SimpliSafe vs. Ring Alarm Home Security

How we reviewed: hands-on tests, hours studying SimpliSafe and Ring's sites, and reading 100+ customer reviews.
Best à la carte pick
SimpliSafe
SimpliSafe
4.3 out of 5 stars
4.25
Packages starting from
$229.00
  • Icon Pros  Light
    À la carte packages
  • Icon Pros  Light
    3-year warranty
  • Icon Cons  Light
    No outdoor camera
Best budget pick
Ring
Ring Alarm
3.3 out of 5 stars
3.25
Packages starting from
$199.99
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Standard packages
  • Icon Cons  Light
    Shorter warranty
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Outdoor cameras

*Amazon.com price as of 3/26/2021 at 9:00 a.m.  (MT). Read full disclaimer.

SimpliSafe trumps Ring in this face-off and lives up to its name with simple installation and functions. It 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.

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.



Pros and cons

SimpliSafe

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet À la carte packages
Pro Bullet 3-year warranty
Pro Bullet Video monitoring
Pro Bullet “Secret” alerts, silent alarm option
Pro Bullet High customer-service ratings
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet No outdoor cameras
Con Bullet Limited home automation
Con Bullet Mobile app paywall
Con Bullet Higher up-front costs

Ring

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet 24/7 customer service
Pro Bullet Free mobile app
Pro Bullet More affordable pricing
Pro Bullet Plentiful automation options
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet No professional video monitoring
Con Bullet No à la carte options
Con Bullet Lower customer-service ratings
Con Bullet Shorter warranty
Brand
SimpliSafe
SimpliSafe
Ring
Ring Alarm
Starting monitoring cost$14.99/mo.

$10.00/mo.

Basic equipment package cost$229.00

$199.99

App included w/base plan
Icon No  LightNo
Icon Yes  LightYes
Outdoor cameras
Icon No  LightNo
Icon Yes  LightYes
Build-your-own-system option
Icon Yes  LightYes
Icon No  LightNo
Learn more

Amazon.com price as of 3/26/22021 at 9:00 a.m. (MT). Read full disclaimer. Offers and availability subject to change.

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: neither require a monitoring contract.
  • 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 leads the industry at just $10. SimpliSafe monitoring starts at $15.
  • 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 Ring Video Doorbell, SimpliSafe has its own video doorbell.
  • 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, although SimpliSafe charges for access.

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: Ring

If you’re solely looking for a deal, Ring is the way to go. Few security companies can beat Ring’s $10 monthly monitoring (SimpliSafe $15), and its base equipment package starts around $200 (SimpliSafe $229).

Thumbs Up
Even more Ring savings

Want to save camera footage? Just $3 a month gets you the Basic Ring Protect Plan and one camera. If you also want professional monitoring and unlimited video cloud storage, it’s $10 a month for the Ring Protect Plus Plan.

All Ring Protect Plus subscribers also get 10% off all future equipment purchases and an extended warranty. Plus, paying for a full year of the Protect packages gets you two months free.

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 smart lock and video doorbell 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.

SimpliSafe hub, 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 Hello doorbell and the Arlo video doorbell.

Best warranty: SimpliSafe

SimpliSafe’s equipment warranty covers three years compared to Ring’s one year, and 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.

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Ring Assist Plus

Want to upgrade Ring’s warranty offerings? 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 protection plan to replace lost or stolen 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 odds of a false alarm. Ring doesn’t have professional video monitoring in any of its plans.

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

SimpliSafe’s monitoring may not be as cheap as Ring’s $10 monthly charge (plus $3 if you add a camera with video recording). But it’s close. For around $15 a month with SimpliSafe, you’ll get standard professional monitoring so your security system can call out in the event of an alarm.

If you want remote app access to your system to secure entry sensors, your monthly fees go up to $24.99 a month for the SimpliSafe Interactive plan.

This plan also lets the monitoring center access any SimpliSafe cameras linked to your system for video confirmation of alarm events, and it gives you cloud storage for your cameras’ video footage. Because there are no contracts, you can cancel monitoring at any time.

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 has email support, online help forums, and a customer service 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:*

  •  4.1/5, Great: Trustpilot rating
  • 8/5: SimpliSafe Home Security app on Apple App Store
  • 5/5: 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:*

  • 1.5 stars, Bad: Trustpilot rating
  • 4.4/5: Ring Always Home app on Apple App Store
  • 3.6/5: Ring Always Home app on Google Play

*Ratings as of March 7, 2021

Best smart home compatibility: Ring

Ring might be a better choice if you want to add an outdoor camera or other smart home devices to your alarm system. Ring offers outdoor security cameras and home automation through Z-Wave and Zigbee functionality.

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

  • Smart assistants Google Home and Amazon Alexa
  • 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 Nest thermostats, 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 free and 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.

Screenshot from Ring Neighbors app

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.

Note: 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

When you subscribe to the SimpliSafe Interactive plan, you get notifications when any of your security system sensors trip.

If your system is armed when one of your sensors is triggered, SimpliSafe monitoring will contact you. If they can’t reach you, they’ll try one of your emergency contacts before dispatching first responders.

One unique feature of the SimpliSafe app is that you can get “secret alerts” to alert you through the app when specific sensors alarm without actually setting off an alarm at your home.

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A word about wireless security

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. It’s affordable, easy to install and use, and it’s 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.

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.

See how other security systems compare


Disclaimer

Amazon.com list price as of 03/26/2021 9:00 a.m. (MT). 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.
  • The review on the warranty for Ring is not entirely accurate. As long as you are buying the monitored service ($99 per year), your equipment is covered under an extended warranty for an additional 2 years (for a total of 3 years) giving the same warranty as SimpliSafe

  • Without a contract, Simplisafe is worst in industry, you don’t get notices if someone enters your house at all. You can get $5 horns at the dollar store that sound off when someone opens your door, similar to simplisafe without a contract. Even non security systems like logicircle and other cameras give you at least that basic level of security free. So Simplisafe simply doesn’t compete with ring, nest, etc. UNLESS you opt for the monthly fee. Article should point this out more, it is mentioned, but, the uselessness of no contract isn’t really made clear for simplisafe. Monitoring IS good, and should also be mentioned both ring and simplisafe can have professional monitoring of smoke alarms, something nest can still not do.

    1. Just think about it for a moment. How do you get notification to your phone without access to internet, and yes, it has to be without internet access, otherwise it would be unreliable. So how you do it? you need a sim card and 2g, 3g or 4g access. Now sims are not free, and actually, the security companies, need to have a contract with all major phone providers, in order to supply such notification option to customers, so that it doesn’t matter where you live, and who owns the mast near you. This is why most security companies will ask you for a monthly fee, so that they can cover the costs of maintaining that contract and keeping your system connected.
      The very simple devices you mention in your post, only work when the WiFi is on, and the moment it’s off, there will be no notification to your phone. The horns and simple door detectors are cheap but easy to overcome, and the loud sirens for $5 will only work for 20 sec, then they are in the water basket and no sound will come out. The active monitoring plan will alert the dispatch that something is going on, and no matter how hard the burglars try, they will not be able to stop someone coming to your house to check on it.

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