I’ve got a Ring Doorbell (battery) and a Ring Spotlight Cam (battery) to watch my front door and back yard. I’d like to add another camera that watches the street 24/7 and records constantly (or at least with any motion). I don’t need notifications. I just want to be able to look back any time there has been suspicious activity on the street.
Which is the best device for this purpose? I prefer something I can plug into an outside outlet. Thank you!
Hello @JohnMihaljevic ,
An outdoor Ring Video Camera is designed to record video when it detects a motion-triggering event, so therefore it cannot record 24/7. But there is a way to come pretty close to 24/7, especially if you are going to be monitoring a street that has frequent passing cars.
I too wanted to do something similar (monitor & record activity in my front yard that also faces my street). I’ll tell you what I did, and then you can decide for yourself, if what I did might satisfy your needs.
I purchased a Ring " Stick-up Cam Plug-in". You do not want to purchase any battery version camera, because:
- Attempting to maximize the camera to do as many recordings as it can, will quickly deplete the battery, causing frequent recharging.
- The Ring Battery-powered versions will NOT have some of the “power-depleting” options or settings (to extend battery life) that are available in the Plug-in/Wired powered models , such as the 30-second interval “Snapshot” feature option.
I intentionally mounted and selected settings to maximize the Stick-Up camera’s ability to have the most motion-triggering opportunities, to get as close to 24 hour video coverage as I could. I mounted my “Stick-up Cam Plug-in” on my house’s wall facing the street.
For Stick-up Cam Mounting:
- Mounted it a little bit lower than normal (about 7 feet above the ground). Mounting it lower had two major effects:
For Stick-up Cam "Motion Settings: (to maximize motion-triggering events to be recorded).
- Customize/edit your Motion Zones to cover the entire camera’s field-of-view.
- Adjust Motion Sensitivity to “Most Sensitive./All Motion”
- During the set-up, when it asked "Does your camera face the street, answer “No.”
- “People Only Mode” toggled OFF.
- Do not use “Motion Schedule.”
For Stick-up Cam Device page:
- “Record Motion” toggled ON.
- “Motion Alerts” toggled OFF (your App will receive too numerous annoying ‘pushed’ text-type Notifications, because you set up your camera to record any event).
On OTHER camera devices: (in your case, your Video Doorbell & your Spotlight cam)
- On those devices, select “Link Devices” and toggle ON the the street facing Stick-up camera. So when these other devices are motion-triggered, they make the Stick-up cam record, just in case it is not recording at the moment. These links will make it record more often. Caution: Linking more than two cameras may slow down or stop camera recording, depending on your home’s bandwidth and Ring setup, so you should avoid linking 3 or more video cameras to this street-facing Stick-up cam. Consider linking whichever cameras potentially have the most motion-triggering events.
For Stick-up Cam "Device Settings:
- “Live View”: Toggle ON (to enable Live View).
- “Tap Camera Preview for Live View”: Toggle ON (for faster Live View activation).
- “Video Recording Length”: set 120-seconds (new longer recording feature!).
- "Infrared Lights for Night Vision: Toggled ON (to illuminate the IR LEDs when in Night Mode).
- “Snapshot Capture”: Toggle ON
- “Snapshot Frequency”: Select “Every 30 Seconds” and then “Save.”
- “Alert Settings”: “App Alert Tones” select “Silent” (your App will receive too numerous annoying Sounds Alerts, because you set up your camera to record any event).
I was very pleasantly shocked how far the motion-detection range is increased by mounting it lower! The lower mounting resulted in the camera’s “aiming” to be more horizontal instead of downward, thus maximizing its range distance (instead of pointing downwards to the earth). My street curb is 50 feet away from the camera and even people walking on the other side of the street trigger a recording, including all passing cars, with the following settings.
You won’t get text-type Notifications (toggled OFF) nor App Alert-Tone(selected “Silent”), but you really don’t want these because the intended goal is to record as much as possible, and not go crazy with all the numerous Notifications & Sounds from your Ring App.
Typically my “Event History” is full of recorded events, recorded for 120-seconds, and then a slight delay, followed by another batch of 120-seconds recordings. When there isn’t some motion to trigger a recording, then the “Time-line” page will have a “Snapshot” still-photograph picture every 30-seconds, which has a good chance of catching an event image that is beyond the motion-triggering range. During the day, I’ve found my Event History is full of “Back-to-back” video recordings, often triggered by passing cars on the street. Late at night, with less traffic, I have sections of only “Snapshots” between car-activations.
Setting up your camera to maximize motion-triggered video recordings will result in a lot of data-bandwidth streaming use on your Wi-Fi router. Other Wi-Fi devices might be impacted, and so you might need to compensate by upgrading your Internet-speed with your Internet provider.
Remember that both Video recordings & Snapshots are stored and can be downloaded. Videos are stored on the Ring “Cloud” server for 2 months (some countries for only 1 month). The “Snapshots” have less storage with a 7-day limit, or a maximum of 30 MB worth of snapshots on powered devices. Once either of these Snapshot limits have been reached, the oldest snapshots will be overwritten by newer ones. (Note: Battery operated device limit is a maximum of 2.5 MB ).
Also the Stick-Up Plug-in cam has a cord of 22.9 feet long, so I would recommend routing the plug to an indoor power-outlet. This reduces the chances of someone just ‘pulling the plug’ if an outdoor power-outlet is used. In my case, I drilled a hole through the wall to route the cord and then chalked-sealed the opening.
I also wasn’t too concerned about theft since I mounted the camera at a lower height, because the cam becomes useless to the thief if stolen (“Ownership” feature makes it a paperweight) and also Ring Support will replace it if stolen. I preferred maximizing my motion-detection range so the cam would trigger more frequently.
I chose a “Stick-up Plug-in cam”, but you could also use the “Spotlight Cam Wired” or “Floodlight Cam” (if you have a house-power junction box located outside facing your street for the Floodlight cam). The Stick-up and Spotlight cams currently have the 120-second video-length recording feature, and soon the Floodlight cam should have the ability to change from 60-seconds max to 120-seconds soon too (this new feature is slowly ‘rolling-out’).
You can’t get 24/7 video recordings with Ring cameras, but I am happy with how close I did get for satisfying my monitoring needs. And I still can use my Ring App to “Live-View” monitor or view recorded videos wherever I am. You’ll have to decide whether to go with another system that is truly 24/7, or if this method using a Ring cam will meet your needs. I hope that you find this information useful in your decision