Ring Alarm Security System Review

Ring’s answer to DIY home security redefines affordable, but does it have all the features you need?
Overall Rating 3 out of 5
Low-priced starter equipment
Cheap monthly monitoring
Lack of smart home integrations

Ring’s been making doorbell cameras since before they were cool, and its Ring Video Doorbell has long been one of our favorites. But what about security for the rest of your house?

As of 2018, Ring has a full security system on offer for people who want to go beyond the doorbell. But the new system is still having some growing pains—namely, customer service.

Even so, Ring’s ultra-affordable, easy-to-use equipment is a compelling DIY home security option.

Ring Alarm plans and pricing overview
ProviderProfessional monitoring priceContractHome automation integrationsLearn more
Ring Alarm$10/mo. OR $100/yr.No contract LimitedView System

Data effective 11/25/2019. Offers subject to change.

We love Ring’s low equipment and monitoring prices, but we expect more smart home integrations from it than the system currently has. Right now, popular devices like Philips Hue lights and Nest thermostats don’t fit in with the Ring Alarm system.

We hope more integrations are on the horizon. But until they get here, this isn’t quite the one Ring to rule them all.

Ring Alarm monitoring and pricing

Ring’s monthly monitoring price has the lowest price we’ve seen.

Professional monitoring is the gold standard for home security systems. It means there’s a 24/7 team of people whose whole job is to watch your security system and call the police if any creeps come to call.

That service is often pretty pricey—we’ve seen professional monitoring plans that cost as much as $59.99 per month. But Ring’s system gives you a monitoring plan that won’t cost half your kid’s college fund.

Ring Alarm monitoring plan
PlanPriceContract lengthCamera supportLearn more
Protect Plus$10/mo. OR $100/yr. No contractYesView System

Data effective 11/25/2019. Offers subject to change.

We haven’t seen any other security company offer professional monitoring for this cheap. And if you opt for Ring’s annual plan, then it costs even less.

If you already have some Ring cameras, then you might already have a Protect Plus plan. If so, you can add monitoring for your Ring Alarm system to your existing plan. The Protect Plus price stays the same, and you still get all those Protect Plus camera features.

Ring Protect Plus camera features:

  • Support for unlimited Ring cameras at your address
  • Cloud storage for up to 60 days
  • Option to download footage from your Ring cameras
  • Extended warranties on all the Ring devices at your house
  • 10% discount on some other Ring products

Ring Alarm technology and equipment

Ring’s equipment is pretty basic, but it gets the job done.

Ring kept its actual security equipment pretty simple. It functions much the same way a SimpliSafe system does, with a single hub that communicates with all the various sensors, and a keypad you use to arm and disarm the system.

Source: Ring

Ring’s base station can either run off your Wi-Fi network or off an Ethernet cord you plug into your internet router. The base station also has cellular back-up so your security system will stay up and running even if your power goes out.

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Pro tip
If your internet router is somewhere out of the way, like in your basement or garage, then let the base station run off Wi-Fi and keep it out in the open. The Ring Alarm’s siren is in the base station, and you want it to be somewhere an intruder will hear it.

Ring Alarm sensors

Ring has a pretty standard array of sensors. You’ll find regular entry sensors and motion detectors, along with a smattering of environmental sensors like flood sensors.

Ring Alarm basic equipment and prices
EquipmentPrice
Entry sensor$20
Motion sensor$30
Flood/freeze sensor$35
Smoke/CO listener$35
First Alert Z-Wave smoke/CO alarm$40
Ecolink garage door tilt sensor$29.99
Slim magnet (add-on)$5
Open window magnet (add-on)$5
Extra siren$30
Extra keypad$50
Range extender$25
Panic button$35
Learn moreView System

Data effective 11/25/2019. Offers subject to change.

Ring doesn’t have its own smoke and CO alarms (yet), but it does offer an option from First Alert. Ring also has a fire/carbon monoxide “listener.”

The listener is a little device you put next to your existing smoke and CO alarms and it’ll alert you through the Ring app if it hears them go off. Not a bad solution if you don’t want to shell out a bunch of cash to swap your existing alarms for “smart” ones.

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Notice something missing?
Ring Alarm doesn’t have a key fob yet. Key fobs make it easier to arm and disarm your system without pulling out your phone or typing in a code, and most DIY security systems offer them.

Ring Cameras

If there’s one thing Ring has, it’s security cameras. You’ve probably heard of Ring’s Video Doorbell, but that’s not the only digital eye it has on offer.

Ring camera models
Camera nameIndoor/outdoorBattery/wired/solarResolutionLearn more
Video DoorbellOutdoorBattery720pView Camera
Video Doorbell 2OutdoorBattery/wired1080pView Camera
Video Doorbell ProOutdoorWired1080pView Camera
Video Doorbell EliteOutdoorWired1080pView Camera
Peephole CamOutdoorBattery1080pView Camera
Spotlight Cam BatteryOutdoorBattery/wired/solar1080pView Camera
Floodlight CamOutdoorWired1080pView Camera
Stick Up CamIndoor/outdoorBattery/wired/solar1080pView Camera
Indoor CamIndoorWired1080pView on Amazon

Data effective 11/25/2019. Offers subject to change.

All Ring’s cameras record in HD, and if you want options, Ring’s got ‘em. Many of Ring’s outdoor cameras (not counting the doorbell cams) come in battery-powered, hardwired, or even solar-powered models.

Ring’s also the only company we’ve seen offer a “peephole camera.” Ring’s Peephole Cam is still brand spankin’ new, and it’s basically a video doorbell for the non-doorbell-havers among us.

Instead of replacing your doorbell, the Peephole Cam covers your existing peephole and gives you a motion-triggered camera at your front door so you can see and talk to visitors from your phone.

Ring Alarm Installation

Just like Abode, Nest Secure, and SimpliSafe, Ring Alarm is super easy to install—and you do it all yourself. You basically just plug in the base station, turn on the sensors, then put the peel-and-stick sensors where you want them.

Ring Alarm uses 3M strips, so you don’t have to worry about sacrificing your wall paint if you need to pull off a sensor and re-adjust it.

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Cool feature
When Ring packs up your security system, it programs the sensors you’ve ordered to communicate with your specific base station. That means your equipment is already connected when it gets to you, which makes setup super fast and easy.

Ring Alarm home automation

Ring has Z-Wave and works with Amazon Alexa, but certified third-party devices are a bit limited. 

Ring Alarm works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. It also uses Z-Wave, which is one of the most popular home automation “languages” out there. That means you can add on a bunch of different Z-Wave compatible devices, even if Ring didn’t make them.

Be aware though that third-party devices don’t work as well with your Ring system if they’re not “certified” to work with Ring. Works with Ring products include GE and Leviton lights and Schlage, Yale, and Kwikset locks. But if you’re a Philips Hue lights or August smart lock user, you’re out of luck.

Ring Alarm does work with IFTTT, so you can make other smart devices play nice with your Ring system. But we’d love to see Ring offer more robust support for third-party smart home stuff.

Ring Alarm customer experience

Just like its parent company, Amazon, the Ring experience is basically all online.

If you’d rather die than ditch your Amazon Prime account and you prefer shopping online to going to a store, then Ring’s ordering process is perfect for you.

Just like most other DIY security systems, Ring Alarm lets you order everything online. Just pick the equipment package you want, subscribe to the monitoring plan (if you want to), and press Order.

If you need help with something, Ring has a bunch of resources on its website as well as support through Twitter and email. If you really want to, you can also call in.

Recap

Ring Alarm is a super-affordable spin on DIY home security, but it’s not a perfect system (yet).

If you want an affordable DIY security system backed by professional monitoring (that doesn’t cost an absurd amount of money every month), then Ring Alarm is your friend.

It’s still a pretty new system, and it’s still expanding its smart home integrations. But overall, we think Ring Alarm is one of the most compelling DIY systems out there—especially if you already use Ring cameras like its Video Doorbell.

  • Monitoring: Ring’s Protect Plus plan is the least expensive professional monitoring plan we’ve ever seen, and it supports cameras too.
  • Basic security equipment: Ring has a standard array of security and environmental sensors, although it uses a smoke/CO “listener” instead of its own smoke or carbon monoxide detector.
  • Cameras: Ring has a bunch of different HD camera options, and its doorbell cameras are some of our favorites. We’re also pretty excited about Ring’s new Peephole Cam.
  • Home automation integrations: Ring Alarm works with Amazon Alexa, and it has Z-Wave connectivity. That said, the company’s certified integrations are a bit limited.
  • Installation: Ring Alarm is easy to install by yourself, and you don’t have to drill holes in your wall.
  • Customer experience: Ring’s customer experience is mostly online, but it does have 24/7 phone support if you need it.

Still not sure the Ring Alarm system is the right one for you? Check out our Best Home Security Systems review to compare more options.