• About the Ring Alarm System

  • What we like

  • Related content

  • What we don’t like

  • Privacy

  • Should you buy it?

Pros

  • Easy setup

  • Works with Alexa

  • Rich smart alerts

Cons

  • No key fob

The Ring Alarm System is a home run for budget-friendly home security.

The self-installed system comes with door and window sensors and motion detectors that work reliably, as well as a convenient keypad that’s easy to hang by your front door. It’s quick and smart, sending straightforward notifications that include upfront details like the date, time, and name of the triggered sensor. It also supports Alexa voice control to arm/disarm your system and Alexa Guard.

About the Ring Alarm System

Ring about
Credit: Reviewed / Rachel Murphy

Ring's alarm system offers one of the easiest DIY installations of any home security kit.

  • Price: $199.99
  • Colors: White
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi, cellular backup
  • Power source: Battery-operated sensors; Base station requires power outlet (24-hour battery back-up)
  • Smart assistant support: Amazon Alexa

Ring alarm systems are sold in a variety of sizes including 5-, 8-, 10-, and 14-piece kits. We tested the entry-level 5-piece kit, but this review applies to all of the size options. Additional Ring security system components, flood and freezer sensors, and panic buttons can be added to an existing system.

A stable Wi-Fi connection is necessary to alert you (and the professional monitoring center) of problems at home. In the event of an internet outage, the Ring Alarm System will automatically connect to a cellular backup system as long as you’re enrolled in a paid Ring Protect Plus plan. The base station has a built-in battery life (up to 24 hours) that will immediately take over if you lose power.

What we like

Affordable, contractless monitoring plans

Base station
Credit: Reviewed / Rachel Murphy

The base station (pictured above) is the heart of the Ring alarm system, and can stay powered for up to 24 hours after a power outage.

Ring offers one of the most affordable professional monitoring plans of any top-rated home security system. Professional monitoring is $10/month (or just $100/annually) and includes real-time alerts, 24/7 emergency response, cellular backup, and support for home and away modes. The paid plan also includes 60-day unlimited video recording and photo capture for any Ring doorbells and security cameras. It’s impossible to keep tabs on your system at all times of the day and night, making Ring’s pro-monitoring plan an attractive option for any budget.

Ring also offers free self-monitoring with access to instantaneous smart alerts, crucial for on-the-go management, making it one of the most value-packed alarm systems we've tested. Additionally, all Ring alarm systems come with a free, 30-day professional monitoring trial, offering even more value if you’re on the fence about paying for professional monitoring.

Related content

Detailed and customizable smart alerts

Ring alerts
Credit: Reviewed / Rachel Murphy

Ring's rich smart alerts are full of detail, and the Ring app is among the most user-friendly for total remote management of your home security system.

Ring’s smart alerts tell you exactly which sensor was triggered and when, with or without professional monitoring. Ring Alarm systems offer richer alerts than most competitors, which makes it easy to manage your system on the go. Quick and easy access to remote management is essential to keep your home secure, especially if you opt for self-monitoring.

You can control each sensor directly in the Ring app, choosing which alerts you want to receive such as Open and Close notifications. You can also change the sensor’s name, location, and placement, and view a complete event history for each sensor. Each of Ring’s sensors also supports other custom settings like alarm modes, chirp tones, and LED status light settings.

Easy setup and installation

Sensors and detectors
Credit: Reviewed / Rachel Murphy

Ring alarm systems include responsive, battery-powered entry sensors (left) and motion detectors (right).

The Ring Alarm System is among the easiest DIY smart alarm systems you can install. Plug the base station into a nearby electrical outlet, open the Ring app, and follow the on-screen instructions. Next, power up the Ring keypad (it will add itself automatically in the companion app). From there, it’s as simple as adding the wireless sensors and detectors to your system in the Ring app by pulling the activation tab and placing them throughout areas of your home, like doors and windows. The system also comes with a range extender to keep all of your sensors connected to the base station, which is great for large homes.

Awesome Amazon Alexa integrations

Ring alarm systems support Alexa and it works well. When using Alexa, you can check the status of your security system and arm/disarm by voice. Not every DIY home security system supports disarming by voice control—it's a handy feature that helps set Ring apart from competitors like SimpliSafe. Additionally, you can use Alexa to create routines with Ring’s contact and motion sensors, and control third-party door locks from some of the best smart lock brands like Kwikset, Schlage, and Yale.

As mentioned above, Ring’s system also supports Alexa Guard, which uses your Echo speakers to listen for possible emergencies like glass breaking and smoke/carbon monoxide detector alarms. Additionally, you can incorporate Ring doorbells, smart cameras, and lighting, giving you plenty of options to build out your home security system.

The only real downside here is that the system is not compatible with other popular smart assistants like Google and Siri.

What we don’t like

No key fob

Ring keypad
Credit: Reivewed / Rachel Murphy

The keypad can be mounted to the wall and used to arm/disarm your system.

Ring alarm systems do not come with a key fob for remote management. Instead, Ring Alarm supports geofencing, an optional feature that sends reminders and notifications to arm and disarm your system based on your location. Not everybody will be OK sharing their location details with Ring, understandably so. In place of a key fob, you can also use the Ring app to arm/disarm your system for easy remote control. If a key fob is important to you, consider other top-rated home security systems like those from SimpliSafe and Abode iota.

Privacy

Ring has had its fair share of privacy mishaps over the last few years, but the company has taken strides to beef up user privacy with its Control Center. It offers security features like mandatory two-factor authentication, the option to view and remove linked accounts and shared users, and control over which devices and third-party apps are synced to the account. For more information, read Ring’s full privacy disclosure.

Should you buy it?

Yes, Ring's system is an intuitive and affordable way to manage home security

For budget-friendly home security, the Ring Alarm System is an awesome selection to safeguard your space. The setup is foolproof thanks to the easy-to-follow instructions and well-labeled system components. The system doesn't offer any support for Google Assistant or Apple’s Siri, but Ring’s Alexa integration works well, especially when it comes to arming/disarming the system by voice. It also has one of the loudest alarm sirens among popular DIY home security systems. What’s more, the contractless monitoring plans are among the most affordable out there, making it an economical way to protect your home and loved ones.

As for alternatives, if you want all the bells and whistles of a straightforward DIY home security system, SimpliSafe’s 8-piece Wireless Home Security System is the one you want. It offers system unique features like Secret Alerts, support for Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple Watch, and the option to build your own home security kit for total home security customization.

But if you're looking for affordable, Alexa-compatible home security, Ring’s alarm system is one of the best you can buy.

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Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.

Meet the tester

Rachel Murphy

Rachel Murphy

Senior Staff Writer

@rachel_murphy

Rachel Murphy covers smart home for Reviewed. She holds a journalism degree from the University of Central Florida. Previously, she worked as a freelance writer for several major outlets and as an associate editorial producer for ABC News' Good Morning America.

See all of Rachel Murphy's reviews

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