Ring, an Amazon-owned security company, has a reputation problem right now. Between blaming users for security problems Ring could prevent, and a less than transparent relationship with law enforcement, it’s hard to recommend anything from the company. Thankfully, you can find plenty of alternatives to Ring products, whether it’s cameras, lights, or security. Here are seven suggestions to consider.
How We Picked Alternatives
If you’re going to invite a security-focused company into your home, that means giving up a certain amount of privacy in the name of convenience or security. You’re trusting a company to keep your data safe and your devices out of reach from bad actors.
Ring’s most significant issues currently stem from password reuse (which makes breaking into your cameras easy) and an opaque relationship with law enforcement. To be clear—working with law enforcement isn’t a bad thing. But a lack of transparency surrounding that relationship can be. If users don’t understand the implications behind installing cameras and other security equipment, then the company has done them a disservice.
So in looking for alternatives, we’re looking for a combination of features and promises to address both issues. Not every suggestion has everything on this list, but they all have at least one.
- Two-Step Authentication: Every security company will tell you that two-step authentication will prevent most bad actors from breaking into your account. No company currently requires two-step authentication, but we tried to stick with companies that at least offer it.
- IP Location Tracking: Companies can tell where you are when you log in by checking your Internet Protocol (IP) Address location. We think security companies should use that information to check for suspicious login attempts. Currently, Nest is the only camera company we’re aware of that checks IP location, and even then, only if you convert to a Google account.
- Cloudless Recording: When it comes to cameras, you should be in control of your data. If you have the only copy of your camera’s video, you determine who can see it, not a faceless company off in the distance.
With those points in mind, here are our favorite alternatives to Ring products.
A Great Video Doorbell: eufy Security, Wi-Fi Video Doorbell
We like the eufy Video doorbell because it doesn’t require a subscription and records all video locally. That means eufy doesn’t control the data, you do. You can only access the video through eufy’s app (for iOS and Android ), but the video streams directly from the doorbell to your phone.
The main downside from a security standpoint is the lack of two-step authentication. If that’s a deal-breaker for you, we have other excellent video doorbell suggestions that do offer authentication.
A Budget Indoor Wi-Fi Camera: Wyze Cam
If you want an indoor camera but don’t want to spend a lot, Wyze cam has a lot to like. You can insert an SD card and kill the cloud entirely to take control of your data. It offers two-step authentication and will integrate with Wyze sensors to improve motion detection.
You can also save money by spending a little more: the Wyze Cam Pan can keep an eye out on two rooms if you place it in the right spot of your home.
A Premium Indoor Wi-F Camera: Nest Security Camera
Sometimes subscriptions can be helpful. With a Nest Aware subscription, you can get 24-hour recording and familiar face detection. The latter is useful for knowing who is in your home when you’re aren’t actively paying attention. Nest is the only security camera provider we’re aware that offers both two-factor authentication and checks IP location for suspicious login activity. You do need to convert to a Google Account for the latter feature, though.
A Local Storage Outdoor Camera: Reolink WiFi Security Camera
If your primary concern is control of your data, then a camera that offers a local storage-only option is what you want. The Reolink Security Camera does have cloud storage options, but you don’t need to subscribe to them. It has a microSD card slot that allows you to provide your storage.
This camera is battery powered, but you can buy a solar power panel and rechargeable battery kit to avoid swapping batteries. Keep in mind that the downside to skipping cloud storage is theft—if someone steals your camera, they take your video data too.
A Premium Outdoor Camera: Nest Cam Outdoor
If you are willing to trust your data to the cloud, you’ll see several benefits. The Nest Cam Outdoor offers 24/7 recording with a Nest Aware subscription, along with notifications for packages, familiar faces, and general movement.
Like other Nest products, you benefit from IP tracking to prevent suspicious account activity, but only if you convert your Nest account to a Google Account. You will need an outlet available to plug the camera into, so keep that in mind when choosing Nest Cam.
A Good DIY Security System: SimpliSafe
If you’re looking for a security system you can set up yourself, SimpliSafe is one of the best and most popular options on the market. The base system comes with a base station, keypad, entry sensor, motion sensor, key fob, a yard sign, and a few window stickers. Ring’s similar security system is typically more expensive and doesn’t include a motion sensor, yard signs, or window stickers. The last two, in some ways, might be the most effective components in the SimpliSafe kit.
Thieves tend to bypass any homes with potential security for those that look like easier pickings. SimpliSafe offers a 24/7 monitoring service, but you don’t have to use it. You can set up the sensors, base station, and even a siren that may scare away burglars all without paying a monthly fee.
Path Lights: GIGALUMI Solar Pathway Lights
While Ring’s path lights are smart, we don’t think smart path lights are worth the significant increase in cost. For what’s often more than double the price of standard path lights, you get fewer lights, but the ability to schedule, and integration with Ring Cameras.
The GIGALUMI Pathway lights, on the other hand, come in a six-pack (as opposed to Ring’s two-pack), and are easy to use. Just bury them and let the sun do the rest. During the day, they charge, and at night they’ll automatically turn and stay on for up to ten hours. If you’d like something less expensive, we have some other suggestions as well.
If you do want a smart path light, you can consider the Philips Hue Cala, but you’ll pay a premium.