Have you been getting a lot of blank notifications from your Ring camera?
There’s a good chance that your Ring device is having trouble either recording video or sending it back to your smartphone. We’re going to take a deep dive into what causes Ring to start missing video recordings.
The most common cause for your Ring device missing video is a poor Wi-Fi connection. You also need to make sure that you have a Ring Protect subscription and you’ve got the proper settings for your Ring’s motion detection. Ring starts missing a lot of video If there are server problems over at Amazon or the devices breaking down.
Let’s take a closer look at some of these issues and how to fix them.
How Does Ring Record Video?
Before we get into the fixes, we need to quickly talk about how your Ring camera records video. It’s not as straightforward as some people think and there are causes for problems here that people often overlook.
The majority of Ring devices use a type of motion detection known as passive infrared. These are PIR sensors that detect changes in heat. When a Ring device detects this change, it starts recording video.
Ring then sends you an alert to your phone to let you know there has been motion detected. You can then review the event, but if you don’t have a Ring Protect plan, the video will not be saved.
Speaking of saving Ring videos, let’s see how Ring preserves these security videos.
Does Ring Have Local Storage?
It’s important to keep in mind that Ring devices do not have local storage ‘out of the box’. They don’t allow for SD card recording like Wyze, Eufy and other smart cameras.. Each of your Ring devices relies on a steady and consistent connection with Ring’s servers in order to keep recording your video. This is true for users who do not have a subscription as well as people who are using the Ring Protect Basic or Plus plans.
The only exception here is that Ring Alarm Pro owners with a $20/month Ring Protect Pro plan can get local storage via Ring Edge. But this is a very expensive way of having local storage, and it’s certainly not something that is available to someone who only owns a single Ring camera or doorbell (since you need the $250 alarm base station, too).
One of the biggest causes of people missing recordings is connectivity problems. Apart from the Pro case I just mentioned, some people think that Ring cameras are recording video either locally on the camera itself or on your smartphone or computer at home. Ring only records video footage to the server and doesn’t have the hardware it needs to record a video locally.
If you’re looking for a smart security camera that records local video, you’re going to have to try other brands. All of Ring’s cameras and doorbells rely on Amazon servers in order for them to function.
Here’s Why Your Ring Misses Recordings
They’re actually a lot of different reasons why your Ring devices can start missing recordings. We’re going to go over some of the easier fixes first and then work our way towards more complicated issues.
What to Check First
Just like with any piece of technology, there’s a few things that you should check first. If your Ring device is missing a lot of recordings, check out these quick steps before you go on to the other fixes in this list.
- Restart your phone
- Delete your Ring devices from the Ring app then add them again
- Reset your Wi-Fi router
These are the same basic fixes you would try with any smart technology problem. You should fix 9 out of 10 problems with your smart devices. If he’s fixes don’t work, you can move on to the other solutions on our list.
Ring Protect Subscription Plans
Like we mentioned earlier, Ring devices do not store video locally (without the Alarm Pro and Pro subscription). They can only store video on their servers. This means that individuals without a Ring Protect plan are not going to be able to review the videos their devices capture.
Without a Ring Protect plan, you’ll only be able to see your video in the moment when your Ring device detects motion.
Security is one of the biggest reasons people install Ring devices in their home. However, without the additional Ring Protect plan, the security functionality of a Ring camera goes down dramatically. Being able to review video footage is a great way to find out if late night motion alerts are potential burglars or just some local raccoons.
Wi-Fi Connection Issues
Your Ring devices depend on a steady and constant connection to your Wi-Fi network in order to function. This is especially true when it comes to processing video.
Technology has come a long way, but video files have gotten bigger than ever before. In order for your Ring device to successfully share a video file with the server, it needs to have a strong Wi-Fi connection.
It’s pretty common for individuals who have a weak Wi-Fi network to lose out on a video function of their Ring cameras. There’s a couple reasons that this could be the case.
The most common cause of this is that your Ring device has a poor connection to your Wi-Fi network. This is especially the case when the Ring device is located outside of your home and the Wi-Fi network is being blocked by walls or its’ just too far away from where the cameras are located. You can try repositioning your Wi-Fi router or adding Wi-Fi repeater to boost your signal and help your Ring devices get the video to the server.
There’s also a chance that your Wi-Fi router is just outdated. Older Wi-Fi routers just can’t handle the volume of information that streaming 24/7 live video requires. If you’ve been looking for an excuse to update your Wi-Fi router, there’s no better reason than home security.
Now we have to take a moment to talk about one of the more serious reasons why you might not be getting your Ring video.
We need to talk about Wi-Fi jamming. This fact always surprises people, but Wi-Fi is just radio. The same technology that’s responsible for old time radio is what allows us to have lightning fast Wi-Fi today. This also means that you can jam a Wi-Fi signal just like you can jam an old radio signal.
As the internet of things has gotten more popular, thieves and burglars have had to become more technologically aware. It’s common for burglars to be just as up to date on home security practices as we are. This means that there’s a chance that they’re using a Wi-Fi jammer to mess up your home signal.
It can be very difficult to tell if your Wi-Fi network is being jammed or if you just have some network problems. Here’s a few hacks that you can do to try and see if someone is jamming your Wi-Fi network.
The first thing you can do is try out all the other fixes on this list. Although Wi-Fi jamming is getting more common, it’s still a rare occurrence. There’s a good chance that your Ring video troubles are being caused by another problem rather than a Wi-Fi jammer.
If you’re really concerned about Wi-Fi jamming, you can get a device known as a frequency spectrum analyzer. These devices show you the different types of radio frequencies that they can pick up. Wi-Fi jamming frequencies stand out like a sore thumb.
Ring Hardware Failures
Another common source of trouble with Ring devices is Hardware failure.
Your Ring cameras are designed to operate for years without trouble. However, it’s still possible to get a lemon when you first buy a Ring device. The good news is hardware failures are typically very easy to spot.
One of the easiest ways to tell if your Ring camera is having a hardware failure is that it can’t detect motion at all or the video it sends you is just a black or blue screen. This will instantly let you know that there’s a hardware problem somewhere inside of your Ring device.
You can test this yourself by having a friend deliberately trigger a motion alert on your Ring device while you’re home. If they can walk right in front of your Ring doorbell without tripping the motion alert, then you know you’ve probably got a hardware problem.
Ring App Settings
There’s also one big Ring app setting that you should check. You can find these settings in: Device Settings > Motion Settings.
The first fix we’re going to talk about is motion zones. You can set specific zones on your Ring device Where it will detect motion and areas where it won’t. This is very useful if the street is in view of your Ring device and you want to skip all of the notifications for cars driving by.
However, one thing to keep in mind is that you can accidentally set it so that your Ring device isn’t detecting motion anywhere. When you add a new motion zone, the blue area is where your Ring device will detect motion. Ring will ignore all other areas and only detect motion in the zones you make.
You can also change the sensitivity of your Ring’s motion sensor. It’s a good idea to drop the sensitivity just a little bit to eliminate false positives like some garbage going by or a cat walking through your yard:
However, you’re going to need to do some trial and error to dial in the right motion sensitivity for your specific conditions.
Going too low on motion sensitivity will cause your Ring device to not detect things like people or cars.
Ring Server Errors
This is one of the difficult fixes because there’s really nothing we can do as end-users to get things working again.
We mentioned a few times that Ring devices rely on a constant connection to Amazon servers in order to function. However, if that connection starts to break down on Amazon’s side of things, your Ring device will start to malfunction.
In this case, sometimes Ring will update their status page to reflect the server error. But I’ve also seen cases where the Ring subreddit is full of people saying their Ring camera is down, but the status page says everything is 100% fine!
In this case, there’s really only two things we can do when Amazon is having some trouble with their servers:
- The first is to file an error report. If your Ring device is experiencing troubles you can reach out to the support team over at Ring to let them know what’s going on.
- The other thing that you can do is just to simply wait. Amazon is a massive company and their servers occasionally experience errors. Amazon’s servers are typically back up and running very quickly after they experience a problem. You might not have to wait any more than a few minutes to a few hours.
The “20 (or 60) Second” Video Limit
Another thing to consider is that there is a limit to the length of video that can be recorded on your device. This is especially true for Ring devices that are battery-powered, which can sometimes record for less time than their hardwired alternatives.
You can change the length of the video recordings in your settings menu.
A longer video recording will give you more information about what’s going on outside. If you set your video recording limit too low, you might miss out on important information such as an individual walking through your yard.
Checking everything that I discussed above should hopefully ensure that you no longer have missed recordings, and instead your Ring event history timeline should be populated as you would expect.