RIng is adding an extra layer of protection to its security cameras that you'll either find incredibly useful or incredibly creepy. Or both.
A new subscription service will let you add professional monitoring to your security cameras, so that a third-party monitoring service can look in on your camera's feeds if they detect motion. The service, called Virtual Security Guard, is estimated to cost roughly $99 per month.
Below are the complete details of the service, the Ring cameras it will work with, and when Virtual Security Guard will be available.
Ring Virtual Security Guard: Cost and availability
As mentioned above, Ring estimates that Virtual Security Guard will cost roughly $99 per month, but will vary depending on the number of cameras you want to have professionally monitored. Ring is launching the service with Rapid Response, but plans to contract other companies for professional monitoring services.
However, in order to use Virtual Security Guard, you will also have to be a Ring Alarm owner, and subscribe to either Ring Protect Pro or Ring Plus, which cost $200 and $100 per year, respectively.
Customers can request an invitation (opens in new tab) to try Virtual Security Guard, starting today (Sept. 28).
Ring Virtual Security Guard: Compatible cameras
Virtual Security Guard will work with pretty much all of Ring's home security cameras and video doorbells. Compatible cameras are as follows:
Ring Video Doorbell Elite
Spotlight Cam Wired
Floodlight Cam Wired Pro
Stick Up Cam Wired
Floodlight Cam Wired Plus
Floodlight Cam Wired Pro Plugin
Floodlight Cam Wired Plus Plugin
Spotlight Cam Mount
Ring Virtual Security Guard: How it works and privacy
When a subscriber signs up for Ring Virtual Security Guard, they will specify in the Ring app which cameras they want to be monitored. Then, if the Ring Alarm system is armed (in either Home or Away mode) and a camera detects motion, the alarm company will be notified.
Based on what the monitoring service sees, the company will take one of several actions, which can include using the camera's two-way talk feature, a siren, or notifying emergency services.
According to Ring, security companies can only view live video once a motion event has been triggered, and can't download, save, or share video. They also cannot view motion events if the cameras are in disarmed mode.
Ring Virtual Security Guard: Outlook
Adding a live camera monitoring service should help Ring differentiate Ring Alarm from the rest of the best DIY home security systems. While other professionally monitored systems can notify authorities in the event there's motion detected, they can't actually see what's going on.
In that way, the Virtual Security Guard is more akin to the Deep Sentinel home security camera, which also comes with professional monitoring; that camera system costs more upfront ($699 for three cameras), and also charges $100/month for monitoring services.