How to Save Ring Doorbell Events to Local Drive

By default, the Ring Video Doorbell stores all its events, recorded clips, to its cloud. But do you do if you want to save events to your computer? Or, what do you do if you want to save events directly to a hard drive, by passing the ring servers all together?

By far, the easiest way to save evets is to download them directly from the Ring app. You can also up load them to social media for a different type of storage. Finally, I will discuss programmers attempts at work arounds, and why they no longer work.

Continue reading to see how to download recorded events to your computer, social media, and how to bypass the cloud. Warning, the third method does require some experience programming, not verified by Ring, and may void any warranty you have. This ‘hack’ is not recommended.

I was surprised to see this price on Amazon

Why Save Locally?

The first question you should say before attempting to download events, is why would someone even need to download events? There are a few reasons you may want to download an event including:

  • Events are only stored for 6 months
  • Save money by not using the subscription
  • Offline sharing
  • Privacy concerns

Events are Only Stored for 6 Months

According to Ring’s website, events are only kept in the cloud for a rolling 6 months. Anything older than 6 months is automatically deleted. You may want to keep events that occurred 2 years ago for personal reasons. For example, what if you had a recorded event of a deer walking across your lawn or a series of events of your children making a snowman.

If they are your events, you should be able to keep them for as long as you want. Also, I can see the possibility to the storage being reduces to 3 months. As more people adopt to the Ring Doorbells, the amount of space required will skyrocket. Don’t be surprised if they reduce the storage period, or create a premium tier for longer storage.

Save Money

Another great reason to save the recordings locally is saving money. If you only have the Ring Doorbell, then the month subscription costs 10 dollars per month, or 30 dollars per year. If you have additional Ring products, then your monthly amount increases to 10 dollars per month or 100 dollars per year.

Why this isn’t a huge amount, it is an additional cost that people that want a camera might not be able to afford. In addition, when does Ring increase the price? Because Ring users have no other option, it is feasible that the monthly amount could increase to $5 and $15.

Offline Sharing

Another reason you may want to download a recorded event is for offline sharing. What if you need to share this event with the local police for them to follow up on. The police may require you to download the event to a DVD or flash drive, then bring the flash drive to the police station.

Privacy Concerns

One very big reason you may not want recorded events sent to Ring servers is we really don’t know what is happening with the files. Ring is owned by Amazon. Amazon has facial recognition software. Amazon has contracts with at least one federal government. It isn’t that far of a stretch to think one day Amazon is processing all recorded events through facial recognition software.

On a less conspiracy theory note, we should be a little concerned about the amount of information these cameras are catching. They know or exact location, visitors, and the habits of ourselves, and all the people around us. If data miners had this type of information, think of all the stuff they could market to use to make our lives ‘easier.’

Who can Save Locally?

The only people that have access to saving locally are the device owner, and any shared users. Like event viewing, anyone that does not have access to your account is unable to save or share events.

This no longer becomes try once you send an event to an individual or social media. Be aware when sending a recorded clip as it may reach further than you expected.

When Can You See Saved Events?

There is a slight delay between the time an event is recorded, and when you can save it locally. Usually, this is noted by the word “processing” and a spinning circle. Usually, an event can be saved or shared within 2 minutes of the event occurring.

How to Download from Ring App

As I mentioned, the easiest way to download recorded events is to use the mobile or computer app. This method is the recommended and official way to download events. To download a recorded event, follow the directions below:

  • Open the Ring App
  • Click the hamburger menu (top left)
  • Click history

Once you’re on the history screen, you can view all, or sort by doorbell ring, detected motion, or live events.

Once you’ve applied the necessary filter, you have two more options. You can press the three dots next to each event, or you can open each event. In most cases, you may want to open each event to view its contents.

If you decide to press the three dots, you will have the option to share, star, or delete. Presse Share and you will be presented with five more options: Facebook, Nextdoor, Email, text message, or download.

Selecting download will download the event to the local computer or mobile device you are using. If, for example, you’re on a work computer, you may want to use the email feature. You can also use the email or text option to send this clip to a friend or family member.

Social Media

As I mentioned in the last section, it is very easy to download events to Nextdoor and facebook. Nextdoor is a social media app based on your neighborhood or location. With the Nextdoor app, you can send notification/ information to people that live near you. I recommend downloading this app just to see what’s happening in your neck of the woods.

Ring also has a feature like NextDoor called Neighbors Feed. With this feed, neighbors that have Ring devices can share information like crime reports and suspicious events. In addition, you can share recorded events with other people in your neighborhood. This share feature allows you to share events with Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or email.

DIY workarounds?

One of the biggest frustrations with the Ring Video Doorbell is the monthly subscription required to save events to the cloud. The monthly subscription is mandatory, If you don’t have it, you will not be able to see what’s happened 10 minutes ago, thus negating 75% of its functionality.

So, some ring enthusiasts and programmers attempted to create a workaround that saves directly to a local hard drive, and a separate workaround that would circumvent the entire cloud process entirely.

The first method, a project called Home Assistant would let you download Ring events automatically. The code used can be viewed here. This project worked until late 2017 when Ring updated all devices.

While others have tried to create a similar work around, it requires a deep knowledge of the Ring device, knowledge of Amazon Web Services, and the help of someone that works for both. Because Ring uses AWS for their backend, it will take a lot of creativity to get this to work.

I don’t think the price will be much low than this

Conclusion

Currently, the only way to save Ring events locally is through the Ring app. The process is simply, and quick. In addition to saving locally, you can share on various social media outlets including Facebook, Nextdoor, and Neighbor Feed. While it was possible to save directly to a local drive, Ring has updated all of their devices to prevent this from occurring.

Additional Questions

Can You Save Ring Videos Without a Subscription?

No, you must have a subscription in order to view saved events. You are able to view live events without a subscription.

Do You have to Pay Monthly for the Ring Doorbell?

While you do not have to pay for the Ring Video Doorbell, you do have to pay for the subscription. With regard to the subscription, you have three options: You have the option of not paying at all, paying monthly, or paying yearly. Not paying will result in the inability to view recorded events. If you pay yearly, you save on two months of the subscription service.

Does Ring products require a subscription?

No, a subscription is not required, but your device will be severely limited. Without a subscription, you will not be able to view live or recorded events, or doorbell rings saved in the cloud.

Does Ring Save footage?

Yes, ring saves all footage, called events, by default. You can decide when events to keep and discard. Also, events are only stored in the cloud for 6 months. After 6 months, the events are discarded.

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