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How to set up Ring's end-to-end video encryption

It's an opt-in feature. Here's how to enable it.

Megan Wollerton/CNET

Ring on Jan. 13 announced it was rolling out end-to-end video encryption for its doorbells and security cameras. The feature is optional and only available on an opt-in basis. End-to-end encryption provides customers with more control over how they manage their video footage. It's a promising continuation of the Amazon smart home company's recent moves to make two-factor authentication mandatory and to add a Control Center dashboard in the Ring app where customers can more easily manage their privacy and security settings. 

Privacy advocates have expressed concern over Ring's partnership with local law enforcement via its Neighbors program, which allows customers with Ring doorbells and security cameras to share footage with police. Ring user data was also exposed in December 2019. CNET temporarily stopped reviewing or recommending Ring products in late 2019, but has resumed testing due to the various updates the company has made. 

But I have another type of question: Is it actually easy to set up Ring's end-to-end video encryption? Here's a short how-to detailing my experience enabling the feature -- and how to set it up yourself.  

Read more: Ring's new privacy and security features prove that hardware isn't the only important thing

Step 1: Open the Ring app

Open the Ring app and click on the settings in the upper left corner. 

Step 2: Click Control Center 

Click on the Control Center option in the settings menu.

Step 3: Select Video Encryption

Scroll down within the Control Center menu and select the Video Encryption option.

Step 4: Tap Advanced Settings

Tap on the Advanced Settings option listed in the Video Encryption menu.

Step 5: Enable end-to-end encryption

Click on End-to-End Encryption in the Advanced Settings menu and hit Enable End-to-End Encryption. 

As it turns out, it really is easy to enable this feature, although it is nested under a lot of settings, so you do have to do a bit of clicking. 

It's important to note that enabling end-to-end encryption disables select Ring features, including any shared users' access and the ability to watch your doorbell or security camera's live feed on an Alexa smart display. Find out more details on Ring's end-to-end encryption support page.

Read more: The best home security cameras of 2021 | The best video doorbells of 2021

Screenshots by Megan Wollerton/CNET