SimpliSafe trumps Ring Alarm in this face-off and lives up to its name with simple installation and functions. Ring has a lot going for it—like competitive pricing and lots of smart home compatibility. Plus, both brands are contract-free. But SimpliSafe still takes the cake.
SimpliSafe vs. Ring Alarm Home Security
Info current as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.
SimpliSafe vs. Ring
SimpliSafe pros and cons
SimpliSafe is best for equipment options
SimpliSafe offers all the basics à la carte, so you won’t pay for devices you don’t need. It also offers video alarm confirmation through its professional monitoring services.
Read our SimpliSafe review to learn more.
Ring pros and cons
Ring is best for outdoor cameras
Ring has a massive selection of outdoor security cameras and video doorbells that outperform SimpliSafe's on pricing and features.
Read our Ring Alarm review to learn more.
Similarities: SimpliSafe vs. Ring
As big players in the DIY home security space, SimpliSafe and Ring have plenty in common:
- DIY installation: both DIY wireless systems are easy to install and uninstall.
- No contracts: neither require a monitoring contract.
- Affordable equipment: pricing for both SimpliSafe and Ring is comparatively lower than professionally installed brands like ADT.
- Self-monitoring: both have self-monitoring options so you can access your system, get motion detection notifications, and watch your cameras through a mobile app.
- Low monitoring fees: Ring’s monthly monitoring fee is low at $20 and SimpliSafe beats it with monitoring starts at $18.
- Similar basics: each offers similar basic equipment (base station, keypad, one entry (or contact) sensor, and one motion sensor). Each also offers indoor cameras and similar features like crash-and-smash protection and cellular backup.
- Video doorbell: even though Ring is well known for its line of Ring Video Doorbells, SimpliSafe has its own model called the SimpliSafe Video Doorbell Pro.
- Smart home integration: SimpliSafe and Ring both offer smart home integration, although Ring offers more. Both connect with Google Home and Amazon Alexa.
- Mobile apps: both companies have mobile apps. Some app features may not be available in all plans.
But you’re here to find a winner. Next, we’ll outline the distinct—and possibly deal-breaking—differences between the brands.
Compare SimpliSafe and Ring monitoring prices
Smart home integration
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Self Monitoring with Camera Recording
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Ring Protect Pro
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*Amazon.com price as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change. Read full disclaimer.
Best equipment: SimpliSafe
SimpliSafe’s equipment strength is diversity. With SimpliSafe, you can add sensors and devices to any package. Feeling extra creative? You could also ditch the packages and design your own SimpliSafe security system from scratch.
Ring doesn’t offer the à la carte options that SimpliSafe does, so you’ll have to choose from one of its standard packages.
SimpliSafe’s à la carte equipment
SimpliSafe’s wide range of devices includes smoke detectors, carbon monoxide sensors, motion sensors, key fobs, a panic button, freeze sensors, window and door sensors, and a water sensor. It’s also added a smart lock and outdoor camera to its lineup.
Most devices run on battery power (with the exception of the cameras) and use your home’s Wi-Fi network to communicate. The control panel/keypad is smaller and sleeker than Ring’s.
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.
Ring’s devices are similar to SimpliSafe’s with the addition of outdoor HD cameras and smart lighting. We also found two strengths for Ring:
- In tests for our Ring Doorbell review, Ring showed 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 they use radio frequencies rather than your home’s Wi-Fi.
Best warranty: Tie
On the surface, SimpliSafe’s equipment warranty covers three years (or a lifetime if you upgrade to the Interactive Monitoring plan) compared to Ring’s one year. But if you're a Ring Protect Pro monitoring subscriber then Ring provides an extended warranty as long as you pay for the plan.
SimpliSafe has a 60-day return policy (compared to Ring’s 30-day return policy). Both offer full refunds for returns, but Ring charges $5 shipping and SimpliSafe covers that cost.
Want to upgrade Ring’s warranty offerings without monthly monitoring fees? For a one-time fee of $39.95, you can get Ring Assist Plus, which gives you an extended two-year warranty, a VIP customer service phone number, and a lifetime replacement plan if you lose the tools that came with your Ring equipment.
Best monitoring: SimpliSafe
SimpliSafe offers video alarm confirmation through its professional monitoring services. That means monitoring agents can access your security camera or SimpliSafe video doorbell footage when your alarm goes off, reducing odds of a false alarm.
SimpliSafe also doesn’t require you to sign up for a monthly monitoring service. (The SimpliSafe app lets you self-monitor your cameras and remotely arm/disarm the system for free.) But, without pro monitoring, your home security system will operate only as a loud alarm to scare off intruders.
SimpliSafe’s monitoring is a little cheaper than Ring’s $20 monthly charge. For around $18 a month with SimpliSafe, you’ll get standard professional monitoring so your security system can call out in the event of an alarm.
Best customer service: SimpliSafe
Even though SimpliSafe can’t beat Ring’s 24/7 customer service (SimpliSafe’s hours are 8 a.m. to midnight EST), it consistently gets better customer service ratings and reviews.
If you need help with your system, SimpliSafe's customer service options include email support, online help forums, and a customer service phone line. The main complaints we see about customer support involve long wait times. Overall, customers have positive things to say about the company.
SimpliSafe's customer service ratings:*
- 4/5, Great: Trustpilot rating
- 4.8/5: SimpliSafe Home Security app on Apple App Store
- 4.4/5: SimpliSafe Home Security app on Google Play
Ring’s customer service line is available 24/7, and so are its live online customer support agents.
While its doorbells are popular and get good reviews, Ring receives slightly lower ratings on app reviews, and its Trustpilot rating is extremely low.
Ring's customer service ratings:*
- 1.4 stars, Bad: Trustpilot rating
- 4.5/5: Ring Always Home app on Apple App Store
- 3.9/5: Ring Always Home app on Google Play
*Ratings as of December 1, 2021
Best smart home compatibility: Ring
Ring might be a better choice if you want to add smart home devices to your alarm system. Ring offers several security cameras—including outdoor floodlight cams—and home automation through Z-Wave and Zigbee functionality.
Ring Alarm devices are compatible with a variety of third-party devices including these:
- Amazon Alexa smart assistant
- Door locks by Schlage, Yale, and Kwikset
- Lights, plugs, and switches by GE and Leviton
- Smoke and carbon monoxide alarms by First Alert
SimpliSafe is a better fit for smaller spaces that don’t need home automation. SimpliSafe’s current smart home options are limited, but they’ve been growing. The SimpliSafe system is currently compatible with August Smart Locks, Google Home, and Amazon Alexa.
Best mobile app: Ring
Even though SimpliSafe gets higher app ratings on the Apple App Store and Google Play, Ring’s app is more feature-rich.
Ring mobile app
Ring’s high smart home connectivity and Neighbors-app consolidation makes its mobile app worthwhile. You can sync your Ring with Alexa devices to control the system with your voice and get notifications
The Ring app will send you push notifications to help you 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.
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.
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. Also, be mindful of Ring-police partnerships and the impact they can have on your community. We explain more in our Ring FAQ.
SimpliSafe mobile app
No matter which SimpliSafe plan you subscribe to, you can use the mobile app to arm/disarm the system. You'll also get notifications when any of your security system sensors trip.
While the basic app functions are free, upgrade your SimpliSafe monitoring plan to access features like “secret alerts,” which alert you through the app when specific sensors are triggered without actually setting off an alarm at your home.
Several Ring Alarm and camera users have reported breaches in their accounts that allowed a stranger to use the two-way communication to intimidate them. This is a risk every user takes when they use any internet-connected wireless system. The good news is you can minimize the risk with proper internet security. Try these tips to protect your system from online threats:
- Use strong, unique passwords for all your accounts
- Opt for extra security measures like two-factor authentication
- Add shared users instead of sharing login credentials
- Change your home Wi-Fi password frequently
When it comes to SimpliSafe vs. Ring, it’s a close call, but SimpliSafe comes out on top. It’s affordable, easy to install and use, and it’s continuing to expand its home automation. It also has customer-friendly policies and lots of à la carte options.
- SimpliSafe: If you want flexible packages and lots of quality device options, SimpliSafe is a great choice for a home security system. You can also increase your security by adding in professional monitoring and increase control with remote access through the mobile app.
- Ring: If you want a budget pick, indoor/outdoor coverage, or advanced smart home integration (like smart locks and lights), Ring is the way to go. It also helps you avoid monitoring fees by self-monitoring your home.
How we decided: SimpliSafe vs. Ring
We’ve tested cameras and doorbells from both Ring and SimpliSafe, but in order to research each company’s security systems we had to dig deeper.
We got our hands on both systems and multiple team members tested them. On top of hands-on tests, we also spent about five hours combing through each company’s website, we read more than 100 customer reviews, and we watched about a dozen hands-on video reviews of each system to better understand their pros and cons.
We've also met with SimpliSafe company reps multiple times to learn more about equipment, monitoring, and wireless security.
To find out more about how we rate and review home security systems, check out our full methodology.
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