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Ring security cameras are getting this big, but pricey upgrade

Ring Floodlight Cam Wired Pro
(Image credit: Ring)

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 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 Pro

Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2

Ring Video Doorbell Elite

Ring Video Doorbell Wired

Spotlight Cam Wired

Floodlight Cam Wired Pro

Floodlight Cam

Stick Up Cam Plug-In

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. 

Mike Prospero

Michael A. Prospero is the deputy editor at Tom’s Guide overseeing the home, smart home, drones, and fitness/wearables categories, as well as all buying guides and other evergreen content. When he’s not testing out the latest running watch, skiing or training for a marathon, he’s probably using the latest sous vide machine or some other cooking gadget.