Ring vs Nest: Which Offers Better Protection At A Lower Cost?

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Ring and Nest equipment side by side (caption: Ring vs Nest)Ring and Nest offer self-monitored security systems that you can install yourself. However, their reputation and performance couldn’t vary more. Find out which one we recommend and why.

Ring logoNest logo
Customer Service & ReputationCheckmark
EquipmentCheckmark
TechnologyCheckmark
ValueCheckmark
Ease Of UseCheckmarkCheckmark
Overall WinnerCheckmark
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Customer Service & Reputation

Ring is accredited and has an A+ rating from the BBB, while Nest is not accredited and has a D- rating.

Ring Complaints

Amazon-owned Ring has reports of excellent customer service. However, there are some common complaints we found.

  • Referral program being a scam
  • Difficulties canceling an order
  • Rude or unprofessional customer support agents
  • Slow live chat help

Nest Complaints

Nest, which is owned by Google, has a poor reputation compared to its competitors.

  • Sensors going offline
  • Missing events in the activity history
  • Bad customer service

Winner: Ring Alarm

Equipment

Below is a table of the types of security equipment each company offers.

 RingNest
Additional KeypadCheckmarkCheckmark
Keychain RemoteCheckmark
Door/Window SensorCheckmarkCheckmark
Motion SensorCheckmarkCheckmark
Indoor CameraCheckmarkCheckmark
Outdoor CameraCheckmarkCheckmark
Panic ButtonCheckmark
Smoke DetectorCheckmarkCheckmark
CO DetectorCheckmarkCheckmark
Alarm Smoke & CO Listener*Checkmark
Freeze SensorCheckmarkCheckmark
Water SensorCheckmark
Additional SirenCheckmark
Range ExtenderCheckmarkCheckmark
Video DoorbellCheckmarkCheckmark
ThermostatCheckmark

*Alarm Smoke & CO Listener: This piece of equipment is rare. It should be placed near smoke and CO detectors, so it can alert you when one sounds.

Ring is missing a keychain remote in its lineup, but this may not be a huge deal to you since you can arm/disarm the system from the app. It’s also missing a smart thermostat, but you could integrate a Z-Wave or Zigbee thermostat with the system.

Nest doesn’t have a stand-alone siren, water sensor, panic button or alarm smoke and CO listener. None of these are “must-have” pieces of equipment to get your system up and running, but they may be pieces you are interested in.

Cameras

Ring has 8 cameras with different power options: wireless, wired and solar. Some have built-in floodlights, too. Nest has 4 cameras, some wired and some wireless. None of them have built-in lights.

Doorbell Cameras

Ring has 5 doorbell cameras, while Nest has 1. Ring’s doorbells have more advanced features and perform better than the Nest Hello. You can learn more about video doorbells here.

Manufacturing & Warranty

Ring and Nest manufacture their own wireless equipment. Ring has a 1-year warranty, while Nest’s is 2 years.

Complaints

Ring customers complain about connecting the equipment, the alarm going off randomly and the equipment being finicky in general. Meanwhile, Nest has complaints about the equipment going offline.

Overall, Nest has fewer complaints about its equipment malfunctioning, but it’s definitely not exempt from issues. Ring is more popular, so it’s easier to find reviews for it online. Ring also has more equipment options than Nest.

Winner: Ring Alarm

Technology

If you want to integrate some home automation equipment with your security system, Ring may be more appealing to you.

Ring Compatibilities

Nest Compatibilities

See a full list of Nest’s compatibilities here.

Battery Backup

Nest only has 12-hour battery backup, while Ring’s is 24 hours. This is important because you’ll want battery backup if your power is lost or cut.

Broadband Monitoring

Both Ring’s and Nest’s monitoring is broadband (internet) with cellular as a backup.

App Performance & Ratings

We combined Apple App Store and Google Play Store ratings and averaged them to give you an idea of what readers think of each company’s respective apps. (Please know that there were more than 40,000 reviews for Ring and only around 19,000 for Nest.)

Ring App Complaints

  • Being unable to view notifications
  • App not loading or slowly loading
  • Delays with video capture
  • Not receiving notifications
  • App crashes

Nest App Complaints

  • Commands not being followed
  • Location services not working
  • Not working with the Apple Watch
  • App crashes
  • Inconsistent app performance

Both companies have some pretty serious complaints about their app performance, and they use similar methods of monitoringRing has more home automation integration options with IFTTT, Z-Wave and Zigbee and has 24-hour battery backup for its security system.

Winner: Ring Alarm

Value

To see how these two compare in a real-world situation, let’s go over an example of a common household configuration with the equipment below:

  • 1 base station
  • 3 door/window sensors
  • 3 motion sensors
  • 1 range extender
  • 2 key fobs (not included with Ring)

Here’s a table of how much it would cost you for an installation of Ring or Nest equipment using this scenario.

 RingNest
Equipment$298.97$517.00
Installation$0$0

You’ll notice Ring is nearly half the cost for the same setup you get with Nest.

Winner: Ring Alarm

Ease Of Use

 RingNest
Wireless EquipmentCheckmarkCheckmark
InstallationDIYDIY
(Professional available for a fee)
Easily RelocateCheckmarkCheckmark

We read reviews from customers complaining about issues they had while trying to set up their Ring and Nest systems. Both systems are designed to plug in the base stations, stick the equipment where you want it and download the app.  Neither system is flawless, but both are pretty simple to understand and use, so this category is a tie.

Winner: Ring Alarm & Nest Secure

Overall Winner

Ring’s security system and monitoring are more affordable, and its system is compatible with IFTTT, Z-Wave and Zigbee. However, if your heart is set on a Google-integrated smart home, you may find Nest to be more appealing. Although Nest has a worse reputation than Ring, it tends to have fewer equipment complaints, but that could be due to Ring being more popular.

Winner: Ring Alarm

If you’d like to learn more about these companies, read our individual reviews on Ring and Nest Secure, which include pros, cons, key features and customer testimonials.

Do you think Nest is worth the extra cost?

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Kimberly received her Bachelor of Arts in multimedia journalism from Simpson College. Her natural curiosity helps her research as she seeks the truth when learning about, comparing and personally testing products and services.

Kimberly has been writing about security and safety since 2013, covering subjects such as home security and automation, identity theft protection, home warranties, medical alert systems and more. In 2018, she had her first child, and that opened up a whole new avenue of security experience with baby gear. She wanted to purchase the safest items for her family.

Security is a passion of hers, and she knows it isn’t a one size fits all category. With every piece she writes, her goal is to help our readers find the best fit for their unique needs.

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