How-To

How to Sneak past Ring Doorbell (Disable/Jam/Block Camera)

If you have a Ring doorbell installed, you may be wondering how you (or worse, someone with bad intentions) sneak past without Ring doorbell sensing it.

Here’s how to sneak past a Ring doorbell:

  1. Disconnect the router/modem. Without a wireless connection, Ring won’t work.
  2. Use a signal jammer/blocker to sufficiently disrupt Ring’s WiFi signal.
  3. Use a physical barrier or cover to block the camera altogether.
  4. Finally, if you have access to the Ring app, you can turn off “Motion Detection”, or disable specific “Motion Zones”.

Each of these options come with varying levels of effectiveness, cost and detection.

Unplug the router / modem to take Ring doorbell offline

Ring products require a WiFi connection in order to work. If your wireless router/modem goes offline, taking down your WiFi, then your Ring doorbell will immediately stop working.

So if you have access to the router/modem that the Ring doorbell is connected to, simply disconnect it (unplug it) and the Ring doorbell will go offline.

WiFi connections are dropping and disconnecting all the time, so it wouldn’t be all that suspicious. It’s also incredibly difficult to know exactly why the WiFi goes done when it does.

There isn’t some log readily available somewhere that says “someone unplugged the router/modem”. So it’s basically impossible to prove.

Furthermore, the Ring app does a pretty poor job of alerting users when their doorbell goes offline! I’m fairly certain the owner doesn’t even get a notification because that feature is still being asked for.

The owner would have to open the Ring app and go to their doorbell and check it’s current status to know whether or not it is offline.

disconnect router:modem to take ring offline

There’s a good chance that they will never even know their Ring doorbell wasn’t working for a period of time.

Unless of course they decide to randomly check the app.

How to protect against this

The easiest way to protect against this is to make sure that your home is secure!

By locking all your doors and windows, and putting an alarm system in place, you will prevent anyone from breaking in and gaining access to your router/modem.

You can even take it a step further and hide your router/modem.

If the perpetrator is one of your kids trying to sneak out, or maybe sneak someone in, your best bet is to lock your router/modem in a closet and hide the key.

This is actually a good practice regardless so that no one in your home can tamper with your network.

Use a WiFi signal jammer/blocker to take Ring doorbell offline

If you don’t have access to the router/modem inside the home, using a signal jammer is another very successful way to take down the WiFi and sneak past a Ring doorbell.

The concept behind signal jammers has been around for decades – deliberately jamming, blocking or interfering with wireless communications.

In this case, you’ll be using a jammer that blocks WiFi signals. The jammer creates “noise” by sending a ton of signals all at once in the 2.4GHz and 5.0GHz frequency ranges.

WiFi signal jammer

This method is the equivalent of playing incredibly loud music while two people are trying to have a conversation. The music is so loud and so relentless that you can’t hear what the other person is saying at all.

The jammer basically overwhelms the WiFi signal coming from the Ring doorbell, rendering it useless.

While incredibly effective, these devices are understandably illegal. That’s because they don’t discriminate at all, they block signals from any device within range.

signal jammers block every device within range

You can imagine the chaos that would ensure if people were allowed to walk around with these devices freely. Need to get online with your phone or call 911? Sorry, the guy next to you has a signal jammer on.

While the marketing and selling of jammers in the US is a federal crime, there are ways to get around this. That said, I highly recommend you avoid this option altogether.

How to protect against this

Unfortunately, there is little, if anything you can do to protect yourself against a signal jammer.

The best you can hope for is that Americans are afraid enough of violating federal law that they don’t attempt to buy a signal jammer outside of the country.

But as we know in this highly connected, digital world, it’s pretty easy to get your hands on illegal things.

If a perpetrator has a signal jammer, there’s not much you can do about it.

Block the Ring doorbell cam with a physical barrier / cover

This option contrasts starkly from the highly technical “signal jammer” solution above.

Instead of using a piece of equipment to disrupt the WiFi signal, you can simply block/cover the Ring doorbell camera.

Sounds obvious, I know, but it can still be fairly effective. By placing a piece of tape or even a bag over the Ring doorbell, you effectively render it useless.

The challenge with this option is getting physically close enough to the camera that you can block/cover it.

You have to worry about 1. being seen and recorded and 2. setting off the motion sensor which will alert the owner (if motion detection is turned on).

If you’re able to disguise yourself first and then quickly cover the camera, you’re probably in luck, at least for a short period of time.

If the owner is nearby, they will get an alert and likely check their camera. When they see nothing but black, they’re probably going to be alarmed.

How to protect against this

As a Ring doorbell owner, make sure you have motion alerts set up!

To do this, open up the Ring app and select your Ring doorbell. Right beside it you’ll see “Motion alerts” – toggle this ON.

ring doorbell motion alerts

This way whenever someone walks by or in-front of your door, you’ll get a notification on your smart phone and can quickly asses the situation.

If your camera loads, but it’s completely black, that’s cause for concern!

Disable features within the Ring app

I saved this method for sneaking past Ring doorbell for last because it is the most obvious, and likely the least useful. That’s because you’ll need access to the actual device that has the Ring app on it that controls the Ring doorbell you’re trying to sneak past.

The good news is, if you have direct access to this device (for example, your parent’s smart phone), this is the easiest way to sneak by! Simply open the app and turn off “Motion Detection”, or disable specific motion zones of the ring doorbell.

Turn off “Motion Detection”

You can completely disable the motion recording function on your Ring Device by toggling off the Motion Detection control in your Ring app. 

  • Open the Ring app
  • Tap the three lines at top left hand corner
  • Select Devices.
  • Tap the device you want to adjust.
  • Turn Motion Detection OFF.
    • The OFF position will be white. 
    • The ON position will be blue.

NOTE: Motion Alerts and Motion Detection are not the same thing! If you just turn off alerts, you will no longer receive notifications but your device’s motion detector will still be turned on and any motion it detects will be recorded in your device’s History log! So make sure you turn off “Motion Detection”, this way no motion will be tracked and no alerts will be sent.

Disable specific “Motion Zones”

If you want to be a little less obvious, you can keep Motion Detection on but disable the Motion Zones on the camera itself. This way, everything appears normal but the camera won’t detect you.

Disable Motion Zones on ring doorbell to sneak by
  • Tap the three lines on the top left hand corner of the Dashboard screen.
  • Select Devices.
  • Tap the specific device that you want to adjust.
  • Select Device Settings.
  • Tap Motion Settings to customize your Motion Zones.
  • Select the Add a Motion Zone button, and you’ll see a colored box appear.
  • Follow the on-screen directions, and drag the points of the colored box to expand or contract the area you want to monitor (less is better if you’re trying to sneak by!).
  • Once your Motion Zone is in place, if you’re happy with the placement, press Save.

How to protect against this

As a parent or home owner, the easiest way to protect against someone using the Ring app to disable features on your Ring doorbell is to secure your device!

If you’re like most people, the Ring app is on your smart phone. Just make sure you use a passcode on your phone that no one else knows.

And you can take this a step further by not leaving your phone lying around! Out of sight, out of mind.

Conclusion

If you’re trying to sneak past a Ring doorbell, or prevent someone from sneaking past it, there are three possibilities you should be aware of:

  1. Disconnecting the router/modem to take the WiFi offline, and subsequently the Ring doorbell
  2. Using a signal jammer to disrupt the WiFi and take the Ring doorbell offline
  3. Using a physical barrier/cover to block the Ring doorbell’s camera entirely
  4. Finally, if you have access to the Ring app you can turn off “Motion Detection”, or disable specific “Motion Zones”.

Each of these approaches can be effective for sneaking past a Ring doorbell. As a home owner, you should know each option well so that you can do your best to prevent it!

Ultimately, you should never rely on a single technology to protect your home. Ring doorbells are extremely convenient and great products to own, but I don’t suggest you use them as your only security measure.

Were you able to sneak by a Ring doorbell cam undetected? Share how you did it in the comments below so that homeowners can try to prevent it in the future!