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Ring is known for its video doorbells, and now it offers a self-monitored security system that you can install yourself. You can even sync the system with a doorbell or one of its security cameras.
One app accesses everything, and all of the equipment has a modern look, unlike some of its competitors. You can opt for professional monitoring for a small monthly fee, but does it have the reputation you want from a monitoring company?
- Has 2 monitoring stations
- Attractive equipment design
- If your equipment is stolen, Ring will replace it for free
- Professional monitoring is optional
- No contracts
- 30-day returns
- Compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Home
- Option to add emergency contacts
- Limited equipment reduces system’s capabilities
- 2 monitoring stations that are interconnected, so if one goes down (e.g., due to a natural disaster), another is there as a backup
- Broadband (internet) monitoring
- Customer service options: live chat, phone, FAQs
- BBB rating: A (not accredited)
- Advanced motion sensitivity doesn’t detect pets weighing less than 50 pounds when mounted 7 feet or higher
- Z-Wave and Zigbee connectivity
- 1-year warranty
- Range extender adds 250-feet
- Approximately 3-year battery life for contact sensors and motion detectors
- Operating temperature: 32°F to 104°F
- Siren: 104dB
- Owned by Amazon
- Ring’s monitoring station, Rapid Response, averages a 15-30 second response time
- The only company in our best home security system comparison to offer solar powered equipment (available for outdoor cameras and yard signs)
If the power goes out in your home, battery backup will keep your Ring system on and your home protected. Ring has a 24-hour battery backup, which is the standard in home security.
Ring sends notifications on the status of your system depending on your notification settings. After it’s used battery backup for 15 minutes, the base goes to sleep to conserve battery. This limits the device and app functionality some. The base will also go dark, but it is still working during this time.
You are still able to arm/disarm via the app, but you can’t check specific device status during battery backup use. The base also transitions to cellular monitoring to help keep you protected. The backup battery is rechargeable, so once power is restored, the battery will recharge back to 24 hours, so it is ready for any future needs.
The entire system will continue to work during a power outage unless the equipment requires a high-speed internet connection (e.g., cameras). Door/window sensors, motion sensors, glass break sensors, etc. do not require a high-speed internet connection, so they will work with battery backup and you will be informed of any triggers to these devices.
Below are typical functions you can control within a home security app. The included column lists those supported by the Ring app. Please know that to use some of the features you must have certain equipment. For example, you cannot view camera footage unless you have cameras in place. Learn more about the Ring App.
Function Included Arm/Disarm System Smart Plug Control Lock/Unlock Smart Doors View Camera Live Stream Camera Controls (Pan, Tilt, Zoom) View Recorded Video View Doorbell Camera Image Sensor Images Event History Weather Smart Thermostat Controls Control Lights Create Programs/Schedules Garage Door Control Geofencing Multi-Factor Authentication
- 1 base station
- 1 keypad
- 1 contact sensor
- 1 motion detector
- 1 range extender
- Contact Sensors (2 pack):
- Motion Detector:
- Range Extender:
- Keypad –
- Flood & Freeze Sensor –
- Smoke & CO Listener –
- Dome Siren –
- Indoor Camera:
- Spotlight Cam:
- Battery –
- Wired –
- Stick Up Cam:
- Battery –
- Plug-In –
- Solar (3 cameras included) –
- Stick Up Cam Elite:
- Floodlight Cam –
- Doorbells, which you can learn more about here
Free Basic Plus Price Free $3/month or $30/year $10/month or $100/year Coverage 1 doorbell or camera All devices at one address Ring & Motion Alerts Live Video On Demand Warranty 1 year 1 year Extended Video Recording Review, Share & Save Videos Professional Monitoring
Central monitoring stations are important, and we think you should know how many stations a company has, the average response time and the company’s reputation before buying a security system. Ring refuses to share this information with anyone who isn’t a customer. I posed as a potential customer and spoke with 4 different people, and they all stayed tight-lipped.
The first person I spoke to via live chat told me it was a third-party monitoring station with years of experience, but she couldn’t share more information. The second person I spoke to over the phone told me that Ring monitors the system itself with a trained staff. I spoke to a third person over the phone, and he told me that Ring uses a company called Central Monitoring Station. I tried to verify, asking, “Each security company has a central monitoring station monitor its security system, and Ring’s is called Central Monitoring Station?” He responded with “Yes.” I knew he didn’t know what he was talking about when I asked how many stations the company had, and he responded with, “Ummm I’m not sure, I think it’s just one.” I then asked to speak with a supervisor, who was the fourth person I spoke to.
The supervisor explained that Ring does not openly share this information due to security reasons. I asked her what security risks there were with sharing this type of information since other companies like Frontpoint (who uses Rapid Response) and SimpliSafe (who uses C.O.P.S.) openly share this information when asked? She couldn’t answer that question. What she could share was that it is a reputable company that she uses herself and asked that I trust her.
This brought me to the Amazon listing for Ring Alarm. A search through the 1,000+ questions led me to the answer; Rapid Response monitors Ring Alarm. I found this mentioned twice in the question section and wanted to verify it another way. This brought me to this page, which also states that Ring uses Rapid Response for its professional monitoring.
So why does Ring keep this so hush-hush? No clue; but we’re glad that we can share the information with you. Rapid Response is an excellent monitoring company with two monitoring stations.
Erika J., of Greensboro, NC, has the Ring Doorbell 2, Ring Spotlight Cam, sensors throughout her house and a siren. She uses the self-monitoring plan, and below are her thoughts on the system.
Ring Security System has changed the way I feel when I leave my home now. Since getting broken into, I’m very nervous to leave my home unattended for long periods of time. With Ring, I feel secure knowing that when I leave I can still keep an eye on what’s going on at my home. It even allows me to talk to delivery men if they’re dropping off something that needs my attention.
Installation is simple if you follow directions for activation of each component. If you have a problem don’t use chat option. Get phone number and they will quickly walk you through any problem quickly. Overall, a great system. – JM, Home Depot 10/22/2018
Super easy alarm system to install and use. We love how seamlessly it integrates with our Ring doorbell in the app. Highly recommend! – champbrock76, Best Buy 10/28/2018
I will be returning this on Saturday. The motion sensor would not pair wasted 20 minutes on my own trying to get it to work. Then wasted 45 minutes with phone support. The motion sensor had phatom motion or not work at all, would stay stuck. Told by support to call back and they would replace. That was a lie. – William, Home Depot 8/29/2018
I received this system as a gift 2 weeks ago and it worked for 2 weeks. We went on vacation and when we came home we could not disarm the alarm and the base station was making a cracking noise from the speaker. Got on the phone with support and they want to send me a new base station in maybe 3 days. So I have to go that long without any security for my house. That is unacceptable. I guess you get what you pay for in this case. I will be returning this unit and looking at something more reliable. Buyer beware. If you want a reliable alarm check out the others available. If you want something that “might work” well then maybe the Ring system is for you. Maybe in a couple years they will have this working. Customer support couldn’t even get someone from the alarm division on the line to troubleshoot. What a joke. – nuflat, Best Buy 8/2018
You shouldn’t have to spend much time setting up your Ring Alarm security system. We’ve purchased the system for testing purposes and I’ve put together a video of my experience with the installation process, hope you enjoy!
See what the key differences are between Ring Alarm and other leading home security companies.
- Ring is compatible with Z-Wave and Zigbee devices, Nest is not.
- Nest only has 1 monitoring station, and Ring has 2.
- Ring’s control panel has 24-hour battery backup, while Nest’s is only 12 hours.
- SimpliSafe has a 3-year warranty and Ring’s is 1 year.
- Ring is compatible with Z-Wave and Zigbee devices, SimpliSafe is not.
- All of SimpliSafe’s plans use cellular monitoring while Ring’s is broadband.
- Neither company has long-term contracts and Frontpoint has a 3-year warranty while Ring’s is 1 year.
- Ring’s professional monitoring plan is only $10 per month while Frontpoint’s starts at $44.99 per month.
- All of Frontpoint’s plans have cellular monitoring, Ring’s are broadband.
- Both companies use the same monitoring company, Rapid Response, which has 2 monitoring stations.
Ring is known for its doorbell camera and being owned by Amazon. But does that mean it’s got what it takes to be a top-notch security system? You may opt for Ring Alarm due to its DIY installation, inexpensive monitoring fees and no contract requirements. However, if you want a better customer service experience and better quality equipment, you may want to consider other options. Learn about the competition in our best home security system comparison.
Are you leaning towards Ring, or continuing your search?
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