I’m thinking of getting Ring Alarm with the Ring Protection Plus plan, but during months-long extended periods away from home we shut down our internet and phone service. Will the cellular backup feature provide me with otherwise full functionality? No cameras, no doorbells. Just the Alarm with sensors, which I assume use exclusively z-wave for connectivity. Can I use the app to check the system status, arm, and disarm?
Thanks for your help.
Hello @JJLatRing ,
OK, that’s a very interesting question that I hadn’t considered before. I had to do some online research and I even turned off my Wi-Fi router to find out what my Ring Alarm system could do only on cellular backup only.
The cellular backup feature will not provide you with full functionality, but does provide limited essential capabilities as long as there in a good cellular signal strength between the cell tower (that broadcasts for AT&T) and your Base Station (along with a good house power outlet maintaining the Base Station power or else it will go into Battery-backup mode). So you could use the Ring App to do only essential functions only, while your Alarm is in cellular backup mode, such as see which Alarm Mode your system currently is in, or change the Alarm Modes between armed Modes (Home/Away) and disarm (Disarmed Mode). You could NOT access the any Health status, cannot change nor see any sensor nor its settings, nor access/change several other settings of your Alarm. You would not know if any sensor was bypassed either. The Ring Alarm system is not intended to be operated without connection to Wi-Fi, as this cellular feature is meant to be a back-up, so I do not know if there is any potential issues from using only the cellular backup mode for very long periods of time.
It is true that the Contact and Motion sensors are connected to the Alarm Base Station using only Z-Wave (not Wi-FI). But your Base Station normally connects to you via the Internet (via wireless Wi-Fi or by Ethernet cable) to your Ring App.
Unlike the Doorbell and Cameras (which you said you don’t have), the Wi-Fi requirements for the Base Station are very low (does not need the faster broadband like audio/visual data-streams required for cameras). Potentially better options you might want to consider are:
- So, one option is not shutting down your Internet, but rather reducing it to a cheaper slower basic Internet capability while you are away with your Internet service provider. This way, you can maintain full functionality with all the parts of your alarm system and to be able to check on their status.
- Also, if you have friendly, nearby neighbors that are close enough for their Wi-Fi signal on their Wi-Fi router to connect to your Base Station, you could ask it they wouldn’t mind allowing you to connect your Base Station to their Wi-Fi. The Base Station, unlike cameras, hardly draws off any of their bandwidth, so they might be willing to provide you with their Wi-Fi service while you are away. If their Wi-Fi signal strength is very weak, you could consider purchasing a Wi-Fi extender device to help ‘bridge’ the signal between your Base Station and the neighbors’ Wi-Fi. While you are connected to the neighbor’s Wi-Fi, they would NOT have access to your Base Station (unless you grant them “Shared User” status).
I hope you find this information useful.