SimpliSafe vs. Ring Security Systems - A Comprehensive Comparison

Comparisons of: Security features | Ease of installation | Energy savings | Price/Costs involved | Components | Compatibility with other services | and more...
Ring vs Simplisafe
Updated: 27th May 2020
Published: 24th Mar 2020
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By Rohan Tandon

Rohan is a passionate tech journalist with a degree in English literature. He's worked as a commissi Read More..

You may have always wanted a home security system. After all, the benefits of a home security system are obvious — they let you keep an eye on your home and protect it from potential burglaries.

Why haven’t we all got security systems already?

The adoption of home security systems has been historically slow. That’s because of a couple of perception issues. People often rethink their plans to get a security system because of the following challenges:

  • Security systems have been deemed as complicated systems that require extensive installation and support.
  • Renters generally avoid security systems because of the perception that they’ll require drilling into the walls or hardwiring.
  • And many have simply stayed away because installing and maintaining security systems has seemed like an expensive proposition.

However, with the emergence of smart and portable security systems, those concerns have been eliminated. Modern smart security systems can be installed DIY-style within a few minutes at a reasonable cost, and you can monitor them using your smartphone.

While there are a lot of home security systems available, SimpliSafe and Ring have emerged at the top as two of the best home security system solutions.

Both SimpliSafe and Ring offer a wide range of security components, DIY installation, month-to-month contracting, and simple smartphone monitoring. But while they may have the same basic features, they differ in a lot of ways.

So which smart home security system should you purchase? SimpliSafe or Ring? Please continue reading and find out!

Benefits of Smart Security Systems

If you’re reading this article, you’re probably already sold on the idea of smart security systems. If you’re already aware of them, you can skip this section and move on to the comparison of SimpliSafe and Ring security systems.

However, if you’re new to smart security systems, the following is a quick overview of some of their greatest benefits.

  • Protect your Property: The average burglary can cost you thousands of dollars in lost valuables such as electronics, jewelry, drugs, etc. Installing a smart security system will act as a deterrent, lowering the risk of burglaries. Furthermore, if there is a burglary, the authorities will be notified immediately, increasing the chance of catching the intruders.
  • Home Automation: Smart security systems integrate perfectly with all of your other smart devices, such as smart lights, door locks, and thermostats. This allows you to control all of your devices from a single centralized location on your phone or computer. You can also set up ‘modes’ for the different devices to interact with each other. For example, if the smart security camera’s motion detector picks up some activity in the middle of the night, you can automatically turn on some of the lights in your home. If the motion detector were activated because of a potential burglar, the lights would scare them away. You can also set up other such commands.
  • Virtually Accessible: You can access all of your smart security devices from anywhere in the world using your smartphone or computer. You can even view live footage and recorded data.
  • 24/7 Protection: With smart security systems, you don’t have to worry about turning them on or off. They are turned on and active 24/7, which means you’ll be notified whenever there are any unusual activities.
  • Easy Installation: Most smart home security devices are wireless and easy to install. You can connect all of them around the house within a few minutes and then activate them using your smartphone app. The entire installation can be handled DIY-style — there’s no need for drilling, hardwiring, or anything else that may upset your landlord.
  • Complex Features: Smart home security systems offer sophisticated features that are far more effective than traditional security systems. For example, you can program the smart security camera to turn towards the entry sensors if they get triggered automatically. As such, you can potentially catch someone in the act of breaking in.
  • Prevent Burglaries: According to studies, over 60% of all thieves and burglars skip homes that are protected with home security systems. Most people prefer easier and safer targets. As such, installing a home security system may just protect your home by default.
  • Lower Insurance: Insurance companies often offer lower premiums for homes with smart security systems because they have a lower chance of theft, fires, or other such issues. As such, the security system may even pay for itself by reducing your long-term insurance premium.
  • Energy Savings: Smart security devices — like all smart devices — can lower your energy costs. They come with complex energy monitoring features with which you can optimize your energy usage. Furthermore, you can also automate your thermostat to turn off when you’re not home, thus saving energy. You can also set up other such commands that will save energy and lower costs in the long run.
  • Peace-of-mind: Most importantly, smart home security systems bring peace of mind. When you’re at work, you don’t have to be worried about break-ins or fires. You can monitor your home remotely and rest assured that you’ll receive a warning if there’s an issue. This helps you relax and get on with your day stress-free.

Overview of SimpiSafe and Ring Security Systems

SimpliSafe Security Systems

SimpliSafe is a smart security company founded by Harvard Business School students. This company has established itself as an industry leader because they initiated the trend of DIY self-install and wireless security systems.

SimpliSafe offers a wide range of security devices such as entry sensors, motion sensors, security cameras, and other components. You can get one of the pre-established packages, or you can custom build your system. Each package comes with a base station and keypad — but you can add the rest of the optional components.

SimpliSafe is a completely battery-powered set, and you can install everything within a few minutes. There’s no need for any plugs, wires, or hardwiring. The biggest issue with SimpliSafe is that you have to pay for professional monitoring, and the free self-monitoring option offers next to no access to features.

Ring Security Systems

Ring first made its mainstream debut in the show Shark Tank in 2013. They were quite an underdog contestant, and they didn’t get a deal. However, after a quick rebrand, the company managed to sell five million security cameras and systems. Amazon has now acquired Ring, which has established the brand as frontrunners in the smart home security system market.

Ring Security Systems allows you to create your custom package from the Ring site. When you choose to create your package, you’re asked questions about the size of your home, number of windows, and other such questions. Based on those details, the system recommends the optimal security package for your needs — which you can also customize on your own. Alternatively, you can also choose one of the pre-designed packages from Amazon.

A typical Ring security system comes with a base station and keypad, along with your choice of other components. Being an Amazon subsidiary, you can also add an Echo Dot to the security system, thereby enabling Alexa voice assistance. In addition to the keypad and Alexa voice commands, you can also control the system using the smartphone app.

If you want to review past recorded footage or access to professional monitoring, you have to pay a monthly subscription fee. However, professional monitoring isn’t a necessity for Ring security systems, and there are no contracts either.

SimpliSafe vs. Ring Components

SimpliSafe Components

When it comes to assembling SimpliSafe, you have your starting components and your protection sensors. Every single SimpliSafe unit needs the starting base components, and you can choose the protection sensors based on your needs.

The following is a brief overview of the various components available in the SimpliSafe security system.

Base Station (Must)

SimpliSafe Base station

This is the core unit that connects all of the various devices. It’s available in two colors — Cloud and Obsidian.

Wireless KeyPad (Must):

Wireless KeyPad

This is the primary controller for the entire security system. It’s available in two colors — Cloud and Obsidian. You can also get an additional KeyPad to control your security system from different parts of your home.

Entry Sensor:

SimpliSafe Entry Sensor

These sensors are attached to doors and windows. You’ll get a warning if any of these sensors get triggered.

Motion Sensor:

SimpliSafe Motion Sensor

This device can sense motion in an entire room.

SimpliCam:

SimpliSafe Indoor cam

This is an advanced video camera that allows you to see what’s happening in your home from your phone. It also comes with an internal motion detector.

Glassbreak Sensor:

SimpliSafe Glassbreak SensorThis device will accurately pick up the sound of smashed windows (and only windows). If there’s a break-in, you’ll get an instant warning.

Panic Button:

simplisafe panic buttonIf you’re home during a home invasion, you can press this panic button to send an instant alarm to call the police.

Key Fob:

SimpliSafe key fobThis is a small device with which you can arm or disarm the security system with a single button.

Smoke Detector:

simplisafe Smoke DetectorThis device will get triggered when a fire is still smoldering, thereby protecting you and your home before an actual fire breaks out.

Carbon Monoxide Sensor:

simplisafe carbon monoxide detectorThis sensor will let you know when you have dangerous levels of this silent and invisible gas.

Temperature/Freeze Sensor:

Temperature Freeze Sensor If your home’s temperature drops lower than 41F, it will send you an alarm. As such, you can quickly take action to protect your pipes from freezing.

Water Sensor:

simplisafe water sensorThis sensor detects water damage or leaks, so that you can protect your home from flooding.

105dB Siren:

Simplisafe 105db siren This is an extremely loud siren that goes off whenever one of your burglary sensors or hazard sensors goes off.

Yard/Garden Sign:

SimpliSafe yard & garden sign You can place this 9" x 11” yard sign on your front lawn or porch step to warn all potential intruders that your home is protected.

Professional Setup Help: 97% of all SimpliSafe users install the entire security system themselves. However, if you want, you can also pay $79 for professional SimpliSafe-approved assistance.

You don’t have to create your security system. SimpliSafe also offers several packages, i.e., pre-designed security systems with a specific number of different sensors. Depending on your needs, you can choose between one of these packages.

The Haven:

The Haven SimpliSafe Package In addition to the base components, it includes 1 key fob, 1 panic button, 4 entry sensors, 1 temperature sensor, 2 motion sensors, 1 water sensor, 1 siren, and 1 smoke detector.

The Stonefront:

The Stonefront SimpliSafe PackageIn addition to the base components, it includes 1 key fob, 1 siren, 9 entry sensors, 1 panic button, and 2 motion sensors.

The Keep:

The Keep SimpliSafe Package In addition to the base components, it includes 1 key fob, 2 motion sensors, 5 entry sensors, and 1 SimpliCam camera.

The Fortress:

SimpliSafe The Fortress package In addition to the base components, it includes 1 key fob, 1 siren, 6 entry sensors, 1 panic button, and 2 motion sensors.

Table: showing components in different SimpliSafe packages

The Haven

The Stonefront

The Keep

The Fortress

Entry Sensor

4

9

5

6

Motion Sensor

2

2

2

2

SimpliCam

1

Glassbreak Sensor

Panic Button

1

1

1

Smoke Detector

1

Carbon Monoxide Sensor

Temperature/Freeze Sensor

1

Water Sensor

1

Key Fob

1

1

1

1

Siren

1

1

1

Cost

$489

$484

$443

$509

Ring Components

When it comes to assembling the Ring security system, you have your base station and your protection sensors. Every single Ring security system unit needs the base station, and you can choose the additional components based on your needs.

The following is a brief overview of the various components available in the Ring security system.

Base Station (Must):

Ring Base StationThis is your security system’s central hub. It includes a battery that lasts for up to 24 hours. It also includes a siren that blares out every time one of the sensors is triggered.

KeyPad (Must):

Ring alarm KeypadThis is a remote control that can arm or disarm your Ring security system. It can either be mounted on the wall or used as a portable remote.

Motion Detector:

Ring Alarm Motion DetectorThis can be mounted on walls or the corners of rooms to warn you when it detects motion.

Contact Sensor:

Ring Alarm Window and Door Contact SensorThis device is mounted to doors or windows. It goes off whenever someone tries to break in through these entry points.

Range Extender:

Ring Alarm Range ExtenderUseful in large homes, this device extends the signals from your Base Station to other Ring devices.

Panic Button Alarm:

Ring Panic Button AlarmThis button can be pressed at any time to sound the alarm in an emergency. Press and hold the Alarm Panic Button for three seconds to sound the siren on your Ring Alarm.

Smoke & CO Alarm

Smoke and CO alarmFirst Alert 'Z-Wave' Smoke/CO Alarm. Place them around your home for peace of mind, and get safety alerts when smoke or carbon monoxide is detected.

Smoke & CO2 Listener:

Ring Alarm Smoke & CO ListenerThis device doesn’t detect smoke or carbon monoxide. But it notifies you when your existing smoke and CO detector go off.

Flood & Freeze Sensor:

Ring Flood & Freeze SensorThis device warns you when it senses water leakage, floods, or low temperatures, which lets you stay ahead of potential damages.

You may have noticed that the aforementioned list of components doesn’t include a video doorbell or security camera, both of which have become standards components of most security kits. While it’s true that the official Ring Alarm Security System doesn’t come with a security camera or video doorbell, Ring offers a wide range of security cameras and doorbells separately. As such, if you want to add a Ring security camera to the setup, you’ll have to purchase it separately.

You don’t have to customize a security system for yourself. Ring also offers three pre-designed security systems suitable for differently-sized homes with varying requirements. Depending on your needs, you can choose between one of these packages.

5-Piece Ring Alarm Kit:

Ring alarm 5 Piece KitSuitable for homes smaller than 1,000 square feet, this Ring security kit consists of 1 contact sensor, 1 motion detector, 1 range extender, and 1 keypad.

10-Piece Ring Alarm Kit:

Ring Alarm 10 Piece KitSuitable for homes between 1,000 to 2,000 square feet, this Ring security kit consists of 5 contact sensors, 2 motion detectors, 1 range extender, and 1 keypad.

14-Piece Ring Alarm Kit:

Ring Alarm 14 Piece KitSuitable for homes larger than 2,000 square feet, this Ring security kit consists of 8 contact sensors, 2 motion detectors, and 1 range extender, and 2 keypads.

5-Piece Alarm Kit

10-Piece Alarm Kit

14-Piece Alarm Kit

KeyPad

1

1

2

Motion Detector

1

2

2

Contact Sensor

1

5

8

Range Extender

1

1

1

Smoke & CO Listener

Flood & Freeze Sensor

Cost

$199

$259

$329

Winner: SimpliSafe

 

When it comes to core components, SimpliSafe is the clear winner.

Ring Alarm Security System

SimpliSafe Security System

Base Station

KeyPad

Contact/ Entry Sensor

Motion Detector/ Motion Sensor

Security Camera

Video Doorbell

Glassbreak Sensor

Alexa has Alexa Guard

Range Extender

Panic Button

Smoke Detector

Carbon Monoxide Sensor

Temperature Sensor

Water Sensor

Key Fob

Siren

If you look at the table above, you’ll notice that the SimpliSafe security system has a checkmark before every single feature or component, except one — Range Extender.

SimpliSafe is a comprehensive security system that features a wide range of sensors, sirens, and other convenient components. Ring security system, in comparison, lacks conveniences like glassbreak sensors, key fobs, sirens, and a panic button. While it technically has a smoke and CO listener, it can only notify you when your actual detector goes off — it can’t detect smoke and CO itself.

The only aspect in which Ring security system is superior to SimpliSafe is in the presence of a range extender. As such, you can ensure that your entire home receives complete wireless signals, no matter how big your home is. Both SimpliSafe and Ring also offer video doorbells and security cameras. However, you may have to purchase those devices separately and connect them to the rest of the security system.

All things considered, while both SimpliSafe and Ring offer a wide range of useful sensors and alarm components, SimpliSafe is a lot better thought and executed.

SimpliSafe vs. Ring Video Doorbells

SimpliSafe Video Doorbell Pro

SimpliSafe only offers one video doorbell option — SimpliSafe Video Doorbell Pro.

This SimpliSafe video doorbell has a 1080p HD lens and a wide 162° field of view. It can be installed to any door, and you can use your camera as the peephole. The wide-angle lens captures the field of vision very well, and it features two-way audio so you can speak to those who come to the door.

The following is an overview of the SimpliSafe video doorbell’s features.

  • Full HD Video: The doorbell can capture videos in crisp 1080p HDR quality.
  • Wide Angle Lens: This video doorbell has an impressive 162° lens, which means it captures a wide field of vision that offers an excellent peripheral vision.
  • Two-Way Audio: This video doorbell comes with an inbuilt intercom, which means you can remotely communicate with those who come to your door.
  • Infrared Night Vision: The doorbell has an infrared night vision camera that lets you see things even when the sun is down. However, the images are usually washed out, and you can’t see distant details clearly.
  • Smart Motion Detection: SimpliSafe video doorbell has an incredibly advanced dual-sensor trigger for motion alerts. The first sensor captures heat signatures to detect motion from things that are alive. The second sensor captures the human form. Between the two sensors, you can rest assured that the doorbell will only notify you when people approach your home, ignoring motion from cars. The biggest issue, however, is the inbuilt re-trigger time, which means the motion sensor won’t alert you for about five minutes after its sensor is triggered.
  • Pan & Zoom: You can use the app to adjust the camera’s lens to zoom in on specific areas of interest or change the lens angle.
  • Door Chime: The SimpliSafe video doorbell also functions as a regular doorbell.

One of the best aspects of the SimpliSafe video doorbell camera is that it’s incredibly easy to install. All you need is a screwdriver to attach the video doorbell in place. Since it’s powered by 8 to 24-volt AC power supplies, it can be easily connected to any doorbell setup, old or new.

Ring Video Doorbells

Ring offers a wide range of options when it comes to video doorbells. As of now, you can choose between seven Ring doorbell cameras. While most of the Ring doorbell cameras have the same basic set of features, they usually differ in their installation styles, power source, and video quality.

The following is a quick overview of the various Ring video doorbells.

  • Ring Video Doorbell: This is the most affordable Ring video doorbell — it captures 720p videos and has an inbuilt rechargeable battery.
  • Ring Video Doorbell 2: This is one of the most popular Ring video doorbells because of the quick-release battery pack that makes it easy to recharge. It also offers 1080p video recording.
  • Ring Video Doorbell 3: The latest Ring video doorbell, this doorbell camera records in 1080p quality, and it allows you to set custom privacy zones for motion detection. A custom privacy zone is a part of the screen that shouldn’t register motion alerts.
  • Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus: This is an advanced version of Ring Video Doorbell 3. In addition to 1080p recording, smart motion alerts, and custom privacy zones, it also offers pre-event video capture. As such, this camera also gives you access to four seconds of video recording for the events just before the motion alert got triggered.
  • Ring Video Doorbell Pro: This is a completely hardwired and slim video doorbell that records videos in 1080p and offers pre-event video capture.
  • Ring Video Doorbell Elite: This is the most expensive Ring video doorbell. It’s hardwired with Power-over-Ethernet, captures videos in 1080p, has smart motion detection, and also captures pre-event videos.
  • Ring Peephole Cam: If you don’t have a doorbell, you can install this video doorbell camera on the door’s peephole. It records videos in 1080p, has smart motion detection, and knock detection with privacy zones.

The flowing is a brief explanation of the various features available in these Ring video doorbells.

  • HD Video: Ring video doorbells offer HD recording, either 720p or Full HD 1080p, depending on the doorbell.
  • Wide Angle Lens: All of their cameras have a wide-angle lens, usually ranging from 155° 180°, which gives you access to great peripheral vision.
  • Two-Way Audio: You can communicate with those on the other side of the door using your smartphone as a walkie-talkie.
  • Infrared Night Vision: Ring video doorbells also include night vision.
  • Smart Motion Detection: They have adjustable motion detection, which means you can manually adjust their sensitivity to reduce false alarms. When the motion detector is triggered, you immediately get an alert on your phone. Depending on the camera you get, you can adjust the motion sensitivity between 5 feet to 30 feet. The system uses algorithms to analyze face and body structures, thereby getting triggered for humans only.
  • Customizable Privacy Zones: With this feature, you can designate ‘privacy’ areas within the screen. As such, the camera won’t get triggered when it detects motion in those zones.
  • Pre-Event Video Capture with Pre-Roll: This feature allows you to see four seconds of visual footage before the motion detector was triggered. As such, it lets you know what happened just before the motion alert.
  • Knock Detection: The video doorbell informs you and sends an alert when someone knocks on the door.
  • Zoom: You can pinch the screen on the app to zoom the view.
  • Door Chime: The Ring video doorbells also function as regular doorbells.

The installation of the Ring video doorbells depends on the specific doorbell you’re using. Some of them are rechargeable with an inbuilt battery, some of them have a quick-release battery pack, some of them have to be hardwired, and some of them are hardwired with Power-over-Ethernet.

Winner: Ring

 

Ring is the clear winner when it comes to video doorbells.

As you can see from the table below, Ring offers great versatility and flexibility in every single aspect of the video doorbell.

In terms of installation, the SimpliSafe doorbell can only be installed electronically through hardwiring. Compared to that, Ring doorbells offer a wide range of options, both through hardwiring and rechargeable batteries. The Ring Peephole Cam can also be installed on doors without doorbells — a choice that SimpliSafe doesn’t offer.

In terms of features, the SimpliSafe and Ring doorbells have all of the same core features. However, some of the advanced Ring doorbells offer advanced motion alert features like privacy zones and pre-event video capture. SimpliSafe offers an intelligent motion detector, but it doesn’t compare to some of Ring’s most advanced doorbells.

In terms of cost, Ring video doorbells offer a lot of options, some are cheaper than SimpliSafe, and some are way more expensive. But even if you compare SimpliSafe with Ring Doorbell 2 (both of them cost the same), you can see that Ring Doorbell 2 offers more installation options.

All things considered, Ring is the winner because they have video doorbells catering to all needs.

SimpliSafe

Ring Doorbell 1

Ring Doorbell 2

Ring Doorbell 3

Ring Doorbell 3 Plus

Ring Doorbell Pro

Ring Doorbell Elite

Ring Peephole Cam

Installation

Hardwired

Rechargeable with Inbuilt Battery/ Hardwired

Rechargeable with Quick-Release Battery/ Hardwired

Rechargeable with Quick-Release Battery/ Hardwired

Rechargeable with Quick-Release Battery/ Hardwired

Hardwired

Hardwired with Power-over-Ethernet

Rechargeable with Quick-Release Battery

WiFi

2.4 GHz

2.4 GHz

2.4 GHz

2.4 GHz/ 5 GHz

2.4 GHz/ 5 GHz

2.4 GHz/ 5 GHz

2.4 GHz/ 5 GHz

2.4 GHz

Video Quality

1080p

720p

1080p

1080p

1080p

1080p

1080p

1080p

Lens Angle

162°

180°

160°

160°

160°

160°

160°

155°

Two-Way Audio

Night Vision

Smart Motion Alerts

Privacy Zones

Pre-Event Video Capture

Knock Detection

Panning

Zoom

Dimensions

7” x 5.4” x 3.4”

4.98" x 2.43" x 0.87"

5.05" x 2.50" x 1.08"

5.10" x 2.40" x 1.10"

5.10" x 2.40" x 1.10"

 4.50” x 1.85” x .80”

4.80" x 2.75" x 2.17"

4.40" x 2.26" x 1.16"

Cost

$169.00

$99.99

$169.00

$199.99

$229.99

$249.00

$499.00

$199.00

SimpliSafe vs. Ring Security Cameras

Breakdown of SimpliCam Cameras

SimpliSafe only offers one security camera option — SimpliCam.

As the name suggests, SimpliCam focuses on simplicity over all else. This security camera offers all essential features, a simple design, and a straightforward installation process.

The following is an overview of SimpliCam’s features.

  • HD Video Quality: SimpliCam only offers 720p resolution. While 720p is still quite clear, it’s not as sharp as 1080p, which has become the industry standard in recent years.
  • Wide Angle: This security camera has a 120° lens angle, which means it’s wide enough to see a large field of vision. However, since there are no panning or zooming capabilities, you can’t make the camera turn in different directions to capture more of the space.
  • Motion Detection: You can change the motion sensor sensitivity between the following levels — off, low, medium, and high. The motion detector uses PIR motion sensors to detect human heat signatures, thus minimizing the risk of false alerts.
  • Timeline: The SimpliSafe app keeps a chronological record of all the motion-triggered events, which means you can access them in an event timeline.
  • Night Vision: You can switch the Night Vision between three modes — on, off, and auto. If you keep it on Auto, then it will only get activated when it’s very dark. While the night vision is effective, it blurs out human figures, which can make it hard to detect faces.
  • Live Feed: You can also use the smartphone app to access 24/7 live feed and keep an eye on your home.
  • Two-Way Audio: The camera’s speaker and the smartphone app can be used as walkie-talkies or intercoms. You can communicate with the person on the other end of the camera using the app. However, you may occasionally experience some audio lagging and ambient noise. For utmost clarity, the person should be within 10 feet of the SimpliCam camera.
  • Privacy Shutter: This is a small silver disk inside the camera that makes a clear clicking sound whenever it goes over the lens. When the camera is off, i.e., when you don’t want a live feed, the shutter goes down and covers the camera. However, when the camera is on ‘Away’ mode, the shutter goes up to offer a continuous live feed.
  • Voice Control: SimpliSafe is also compatible with Alexa-enabled devices, which means you can control it using voice commands as well.

The installation process is where SimpliCam truly shines. All you have to do is connect the camera to the AC power, download the SimpliSafe app, connect it to your home’s WiFi, and start monitoring!

However, you must note that this security camera comes with an attached stand, which means you have to place it on a flat surface.

Ring Security Cameras

Ring offers a wide range of options when it comes to security cameras. As of now, you can choose between four categories of Ring security cameras. While most Ring security cameras have the same core features, they differ in whether they’re suitable for the outdoors, their installation styles, and advanced features.

The following is a quick overview of the various Ring security cameras.

  • Ring Indoor Cam: Meant for indoor use only, Indoor Cam is an extremely small and simple security camera that can simply be plugged into a power source and then controlled using the app.
  • Ring Stick Up Cam: Meant for indoor or outdoor use, Stick Up Cam is a 1080p security camera that plugs into a standard power outlet. This camera is also available in Battery and Solar-Powered versions.
  • Ring Stick Up Cam Elite: Meant for indoor or outdoor use, Stick Up Cam Elite is a 1080p security camera that plugs into a standard power outlet or in a PoE-enabled Ethernet port.
  • Ring Spotlight Cam: This is an outdoor security camera with LED spotlights and siren. It can be installed outdoors to capture potential burglars before they break-in. It’s available in four versions — simple plug-in camera, hardwired camera, battery-powered camera, and solar-powered camera.
  • Ring Floodlight Cam: This is an outdoor floodlight security camera. It has the same features as the spotlight cameras, but with brighter LED floodlights. It needs to be connected to a 110-240 VAC power source.

The flowing is a brief overview of the features available in these Ring security cameras.

  • 1080p Video: All Ring security cameras capture 1080p videos with extreme clarity. You can make out extremely small details, even in low-light or harsh conditions.
  • Night Vision: These cameras have a pretty strong infrared night vision. While the captured video isn’t as clear as daytime footage, it’s clear enough to see facial details and identify people.
  • Motion Detection: Some of the cameras have ‘Adjustable Motion Detection,’ and some have ‘Customizable Motion Detection.’ Adjustable Motion Detection means you can select specific motion zones and control their sensitivity. Customizable Motion Detection can also detect the human form, thus sending you alerts only when people are detected in the frame. The alerts are accurate, and you receive minimal false alarms.
  • Custom Zones: You can set customized motion zones to demarcate which areas the camera should ignore, or on which areas it should focus.
  • Two-Way Audio: The Ring video cameras have noise cancellation built into their speakers, which means you can communicate with those on the other side of the camera without excessive ambient noise. As such, you can also listen to conversations someone may be having near your camera.
  • Siren: The outdoor cameras are equipped with a 110-decibel siren. As such, you can trigger the siren if you see anyone trying to break into your home.
  • Voice Control: Since Amazon has acquired Ring, it can easily be controlled using Alexa devices, like Alexa Echo. You can control the Ring security cameras using your voice.

Ring security cameras are easy to use and control. When it comes to installation and set-up, you have a lot of different options:

  • Plug-In Cameras: These cameras are plugged directly into your home’s 110-240 VAC power source.
  • Hardwired Cameras: These cameras have to be hardwired to your home’s electrical circuit.
  • PoE Cameras: These cameras can plug into a Power-over-Ethernet port, or you can connect them to the PoE adapter, which then connects to the power source.
  • Battery Cameras: These cameras don’t have to be connected to a power source because they run on a quick-release rechargeable battery pack.
  • Solar Energy Cameras: These cameras run on solar power, which means you can purchase a solar panel for continuous solar charging.

Winner: Ring

 

Ring is the clear winner of security cameras.

Ring offers a wide range of security cameras, which means you have a lot more flexibility and versatility.

In terms of installation, SimpliCam is simple, but it doesn’t have a lot of options. You have to connect SimpliCam to your power source — there’s no alternative. With Ring, you have a wide range of wired, battery-powered, and solar-powered options.

In terms of clarity, SimpliCam only has a 720p camera, whereas all of the Ring cameras offer 1080p video. SimpliCam’s night vision is also a lot weaker than the Ring cameras.

In terms of features, SimpliCam only offers the bare minimum. However, Ring security cameras offer advanced motion detection features, customized zones, and sirens to deter burglars.

Finally, SimpliCam can only be used indoors. However, with Ring security cameras, you have indoor cameras, indoor/outdoor cameras, and outdoor cameras, which allows you to protect your entire home.

SimpliCam

Ring Indoor Cam

Ring Stick Up Cam

Ring Stick Up Cam Elite

Ring Spotlight Cam

Ring Floodlight Cam

Power Source

Standard Plug

Standard Plug

Standard Plug/ Battery/ Solar

Power-over-Ethernet/ PoE Adapter

Standard Plug/ Hardwired/ Battery/ Solar

Hardwired

WiFi

2.4 GHz

2.4 GHz

2.4 GHz

2.4 GHz/ 5 GHz

2.4 GHz

2.4 GHz

Video Quality

720p

1080p

1080p

1080p

1080p

1080p

Two-Way Audio

Night Vision

Motion Detection

Custom Zones

Privacy Shutter

Siren

Voice Control

Cost

$169.00

$59.99

$99.99/ $148.99

$199.99

$199.00/ $229.00/ $249.00

$249.00

SimpliSafe vs. Ring Compatibility (Alexa, Arlo, Nest, HomeKit, etc.)

SimpliSafe compatibility

The following is an overview of SimpliSafe’s compatibility with a few other popular devices.

  • Compatible with Alexa? Yes. You can use Alexa-enabled devices to control the SimpliSafe security system.
  • Compatible with Arlo? Yes. Netgear’s Arlo cameras are compatible with the SimpliSafe security system.
  • Compatible with Nest? Yes. SimpliSafe security system now works with Nest Thermostats, which means you can set up commands for the thermostat to execute based on whether you’re home or away.
  • Compatible with HomeKit? Yes. SimpliSafe is compatible with Apple HomeKit, which means you can control the security system using Siri.
  • Compatible with Google Home? Yes. SimpliSafe is compatible with Google Home devices, which means you can control the security system using Google Assistant.
  • Compatible with SmartThings? No.

Ring compatibility

The following is an overview of Ring’s compatibility with a few other popular devices.

  • Compatible with Alexa? Yes. You can control the Ring security system with Alexa-enabled devices and voice control.
  • Compatible with Arlo? Yes. Netgears Arlo cameras are compatible with the Ring security system.
  • Compatible with Nest? Yes. Ring security system is perfectly compatible with Nest thermostats, allowing you to set up various automation commands.
  • Compatible with HomeKit? No. Ring has been claiming that it will add HomeKit support for a few years now, but it hasn’t happened yet.
  • Compatible with Google Home? Yes. Ring is compatible with Google Home devices, which means you can control the security system using Google Assistant.
  • Compatible with SmartThings? Yes. Ring security cameras and security systems are compatible with Samsung SmartThings.

Winner: Tie

 

As you can see, both Ring and SimpliSafe are perfectly compatible with most of the smart home standards out there. As such, you can use either of them to further your home automation needs.

SimpliSafe isn’t yet compatible with Samsung SmartThings. And Ring isn’t yet compatible with Apple HomeKit. As such, you should decide which of these compatibilities is more important to you, and make your decision accordingly.

SimpliSafe

Ring

Amazon Alexa

Netgear Arlo

Nest

Apple HomeKit

Google Home

Samsung SmartThings

SimpliSafe vs. Ring Installation

SimpliSafe installation - Easy or not?

The SimpliSafe has a straightforward installation process because it doesn’t need any drilling, wiring, or special tools.

The following is an overview of SimpliSafe’s installation process:

  • Connect the Base Station to the power source.
  • Attach the sensors to the desired locations — they have peel-and-stick installation, so there’s no need for tools.
  • Connect your SimpliCam to a power source.
  • Sync all of your devices using the SimpliSafe app.

As you can see, the installation is so simple that anyone could do it. But, if you’re confused, you can opt for professional assistance for $79.

Ring installation - Easy or not?

The Ring installation is also simple, but you need to follow the instruction manual and follow all the steps sequentially. If you make some errors, you may complicate the system and cause delays.

The following is an overview of Ring’s installation process:

  • Unpack your entire Ring alarm kit. Once you have all of the components, don’t pull the tags out of the sensors at once. You should only connect them one at a time, or you’ll complicate the process.
  • Download the Ring app on your phone and create an account.
  • Go to Menu > Set Up a Device > Security Devices > Base Station.
  • You have to first install your Base Station.
  • Next, you have to connect each of the sensors to the Base Station individually and add them to the smartphone app.
  • Attach the sensors and motion sensors around your home. The devices have a strong magnetic field, so there’s no need for special tools.
  • You can now start using your system.

Winner: SimpliSafe

 

SimpliSafe has the most straightforward and most idiot-proof installation process possible.

Anyone can install SimpliSafe without any issues within a few minutes. There are no tools or expertise required — most people don’t even need to check the instruction manual.

The Ring security system, however, may cause some issues. While the installation is simple enough, you need to follow the instructions carefully. If you take the tags off all the sensors together, for example, connecting them to the base station will be difficult.

SimpliSafe vs. Ring Monitoring Options

SimpliSafe Monitoring Options

SimpliSafe is not a self-monitoring security system.

If you don’t pay for professional monitoring, you won’t receive any alerts or remote control for your system. As such, there’s no point in purchasing a SimpliSafe security system if you don’t pay for the professional monitoring services.

SimpliSafe’s professional monitoring option, however, is pretty awesome. It gives you access to 24/7 professional monitoring, which means professionals will gain access to all of the triggered alerts, and they’ll be able to send authorities, if necessary.

SimpliSafe offers two professional monitoring plans.

  • Standard Professional Monitoring: This is the standard professional monitoring plan, in which professionals will monitor your device for break-ins and alert authorities, if necessary. COST: 50 cents/day. No Contracts, cancel anytime
  • Interactive Professional Monitoring: This is the elite service in which professionals will verify each alarm, often using video footage leading to quicker dispatch. They say the interactive monitoring service can lead to higher arrest rates. COST: 83 cents/day. No Contracts, cancel anytime

The following are some of the 'Interactive Professional Monitoring' service features that you don't get with the standard monitoring service. 

  • Secret Alerts: With this feature, you can program specific sensors and motion detectors to inform you privately when they go off. As such, you’ll receive an alert on your phone, instead of a siren blaring out. This allows you to keep track of the activities in your home without others finding out.
  • Video Alarm Verification: When an alarm is triggered, the professional monitors receive a 60-second clip from your camera. If the professional monitors recognize a threat, they can send the visual footage to the police, which makes them take it more seriously. As such, video alarm verification increases engagement and safety.
  • Environmental Monitoring: Professionals don’t just monitor your home for burglaries, but also environmental threats and hazards, such as fires, water damage, etc.

While SimpliSafe has awesome professional monitoring, its monthly subscription is also pretty expensive. First, there’s no free monthly package because the self-monitoring option is really no option at all. Second, even the standard professional monitoring option is pretty expensive.

SimpliSafe also doesn’t bind you in a contract. They offer a flexible month-to-month contract, which you can renew whenever you want. As such, SimpliSafe offers complete flexibility, and you can discontinue their service at any time without hassles.

All things considered, SimpliSafe is an excellent option for those who are really concerned about their security and want professionals to keep an eye on their property at all times. It’s not so great for people who are watching their budget.

Ring Monitoring Options

Ring offers both self-monitoring and professional monitoring services.

If you get the free Ring plan, i.e., the self-monitoring option, you get access to the following features:

  • You get notifications when the alarms go off.
  • You can set up custom motion detection.
  • You can interact with visitors using the cameras’ two-way audio features.
  • You have access to 24/7 livestream.
  • The security system can integrate with other smart home devices.
  • You can remote control the devices.

As such, even if you don’t opt for professional monitoring and don’t pay a monthly subscription fee, you still have access to all the necessary features.

Ring also offers some great professional monitoring options. The following is a comparison of the two Ring professional monitoring plans:

  • Ring Protect Basic Plan: This plan allows you to access videos from the past 60 days and save them on your phone. You can also access snapshots of motion-detected videos.
  • Ring Protect Plus Plan: This plan also includes 24/7 professional monitoring. When your alarms go off, the professionals will either examine the footage or call you, and then despatch the authorities, if necessary. 

Ring’s professional monitoring plans don’t offer a lot of advanced features. They only offer the bare minimum, i.e., professionals who monitor your alarms, and access to Cloud footage of the recorded videos. Rings Protect plans are also extremely reasonable on a monthly basis.

Ring also doesn’t bind you in a contract. They offer a flexible month-to-month contract, can be renewed or discontinued at any time.

All things considered, Ring offers a wide range of options for people with varying needs. If you want a budget-friendly option for basic monitoring needs, go for the Free plan. If you’re comfortable with professionals watching over your home, go for the Protect Plus plan.

Winner: Ring

 

Ring is the clear winner because it offers flexibility.

Ring’s self-monitoring system costs $0 per month but gives you access to all the necessities. SimpliSafe, on the other hand, doesn’t have much of a self-monitoring system.

Ring’s Protect Plus Plan, which includes 24/7 professional monitoring, costs $10 per month. Compared to that, SimpliSafe’s comparable Standard Plan costs $14.99 per month.

Sure, SimpliSafe also has advanced professional monitoring. It has features like Secret Alerts, Environmental Monitoring, and Video Alarm Verification — features that aren’t available on Ring. However, you have to pay an exorbitant value of $24.99 per month for those features. As such, SimpliSafe’s advanced security plan is only suitable for those who have a high risk of being burgled.

All things considered, Ring offers a lot more monitoring options catered to individuals with different requirements and budgetary constraints.

SimpliSafe Standard

SimpliSafe Interactive

Ring Free

Ring Protect Basic

Ring Protect Plus

Notifications

Two-Way Audio

Livestream

Remote Control

Warranty (Years)

3

3

1

1

Extended

Length of Cloud Storage (Days)

0

30

0

60

60

Review, Save, Share Videos

24/7 Professional Monitoring

Cellular Connection

Environmental Monitoring

Secret Alarms

Video-Verified Alarms

Home Automation

Monthly Cost

$14.99

$24.99

$0

$3

$10

Annual Cost

$0

$30

$100

SimpliSafe vs. Ring App

SimpliSafe Home Security App

SimpliSafe Home Security App is engaging, highly-intuitive, and comes with a wide range of features. This app gives you access to the following features:

  • Remote control of all the SimpliSafe devices and sensors.
  • 24/7 livestreams.
  • Push notifications.
  • Reviewing cloud footage.
  • Arm and disarm the system.
  • Timeline of videos.
  • And other SimpliSafe features and functions.

SimpliSafe Home Security App is available for iOS and Android devices.

iOS App Rating: 4.8/5

Android App Rating: 4.6/5

Ring — Always Home App

Ring — Always Home App is an intuitive and simple application that gives you access to the following features:

  • Livestream high-definition videos.
  • Use the camera as an intercom.
  • Set up advanced motion detection zones and sensitivity.
  • Use infrared night vision.
  • Record videos.
  • Arm and disarm your system.
  • Control all Ring sensors and devices.
  • Get crime and safety alerts.
  • Review cloud footage.

Ring — Always Home App is available for iOS and Android devices.

iOS App Rating: 3.9/5

Android App Rating: 3.9/5

Winner: SimpliSafe

 

Both SimpliSafe and Ring have user-friendly apps with which you can control all of your connected devices and access all of the security system’s features.

However, SimpliSafe has far stronger user ratings with generally favorable reviews.

SimpliSafe vs. Ring Customer Support

SimpliSafe support - What's it like?

SimpliSafe offers the following options for customer support:

  • Phone: 1-800-548-9508 (Availability between 9:00 am – Midnight, EST)
  • Email: [email protected]
  • User Manuals: Complete detailed guides on how to use and install the devices.
  • Help Center: Thorough registry of FAQs and troubleshooting issues.
  • Customer Forum: You can post your queries here for the entire community to pitch in.

Ring support - What's it like?

Ring offers the following options for customer support:

  • Phone: 1 800 656 1918 (US)
  • Live Chat: You can engage a customer representative in a live chat.
  • Help Center: Thorough registry of FAQs, troubleshooting issues, manual guides for all the devices.

Winner: Tie

 

Both SimpliSafe and Ring go toe-to-toe when it comes to customer support.

You can reach both of them through the phone. While you can contact SimpliSafe customer support using an email, you can reach the Ring customer support through live chat. Both of them also offer a detailed registry of online FAQs, troubleshooting advice, and user manuals.

As such, they have an equally capable customer support system.

SimpliSafe vs. Ring Trial Period

SimpliSafe trial period - Is it fair?

SimpliSafe has a 60-day money-back guarantee. This is more than enough time to try the system and return it with a full refund if you don’t like it.

Ring trial period - Is it fair?

Ring has a trial period of 30 days.

Winner: SimpliSafe

 

SimpliSafe has a 60-days trial period, while Ring only has a 30-days trial period.

SimpliSafe vs. Ring Cost

SimpliSafe Cost

The following is an overview of the costs involved in using a SimpliSafe security system.

  • SimpliSafe Security System: $443 to $509 (Depends on the security system package you choose. The value may be different if you assemble your system.)
  • SimpliSafe Video Doorbell Pro: $169
  • SimpliCam: $169
  • SimpliSafe Monthly Cost: $14.99 to $24.99 per month

Ring Cost

The following is an overview of the costs involved in using a SimpliSafe security system.

  • Ring Security System: $199 to $329 (Depends on the security system package you choose. The value may be different if you assemble your system.)
  • Ring Video Doorbells: $99.99 to $499
  • Ring Security Cameras: $59.99 to $249
  • Ring Monthly Cost: $0 to $10 per month

Winner: Ring

 

When purchasing a security system, you need to study the upfront cost and monthly costs.

When it comes to the upfront cost of the system (sensors, cameras, video doorbells, etc.), SimpliSafe is generally more expensive than Ring. Sure, some of the advanced Ring cameras and video doorbells are far more expensive than the SimpliSafe options. But Ring also offers cheaper alternatives that are just as good (or even better) than the SimpliSafe option.

When it comes to the monthly or annual costs, Ring is clearly superior. Ring has a free plan for which you don’t have to pay a monthly fee, and their most expensive plan is $10 per month. Compared to that, SimpliSafe’s cheapest option will set you back $14.99 per month.

All things considered, if you’re on a budget, Ring is a far better option both in the short and long terms.

Verdict: SimpliSafe or Ring?

Personally we'd buy Ring because of the ecosystem and because of our personal budget. 

But ultimately we cannot tell you whether you should go for SimpliSafe or Ring. Both of them have their fair share of advantages and disadvantages — you should get the security system that’s most suitable for your needs.

You should go for SimpliSafe if:

  • You want 24/7 high-end professional monitoring with the highest arrest rate.
  • You want a more extensive security system that also includes glass break sensors, panic buttons, and other such features.
  • You want a system that’s incredibly easy to install and operate.
  • You don’t mind paying a fair amount for monthly monitoring.

You should go for Ring if:

  • You want greater flexibility in the type of video cameras and doorbells you get.
  • You want an affordable and budget-friendly system.
  • You prefer self-monitoring to professional monitoring.

With that, you should be able to decide for yourself whether SimpliSafe or Ring is the best overall security system.

 

FAQ about SimpliSafe and Ring Security systems


Can Ring be hacked?

According to The Guardian, Ring recently came under fire because many accounts were hacked.

The hacks occurred because of a practice called “credential stuffing,” a practice in which hackers use information acquired through data breaches elsewhere to gain access to other accounts since most people use the same set of usernames and passwords across platforms.

However, this vulnerability can only be exploited by hackers if you sign in to your account using the same username and password as other accounts. As a result, Ring has been urging users to change their account details and initiate two-factor authentication.

Can SimpliSafe be hacked?

In 2018, there was a concern that SimpliSafe systems could be hacked, and attackers could harvest customers’ PINs to disable or override their systems.

According to SimpliSafe, however, this likelihood of this type of attack is statistically negligible because it requires expertise and costly equipment. A representative for SimpliSafe said, “This type of attack represents such a small percentage of total break-ins that the FBI does not even keep a count. This is because the majority of break-ins are a quick forced entry and not the sophisticated type of attack that requires diligent planning as well as highly illegal and cost-prohibitive equipment.”

However, to negate the possibility of such attacks, SimpliSafe announced upgrades with encrypted signals that can’t be tracked or interfered with. They have now encrypted the entire system, which means all of your data is safe.

Does Ring doorbell work with SimpliSafe?

No, Ring and SimpliSafe aren’t compatible with each other.

Do both SimpliSafe and Ring have video cameras?

Yes, both SimpliSafe and Ring have security video cameras. SimpliSafe only has one video camera, known as SimpliCam. However, Ring has a wide range of video cameras — Ring Indoor Cam, Ring Stick Up Cam, Ring Stick Up Cam Elite, Ring Spotlight Cam, and Ring Floodlight Cam.

Can I install SimpliSafe myself & can I install Ring myself – which is easier?

You can install both SimpliSafe and Ring yourself.

SimpliSafe is the easiest system to install because it doesn’t require any drills, hardwiring, or tools. In fact, most sensors have a peel-and-stick installation style.

Ring is also easy to install. However, you should follow the instruction manual carefully, because you may make an error, which will lead to delays and problems.

Can I customize and build my SimpliSafe security system? Can I customize and build my Ring security system?

Yes, you can customize and build your SimpliSafe or Ring security system.

Both SimpliSafe and Ring come with pre-configured security systems suitable for different types of needs. However, you can also combine the right set of sensors and motion detectors to create your custom system.

Can I use SimpliSafe without monitoring?

Yes, you can use SimpliSafe without monitoring, but it will only work as a local alarm. It won’t send you notifications, nor will it automatically contact the authorities. It will still work as a very basic deterrent. 

Can I use Ring without monitoring?

Yes, you can use Ring without monitoring fairly well. You can access all of the essential features of a security system, such as notifications, intercom, motion detection, etc., without any subscription fees.

Does SimpliSafe work if power goes out? 

SimpliSafe continues working if your power goes out. The base station will be fully functional for up to 24 hours without power because of the rechargeable backup battery.

What happens to SimpliSafe if WiFi stops working?

If the WiFi goes out, the SimpliSafe system will automatically start working on a cellular network.

Does Ring work if power goes out?

Ring continues working if your power goes out. The base station includes a rechargeable battery backup that will keep your security system online till the power comes back — and then it will recharge completely again.

What happens to Ring if WiFi stops working?

If the WiFi goes out, the Ring system will automatically start working on a cellular network.

Do SimpliSafe vs Ring have warranties and do they have return policies?

Yes, both SimpliSafe and Ring have warranties and return policies.

SimpliSafe has a 3-year warranty and a 60-days return policy. Ring has a 1-year warranty and 30-days return policy.

Is SimpliSafe wireless (can you wire it)?

Yes, SimpliSafe is a wireless security system. The base station has to be connected to a power source (unless there is a power outage and the battery will cut in), but the rest of the devices are wireless, and they communicate wirelessly.

Is Ring wireless (can you wire it)?

Yes, Ring is a wireless security system. The base station has to be connected to a power source (unless there is a power outage and the battery will cut in), but the rest of the devices are wireless, and they communicate wirelessly.

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