Author Topic: Is this reasonable?  (Read 6699 times)

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Offline Halcyon

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Re: Is this reasonable?
« Reply #25 on: June 08, 2016, 07:51:13 pm »
There's an option in the smartphone app to specify "Light", "Standard", or "Frequent" motion sensitivity. The default is Standard, and this will cause the device to miss motion events after a certain period of no motion. Setting it to Frequent will cause it to wake up and check for motion more often, but even this mode will eventually reach a point where it starts to miss motion events.

So in other words, "Utterly useless", "Piss-poor" and "Least useless" modes?

The idea is novel, but I really think this mob have really failed with this product. By the sounds of it, it needs some serious re-work including a re-write of the firmware. It's almost as if they under estimated battery usage and threw in a band aid fix in order to compensate for their error.

Their website claims 6-12 months of "regular" usage (whatever that means) out of a 5200mAh battery. I find that hard to believe. In my opinion, a device such as this should be hardwired and powered off DC or POE or at the very least just have the option of using DC source as a backup to the battery so you can at least charge the damn thing off a solar panel or something. I'd rather have the battery life measured in weeks if it meant the device actually did what it's supposed to do.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2016, 07:56:31 pm by Halcyon »
 

Offline C

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Re: Is this reasonable?
« Reply #26 on: June 08, 2016, 08:15:41 pm »
Sal Ammoniac
First question should be, "how much do you trust Ring"?
By adding this device to your network, the only thing stopping what this device can do is the Ring software on the device or your firewall.
Do you have a firewall between the Ring device and the rest of your private network?

The Ring Device can talk to any IP address and port unless your network prevents it. NAT does not prevent making a new connection out to public Internet.

The app on your phone acts the same out to any IP address and port.
Note that you have no control what is being said by the Ring Server, Ring Device or Ring App.

Initial contact
Quote
Ring Device --> WiFi --> Internet --> Ring Server
Phone --> LTE/WiFi  --> Internet --> Ring Server

The Ring Server now has an open connection from both and knows the Public IP Address & Port each is using.

Traversal Using Relays around NAT (TURN) just became possible.
Quote
Ring Device --> WiFi --> Internet --> Ring Server --> Internet --> LTE/WiFi --> Phone
As for why Ring might what to do it this way.
Quote
Ring Device --> WiFi --> Internet --> Ring Server --> Internet --> LTE/WiFi --> Phone1
 Ring Server --> Internet --> LTE/WiFi --> Phone2
The bandwidth needed from the Ring Device to Ring Server stays the same for any number of phones while the bandwidth needed from Ring Server to phones increases.
Should also note that there is no problems with NAT. The Phone to Ring Server pipe needs to be open for fast response. The Ring Device could open the connection to the Ring Server when door bell button or motion happens.
 
Note that only the Port to the Ring Server needs to be open for this.

In an effort to reduce the bandwidth needs and delays the Ring Server causes by this relay, the server could try to use STUN. The Ring Server just needs to pass the Public IP Address & Port of one connection to the other connection. There are two possible paths for STUN, Phone -> Ring Device & Ring Device -> Phone.
STUN uses the existing ports that are open. The ports used can change each time the pipe is opened.


There is many ways that NAT software can function. Some allow STUN which is just a change of the incoming Source IP Address in a packet.
Think of the basics of NAT.
For an out going packet, the source address (Ring Device address & port) are replaced by the NAT router's Public Address & Port. The NAT needs to remember the Ring Device Address, Port & the Public router port so that returning packets get directed properly.
For an in coming packet, The destination address (router's Public Address & Port) are replaced by the remembered Ring Device Address & Port.

Router port forwarding & UPnP or NAT-PMP are just presetting setting the remembered  Ring Device Address & Port. Using ether while having access to Ring Server makes a possible security hole. 

Great software on the Ring device is critical to prevent local network harm.

So Sal, how big a list do you need to put this in the
"NO it is NOT reasonable!" category?
1. Only good as long as Ring exists.
2. Only as secure as Ring makes it.
3. Bandwidth needs hints that processor is too slow to compress video.
4. Choice of Battery life or motion sense.
5. All other problems listed in this thread.
 

Offline janoc

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Re: Is this reasonable?
« Reply #27 on: June 08, 2016, 08:17:49 pm »
Seriously, a $200 doorbell that requires internet connection to function is just  :wtf:

I understand the OPs need for video surveillance, but they would have been much better served by a simple offline video camera.

Having the video streamed in real time on the phone is not very useful, IMO - unless you enjoy watching the burglars in action, because you won't be able to stop them in time anyway. A simple home alarm system breach notification to a phone so that you can call the cops (or a neighbor to check on your house) would be enough.

 

Offline Galenbo

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Re: Is this reasonable?
« Reply #28 on: June 08, 2016, 08:35:56 pm »
Sorry for the OT, but why would anyone actually want this? excuse me for being paranoid, but being recorded on video when i'm ringing the doorbell without me knowing... AND the video gets uploaded to some company's server (and of course that's only because you on the other side can see it? of course it is)
For me it's a NOPE.

Register the product or get it shipped, so the server guy knows at witch address the owner with the app-smartphone is home (same external ip or wifi) or away (different external ip or 3G)
If you try and take a cat apart to see how it works, the first thing you have on your hands is a nonworking cat.
 

Offline Sal Ammoniac

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Re: Is this reasonable?
« Reply #29 on: June 08, 2016, 11:25:12 pm »
First question should be, "how much do you trust Ring"?
By adding this device to your network, the only thing stopping what this device can do is the Ring software on the device or your firewall.
Do you have a firewall between the Ring device and the rest of your private network?

Good question. I don't completely trust them, but then again I don't completely distrust them either.

Yes, I have a Cisco firewall (Cisco--not Linksys) between this thing and the rest of my network. UPnP or NAT-PMP are not enabled.

Quote
So Sal, how big a list do you need to put this in the
"NO it is NOT reasonable!" category?
1. Only good as long as Ring exists.
2. Only as secure as Ring makes it.
3. Bandwidth needs hints that processor is too slow to compress video.
4. Choice of Battery life or motion sense.
5. All other problems listed in this thread.

That about summarizes it. Seems to me that this product was rushed to market to take advantage of the IoT and Cloud craze with half-baked FW and hardware. 3 & 4 are the biggest issues. This thing has no way to adapt to the network bandwidth available to it. It's always in 720p mode and who needs that to display on a tiny phone screen? It should scale the video down to accommodate slower links. They seem to be making blanket assumptions regarding battery life. I'd rather have to charge the thing every week than miss notifications.
 

Offline timb

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Re: Is this reasonable?
« Reply #30 on: June 09, 2016, 01:16:01 am »
Seriously, a $200 doorbell that requires internet connection to function is just  :wtf:

I understand the OPs need for video surveillance, but they would have been much better served by a simple offline video camera.

Having the video streamed in real time on the phone is not very useful, IMO - unless you enjoy watching the burglars in action, because you won't be able to stop them in time anyway. A simple home alarm system breach notification to a phone so that you can call the cops (or a neighbor to check on your house) would be enough.

It doesn't just stream video to your phone. It also acts as an intercom of sorts. So, someone rings the doorbell, you see who it is with live video and can actually talk to them (the Ring unit has a speaker in it). The TV commercials they show here in the US presents this as some sort of security feature. I guess burglars like to ring people's doorbells to see if they're home before they break in? The idea being, the Ring unit will make it seem like you're home, even if you're not. Seems dubious to me, but there you go.
Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic; e.g., Cheez Whiz, Hot Dogs and RF.
 

Offline janoc

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Re: Is this reasonable?
« Reply #31 on: June 10, 2016, 11:17:33 pm »
It doesn't just stream video to your phone. It also acts as an intercom of sorts. So, someone rings the doorbell, you see who it is with live video and can actually talk to them (the Ring unit has a speaker in it). The TV commercials they show here in the US presents this as some sort of security feature. I guess burglars like to ring people's doorbells to see if they're home before they break in? The idea being, the Ring unit will make it seem like you're home, even if you're not. Seems dubious to me, but there you go.

Well, that's a fairly silly feature, especially when marketed as a security one. But I digress, I could imagine situations where being able to talk to a postman or DHL delivery guy when I am not at home would have saved me time. That can be fairly simply solved by embedding a GSM module and programming it to actually call your phone number when someone rings. No stupid "cloud" necessary. But they wouldn't get to sell you a subscription service or to mine your phone's data in such case.
 

Offline timb

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Re: Is this reasonable?
« Reply #32 on: June 11, 2016, 12:22:04 am »
It doesn't just stream video to your phone. It also acts as an intercom of sorts. So, someone rings the doorbell, you see who it is with live video and can actually talk to them (the Ring unit has a speaker in it). The TV commercials they show here in the US presents this as some sort of security feature. I guess burglars like to ring people's doorbells to see if they're home before they break in? The idea being, the Ring unit will make it seem like you're home, even if you're not. Seems dubious to me, but there you go.

Well, that's a fairly silly feature, especially when marketed as a security one. But I digress, I could imagine situations where being able to talk to a postman or DHL delivery guy when I am not at home would have saved me time. That can be fairly simply solved by embedding a GSM module and programming it to actually call your phone number when someone rings. No stupid "cloud" necessary. But they wouldn't get to sell you a subscription service or to mine your phone's data in such case.

I agree. I think the most useful feature would be for talking to a delivery person (or the pest control guy, or whatever). If you look a few posts up, I talk about setting up a system that does exactly that, using off the shelf hardware and software. The only difference is I didn't use a GSM module, instead I used an open source VoIP package and a very inexpensive VoIP provider (it still places an actual call though, so the concept is the same).

The only downside to going with VoIP over GSM is that if the Internet was down, the call wouldn't go through. I don't think that's been much of an issue with the system I set up, because their internet is pretty reliable. If that wasn't the case, or if the unit had to be down a long driveway (far outside of WiFi range) or something, I'd stick an LTE USB modem in with the Pi. That way you get data and voice access. You can add them to an existing plan for ~$10/mo usually.

This actually reminds me of the first system like that I setup, many years ago: Growing up, I lived just outside of town on a large property. When I was about 15, my parents fenced it up and put an electric gate at the entrance of the driveway. Long story short, we had some issues with deliveries when our regular drivers (who knew the gate code) were off. (FedEx once left a $2000+ server I was having shipped back from a data center in the middle of the driveway, in the rain!)

Anyway, I guess I was around 16 when I came up with the solution: I took a full duplex wireless intercom system and modified one of them to fit in a small waterproof enclosure and mounted it at the gate. The other was modified by removing the speaker and mic and adding a couple of op-amps to give it a line level input and output, which was hooked to an old PC's sound card in the garage. I also designed a simple digital transmitter/receiver which was placed at the gate and hooked to a push button (which transmitted a digital pulse to the receiver hooked to the PC) and a relay connected to the electric gate circuitry (which received a pulse from a transmitter hooked to the PC).

So, when someone pressed the "call" button at the gate, a pin on the parallel port of the PC was pulled down, which kicked off some custom software I wrote. It generated a "waiting beep" over the sound card (which came out the intercom speaker at the gate) while it started dialing through a call list on the voice modem (which was hooked to the fax line). It first dialed the home number and if nobody answered after 4 rings it would try my mom's cell, then my dad's and finally mine. When somebody answered, the audio was patched through the sound card, which went over the intercom to the gate. If it was someone who needed access, you could hit the pound sign on the phone's keypad and my software would recognized the DTMF code. This would transmit a pulse which activated a relay and opened the gate.

It seems crude by today's standards, I know, but this was around 2000 or so and the system worked wonderfully with nary a problem. In fact, it was in service like that all the way until 2012 when they moved. I think I may have replaced the modem once in 2006, after a lightning strike.
Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic; e.g., Cheez Whiz, Hot Dogs and RF.
 


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