Seeing what’s going on in and around our homes is a major key to keeping them safe. To that end, many people opt for smart home cameras like Ring smart cameras to keep an eye on their homes. This goes swell most of the time! But not always…
Having a clear picture and video of what’s going on is essential. However, some Ring users have noticed that when playing back recorded videos, the videos start to freeze:
They either freeze a few seconds in before playing normally, or freeze and don’t play at all! What’s going on? Can you fix this?
Ring Cameras – An Overview
Ring is a common household name in the smart home world. This company is best known for its line of smart cameras and video doorbells. These convenient and intuitive devices come in a wide range of options.
You can choose from the battery-powered Ring Stick-Up Cam, good for both outdoors and indoors. Or, you can opt for the plug-in Indoor Cam to monitor the inside of your home.
When it comes to cameras like the Floodlight or Spotlight Cam, many use either the plug-in, wired, or battery-operated versions to monitor poorly lit places outside their home. There’s literally a Ring camera for every area of your home or business!
These cameras are controlled via the Ring app.
The Ring app is where you view recorded footage:
In order to have any footage saved, you’ll have to subscribe to a Ring Protect Plan. Without a Ring subscription, your recorded videos won’t be saved – on your device nor in the Cloud. You’ll only be able to view motion events live when you receive the notification.
Now, while most of the time things go great when recording or viewing recordings, some people have run into problems. One such problem is when recorded videos freeze.
Ring Video Freezing – What’s Going On?
So let’s say everything is going perfectly with your Ring cameras. But then, an annoying problem crops up – your videos start freezing. Now they may be doing this at the beginning, middle, or tail end of your videos.
Some users have even reported that their Ring video freezes mid-recording and then won’t play the rest of the recording at all. Not cool!
So what gives? What’s causing this, and can you fix it?
One of the most common reasons that Ring video freezes up, has to do with your internet connection. Poor Wi-Fi signal is the bane of anyone’s existence, and it certainly applies to Ring users as well!
It could be that at the time of recording the motion event, your Wi-Fi had a lag. This in turn caused the recording to lag as well. Or, it could be that the internet is lagging while you’re trying to view your recordings.
To see if this is your issue, you’ll first want to check the strength of your Wi-Fi signal in relation to your Ring cameras. Go to your Ring app dashboard, and select the camera that’s been having issues with the video freezing. Then, click on the gear icon in the top right-hand corner of the screen. This will take you to Settings.
Next, go to Device Health.
In this screen, scroll down to the Network subheading, where you’ll then see Signal Strength. If this number/letter combination is red or yellow (usually a reading of -40 or worse), it indicates a problem with the Wi-Fi signal. It’s either weak or not connected at all.
If it’s green, you’re good to go. If this isn’t your problem, you may have to consider what else can be causing your videos to freeze. It could also be that the signal is strong now, but at other times it isn’t. Try checking it at various times, especially when it seems like things are slow to see if the signal strength changes.
Side Note: A ‘good’ signal strength can still hide other Wi-Fi issues. For example, an overloaded Wi-Fi router can still cause freezing video. Another cause is a mesh Wi-Fi set-up where one mesh disc is too far from the other discs – this results in the internal Wi-Fi network struggling. If your signal strength is good, dive into your overall Wi-Fi network layout to see if it can be improved.
It’s worth noting that Ring Elite devices, such as the Stick-Up Cam Elite and Video Doorbell Elite, use an Ethernet connection, so the internet is rarely a problem for these devices. If you do suspect that the issue is down to your Wi-Fi, it could be worth considering one of the Elite devices – assuming you can run an Ethernet cable to it, of course.
Another problem could be that your Ring app needs to be updated. Ring usually puts out software updates because of crashes, reported system issues, or updated protocols. Because of this, recommended software updates usually fix any malfunctions and bugs in the system.
To check to see if your Ring app needs to be updated, go to your respective app store. Android users will go to the Play Store, while Apple users will go to the App Store.
In the Play Store, you can either search for the Ring app to see if it needs updating. Once you pull it up, it will show that you already have it downloaded. If an update is needed, there will be a button that says “Update”. If not, the app is up-to-date.
You can also go into the Play Store’s ‘Apps and Games’ menu to see what apps need to be updated, and if your Ring app is one of them:
In the App Store, you also have the same two options. You can search for the Ring app. If an update is needed, you’ll see a button that says Update. If not, your Ring app is up-to-date.
Alternatively, on the home screen of the App Store, you can select your profile picture/icon in the top, right-hand corner of the screen.
Depending on the iOs version you’re running, you’ll either move to another screen, or a smaller screen will pop up. On this next screen, you’ll scroll down to see the apps you have downloaded. Any that need updating will show up as such.
Once everything is updated, if needed, restart the Ring app and watch a couple of recorded videos to see if the situation was remedied.
Before the bug-fixing software updates, there are, of course, the bugs. These glitches in the matrix (so to speak) happen randomly and can negatively affect the app’s performance. In short, sometimes the Ring system can get a bit buggy and cause issues.
Often times these issues can be fixed by simply force closing and restarting the Ring app. This usually clears up whatever problems the current session in the app is having.
Other times, however, these issues seem to disappear just as quickly, and mysteriously, as they appeared. They may or may not return later at random. But even if these errors just up and disappear, you may still want to make Ring aware of the problem so that they can look into it (hopefully!) and consider it in their next software update.
You can also check the Ring Server Status dashboard, to see if Ring are actively aware of issues with their service.
In general, Ring cameras and doorbells are hardy devices. The outdoor cameras especially are designed to withstand extreme temperatures and weather conditions. But, they’re not indestructible. You may start to suspect camera damage if the freezing footage involves only one specific camera.
Whether it’s a particularly devastating storm such as a hurricane, or a burglar trying not to get caught – things can happen. You first want to inspect your cameras for damage. A light shake can determine if there’s anything loose inside.
If there are any signs of damage to your device, you’ll need to reach out to Ring and see if they can help with getting the device fixed or replaced. Even if you don’t find evidence of damage, if there is only one device that’s causing problems, it’s still worth giving Ring, a ring.
Alternative Smart Cameras
So if despite your best efforts, your Ring video is still freezing, you might consider trying a different brand of smart home camera.
NB: It’s to be noted, however, that if the freezing or lagging issue is due to Wi-Fi, the same thing is likely to happen with other smart home cameras as well. This is because most smart cameras rely on Wi-Fi to record and play back video.
If Wi-Fi isn’t your problem, then you can try one of many other smart home camera brands.
One popular brand you can look into is Wyze.
These cost-effective cameras are a great alternative to Ring cameras. They don’t come in as wide a variety, however, so they may not be the best choice if you want a lot of options. For example, their Spotlight Camera isn’t an all-in-one deal. It’s a small light that you can attach to the top of your Wyze Cam v.3. But if you don’t mind, and you like the price, it shouldn’t be a problem.
Wyze even has local storage, so freezing is less likely if the footage is played from local storage.
Arlo is another brand you may consider.
Their cameras are a little pricier than Ring cameras. For example, while Ring’s Indoor Cam comes in at $59.99, Arlo’s Essential Indoor Cam retails for about $99.99. Many users like the Arlo app and its performance better, so the price doesn’t tend to be an issue.
Eufy is popular because some of their cameras can record even if there’s no Wi-Fi. This means that playback from local storage is less likely to freeze, even if your internet was spotty.
Google Nest is used in many smart homes as well. They’re quickly gaining popularity, especially with people who already make use of Google Home. They have a nice variety of cameras, and they all have similar capabilities to Ring. Their outdoor cameras are highly rated as well.
Getting the Picture
Freezing video from your Ring cameras is definitely not ideal! Fortunately, most of the time, this can be fixed. Whether it’s laggy Wi-Fi, or a software update that needs to be done.
But if you’re done with troubleshooting Ring, you can try another brand. Smart home camera brands such as Wyze, Arlo, and Google Nest, just to name a few, are also popular options that many use. No matter which option you go with in the end, there’s always a way to make sure you get the picture.