wondering if you can connect your Ring Doorbell to your mobile hotspot instead.

While it is possible to connect Ring devices to a mobile device hotspot via the setup menu within the Ring app, it isn’t recommended by the manufacturer.

Ring devices are constantly uploading information to the cloud server to communicate with your mobile device, and therefore are consuming a massive amount of data 24/7.

A hotspot connection is nowhere near as stable as a home WiFi network and may cause it to disconnect and disrupt the Ring device’s service repeatedly.


How Much Data Does the Ring Doorbell Use?

The amount of data a Ring Doorbell uses each month depends on which features you have set up, but it usually is somewhere between 50GB and 300GB per month.

Unsurprisingly, the camera is the primary source of data consumption on the Ring Doorbell, so depending on which settings you have installed, you could considerably reduce the amount of data it uses.

Settings that affect the data usage on Ring Doorbell devices include:

  • The size of motion detection zones – Increasing the motion detection zone of your Ring device could cause irrelevant movements to be detected and recorded, for example, nearby traffic or pedestrians. Try limiting the motion detection area to reduce data consumption.
  • Resolution settings – The main reason for increased data usage, reducing this to 720p will minimize data consumption.
  • Pet recognition – Needless to say, you should turn this setting off if you don’t have a pet.
  • Recorded clip length – Reducing the length of video clips recorded and stored by the device will reduce overall data consumption. Play around with the settings in the Ring app to change the video alert settings.
  • Motion sensitivity – When set to the maximum level, your Ring device will detect the slightest breeze or distant car horn. Reducing the sensitivity will decrease the data usage.

Does a Ring Doorbell Record All the Time?

Without a Ring Protect Plan, your Ring Doorbell will not record or store your videos at all. You can only view the live video stream without this subscription service.

With a Ring Protect Plan, the doorbell will only record and store video whenever motion is detected by the doorbell’s camera, whenever somebody presses the doorbell, or whenever you initiate ‘Live View’ on the device.

Because of this, the Ring Doorbell considerably reduces its data consumption versus cheaper alternative doorbells that record continuously.


In Summary

No, you can’t fully use the Ring Doorbell without WiFi (or, in theory, a mobile data connection, although this is not recommended).

The device relies on a live internet connection to let your view the live stream video feed from its camera on your smartphone, tablet, or computer, and for uploading recorded footage to the cloud server.

Without an active WiFi connection, the Ring Doorbell essentially reverts to a basic, run-of-the-mill doorbell. Because of this, we recommend ensuring that your home has a good WiFi connection before investing in a Ring Doorbell.

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