Ring Alarm vs. SimpliSafe Review
Welcome budgeters, penny-pinchers, and proud tightwads. You’ve come to the right place. Because if you’ve taken more than a passing glance at how much security systems cost, then you know they’re not always friends of the frugal.
But Ring Alarm and SimpliSafe are here to fulfill all your deals dreams. Even without a sale, these two systems are some of the cheapest around. In fact, Ring Alarm is the cheapest around, and SimpliSafe’s not too far behind.
|Monitoring price range||$0–$10/mo.||$14.99–$24.99/mo.|
|Contract length||No contract||No contract|
|Smart home integrations||Z-Wave, Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa||Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant|
|Starter kit price||$199||$229|
|Mobile app control||Yes||Yes**|
|Learn more||View Plans||View Plans|
Data effective 2/6/2020. Offers subject to change.
* Self-monitoring is free while professional monitoring costs extra.
** Mobile app control not available with all monitoring plans.
What we like about Ring Alarm
That price tag. Ring Alarm gives you a decent home security system at a shockingly low price. You’ll pay only around $200 for a bare-bones starter kit through Ring, and then you have the option to monitor your system yourself or pay the professionals to help you keep an eye on your system.
We always recommend professional monitoring, and Ring keeps that affordable too. At only $10 per month, Ring officially wins our Cheapest Professional Monitoring award. (Or it would, if we gave out an award for that.) We’ve never seen that level of monitoring cost so little.
What we like about SimpliSafe
Alright, SimpliSafe costs more than Ring Alarm. But don’t get it twisted—SimpliSafe is still a super affordable security system compared to your other options on the market.
SimpliSafe’s starter kit costs only about $30 more than Ring’s (and we’ve seen it go for cheaper during sales). Plus, SimpliSafe’s base monitoring plan costs only $14.99 per month, which is only $5 more expensive than Ring’s.
All things considered, SimpliSafe’s still affordable af (as the kids would say).
What we don’t like about Ring Alarm
Ring’s equipment might be cheap, but that comes with some compromises. Namely, that it doesn’t look that great.
The Ring Alarm keypad kind of makes us think of a toy system keypad Fisher-Price might make for security-minded children. And the system’s door/window sensors and motion sensors are relatively huge compared to smaller, sleeker versions from Nest (or just about anyone else).
Suffice it to say, we don’t recommend Ring for its aesthetics.
What we don’t like about SimpliSafe
SimpliSafe could really use some smart home support. To be fair, the system does work with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, but that’s about it. If you use Apple HomeKit or Sonos, you’re out of luck.
Plus, SimpliSafe doesn’t work with Z-Wave or Zigbee, which means a whole host of smart devices like smart outlets, smart lights, and smart locks are off the table as far as integration goes.
SimpliSafe does sell its own smart door lock, so you’re not totally without options. But it’s not the most supportive system for third-party integrations.
Which one should you choose?
The price is close enough with both of these systems that it basically comes down to which features you like better.
Do you want good-looking equipment, and you don’t really care about smart home integrations? Go with SimpliSafe. Do you want a system that will let you run wild with smart home devices, plus work with your Ring Video Doorbell? Go with Ring Alarm.
- Digital Trends, “A Security Flaw Leaves Ring Cameras and Doorbells Vulnerable to Spying”
- Digital Trends, “Ring’s Defense of Recent Hacks Is as Shoddy as Its Security, Lawyer Claims”