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Ring vs. SimpliSafe (2021)

Ring and SimpliSafe are two of the least expensive options for DIY home security systems. We examine the pros and cons of each company to determine who will get the most out of their products.

Ring doorbell on blue door Courtesy Ring

The modern homeowner has more alternatives to traditional, wired, and landline-based home security systems than ever before, but it can be hard to tell the difference between all the new companies in the industry.

In this comparison review, we’ll break down two of the most prominent home security companies—SimpliSafe and Ring—and compare their products, services, and costs to help you choose the best home security system for your home.

Our Take

Both Ring and SimpliSafe are reputable companies and both have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Ring has less expensive packages, a 1 year warranty, and a 30 day trial period. Although SimpliSafe has pricier packages, it offers a longer warranty period of 3 years and a longer trial period of 60 days.

Side-By-Side Comparison

Feature Ring Home Security SimpliSafe Home Security
Feature Ring Home Security SimpliSafe Home Security
Our Score 9.5 / 10 9.9 / 10
24/7 Monitoring Optional monitoring Optional monitoring
Contract Required? No contract No contract
Trial Period 30 days 60 days
Installation DIY or professional DIY or professional
Mobile App Access? ✔ With Interative Monitoring Plan
Motion Detection
Smart Home Compatibility
Video Surveillance ✔ With camera purchase ✔ With camera purchase
Video Streaming Capability ✔ With camera purchase ✔ With camera purchase
BBB Rating A+ A+

Ring vs. SimpliSafe Overview

Ring Overview

Ring is the first name in video doorbells and the product that birthed the company in 2013. Ring was purchased by Amazon in 2018 for $1.2 billion.

Here’s what Ring has to offer:

  • Lowest prices in DIY security equipment
  • Wide variety of indoor, outdoor, and doorbell cameras
  • No contract required for professional monitoring services

SimpliSafe Overview

SimpliSafe is a relative newcomer to the security industry, growing out of a need for portable, self-installable security equipment that renters could use and take with them.

Here are SimpliSafe’s primary benefits:

  • Clear and inexpensive pricing
  • Customizable to nearly any size home or apartment
  • No contract required for professional monitoring services

Ring vs. SimpliSafe Packages

Ring Package Comparison

Feature "Small" Package "Medium" Package "Large" Package
Feature "Small" Package "Medium" Package "Large" Package
Coverage <1,000 square feet <2,000 square feet 2,000+ square feet
Base Station
Range Extender
Keypad ✔ 2 included
Motion Detector ✔ 2 included ✔ 2 included
Contact Sensor ✔ 3 included ✔ 8 included

Ring offers three basic plans based on the size of your home—small, medium, or large.

If you buy one of the above packages, you can add the following hardware:

  • Ring video doorbells
  • Two types of indoor cameras
  • Two types of outdoor cameras
  • Smart lighting
  • Flood/freeze sensors
  • Smoke/carbon monoxide detectors
  • Panic buttons

Users can also add a variety of Works with Ring product integrations.

Like SimpliSafe, the Ring alarm system allows for self-monitoring, and you won’t need to pay any extra fees to receive mobile alerts and control the system via a mobile app. To activate video recording for a single camera, you’ll need the Ring Protect Basic plan. If you want 24/7 professional monitoring and video recording for multiple cameras, you can sign up for the Ring Protect Plus plan.

SimpliSafe Package Comparison

Feature "The Foundation" Package "The Essentials" Package "The Hearth" Package "The Knox" Package "The Haven" Package
Feature "The Foundation" Package "The Essentials" Package "The Hearth" Package "The Knox" Package "The Haven" Package
Base Station
Entry Sensor ✔ 1 included ✔ 3 included ✔ 3 included ✔ 6 included ✔ 4 included
Motion Sensor ✔ 1 included ✔ 1 included ✔ 1 included ✔ 2 included ✔ 2 included
Siren - -
Key Fob - -
Smoke Detector - -
Panic Button - - - -
Temperature Sensor - - - -
Water Sensor - - - -

The SimpliSafe system starts with a package called The Foundation that includes basic home security equipment. The four other packages add additional equipment as necessary, but you can buy most of the hardware on an a la carte basis.

SimpliSafe also offers the following equipment:

  • Extra entry and motion sensors
  • Glass break sensors
  • Video Doorbell Pro
  • SimpliCam indoor security camera (cloud storage sold separately)
  • Smart locks

With SimpliSafe, you have the option of self-monitoring or you can choose professional monitoring on a month-to-month basis with no contract required.

Here’s an overview of the two professional monitoring plans offered by SimpliSafe:

  • The Standard Plan connects the base station to a monitoring center.
  • The Interactive Plan gives you full control over the system with the mobile app, alert notifications, and the ability to stream video camera footage.

Ring vs. SimpliSafe Pricing

Ring Pricing

Although Ring has only three hardware packages, you’ll get a 10% discount on extra equipment purchases if you choose one of them.

Here’s a pricing breakdown of Ring packages:

  • “Small” Package: $199.99
  • “Medium” Package: $259.99
  • “Large” Package: $329.99

If you choose to purchase a Ring Protect plan, they can be paid either monthly or yearly and don’t require a contract. The plans are optional and are not required in order to use Ring products.

  • Ring Protect Basic: $3/month or $30/year
  • Ring Protect Plus: $10/month or $100/year

SimpliSafe Pricing

Pricing "The Foundation" Package "The Essentials" Package "The Hearth" Package "The Knox" Package "The Haven" Package
Pricing "The Foundation" Package "The Essentials" Package "The Hearth" Package "The Knox" Package "The Haven" Package
Equipment Cost $229.00 $259.00 $374.00 $449.00 $489.00

If you want to self-monitor, you’ll just have to purchase the SimpliSafe hardware. However, SimpliSafe offers a 20% discount on the equipment if you sign up for monitoring.

With any of these packages, the Standard Plan is $14.99 a month and the Interactive Plan is $24.99 a month. This monitoring fee is paid month to month and can be cancelled anytime. For cloud video storage, one camera costs $4.99 a month and two to 10 cameras cost $9.99 a month.

For more information on SimpliSafe’s offerings, you can view plans here.

Ring vs. SimpliSafe: How It Works

How Does Ring Work?

You can order both Ring equipment and monitoring online and have the hardware shipped to your home. It’s easy to install on your own with peel-and-stick adhesives. Once you’ve activated your equipment and downloaded the Ring Always Home app, you can begin controlling your system either remotely or through the keypad.

How Does SimpliSafe Work?

The SimpliSafe ordering and setup process is much like that for Ring, involving online ordering and self-installation, though you can also pay for a professional technician to install the system for you. You can control some features through the SimpliSafe app, but you’ll need to get the Interactive Plan for complete mobile functionality.

What Do Ring and SimpliSafe Have in Common?

Both of these companies are premised on the idea that homeowners and renters shouldn’t have to pay exorbitant fees or sign lengthy contracts to receive the peace of mind offered by a home security system. Additionally, both companies offer the following:

  • Sell products that are inexpensive and easy to install yourself
  • Feature security cameras, though neither include them in their basic packages
  • Have an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB)

How Are Ring and SimpliSafe Different?

Here are a few quick points of contrast between the two home security companies:

  • Ring has slightly less expensive equipment and monitoring.
  • Ring has more camera options, including multiple outdoor cameras.
  • Ring’s systems have been susceptible to hacking, though it has recently implemented extra security measures.
  • SimpliSafe offers more types of security and smart home hardware.
  • SimpliSafe’s sensors are smaller but more durable.

Our Conclusion

If budget is your biggest concern and you’d prefer the self-monitoring option, or if you want an outdoor security camera, consider investing in Ring is the better choice. SimpliSafe does offer an “outdoor kit” for its indoor camera, but customers say it doesn’t actually protect the power port or lens. Ring’s unlimited cloud storage for $3.00 is also hard to beat. With its more robust packages, SimpliSafe may also be preferable for larger homes and apartments.

Looking for comprehensive security packages for your home? Check out our recommended providers:

More on Home Security Systems

Our Rating Methodology

The This Old House Reviews Team is committed to providing comprehensive and unbiased reviews to our readers. This means earning your trust through transparent reviews and having the data to back up our ratings and recommendations. Our rating system for home security providers is on a 100-point scale based on 10 factors:

  • Number of systems (5)
  • Special features (10)
  • Installation options (5)
  • Connectivity and smart home automation (15)
  • Pricing (15)
  • Contract period (5)
  • Warranty (15)
  • Trial period (15)
  • Usability (5)
  • Trustworthiness (10)

Our team reviewed 32 companies and spent 744 hours researching and testing out products to help us compare home security systems on key factors such as package options, cost, reliability, and ease of use. Read more on our methodology here.

Frequently Asked Questions about Ring and SimpliSafe

Which is better: SimpliSafe or Ring?

The best DIY home security system for you depends on your home security needs. If you have a shoestring budget and want to monitor your system yourself, Ring is probably the better choice. If you have a larger residence and want a broader line of equipment, SimpliSafe is likely your best bet.

Do Ring and SimpliSafe work with smart home devices?

Both SimpliSafe and Ring integrate with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. However, since Ring is owned by Amazon, it has far more functionality through Alexa than through Google Home devices.

Do I have to sign a contract for my Ring or SimpliSafe system?

Neither Ring nor SimpliSafe require a contract for the equipment or professional monitoring services. You purchase the equipment upfront, and if you’d like professional monitoring, you can pay month to month with no commitment.

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