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Ring opens up its best features to third-party cameras for a hefty price

Ring App
Ring App (Image credit: Amazon)

What you need to know

  • Ring announces that its app and services will soon work with ONVIF compatible cameras.
  • These compatible devices will have full access to Ring's features, including live view, real-time notifications, event history, and timeline data.
  • Ring customers will need a Ring Alarm Pro Base Station and Ring Protect Pro subscription, in addition to an ONVIF compatible camera, for everything to work correctly.

Ring, the smart home solutions provider owned by Amazon, recently announced that it was allowing third-party security cameras to access its app for the first time ever. However, just because the company is opening up its services doesn't mean it plans to be any laxer on security. According to an update on Ring's website, only ONVIF compatible cameras will work with the best Ring products, and only if the customer also has specific equipment installed and subscribes to Ring's premier service tier.

If you're not familiar with ONVIF, it is an organization that sets forth security standards for connected devices like smart cameras, doorbells, and security systems. Its 500-plus members include Amcrest, Bosch, Foscam, Honeywell, Lorex, Microsoft, Samsung, Sharp, and many others. Its members collectively offer over 20,000 profile conformant products worldwide.

ONVIF is an open industry forum that provides and promotes standardized interfaces for effective interoperability of IP-based physical security products. - ONVIF.org

Once the integration rolls out to the Ring app, all Ring customers will have to do is add the camera(s) to their account via the app, and they'll then be able to take advantage of the full range of app features. This includes live view, real-time notifications, event history and timeline, and even the ability to process and store videos locally.

Unfortunately, adding non-Ring cameras won't be cheap. In order to take advantage of these features with their ONVIF compatible camera, Ring customers will need to have a Ring Alarm Pro Base Station (which typically retails for $250) and pay for the Ring Protect Pro Subscription (at $200/year service).

If you're a Ring Protect Pro customer and are interested in adding ONVIF cameras to your account, you can sign up to be notified when the program is available on the Ring website.

Jeramy Johnson
Editor-in-chief

Jeramy is proud to help *Keep Austin Weird* and loves hiking in the hill country of central Texas with a breakfast taco in each hand. When he's not writing about smart home gadgets and wearables, he's defending his relationship with his smart voice assistants to his family. You can follow him on Twitter at @jeramyutgw.