Will A Ring Doorbell Work With A Hotspot?
Yes, a Ring Doorbell will work with a hotspot. Ring Doorbells require WiFi to see video, use two-way talk, and receive notifications, alerts, and updates on your smartphone or other device. You can’t use a Ring Doorbell without WiFi and a stable internet connection. Ring Video Doorbell models 1, 2, 3, and 4 are 100% wireless and powered by battery. They connect to your smartphone, tablet, or computer via WiFi. Ring Doorbell Pro and Ring Doorbell Elite are hardwired and use an Ethernet cable for power and internet, but they still communicate with your wireless devices using WiFi. So even though the internet is provided to them via the Ethernet cable, you still need WiFi to access and control them with a smartphone.
There’s a difference between the internet and WiFi. Your ISP (Internet Service Provider), provides access to the internet by connecting a computer to a modem. But it’s not wireless. To make your internet signal wireless, you need a router.
The internet signal broadcast by your router is called WiFi. This is how devices like smartphones, video game systems, TVs, and video doorbells work wirelessly. They connect to the home’s internet service by using a WiFi signal.
Every Ring Doorbell requires an internet connection and a WiFi signal. But it doesn’t matter what device provides the WiFi. It could be a router or a hotpot.
A hotspot is simply a device, like a smartphone, which provides a short-range local WiFi signal. In essence, a hotspot turns your smartphone into a mini router.
In this article, we’ll look in-depth at Ring Doorbells and how to use them with a hotspot.
What Is A Mobile Hotspot?
A mobile hotspot is a temporary wireless access point created by a dedicated hardware device or smartphone that shares the device’s cellular data. The internet signal created by a hotspot uses cellular data rather than your home’s internet service. A mobile hotspot is a great option if you’re somewhere that doesn’t have internet but does have a cell signal.
The WiFi signal created by the hotspot is the same as the signal created by a router.
A Ring Doorbell doesn’t know the difference between an internet signal created by a hotspot or a router. However, the signal strength and stability may vary. Generally, a home internet signal and router WiFi is stronger and more stable than the signal created by a hotspot.
- Most hotspots are used for short-term and short-range internet access.
- A Ring Doorbell and other Ring devices will connect to and work with a mobile hotspot.
- All nearby WiFi wireless devices can connect to the internet via a hotspot.
- Mobile hotspots are also known as portable hotspots.
- Setting up a mobile hotspot lets your other devices connect to the internet through
your cellular network.
- Cellular data rates may apply, so be careful when setting up a hotspot.
- A Ring Doorbell works with a hotspot.
Once you set up the hotspot, your Ring devices will detect it. But they won’t connect automatically. You have to go into the device settings and connect them individually. Once the device is connected to the hotspot, it will work as if it had WiFi.
Ring devices upload and access information to and from the cloud when communicating with your mobile device. This means they need a strong connection and pass lots of data. Keep this in mind because data rates will apply.
Click to learn more about how to use Ring without WiFi.
Use A Smartphone As A Mobile Hotspot
A Ring Doorbell will work with a hotspot. A smartphone is one of the easiest ways to set up a mobile hotspot to connect with a Ring device. Just about every modern smartphone can broadcast a cell signal as WiFi. The WiFi signal broadcast by your smartphone can then be used to connect with the Ring.
Almost all smartphones are equipped with mobile hotspot capability via your phone carrier. It’s simply a setting you select in your phone’s menu. How you navigate to the hotspot setting depends on your phone.
Once you enable your phone’s hotspot, set a password just like you do with a router. If you don’t set up a password, anyone with a device in range of your hotspot can use your internet signal.
Using a hotspot is a great option if your staying at a short term rental and want to temporarily setup a Ring Doorbell but don’t have WiFi. Ring makes some fantastic wireless doorbells that work great in apartments and other rentals.
In some situations, setting up a hotspot can help when installing a Ring Doorbell with the power off or on. For example, if you’re renting a house that doesn’t have a Wi-Fi network.
Check out our list of the best wireless doorbells for renters by clicking the link.
How To Setup An Android Hotspot For Ring
Making your Android smartphone operate as a hotspot is a very simple process. Most Android smartphones have a hotspot option, so you must go into the settings and turn the feature on.
- Go into “Settings”.
- Then, “Connections”.
- Next, go into “Mobile Hotspot and Tethering.”
- Hit the slider to activate the Mobile WiFi Hotspot. This page allows you to turn the mobile hotspot on and off. It will also allow you to change the hotspot password, network name, and security type.
If you press “Mobile Hotspot,” you can view and change the current settings.
The network name it broadcasts will generally be the model of your phone, and the default password is usually your phone number. You can change these to personalize and/or make them easier to remember.
You can also access your mobile hotspot by expanding the drop-down menu at the top of your phone screen. This is the same menu with options like “Airplane Mode” and “Bluetooth.”
You’ll find a button in the drop-down menu that says “Mobile Hotspot.” Click it to access the settings.
How To Setup An IOS iPhone Hotspot For Ring
Making your iPhone operate as a hotspot is a very simple process. All new iPhones have a hotspot option, so you must go into the settings and turn the feature on.
- Go to “Settings”.
- Click “Cellular”.
- Then “Personal HotSpot”.
- Tap the slider that says “Allow Others To Join”.
Depending on your model iPhone and version of iOS, you may have to go to “Settings” again after hitting “Cellular” before you come across the “Personal Hotspot” option.
While in the hotspot settings, you can change your password to something easier to remember.
Android Vs iPhone As A Mobile Hotspot
Android devices are much better as a hotspot than iPhones. They offer more options, are easier to configure, and drop less often with a more stable signal. This is a huge benefit when using the hotspot to connect with a Ring device because you won’t lose connection with the device as much.
I’ve set up hotspots several times with my Android phone when traveling and never had any loss of signal or drops. I should mention that I use Verizon, which has a great signal wherever I go. If your cell provider doesn’t have as strong a signal, you could experience drops no matter which device you use.
- Android devices have better batteries than iPhones and a better interface when setting up and configuring a hotspot.
- On an Android, you can view all the active connections, set the hotspot never to disconnect, and allocate a specific bandwidth to all outbound connections.
To enable a Personal Hotspot on your Android device, swipe down the “Quick Settings” menu from the home screen and click the “Personal Hotspot” icon.
If you hold the hotspot icon for a few seconds, you’ll be taken to the settings page. From here, you can set your connection to never turn off on its own, monitor how much data you’re using, and much more.
Apple iPhones are not as reliable a hotspot as Android. The signal is less stable and harder to set up and configure. iPhones don’t have a dedicated page for adjusting hotspot settings like Android. You can’t see which devices are connected to the hotspot or monitor real-time data usage. To make things even worse, the iPhone generally loses battery life faster than the Android when using the hotspot.
To enable a personal hotspot on your iPhone, navigate to “Settings,” choose “Personal Hotspot,” and turn it on.
Things To Know Before Using A Smartphone Hotspot For A Ring
Before you use your smartphone as a mobile hotspot to connect with a Ring device, you should know a few things.
- A smartphone uses cellular data to create an internet WiFi signal. Cell signals are usually not as strong as home internet connections, so there’s a limit to how many devices you can connect to a hotspot. This limit will vary based on your device, carrier, operating system, cellular plan, and the requirements of the device you’re connecting.
- Smartphone hotspots have less range than a typical WiFi router or mini hotspot device. Place the phone close to the Ring for best results.
- The signal can weaken or drop when you connect too many devices to the hotspot.
- 5-10 Devices can typically be on a hotspot before the signal diminishes or drops. But it
varies based on what the device requires.
- Ring doorbells use more data if you use video than two-way talk.
- Using your smartphone’s mobile hotspot drains the battery faster than usual.
- Most cell providers have a data cap for a mobile hotspot. Check with your provider to
find out how much data you have and the penalties if you go over.
Most carriers offer ways to increase your data limit for a small fee and offer plans for overseas usage. Contact your carrier if you plan on using your Ring with a mobile hotspot for an extended period. It’s generally better to adjust the plan rather than pay high data or roaming charges.
Dedicated Mobile Hotspot Devices
A dedicated mobile hotspot device is better for setting up a hotspot than an Android or Apple smartphone. They’re essentially portable mini routers that turn a cell signal into a WiFi signal. The signal strength and stability are better, the range is further, and they’re easy to set up, use, and configure.
Most cell phone providers make their mini hotspot router. I recommend using one that’s made by the cell provider you use.
Most providers charge a monthly fee for using this service. The fee is typically based on how much data you use or plan on using. Consult your cell provider for exact pricing.
- Mobile hotspot devices provide a fast and stable internet connection with fewer drops than smartphones.
- They plug into a standard outlet when in use, which spares you from draining your smartphone battery.
- The best option is to use a cell signal for the long term.
- Range in price from $25 to several hundred.
- The WiFi signal strength and stability provided by a hotspot device depends on strength and stability of the cell signal.
If you use your cell signal for internet access long-term, a mobile hotspot is a better option than a smartphone.
How To Set Up A Mobile Hotspot Device For Ring
A mobile hotspot device is a small portable router designed to work off a cell signal. It turns the cell signal into a WiFi signal, connecting to devices like smartphones, video games, TVs, tablets, or Ring Doorbell.
Mobile hotspot devices are better than smartphones for turning a cell signal into WiFi. They’re more reliable, send a signal further with fewer drops, and have better battery life than a phone.
Here’s a breakdown of how to set up a mobile hotspot device:
- First, you must activate the device via the carrier’s website (i.e., Verizon, T-Mobile or AT&T).
- If your mobile router has a screen, the network name and password for the mobile hotspot will display on the screen.
- If your mobile hotspot does not have a screen, the information should be written on a small card in the box.
- The information written on the card or screen is what you’ll need to connect your Ring device to the mobile hotspot.
Here’s how to connect your Ring devices to the mobile hotspot:
- Go into your Ring app
- Select the device you want to connect.
- Next, select “Device Health”.
- Click “Change WiFi Network”.
- You can choose the WiFi network to which you want to connect the Ring device.
- Once you select the WiFi hotspot, your Ring will function normally.
Most cell providers manufacture their own mobile hotspot devices. I recommend using a device made by your carrier for the best results.
How To Connect Ring To A Mobile Hotspot
Setting up a mobile hotspot is easy and usually takes about a minute. All you need is a smartphone with a data sim card and hotspot capabilities, features just about every modern smartphone has built-in. Or you could buy a WiFi mini hotspot, a small router that works off a cell signal like a smartphone.
Before you connect the hotspot, check the data plan with your cell carrier. Many unlimited data plans aren’t unlimited and may throttle the signal (become too slow to work properly) or start charging you extra after exceeding a preset amount of data.
Each Ring device, including Ring Doorbell, can only connect to one WiFi network at a time. If it’s connected to your home’s WiFi, you must go into the Ring settings and switch to the hotspot. Then, if you want to switch back to the old WiFi eventually, you have to do it manually. The Ring won’t switch back and forth between WiFi signals automatically. This is important to remember if you’re using a hotspot because the internet is temporarily down.
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to set up a mobile hotspot for Ring:
- Launch the Ring app.
- Select your device and go to “Device Health.”
- Select the option “Change Wi-Fi Network” or “Reconnect to Wi-Fi.”
- Choose your new hotspot network and then enter its WiFi password.
- After a few seconds, the Ring will connect to the hotspot.
If you’re switching the Ring to a hotspot because the internet is down, remember you have to manually switch the Ring back to the old WiFi once the internet comes back online. It will not connect from the hotspot to the home’s WiFi automatically.
Do Cell Providers Offer Mobile Hotspot Plans?
Major cell providers like T-Mobile, Verizon, Boost Mobile, and AT&T offer mobile hotspot plans. The best way to use them is with a mini hotspot router instead of a smartphone. The router is designed to broadcast a WiFi signal and generally gives you more range and stability than a smartphone.
- Verizon: They provide the most reliable mobile hotspot plans and a great network, but they’re expensive.
- AT&T: Offers a variety of packages, a good network, and competitive pricing.
- T-Mobile: Great plans and network and an OK price.
- Boost Mobile: An affordable alternative to the three major carriers.
Check with your service provider to see if they have a plan for hotspot internet. In many cases, getting a hotspot plan is cheaper than using your existing one as a hotspot.
A Ring Doorbell will work with a hotspot, and you can create that hotspot with your smartphone, but it can get expensive when you exceed your data limit. It’s generally better to buy a plan to use as a hotspot rather than going over your data limits. Of course, this varies based on your plan and carrier, so check with them for the exact pricing.
Can You Set Up A Hotspot To Work With Ring Doorbell Internationally?
Yes, you can set up a mobile hotspot internationally. However, you should always check your cell plan first. Most cell providers have special rules and rates when you’re traveling, and they’re generally more expensive.
Most cell phone data plans are for the United States only. You may need a separate plan or a travel pass if you travel overseas.
Even if your current cell plan works overseas without a special plan, you may be considered roaming while using it. Check with your provider before setting up a hotspot because roaming rates are generally more expensive than standard rates.
- Verizon has a plan for overseas use called Travel Pass. For $10 a day or $5 in Mexico and Canada, you can use your data around the world, And you’re only charged on days when you send or receive a call, send texts, or use data on your device while abroad.
- T-Mobile offers several plans, called magenta plans, which work internationally. The Magenta Max plan is $85 per month.
- AT&T’s overseas plan is called the International Day pass. For $10/day, use your phone as you do at home with unlimited high-speed data, talk, and text in over 210 destinations.
You can set up a mobile hotspot for your Ring device with just about every modern smartphone or a dedicated hotspot device. Hotspot devices are mini routers designed to be used as a hotspot.
Most international mobile plans provide a set number of Gigabytes worth of high-speed mobile hotspot data from your plan. Going over the preset amount may trigger additional fees.
Why Your Ring May Need A Mobile Hotspot
You may have to connect your Ring Doorbell to a mobile hotspot for various reasons. If you don’t have an internet connection, you won’t be able to use any of the Ring’s features like two-way talk or the camera. Essentially, without a WiFi connection, a Ring Doorbell is virtually useless.
A mobile hotspot is a portable device, like a smartphone, that uses cellular data to create a WiFi signal. If your regular internet goes out, but you still have a cell signal, you can connect the Ring to the internet using your smartphone.
Here are the main reasons you may need to connect your Ring devices to a mobile hotspot.
Use A Hotspot If Your Home Internet Goes Down
It’s very common for a home internet service to go down or become unstable. An outage can be caused by a storm, a car accident, a broken router, or simply not paying the bill. Once the internet goes down, you won’t be able to access the Ring Doorbell or use any of its primary features.
However, setting up a mobile hotspot will temporarily restore your internet using the phone’s cell signal.
Once the hotspot is set up, you can access the Ring’s settings via the hotspot’s WiFi signal. As long as the hotspot is on, you’ll have full access to the Ring and all its functions.
Hotspots Are Great When Traveling
If you’re traveling and want to use a Ring device but don’t have internet, a hotspot can help. If you have a smartphone and a cell connection, the phone can provide WiFi to the Ring. But be careful because your cellphone provider may charge extra for data, which can quickly add up.
If you’re renting short term and want to setup a Ring Doorbell connected to a hotspot, make sure the renter allows the doorbell. So apartments allow them and some don’t. To learn more about whether or not Ring Doorbells are allowed in apartments, click the link.
A Hotpot Provides Internet When You’re Off The Grid
When traveling off the grid, the only way to get the internet is by cell signal. Off-grid means no hard wires, broadband, telephone, internet, or cable. When all you have is a cell signal, your cell phone can become a hotspot that provides WiFi and internet access to your Ring.
Connecting a motion-sensing camera can be very beneficial when camping or traveling remotely. Turn your smartphone into a hotspot to provide WiFi internet for your Ring devices.
The Downsides Of Using A Mobile Hotspot For Ring
A mobile hotspot can be a big help if you are somewhere that doesn’t have internet, but there are some downsides and some potential issues, too.
The Downside Of Using A Smartphone Hotspot For Ring
Most modern smartphones offer a hotspot feature, which works pretty well. Androids work better than iPhones, in my experience. But they all have the same issues. Smartphones are not designed to be routers, so the function drains battery life, has a weak signal, and occasionally drops.
- Using a smartphone as a hotspot for Ring turns your cell signal into an internet WiFi signal. This means your connection is solely based on the strength of the cell signal. I use Verizon, which has a great signal everywhere I go. But in some rural places, the signal strength can get weaker. In these cases, my phone doesn’t work as well as a hotspot.
- If you’re in a remote location with few cell towers, your phone will probably have fewer than full bars. A weak cell signal means a weak WiFi signal which will likely cause connectivity issues and potential drops.
- Another big issue is the data cap on your cellular plan. Most plans have a limit on how much data you can use for a hotspot. Once you’ve reached your data limit, your connection may slow down or become expensive. Most providers charge extra for every GB (gigabyte) of data you use over your limit.
- Most providers have a separate plan, which is specifically for mobile hotspots. If you plan on using a hotspot for an extended time, call your carrier and set up a plan for the data you’ll need. It’s usually cheaper to buy a plan than going over your limit.
- Using a smartphone as a hotspot drains the battery much faster.
The Downside Of Using A Mobile Hotspot Device For Ring
The only drawback of using a mobile hotspot device for a Ring is connectivity. A mobile hotspot device turns your cell signal into internet WiFi, which is used to connect with a Ring. A Ring Doorbell will work with a hotspot, but if your cell signal is weak, the internet WiFi signal will be weak, too.
- Mobile hotspot devices are designed to turn a cell signal into internet WiFi. They output a stronger and more consistent signal than smartphones and have a battery battery, but they’re only as good as your cell signal. A mobile hotspot won’t work well if you’re somewhere rural without a strong cell signal.
- Data costs associated with your cell plan are also an issue. Most cell plans have a limit on how much data you can use for a hotspot. Once you’ve reached your data limit, your connection may slow down or become expensive. Most providers charge extra for every GB (gigabyte) of data you use over your limit.
- Most providers have a plan which is specifically for mobile hotspots. If you plan on using a hotspot for an extended time, call your carrier and set up a plan for the data you’ll need. It’s usually cheaper to buy a plan than going over your limit.
You need a strong cell signal if you use mobile hotspot devices to connect with a Ring. A weak cell signal can lead to connection problems and drops.
Here are some frequently asked questions about using Ring Doorbell with a hotspot were asked by our customers. If you have any other questions let me know, I’ll add them to the list and answer them here.
How does a Ring Doorbell camera work without an active internet connection?
Ring Doorbell cameras rely on a stable internet connection to function properly. If your home internet is down, you can temporarily use a personal hotspot with your smartphone to provide the necessary internet connection.
Can I use a personal hotspot with my Ring Video Doorbell when traveling?
Yes, if you’re traveling and don’t have access to a traditional internet connection, you can use your smartphone’s personal hotspot capabilities to connect your Ring Video Doorbell to the internet. Just be mindful of data usage, especially if you use it frequently.
Are all Ring Video Doorbell models compatible with personal hotspots?
Yes, all Ring Video Doorbell models, including Ring Doorbell cameras 1, 2, 3, and 4, can be connected to a personal hotspot for internet access.
What should I do if my Ring Doorbell camera loses connection while using a personal hotspot?
If your Ring Doorbell camera experiences connectivity issues while using a personal hotspot, ensure your smartphone has a strong cell signal. You may also want to check if you’ve exceeded your data limit, which can affect the connection.
Are there any recommended mobile hotspot devices for use with Ring Doorbells?
While smartphones with personal hotspot capabilities work, dedicated mobile hotspot devices can provide a more stable and reliable connection. Many cell providers offer these devices with Ring Doorbells and other smart devices.
After Using a Personal Hotspot, can I switch my Ring Doorbell’s connection back to my home internet?
You can switch your Ring Doorbell’s connection back to your home internet once it’s restored. However, remember that the Ring Doorbell won’t automatically switch between connections; you must adjust the settings manually.
Is there a limit to the number of devices I can connect to a personal hotspot for my Ring Doorbell?
The number of devices you can connect to a personal hotspot depends on your smartphone or hotspot device and your cellular plan. Typically, 5-10 devices can be connected before experiencing signal degradation or potential drops in connection quality.
Summary: Will A Ring Doorbell Work With A Hotspot?
Yes, a Ring Doorbell will work with a hotspot. Ring Doorbells require WiFi to see video, use two-way talk, receive notifications, alerts and updates on your smartphone or other device. You can’t use a Ring Doorbell without WiFi and a stable internet connection. Ring Video Doorbell model 1, 2, 3, and 4 are 100% wireless and powered by battery. They connect to your smart phone, tablet or computer via WiFi. Ring Doorbell Pro and Ring Doorbell Elite are hardwired and use an Ethernet cable for power and internet, but they still communicate with your wireless devices using WiFi. So even though internet is provided to them via the Ethernet cable, you still need WiFi to access and control them with a smartphone.
There’s a difference between internet and WiFi. Your ISP (Internet Service Provider), provides access to the internet by connecting a computer to a modem. But it’s not wireless. To make your internet signal wireless you need a router.
The internet signal broadcast by your router is called WiFi. This is how devices like smartphones, video game systems, TVs and video doorbells work wirelessly. They connect to the home’s internet service by using a WiFi signal.
Every Ring Doorbell requires an internet connection and a WiFi signal. But it doesn’t matter what device provides the WiFi. It could be a router or a hotpot.
A hotspot is simply a device, like a smartphone, which provides a short range local WiFi signal. In essence, a hotspot turns your smartphone into a mini router.
In this article we’ll take an in depth look at Ring Doorbells and how to use them with a hotspot.
If you have any questions about whether or not a Ring Doorbell will work with a hotspot, email any time.
John Mazzuca | About | More Posts |
Custom Home Builder
John Mazzuca is a custom home designer and builder at Gambrick with over 25 years experience in the construction industry. John has designed, built and/or remodeled hundreds of homes, small buildings, and commercial projects. He writes about business, real estate, home building, and household electronics. His work has been featured in Fox Business, Better Homes & Garden, House Beautiful, and more.