Ring Alarm Security System Review

Ring’s answer to DIY home security redefines affordable—but the system doesn’t communicate with Ring’s own cameras . . . yet.
Ring’s answer to DIY home security redefines affordable—but the system doesn’t communicate with Ring’s own cameras . . . yet.
Overall Rating 3 out of 5
Low-priced starter equipment
Cheap monthly monitoring
Limited 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, smart home integrations. Right now, Ring Alarm can’t even communicate with Ring’s own cameras.

Ring Alarm plans and pricing overview

ProviderProfessional monitoring priceContractHome automation integrationsLearn more
Ring Alarm$10/mo. OR $100/yr.No contract LimitedView on Amazon

We love Ring’s low equipment and monitoring prices, and we expect more smart home 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 cost as much as $58.99 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 lengthLearn more
Protect Plus$10/mo. OR $100/yr. No contractView on Amazon

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 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

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
Extra siren$30
Extra keypad$50
Z-Wave extender$25
Panic button$35
Learn moreView on Amazon

Ring doesn’t have its own smoke and CO alarms (yet), but it does offer an option from First Alert. Ring also has something we’ve never seen before: 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 on Amazon
Video Doorbell 2OutdoorBattery/wired1080pView on Amazon
Video Doorbell ProOutdoorWired1080pView on Amazon
Video Doorbell EliteOutdoorWired1080pView on Amazon
Door View CamOutdoorBattery1080pView camera
Spotlight CamOutdoorBattery/wired/solar1080pView on Amazon
Floodlight CamOutdoorBattery/wired/solar1080pView on Amazon
Stick Up CamIndoor/outdoorBattery/wired/solar1080pView on Amazon

All Ring’s cameras record in HD, and if you want options, Ring’s got ‘em. All 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 “door cam.” Ring’s Door Cam is brand spankin’ new, and it’s basically a video doorbell for the non-doorbell-havers among us.

Instead of replacing your doorbell, the Door 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 don’t expect it to talk to your Ring cameras yet.

Ring’s security system might be cheap and easy to use, but if you already have Ring cameras and want them to work together, then you might be disappointed.

Right now, Ring integrates with Amazon Alexa so you can arm and disarm your system. But for now, at least, Ring Alarm can’t talk to Ring cameras or the Amazon Cloud Cam (even though Ring is an Amazon company).

Really, not even Ring cameras?

Well, sort of. You can control both your Ring Alarm security system and your Ring cameras from the same Ring app. But you can’t make them work together.

For example, if you want your security system to arm itself automatically if your outdoor cameras detect motion, you can’t do that with Ring. At least not yet.

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One more thing

Ring Alarm does have Z-Wave connectivity, so you can add in Z-Wave-compatible devices like smart locks, and they’ll work with your Ring Alarm system.

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. We’re just waiting on its future smart home integrations.

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 its smart home integrations are still in the works (especially with its own Ring cameras).

Once it has its features figured out, we think Ring Alarm will be one of the most compelling DIY systems out there—especially if you already love Ring’s doorbell camera.

  • Monitoring: Ring’s Protect Plus plan is the least expensive monitoring plan we’ve ever seen (aside from Scout’s), and it supports cameras too.
  • Basic security equipment: Ring has a standard array of security and environmental sensors, including a smoke/CO “listener,” which we’ve never seen before.
  • 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 Door View Cam.
  • Home automation integrations: Ring Alarm works with Amazon Alexa, and it has Z-Wave connectivity. That said, the system can’t talk to Ring cameras yet, and a lot of smart home integrations are still on the way.
  • Installation: Ring Alarm is easy to install by yourself, and you don’t have to drill holes in your wall unless you want to.
  • Customer experience: Ring’s customer experience is mostly online, but it does have 24/7 phone support if you need it.

Do you have a DIY security system? What about Ring cameras? Do you think the new Ring Alarm system is a good new option or just another standard system? Let us know in the comments!