When it comes to home DIY security systems, Ring is one of the most intuitive on the market. They have different alarm packs on offer, depending on options like how many sensors you want, if you want the outside alarm, and whether you want to bundle the system together with their video doorbell, or a camera, or both. We tested out their smallest offering, comprising a base station, an alarm keypad, one contact sensor for windows or doors, one motion detector, and a range extender to boost Wi-Fi, bundled with their second-generation indoor camera at no extra cost. Ring also sent us its justly famous second-generation video doorbell (RRP £99.99) and a battery-powered outdoor siren (RRP £69.99) that emits an extremely loud, police-like siren while flashing on and off.
It takes about an hour to install the basic kit, and the whole connection process is a doddle – simply pull out the plastic tab from each battery-powered device and it pairs instantly with the base station. The individual devices are easy to fit too since most of them use double-sided tape.
As with a professionally installed system, the Ring comes with a keypad to be positioned near your front door. When leaving, you simply tap a button to arm the system and exit within one minute – with the alarm emitting steadily increasing countdown beeps to tell you how long you’ve got left. If an intruder is detected – via a contact sensor, the camera, or the motion detector – you’ll hear a series of beeps before the base station sounds a loud alarm. If the base station doesn’t freak out the intruder, then the optional outdoor siren most certainly will – while also alerting the whole neighbourhood at the same time. When re-entering, simply tap in your preset key code and the system is disarmed. And don’t panic if you forget to set the alarm before leaving home because you can easily arm it remotely using the intuitive Ring app.
The included camera provides very good 1080p image quality and can differentiate between pets and people so, theoretically speaking, it shouldn’t go off if Tiddles enters the room. The motion sensor also “should ignore animals in your home up to about 3.5 stone (a little over 22kg), when mounted at 2.1 metres above the floor, on the lowest sensitivity setting.” You’ll probably have to make some special accommodations for any larger pets though, or you’ll risk false alarms.
The same clear, 1080p image quality also applies with the optional Ring doorbell, which not only sends a notification as soon as the button is pressed but also serves as a security camera to monitor the front door area, alerting the user to any unwarranted visits. Even if you don’t go for the full security package, the doorbell alone makes a very worthwhile investment.
Like most home security systems, Ring works best with a monthly subscription. In this instance, there are two options: Basic, at £3.49 per month, provides extended video storage for up to 180 days, 50 video downloads at once, and snapshot capture; or Ring Plus, which costs £8 per month, adds assisted monitoring (which automatically calls any preregistered personal contacts) and cellular backup for any Wi-Fi outages.
If you’re looking for a keenly priced, tried-and-trusted home security system that works exceedingly well, Ring ticks all the boxes. It’s a doddle to install, really easy to use and reliable too.