Ring vs SimpliSafe (Best DIY Home Security System for Most?)

Person watching footage on a tablet with security equipment on blueprint.

Keeping a home safe and secure does not have to be complicated. Home security systems are much easier to install then they used to be and no longer have to be done by professional technicians, thanks to smart security system technology. DIY home security systems are a great option for homeowners and offer motion sensor technology, smart lock, and a full alarm system.

Two of the top systems are Ring and SimpliSafe. But, between the Ring security system and the SimpliSafe security system, knowing which is the best to buy takes some research. When it comes to Ring vs SimpliSafe, what is the best DIY home security system?

Ring is a home security company that became a prominent security system when it was seen on Shark Tank in 2013. While it did not get a deal, it exploded onto the market with a rebrand and was bought out by Amazon in 2018. SimpliSafe was started by two Harvard students and became a top market competitor. Both systems are good but knowing which is the best for your home is what is most important.

Similarities Between Ring and SimpliSafe

These two security systems are designed with the same purpose, to keep a household safe using smart home technology. This means they are bound to have some similarities.

  • Both works with most smart devices, downloadable as an app, and have an average rating of 3.2 stars. The Ring app and the SimpliSafe app are comparable and one does not outshine the other.
  • Neither product forces homeowners to sign long term contracts in regard to professional monitoring. They offer month-to-month contracts as well as self-monitoring choices.
  • Both products can be done with a DIY install or can be done by a professional technician. Having the option is great if a homeowner does not have the time or ability to install a security camera, entry sensor, or smart doorbell.

Differences Between Ring and SimpliSafe

The noticeable differences between the two products were in the hardware and people’s personal preferences.

  • Sensors and components differ in the two products. Ring is rather a minimalist style and SimpliSafe was bigger and made up of many parts.
  • The monitoring plan is significantly different in cost.
  • Customers had wide-ranging comments and reviews on the two systems targeting different areas and processes.

System Component Comparison

Door installed with a Ring video doorbell.

The Ring Alarm Security Kit comes with all the necessary items to get the system up and going. It has a base station, keypad (or control panel), contact sensor, motion detector, as well as a range extender. Buyers can also get a stick-up outdoor camera that is wired as well as a video doorbell. SimpliSafe has all these options but also includes a sensor for glass breaks, a panic button, key fobs as well as a siren. There are also items such as a video doorbell that can be bought as additional components.

DIY Installation – Ring vs SimpliSafe

Both systems can be DIY or professionally installed. However, doing it yourself is cheaper and saves on the overall cost of the system.

Ring System

The Ring System is not complicated, but homeowners have to follow the proper steps for it to work well. It is particularly important to sync one component at a time. If this does not happen, then the install takes a while to get through. Syncing can be slow and is not always clear if it has happened.

Homeowners should also be aware that the contact sensors for doors and windows are installed in the opposite way to most other systems. The bigger part goes on the door and window with the small part on the frame. This is not a huge problem, but it needs to be noted or the installer is going to have to go back and redo it.

Ring has some great video tutorials that help with the install and make it go much faster. The videos are easy to use and help clarify all the tips and tricks to make the install run smoothly.

SimpliSafe System

The SimpliSafe system is easy to install and needs no extra tools. The fact that the sensors are peel and stick is a plus and secures the sensors well. Once the sensors are up then the base station gets plugged in and the system gets synced. This install is simple, straight to the point, and no muss or fuss.

Professional Monitoring

Ring Alarm Home Security System on display at a retail store.

Professional monitoring means that a home is under watch 24/7 by people trained to monitor the systems from a call center. If an alarm goes off, then a team member checks in to see if emergency services are required.

Both Ring and SimpliSafe offer professional monitoring. The homeowner can self-monitor or pay for off-site coverage on a monthly basis. The biggest difference is that SimpliSafe does not send push notifications or offer remote control of the systems. They also are much more limited in monthly plan options for coverage.

Ring has the benefit of customized motion detection which is a plus. The system’s sensors can tell the difference between people, pets, and objects. So, your dog wandering through should not set off the system and neither should any passing vehicles.

This means that notifications are specific rather than being sent whenever the wind blows through. SimpliSafe could do this as well to a certain extent. Their cameras can sense the heat signature difference between humans and animals, reducing the chance of false notifications.

Secret Alarms

SimpliSafe offers a remarkably interesting option for a secret alarm. This means that an alarm can be turned off and only one person can see that it has been triggered. The alarm is not actually off, it is just not signaling it has been triggered to the person who triggered it. This means if there was a sensor on a safe and it was opened, the secret alarm would not sound and warn the person who opened it. The alarm would send a mobile notification to the homeowner without alerting the person who set off the sensor.

Video Verification

SimpliSafe also has video-verified alarms. This means that if an alarm is triggered, the professionals monitoring the system will get a 1-minute clip of the security footage. If they see a burglary in progress, then they can get in touch with the authorities immediately.

Monitoring Contracts

SimpliSafe home security system and trademark logo against a stone wall.

While SimpliSafe has some innovative monitoring options, they are more expensive than the Ring system. The price difference is further exacerbated in that Ring offers twice the amount of cloud storage for a cheaper price. So, while the difference is around $15 per month, you are getting more video storage for the cheaper Ring monitoring.

Both companies offer month-to-month monitoring so there are no hefty contracts to worry about. Ring offers longer contracts available for a cheaper rate if that is desirable. A year-long contract offers a lower monthly rate. Canceling on either system does not incur any extra fees.

Ring wins when it comes to professional monitoring. Getting the 24/7 coverage, cellular backup and remote control of the household system costs $10 each month. SimpliSafe offers the same features but costs almost $25 per month.

Customer Service

Both Ring and SimpliSafe were comparable when it came to customer service, but SimpliSafe included an email option as well rather than just a website and phone. The Better Business Bureau said they both advertise truthfully and were responsive to customer issues. However, both were hit with issues around response time when trying to get hold of a customer service rep. Neither company was considered outstanding so basing a purchase decision based on customer service will not make it simpler.

App Usability

Video surveillance using mobile app concept.

Mobile applications are so important when it comes to newer systems such as Ring and SimpliSafe. They are the command center of all that is going on security-wise in the home. App usability is important.

The Ring app is called the Always Home App. This offers live-stream footage, the ability to arm and disarm the home system, control all devices that are connected to the system, get crime and safety alerts from around the neighborhood as well as get notifications, talk through two-way audio, and the ability to scan through cloud storage content.

It is clean and simple to use. There are some technical issues such as that schedules can not be shared on different devices, and while the user may be notified about an event, it does not always show up in the app.

The SimpliSafe App has many similar features as Ring allowing live streams, control of the system, notifications as well as the ability to look through past footage. They are both easy to use and are able to do anything required. Both apps were beneficial, with neither necessarily outdoing the other in terms of performance.

Best DIY Home Security System

Ring vs SimpliSafe does not offer a clear-cut winner or loser. Each is good for different purposes. It becomes a question of what the homeowner wants in their home security system and can afford. Ring is a stronger product when it comes to app capabilities and remote system control, and while it is a minimalist system, it is easy for additional sensors to be added on. It is extremely affordable when it comes to professional monitoring and cellular backup.

SimpliSafe has some great benefits as well: it has guaranteed cellular backup included, a bigger original system that includes sensors for glass break, a panic button, fobs, and a siren that is easy to install. It is less affordable for ongoing coverage than Ring, but the content of the system is impressive and certainly takes care of lots of security options.

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