SimpliSafe vs. Ring Alarm Home Security

Pricing, plans, and contracts 

Like SimpliSafe, Ring doesn’t require you to sign a contract. A basic Ring security system starts at around $200 for a base station, keypad, one contact/entry sensor, one motion sensor, and one range extender.

Ring doesn’t offer any fully à la carte systems, but you can purchase a Ring Alarm security kit and add on more individual devices.

Unlike SimpliSafe, Ring’s mobile app is free, so you can self-monitor your system. You can access your cameras’ live feed, use the two-way talk feature on the cameras and smart doorbell, and receive motion alerts without paying subscription fees.

If you want to save camera footage, you can pay $3 a month for the Basic Ring Protect Plan for one camera.

If you also want professional monitoring and unlimited video cloud storage, it’s just $10 a month for the Ring Protect Plus Plan.

All Ring Protect Plus subscribers also get 10% off all future equipment purchases and an extended warranty. Plus, paying for a full year of the Protect packages gets you two months free.

Contracts and extended warranties

There are no contracts with Ring. If you decide the system isn’t for you within the first 30 days, you can return it for a complete refund, but you’ll be charged $5 for shipping.

Ring offers a one-year warranty against defects for all equipment. For a one-time fee of $39.95 you can get Ring Assist Plus, which gives you an extended two-year warranty, a special VIP customer service phone number, and a lifetime protection plan to replace any equipment that gets stolen or damaged.

Customer service 

Ring’s customer service line is available 24/7, and so are its live online customer support agents.

The Better Business Bureau gives Ring a grade of A+, but while its doorbells are popular and get good reviews, the Ring Alarm system is new enough to the home security industry that there isn’t much customer feedback out there yet.

Here are some of Ring’s other customer service ratings:

  • Trustpilot rating: 1.6 stars, Bad
  • Ring Always Home app on Apple App Store: 4.3 stars out of 5
  • Ring Always Home app on Google Play: 4.0 stars out of 5

*Ratings as of August 5, 2020

Smart home 

Ring Alarm devices are equipped with Z-Wave and Zigbee, making them compatible with a variety of third-party devices:

  • Door locks by Schlage, Yale, and Kwikset
  • Lights, plugs, and switches by GE and Leviton
  • Smoke and carbon monoxide alarms by First Alert

Like SimpliSafe, Ring is also compatible with Google Home and Amazon Alexa.

Alarms and notifications

The Ring app will send you a push notification for motion events, video doorbell rings, and opened contact sensors so you can self-monitor your system.

You can also sync your Ring with Alexa devices to control the system with your voice and get notifications.

With Ring, you can also access the Neighbors community in the same smartphone app as your home security system. In the Neighbors community, you can see what your neighbors have noticed or caught on camera and hear from police about what’s going on.

While anyone can use the Neighbors App (including SimpliSafe users), having it in the same spot as your security system cuts down the app clutter.

Note: We encourage anyone using a neighborhood-watch-style app to read all of the fine print before joining the community—especially in regard to privacy policies.


Ring’s devices are similar to SimpliSafe’s with the addition of outdoor HD cameras and smart lighting.

When we conducted our Ring Doorbell review, we found it to have slightly better night vision than the SimpliSafe doorbell cam.

The batteries on Ring devices—like its motion detector and door and window sensors—last longer than SimpliSafe’s because the devices use radio frequencies rather than your home’s Wi-Fi.

Learn more about our top picks for the best smart doorbells, including the Nest Hello doorbell and ADT doorbell.

Who Ring is best for

If you’re willing to take a bit of a gamble on a newer security system, Ring might pay off.

It’s a good setup if you’d rather self-monitor your home and avoid monitoring fees, and it’s also a nice option if you think you’d like to get smart security locks and lights working with your system’s sensors.

Read more in our Ring review.

Get answers to your questions in our Ring FAQ.


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