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Using Your Own Router With The Ring Alarm Pro (Possible?)

The Ring Alarm Pro subscription plan and alarm system offer a lot of security features for smart homes. These devices are a great way to get backup internet and power, as well as protecting your home. However, are you really stuck using the built-in router with the Ring Alarm Pro? This is what Ring’s official advice seems to be, after all. The short answer is…

You can use your own router with the Ring Alarm Pro. This does mean sacrificing some of the Ring Protect Pro features (like 24/7 backup internet), but you don’t have to use the included router as your primary internet gateway. You can even incorporate the Ring Alarm Pro into an existing mesh network.

Let’s see what we can do about using the Ring Alarm Pro base station with an existing mesh network.

A Quick Guide To The Ring Alarm Pro

Marketing image of the Ring Alarm Pro base station
Marketing image of the Ring Alarm Pro base station

The Ring Alarm Pro is the latest-gen base station that’s required for running a Ring Alarm system. This is the upgraded version of the standard Ring Alarm base station.

You can buy a Ring Alarm Pro base station as a way to upgrade your existing Ring Alarm system, or you can purchase this with one of Ring’s package deals. These package deals are a great way to get all the essential pieces of a Ring Alarm system while saving a little money in the process.

The big advantage to getting the Ring Alarm Pro paste station upgrade is the included Eero 6 Wi-Fi router. This router supports up to 900 Mbps connections and can cover up to 1,500 feet. This is a solid choice for homes and apartments that don’t already have a wifi router.

Before we go much further, we should take a closer look at this Wi-Fi router that comes included with Ring’s Alarm base station.

What Is The Eero Router?

Eero routers are a brand of Wi-Fi mesh router that are integrated into some of Ring’s technology. You can find an Eero router inside of every Ring Alarm Pro base station. Amazon (who also own Ring) purchased Eero back in 2019, so a sync-up between Ring and Eero products was long overdue.

The benefit of Eero routers is that you can buy multiple Eero routers, and ‘mix’ them together to form what’s known as a Wi-Fi mesh network. This provides much greater Wi-Fi coverage around your home.

However things get a little tricky when we look at the fact that there are several generations of the Eero 6 router – and a network is only as strong as the weakest link. This means that if you have the slowest Eero 6 router in your network, this will bottleneck its speeds and performances slightly.

And unfortunately, only the base Eero 6 comes inside of the Ring Alarm Pro base station. Let’s take a look at the two upgraded models of the Eero router.

Eero 6 Pro

An Eero Pro 6 Wi Fi router
An Eero Pro 6 Wi Fi router

The Eero 6 Pro represents a major upgrade over the base model. The form factor is slightly larger, but the Eero 6 Pro incorporates much more sophisticated Wi-Fi mesh technology.

Most users will notice the most significant part of this upgrade in terms of performance. The Eero 6 Pro can handle speeds of up to 1 gig per second (even when multiple Eero 6 Pros are used to form a mesh network), and covers a range of up to 2,000 feet. All in all, this is just a much more powerful version of the standard Eero 6.

Eero 6

The Eero 6 is a cut-down version of the Eero 6 Pro. Whilst the Eero website says that the Eero 6 has max speeds of up to 900 Mbps, the actual Wi-Fi speed will go down to 500 Mbps when you run multiple Eero 6 devices in a network mesh.

In other words, your maximum Wi-Fi speeds will almost be halved with the Eero 6 (compared to the Eero 6 Pro). This might not matter for some people – 500 Mbps is still very, very fast after all – but it’s worth knowing.

Eero 6e

The Eero 6e Pro is Eero’s attempt to jump into Wi-Fi 6e game, a standard that builds on Wi-Fi 6 with some extra stability and speed enhancements.

The Eero 6e offers a wired connection that delivers speeds over 2 gigs per second and a Wi-Fi connection that has speeds over 1.3 gigs per second. This is lightning-fast Wi-Fi potential.

The Eero 6e is also designed to help you build a mesh network. These routers feature satellite routers that you can place throughout your home to build a mesh network. Adding one satellite router extends the range to up to 4,500 feet while adding two satellites can extend the range to over 6,000 feet.

The fact that there are some pretty significant upgrades to the basic Eero 6 is already giving us some compelling reasons to not use the Ring Alarm Pro as your main router. However, what happens when you use a different router?

Does The Ring Alarm Pro Really Need To Be The Primary Router?

The Ring Alarm Pro does not technically need to be your primary router. It comes with a built-in bridge mode that you can use kind of like a Wi-Fi range extender. However, when you don’t use the Pro as your primary router, you lose out on a lot of Ring Protect Pro subscription features like 24/7 backup internet – and local recording with Ring Edge might not work either.

So you have a choice: you can either use the Ring Alarm Pro as your primary router and keep those extra features, or if they aren’t useful to you, you could keep the Alarm Pro as a secondary router – and this will work fine too.

What Happens When The Ring Alarm Pro Isn’t The Primary Router

When you don’t use the Ring Alarm Pro is your primary router you’re going to lose out on some of the Protect Pro subscription features. The two main features you lose out on are the 24/7 internet backup which runs thanks to a cellular connection inside of the Ring Alarm Pro, and the local recording feature.

The trade-off here really depends on your home’s Wi-Fi setup and what you need from these devices. The local recording feature has some utility depending on your security needs, but if you’re mostly after alerts or notifications you can do without those features.

The 24/7 internet backup feature is particularly useful for your alarm system. This gives you – and the rest of your home – internet functionality even when your internet goes down. However, this can incur additional costs and might not be the best option for certain security situations.

Weighing some of the bonus features you got with the Ring protect Pro plan against the advantages of using your own router is the heart of figuring out whether or not you want to use the Ring Alarm Pro as your primary router.

Why You Might Not Want A Ring Alarm Pro As Your Primary Router

A mesh WiFi point in my kitchen
A mesh WiFi point in my kitchen

Now let’s get into a few of the reasons why you might not want to use your Ring Alarm Pro as your primary router.

The first thing we need to talk about is security. It might seem strange that using the Ring Alarm Pro as your primary router could cost you home security, but there are a few considerations to keep in mind.

This prevents you from separating your smart home technology from your general internet usage. This gives hackers plenty of new attack vectors for going after your smart technology. Keeping your smart devices on their own Wi-Fi network is one of the best ways to protect your smart technology from hacking.

There are also faster Wi-Fi routers out there. The Eero 6 is an impressive router, but it’s getting a little dated – both the Eero 6 Pro and 6e are better. Being stuck using that Wi-Fi router is already slowing you down and it’s only going to get slower as the years go by.

If we’re being honest, being stuck using a built-in Wi-Fi router takes a lot of the fun out of putting together your own smart home network. A lot of smart devices are sold as prepackaged products from big-name retailers, but doing a little DIY work is how smart home technology started.

Being able to pick your own router and put together your own mesh network lets you fine tune your smart home.

How To Use Ring Alarm Pro With An Existing Router

You’ve got a few options for using your Ring Alarm Pro with an existing router or mesh network.

  1. Firstly, if you already have Eero routers, you could use the Ring Alarm Pro as another point on your Eero mesh network. Yes you will lose some features (as covered earlier), but this will still improve your home’s Wi-Fi reach.
  2. Secondly, at its core, the Ring Alarm Pro it’s essentially just a base station for the Ring Alarm system combined with your standard Wi-Fi router. This means that you can use it just like you could any other Wi-Fi router. It doesn’t necessarily need to be the gateway router for your entire system, but it could just be another router all together.
  3. This device from Ring also has a hard-wired internet connection. This means that you can plug-in an ethernet cable into it rather than using the Wi-Fi mode in general. You can also use it to run a dedicated Wi-Fi network for all of your Ring devices.

Making The Most Of The The Eero 6

There’s one thing you could do to make the most of the aging Eero 6 router inside of the Ring Alarm Pro.

You can use the base station and its dedicated router as a way to create a separate Wi-Fi network for all of your Ring devices. This will give you an added layer of security as well as keeping your primary internet connection free from clutter.

Your Ring Alarm system provides an important role in your smart home ecosystem. It’s also going to need to use bandwidth. You don’t want to accidentally have your gaming and media streaming conflicting with the video uploading going on with your Ring Alarm system.

About Tristan Perry

Tristan Perry is a software developer who is passionate about tech gadgets, DIY and housing. He has therefore loved seeing smart homes hit the mainstream. Tristan also has an academic background (in Math & Computer Science), and so he enjoys digging into the technical ways that smart home devices work.

Tristan owns close to a dozen Amazon Echo devices, way too many Philips Hue bulbs and lightstrips, a boat-load of Ring Cameras and Doorbells... and a bunch of other smart home devices too (from Reolink, Google Nest, GLEDOPTO and others).

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