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Ring’s Doorbell Pro accidentally sent video of other homes to unsuspecting users

A Ring of Security
If the dawn of smart home technology has left you skeptical of its inherent helpfulness, then a recent blunder from the smart doorbell company Ring certainly won’t do much to build any faith.

Over the past several weeks, owners of the Ring Doorbell Pro reportedly received notifications (with video and all) of homes that were not their own. In other words, users were getting front row seats to someone else’s supposedly secure video feed directly on their own smartphones. As expected, this gaffe has ruffled a few feathers of those using the product, rightfully calling into question the company’s built-in security.

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When Ring expanded its lineup of smart doorbells earlier this year, it wasn’t hard to see the benefit of having a doorbell with a built-in camera. Considering most people spend upwards of 40 or 50 hours a week toiling away at work, they can’t always be home to see who stops by. Be it a neighbor simply coming over to say hi or a postman dropping off that box of Amazon Prime goodies you’ve been waiting for, there’s no shortage of reasons why one would desire a live camera feed of who comes to their front door. But looking in on a stranger’s home? Not exactly.

“Security is at the core of our company and this is something Ring takes very seriously,” Ring brand manager Yassi Shahmiri told Android Central. “We use random numbers to generate a call ID from Ring products. We did a very robust Beta test of the new Ring Video Doorbell Pro on experimental software, and when we moved it out of Beta for the commercial launch, some customers’ numbers were in two different databases.”

Shamiri goes on to say that due to the two databases, call ID numbers were “overwritten,” allowing for some video recordings to show up on other users’ devices. Despite the error, Ring says this overlapping of IDs created fewer than 10 occurrences of errant video, out of roughly 4 million calls per day and “84 million calls in total.” Currently, the company says it’s in the process of accurately merging its existing databases which (in theory) would completely erase chances of something like this happening again.

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History of Ring devices
Two people waving in front of a Ring Video Doorbell Wired

Ring’s smart home devices have been around for years, ever since its video doorbells were the brainchild of Jamie Siminoff and called “Doorbot.” Eventually, that name was changed to Ring, product lines grew to incorporate other devices like security cameras, and in 2018 Amazon purchase the brand.

Ring cams and doorbells in particular have continued to develop, and now there are so many models that newcomers may feel a bit bewildered by their choices. So let’s take a look at the state of these Ring lines, what products they include, and all the key differences that have developed over time.
Ring security cams
Floodlight Cam

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In the past, the Nest Doorbell has been a popular option thanks to its versatility and clear image quality, but the battery was always a consideration. The latest iteration of the video doorbell does away with the battery in favor of a hardwired connection, ensuring you never have to worry about the battery running out of juice. It also has another nifty feature: an hour of onboard video storage backup. This means that if your Wi-Fi drops, you'll still be able to see anything that happens (for an hour, anyway), and the footage will automatically be uploaded to your cloud storage as soon as the connection resumes.

Like other Nest products, you'll only get three hours of event video history on the free tier. To get 30 days of footage, you'll need to upgrade to Nest Aware at $6 per month or $60 per year.

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New Ring cams get radar, fresh design, and now they can dispatch Amazon Astro’s robot
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During Wednesday's Amazon event, Ring announced a bevy of new products to join its large lineup. These products include the new Spotlight Cam Pro, Virtual Security Guard, and new software features for older products.
Ring Spotlight Cam Pro
First up is the new Spotlight Cam Pro, focusing on using radar sensors for improved motion detection. With the new radar sensor in the camera, you can set precise thresholds on when the Cam Pro starts to record and alert you to motion. Those sensors also power the Bird's Eye View feature that will show you an estimated path someone may have followed. So, if a delivery driver dropped off a package, you can see exactly what route they took around your property. This view will show in a picture-in-picture format whether you're watching live or a past event.

Ring Spotlight Cam Plus
The next generation of the Spotlight Cam is coined Spotlight Cam Plus. It offers a new design while maintaining all the features that customers expect, including two-way talk, color night vision, live view, and a security siren. The Spotlight Cam Plus will also be available in multiple power options, including Solar, Battery Wired, and Plug-in. You can pre-order the Spotlight Cam Plus now, starting at $200.

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