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Ring Alarm Pro merges a router and a security system

On-device storage and on-device processing are firsts for Ring.

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Ring

Amazon announced Tuesday during its annual fall hardware event a new home security system, the Ring Alarm Pro, which will have a built-in Eero Wi-Fi 6 router. The $250 security system will protect you from both physical intruders and network threats, according to the company.

Along with the system comes a new subscription tier: Ring Protect Pro. In conjunction with the Alarm Pro system, it will offer cellular internet backup, local video processing and storage, access to Eero Secure (which offers flexible internet filters and network threat protection) and a hands-free emergency helpline via Alexa Guard Plus (the security feature on Amazon Echo devices). That's all in addition to the usual professional monitoring and cloud storage options you get with the existing Ring Protect Plus plan.

Ring Protect Pro will cost $20 per month, or $200 per year -- as opposed to Plus's $10 per month, $100 per year fees.

The Ring Alarm Pro represents a compelling approach to smart home security on three levels: first, by merging a security system with a router, it expands the categories of threat the system can guard against; second, it centralizes smart home security control in much the same way smart home hubs of yore did (something I called for back in 2017); finally, it offers local video processing and storage -- features Ring has historically eschewed.

"We want to give our customers choices," said Ring President Leila Rouhi when I asked her about that last point. "If the choice that they want is on-device storage and on-device processing, we want to enable that, and I expect that we will continue to want to offer broad choices to our customers moving forward."

Local storage and processing has seen more uptake with competitors like Google and Apple, and it's an important feature for customers concerned about privacy and how transferring private footage on the cloud could risk exposure. The base station will include a slot for a microSD card to enable these local storage and processing features.

In addition to the new base station, Ring will offer backup batteries that extend the life of the device in case of a power outage. This means that, even if electricity goes out, Wi-Fi can stay on for at least a limited period of time. (Ring did not offer estimates of battery life.) The Ring Alarm Pro base station will support the use of up to four backup batteries.

The Ring Alarm Pro will also offer cellular backup, in case of internet disruptions -- a feature notably absent from both generations of the otherwise impressive original Ring Alarm system. (UK and Australian prices were not announced, but $250 is about £185 or AU$345.)

At Tuesday's event, Amazon also announced the Amazon Blink, a new custom alerts feature and more. The company unveiled that Ring will soon let you hire virtual security guards to monitor your doorbell feed, as well.