Ring rolled out end-to-end encryption for some of its cameras today

Cal Jeffrey

Posts: 2,971   +790
Staff member
Why it matters: Amazon has begun rolling out end-to-end (E2E) encryption to a handful of its Ring security cameras. Until now, video traveling from Ring servers to a user's receiving device like a smartphone or laptop was sent unencrypted. Theoretically, nothing was stopping a bad actor from intercepting and viewing those feeds until now.

On Wednesday, Ring announced that it launched end-to-end video encryption for some of its camera models. The press release calls the feature a "technical preview," which is just another way of saying it's in the beta phase. Ring is looking for feedback from the customers who preview it to improve it and iron out any bugs.

Currently, Ring videos are encrypted in-transit when going from the camera to the cloud and while they reside on the servers. However, video streamed from the servers to a device are sent decrypted. Ring has simply added an extra layer that encrypts the video all the way to the receiving end.

In September, Ring said it was planning to launch E2E encryption by the end of 2020. It missed that mark by about two weeks, and it seems evident that it will still be some months before it is fully implemented.

"As the feature rolls out over the coming months, customers can enable the feature from Control Center in the Ring App," the company said.

For now, the technical preview is very limited in scope. The feature does not work with battery or solar-powered Ring cameras at this time. It will only function with wired doorbells, the Floodlight, Spotlight, and its Stick Up Cams. Android 8 and iOS 12 (or later) is also a system requirement, as is the latest version of the Ring mobile app.

Those interested in enabling E2E encryption should head over to Ring's Help Center to check camera compatibility. The page also includes instructions on how to enable the feature.

Image credit: BrandonKleinPhoto

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Uncle Al

Posts: 8,014   +6,783
I bought two of these for home days before the first reports of hacks and fires. I did a little snooping on the net and found two sites that tell you how to hack it so I tried it and sure enough, it works so I packed them back up and returned them to Amazon who gave me my money back, no questions. That was my one and only adventure with digital security, I'll stick with my old fashion lock, key, and .357 for my security, thank you very much and yes, I have had one break in with the old fashion system .... they buried they guy the following Sunday and I got a nice "Thanks" from the police because this guy had been breaking into places all around me .....
 

terzaerian

Posts: 913   +1,310
The whole idea of combining doorbells with cameras was an intriguing experiment but once Google and Amazon muscled in it was all over. I got a "dumb" wireless doorbell and at some point will get a "dumb" security camera and both devices will be less of a hassle and liability.