Ring Alarm Review: Simple To Use & Affordable, But How Does It Compare?

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Ring keypad on door (caption: Ring Alarm Review)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?

Ring Alarm on Amazon | Ring Alarm Website

Article Overview

Ring Alarm

4 / 5
Ring Alarm
Customer Service & Reputation 4.0
Equipment 3.3
Technology 4.3
Value 4.0
Ease Of Use 4.5

Pros

  • Has two monitoring stations
  • Attractive equipment design
  • If your equipment is stolen, Ring will replace it for free
  • Professional monitoring is optional
  • No contracts
  • Self-installation
  • 30-day returns
  • Compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Home
  • Option to add emergency contacts

Cons

  • Limited equipment reduces system’s capabilities

Ring Alarm Equipment

Key Features

  • Two 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+
  • Advanced motion sensitivity doesn’t detect pets weighing less than 50 pounds when mounted seven feet or higher
  • Z-Wave and Zigbee connectivity
  • One-year warranty
  • Range extender adds 250-feet
  • Approximately three-year battery life for contact sensors and motion detectors
  • 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)

Battery Backup

If the power goes out in your home, battery backup will keep your Ring Alarm system on and your home protected. Ring Alarm 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 the battery. This somewhat limits the device and app functionality. The base will also go dark, but it’s still working during this time.

You’re still able to arm/disarm via the app, but you can’t check specific device statuses 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’s 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., don’t require a high-speed internet connection, so they’ll work with battery backup, and you’ll be informed of any triggers to these devices.

Price

Ring KeypadRing recently came out with a second generation of security equipment. Below is the pricing for it.

Additional Equipment

Below is a list of additional equipment Protect America offers.

Security Cameras

Ring Indoor Camera

Video Doorbells

Ring Video Doorbell camera (caption: Ring Video Doorbell Comparison)

We’ve dedicated a separate article to go more in-depth on the Ring video doorbells

Home Security

Ring Contact Sensor

Smart Home

A Ring Bridge is required to enable smart features for products in this category (enables you to integrate with your Ring Alarm system, other Ring devices, and for mobile notifications and customizable settings). You’ll notice that for most of them you have the option of purchasing the product with the Bridge as a bundle.

Ring Bridge

Life Safety

Monitoring Plans

 FreeBasicPlus
Price Free$3/month or $30/year$10/month or $100/year
CoverageOne doorbell or cameraAll devices at one address
Ring & Motion AlertsCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Live Video On DemandCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
WarrantyOne yearOne yearExtended
Video RecordingCheckmarkCheckmark
Review, Share & Save VideosCheckmarkCheckmark
Professional MonitoringCheckmark

Coupon Code

Ring products are generally discounted from MSRP on Amazon.

Who Does Central Monitoring For Ring?

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 in 2019 and spoke with four 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 at its disposal.

My Experience With Ring

Safe Smart Living purchased a Ring Alarm system for me in 2020 to test out so I could give you more details on how this system performs. Included in my system was: a base station, keypad, motion sensor, six door/window sensors, a range extender, smoke/CO listener and a video doorbell 2.

The installation process was fairly simple. I ran into one hiccup in which one of the door/window sensors wouldn’t pair with my base station, but fortunately, I was able to reach customer service through the app, and they were able to help me quickly.

I haven’t experienced any false alarms, knock on wood. The only “flaw” I’ve experienced with the system is that sometimes the notifications for my doorbell alarm can be slightly delayed or the app can take a little time to load.

Overall, I feel it’s a fairly good value considering the equipment is reasonably priced and professional monitoring is only $10 per month. It’s been easy to use, and it helps give me and my husband extra peace of mind knowing that someone is looking out for us and our children.

Is Ring Alarm Easy To Install?

You shouldn’t have to spend much time setting up your Ring Alarm security system. Here’s a video I put together of my experience with the installation process.

Ring App on iPhone and keypad (caption: Ring App)Ring App Review

Android App | iOS App

I demo the Ring app and take you through its capabilities. You’ll find a video of the interface, features compared to other home security apps, pros/cons by users, testimonials from members of Safe Smart Living and more in our Ring app review.

What Do Other People Think Of Ring Alarm?

Personal Experience

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.

Positive Reviews

Contacted Ring customer service at 800-656-1918 about our changed home network not connecting to the Ring doorbell.  (Name redacted) at their customer service was professional, walked us through the process and was just so pleasant to deal with, great experience.  The process took about 10-15 minutes as the email account had changed as well. – William M., Yelp 5/11/2020

As of yet I haven’t had any problems. It sends an alarm to my phone and records whenever anyone is on my porch or in my yard. And it saves all recordings and I can also share any suspicious information with my neighbors. – Jackie, Consumer Affairs 7/16/2019

Negative Reviews

Ring has got to be the worst security camera system and worse customer service EVER! Do not waste your money! I cancelled my service after starting with the RING way before the owner sold it to Amazon. This company is not the company of old. And I have no regrets cutting ties once I realized there is no integrity in this business. And robotic read from script stepford customer services people. Good Riddance – Runny G., Yelp 5/4/2020

Today I called Ring Customer Service, to request information regarding the warranty of a refurbished Ring product they were selling on their website. The CS rep asked for my name (no problem), then he asked for my email address, and my phone number as he needed to send me an authorization code?? When I stated that I simply wanted to know what the warranty was, he said he would place me on hold and said “stay there”. I simply wanted to know what the warranty was on a refurbished product, nothing else. After about a minute he came back on the line and said he could not provide any information. I shared my deep disappointment, thanked him and terminated the call. Made no sense! I attempted to obtain an email address for Ring, to send the feedback directly, but could not find one. This will serve as feedback for Ring leadership! – Kevin, BBB 4/19/2020

Ring Alarm vs Other Companies

See the key differences between Ring Alarm and other leading home security companies.

Ring Alarm vs Nest Secure

  • Ring is compatible with Z-Wave and Zigbee devices; Nest is not.
  • Nest only has a single monitoring station, while Ring has two.
  • Ring’s control panel has 24-hour battery backup, while Nest’s is only 12 hours.

Compare Ring Alarm and Nest Secure

Ring Alarm vs SimpliSafe

  • SimpliSafe has a three-year warranty, while Ring’s is only one 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.

Compare Ring Alarm and SimpliSafe

Ring Alarm vs Frontpoint

  • Neither company has long-term contracts, and Frontpoint has a three-year warranty, while Ring’s is only one 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 two monitoring stations.

Compare Ring Alarm and Frontpoint

About Ring Alarm & Its History

Jamie Sminoff invented what is known today as the Ring Video Doorbell in 2013. Back then, the company was known as Doorbot and was later renamed to Ring Inc. Amazon purchased Ring in 2018 and sells home security equipment for inside and outside the home.

Ring Alarm’s Competition

Burglar breaking into house tracking on smart phone app (caption: What’s The Best Home Security System In 2020)Ring Alarm on Amazon | Ring Alarm Website

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 higher quality equipment, you may want to consider other providers. Our experts review the competition in-depth in our best home security systems comparison.

Are you leaning towards Ring Alarm or continuing your search?

About The Author:

Kimberly is our home security expert and has been writing about security and safety since 2013, covering everything from security systems and home automation to identity theft protection, home warranties, medical alert systems, and more. She has personally tested hundreds of system components and interfaced with dozens of home security companies to find out what’s happening behind the scenes. Her work has appeared in many notable brands, including The New York Times' Wirecutter, Reader's Digest, Forbes, People, Woman's World, and Huffington Post.

In 2018, she had her first child, which opened up a whole new avenue of security experience with baby gear. She wanted to purchase the safest items for her family.

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.

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

Disclaimer: This website contains reviews, opinions and information regarding products and services manufactured or provided by third parties. We are not responsible in any way for such products and services, and nothing contained here should be construed as a guarantee of the functionality, utility, safety or reliability of any product or services reviewed or discussed. Please follow the directions provided by the manufacturer or service provider when using any product or service reviewed or discussed on this website.

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Susan M
October 15, 2020 1:32 pm

Do Ring cameras have privacy settings? We just installed an indoor camera and aside from unplugging it, I can’t find a way to “disable” it while we’re home.

(Admin)
Alex Schenker
October 16, 2020 11:06 am
Reply to  Susan M

Hi Susan,

You’re not alone! One of the shortcomings of Ring cameras has definitely been a lack of privacy settings and control.

While Ring doesn’t have an outright “off” button like some other cameras do, they have implemented some privacy-related control features:

  1. Snooze – you can “snooze” motion detection for up to 4 hours.
  2. Camera settings – you can disable motion recording and alerts.
  3. Motion settings – you can tweak how and where the camera captures motion events.

Outside of camera settings, I’m afraid you’re only full privacy option at the moment is unplugging the camera.

Mindy Peeterson
September 25, 2020 8:15 pm

Do you guys have any plans to review the new Ring “Always Home” – that crazy drone that flies around inside your house so you don’t have to have indoor cameras? Is that completely ridiculous or what? LOL

(Admin)
Alex Schenker
October 15, 2020 1:34 pm

Hi Mindy,

We sure do! In fact, our researchers are currently testing the product and writing up a review. Should go live early next year at the latest.

MikeM
September 25, 2019 2:05 pm

Only problem is with broadband connection they can just cut the connection. Any of them have cellular without having to pay monitoring?