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Ring Review 2019: What To Know Before Buying Services

Ring, a company now owned by Amazon, provides self-installed, self-monitored cameras and wireless home security systems. They also offer professional monitoring with month-to-month contracts and monthly rates starting at $10. They do require an initial equipment purchase, but their wireless systems and cameras are affordable.

Monitoring Type: Professional or Self-Monitored
Install Type: DIY

Pros

  • Contract-Free Professional Monitoring
  • Strong Security Camera Lineup
  • Stellar Customer Service
  • Low-Cost Monitoring Plans

Cons

  • Limited Home Security Sensor Lineup
  • Limited Home Automation
  • Cellular Backup Offered As A Premium Feature

The Good

Ring Alarm is a hybrid security system that is easy to install and operate. The long-term usage cost is low, thanks to the fact that professional monitoring is only $10/month. The system is backed by Ring's strong portfolio of security cameras, plus new features are being added such as automatic camera recording during emergencies.

The Bad

Ring was a camera-focused company first, and Ring Alarm is new. Right now, it's a strong option, but will it continue to grow or will Ring eventually go back to being a camera-focused company?

Bottom Line

Ring Alarm is one of the most affordable home security systems out there, both in equipment and monitoring cost. It's a flexible system that we can recommend to renters and homeowners alike. However, although Ring offers a self-monitoring option, we highly recommend that you use Ring Alarm with professional monitoring.

Equipment & Monitoring Packages

Ring is a hybrid alarm company and as such, it doesn't follow the traditional sales process most alarm companies use. With Ring, the first step is buying the equipment. The monitoring service is not mandatory and you're free to add it at a later time.

Ring offers several equipment packages at a discounted price, all of which include the Base Station and the Control Keypad plus sensors.

Ring Alarm 5-Piece PackageRing Alarm 8-Piece PackageRing Alarm 11-Piece PackageRing Alarm 14-Piece PackageRing Alarm 15-Piece Package
Price$169.00$204.00$249.00$279.00$304.00
Base Station11111
Keypad11121
Motion Sensor12222
Contact Sensor13587
Panic Button
1
Smoke & CO Listener
1
1
Flood & Freeze Sensor
1
Range Extender11111
Buy HereBuy HereBuy HereBuy HereBuy Here

You can also purchase additional sensors:

  • Keypad — $50.00
  • Contact Sensors — $20.00
  • Motion Sensor — $30.00
  • Panic Button — $35.00
  • Range Extender — $25.00
  • Flood & Freeze Sensor — $35.00
  • Smoke & CO Listener — $35.00

Monitoring Cost

Ring has one monitoring plan, but it's options. You can use the system as is, also known as self-monitoring. It's free, but it has limited features. For example, your system will only be able to send you a push alert if an potential break-in is detected. If you miss the notification, no one will call the police on your behalf. Self-monitoring the system also makes it internet-reliant. Ring Alarm uses your internet connection to send alerts, so if your internet goes down, Ring Alarm will also go down.

That said, we recommend adding professional monitoring. Ring's professional monitoring service is affordable — it's only $10 per month. The cost covers 24/7 professional monitoring with police dispatch, cellular backup, and 60-day cloud storage for all your Ring cameras in one location. Yes, you'll get all those for only $10 a month. It's a great deal for current Ring camera users looking to add professional home security system monitoring.

Even if you don't have Ring cameras, the $10/month Ring Protect Plus plan is still an unbeatable offer. Traditional alarm companies charge $30+ per month for basic security monitoring without mobile app access, security camera access, and home automation features. Ring Protect Plus includes all those features, although you'll need to purchase Ring cameras and compatible smart home products to enjoy its full potential.

Ring Alarm Key Features & Tech

Camera Integration

One of Ring Alarm's key features is its integration with Ring cameras. For one, you can use the same app to monitor your Ring cameras and control your Ring Alarm. If you're looking for a deeper integration, Ring recently added the feature that enables you to program your cameras to record automatically when the system detects a possible intrusion. For example, if your system notices that your front door is opened, it will trigger your Ring Stick Up Cam to record. This integration, however, requires that your camera is subscribed to a cloud storage plan. If you're using Ring Alarm with professional monitoring, that's not an issue because Ring Protect Plus already includes cloud storage for an unlimited number of cameras in your house. Unfortunately, if you're self-monitoring Ring Alarm, you'll need to subscribe at least one of your Ring cameras to Ring Protect Basic ($3 per month for each camera).

Ring App

The Ring App is another vital feature. Using the app, you can control your security system from anywhere in the world as long as you're connected to internet via Wi-Fi or mobile data. The app lets you arm your system to Home or Away mode, disarm your system, manage and monitor your security cameras, and control third-party locks connected to your security system.

The app also offers Ring Neighborhoods, a feature to connects you to your neighbors to provide some sort of a virtual neighborhood watch. With Ring Neighbors, you can share security camera footage and watch clips from publicly shared cameras within your neighborhood. For example, if you fall victim to porch pirates, you can share your camera recording with your neighbors as a warning and to increase awareness.

Third-Party Integrations

Ring also offers third-party integration with First Alert smoke & CO detectors, Z-Wave locks, and Alexa. The Alexa integration is most interesting because it lets you control your security system using your voice. You can use Alexa to arm and disarm your security system, although you'll need to speak a 4-digit PIN when disarming it. This is not a surprising integration because Ring is owned by Amazon. That said, expect the integration to grow deeper as time passes.

Broadband Monitoring With Optional Cellular Backup

Although knowing the key features of a security system is important, understanding how it communicates is also vital. Ring Alarm relies on your internet connection for sending alerts. This is a more reliable setup than landline monitoring, which is prone to disruptions and easy to cut. However, broadband monitoring is still not the best mode of communication because of how common internet interferences are. If your internet is unstable, then your security system is unstable, too. Fortunately, Ring Alarm offers cellular backup. Unfortunately, it's not a free feature. The embedded cellular chip will only activate if you pay for Ring Protect Plus.

Ring Customer Experience

You know that a company treats its customers well when it has customer-friendly policies, and that's exactly what Ring offers.

Moving

Ring doesn't have a written moving policy, but with Ring Alarm, you're free to move anytime. Simply box up the system and install it in your new place. If you're subscribed to Ring Protect Plus, you'll need to update your address so Ring knows where to dispatch help. However, no moving penalty will be collected.

Early Termination

Ring also doesn't have an early termination policy drawn out, because the thing is, there's no contract to begin with. If you decide that professional monitoring is no longer for you, simply cancel. If you want it again, you're alway welcome to re-activate the service.

Free Trial

You're also welcome to try the equipment and service for 30 days and then return it if you don't like it. When returning the equipment, you'll have to include all boxes, accessories, and manuals and you'll also need to cover the return shipping cost. As for the service, you get a 30-day free trial as soon as you activate the system. Once it expires, you have the option to continue using the service for $10/month or stop the service and self-monitor Ring Alarm.

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