Wednesday, November 16, 2016 Video Doorbell

We recently bought one of these things (not the pro version) and we are considering buying more of their products.  They are kind of closed about how their stuff works, so I sent this in to their customer support, and this post is me making good on a promise I made them.


Your troubleshooter provides a little bit of useful information and leaves out a "crap load" of useful information. People like me would add it if there was a place to add it, and maybe there is, but I haven't found it. So if you want to help me and everyone else, then provide everyone with access to a common place where we can all share findings.

  • When the doorbell flashes white at the top, it means the Wifi password was probably miskeyed.
  • When the doorbell flashes white on the left, it means the doorbell can't communicate with the Internet (I think! - Can you confirm that?)
  • When the doorbell shows a sliding blue, it is trying to connect to a wifi network.
  • When the doorbell determines that it can't communicate with the Internet, it ... ??? Is that when it flashes white on the left?

It seems that the doorbell needs a wireless 802.11 b network. The instructions say "Use mode g/b or n/b, but not 'n only'. Why don't you just tell us what kind of network the doorbell needs? I set my router to g/b/n, but I still have trouble. Maybe this is because whatever mechanism Ring uses to store data to the cloud is currently unavailable, and that makes the doorbell act like it can't connect to the Internet.

Here's the thing, and I think it's important. I get the sense that you don't want to tell everyone how your product works because of security concerns. The BEST security in the world is open source because everyone can see that it works, and when it doesn't work, someone figures that out and tells everyone (unless it's the CIA, in which case they save it to use later as in StuxNet, but I bet you that the zero days they used for Stuxnet were mostly if not all in proprietary code). Be open and honest and trust your customers to let you know about problems. You'll be far more successful and you won't piss off smart people who crave the kind of transparency they can use to solve problems.

I will try to find an appropriate place on the Internet to make these comments public. Please pass them up your chain of command and let's see if we can make your products super valuable to way more people.

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