You’ve probably heard of Ring thanks to the famed doorbell cameras, but there is more to this company than that. Ring is all about reducing crime, and every product that it offers to customers is focused on that goal. Ring home security systems don’t have any fancy bells and whistles. In fact, it’s very basic and perfect for people who want a no-frills system for home protection. It’s easy to install, it has great alerts, and it’s even expandable, so you can add to it when necessary.
As one of the first and most well-known doorbell cameras on the market, the Ring Video Doorbell is a consumer favorite, but the company offers a lot more, and you can build a full home security system that is easy to use and affordable.
Though Ring is still pretty new compared to other home security systems, it is certainly one that you want to look into, especially if you are looking for a DIY home security system option or if you already have a Ring doorbell camera that you really like.
Some of the features of the Ring system include:
- Basic Security Equipment – Ring has a standard offering of sensors with the exception of a carbon dioxide/smoke detector…instead, it has a “listener.”
- Installation – The Ring Alarm System is easy to install on your own, and it requires no drilling.
- Monitoring – The Protect Plus plan from Ring is the most affordable professional monitoring plan you can find in the industry.
- Cameras – It shouldn’t be surprising that the Ring system comes with a number of camera options including its new Peephole Cam.
- Customer Experience – In general, the customer service is done online, but there is 24/7 customer support available if you need it.
- Home Automation Integration. You can use the Ring Alarm system with Alexa from Amazon, and it does offer Z-Wave connectivity, but other than that, it’s pretty limited.
How does Ring stand out from other security systems?
Stand out? Shark Tank! Jamie Siminoff, the founder of the company, started out with the Ring Video Doorbell because he realized that he couldn’t hear his doorbell from points in his home that were far away. So, he invented a different type of doorbell. He took it to the television show, Shark Tank, and then Amazon purchased the company in 2018.
Thanks to the success of the video doorbell, Ring has expanded its offerings to a full home security system, which it calls Ring Alarm. Basically, it uses the features that are the most popular from the Ring Doorbell and used that to create the full alarm system.
Ring alarm and professional monitoring
You can always tell how good a home security system is based on the professional monitoring it offers. A good professional monitoring system will have a team available 24/7 watching the system and call emergency services when necessary. Ring has a great professional monitoring option.
It’s very affordable, and you can cancel it at any time. Ring also offers three, six, and 12-month plans, which cover the purchase of equipment.
The Ring Alarm Protect Plus Camera
Everyone wants to know about the security cameras that come with the Ring alarm system. After all, most people love the Ring doorbell camera, but as we have said, there are other cameras, too.
You can access all of your live video from any of your Ring alarm cameras, including the video doorbell and any security cameras that you add on, via the app.
- When there is any activity or motion, the Ring system will record a clip of the event.
- This lasts for 20 to 60 seconds depending on the power supply.
- Battery-operated cameras will record for 20 seconds and hardwired devices will record for 60 seconds.
The Protect Plus plan, which we will discuss at length, may already be part of your home if you have other Ring cameras. If so, you can also add monitoring to that. The price of the Protect Plus plan remains the same, and you still get a lot of other features. This includes:
- Cloud storage for 60 days
- Support for any Ring camera on your property
- Option to download any footage captured by your Ring cameras
- 10 percent discount on other Ring products
- Extended warranties on other Ring devices at your property
All of the Ring cameras record video in HD, and if you are looking for other options, you can easily find them. For instance, if you are interested in the Ring outdoor cameras, you can get them hardwired, battery-powered, or even solar-powered.
Ring also offers a peephole camera. This is a pretty new, and cool, device, which is essentially a video doorbell for people who don’t have a doorbell. The Peephole Cam is fitted over a peephole, and it is motion-triggered, so you can talk to and see any visitors who come to your door.
Ring’s coolest benefits and features
Here are some of the coolest benefits and features from Ring Security that you should be aware of before you buy:
The Ring Alarm system has a range extender available, which is really unusual in the industry. This costs a bit extra, but if you have a large home or a lot of outdoor equipment, it could be worth the extra cost. This helps to boost the range of your home’s Wi-Fi, so additional devices can always stay on the network.
Two Way Conversations
Another cool thing about the Ring Alarm system is the ability to have two-way conversations through the computer or the Ring app. You can do this even when you aren’t home.
What’s included in the Ring Alarm Starter Kit?
If you choose the Ring Alarm Starter Kit, you will get the following:
This is the heartbeat of the system, and it connects all of the Ring Alarm devices on the system. The base station also contains the alarm.
You will also get the keypad, which allows you to control your system. You can view the status of the system via the keypad, as well as arm and disarm it.
These sensors function as either a door or window sensor. The sensors will come on when windows or doors are opened.
You also will get motion detection sensors in any room or area where they are placed. It uses PIR, or a passive infrared sensor, which picks up movement over a 90-degree radius.
The pros of choosing a Ring Alarm Security System
- Many camera options
- Loud alarm
- Great price
- Easy installation
- Cheap monitoring price
- Affordable starter equipment
- Clever Neighbors app
- Works with other Ring cameras and doorbells
- Instant alerts through mobile devices
- Inexpensive professional monitoring
- Control all Ring products from the app
The cons of choosing a Ring Alarm Security System
- Limited compatibility with third-party compatibility
- Features are tough to reset
- Upfront payment is required for the equipment
- Keypad is confusing
- No geofencing
- Only a few sensors come in the starter package
- Lack of smart home integration
- No Google Assistant integration
- Prices for optional equipment on the lower tier plan adds up quickly
Ring Alarm package options
There are two options for those who are looking into the Ring Alarm security system. The right kit for you will depend on your home’s size. It is best to cover every entrance into your home with contact sensors, plus have motion detection sensors in all of the main entryways.
There are three equipment kits available, and they have all of the same components, except that the medium and large kits come with more sensors. Prices are:
- Small – $199
- Medium – $259
- Large – $329
Ring Basic – The Starting Kit
The base price for the Ring starter kit is $199. You can self-monitor the system for free without any video, or you can pay an extra $3 for video capability.
Ring Protect Plus Plan
The Ring Protect Plus plan comes with other perks like discounted equipment and a video backlog. You get 24/7 professional monitoring for $10 a month. This is done through Rapid Response Monitoring Services, and it is one of the most affordable options out there. You can also pay for the service upfront, and you get a $20 discount, so it only costs $100 a year. For this price, you have access to dispatchers, should you require assistance, as well as video storage. You also don’t have to sign a contract, so you can stop at any time. Just keep in mind that it self-renews, so if you don’t want after a year of paying upfront, you must cancel.
You can customize either of these packages by adding additional equipment for the following price:
- Slim Magnet – $5
- Open Window Magnet – $5
- Entry Sensor – $20
- Range Extender – $25
- Ecolink Garage Door Tilt Sensor – $29.99
- Motion Detection Sensor – $30
- Extra Siren – $30
- Panic Button – $35
- Smoke/CO Listener – $35
- Flood/Freeze Sensor – $35
- First Alert Smoke/CO Alarm – $40
- Extra Keypad – $50
Additional information about Ring Alarm home automation
Since this system first hit the market, it has grown very quickly. The system first debuted with no home automation integration, but now, you can control a number of devices through the app. You can also use the Ring Alarm base station as your hub for smart devices.
Ring Alarm works with both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistance, and it also uses Z-Wave technology, which is one of the most common types of home automation “languages” on the market. What does it mean? It means that technically, you can add on z-Wave compatible devices to your hub, even if they don’t come from Ring.
However, just be aware that some devices, even those with Z-Wave technology, don’t work great with the Ring system if they aren’t certified to work with Ring. Some brands that work with Ring include Yale, Schlage, and Kwikset locks and Leviton and GE lights, but if you have Philips Hue or August smart locks, some say it’s not going to work well.
More to know about the Ring mobile app
All of the alerts come to your tablet or smartphone through the Ring app. This app connects to each Ring device in the home, so you get notifications from all devices. There is a single dashboard on the app, which gives you a full view of your home.
The Ring Alarm system has three modes: “home and armed,” “away and armed,” and “unarmed.” You can change modes via the keypad, or you can do it view the mobile app, which also gives you access to any of the cameras that are on your system. The app also gives status updates for devices in your home, it has a history log for the cameras and system, and a setting panel, which you can use to configure monitoring.
One of the unique features that Ring offers in the app is called “Neighbors.” This is a fun feature that’s been interestingly surrounded by privacy related controversy. There are definitely pros and cons Read up on it. Form your own opinion. This gives you updates from other people in your area who use Ring. For instance, you can report things like crimes, suspicious activity, and even wildlife encounters. It is all anonymous, but it keeps your neighbors up to date on what’s happening at your place and you up to date on what’s happening in the neighborhood.
Installing and activating the Ring Alarm system
Everything you need to install and operate your Ring Alarm system is right in the box. You can easily find all sensors, cables, and instructions. There are also printed instructions in the box, or you can get directions right on the app.
The base station can run right off of your Wi-Fi network, or you can choose to run it off of an Ethernet cord that is plugged into a router. The base station also has cellular backup, so even if the power goes out, it will still run.
The installation process started with the hub, which is the brains of the system. You will need to enter your Wi-Fi password into it to connect the hub. Once that is entered, you can add a four-digit code into the hub, and then place your sensors. That’s all you need to do, and the system is ready.
Cancelling your Ring Alarm system
If you don’t like your Ring device or the service you get, you can get a full refund within 30 days. However, you must pay for shipping.
Ring Alarm customer service
Most of the Ring Alarm customer service is done online. There are many resources available on the official website, and you can also get support via email or Twitter. There is, if you really want it, also a phone number, which is available 24/7.
You have access to online support, the Ring app, and, of course, the instructions that come with the device, so you shouldn’t have to worry about too much, and most people never have to contact customer service at all.
Equipment warranty from Ring Alarm
The warranty without one of the Ring Alarm plans is one year. If you upgrade to the Protect Plus plan, you get a 3-year warranty. There is also a limited warranty, which includes theft protection.
Ring Alarm system compared to other home security companies
When you compare the Ring Alarm system to other similar companies, Ring really stands out thanks for low commitment and low pricing. It offers the same equipment and features as other companies, but it is generally, much more affordable.
FAQs about the Ring Alarm system
Will Ring Alarm still work if the power goes out?
Yes. All of the equipment from Ring Alarm has battery backup. So, even if the power goes out, the system still works.
Can I use the Ring Alarm system if I have a dog?
The Ring Alarm system motion detection sensors are passive infrared. So, if a dog, or any pet, for that matter, is under 40 pounds, it will not trigger one of the sensors. If, however, the pet is over 40 pounds, you are better off getting glass-break sensors or window sensors.
Is there anything I should know about the Ring Alarm contract?
No! There isn’t a contract to worry about.
If I rent, is the Ring Alarm system good for me?
All of the equipment available from Ring Alarm is wireless, so it is a good idea for people who rent. You don’t have to connect any wires, nor do you have to drill holes. Additionally, you can move the system with you when you move out of your current home.
Is the Ring Alarm system compatible with smart door locks?
Yes! The Ring system is compatible with a number of smart door locks including those from LockState, Kisi, Danalock, Kwickset, Schlage, and Lockitron. You can also lock and unlock your doors for guests through the app.
Is the Ring Alarm system compatible with smart thermostats?
Unfortunately, no, not at the time of publication.
The final takeaways about Ring Alarm systems
If you are looking for an easy to use, smart, and straightforward home security system, the Ring Alarm system is one that you should look for. You don’t get all of the bells and whistles that other companies offer, but it’s really easy to install, and it’s very affordable.
If there’s anything bad to say about the Ring Alarm system, it’s that there’s not a lot of smart-home integration.
See how Ring compares in our ranking of the Best Home Security Systems of 2020.