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The Ring home security system has a variety of packages for small and large homes. The smaller kits come with a base station, keypad, door or window sensor, motion sensor and Z-Wave range extender. There’s also a full installation kit with mounting tape and adapters. The larger eight, ten or fourteen-piece kits come with additional sensors, keypads and more. Homeowners can add additional components, including Ring cameras and sensors.
In general, the Ring Alarm is quick to respond. If a sensor is triggered, the base station beeps, giving you some time to disarm the alarm via your keypad or app. If not disarmed, the internal and external sirens will go off. The internal siren is quite loud at 104dB, but you can change the volume if you prefer. You also have the option to send an alert to your smartphone. If you receive a notification, you can check the cameras if you have them. If it’s a false alarm, you can disable it remotely.
If you choose to take on the Ring Protect Plus plan, you receive 30-day cloud storage of your cameras and assisted online monitoring. If an alarm goes off, the system will phone your contacts in order to inform them that there has been an incident.
The keypad also offers Medical and Fire Alert buttons as an added security measure.
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The Ring home security system can be purchased as a complete starter kit or as individual components. Each system contains a Z-Wave base station (149 (h) x 100 (w) x 23mm (d)) which communicates with the wireless sensors and internal siren. It can be disarmed with a keypad or mobile keyfob. Next, the system includes Contact and Motion sensors that can be paired with the Ring app and attached to walls or doors with sticky pads. Homeowners can also add a glass break sensor or outdoor siren.
- Installation type: DIY and professional
- Price range: £159.98 – £259.99; monitoring an additional £8 /month
- Number of packages: three
- Monitoring: self-monitoring and professional monitoring
Highlights: Homeowners can combine a Ring alarm, indoor camera, motion detector or contact sensor for comprehensive protection, controlled via an easy-to-use app.
Service: Homeowners can choose between one monitoring device for £2.50 per month (or £24.99 per year) or protect their entire home for just £8 per month (or £80 per year).
Warranty: There is a standard one-year warranty included with all ring devices.
Key benefit: Ring is best known for its video doorbell camera that allows you to monitor your home and answer your door even when you are away.
Pros and cons
As with any home security system, there are pros and cons to consider. With the Ring home security system, there are several appealing advantages, including:
- Price: The Ring home security system itself is very affordable, and its 24/7 professional monitoring service is among the cheapest on the market.
- Flexibility: You can customise your Ring home security system with various additional sensors, cameras and alarms.
- DIY installation: The Ring home security system can be set up without using tools of any kind. Installation is as simple as peeling and sticking components to the wall. All components bought in a kit have been synced; additional components are set up by simply scanning a Q.R. code at the back of each component using the Ring app.
- Doorbell camera: The Ring home security system’s most popular feature is its doorbell camera, which enables you to monitor your front door via a remote app.
There are a few disadvantages to consider as well:
- Privacy concerns: Ring has faced class-action lawsuits from homeowners who were concerned that their Ring cameras were being hacked. Ring has introduced two-step authentication to combat this, but it remains a concern.
- Connectivity issues: Ring home security systems are reliant on Wi-Fi and can be prone to connectivity issues. However, it is possible to purchase Ring Wi-Fi signal boosters to resolve the problem.
How the Ring home security system works
The Ring Alarm has three modes: Away, Home and Disarmed. Home will keep a selection of sensors active (e.g. Glass break sensors), Away arms all sensors, and Disarmed disables all sensors. You can change the mode by pressing the mode button on the keypad and entering your pin. You can add shared and guest users to provide them with full or timed access, e.g. if you have a cleaner or nanny that needs to use the system during set times.
As Ring is an Amazon product, you can integrate your alarm with Alexa and use the Ring Alarm to trigger routines, e.g. turning off your lights whenever the alarm is set to Away mode. A new, loud outdoor siren can be hardwired or used with a battery pack which will light it up at night.
How does Ring compare to other home security systems?
Ring’s home security system is affordable, customisable and easy to set up. SimpliSafe is a close competitor to Ring. It’s one of the most affordable on the market. Like Ring, installation is DIY and extremely simple. Unlike Ring, however, SimpliSafe doesn’t offer a good deal of smart home integration, but you can add several components and cameras to your system at any time. There are no contractual lock-ins, and you can use SimpliSafe as a monitored system or a basic alarm.
If SimpliSafe doesn’t do the trick, you can consider Verisure. Verisure is pricier, but it’s a good option if you don’t want to go the DIY route. All packages are customisable but come with professional installation, which will take place within twenty-four hours of placing your order.
How much does the Ring home security system cost?
Ring is very affordable and its professional monitoring service (at £80 per year or £8 per month) is one of the cheapest on the market. Here’s how Ring compares to its competitors:
|System||Cost (excluding installation and monthly monitoring)|
|SimpliSafe||From £200 for the basic package|
|Verisure||From £300 for the basic package|
|Ring||From £159.98 for the basic package|
How to maintain your Ring home security system
The Ring home security system doesn’t require a lot of maintenance, but to ensure that your system is working as it should, routine maintenance is recommended. Make sure that all your security devices are securely attached and do not appear to have been moved or tampered with.
Check the battery life of your various devices via the Ring app. Recharge or replace low batteries in your Ring doorbell camera or contact sensors whenever it’s required. You should also review your emergency contact list regularly to make sure that it’s up to date.
What the professionals say
“When it launched a couple of years ago, the Ring Alarm soon became my favourite DIY smart alarm system. Today, there’s the Ring Alarm (2nd Generation), which maintains the title of best DIY alarm system, adding in better sensors, a neater control panel and an outdoor siren. What’s particularly clever about the new system is that it maintains the same base station, so users of the existing alarm system can add the new sensors or sirens into their existing system without being forced into upgrading everything. It’s nice to see a company do that for once.”
“As a household name in the industry, Ring has come a long way to providing a multitude of security products that are as affordable as they are effective in protecting homes. With contract-free plans and low-cost monitoring subscriptions, our wallets didn’t hurt too much, allowing us to entertain the thought of ordering more Ring accessories to add to our Ring Alarm security system. Beyond the minor hiccup with connecting our base station to our Wi-Fi, we recognised the improvements from the first gen. Ring really took customers’ feedback to heart! It’s because of this that they landed a spot on our best home security system list.”
“The Ring Alarm Home Security System offers an easy and relatively affordable way to make sure your home is safe and secure. The system can be installed in as little as 20 minutes and can be self-monitored using your mobile device or desktop system. Or you can have it professionally monitored by subscribing to the very affordable Ring Protect Plus Plan, which also includes unlimited cloud storage for any Ring camera you may own. If you already own or are considering investing in any of Ring’s security cameras, doorbells, and/or smart lighting devices, the Ring Alarm works with all of them to provide a seamless home security solution, making it one of our top picks.”
What customers say
“It’s easy to set up using the Ring App, and all items seem to be of very good quality; the 2nd generation certainly looks that bit better, so I waited for its release. I’d recently purchased the ring Pro 2 doorbell, and this can now, after an update, be set to record during alarm events. Also, the new indoor cam can also set off its alarm.
The reason it lost a star, which could have been two, is that I didn’t realise the U.K. product is somewhat deficient when it comes to monitoring when you are not at home. In the USA, the same monitoring we pay for actual calls to the police, fire even medics. In the U.K., they just repeated call you or other phone contacts…
… this is a real shame, and I hope now an Amazon product set the ring system will improve for the U.K.”
- Alan57, Amazon.co.uk
“I’m invested in the Ring/Amazon ecosystem, so I was familiar with Ring service and products. We purchased a new build property, and the ring alarm was over half the price of what the builder was offering to install. I set up and installed this full system, including four motion detectors and three contact sensors, in less than 40 minutes. So easy to add the different devices and configure them. An oversight, in my opinion, is the Ring monitoring solution; this will call up to 3 people if the alarm is activated or the medical/fire buttons are pressed on the keypad, great except if you have fallen down the stairs, you have to make your way to the keypad to activate.”
- David O’Boyle, Amazon.co.uk
“The camera cannot activate the alarm even though it is included in the price of the alarm. Ring says it may in future updates, but for the time being, it is just a Ring camera. The motion sensor has lots of dead spots, even on the highest setting. Page 27 of the manual has the operating symbols under the wrong paragraphs; there is also other incorrect information, presumably not updated. I think the most annoying is that each device has its own setup page in the app, so it doesn’t behave as an integrated system like other alarm systems. Unlike a standard alarm system, you can’t configure zones to enable or disable (e.g. upstairs, downstairs); you have instead to deal with each sensor individually. This gives great flexibility, but if you are not very technical, you are just going to be exasperated. It’s a clever system but, unfortunately, too clever for its own good.
On the plus side, it comes with warning stickers in several languages – in case you are burgled by a person that doesn’t speak English. Ring should just stick to doorbells. I’m returning it.”
- Fiddler, Amazon.co.uk
In general, the Ring home security system is suited to most homes. It’s perfect for homeowners on a budget that require a robust security system and professional monitoring at a low price. Ring offers video doorbells, cameras and sensors to supplement your security system in whichever way you require.
Ring is particularly well-suited to smart home aficionados – especially if you use Amazon Echo or Alexa. It’s DIY but simple to set up (even without a handbook or toolbox at hand).
That doesn’t mean that it’s suitable for everyone.
While Ring has added glass break sensors to its suite of components, the home security system was clearly designed for the U.S. market. Some of their U.K. competitors offer much-need flood, temperature, fire and even gas leak detection sensors that most local homeowners would require. It’s also not ideal to use if you are not in the Amazon smart home ecosystem – Google Assistant command capabilities are very limited, for example.
While compiling this review, we consulted hundreds of customer reviews, media articles, technical documentation and professional forums. We then scored the Ring home security system against others for a maximum score of 100 points, consisting of:
- The ratings provided by customers in online reviews (for a total of ten points);
- General affordability and pricing (for a total of ten points);
- The availability of equipment warranties (for a total of ten points);
- The quality of the equipment and software (for a total of ten points);
- The availability of smart home integrations (for a total of ten points);
- The availability of security cameras and their cost (for a total of five points);
- The availability of motion sensors and their cost (for a total of five points);
- The alert system used (for a total of ten points);
- The contract system (for a total of five points);
- Whether the installation is provided or DIY (for a total of five points);
- The variation of equipment and packages (for a total of ten points);
- Option extras (for one point each and a maximum of ten points).