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.
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.
|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|
|Smart Home Compatibility||✔||✔|
|Video Surveillance||✔ With camera purchase||✔ With camera purchase|
|Video Streaming Capability||✔ With camera purchase||✔ With camera purchase|
Ring vs. SimpliSafe 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
To Learn More: Ring Security System Review
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
To Learn More: SimpliSafe Home Security Review
Ring vs. SimpliSafe Packages
Ring Package Comparison
|Feature||"Small" Package||"Medium" Package||"Large" Package|
|Coverage||<1,000 square feet||<2,000 square feet||2,000+ square feet|
|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|
|Entry Sensor||✔ 1 included||✔ 3 included||✔ 3 included||✔ 6 included||✔ 4 included|
|Motion Sensor||✔ 1 included||✔ 1 included||✔ 1 included||✔ 2 included||✔ 2 included|
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
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:
|Pricing||"Small" Package||"Medium" Package||"Large" Package|
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
|Pricing||"The Foundation" Package||"The Essentials" Package||"The Hearth" Package||"The Knox" Package||"The Haven" Package|
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 They Each Work
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.
This Old House’s Top Pick: SimpliSafe
Our team rated more than 30 home security companies and found that SimpliSafe is the best DIY security solution on the market.
- 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:
Frequently Asked Questions about Ring and SimpliSafe
More on Home Security Systems
Our Rating Methodology
The This Old House Reviews Team backs up our home security recommendations with a detailed rating methodology that we use to objectively score each provider. Our research includes analyzing product specifications, reviewing service and plan information, speaking with customer service representatives, and analyzing customer reviews. We then score the provider against our review standards for system options, special features, installation options, connectivity and smart-home automation features, pricing, contract terms, warranty, usability, availability of a trial period, and trustworthiness to arrive at a final score out of 100.
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