Wi-Fi issues are some of the most common problems to have with Ring devices. It seems like they flicker out every now and then and it’s hard to tell why.
However, there are some tips and tricks we can do to figure out why the Ring devices are disconnecting and make sure that they have more up time than they do down time.
You can check if your Ring devices are disconnected by opening up your Ring app, navigating to the devices section, and looking for the disconnected icon next to each device. Reconnecting your device can often be easily done in the Ring app by checking on the “Device Health” menu. You can also improve the strength of your home’s Wi-Fi network to keep your devices connected.
Let’s dive into this problem and get your smart devices back up and running!
A Quick Introduction To Ring Devices
Ring is one of the most popular producers of smart home devices today. Ring is a company that is owned by Amazon. Their most popular devices include the Ring doorbell, Ring security cameras, and a variety of other sensors and a smart home security system.
All Ring cameras and doorbells connect using internet protocol (IP) – which is usually Wi-Fi, but the Ring Elite products connect over Power over Ethernet (PoE). The Wi-Fi option is arguably the most popular as this gives a convenient way of installing the product, without worrying about running Ethernet cable.
However one big downside is that Wi-Fi disconnections and having the signal dropout is a big problem for Ring devices. It will result in low quality recordings at best, and missing recordings at worst.
How To Tell If Your Ring Device Is Disconnecting
Unfortunately, there’s no quick and direct way to tell if your Ring device is disconnected. Ring has yet to build in a notification feature in its app that lets users know when devices automatically disconnect. However, there’s a quick way to check to see which of your devices are online and which have disconnected.
You can simply launch the Ring app, and there will be a list of all your cameras and doorbells – showing the latest snapshot capture:
If any of them are offline, you’ll see a little red/orange “Wi-Fi disconnected” icon next to each of the devices that is disconnected. If you’re curious about a device in particular, you can tap on that device to get some more information about whether or not it’s currently online – the main timeline view will show the following:
Alternatively you can click into the settings of a device, click on “Device Health” and it will show whether the device is online or offline:
Why Ring Devices Disconnect
As it turns out, there are actually a lot of reasons why Ring devices can get disconnected. These range from inclement weather to user error. We’re going to go over some of the most common reasons why my Ring devices keep dropping their signal.
The first one thing we need to talk about is your Wi-Fi network itself.
There can be a lot of reasons why your Wi-Fi network keeps losing contact with your Ring devices. We’re going to talk about two specific ones in detail later, but there are a few general things you can do to improve your home’s Wi-Fi connection.
Updating to a more powerful internet plan and getting the latest router will help your devices stay connected. This will ensure that your smart devices have a reliable connection to the internet and you’re effectively staying one step ahead of the Wi-Fi game.
If your Wi-Fi router is struggling with too many connected devices, you can also look to buy non-Wi-Fi devices such as Zigbee-powered Philips Hue lights or Z-Wave light switches – these won’t connect to your Wi-Fi router, unlike Wi-Fi lights and switches.
We also have to talk about VPNs. Most VPNs just exist on individual devices. This means that you typically install a VPN on a computer, tablet, or a smartphone to keep your information safe while you’re browsing the internet. However, there are more advanced applications VPNs and firewalls that can plank at your entire internet service.
If you have a VPN installed at the router level, this might be causing your smart devices to have trouble reaching the internet – especially if it’s a “free” VPN service (since these often come with lower speeds).
Equally some VPNs offer “high security” Wi-Fi options only, such as WPA3 (which doesn’t work with most smart devices). Check the configurations you have on your VPN and make sure that the particular VPN you have installed is compatible with smart devices.
Bad weather can also be to blame for your connection troubles.
This is particularly the case for devices that are outside. Doorbells, cameras, and other Ring devices that are kept outside are particularly sensitive to severe weather. These devices are able to withstand most of what nature throws at them, but they can lose their connection to your Wi-Fi if they’ve been experiencing some pretty intense weather.
This affected me around a month ago during a tropical-like storm that hit the UK. My Ring Floodlight Cam stopped worked, and I had to manually reset it.
Software updates always come with their own hits and misses. Whenever new software updates are rolling out for Ring devices, users tend to experience a lot of connectivity problems.
These are typically short-term bugs that are fixed relatively quickly after each software update. You can always get in touch with a Ring’s customer support if a software update is causing trouble for the connectivity of your devices.
Improper Device Placement
Remember how we mentioned that we would talk about a few specific Wi-Fi problems earlier? Improper device placement is one of the biggest of those issues. This technically counts as user error, but a lot of people don’t know this Wi-Fi trick so they miss out on it.
Your Wi-Fi network has a limited range, but it also struggles to send its signal through walls (especially 5 GHz Wi-Fi). This means that the devices that are outside of your home are going to have the hardest time staying connected to your Wi-Fi.
You can either strategically place your Wi-Fi router or use Wi-Fi repeaters to make sure that outdoor devices, like Ring cameras, can stay connected to your home’s network.
Problems With Hubs
Another problem we need to talk about is the connection between the Ring smart hub and the Wi-Fi network.
Ring’s Base Station comes as a part of its alarm system. This acts as the base that keeps the entire system connected into the Wi-Fi. Each individual device communicates with each other, and the hub, using Z-Wave, but they all stay connected to your smartphone and Ring’s servers by a Wi-Fi connection through the hub.
If your hub starts to break down, it can lose connection to the Wi-Fi network causing it to disconnect your alarm system.
A Lack of Bandwidth
The last thing we need to talk about is the second Wi-Fi specific issue we mentioned earlier.
Your Wi-Fi network might seem like magic, but there’s actually a limited amount of information that those radio waves can carry. If there’s too much strain on your local wi-fi system, then there’s not going to be enough information to keep those smart devices connected to the internet.
You can solve this particular problem by improving your Wi-Fi bandwidth. This means upgrading it to a more robust Wi-Fi service and buying a more powerful right Wi-Fi router.
There is another particularly effective fix for this problem. If you have a lot of smart devices, you can set up your smart devices on their own, dedicated Wi-Fi network. This leaves one Wi-Fi network free for gaming, streaming, and just browsing the internet. While also having a separate Wi-Fi network dedicated to keeping your smart devices up and running. This is the ideal option for users who put a lot of strain on their home’s Wi-Fi network.
We’ve touched on a few issue specific solutions already, but what if you just generally need to get your Ring device connected back to the Wi-Fi?
How to Get Your Ring Devices Back Online
Here’s the fastest way to get any Ring device reconnected to your Wi-Fi network.
Use the Setup Option in the Ring App
This is by far the fastest fix for getting your Ring devices back up and running. This fix assumes that your Wi-Fi network is working properly and the device itself is also functional. If you just lost connectivity because of bad weather, a momentary interruption in your service, or just a glitch in the system this will get you back up and running in no time.
Here’s how it’s done.
- Tap on the menu icon in your Ring app
- Tap on “Devices”
- Select the device you want to reconnect
- Tap “Device Health”
- Tap either “Reconnect to Wifi” or “Change Wifi Network”
In some cases, the Ring device might serve up a temporary Wi-Fi network that you will need to connect your phone to – so you will then need to be within range of the device:
The fifth step in this fix depends on the type of device that you have as well as the year it was released. Both of those options have a very similar function, they’re just named a little differently depending on the specifics of your device.
You might also need access to your device’s QR code or barcode. The QR code was printed inside the box of newer Ring devices. You scan this QR code during setup to get your device connected to your Wi-Fi network.
However, if you don’t happen to have your box anymore you’re going to need to use the QR code that is printed on the device itself. This will be located at the back of the device. This means you’re going to need it to unmount your device from the wall to scan the QR code located on the back.
What to Do if the Setup Option Doesn’t Work?
So, what do you do if you tried everything on this list and nothing happens to work?
Well, there’s some good news and also some bad news.
The bad news is that your device is likely broken. Whether it was bricked by a software update that failed or it was just a lemon from the factory, you should be able to use the warranty to exchange it for a new device. You also might be able to do a return with the retailer that sold you the device in the first place. This is another reason why hanging onto the box that had the QR code inside of it is helpful.