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.
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.
SimpliSafe also 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 is a little cheaper than Ring’s $20 monthly charge. 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.
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’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.
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.
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.
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