Our world is more dependent than ever on the internet. Today, most smart home devices rely on Wi-Fi and the internet to function properly.

One example of a smart device that heavily rely on Wi-Fi is the Ring device. Some Ring products, such as the Ring Alarm or Smart Lighting, use different wireless connection protocols like LoRa or Z-Wave. However, most Ring products require Wi-Fi and the internet to function.

In an age where we are so dependent on our devices for security, a few questions come up. Are Ring devices dependent upon the internet? What happens if Wi-Fi or the Internet is lost?

Ring Doorbells & Cameras: An Overview

The ring has provided smart home devices to many homes and businesses for almost a decade. Ring offers a range of products, including indoor and outdoor cameras, doorbells, and chimes that can be used in conjunction with these doorbells.

Ring’s indoor security cameras require wired and plugged into an outlet to work. The Outdoor Stick-Up cameras use a rechargeable battery. Additional batteries can be purchased to charge the second battery while used. You can always have a fully charged battery on hand.

All Ring Video Doorbells (newer than 2nd generation) have removable rechargeable batteries. The built-in rechargeable battery can’t be removed from the 2020 Ring Video Doorbell. These doorbells must be dismounted when the battery runs low or dies and then charged using the supplied charging cord.

Most Ring devices, namely cameras and doorbells, need to be connected to Wi-Fi to work properly. This exception is the Ring Doorbell Elite and the Ring Stick up Cam Elite.

How the Ring Elite Models Function Without Wi-Fi

The Ring Doorbell Elite and Ring Stick-Up Cam Elite use PoE (Power over Ethernet), so they don’t require Wi-Fi. They are connected to an Ethernet cable that delivers power and internet. These devices can be connected to the internet via cables rather than wirelessly. This results in better connections and faster speeds.

Mounted on a wall, the PoE Ring Doorbell Elite.

The Ethernet cable connection is required to connect to the internet. Without it, the Ring Elite Camera or doorbell would not be able to be set up, and they would not be able to function. To communicate with the Ring app and upload security video, they still require an internet connection.

Ring Doorbell Elite requires either networking knowledge or professional installation. It must be hardwired into your house using the Ethernet cable.

These smart devices can function without wireless internet access, but they still need internet access to complete their functions.

What happens to your Ring Doorbells and Cameras if the Wi-Fi goes down?

Essentially, it is nothing.

Ring Doorbells or Cameras can’t detect motion if they don’t have access to the internet. The Ring doorbell will still ring, but only outside the actual device. With the Ring Plug-in Chime, your alerts from your phone and smart home devices like the Amazon Echo will all be turned off.

Ring screenshot showing the device being disconnected from the internet

Ring devices use SIP technology to communicate with one another. SIP stands for Session Initiation Protocol. SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) is a signalling protocol that connects two points in an IP (Internet Protocol Network). It’s a bit like a WhatsApp call or Zoom call.

The internet connection is required to connect the two points, as indicated by the term Internet Protocol. The network can’t communicate with the endpoints without an internet connection.

Are Ring Doorbells & Cameras automatically restored when Wi-Fi is back?

They do, for the most part.

It may take several minutes for everything to get back online, depending on how fast your internet connection is and why. The overall function and alert systems should be restored fairly quickly. Your Ring devices will then connect and upload again to the cloud.

Recordings made before or during the outage will not be saved. However, a few hour’s worths of snapshots will be saved and uploaded to the cloud when the internet is back.

It is worth noting that many internet routers support both 2.4 GHz connectivity and 5 GHz. Ring devices that auto-connect to 5 GHz connections may have slower or weaker signals than before. This is due to 5 GHz connections sometimes having a lower range. Double-check your router’s admin panel if you notice that your devices perform worse than before.

This will show if your Ring camera has been connected to the internet over 5 GHz. You can then change the connection back to 2.4 GHz, but this will vary depending on your router model.

If the Wi-Fi is down, does the Ring Chime ring?

The Ring Plug-in Chime won’t ring if there is no Wi-Fi. To communicate between the Ring Chime and Ring doorbell, the Ring Chime must have an internet connection.

Comparison of the Ring Chime Pro v2 and Ring Chime Pro (v2)

If the Ring Doorbell Pro 1 or Pro 2 supports this feature, the Ring Doorbell will ring when someone presses the button. Any hardwired mechanical chimes (such as your old doorbell unit) will continue to chime. Other notifications will not activate.

You may have to find an alternative method to verify if someone is at your door if your Wi-Fi goes down, particularly a prolonged one. Otherwise, you won’t get an alert.

Is it possible to set up your Ring Doorbell and Camera without Wi-Fi?

It is impossible to set up the initial connection without Wi-Fi.

The Ring app is required to set up your new Ring devices. The Ring app does not require an internet connection. Therefore, they cannot be connected.

Are Ring Doorbells and Cameras backed up by my cellular data?

Ring doesn’t allow you to have a backup cellular connection for your cameras and doorbells. They will not work without internet access if the Wi-Fi or internet goes down. There is no way to restore that connection.

However, the Ring Alarm System does offer its Protect Plus plan, which allows cellular backup in case of internet failure. This is only for the Ring Alarm System.

It is possible to create a mobile hotspot to allow your Ring cameras and doorbells to connect to it. However, this would mean that your Ring devices would need to be set up again as they’d be connecting with a completely different internet source.

Samsung S10 screenshot showing mobile hotspot options for Android

This may not be necessary if you are experiencing only a temporary interruption to your internet service. After the internet has been restored, you will need to do everything again to reconnect to your Wi-Fi.

A mobile hotspot may not be a long-term solution. The internet speeds are much slower than traditional Wi-Fi, and you might incur substantial charges from your mobile provider depending on the service.

Can Ring Doorbells and Cameras record local (to an SD or NAS card instead)?

Cameras and ring doorbells are completely cloud-dependent. They do not support local storage, not SD cards or NAS (Network Attached Store).

The devices won’t record or save video even though they are offline. All data that you have saved to the cloud won’t be lost.

After your Wi-Fi connection has been restored, you can start recording and uploading to the cloud.

Internet is required

Ring’s services operate entirely on the cloud and therefore require an active internet connection, wired or wireless. Your Ring devices will not work if there is a temporary interruption to service.

Your internet will be restored, and your devices will normally work again. You can record and upload videos to the cloud.