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Ring’s Single Point of Failure

Posted by Todd Mersch on 19 April 2016

Pop quiz… what do a recent CBS Good Morning segment, the Wall Street Journal, and the best man from my wedding all have in common? They all provided the Wi-Fi based, camera-enabled secure doorbell technology, Ring, free publicity. Until my friend’s situation and the ultimate apprehension of the thief I was a bit circumspect of the video doorbell, but now I am counted as one of more than 300,000 homes that have it.

We, like many busy professionals, do as much internet shopping as possible. Amazon Prime is closing in on ending our need to go to a brick and mortar store for much of anything. Despite the harrowing pile of boxes that I somehow break down and jam into our recycling bin every other week, I don’t see this ending anytime soon. In steps Ring, to make sure we keep the contents of those boxes.

However, as the CBS segment states (around the 2:00 mark) Ring cannot go it alone and is dependent on a reliable and speedy Wi-Fi connection. If the Wi-Fi is down, Ring is down and the bad guys win. As a user, I can tell you that even if the Wi-Fi is working, but the speed is too slow, the system struggles to capture the video fast enough especially for motion detected situations.

Like any system, video doorbells are only as strong as their weakest link. In this case, Wi-Fi. Reliable Wi-Fi remains the backbone of IoT in the home and the savior of my box of almond butter and coffee.

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