Ring Alarm vs. SimpliSafe Review

Ring and SimpliSafe have two of the most affordable security systems on the market.
Best Budget Buy
Best Value

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.

Ring Alarm and SimpliSafe comparison
CompanyRing AlarmSimpliSafe
Monitoring price range$0–$10/mo.$14.99–$24.99/mo.
Installation typeDIYDIY
Contract lengthNo contractNo contract
Smart home integrationsZ-Wave, Google Assistant, Amazon AlexaAmazon Alexa, Google Assistant
Starter kit price$199$229
Mobile app controlYesYes**
Learn moreView PlansView 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

Ring alarm keypad and hub and sensors

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

Simplisafe hub and sensors

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).

Ring Alarm and SimpliSafe pros comparison
Ring Alarm pros:SimpliSafe pros:
Ultra-affordable monitoringAffordable equipment and monitoring
Easy online orderingRegular deals on equipment
Smart home supportEasy installation
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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.

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One more thing
The Ring Alarm system integrates with Ring’s doorbell and security cameras. But there have been some recent security concerns with Ring cameras that have made us reconsider recommending them.1,2 You might want to check out the details before you click Add to Cart on a Ring cam.

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.

Ring Alarm and SimpliSafe cons comparison
Ring Alarm cons:SimpliSafe cons:
Bulky equipmentLack of smart home support
Security concerns with camerasNo self-monitoring option
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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.

Want to learn more?