Ring Security System Review: Is This the Right System for You?
Home security systems have evolved significantly in recent years thanks to technology. Today's audio sensors, cameras, and motion detectors are cheaper, smaller and simpler than the old wires-on-the-windows kind of security system. Units like the Ring Security System are more and more popular.
Home security systems can now work independently, eliminating expensive professional monitoring. Many households can now integrate home security systems into their homes where previously these systems would have been difficult or costly. Here we look at the Ring Security System and compare it to some of the most popular home security systems available.
What Is the Ring Security System?
The Ring Security System was designed to put the power of home security back in the hands of the resident. It alerts your cellphone if any doors or windows open or of any motion within the home.
Ring Security System has its own smartphone app. It integrates the management of the ring alarm and ring doorbell in one place, on your cell phone. The system comes with a wall-mount keypad, but it can also connect the Ring alarm to Alexa for hands-free control. You can disarm, arm, monitor status with voice commands through Alexa.
Twenty-four/seven professional monitoring is available for a paid monthly membership, which also includes cellular backup and unlimited video recording. Ring Security Systems come with this feature for the first 30 days free, so you can try it out. Also, there is no minimum contract or fees if you cancel, which makes this an option to turn on or off as you like.
This package includes the base station that connects to your smartphone; an indoor keypad that can be mounted to the inside wall of the home; a contact sensor for doors and windows; a motion detector; and a range extender useful in larger homes. Components can be added or removed as needed for expanding homes, or evolving needs.
And, set-up is easy and takes just minutes. It does not require special tools or professional installation.
Image from Amazon
The Ring Security System comes with 5 parts: the base station, the keypad, the contact sensor, motion detector, and range extender. The specifics of each are below.
The base station is the brains and this small device, measuring 6.65 inches x 6.65 inches x 1.42 inches. It's mountable to any wall or solid surface. It is an AC power-operated device that runs on 100-240 V, with a 24-hour rechargeable battery backup.
It connects to ethernet, wi-fi, Z-wave, ZigBee, and Bluetooth and can connect to cellular backup if you choose the subscription service.
The base station operates from 32°F to 104°F (0°C to 40°C), which covers most indoor temperatures. The siren rests in the base station and is rated at 104 decibels.
The keypad measures at 5.87 inches X 3.94 inches X 0.91 inches. Mounting options include on the wall with a quick-release bracket or placed on any flat surface. It also has an AC adapter and an internal rechargeable battery -- it lasts up to 10 months for each charge and operates from 32°F to 104°F (0°C to 40°C).
It works with home automation z-wave and can be placed as far as 250 feet from the base station. The keypad is what allows you to set the Ring Security System and has three settings. Disarmed turns off all monitoring, away activates all sensors, and home activates only selected sensors.
The contact sensor is small 3.23 inches x 0.98 inches x 0.94 inches and a two-piece device that is mounted to door frames or window frames with the pieces facing each other. It alerts the base station via Z-wave technology when the window or door is opened.
Mount the contact sensors within 250 feet from the base station. The contact sensor is powered by a 3-volt lithium battery that lasts about three years. The device operates safety from 32°F to 120°F (0°C to 49°C) which makes it window mountable.
The motion detector measures 3.54 inches X 2.44 inches X 1.77 inches and mounts to a wall or corner and alerts the base station via z-wave technology when something moves within the home. However, it can be mounted above 7 feet to avoid alerting for pets weighing less than 50 pounds.
It is powered by a 3-volt lithium battery that lasts about three years. The device operates safety from 32°F to 120°F (0°C to 49°C) which makes it safe for most homes or porches.
The range extender is the Ring Security System solution to larger homes. It is a small 3.15 inches x 1.81 inches x 1.10 inches device that you plug directly into a wall outlet. It also has a 24-hour battery backup so no worries if the power goes out.
The range extender uses Z-wave technology to extend the range of the base station 250 feet further. It can be used indoors from 32°F to 104°F (0°C to 40°C). This piece is essential for large homes or houses with multiple floors.
The Ring Security System and all components come with 1-year limited warranty and service included. There are some special terms, so take a look at the Ring alarm support page for details.
How It Compares
We picked a few similar products to the Ring Security System available on the market to see how they compare.
- Nest Secure
Ring Security System
Ease of Use
The Ring Security System is very user-friendly, the app is easy to learn and understand, and installation is a breeze.
Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week professional monitoring is available with a paid per month membership, which also includes cellular backup and unlimited video recording. Ring Security Systems come with this feature for the first 30 days free, so you can try it out. Also, there is no minimum contract or fees if you decide to cancel, which makes this an option to turn on or off as you like.
Components can be added or removed as needed for expanding homes, or evolving needs, and set up is easy and takes just minutes. It does not require special tools or professional installation.
Cameras and Sensors
The basic Ring Security System comes with a contact sensor and motion detector. Various security cameras that can be wall mounted, placed on a surface or integrated into doorbells can be easily integrated and are available at an additional cost.
- Relatively inexpensive system
- Affordable monitoring
- Base station set up for evolving technology
- One app runs all Ring devices
- Easy setup and easy use
- Overwhelming positive reviews
- Cannot hard-wire when wall mounted
- Additional components must be purchased individually
- The base does not light up well in the dark
The Nest Secure alarm system is a similar product to the Ring Security System, but with a lot more bells and whistles. The starter pack included three components. The nest guard is the brains, alarm, keypad and motion sensor in one device. Two included nest detect sensors serves both as motion sensor and window and door alarm. Finally, two nest tags alarms and disarms by use of a key tag that can be disabled through the app if ever lost. Nest also has an app that works with smartphones and Google assist and all security alerts come to your phone app.
The Nest Secure alarm system is very customizable with three settings; alarm off, home and guarding, away and guarding. Settings that can change how much time delays after arming and disarming, and you can specify these by individual doors or window.
You can set the system to alert you but not alarm if a certain door is open. It offers path light options, quiet alarm options, and small animal settings customizable to your household needs. Nest Cams offer integration and installation at an additional cost.
It uses AC and 12-hour battery backup, works over WiFi and if you want a cellular backup, it is available for a monthly fee. Nest Secure and cellular backup do not provide third-party monitored emergency notifications, response or police dispatch.
The company offers installation support for this self-installed unit. Some features are more complicated to set up than the Ring security system. Comes with a 2-year limited warranty
Ease of Use
Some features and components are a little complicated to set up and use, and the app has a learning curve. This is an area that the Ring far outpaces the Nest.
Nest Secure and cellular backup do not provide third-party monitored emergency notifications, response or police dispatch. They do provide professional monitoring cellular backup for monthly fees.
You install this system on your own and the company has installation support if needed.
Cameras and Sensors
The Nest guard has a motion sensor included and the Nest detect can work as a motion sensor or open/close sensors. Nest Cams have available installation and integration for an additional cost.
- Highly customizable
- Variety of settings available
- Good warranty and customer support
- Expensive even as the base package
- Expensive professional monitoring
- Connectivity technology not as diverse as Ring
- Set up and ongoing use more complicated than Ring
Abode advertises as professional grade security you can install yourself. Similar to the Ring security system, this mobile app run system integrates with Apple iOS and some androids. Abode also works with Alexa, Nest and Google Home.
It runs off a series of sensor pairs that talk to the abode gateway over wireless technology. It included cellular and battery backup. The starter kit includes one gateway, 1 mini door/window Sensor, 1 remote key fob, and 1 motion sensor. They require no contract for optional professional monitoring.
Ease of Use
Most users report that the system is easy to set up and use. The app is not fully functioning and you must use the web portal to get to all the features.
Professional monitoring and cellular backup, charged as monthly fees, are options. On-demand professional monitoring is available in 3-day and 7-day increments for vacation.
Self installs in minutes.
Cameras and Sensors
The Abode comes with motions sensors and open/close sensors. You can integrate the camera at an additional cost.
- Integrates into smart power and temperature switches
- Works with Alexa, Nest and Google Home
- Home setting is a nice hybrid
- On-demand professional monitoring available for vacations
- Short 10 hours battery backup
- The app is cumbersome and incomplete
- Web login required for full use
- Automation is faulty and glitchy
The iSmartAlarm starter package monitors doors and windows and detects motion in the home. It integrates with iOS and Android smartphones for free instant alerts, text messages, push notifications or emails even if the app is off. They tout it as the DIY system you install, monitor, control, and expand on your own.
You can integrate it with the Internet of Things (IoT) system in the US. This package includes one CubeOne Hub base with built-in 110 dB siren, one window/door sensors, one motion sensor, one remote tag, and two sensor stickers.
Ease of Use
Users report difficulties with ongoing use including system crashes, needs for frequent reboots, and connectivity issues, it's one of the lowest-performing on our list. The app is easy to use and understand.
The CubeOne hub does not come with professional monitoring although some auxiliary components purchased separately such as cameras can–for an additional fee.
Setup takes about an hour, and no phone support is available. Integrating setup with cameras and other components is difficult.
Cameras and Sensors
The starter package includes one window/door sensors, one motion sensor, and two sensor stickers. You can add additional sensors and camera on as needed. False alarms are common.
- App easy to understand
- Works initially
- Frequent updates cause issues
- Customer service email only
- Sirens not loud
- Short-lived hardware lasts about a year
Overall, the Ring security system is well worth your time and money. It's reliable, multi-featured, technologically advanced, and the ease of use is high. To top it off, it comes at a price tag that does not break the bank.