This story was originally published and last updated .
Doorbells are a necessary nuisance in our lives, but they're also among one of the best household features to go "smart" in years. Video doorbells have been around for ages, but cloud-connected smart video doorbells are pretty much a revelation if you've never experienced one. You'll know every time someone is at the door, be able to check for packages without getting up from your couch, and avoid pesky door-to-door solicitors (when we have those again). Arlo, Nest, and Ring all have compelling options, but there's one we think is the best choice for most people, especially if you're using an Android phone and a Google-powered smart display like the Nest Hub.
Home security cameras are great for letting homeowners know when someone's at their front door, be it a friendly face, a helpful courier, or even an intruder. However, for most battery-powered camera systems that only start to record video when movement is detected, homeowners often miss out on how a visitor happened upon their doorstep — until now. The new Video Doorbell 3 Plus by Ring is the first battery-operated doorbell camera that can capture up to four seconds of video before any motion is detected.
Ring has dealt with its fair share of privacy snafus (and then some), but its latest move might allay some of your fears. The Amazon-owned smart home company has instituted a new login policy, effective immediately. Now, you'll need to enter a two-factor authentication (2FA) code every time you log into your account.
Ring's smart home security hardware was cheap and popular. Turns out, it was also lacking basic security protections and leaking customer data, including household locations, through its Neighbors social app — which was already contentiously sharing customer videos with law enforcement. In the wake of all these concerns, the company has today announced that it's building a new section for its app specifically for improved privacy and security settings and pushing two-factor authentication (2FA) as a default, opt-out setting on all new accounts.
According to a report by Vice's Motherboard, Ring has fired a handful of its employees over the last four years for "improperly" accessing customer's recorded videos. This news follows a string of negative press for the Amazon-owned company, including a string of hacks, the revelation that some location and video data was being publicly shared through Ring's Neighbors app, and (justified) accusations that Ring lacked in "basic security features" to protect customer privacy and data.
Today, Vice published a story detailing the abysmal security practices of Amazon's Ring brand of smart home security and surveillance products after a spate of compromised passwords (which have been inaccurately described as "hacked," even by The New York Times, who should know much better) led to terrifying privacy breaches for consumers across the US.
Compromised passwords are an extremely common source of account breaches, whether as part of account dumps on the dark web or through simple social engineering. Passwords are, for all of their virtues, very bad as security measures. In a world full of bad actors looking to compromise your personal privacy for the sake of spying on you or taking advantage of you financially, your password should be one of several lines of defense protecting you.
Ring's home security system is one of the most popular on the market, thanks to its features and the expansion possibilities it offers. With this deal, you can get a 14-piece kit and a free Echo Dot for just $230, which is $100 less than the usual price.
Welcome to the great surveillance society: more people are installing Ring cameras as an affordable and easy way to improve the security of not just their household, but, through use of the associated Neighbors app which lets users share their footage with local police, their entire neighborhood. But while the consumer's benefits are seemingly clear, there may be hidden consequences as well: Gizmodo was able to acquire and uncover precise coordinate data from 65,800 Neighbors posts detailing where reporting households were located.
Black Friday has come and gone, but we're not done with pre-holiday deals by a long shot. Cyber Monday is upon us, and the deals refuse to quit. A whole bunch of what we're seeing today is an extension of sales that have been running since last week, but there's plenty of new stuff, too. Here, for your convenience, we've rounded up all the best deals we've spotted.
With all those packages rolling in from your Cyber Monday shopping, you're going to want to know exactly when some of them arrive — and keep an eye on ones that arrive while you're not at home. Home security options can get expensive, but today's the perfect time to start shopping for one. Amazon is offering the Ring Video Doorbell for just $80 ($70 off), its lowest price ever — and, on top of that, it's bundled with a free Echo Dot (a $50 value).