Fixing Black Video Errors by Adjusting Your Router

Warning! - The solutions offered in this article require using the advanced features of your Wi-Fi router. Be sure you are comfortable using these features before trying any of these solutions.

If you are experiencing a black screen when viewing live or recorded video in the Ring application, the problem may be related to settings in your router, firewall, or because of data loss.

This article will provide several possible solutions that involve adjusting various router settings.

Before you begin

In trying to determine the cause of a black screen, it's important to first figure out if the problem lies within the Ring device itself or the Ring application. Follow these steps to determine where the problem might be occurring:

  • Using a computer, visit ring.com/account and log into your account.
  • Once there, try playing back another video from the Dashboard.
    • If the video is black, this could indicate the problem is located between the Ring device and its connection with the Ring servers. This could be related to the modem, router, or ISP.
    • If the video plays back normally, this indicates the problem is happening in the Ring application and could be caused by a poor connection between your mobile device and the internet.
      • Try playing a video back on your mobile device over Wi-Fi alone, then try it on cellular alone to help isolate the poor connection.

Things to try next:

Before you begin adjusting your router, verify that the following items are not causing the black video.

  • Poor signal strength. A poor Wi-Fi signal can cause connectivity with your Ring device to be unreliable. Check the Device Health section of your Ring application to ensure the device’s RSSI is within an acceptable range. Ring devices generally work best within the range of 0 to -60 RSSI.

Click here to learn more about RSSI.

Click here to learn more about how to make Wi-Fi work for you.

  • Low upload speeds. To determine whether or not the black video is caused by poor upload speed, run a speed test to see if your network can support Ring devices.
    • Ring devices with 720p displays require at least 500 Kbps upload and download speeds, although 1Mbps is recommended for optimal performance.
    • Ring devices with 1080p displays require at least 1 Mbps upload and download speeds, though 2mbps is recommended for optimal performance.
    • If you have more than one Ring device, additional bandwidth is recommended for optimal performance.

Click here for more information on running a speed test.

  • Check whether the problem is isolated to one device. If you have more than one Ring device, check if other devices are experiencing the same symptoms. If the recordings for more than one Ring device display as fully black, there is a good chance there is a problem with your internet connection or a firewall setting is to blame. If the problem continues on only one Ring device, confirm that the device has a good signal strength and consider contacting Ring Customer Support for additional assistance.

Click here for a Customer Support phone number in your area.

  • Data Loss. This is technically referred to as packet loss, and can occur even when the Signal Strength (RSSI) is considered good. How well your Wi-Fi signal travels certain distances, or through some building materials while maintaining the integrity of the data, will determine how much loss is occurring. If the data loss is high, this can oftentimes present as black video or poor video quality.

Click here for help in improving your Wi-Fi strength.

Troubleshooting for Black Video:

Once you have verified that none of the above are the cause of your black video, try the following suggestions one at a time. Be sure to set up your device again as you finish each suggestion to see if it worked.

  • Check your router.  The easiest way to tell if your problem related to your router's firewall is to connect your Ring device to another network and try to view a video. We recommend a mobile hotspot or a friend or family member’s network.
    • If the device functions properly on another network, this would indicate the problem is being caused by your router or internet connection.
    • If the device does not function properly from an alternative network, it is possible the issue lies within the Ring device and you’ll need to get some extra help from our Customer Support team.

Click here for a Customer Support phone number in your area.

  • Enable and Connect to a Guest Network.  A guest network is a separate access point for your network that is isolated from your other devices. By creating one, you can make a firewall-free network for your Ring device. Create a guest network with a simple, alphanumeric SSID name and password and connect your Ring device(s) to it.

Open up your Ring device’s ability to communicate

  • Create a DHCP reservation. A DHCP reservation is a permanent IP address assignment that is reserved for the use of one device. Using the Mac ID listed on the back of your Ring device or on the box, create a DHCP reservation to ensure that every time your Ring device connects to your router, it will be given the same address.

Note: there are many different terms for this option; please check your router’s manual to be sure.

  • Set a static IP. You can also set a static IP during the setup process in the Ring application.

Note: Ensure the address you provide is outside the range of your DHCP server in order to prevent an IP conflict.

Once a DHCP Reservation or Static IP is in place, try one of the following:

  • Move your ring device to the DMZ (demilitarized zone). Using the IP address you reserved, place your Ring device in the demilitarized zone (sometimes referred to as IP passthrough) of your router. This will allow the Ring device’s traffic to pass through any security settings that may be preventing connection.

Note: This can only be done for one connected device at a time.

  • Try Port Forwarding/Port Triggering. Using the IP address you reserved above, forward the necessary ports. Similar to a DMZ, port forwarding is limited to a single device. We recommend using port triggering if you have more than one Ring device experiencing black video.
  • Try lowering the firewall level. Firewalls set to high and sometimes even medium can limit the communication of Ring devices through your router. We recommend lowering the firewall one level at a time until you find the setting that works best for your device.

Note: We do not recommend disabling your firewall. If disabling the firewall is the only way the device functions properly, we recommend reaching out to your internet service provider or router's manufacturer for further assistance.

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