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Ring vs. Nest (2021)

The Nest Secure and Ring Alarm systems might seem similar, but they are two very different home security systems with unique benefits. Our Nest vs. Ring will help you decide which is right for you and your home.

Home Security Ring

Two titans of the tech industry, Amazon and Google, each offer their own home security system: the Amazon Ring and the Google Nest. While both of these home security systems offer a more DIY-focused installation process and comparatively affordable systems, both home security options aren’t appropriate for every homeowner. In this review, we take a look at the Nest and Ring home security systems to help you choose the best home security option for your home.

For more information on our top recommended companies, we recommend getting quotes from each of these companies:

Our Take

The Ring is less expensive, has lower subscription fees, and has 180 degree range of motion. However, The Nest has higher video quality, offers professional installation, and offers a longer trial period. Both Ring and Nest have night vision and noise cancellation.

Compare Nest vs. Ring

Provider Nest Home Security Ring Home Security
Provider Nest Home Security Ring Home Security
Our score 4.0 out of 5.0 stars 4.7 out of 5.0 stars
24/7 monitoring Included Included with a Ring Protect subscription
Contract length Longer service contracts optional but not required Month-to-month or annual
Trial period 40 days 30 days
Professional installation Available Not available
DIY installation Available Available
Mobile app access Available Available
Motion detection Available Available
Smart home compatibility Available Available
Video surveillance Available Available
Video streaming capability Available Available
Money-back guarantee Two-year warranty One-year warranty on basic system

Ring vs. Nest Overview

Nest Overview

The Nest Secure home security system is Google’s smart home compatible, professionally monitored offering. Combining a simple setup with advanced video monitoring features and an easy-to-use app, Nest Secure is one of the most affordable professional monitoring systems available.

Best Features:

  • Monthly professional monitoring allows you to protect your home without the commitment of a contract
  • Wide range of Google Home and Google Assistant compatibility features
  • Password and key fob unlocking methods make the Nest exceptionally easy to use

Ring Overview

Though most homeowners know Amazon’s Ring line for its Ring Video Doorbell, the company offers a full home monitoring system, as well.

Best Features:

  • Low-priced equipment starts at just $199, with professional monitoring costing $10 a month with the Ring Protect Plus plan
  • Free DIY monitoring option available
  • Smart lighting solutions available

What Do Nest and Ring Have in Common?

Both Google Nest and Amazon Ring offer similar features, are marketed towards homeowners who value smart home compatibility, and are priced similarly. Some of the biggest similarities between the two systems include:

  • No contracts—Neither Ring nor Nest require a long-term monitoring contract, instead providing optional month-to-month monitoring. This is a major distinction, as competing home security companies often require initial contracts of over 36 months before you can enroll.
  • Simple DIY installation—Major home security systems often require professional installation. Ring and Nest both focus on simple DIY installations, but you can choose to have your system professionally installed by both companies for an additional fee.
  • Smart home integration—Ring and Nest are both at the forefront of smart home connectivity and cutting-edge technology. Ring Alarm systems can be integrated with Amazon Alexa devices, while your Google Nest can be connected to your Google Home or Google Assistant. Both systems also offer easy integration with other smart home appliances, like carbon monoxide detectors and thermostats.

How Are Nest and Ring Different?

Though these two home security systems may seem very similar, they have distinct features that may make them more compatible for certain homeowners. Some of the biggest differences between the two systems include:

  • Price—If you’re looking for the most affordable home security system on the market, you might be better off choosing Ring. Ring’s most basic equipment package starts at $199, and professional monitoring costs $10 per month with the Ring Protect Plus plan. Nest’s similar Secure Alarm package will cost you $399 for the equipment and between $19–$29 per month for professional monitoring.
  • Settings—Ring offers “home” and “away” settings, which are both armed, and mode settings can be customized in the Ring app. Nest offers an “armed” and “disarmed” setting but doesn’t offer a home setting.
  • Package offerings—Ring offers a variety of different equipment packages, whereas Nest offers only one standard base system. Both Ring and Nest allow you to customize your package with additional accessories like video doorbells, motion sensors, and more.
  • Video quality—When it comes to video quality, Nest’s Hello video doorbell is one of the few in the industry to offer facial recognition services. Nest offers 24/7 video recording, while the Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus will be triggered with its Pre-Roll feature when the system’s motion detection device is triggered.
Home Security Google Nest

Nest vs. Ring Packages

Ring Packages

Ring offers a variety of basic alarm security kits:

  • The basic five-piece package includes a base station, one keypad used to arm and disarm the system, one motion detector, one contact sensor, and one range extender designed to help better connect your Ring devices.
  • The 10-piece kit includes everything in the five-piece package, plus four extra contact sensors and an extra motion detector. This package is designed for homes between 1,000 and 2,000 square feet.
  • The largest 14-piece kit includes everything included in the 10-piece package, plus an extra keypad and two extra contact sensors. This package is built for homes that have three or more bedrooms and are over 2,000 square feet.

In addition to these packages, you can also add the following items:

  • Ring’s video doorbell—Though Ring doorbells don’t offer facial recognition like the Nest Hello doorbell does, it does allow you to set custom motion sensor zones in the app. This means that the person or animal in the frame must enter a certain zone before you receive an alert. This feature can be useful if you have a dog door or free-roaming cat.
  • Flood and freeze sensor that detects water and low temperatures in your home
  • Smoke and CO detector
  • Indoor and outdoor Ring cameras
  • Smart motion-detection lights

Users can also add a variety of Works with Ring product integrations, including smart locks, light switches/dimmers, smart outlets, sensors, and sirens.

Nest Packages

Unlike Ring, Nest doesn’t offer a selection of pre-built packages for shoppers to choose from. Instead, you have the option to purchase the Nest products and customize the system with additional cameras and other smart devices.

Nest Alarm System products include:

  • Nest Hub—this is the base of the system that also includes many smart home automation features.
  • Nest Detect sensors—these motion-activated sensors will alert you to movement when the system is armed
  • Nest key fobs—these will help arm and disarm the system

Nest also offers the following products that work with Nest Hub as well:

  • Indoor and outdoor cameras
  • Additional motion sensors (these could be useful if you have a larger home or multiple entry points)
  • The Nest Hello doorbell camera, which offers facial recognition technology and alert notifications
  • The Nest Protect smoke and carbon monoxide detector
  • The Nest X Yale lock, which allows you to remotely lock and unlock your front door

Ring vs. Nest: Doorbell Comparison

Provider Ring Video Doorbell Nest Hello
Provider Ring Video Doorbell Nest Hello
Pricing Doorbells start at $99 $229
Subscription fees $3 to $10 per month depending on package Optional $6 to $12 per month depending on video storage preferences
Installation DIY DIY or professional
Video quality 1080p 1600 x 1200, HDR
Night vision Yes Yes
Range of motion 180 degrees 160 degrees
Connectivity options 802.11 b/g/n (2.4GHz) 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4GHz and 5GHz)
Audio features Two-way audio; noise cancellation Noise and echo cancellation; pre-recorded message playback
Additional features Customizable motion zones Alert notifications and facial recognition

Ring vs. Nest Pricing

Ring Pricing

Ring’s basic equipment packages begin at $199, while professional monitoring services start at $10 per month. Customers will not need to pay an additional monitoring fee for video storage and professional monitoring once they subscribe to Ring Protect.

Nest Pricing

Nest’s overall pricing will depend on which products you buy. Its professional monitoring for the system begins at $10 per month. One deal you can get with Nest is its Front Door Package, which comes with the Nest Hello Video Doorbell and the Nest Hub. This package costs $288.99 or $12.04 for 24 months. This is a larger upfront cost when compared to Ring but significantly less than other home security contracts like Alder Home Security, which charge upwards of $30 per month for professional monitoring.

Ring vs. Nest: How Does It Work?

How Does Ring Work?

Ring’s security system operates similarly to Nest. You’ll arm and disarm your system using the Ring home keypad and a chosen PIN. The major difference between Ring and Nest when it comes to function is that you can choose DIY or professional monitoring.

If you choose free DIY monitoring, your Ring system will send you a notification when your security system is triggered. If there’s an emergency or you have a false alarm, you must manually call the proper authorities with DIY monitoring.

You can also choose to subscribe to the Ring Protect Plus Plan, which costs $10 per month. If you have the Ring Protect Plus Plan, you’ll receive 24/7 professional monitoring. This means that you can check out alerts at your convenience—if there does seem to be a genuine emergency, a Ring Protect professional will contact you and call the police.

How Does Nest Work?

When you install Nest’s basic system in your home, you’ll arm and disarm the system using the Nest Hub or your key fob. You can arm or disarm the system by typing in a user-selected, four-digit passcode or by swiping the key fob over the Yale lock that Nest offers. You’ll also be responsible for placing your Nest motion detectors and security cameras in their appropriate positions if you’ve purchased them as add-ons.

If your motion detectors or Nest products detect movement in your home while the system is armed, it will prompt the user for a password. If no password is entered or the user types an incorrect password, the professional monitoring center is notified. The monitoring center will attempt to notify you with a phone call and a text message.

If you have Nest cameras installed with your system, you can use your Nest app to check them and see if it’s a false alarm. If Nest cannot get in contact with you or you cannot confirm a false alarm, Nest will dispatch local authorities to your location.

Our Conclusion

The Nest and the Ring share so many similarities and are marketed towards largely the same consumer. If you’re the type of homeowner who prefers simple connectivity and advanced video resolution or loves smart home connectivity, consider the Nest. If you don’t mind DIY home monitoring and are looking for the lowest priced system available, the Ring might be a better option.

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

Do Nest and Ring offer professional installation services?

Ring and Nest both offer professional installation for an additional fee.

Do Nest or Ring require a contract?

No. Monitoring is offered on a month-to-month basis for Ring, and service contracts are optional for Nest.

Do Nest and Ring use cellular back-ups?

Yes, both security systems use cellular backup in the event of a dead battery or power outage.

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