SimpliSafe Vs. Ring Home Security System: Which One Should You Buy in 2023?

SimpliSafe Vs. Ring

Photo: simplisafe.com; ring.com

When a customer is shopping for a home security system, they want to choose the one that provides the best protection for their 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, customers will want to take a look at what makes these systems different—and which one is the best alarm company for their home.

How We Compared Home Security Systems

SimpliSafe Vs. Ring

Photo: ring.com

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 when determining what to look for in a home security camera system. These factors play a significant role when comparing Ring vs. SimpliSafe.

  • 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.
  • Equipment options and quality: The types and the quality of the equipment are important factors in determining whether or not a security system company is worthy of consideration.
  • 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: 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. Some customers will prefer a DIY security system, while others want a professional to install the system 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.
  • Contracts and 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, such as Trustpilot and Consumer Affairs, have shared about 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 Trustpilot and Consumer Affairs (though its overall score on the latter site is still somewhat low). While there are still customer complaints about glitches and malfunctions, there are also SimpliSafe reviews praising its performance. SimpliSafe responds to negative reviews and offers customers solutions, too—something Ring has not done.

Finally, while both companies are accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB), SimpliSafe has a top rating of A+, whereas Ring has a B rating.

Verdict: SimpliSafe and Ring are both reputable home security companies, but SimpliSafe has a higher rating from the Better Business Bureau and customer satisfaction appears to be higher for SimpliSafe.

Winner: SimpliSafe

2. SimpliSafe vs. Ring: Equipment Options and Quality

SimpliSafe and Ring both offer a wide variety of high-quality equipment options, including different types of security cameras, video doorbells, smoke alarms, motion detectors, different types of window alarm sensors and door sensors, glass-break sensors, water sensors, and panic buttons.

Ring is primarily known for the Ring doorbell camera, but the company offers much more than that. For example, Ring home security customers can opt for additional pieces of equipment such as smart interior and exterior lighting, smart plugs, solar chargers, interchangeable faceplates, eero Wi-Fi routers, pet tags with QR codes, and even Amazon Echo devices (Ring is owned by Amazon). SimpliSafe’s additional equipment options are limited to an extra-loud 105-decibel (dB) siren (which the company says is as loud as a rock concert) and a key fob.

Customers will likely be satisfied with a basic home security system from either company, but those looking to add more unique features to their system will likely prefer the Ring security lineup over the SimpliSafe lineup.

Verdict: SimpliSafe and Ring both have a large range of top-quality equipment to choose from, but Ring comes out ahead by offering several pieces of equipment that aren’t included in the SimpliSafe lineup.

Winner: Ring

SimpliSafe Vs. Ring

Photo: simplisafe.com

3. SimpliSafe vs. Ring: Packages and Plans

Ring and SimpliSafe both allow customers to build their own customized package or choose from several prebuilt equipment packages. SimpliSafe offers seven prebuilt packages to choose from.

  • The Foundation is a four-piece package that includes a base station, keypad, one entry sensor, and one motion sensor. It’s marketed as best for small homes, and is ideal for studios or 1-bedroom apartments with a single entryway.
  • The Essentials is a five-piece package that adds a second entry sensor to the Foundation package. 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 builds upon the Essentials package, adding a third entry sensor, a 105 dB 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, a smoke detector, and a key fob.
  • The Haven has 14 pieces in total; in addition to the base station and keypad, it has four entry sensors, two motion sensors, a panic button, a temperature sensor, a water sensor, a key fob, a siren, and a smoke detector.
  • The Lighthouse has seven pieces of equipment, including three entry sensors, one motion sensor, and a wireless outdoor camera.
  • The Beacon has 10 pieces of equipment, including four entry sensors, two motion sensors, and two wireless outdoor cameras.

SimpliSafe security system packages are designed for a variety of customers, from those who live in small apartments and need minimal coverage to those who live in 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. Customers can also pick a prebuilt package and add individual pieces of equipment as they need to, such as additional SimpliSafe outdoor cameras or a SimpliSafe doorbell.

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. These bundles fall into three categories: Connected Kits, Protected Kits, and Whole Home Kits. The available Ring security system packages are:

  • The Connected Basic Kit has one Video Doorbell and one Stick Up Cam Battery.
  • The Connected Enhanced Kit has one Battery Doorbell Plus and one Spotlight Cam Plus Battery.
  • The Connected Deluxe Kit has one Video Doorbell Pro 2 and one Floodlight Cam Wired Pro.
  • The Protected Basic Kit has one Video Doorbell and one 5-piece Alarm Security Kit.
  • The Protected Enhanced Kit has one Battery Doorbell Plus and one 8-piece Alarm Security Kit.
  • The Protected Deluxe Kit has one Video Doorbell Pro 2 and one 14-piece Alarm Security Kit.
  • The Whole Home Basic Kit has one Video Doorbell, one Stick Up Cam Battery, and one 5-piece Alarm Security Kit.
  • The Whole Home Enhanced Kit has one Battery Doorbell Plus, one Spotlight Cam Plus Battery, and one 8-piece Alarm Security Kit.
  • The Whole Home Deluxe Kit has one Video Doorbell Pro 2, one Floodlight Cam Wired Pro, and one 14-piece Alarm Security Kit.

Within these bundles, customers can find several Alarm Security Kits, which include the following pieces of equipment:

  • The Ring Alarm Security Kit is a five-piece set that includes a base station, a keypad, a door/window contact sensor, a motion detector, and an alarm range extender.
  • The 8-piece Alarm Security Kit increases the number of door/window contact sensors to four.
  • The 10-piece Alarm Security Kit increases the number of door/window contact sensors to five and the number of motion detectors to two.
  • Finally, the 14-piece Alarm Security Kit has two keypads, eight door/window contact sensors, and two motion detectors in addition to the base station and range extender.

The sheer number of choices when it comes to Ring packages and bundles can seem quite overwhelming, whereas SimpliSafe’s packages are laid out much more simply.

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.

Winner: SimpliSafe

4. 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 $249.96 for The Foundation and reaching as high as $709.90 for The Beacon), there are often SimpliSafe sales that offer equipment at a 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.

Equipment Package Monthly Cost (24-Month Financing) Total Cost
The Foundation N/A $249.96
The Essentials $11.66 $279.95
The Hearth $16.66 $399.91
The Knox $19.99 $479.87
The Haven $21.66 $519.86
The Lighthouse $19.58 $469.93
The Beacon $29.58 $709.90

SimpliSafe has three monitoring options: the Fast Protect Professional Monitoring plan at $0.99 per day (around $30 per month), the Standard Monitoring plan at $0.66 per day (around $20 per month), and the Self-Monitoring with Camera Recordings Plan at $0.33 per day (around $10 per month). There is also the option to forgo any monitoring at all, but that reduces the efficacy of the system. The professional monitoring costs are about $0.99 per day. With the added perks that come with the Fast Protect Professional Monitoring plan, SimpliSafe’s monthly fee is a deal.

Monitoring Plan Daily Cost Approximate Monthly Cost
Self Monitoring with Camera Recordings $0.33 $10
Standard Monitoring $0.66 $20
Fast Protect Professional Monitoring $0.99 $30

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 $259.96 and the 10-piece is $309.94. There are also frequent sales on Ring equipment, helping bring the cost even lower.

Equipment Package Total Cost
Alarm Security Kit, 5-Piece $199.99
Alarm Security Kit, 8-Piece $259.96
Alarm Security Kit, 10-Piece $309.94
Alarm Security Kit, 14-Piece $419.99
Connected Basic Kit $199.98
Connected Enhanced Kit $349.98
Connected Deluxe Kit $499.98
Protected Basic Kit $299.98
Protected Enhanced Kit $429.98
Protected Deluxe Kit $579.98
Whole Home Basic Kit $399.97
Whole Home Enhanced Kit $599.97
Whole Home Deluxe Kit $829.97

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 the Ring subscription cost easier to swallow.

Subscription Name Monthly Cost Annual Cost
Basic $3.99 $39.99
Plus $10 $100
Pro $20 $200

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.

Winner: Ring

SimpliSafe Vs. Ring

Photo: ring.com

5. SimpliSafe vs. Ring: Installation

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, which is why both are often considered among the best apartment security systems. SimpliSafe customers can get installation guidance from the company’s app (as well as from live expert assistance), and Ring has several guides designed to help even the least tech-savvy customers learn how to install Ring doorbells and other equipment successfully. This allows customers of both companies to save on security camera installation costs.

If the idea of figuring out how to install security cameras is too intimidating, both systems have the option for professional installation by a technician who knows exactly where to place security cameras for the best coverage (though that will add more to the up-front costs). SimpliSafe customers can schedule an appointment with an installation technician starting at $124.99. The technician will install the system, set up monitoring, and show the customer exactly how everything works.

Ring customers can schedule professional installation through the company’s partnership with OnTech. Installation starts at $159.99 and goes up to $224.99. This is slightly more expensive than SimpliSafe’s professional installation option, but customers can save money by purchasing multiple Ring devices and having them all set up at once during the same appointment.

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’s professional installation services are slightly more affordable than Ring’s.

Winner: SimpliSafe

6. 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. There are even homeowners insurance discounts for security systems that have professional monitoring due to the additional protection this service provides to a home.

SimpliSafe offers three monitoring plans: Fast Protect Professional Monitoring, Standard Monitoring, and Self Monitoring with Camera Recordings.

  • The Fast Protect Professional Monitoring plan includes 24/7 police, medical, and fire dispatch, as well as intruder deterrence with two-way agent audio for faster threat verification. Other features include flood and extreme temperature monitoring, unlimited SimpliSafe camera recording, 30-day cloud storage, and a limited lifetime warranty as long as the subscription lasts.
  • The Standard Monitoring plan includes 24/7 police, fire, and medical dispatch and a 3-year equipment warranty.
  • The Self Monitoring with Camera Recordings plan includes unlimited camera recordings, 30-day cloud storage, and a 3-year equipment warranty.

Ring also has three plans, though only one includes professional monitoring. The three plans are Ring Protect Basic, Ring Protect Plus, and Ring Protect Pro.

  • The Ring Protect Basic plan includes 180 days of video history, video saving and sharing capabilities, remote arming and disarming, and a 10 percent discount on additional Ring devices.
  • The Ring Protect Plus plan includes everything in the Basic plan, as well as extended warranties for all devices.
  • The Ring Protect Pro plan includes everything in the Plus plan, as well as 24/7 professional monitoring, alarm cellular backup, and the potential for a homeowners insurance discount.

Customers will want to be aware of allegations that Ring shares footage from doorbell and security cameras without the express permission of the owners. 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 security camera 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.

Winner: SimpliSafe

7. 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.

Winner: Tie

SimpliSafe Vs. Ring

Photo: simplisafe.com

8. SimpliSafe vs. Ring: Contracts and 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 it does offer a generous 60-day money-back guarantee. Ring’s trial period lasts only 30 days.

Winner: SimpliSafe

9. SimpliSafe vs. Ring: Warranty

SimpliSafe products sold after January 17, 2022, 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, though the length of the extension depends on which monitoring plan the customer chooses. The Fast Protect Professional Monitoring plan includes an extended equipment warranty for the lifetime of the subscription, though customers who cancel this plan will lose this benefit. The other two monitoring plans (Standard and Self Monitoring) extend the 1-year warranty by an additional 2 years for a total of 3 years.

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 lifetime warranty. Ring offers extended warranties. 

Winner: SimpliSafe

10. 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. Customers can purchase a SimpliSafe smart lock, though the system 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 Home, 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.

Winner: Ring

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.

Buyers can be reassured that both SimpliSafe and Ring are two of the best home security systems on the market, as well as two of the best DIY security systems.