You probably know that Ring is a popular home security and smart home company owned by Amazon. But did you know Ring was originally called Doorbot and got its start from a crowdfunding campaign way back in 2012? Fast forward to February of 2018, and Ring was purchased by Amazon for somewhere in the ballpark of $1.5 billion.
Today, we can say that Ring is one of the most trusted names in smart security and home automation. Its flagship products are its video doorbells — one of the most popular and one of our favorites is the Ring Video Doorbell 3. We also recently reviewed Ring’s security cameras. But we’re here today to talk about Ring’s smart home automations and how you can use Ring to build out a smart home ecosystem.
Before we get into the automation side of things, though, let’s take a look at a few key products Ring offers.
Ring’s Flagship Products
- Video Doorbells
- Security Cameras
- Spotlight Cameras
- Floodlight Cameras
- Security Systems
- Flood and Freeze Sensors
- Smoke Alarms
Ring — A DIY Attitude
One of Ring’s selling points is that their smart home equipment is super easy to install and set up, making the company a preferred choice for DIYers. A lot of their equipment doesn’t even need to be hard-wired, meaning set up is a breeze. For the more complicated installs, though, Ring offers a tremendous amount of resources both on their website and in the Ring app. So don’t be intimidated by setting up smart devices or wiring one of Ring’s doorbells — we promise it’s easier than it sounds!
Pro Tip: While Ring prides itself on ease of installation, that doesn’t mean precautions don’t need to be taken. Make sure power is turned off whenever working with electricity, and be sure to wear personal protective gear like gloves and eyewear.
So what Ring equipment is right for you? Good question. Ring’s product list seems overwhelming, especially Ring’s doorbell camera lineup. But luckily the company offers several bundled packages for extra convenience and savings. Let’s have a look at what some of these include. And note that most of Ring’s equipment has at least some smart home automation features (and we’ll get to that, too!).
Smart Equipment Packages
|Package Name||Included Equipment||Price|
|Everyday Kit||Video Doorbell 3 and Two Floodlight Cams||$597.99|
|Everyday Pro Bundle||Video Doorbell Pro and Two Floodlight Cameras||$647.99|
|Doorbell Camera Kit||Video Doorbell 3, Spotlight Cam, and Solar Security Sign||$349.00|
|Eight-Piece Alarm Security Kit + Video Doorbell||Video Doorbell and Eight-Piece Alarm System||$339.99|
|14-Piece Deluxe Alarm Protection Kit||Video Doorbell 3, Solar Sign, Spotlight Cam, and 14-Piece Alarm System||$649.99|
Keep in mind that we also tested and reviewed the Ring Alarm security system. Although Ring Alarm has somewhat limited smart home capabilities, we still found it to be a great DIY system for basic intrusion protection.
After picking out the products or bundle that’s right for you, there are quite a few ways to link this equipment to your established smart home services and products. Let’s take a look at how Ring works with some of the best home automation platforms out there.
Ring and Google Home — The Bad
As of very recently, Ring does work with Google Home, but you might experience limited functionality. Very basic features are available through Google Assistant, and by connecting Ring Devices to Google Home, you can access your Ring devices with voice commands like you’re Captain Kirk on the bridge of the Enterprise.
It’s certainly a cool feature, but according to the Google and Ring support message boards, this functionality is spotty at best, and more advanced functions simply don’t work. If you’re planning to integrate smart devices with an existing Google Home platform, you might want to consider Vivint’s smart home security systems or Cove’s options. Or better yet, take a look at our latest in-depth resource on our top 5 favorite security systems that work with Google Home.
Alexa and Ring — The Good
Not surprisingly, Ring plays much better with Alexa since both products are owned by Amazon. And as an added bonus, by connecting your Ring devices to your Amazon Echo, you can utilize the voice assistant feature. It’s a pretty straightforward process, too.
Once you have downloaded the Alexa app to your smartphone, open it up and then follow the steps there to link your Ring device. Once this is done, you can then activate and interact with your Ring device using voice commands by simply telling Alexa what you would like to do. For instance, “Alexa, tell Ring to arm my home!” Just note that for obvious security reasons, Alexa (or Google Home for that matter) won’t disarm your alarm. That would make it all too easy for criminals to gain access to your home.
We’re big fans of Ring’s Alexa integration; it’s one of the better features that Ring brings to the table. If you’re curious about other systems with this functionality, we recently wrote a roundup of the best home security systems that work with Alexa.
Did You Know: Cybersecurity is increasingly important in automated homes, as hackers can use nearly any connected device as an attack vector. Make sure you’re protected by keeping everything up to date, installing firewalls, and using antivirus software.
Ring and Apple HomeKit — The Bypass
The short answer here is that Ring does not work with Apple HomeKit, but that doesn’t mean Mac users should be dismayed. By employing a HomeBridge, HomeKit users can link their Ring devices to their Apple smart products. This just takes a little extra initiative.
Without getting into the technical weeds, HomeBridge is a piece of software that translates commands between HomeKit and products that aren’t officially supported by it. Ring devices can connect to the bridge without much hassle or integration work. For an added bonus, HomeBridge is open source and free to use. It’s not exactly a seamless integration, but it’s an option.
Now, if you’re searching for equipment that works like a charm with HomeKit, check out our latest guide to the top home security systems that work with Apple.
Ring and SmartThings — Growing Connectivity
SmartThings is a pretty neat piece of app work from Samsung. Like other bridges, it essentially helps users connect disparate smart home devices onto a single network that can be controlled by one single app. This is super handy if you’re trying to connect multiple different devices and have them all play nice together.
Even better, the list of supported devices continues to grow. The app can now connect to the Ring Video Doorbell, the Ring Video Doorbell 2, and certain floodlights. Although not all Ring products are supported (just yet), the majority of core products are.
Ring and IFTTT — The Chain of Command
If This Then That, or IFTTT for short, is a web-based service that allows users to create chains of conditional statements triggered by changes that occur within other web services or devices. Sounds complicated, but it’s really not. Want to turn on your Ring floodlights if it’s past sunset and you ordered pizza through your app? IFTTT’s got you covered. This is honestly one of our favorite ways to link various smart hardware together. All you have to do is download the app and link it to your Ring account.
Ring and Other Smart Devices
One of the more interesting aspects of Ring Home Automation is the lineup of products that you can integrate into the Ring app. Here’s just as sampling of products outside the Ring line of devices that can be controlled from the same platform.
|Schlage Connect Smart Deadbolt, Z-Wave Plus Enabled||Lock and unlock doors from the Ring App||$199.99|
|Yale Real Living Assure Lock SL With Z-Wave Plus||Manage and Monitor Keyless Entry into Your Home||$219.99|
|Chamberlain Next-Gen Wi-Fi Garage Door Opener||Control and monitor your garage from anywhere||$499.00|
|Chamberlain Smart Garage Control||Secure garage door from anywhere and receive real-time activity notifications||$39.98|
Thanks to the Ring Alarm Hub running off the Z-Wave protocol, Ring integrates with a variety of products from various smart home automation companies — you don’t have to only use Ring’s hardware. This is really important if you’re looking to build out a smart home ecosystem, with smart lights and locks, smart thermostats, garage openers, you name it.
Ring Protect Subscription Plans
Regardless of how they are networked, in order to get the most out of Ring’s devices, you’ll have to subscribe to Ring Protect — the company’s subscription plan. Note that there are two tiers of service here, Basic and Plus, so let’s break them down. And if you want the full rundown on these plans, take a look at our latest Ring Protect Plans Guide.
Ring Protect Plans & Pricing
|Real-time video with Live View||Yes||Yes|
|Lifetime theft protection||Yes||Yes|
|Video history for 60 days||Yes||Yes|
|Video saving and sharing||Yes||Yes|
|24/7 professional monitoring for Ring Alarm||No||Yes|
|Extended warranties for all devices||No||Yes|
|Discounts on other Ring products||No||Yes|
|Price||$3 per month or $30 per year||$10 per month or $100 per year|
Did You Know: Ring devices will still work without a subscription to Ring Protect, but with severely limited functionality. We recommend signing up.
We’ve tested plenty of home security systems over the years, and we have to say that $10 is the lowest monthly cost we’ve seen for smart home connectivity. Of course, you still have to purchase the equipment separately, but once you have it installed, you’re paying around the same price you’d pay for supersizing a McDonald’s meal. Not bad at all!
Overall Value of Ring
For most people, going with Ring is a really solid choice. They’re one of the most trusted names in the industry, and all of their products are workhorses — especially their home security system.
As you’ll learn in our roundup of Ring Alarm packages and prices, some items can get a little pricey, but the trade-off is that the monthly subscription price to keep the devices working their best is absolutely rock bottom. Add to that the monitoring and support added through Ring Protect, and you’ve got yourself a really powerful platform for smart home security.
Did You Know: Ring users also have access to a social media app called Neighbors that works like a digital neighborhood watch. People can connect to discuss crimes in the area, suspicious activities, and best practices for staying safe.
Overall, we think Ring is a great choice for the DIY crowd looking for a little extra connectivity without breaking the bank.
Frequently Asked Questions
While the devices will function without a subscription, to get the most out of them, we suggest signing up for the Basic or Plus plan.
Yes, but functionality is very limited.
Yes, this is the home automation system (or voice assistant) we recommend connecting with Ring devices. Since Ring and Alexa are both Amazon-owned, the integration is totally seamless.
Yes, but it requires downloading third-party software called HomeBridge.
Ring is best known for their video doorbells, alarm systems, and security cameras.