What We Like
Setup takes only 15 minutes
Compatibility with the Floodlight Cam (not included)
A fee is not necessary for the live video to appear in the app
What We Don't Like
It's DIY, so it's not comparable to professionally installed security
Ring is not a platform for home automation
Ring, which is owned by Amazon, shook up the world of home security when it introduced a video doorbell in 2013. The novel product allowed the consumer to quickly install a $99 camera-equipped doorbell that connects to a home Wi-Fi network—thus providing a view of who’s at the door and a way to speak with them. The Ring video doorbell can now become the foundation of a DIY home security system known as Ring Alarm. For as little as $199, you get the ability to set up an alarm system that warns you about people entering a door or window, or when motion is detected.
Design and Installation
Ring Alarm is a no-frills system that primarily uses cameras for security. Ring makes affordable outdoor and indoor cameras that have built-in lights, motion detection, sirens, and a two-way talk capability. Getting an early warning about somebody lingering around your home is one of the most important security measures.
Ring says that installing contact sensors, a motion detector, and control panel only takes about 15 minutes. All the components come in the box already paired to one another. Installation begins by downloading the app and then linking the Ring Alarm base station to your home network via Wi-Fi or an Ethernet cable.
While not technically part of the Ring Alarm security system, the company’s $249 Floodlight Cam is our favorite feature. With its built-in motion detection, the camera will shine a bright light on anybody coming near your home. When that happens, you’ll get a notification via the Ring app and the ability to speak with the startled visitor. A clip will be recorded of the exchange and stored in your timeline. If necessary, you can use the app to set off a loud siren.
Ring’s Floodlight Cam, as well as its outdoor Spotlight camera, are ideally hard-wired for long-term use. They can also be purchased to run on batteries or a small solar panel.
How It Works
The basic operations of the Ring Alarm system are standard. The system can be armed with motion detection if you’re away—or just with entry sensors if you’re home. When armed, the system will send notifications when there is activity. If you have professional monitoring and the alarm is triggered, the monitoring center will call you to request your security code. If the code is not provided, the monitoring service will send the police to your home.
A fee is not necessary for the live video from all the cameras in your Ring Alarm system to appear in the app. When there is motion or other activity, Ring will record a clip of between 20 and 60 seconds of the event.
Price and Monthly Plans
The basic, five-piece $199 Ring Alarm Security Kit system includes a base station, a wireless keypad, contact sensor, a motion sensor, and a range extender to ensure a connection to all the components. You can buy additional contact sensors for $20 each.
Ring offers nearly 20 different cameras—ranging from the $99 Video Doorbell to the $249 Floodlight Cam.
Professional monitoring is available at an unparalleled price of $10 a month. The fee includes cellular backup and 60 days of recorded events from an unlimited number of cameras. You can get this same functionality, but without the professional monitoring, for $3 a month per camera. Without paying a fee, the video feeds are live but not recorded.
The quality and reliability of Ring Alarm equipment are not comparable to professionally installed security from Vivint, ADT, and Xfinity Home. The quality of the components are also arguably not as rugged as what’s provided by Abode and other DIY solutions. However, the security cameras are state-of-the art—and Ring’s $10 a month video plan is the least expensive pro-monitored alarm available today.
A good (and low-cost) DIY way to monitor your home.
Ring Alarm is not as robust and reliable as other home security solutions. Nor is it a platform for smart-home automation. But Ring Alarm is an excellent low-cost way to arm your home with a few security sensors and cameras that are likely to shoo away intruders. The $10 a month professional monitoring service is a great deal and worth trying for extra peace of mind.
- Product Name Ring Alarm Security Kit
- Product Brand Ring
- Price $199