SimpliSafe Vs. Ring Home Security System: Which One Should You Buy in 2023?
In a SimpliSafe vs. Ring comparison, two of the best home security and alarm companies on the market go head-to-head. Here’s which one to buy based on nine key factors.
When you’re shopping for a home security system, you want to choose the one that provides the best protection for your home and family. With two well-known brands up for consideration, it can be tough to decide on one over the other. That’s the case with SimpliSafe vs Ring; both are relatively reliable options for home security. Since both systems have similar features and pricing options, we’ll take a look at what makes these systems different—and which one is the best option for you.
How We Compared Home Security Systems
No two home security systems are the same, but there are system and company considerations that can be compared to help a buyer decide on the right choice. These factors play a significant role in determining which system is the better option.
- Reputation: Reputation matters. A company with a long history of high-quality products and superior customer privacy protection measures will create more trust than a relatively unknown company.
- Packages and plans: Customers have homes of every shape and size, so it’s important that home security systems be adaptable and customizable. A company with more packages and plans will likely appeal to a wider range of customers.
- Pricing and fees: Security systems tend to be pricey, but truly outstanding companies will likely have packages and options to fit a variety of budgets. We examined the cost of entry (through installation and setup) as well as the month-to-month cost of monitoring.
- Installation and equipment: The types and the quality of the equipment are important factors in determining whether or not a security system company is worthy of consideration. Similarly, whether a security system can be installed on one’s own or requires professional installation can make a big difference in how a customer chooses the system that is right for them.
- Monitoring: Professional monitoring services keep an eye on a home when the residents aren’t able to, but they are often expensive. The quality of the monitoring service, if offered, is a key consideration when evaluating the effectiveness of a home security system.
- App user experience: A modern home security system can likely be controlled via its app. How quickly the app loads, how intuitive it is to use, and the level of control it gives over a system are all important factors in a home security system’s utility.
- Trial period: On paper, a security system might seem like the perfect fit, but it may not necessarily work in practice. A trial period lets users test out a system before committing to it long term, and the longer the trial, the more real-world experience one can get with the system.
- Warranty: Sometimes accidents happen, and sometimes manufacturing defects aren’t immediately clear. A long warranty allows for the repair of any problems that arise with the equipment, or even a return.
- Home automation and device compatibility: Modern home security systems are capable of much more than just protecting a home; they can also connect to smart lights and create a bevy of effects like turning on the lights when the system is disarmed.
1. SimpliSafe vs. Ring: Reputation and Customer Reviews
Both SimpliSafe and Ring are well-known companies that have built names for themselves over time. SimpliSafe has been around since 2006, which gives it a bit of an edge over Ring (which only started in 2013 as Doorbot, becoming Ring in 2014).
Ring took a bit of a blow to its reputation in 2018, when a series of stories about hacked cameras emerged and eroded customer trust in the company. Reviewers of Ring on various outlets like Trustpilot have had poor experiences with customer service, while there are numerous reports of product failures shortly after purchase.
On the other hand, SimpliSafe has a much higher rating on sites like Trustpilot. While there are still customer complaints about glitches and malfunctions, there are also reviews praising its performance. SimpliSafe responds to negative reviews and offers customers solutions, too—something Ring has not done.
Verdict: SimpliSafe and Ring are both reputable home security companies that have A+ ratings from the Better Business Bureau (BBB), but customer satisfaction appears to be higher for SimpliSafe.
2. SimpliSafe vs. Ring: Packages and Plans
SimpliSafe offers five packages to choose from.
- The Foundation is a four-piece package marketed as best for small homes, and is ideal for studios or 1-bedroom apartments with a single entryway.
- The Essentials is a six-piece package that SimpliSafe calls its most popular system, and this one works best for average-size homes: those with a main and back door and a large window that could be an entry point.
- The Hearth package is identical to the Essentials package, except it includes three pieces for added security: a 105dB siren, a smoke detector, and a key fob.
- The Knox is a 13-piece kit that includes six entry sensors and two motion sensors, as well as a siren and smoke detector.
- The Haven has 14 pieces and is the most high-end kit. It sacrifices two entry sensors in favor of a water sensor and a temperature sensor.
SimpliSafe’s last two options are the company’s highest-priced picks, but they’re also the most secure. These are designed for large homes with multiple points of entry. Although these packages offer plenty to choose from for almost anyone, SimpliSafe also offers customers the chance to build their own package by choosing only the items they need and building out from there. That customization makes it easy for customers to assemble a system that meets specific needs and situations without opting for “unnecessary” components.
Like SimpliSafe, Ring also offers preset bundles, although the company’s offerings are more numerous and include almost every device combination possible. It can be a bit intimidating to wade through all of these, but packages include:
- The Ring Alarm Security Kit is a five-piece set that would be ideal for a studio apartment or for security in an outdoor storage shed (or a disconnected home office).
- The eight- or 10- piece variant of the same kit caters to large homes.
- Ring doorbells with various accessories, such as Ring Chime or the Ring Solar Charger.
- The Deluxe Pro Bundle is a premium package that includes the Video Doorbell Pro 2 with 3 Floodlight Cam Wired Pro.
- Customers who live in much larger homes (or who want to secure both the main home and a downstairs in-law suite, for instance) can choose the 14-piece Alarm Pro Security Kit. This includes not only enough entry and motion sensors to keep the entire home secure, but also an Eero Wi-Fi 6 router for whole-home internet coverage.
Ultimately, although both companies provide a lot of flexibility in the offered equipment, SimpliSafe’s option to build a custom system makes it the better choice. The ability to strip out unneeded items to cut costs is vital, especially to shoppers on a tighter budget.
Verdict: SimpliSafe offers preset equipment packages, but customers can tailor them to avoid paying for components they don’t need. Ring doesn’t offer the same level of customization.
3. SimpliSafe vs. Ring: Pricing and Fees
There are two parts to the price of a security system: the cost of the equipment and the cost of monitoring. Though SimpliSafe’s equipment packages can be quite pricey (starting at $244.96 for The Foundation and reaching as high as $504.86 for The Haven), they do come with a 45 percent discount if customers opt for professional monitoring at the time of purchase. This can cut fees by a large amount and practically pays for the cost of monitoring.
SimpliSafe has two primary monitoring options: the Interactive Monitoring Plan at $27.99 per month, and the Self-Monitoring with Camera Recording Plan at $9.99 per month (there is a third plan that isn’t quite as popular at $17.99 per month). There is also the option to forgo any monitoring at all, but that increases the initial costs and reduces the efficacy of the system. The professional monitoring costs are about $0.93 per day. With the added perks that come with the Interactive Monitoring plan, SimpliSafe’s monthly fee is a deal.
On the other hand, Ring’s up-front prices are slightly lower. The five-piece Alarm Security Kit is $199.99, while the eight-piece kit is $249.99 and the 10-piece is $259.99. The additional costs come when customers add in video doorbells, which each command at least around $112.99 on their own. There are also frequent sales on Ring equipment, helping bring the cost even lower.
The Ring Protect plans include cloud video recording but not professional monitoring unless customers choose the Pro plan. This is $20 per month or $200 per year, which is slightly less than SimpliSafe’s yearly costs. Ring also grants access to a lot of other features in its monitoring plan that makes this cost easier to swallow.
For those on a budget, the lower up-front cost and lower overall monitoring costs make Ring system cost the more attractive choice.
Verdict: Ring and SimpliSafe are comparable in price, with Ring package and monthly costs averaging a little lower. SimpliSafe’s up-front cost is typically higher than Ring’s. However, starter packages are rather limited, so customers may feel compelled to purchase more or opt for higher tier packages.
4. SimpliSafe vs. Ring: Installation and Equipment
Installing a home security system can be tricky, but both Ring and SimpliSafe make it easier even for someone with little experience with DIY installation. If the idea of installing a security system is too intimidating, both systems have the option for professional installation (though that will add more to the up-front costs).
The equipment options are where the two companies begin to differ from one another. SimpliSafe’s equipment packages might be pricey, but they’re extensive. With motion, temperature, smoke, and water sensors, SimpliSafe protects the home on all fronts. Combine that with the 105dB siren (about the volume of a rock concert), and no would-be thief is going to hang around for long with that level of noise. SimpliSafe does lack in one particular area, though: security cameras. The company offers one outdoor camera, one indoor camera, and a video doorbell.
Ring excels in video cameras and especially video doorbells, with options like the Video Doorbell Pro 2 at the highest price point but also delivering greater-than-HD video and even showing an estimated path of where an intruder might walk. In fact, the Ring Video Doorbell 2 can even act as a sort of digital butler, thanks to its Alexa Greetings feature.
Despite this, SimpliSafe has more equipment to choose from, and that includes a few camera options. Even if SimpliSafe’s cameras aren’t as versatile or high quality as Ring’s cameras, SimpliSafe still wins due to the extensive variety of equipment types to choose from to choose from.
Verdict: Both SimpliSafe and Ring are DIY home security systems that are relatively easy to install (although both have the option to be installed professionally). SimpliSafe has a larger range of equipment to choose from, but if outdoor cameras are what you need, then Ring is the better choice.
5. SimpliSafe vs. Ring: Monitoring
No matter how feature-rich a security system is, it’s not effective if someone isn’t able to respond to alerts. Self-monitored systems fall short of professional monitoring for that reason, with peace of mind typically considered to be more valuable than the cost savings of a self-monitored system.
SimpliSafe offers two primary monitoring plans: Interactive Monitoring and Self Monitoring with Camera Recordings.
- The Interactive Monitoring plan includes 24/7 police, medical, and fire dispatch, as well as flood and extreme temperature monitoring. It also includes unlimited camera recording, video verification, and a limited lifetime warranty as long as the subscription lasts.
- The Self Monitoring plan offers up to a 1-year total warranty and unlimited camera recordings. Both the Interactive and the Self Monitoring plans include smart-home integration and an unlimited activity timeline.
- There is a third plan called Standard Monitoring plan: while it includes 24/7 police, fire, and medical dispatch, it lacks the rest of the benefits that come with Interactive Monitoring. It’s considered rather barebones and lacks many of the features that many customers look for in a home security system monitoring plan. With the price difference between the Standard Monitoring and the Interactive Monitoring plan hovering around $10, many customers choose the latter because of its value.
For customers looking for professional monitoring, Ring has only the Ring Protect Pro plan, but it offers a tremendous number of features for the price. It stores video history for 180 days and enables the sharing of those videos. It also shows a thumbnail of the video on the timeline to get an idea of the content without playing it. The Pro plan also enhances Ring notifications with rich notifications and person alerts and provides an extended warranty on all devices.
Of course, it also includes 24/7 professional monitoring, but the true benefits lie in the Alarm Cellular Backup feature. This means if a storm knocks out Wi-Fi, Ring can utilize a customer’s mobile device to stay in touch and keep an eye on the system, even without internet. Alexa adds a bit more security through Alexa Guard Plus, which automatically listens for the sound of a beeping smoke alarm or breaking glass. The Ring Pro Plan brings in a bit of digital security, too, through the Eero Secure feature. However, customers should be aware of allegations that Ring shares footage from doorbell and security cameras without the express permission of the owners. These accusations have damaged the company’s reputation and resulted in a lot of customer outcry. It’s also worth mentioning Ring’s Neighbors program, which allows people in the same community to share information regarding neighborhood security and sends real-time crime and safety alerts. While those who opt into using the program may see the benefits of using the app, all users or potential Ring users are encouraged to understand that these privacy concerns also apply.
While both plans have a lot of incredible features, Ring brings a few that are useful but extraneous. SimpliSafe has a greater focus on home security, and the automatic dispatch of emergency services can save precious time that might otherwise be spent discussing the situation with the monitoring tech.
Verdict: Both SimpliSafe and Ring offer self-monitoring and professional monitoring at a relatively low monthly fee. However, there have been reported privacy issues with Ring’s Neighbors program.
6. SimpliSafe vs. Ring: App User Experience
Mobile devices act as the gateway to home security systems when someone is away from home (or tucked into bed at the end of the day with no desire to get up and make sure the system is armed). It’s vital the app has a friendly user experience. Both the SimpliSafe app and Ring’s Always Home app allow users to arm or disarm the system, check live video footage from cameras, and examine push notifications.
Both apps also allow users to save video footage, integrate the system into their smart-home setups, and even reach out to emergency dispatch. With all of these features in mind, it’s hard to declare a true winner between the two companies. Both offer an excellent user experience, and the smart-home integration allows customers to carry that experience even further.
Verdict: Both Ring’s Always Home app and SimpliSafe’s app offer similar features and are relatively user-friendly.
7. SimpliSafe vs. Ring: Trial Period
Someone can spend all day looking at a security system’s specs and features, but it’s hard to really know whether it’s a good fit until they try it out. A free trial period gives them this opportunity. While SimpliSafe doesn’t offer a true “trial” period, it does allow customers to return the system for any reason within 60 days of purchase. That’s 2 months of real-world, day-to-day usage to evaluate whether SimpliSafe fits with their routine and lifestyle.
Ring is similar to SimpliSafe in that it doesn’t offer a trial period, but its return period is only 30 days for a full refund. However, Ring also includes a 30-day trial of Ring Protect for customers to try out.
Verdict: SimpliSafe doesn’t have a trial period but does offer a generous 60-day money-back guarantee. Ring’s trial period lasts only 30 days.
8. SimpliSafe vs. Ring: Warranty
As of January 17, 2022, all SimpliSafe products sold have a 1-year limited warranty, but any products purchased before that date carry SimpliSafe’s original 3-year warranties. SimpliSafe also allows customers to extend their warranty as long as they purchased a package that includes a Base Station and have subscribed to a professional monitoring plan for 90 consecutive days.
Ring also offers a 1-year limited warranty, although extended warranties can be obtained for subscribers to the Ring Protect plans. This plan extends the warranty to the life of the subscription, as long as the product in question was still under warranty when the subscription began.
Verdict: Warranties for both home security companies depend on the customer’s plan. SimpliSafe offers anywhere from a 1-year warranty to a 3-year warranty. Ring offers extended warranties.
9. SimpliSafe vs. Ring: Home Automation and Device Compatibility
SimpliSafe is more focused on home security, and smart-home integration is secondary. Its options are limited to integrations with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, both of which can arm or disarm the system. SimpliSafe also works with August Smart Locks. However, wider integration is only possible by jumping through hoops or using third-party options and services.
On the other hand, Ring fully integrates with Amazon Alexa. It comes as no surprise, since Ring is owned by Amazon. Ring works with a wide variety of different smart locks, garage door openers, and even smart thermostats for an impressive level of control over the smart home. Ring even works with Google Assistant, although it is definitely geared toward Alexa.
Verdict: Ring, which is owned by Amazon, is compatible with a wide range of home automation systems from both Amazon and third-party providers. SimpliSafe has rather limited home automation options.
Verdict: SimpliSafe is our choice between the two home security systems, but Ring is a strong runner-up.
SimpliSafe and Ring are similar in many ways, and the differences between the two are minor. In the end, SimpliSafe comes out as the better of the two picks. Between its reputation, more versatile package options, and superior monitoring plans, SimpliSafe is generally the better home security system for most.
Is Ring a good security system? Ring is not a bad pick at all. If someone is already heavily invested in the Ring ecosystem, then there’s no harm in building a system out further and opting for a monitoring plan. Ring is a strong contender, especially if smart-home integration is a key element.