Security Systems

Compare Ring vs Nest: Which Security System Is Better? Differences Between Camera, Thermostat, Doorbell, And More

When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Here’s how it works.

Ring and Nest offer professionally 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.

Customer Service & Reputation

The BBB (Better Business Bureau) can be a reliable indicator of how a company handles consumer complaints. How did our two companies fare?

  • Ring: A+ (accredited)
  • Nest: A- (not accredited)

Nest not being accredited from the BBB is rare since most competitors are. There is most likely one of two reasons for this:

  • Nest has not sought out accreditation, or
  • Nest does not meet BBB standards

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 serviceRing logo

Winner: Ring Alarm


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

Ring Nest
Additional Keypad Checkmark Checkmark
Keychain Remote Checkmark
Door/Window Sensor Checkmark Checkmark
Motion Sensor Checkmark Checkmark
Indoor Camera Checkmark Checkmark
Outdoor Camera Checkmark Checkmark
Panic Button Checkmark
Smoke Detector Checkmark Checkmark
CO Detector Checkmark Checkmark
Alarm Smoke & CO Listener* Checkmark
Freeze Sensor Checkmark Checkmark
Water Sensor Checkmark
Additional Siren Checkmark
Range Extender Checkmark Checkmark
Video Doorbell Checkmark Checkmark
Thermostat Checkmark

*What’s A “Listener”?

A smoke or CO “listener” is a rather rare piece of equipment. Ring is one of the few companies to employ it. It’s a separate device that you place near your actual smoke and CO detectors. It “listens” for an alarm, and alerts you when one sounds.

Person interacting with smart home devices from phone (caption: Smart Home Protocols)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.


Ring has more than 10 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 doorbell posted on a front door (Caption: Best Doorbell Cameras)Ring has 6 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.


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.

Ring logo

Winner: Ring Alarm


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

Ring Compatibilities

  • Z-Wave and Zigbee devices
  • Amazon Alexa
  • Google Assistant
  • Smart lock systems from Kevo, LockState, Kisi and Lockitron
  • Smart lights from Philips Hue

Nest Compatibilities

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

Below are the Apple App Store and Google Play Store ratings and number of reviews to give you an idea of what readers think of each company’s respective app.

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.Ring logo

Winner: Ring Alarm


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)

Neither company locks you into a contract, but if you agree to a 3-year agreement with Nest, you get a discount on monitoring. Let’s say you choose to keep your service for 3 years. Here’s an example of how much it would cost you through Ring and Nest.

Ring Nest
Equipment $253.97 $479.94
Installation $0 $0
Professional Monitoring $100/year
(broadband w/ cellular backup)
(broadband w/ cellular backup)
Total Spent After 3 Years $553.97 $1,163.94

Monitoring Stations

Illustration of hand disarming alarm (caption: Guide To Central Monitoring Stations)Ring has 2 monitoring stations, and Nest only has 1. The number of monitoring stations is important because each station can experience natural disasters and power outages just like our homes. If Nest’s monitoring station experiences any downtime, your call may go unanswered if your system is triggered. But with Ring, if one monitoring station experiences downtime, all calls are routed to the other monitoring station, and you are still in good hands. This is known as redundancy protection.

Best Value

As you can see, you get equivalent equipment for half the cost with Ring, and it has redundancy protection with its 2 monitoring stations.Ring logo

Winner: Ring Alarm

Ease Of Use

Ring Nest
Wireless Equipment Checkmark Checkmark
Installation DIY DIY
(Professional available for a fee)
Easily Relocate Checkmark Checkmark

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.Ring Alarm & Nest Secure logos

Winner: Ring Alarm & Nest Secure (Tie)

Overall Winner

Ring’s security system and monitoring are more affordable and thorough with multiple monitoring stations. Its system is compatible with IFTTT, Z-Wave and Zigbee, and it’s easy to use. 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.Ring logo

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. Neither Ring nor Nest are our top home security system, but you can see how they stacked up against other competitors.

Do you think Nest is worth the extra cost?

Kimberly Alt

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.

Related Articles

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Back to top button
Send this to a friend