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Ring Review

Monday, April 15th

2024 Alarm System Company Reviews

Ring Review 2.5 Star Rating


2.5 Star Rating
  • No long-term commitments or contracts
  • DIY installation
  • $20/month for monitoring (optional), available in all 50 states
  • Can expand system to an unlimited number of paired Ring devices
  • Free expedited shipping on all orders over $49

Ring is on a mission to make neighborhoods safer. From the flagship video doorbell (inspired by input from the inventor's wife, who called the idea "Caller ID for the front door" ) to the Neighbors by Ring app, these DIY alarm systems can be found just about everywhere you look.

2 basic equipment kits

While you can customize your equipment package as desired, there are two main kits sold by Ring: Alarm and Alarm Pro. The Alarm kit comes with a base station and keypad, four contact sensors, a motion detector and a range extender. On the product page, you'll also find packages that include a video doorbell, two-packs of floodlight or spotlight cameras, and an indoor camera. This kit starts at $249.99 and goes up to $949.97 for the Deluxe Pro Bundle that incorporates two video doorbells and two wired floodlight cameras.

Pro kit includes home network security

The Alarm Pro kit has a built-in eero Wi-Fi 6 router, giving you whole-home protection and network security at the same time - and it keeps your connected Ring devices online even if your primary internet connection goes down. This package starts at $249.99 (the rest of the alarm system components are the same as in the basic Ring kit) and goes up to $449.99 for a kit that includes the Amazon Echo Show 5.

What extras would you like?

Either as part of a kit or a standalone order, there are plenty of gadgets you can get from Ring. You may want to consider a flood and freeze sensor, electronic locks, smart wall switches/outlets/dimmers, or a smoke/CO alarm to add to your setup. You can also save a little more by shopping at the Certified Refurbished section of the Ring online store. Shipping is free on all Ring orders over $49.

Professional or DIY monitoring

You don't have to pay for 24/7 monitoring with a Ring system, if you just want a basic alarm setup that you monitor from your smartphone. Either kit can be set up with professional monitoring for just $20/month, and you can customize your system to minimize false alarms.

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BBB rating in flux

At the time of this review, Ring's rating with the Better Business Bureau was under evaluation due to a couple of previously-closed complaints that had been reopened. That doesn't tell us much. There were around 400 complaints filed with the BBB against Ring in the year prior to this evaluation, but they didn't specify which ones triggered the pending status. That's not out of the ordinary for most alarm systems.

Many unsatisfied Ring customers

Unfortunately, looking at Ring's reputation elsewhere doesn't paint a pretty picture. 65% of the 3,000+ ratings we found give these home alarm systems an abysmal one-star rating; in contrast, only 16% would say Ring deserves five stars. Billing issues, failure to make warranty repairs, poor quality equipment (including doorbells that don't seem to work in cold weather), and lackluster response (or none at all) from Ring's customer service are just a small fraction of the litany of complaints stacked up against these alarm systems.

Big-time privacy concerns

And none of that even scratches the surface of the potential privacy risks involved with using Ring alarm system equipment. Just do a search for "Ring" and "hacked" or even "Ring" and "police" and buckle up, because the ride is going to be bumpy. The company has made strides to improve in that regard, but it's an issue they need to continue working on, both with their product and public perception.

Better choices available

Is Ring convenient? Yes - you can buy the system online or at many local hardware stores. Is it easy to seup? Sure - the app does a good job of walking you through the self-installation process. In fact, Ring used to be - and maybe still feels like - the only name on the market if you want DIY security, especially with the readily-available video doorbell that goes right to your smartphone. But not anymore. Check out any of the higher-rated alarm systems in our review and you'll probably find everything you wanted Ring to offer: affordability, security, and top-of-the-line equipment that works (and doesn't have any surveillance issues to speak of). In such a competitive marketplace, there are better choices than Ring for home alarm systems.

Which Company Offers the Best Alarm Systems?

There are so many options today, from well-known providers that have been around for fifty years or more to brand-new companies selling DIY-installed, wallet-friendly home alarm systems and automation all in one.

You've got plenty of reasons to use an alarm system, whichever route you choose. Not only can they protect you against break-ins while you're away, but they can also give you extra peace of mind if you're one of the millions of Americans who find themselves working from home on a regular basis. Need to know who's at your door before you open it? Many systems will send live video right to your smartphone, letting you decide if you should interrupt that conference call with your team!

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Alarm System Company FAQ

As many as 21 million households in the US use a security alarm system to protect themselves from burglary, home invasions and other crimes. With almost four million burglaries each year, it's important to have round-the-clock monitoring and an immediate emergency response if someone tries to break in.
It doesn't have to be. There are two costs associated with all alarm systems: the equipment and the monitoring service itself. Some companies give you the equipment at no charge as part of your plan, but the monthly fees are often higher to account for the free gear. Other services may require you to pay for your equipment upfront, but your monthly charge will be lower than the competition. Most alarm systems have monthly fees ranging from the low $30s to the upper $50s.
In the past, alarm systems were 100% wired - and yes, they had to be installed by a professional. While there are still a handful of companies that use these types of systems (including a landline to monitor them), most services today use totally wireless technology. In fact, many alarm systems have equipment that you can install yourself in just a few minutes.
The most basic systems include a few door contact sensors and that's about it. Depending on your circumstances, you may want to include wireless motion sensors for the interior or exterior of your home, fire and carbon monoxide detectors, flood sensors or even a panic pendant. The most advanced alarm systems give you options for video recording as well.
You might. If you got your equipment at no cost, chances are you'll be signing a contract of at least three years (ouch). If that doesn't appeal to you, consider an alarm system company where you purchase your equipment outright: they're less likely to require you to sign a contract to use their monitoring service.
You can rest assured that your alarm system provider wants to keep your business, and they'll make it as easy as possible if you move. Whether that includes setting up monitoring at your new address or even doing a full install, they will help you get it done. The easiest systems to move are the ones with do-it-yourself installation: move the equipment when you go, and don't forget to update the alarm company with your location.
Almost certainly. Savings typically range from 2-10%, depending on the type of alarm system you have and your insurer.
Many of today's popular alarm systems come with a 30-day risk-free trial. However, some companies have hefty fees for cancelling a contract prior to the end date, so you'll want to read all of the fine print before you commit to a provider.
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Continued from above...

What are the basics of an alarm system? Most packages come with a few window/door sensors and some kind of control panel. You can still find traditional equipment that includes a wall-installed panel, but most of today's systems have a portable tablet used to arm and disarm it. From there, the options are nearly limitless and can include indoor/outdoor cameras, video doorbells, smoke/fire and carbon monoxide detectors, and many other features to keep you feeling secure.

Beyond safety, alarm systems now give you plenty of choices for home automation. What might have seemed like space-age tech just ten years ago is commonplace: use your smartphone to turn down the thermostat before you get home from work, arm your system with a voice command even when you're already in bed for the evening, or sign into your system from your computer at work to make sure you really did remember to lock the front door (and take care of it if you didn't!).

With so many options, it can feel overwhelming to choose an alarm system. There are several things to keep in mind that can help make the decision clearer and lead you to the package that will meet your needs:

  • Features. What are the most essential components your alarm system needs to have? For most people, that will be the right number of window and door sensors to cover all easily-accessible entry points (such as the first-floor), and a control panel that works best for all occupants. Is there any nice-to-have equipment on your wishlist? That could include indoor video recording/storage, lots of home automation capabilities, and so on. Use your must-have and nice-to-have lists to determine if a provider has what you need.
  • Cost. There are several costs associated with an alarm system. This usually includes the price of the equipment (either upfront or monthly with a contract), monthly monitoring fees, and possibly installation. The company may tell you straight out what you can expect to pay, or you might have to reach out for a quote. Make sure to carefully read all of the terms and conditions before you commit, especially if your home alarm systems provider requires you to sign a contract of a year or more.
  • Service Area. Most home alarm systems companies service all 50 states, but some have limited coverage areas. Before you get too far into your research, check to see if you're eligible to be a customer and, if so, which authorized retailer might be responsible for your installation and service.
  • Reputation. What do clients say about their alarm systems? Is it worth the money? Have they been able to get prompt, professional support when equipment doesn't work properly? It's not uncommon for the larger companies to have thousands of complaints, but that's not cause for concern if they're responding appropriately each time.

TopConsumerReviews.com has evaluated and ranked the best alarm systems available today. We're confident that this information will help you get the right protection to keep you, your loved ones, and your property safe and sound!

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