Rob Gabriele https://www.safehome.org/author/rob-gabriele/

According to our 2024 home security market report, Ring is the most popular home security brand, period. Out of all the home security device users we surveyed, 36% of them used Ring — that’s more than ADT, Nest, and Vivint combined.

But just because it’s popular doesn’t mean you know everything about it. Does Ring sell more than just doorbells? Do you have to shell out $20 a month for a Ring Pro subscription? Is Ring sending all your data to the FBI? I did the digging so you don’t have to.

Did You Know? Ring appeared on Shark Tank under its old name, Doorbot.1 Founder Jamie Siminoff walked away without an investment — but later returned as a guest judge after selling the company for a billion dollars.

What Does Ring Sell?

When you think “Ring,” you probably think “Ring video doorbell.” That makes sense — Ring sells over a million cameras a year. But the company sells everything else you need to build your own home security system, too, including Ring security cameras, the Ring Alarm, smoke detectors, and more. Below is a list of just some of their products for sale.

Ring Home Security Devices (That Aren’t Doorbells)

  • Panic Button
  • Glass Break Sensor
  • Flood & Freeze Sensor
  • Smoke and CO Sensor
  • Contact Sensor
  • Stick Up Cam
  • Spotlight Cam
  • Floodlight Cam
>> Read About: Ring Doorbell Camera Review

What Comes With a Ring Alarm Security Kit?

Yes, Ring works with Google Home.

Can Ring Connect to Alexa?

Overwhelmed by the dozens of Ring security devices? I don’t blame you — and neither does Ring. That’s why it sells bundles. Every Ring Alarm Kit comes with one base station, one alarm range extender, at least one keypad, at least one contact sensor, and at least one motion detector. It also starts you off with a 30-day trial of Ring Protect Pro, which includes professional alarm monitoring; after that, you get downgraded to the Basic plan unless you pay up.

Ring alarm Keypad(s) Contact sensor(s) Motion detector(s)
5-Piece 1 1 1
8-Piece 1 4 1
10-Piece 1 5 2
14-Piece 2 8 2
Pro 8-Piece 1 4 1
Pro 13-Piece 1 8 2
Pro 14-Piece 2 8 2

How Much Does the Ring Alarm Cost?

The Ring Alarm Security Kits range from $199.99 to $779.97, with optional bells and whistles for an extra $9.99 to $299.99.2 Professional monitoring through the Ring Protect Pro subscription will cost you extra — $20 per month or $200 per year extra, to be exact.3

How Long Do Ring Batteries Last?

Most Ring devices are battery-powered, which means you can install them without worrying about connecting them to electricity. But here’s the thing about batteries: they run out. Thankfully, in the case of Ring batteries, it’ll take a while. A Ring contact sensor or motion sensor’s battery will last approximately three years4 under standard, indoor conditions. And when it runs low, you can just pop a new one in. The Ring Stick Up Cam’s battery will last months, not years. But you can recharge it, good as new, overnight.5

Do I Have to Pay for a Ring Protect Subscription?

You just dropped a couple hundred bucks on a Ring Alarm security system. Do you have to spend $20 per month on Ring Protect alarm monitoring, too? The short answer is no, not necessarily. But you’ll be missing some important features if you don’t sign up. The Ring Alarm home security system comes with a 30-day free trial of Ring Protect Pro. After that, you’re stuck with the Basic plan. The Basic plan does include the, well, basics — like reviewing video footage, setting your system to Home or Away mode, and getting real-time mobile notifications. But it’s missing something big: professional monitoring. You have to shell out the big bucks if you want 24/7 monitoring and for police, fire, and medical professionals to respond to your alarm. Otherwise, if you self monitor on the Basic plan, it falls on you to call the police in a crisis situation like a burglary or home invasion. >> See Also: Best Home Security Systems With Monitoring The Pro plan also buys you access to an SOS button to call emergency services in the Ring app. And if your Wi-Fi cuts out, Pro plan subscribers can count on a backup cellular connection. Are those perks worth $200 a year? That’s up to you.

Who Owns Ring?

Amazon bought Ring for just north of $1 billion in 2018. That’s why you control your Ring devices by talking to Alexa.

Did You Know? Shaquille O’Neal was an early investor in Ring — and made quite a lot of money when Amazon bought the company.6

Is My Ring Camera Spying on Me?

In May 2023, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) charged Amazon with $5.8 million worth of privacy violations for allowing Ring employees to access private footage (yep, really). One employee got away with watching recordings of female customers’ bedrooms and bathrooms for months.7 Amazon and the FTC have settled; and Ring has updated its policies on employee access to private recordings.8 But creepy employees aren’t the only people you have to worry about. The company reserves the right to give law enforcement access to your devices’ data without a warrant in the event of an emergency. According to Ring policy, that would have to be a life-threatening, limb-rending sort of emergency.

FYI: From Jan. to June 2022, Ring complied with emergency law enforcement requests 119 times.

So can your FBI agent stream your Ring camera feed? No. Could your local police department request access to images from that feed if you were being held hostage in your home? Potentially, yes. >> Read About: Protect Your Home Security Cameras From Hackers

Is Ring Compatible With My Smart Home?

Amazon owns Ring. It also owns the Echo brand of smart speakers. So it’s no surprise that Ring is one of the best home security systems that works with Alexa10. But what about other smart devices? Can you integrate your Ring Alarm with your Google Nest? Well, you can try. But Google devices don’t appear on Ring’s list of compatible devices, or vice versa. Even if you can finagle your Ring Alarm into your Google Nest ecosystem, don’t expect full functionality. If you want a truly integrated smart home, you’ll have to choose: Google or Amazon. Ring devices are compatible with other smart devices, however, including:

  • Dome Siren
  • EcoLink Tilt Sensors
  • First Alert Smoke Alarm
  • GE switches, dimmers, and outlets11
  • Leviton switches, dimmers, and outlets
  • Schlage smart locks
  • Kwikset smart locks12
  • Yale smart locks
  • Chamberlain garage door openers
>> Read More: The Best Smart Locks of 2024

Is the Ring Alarm System Easy to Install?

The Ring Alarm is not your grandma’s home security system. Not that there was anything wrong with grandma’s system — there are some real advantages to traditional hardwired home security systems. But they can be tricky to install. Ring’s wire-free, stick-on devices are definitely easier. Here’s what you need to do to install a Ring contact or motion sensor: peel off the packaging and stick it on. That’s basically it. Like many other Ring devices, it’s battery-powered, so there’s no need to hire an electrician. The next step is connection. Each sensor sends signals to the Ring Base Station. It connects to Wi-Fi so it can alert you — or the monitoring center if you have the Pro plan — of any unusual activity. Make sure your Base Station is plugged in and connected to the internet so it can do its job.

Do I Need a Permit to Set Up My Ring Alarm?

Monitored alarm services can give you peace of mind. They can also give first responders a headache. False alarms waste time and resources. That’s why many local governments require anyone with a monitored alarm system to get a permit. When you purchase a Ring Alarm with professional monitoring, Ring sends you a link to your local government’s alarm permitting requirements.13 Follow the link. Fill out any necessary paperwork. If you don’t, the cops could fine you for a false alarm.

FYI: Ring won’t cover the cost of your alarm permit, so leave a little extra room in your home-security budget.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Ring Alarm?

There’s a lot to like about the Ring Alarm system. For one thing, it’s pretty darn stylish. You don’t need to worry about the simple, sleek devices clashing with your Japandi décor. Ring Alarm is also easy to install. Most of the devices literally stick on — and pull off. This is a particularly nice perk for renters. It’s a bonus that Ring offers so many different kinds of syncable devices: everything from pet tags to smoke alarms. That means you can mix and match your way into the best home security system for you. >> Check Out: The Best Home Security System for Renters But let’s be real: there’s plenty to dislike, too. Ring’s parent company had to pay out $30 million14 in fines for privacy violations in 2023. That is, to put it mildly, not a good look. For some would-be customers, the privacy concerns are just too serious to trust Ring with their home security. There’s also its business model to worry about. Amazon hiked up Ring subscription fees in 202215 and it will almost certainly do it again. That wouldn’t be such a big deal — except you need to subscribe to access multiple basic features. You’ve already dropped $200 or more on a Ring Alarm system — are you willing to spend another $200 per year to get full functionality? It’s up to you. Ring isn’t the only home security system out there. If it’s not working for you, check out SimpliSafe, Vivint, ADT, or the many, many other home security companies competing for your business. >> See Our Top Pick: Hands-On SimpliSafe Review