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Ring Alarm Review

An Amazon-owned, DIY home security system with impressively low $10 monthly monitoring.

SecureScore™: 7.8 /10
View Packages
7.8 SecureScore™
Customer Service
8.0
Value
8.3
Equipment
7.4
Features & Technology
7.6
Ease Of Use
7.9

Ring Alarm Ratings

Ring may have made their mark with video doorbells, but their home security system, Ring Alarm, is well worth looking at. All of the Ring devices work seamlessly with each other, and the app based control offers a convenient and powerful experience. Innovative features such as Ring Neighborhoods not only make your house safer, but your community as well.

PROS
  • Easy installation process
  • App control for all Ring products in one panel
  • Instantly receive alerts through your mobile devices
  • Affordable paid pricing tiers with a free option

CONS
  • Upfront payment required for equipment
  • Per camera pricing model for lower tier plan may add up quickly

Overview

Ring’s stated mission is to reduce crime in neighborhoods. All of the products and services that they create revolve around this fact. The company got its start with the Ring Video Doorbell, after the founder Jamie Siminoff realized that he couldn’t have the best home security when he was unable to hear and answer his doorbell from remote parts of the home. He actually took this invention to ABC’s Shark Tank, which helped to kick things off. The company was purchased by Amazon in early 2018.

Due to the success of the original product line, Ring has moved into other areas such as a full home security system called Ring Alarm. It builds off of the features that made the Ring Video Doorbell such a success, coupled with an affordable paid plan that gives you the opportunity to choose your level of service.

Features & Technology

Ring App

You have all of your alerts on your smartphone or tablet with the help of the Ring app. It connects to every Ring device at your home so you’ll get notifications from all of them. This single dashboard view gives you a complete picture of your home environment.

Smart Connections with Third-Party Devices

Ring has a significant reach in the smart home automation market, so you can find third-party devices that are compatible with the Ring Alarm system, as well as Ring’s products such as their video doorbell.

Customizable Home Security

You can customize your Ring Alarm system easily with extra sensors. When you’re dealing with an unusual arrangement or you have a large home to protect, being able to seamlessly set things up as needed is an excellent feature.

24 Hour Battery Backup

Don’t worry if your power goes out – your Ring Alarm protects you with a battery backup that lasts a full day following an outage.

Cellular Backup

The Ring Protect Plus Plan gives you a cellular-based backup signal in the event that you lose access to the internet.

Ring Neighborhoods Beta

This feature helps your entire neighborhood become safer, thanks to Ring technology. You can share videos with people who are located nearby, allowing you to get a more complete picture of what’s going on in the neighborhood.

Two Way Conversations

You can address the people that you see on camera via the Ring app or your computer. You can drive intruders away and welcome in guests even if you aren’t present at home.

Home Automation

Ring Alarm’s base station doubles as a smart home automation hub and integrates with both Z-wave and Zigbee devices.  Popular integrations include voice control with Alexa, access control for smart locks and cameras that record when your alarm is triggered.

Professional Monitoring

Professional monitoring is offered with a Ring Protect Plus plan for as little as $100 a year.

Ease of Use

Ring Alarm is designed to be easy to install and use. If you need help with this process, you can connect with Ring to get a walkthrough of the process via phone, email or live chat.

Customer Service

Ring has mixed reviews on the quality of its customer service, but the company does offer useful resources for getting assistance. The customer self-service hub makes it simple to find the topics that are directly relevant to your device or service. You can access frequently asked questions, tutorials and other information to help you use your products.

If you need to talk to customer support directly, you can use live chat, email, and the phone to connect with the experts at Ring.

Value

Ring Alarm does not have long-term contracts, nor does it charge you for cancelling your service or moving. You have a limited warranty on equipment parts and theft protection. The purchase of a Ring device automatically enrolls you in the free plan. You can view your stream at any time and you have a one year warranty. You get alerts at important events and motion detection, a custom zone configuration, and two-way talking with visitors and intruders

Ring Basic

The Ring Basic plan only covers a single Ring doorbell or security camera. It builds off of the free plan by giving you video recording of your Ring and Motion alerts, as well as the Live View events for 2 months. You can save these videos and share them. Ring basic costs $3 per month or $30 annually and automatically renews at the ends of the period.

Ring Protect Plus

The Ring Protect Plus plan gives you 24/7 professional monitoring, cellular backup in case you lose your internet connection, exclusive discounts when you make purchases through Ring.com, and all the features of the lower tier plans. Ring Protect Plus costs $10 per month or $100 annually and automatically renews at the ends of the period.

If you’re dissatisfied with your Ring device or service, you can request a full refund within 30 days. You do, however, need to pay for return shipping.

Equipment

Alarm Security Kit

The Ring Alarm security kit requires an upfront payment; then you can choose whether or not you want to add a paid subscription plan to it. This kit comes with the base station, which acts as a hub for all of your Ring Alarm devices. You connect it to your home network via wireless or wired Internet. This base station supports all Ring devices, as well as compatible third-party devices that use Z-Wave technology. The base station siren is 104 decibels and the device can function for 24 hours on battery backup power. If an intruder smashes the base station during the entry delay period, it still functions. You control the functionality of this device via the iOS or Android app, or through the alarm keypad. The Ring Alarm kit costs $199.00.

All Ring Alarm Security Kits come with a free 30-day trial of Ring Protect Plus. After that you can opt-in for only $10 a month or $100 a year.

Keypad

You can set your Ring Alarm system to Disarmed, which turns off your sensors, Away, which turns on all sensors, and Home, which only brings certain sensors online. The Keypad uses a direct connection to your power outlet for its primary power source, and then a rechargeable battery for backup. You can mount the keypad on the wall or set it up on a convenient tabletop. The keypads must be within 250 feet of the base station. Additional keypads cost $50 each. Keypad battery can last for up to 7 months on a single charge when in power save mode.

Contact Sensor

Get Ring alerts when the sensors detect that a door or a window opens or closes. You also get notifications if someone tampers with the device. Additional contact sensors cost $20.

Motion Detector

Whenever this sensor picks up motion, you receive a notification. If you have pets, don’t worry. Ring Alarm can be configured so that it knows how to ignore pet alerts. Additional motion detectors cost $30.

Range Extender

If you have a larger house, you may need more range than the base station along can give you. That’s where the range extender comes in. You get a 24-hour backup battery in each unit and a simple installation process. Additional range extenders cost $25.

Add-On Equipment

Alarm Smoke & CO Listener

Get Ring alerts whenever the system detects that smoke or CO2 alarms go off. This device is $35. You can also opt for the third-party First Alert Z-Wave Smoke/CO Alarm for $40.

Alarm Flood & Freeze Sensor

Get alerts when water is sensed or freezing temperatures are registered. This device costs $35.

Dome Siren

Do you worry about having trouble hearing your Ring Alarm base station alerts? Dome Sirens are 105-decibel speakers and flashing LED lights that keep you updated with the latest notifications. This device has a three-year battery life. The Dome Siren costs $30.

Panic Button

Get help in an emergency situation and as soon as you need it with a Panic Button. Press and hold the Panic Button for three seconds to sound the siren on your Ring Alarm. If you’re subscribed to a Ring Protect Plus plan, the 24/7 professional monitoring center will be notified and emergency responders can be dispatched.

Summary

Ring Alarm is a tech forward, DIY friendly security solution with many excellent features. While there is an upfront cost, the low monthly cost offers an excellent value.

Ring Alarm FAQs

Is Ring Alarm compatible with Alexa?

Yes, the two work together. Like Alexa, Ring Alarm is owned by Amazon.

Is Ring Alarm wireless?

Yes, Ring Alarm is wireless. Ring Alarm works with either wired or wireless Internet as well.

Does Ring Alarm require an Internet connection?

Yes, Ring Alarm does require an internet connection.

Does Ring Alarm have a battery backup?

Yes, Ring Alarm does have a battery backup. The base station includes a battery backup in case of a power outage or other loss of power. It works as usual for 15 minutes after losing power, but after that point, it goes into a limited functionality mode. In that case, the battery can last up to 24 hours.

Does Ring Alarm require professional monitoring?

Ring Alarm does not require professional monitoring. You’re free to self-monitor if that makes sense for you. If you choose that option, you’ll get alerts on your phone, but Ring won’t contact authorities on your behalf.

What is Ring Alarm’s monthly cost?

The Ring Basic Plan covers a single security camera for $3 a month, or $30 a year. For $10 a month or $100 a year, Ring Protect Plus covers all the cameras at your address. As mentioned above, it also comes with cellular data backup.

What happens if a burglar tries to smash the Ring Alarm base station?

The base station is designed to be smash-proof, which means it will still send signals even if a burglar tries to disarm it by force.

How much is the Ring Alarm security package?

The 5-piece home security system is normally $199, but there are sometimes sales which discount further.

What equipment comes with the Ring Alarm security package?

The 5-piece kit includes a base station, keypad, contact sensor, motion detector, and base station range extender.

Does Ring Alarm require professional installation?

No, the Ring Alarm does not require professional installation. Ring Alarm has a simple installation that you can do yourself. Ring’s customer service offers additional installation support if you need it.

Does Ring Alarm come with a warranty?

Yes, Ring Alarm comes with a warranty. There’s a limited warranty that includes theft protection. That means Ring will replace your equipment if it gets stolen.

Does Ring Alarm come with a panic button?

Yes, Ring Alarm comes with a panic button as an add-on item.

Does Ring Alarm have glass break sensors?

No, the Ring Alarm does not currently offer glass break sensors.

Will Ring Alarm’s motion sensors go off around my pets?

The Ring Alarm’s motion sensor might go off around your pet. It depends on how much your pets weigh. The Ring Alarm motion sensors don’t detect pets that weigh under 33 pounds. You can also adjust the sensitivity as needed.

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31 Comments

  1. Avatar walt lodynsky says:

    I have the Ring Security package with cameras. The customer service is Excellent but I believe there are a couple of design and/or technical issues that should have been mentioned in your review.
    To begin, the RING cameras are independent addons and are not incorporated into the rest of the system. Although they’re ok, there are cameras with more features for less money in the marketplace. For under $100, you can get 1080p cameras, that follow movement within the covered area and provide Zoom capabilities $100. When customer service is called for information about compatibility (because of Z wave), you are told none are compatible and discouraged from buying anything besides Ring. There is nothing in the written material that addresses this issue.
    My second issue is with the Alarm Base Station. During my installation, I walked around the house with my cell phone to find a location with the strongest signal. In addition I purchased a high-end telephone booster (with it’s own battery backup) to make sure the alarm had the best cell signal in the event of a (frequent) power outage. When I got 4 bars on my phone (maximum signal) I installed my base station. When checking the Ring App to confirm my signal strength, I was surprised to see my base station only had 1 bar. When I called customer service, I was told this was normal.
    Last but not least, there is a major problem with loss of power. I purchased a stick camera (which works on battery power) so that I could monitor and record any activity in my house whenever there’s a power loss. During a recent call to customer service, I learned the camera will NOT work if there is a loss of wi-fi and electrical power. This leaves me with NO security and NO camera backup 24 hours after I lose power. This is not mentioned anywhere in your review and is TOTALLY unacceptable. After spending over $600 on equipment and the time to install the system, I need to question the value of a security system that may or may not work due to a weak cell tower connection and a total loss of camera operations when the power goes out.
    I’m disappointed that none of these issues were mentioned in your review, and believe they need to be addressed and fixed by the RING product team. If not, I would discourage future customers to look elsewhere for a DIY system.

    1. Avatar Doug Bancel says:

      Walt, regarding the weak cell phone connection, check the signal strength with a different provider’s cell phone – e.g. ATT vs Verizon. Not all cell towers broadcast the same signal and the Ring system may be the “wrong type”. In any case, it should be easily tested. Cut the power and see if it connects. Regarding the battery powered cameras not connecting during a power outage, I believe that’s a universal problem. I’m not aware of any home security cameras that connect via something other than WiFi or hard wire. I’d like to know if you find a video system that does work w/o power, because I’d be interested also.

      1. Avatar Gerry says:

        I purchased a battery backup for $50 from Amazon and plug WiFi and base station into it which gives me days not hours of backup.

    2. Avatar tina george says:

      Thank you for valuable comments.

    3. Avatar Joe says:

      Thanks for the honest feed back. It’s got me looking elsewhere.

  2. Avatar Donna Hatch says:

    I have some questions about my new Ring alarm system. I love it but wanted a phone number to contact customer service to ask a couple of questions.

    1. Avatar SafeHome.org says:

      Hi Donna – I would first try Ring’s customer service area at support.ring.com/hc/en-us

      1. Avatar Albert Flores says:

        I’m wanting to get ring security system for my mom, but do I need internet and wifi in order for the system to work? I don’t have either and I’m trying to find a system that doesn’t require wifi or internet……. any suggestions????

        1. Avatar Editor says:

          Hi Albert,
          Ring does require WiFi to work.

  3. Avatar Doug Bancel says:

    Walt, regarding the weak cell phone connection, check the signal strength with a different provider’s cell phone – e.g. ATT vs Verizon. Not all cell towers broadcast the same signal and the Ring system may be the “wrong type”. In any case, it should be easily tested. Cut the power and see if it connects. Regarding the battery powered cameras not connecting during a power outage, I believe that’s a universal problem. I’m not aware of any home security cameras that connect via something other than WiFi or hard wire. I’d like to know if you find a video system that does work w/o power, because I’d be interested also.

  4. Avatar Jeff says:

    Does anyone know if Iris Security system is compatible with Ring?

    1. Avatar Editor says:

      Hi Jeff,
      We can’t find any info on that, so you’ll probably want to call Ring and ask directly.

    2. Avatar Richard Sachs says:

      Iris, the Lowe’s security system, has been discontinued…..
      Lowe’s will shut down the Iris smart home platform on March 31, but allow customers to be reimbursed for certain devices. … After failing to find a new owner for its Iris smart home business last fall, Lowe’s has announced it will shut the platform on March 31, according to an email sent to subscribers last Thursday.Feb 5, 2019

  5. Avatar Pete says:

    My girlfriend has the ring home security system and when we first got it and installed it, it was fantastic, so we added the Ring doorbell and now my girlfriend can’t monitor the alarm at the same time as the doorbell. Now we can’t even see it on her Iphone
    Can any one help with this problem

    1. Avatar Editor says:

      Hi Pete,
      We’d suggesting contacting Ring’s customer support to see if they can help.

  6. Avatar Paul Kochleffl says:

    Of the 10 components in the Ring package I purchased at Costco, 4 have failed. Tech support is competent but it takes 45 minutes of tech support troubleshooting x 4 to ascertain that each component is faulty. I don’t have that kind of time. Is there a more reliable product out there?

    1. Avatar Clemente says:

      Please tell everyone which products are faulty to see if others are having the same issues. I know I’d like to know before I purchase!

      Thank you!

      Clemente

    2. Avatar Elizabeth says:

      Paul, I have a Simplisafe system with the same issues: Time spent “troubleshooting” the system. Simplsafe has got to be the worst with 2.5G technology, costs $24.99 a month and, the worst customer service on the planet; hence my search for another DIY system. Ring sounds really promising. Their $100 monthly monitoring fee is very reasonable but after reading the reviews especially your’s, I decided to go ahead and pay a local boutique company to hard wire a professional alarm system in my home. From what I’ve read though, RING is the BEST product all-round on the market for something temporary that should serve one well for a few years, before you’ll need to upgrade the equipment. At least, RING will give Premium Users a 10% discount on new equipment purchases, which is more than any other system out there.

  7. Avatar Dc.krachi says:

    Does the system makes a ‘wheezz’ sound when a door is opened indicating an entry or exit ?

    1. Avatar Safe Home says:

      Hi DC,
      There’s a door chime, and you’ll get text notifications on your phone. But we’re not aware of any “wheezz” noise.

      1. Avatar Kathie says:

        Can the chimes be turned off?

        1. Avatar Editor says:

          Hi Kathie,
          The mechanical chime can only be turned off on Ring Pro. If you’ve got the regular Ring and bought an add-on chime, you can mute that as well.

  8. Avatar Jannette says:

    I just recently purchased the Ring alarm system, what I do love is that if I am not home or I do not have access to my phone my husband or my father have access to the camera doorbell. Was easy to install, I also love that when we move I can just pick up everything and install it in our new place.

  9. Avatar David Dooling says:

    Contemplating replacing ADT with a new Ring Alarm system. Is this the right move?

  10. Avatar Sheri says:

    Do you need to have an existing doorbell to install the doorbell camera?

    1. Avatar Editor says:

      Hi Sheri,
      No existing doorbell is required to use Ring.

    2. Avatar Scott says:

      But if you do have an existing doorbell that operates on a 24 volt transformer, you can use that connection to power the Ring doorbell. That means you don’t have to take the battery out of the Ring unit to recharge periodically. When you press the doorbell button, both the Ring app and the regular doorbell circuit will sound…

  11. Avatar Dan says:

    Anybody has information on the Ring motion detector and issues when arming the system when the motion detector is triggered.

  12. Avatar Teal says:

    When it comes to picking up any motion wether it be human or a spider it works almost too good, BUT it takes about a decade for it to load and be able to watch the footage. We spent close to $800 on the system and it’s very disappointing that it takes so long to get access to live footage. Its to the point of slow that if I was getting robbed the robber would already be in the house before being able to watch any warning or being notified. So frustrating.

    1. Avatar Kathie says:

      Does that apply when you pay for monitoring too? Why have a system if you don’t have someone to call the police if you have someone in your house?

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