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Ring finally adds a vital security feature to video doorbells and security cameras

Ring has announced it is now offering end-to-end encryption to protect the video captured by its smart doorbells and security cameras.

The feature, which was announced in September and now rolling out in technical preview, is now available on compatible devices, the Amazon-owned smart home company says.

The encryption will protect the video captured by the device as it travels to a secondary device that streams the footage. So, from the camera/doorbell to your smartphone, for example. The idea is to protect that footage to prevent it being intercepted by third parties with bad intentions.

In a blog post, Ring writes: “By default, Ring already encrypts videos when they are uploaded to the cloud (in transit) and stored on Ring’s servers (at rest). With End-to-End Encryption, customer videos are further secured with an additional lock, which can only be unlocked by a key that is stored on the customer’s enrolled mobile device, designed so that only the customer can decrypt and view recordings on their enrolled device.”

However, not all of the company’s devices are compatible. Right now Ring is promising support for the newer Doorbell Pro and Doorbell Elite as well as the Floodlight, Spotlight and Stick Up Cam security cameras. Older devices like the first two Ring doorbells are out of luck.

Related: Best smart home devices

Users will also need a mobile device running iOS 12 and Android 8 and above in order to take advantage of the feature.

Ring is adding the feature as it continues to face criticism for how it has handled the privacy of its users in the last few years.

In December 2019, the personal information of more than 3,600 Ring users was exposed, while in the same month there was reports of a man hacking a camera in an 8-year-old girl’s bedroom. In March this year it emerged Amazon was hoarding videos from Ring cameras on its servers.

The company has also come under fire for its shady arrangements with police departments around the United States.

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