SimpliSafe vs. Ring Alarm Home Security

How we reviewed: hands-on tests, hours studying SimpliSafe and Ring's sites, and reading 100+ customer reviews.
Winner
SimpliSafe
SimpliSafe
4.3 out of 5 stars
4.25
Starts at
$17.99
/mo
  • pro
    À la carte packages
  • pro
    3-year warranty
  • pro
    Outdoor camera
Runner up
Ring
Ring Alarm
3.8 out of 5 stars
3.75
Starts at
$20.00
/mo
  • pro
    Standard packages
  • pro
    Extended warranty
  • pro
    Outdoor cameras

Info current as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

SimpliSafe trumps Ring Alarm in this face-off and lives up to its name with simple installation and functions. Ring has a lot going for it—like competitive pricing and lots of smart home compatibility. Plus, both brands are contract-free. But SimpliSafe still takes the cake.

In the UK? Check out our SimpliSafe UK Review.



SimpliSafe pros and cons

pro
Pros
pro À la carte packages
pro 3-year to lifetime warranty
pro Video monitoring
pro
pro High customer-service ratings
con
Cons
con Limited home automation
con Higher up-front costs

SimpliSafe is best for equipment options

SimpliSafe offers all the basics à la carte, so you won’t pay for devices you don’t need. It also offers video alarm confirmation through its professional monitoring services.

Read our SimpliSafe review to learn more.

Ring pros and cons

pro
Pros
pro 24/7 customer service
pro More affordable pricing
pro Plentiful automation options
pro Extended warranty with pro monitoring
con
Cons
con No professional video monitoring
con No à la carte options
con Lower customer-service ratings

Ring is best for outdoor cameras

Ring has a massive selection of outdoor security cameras and video doorbells that outperform the SimpliSafe Outdoor Camera on pricing and features.

Read our Ring Alarm review to learn more.

Compare SimpliSafe vs. Ring features

Brand
Starting monitoring cost
Basic equipment package cost
Outdoor cameras
Build-your-own-system option
Learn more
Icon Yes  LightYes
Icon Yes  LightYes
Icon Yes  LightYes
Icon No  LightNo

Amazon.com price as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

Video: SimpliSafe or Ring? Which Is the Better DIY Home Security System?

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Similarities: SimpliSafe vs. Ring

As big players in the DIY home security space, SimpliSafe and Ring have plenty in common:

  • DIY installation: both DIY wireless systems are easy to install and uninstall.
  • No contracts: since neither brand has long-term contracts, cancelling SimpliSafe or Ring Alarm doesn't cost a penny.
  • Affordable equipment: pricing for both SimpliSafe and Ring is comparatively lower than professionally installed brands like ADT.
  • Self-monitoring: both have self-monitoring options so you can access your system, get motion detection notifications, and watch your cameras through a mobile app.
  • Low monitoring fees: Ring’s monthly monitoring fee is low at $20 and SimpliSafe beats it with monitoring starts at $18.
  • Similar basics: each offers similar basic equipment (base station, keypad, one entry (or contact) sensor, and one motion sensor). Each also offers indoor cameras and similar features like crash-and-smash protection and cellular backup.
  • Video doorbell: even though Ring is well known for its line of Ring Video Doorbells, SimpliSafe has its own model called the SimpliSafe Video Doorbell Pro.
  • Smart home integration: SimpliSafe and Ring both offer smart home integration, although Ring offers more. Both connect with Google Home and Amazon Alexa.
  • Mobile apps: both companies have mobile apps. Some app features may not be available in all plans.

But you’re here to find a winner. Next, we’ll outline the distinct—and possibly deal-breaking—differences between the brands.​

Differences: SimpliSafe vs. Ring

We did the homework to see which brand wins in important categories so you can pick your deal-breakers and choose your favorite:

Best pricing: Tie

If you’re solely looking for a deal, SimpliSafe is the way to go. Few security companies can beat SimpliSafe’s $18 monthly monitoring. Though Ring has a more affordable starter package.

Compare SimpliSafe and Ring monitoring prices

Plan
Starting price
Mobile app
Smart home integration
Security cameras
Warranty
Learn more
Icon Yes  LightYes
Icon No  LightNo
Icon No  LightNo
3 years
Icon Yes  LightYes
Icon Yes  LightYes
Icon Yes  LightYes
3 years
Icon Yes  LightYes
Icon No  LightNo
Icon No  LightNo
3 years
Icon Yes  LightYes
Icon Yes  LightYes
Icon Yes  LightYes
Lifetime
Icon Yes  LightYes
Icon Yes  LightYes
Icon Yes  LightYes
1 year

*Amazon.com price as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change. Read full disclaimer.

Best equipment: SimpliSafe

SimpliSafe’s equipment strength is diversity. With SimpliSafe, you can add sensors and devices to any package. Feeling extra creative? You could also ditch the packages and design your own SimpliSafe security system from scratch.

Ring doesn’t offer the à la carte options that SimpliSafe does, so you’ll have to choose from one of its standard packages.

SimpliSafe’s à la carte equipment

SimpliSafe’s wide range of devices includes smoke detectors, carbon monoxide sensors, motion sensors, key fobs, a panic button, freeze sensors, window and door sensors, and a water sensor. It’s also added a SimpliSafe Smart Lock and outdoor camera to its lineup.

Most devices run on battery power (with the exception of the cameras) and use your home’s Wi-Fi network to communicate. The control panel/keypad is smaller and sleeker than Ring’s.

Shows a line-up of sample equipment found in a SimpliSafe home security system: base station, keypad, alarm, camera, and smoke detector

Ring doesn’t offer any fully à la carte systems, but you can purchase a Ring Alarm security kit and add on more individual devices.

Ring’s devices are similar to SimpliSafe’s with the addition of outdoor HD cameras and smart lighting. We also found two strengths for Ring:

  • In tests for our Ring Doorbell review, Ring showed slightly better night vision than the SimpliSafe doorbell cam.
  • The batteries on Ring devices—like its motion detector and door-and-window sensors—last longer than SimpliSafe’s because they use radio frequencies rather than your home’s Wi-Fi.
Ring Alarm
Thumbs Up
More video doorbell picks

Learn more about our top picks for the best smart doorbells, including the Nest doorbell and the Arlo video doorbell.

Best warranty: Tie

On the surface, SimpliSafe’s equipment warranty covers three years (or a lifetime if you upgrade to the Interactive Monitoring plan) compared to Ring’s one year. But if you're a Ring Protect Pro monitoring subscriber then Ring provides an extended warranty as long as you pay for the plan.

SimpliSafe has a 60-day return policy (compared to Ring’s 30-day return policy). Both offer full refunds for returns, but Ring charges $5 shipping and SimpliSafe covers that cost.

Light Bulb
Ring Assist Plus

Want to upgrade Ring’s warranty offerings without monthly monitoring fees? For a one-time fee of $39.95, you can get Ring Assist Plus, which gives you an extended two-year warranty, a VIP customer service phone number, and a lifetime replacement plan if you lose the tools that came with your Ring equipment.

Best monitoring: SimpliSafe

SimpliSafe offers video alarm confirmation through its professional monitoring services. That means monitoring agents can access your security camera or SimpliSafe video doorbell footage when your alarm goes off, reducing the odds of a false alarm

SimpliSafe also doesn’t require you to sign up for a monthly monitoring service. (The SimpliSafe app lets you self-monitor your cameras and remotely arm/disarm the system for free.) But, without pro monitoring, your home security system will operate only as a loud alarm to scare off intruders.

SimpliSafe's monitoring costs a little less than Ring’s $20 monthly charge. For around $18 a month with SimpliSafe, you’ll get standard professional monitoring so your security system can call out in the event of an alarm.

Best customer service: SimpliSafe

Even though SimpliSafe can’t beat Ring’s 24/7 customer service (SimpliSafe’s hours are 8 a.m. to midnight EST), it consistently gets better customer service ratings and reviews.

If you need help with your system, SimpliSafe's customer service options include email support, online help forums, and a customer service phone line. The main complaints we see about customer support involve long wait times. Overall, customers have positive things to say about the company.

SimpliSafe's customer service ratings:*

  • 4/5, Great: Trustpilot rating
  • 4.8/5: SimpliSafe Home Security app on Apple App Store
  • 4.4/5: SimpliSafe Home Security app on Google Play

Ring’s customer service line is available 24/7, and so are its live online customer support agents.

While its doorbells are popular and get good reviews, Ring receives slightly lower ratings on app reviews, and its Trustpilot rating is extremely low.

Ring's customer service ratings:*

  • 1.4 stars, Bad: Trustpilot rating
  • 4.5/5: Ring Always Home app on Apple App Store
  • 3.9/5: Ring Always Home app on Google Play

*Ratings as of post date.

Best smart home compatibility: Ring

Ring might be a better choice if you want to add smart home devices to your alarm system. Ring offers several security cameras—including the Ring Floodlight Cam, the Ring Spotlight Cam, and the indoor-only Ring Stick Up Cam—and home automation through Z-Wave and Zigbee functionality. Read our Ring equipment and compatibility guide to learn more.

Ring Alarm devices are compatible with a variety of third-party devices including these:

  •  Amazon Alexa smart assistant
  • Door locks by Schlage, Yale, and Kwikset
  • Lights, plugs, and switches by GE and Leviton
  • Smoke and carbon monoxide alarms by First Alert

SimpliSafe is a better fit for smaller spaces that don’t need home automation. SimpliSafe’s current smart home options are limited, but they’ve been growing. The SimpliSafe system is currently compatible with August Smart Locks, Google Home, and Amazon Alexa.

Best mobile app: Ring

Even though SimpliSafe gets higher app ratings on the Apple App Store and Google Play, Ring’s app is more feature-rich.

Ring mobile app

Ring’s high smart home connectivity and Neighbors-app consolidation makes its mobile app worthwhile. You can sync your Ring with Alexa devices to control the system with your voice and get notifications 

The Ring app will send you push notifications to help you self-monitor your system. You can access your cameras’ live feed, use the two-way talk feature on the cameras and smart doorbell, and receive motion alerts without paying subscription fees. However, if you want video storage, you need a Ring Protect subscription plan.

Screenshot from Ring Neighbors app

Images: SafeWise

With Ring, you can also access the Neighbors community in the same smartphone app as your home security system. In the Neighbors community, you can see what your neighbors have noticed or caught on camera and hear from police about what’s going on.

While anyone can use the Neighbors App (including SimpliSafe users), having it in the same spot as your security system cuts down the app clutter.

Notepad
Caution with neighborhood apps

We encourage anyone using a neighborhood-watch-style app to read all of the fine print before joining the community—especially in regard to privacy policies. Also, be mindful of Ring-police partnerships and the impact they can have on your community. We explain more in our Ring FAQ.

SimpliSafe mobile app

No matter which SimpliSafe plan you subscribe to, you can use the mobile app to arm/disarm the system. You'll also get notifications when any of your security system sensors trip.

While the basic app functions are free, upgrade your SimpliSafe monitoring plan to access features like “secret alerts,” which alert you through the app when specific sensors are triggered without actually setting off an alarm at your home.

Images: SafeWise

Light Bulb
A word about wireless security

Several Ring Alarm and camera users have reported breaches in their accounts that allowed a stranger to use the two-way communication to intimidate them. This is a risk every user takes when they use any internet-connected wireless system. The good news is you can minimize the risk with proper internet security. Try these tips to protect your system from online threats:

  • Use strong, unique passwords for all your accounts
  • Opt for extra security measures like two-factor authentication
  • Add shared users instead of sharing login credentials
  • Change your home Wi-Fi password frequently

Winner: SimpliSafe

When it comes to SimpliSafe vs. Ring, it’s a close call, but SimpliSafe comes out on top. SimpliSafe's easy to install, affordable, and continuing to expand its home automation. It also has customer-friendly policies and lots of à la carte options.

  • SimpliSafe: If you want flexible packages and lots of quality device options, SimpliSafe is a great choice for a home security system. You can also increase your security by adding in professional monitoring and increase control with remote access through the mobile app.
  • Ring: If you want a budget pick, indoor/outdoor coverage, or advanced smart home integration (like smart locks and lights), Ring is the way to go. It also helps you avoid monitoring fees by self-monitoring your home.
What are the alternatives to SimpliSafe?

We explore alternatives to SimpliSafe in another article if you're not convinced SimpliSafe is the right choice for you.

How does Ring security compare to other home security companies?

Check out our other comparison articles to see how top home security brands compare.

DIY installation:


Professional installation:

How we decided: SimpliSafe vs. Ring

We’ve tested cameras and doorbells from both Ring and SimpliSafe, but in order to research each company’s security systems we had to dig deeper.

We got our hands on both systems and multiple team members tested them. On top of hands-on tests, we also spent about five hours combing through each company’s website, we read more than 100 customer reviews, and we watched about a dozen hands-on video reviews of each system to better understand their pros and cons.

We've also met with SimpliSafe company reps multiple times to learn more about equipment, monitoring, and wireless security.

To find out more about how we rate and review home security systems, check out our full methodology.

Related articles on SafeWise


Disclaimer

Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. Safewise.com utilizes paid Amazon links.

Certain content that appears on this site comes from Amazon. This content is provided “as is” and is subject to change or removal at any time.

Kasey Tross
Written by
Kasey Tross
Kasey is a trained Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) member and a freelance writer with expertise in emergency preparedness and security. As the mother of four kids, including two teens, Kasey knows the safety concerns parents face as they raise tech-savvy kids in a connected world, and she loves to research the latest security options for her own family and for SafeWise readers.

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