Smart DIY security systems are picking up real quick these days. Traditionally, you would have to call a professional team over to install a security system that involved drilling numerous holes on walls or ceilings to have the essential sensors and devices connected and be bothered by a mess of wires surrounding the house.
But a smart home security system isn’t only fully monitored, but it can be installed in approximately 15 minutes, saves up hundreds of dollars for installation and energy bills in the long-run.
SimpliSafe is one of the most highly dependable smart security systems available today as it offers a wide range of features that make it really appealing to homeowners. One of the biggest things that are holding it back, however, is its steep monthly fee. Fortunately, there’s a less expensive alternative to it, which is Ring Alarm, and it comes with almost the same functions and capabilities as SimpliSafe.
In this article, we have broken down each DIY security system to give you a more open view about which of these two you should opt for before buying:
One of the many things that DIY home security systems promise consumers is a peace of mind. This means you will feel safe even when you’re out of the house and can’t check up on your house frequently thanks to the 24/7 professional monitoring service that both security systems come with. Both Ring Alarm and SimpliSafe offer this service.
By subscribing to either one’s monitoring system, the service will notify you or your contacts, in case the alarm at your premises is triggered. If in the event you are unable to answer your phone to give the safe word, a security team will immediately be dispatched to your location to save you.
While there isn’t a monthly fee for SimpliSafe’s standard monitoring service, you can pay an extra $14.99 for 24/7 monitoring and cellular backup. With Ring Alarm, on the other hand, you should buy its Protect Plus plan, which costs $100 a year for unlimited cameras, cloud footage recording and sharing of videos, as well as round-the-clock monitoring.
SimpliSafe uses Wi-Fi to communicate, which, although efficient, restricts the scope of smart home integration required. Ring Alarm also uses Wi-Fi but is able to interface with Zigbee and Z-Wave devices as well. Setting Ring Alarm is handled by Bluetooth, which is fairly simple.
SimpliSafe presently offers better support for other smart devices than Ring Alarm does. Though Ring Alarm’s connectivity is more flexible and provides greater potential than setting it up with Wi-fi. Also, considering Ring was bought out by Amazon recently, we might be getting better integrations later on in the years to come.
Both Ring Alarm and SimpliSafe provide a vast selection of sensors that enable homeowners to customize their security systems the way they want. You can also expand the number of sensors in the future with easy installation and syncing.
Sensors from each security system don’t just sense motion and entry, but basically activity. So the moment a door opens or when there’s suspicious movement within a room, the authorities will be alerted immediately and will report to your location right away.
Both systems come with carbon monoxide and smoke detectors in case there’s a gas leak or a fire incident. They also offer water sensors where they’re able to detect moisture before it escalates into a bigger problem.
SimpliSafe also offers unique sensors, like Glassbreak and Temperature. The temperature sensors will let you know if your house is getting too cold, which also prevents the risk of bursting pipes. Glassbreak sensors, obviously let you know when your house’s windows have been broken.
Ring Alarm can leverage third-party sensors due to its support for Zigbee and Z-Wave equipment. However, they cannot be used as a means for security nor even be capable of alerting or dispatching the police.
Since both SimpliSafe and Ring Alarm are DIY systems, you have to set everything on your own. And even though it involves a lot of work than having a professional team do it, it will save you on the installation fee.
When installing Ring Alarm, try not to sync a number of components at the same time, or else the process will take longer. But besides that, installation on either device is fairly easy and can be done in no more than 5-15 minutes. Plus, the instructions are easy to follow and implement, so you shouldn’t have any troubles whatsoever.
Installing SimpliSafe can take less than 10 minutes if you follow it right. None of SimpliSafe’s equipment requires any drilling or special tools. In fact, the sensors are peel-and-stick, which is pretty much the most fool-proof type of installation conceived and can be secured firmly on the walls. Once the sensors are set up, just plug in the base station, download the SimpliSafe app, sync and you’re good to go.
SimpliSafe doesn’t need a contract or a service agreement to function. Its packages include a basic package that comes for $14.99 per month or an interactive package that costs $24.99 per month. Upfront costs for equipment can be between $250 to $500 depending on how many devices you choose.
Ring’s security system also does come with any contract, service agreement or payment plan. The equipment’s cost starts at $199 and features entry sensors, the doorbell viewer, motion detectors as well as an app that enables the user to interact with their system in real-time. Ring also allows users to include an exterior lighting system and add indoor/outdoor video cameras. Its two primary packages are offered at prices starting from $3 a month or $30 a year per camera. The advanced package prices start at $10 a month and $100 a year and support several cameras at once.
Both Ring and SimpliSafe need optimal internet connectivity to work properly. Since SimpliSafe operates only on Wi-Fi, you won’t need a router for it, making it an absolutely flexible perk as you can place it anywhere you like without being hampered by wires.
The Ring system comes with the same features and capability as SimpliSafe, with the added option of Ethernet connectivity. This is for those who don’t have a wireless connection or those who just want a faster and more stable performance with their security system.
Although Wi-Fi speeds have since then come a long way and won’t make much of a difference in performance. So you should be fine using whichever appeals to you the most. And if that means you prefer the ethernet connection, then Ring Alarm is the one for you.
Your smartphone app is basically the command center for your smart security system. With that in mind, you would want to make sure your app connects to your system quickly and gives you full control without any trouble.
With the Ring— Always Home app, you can arm and disarm your system, receive safety and crime alerts from your neighbors, control anyone or every connected device, livestream footage, converse through two-way audio, review cloud storage and get notifications.
You can get the same features with the SimpliSafe app, like using livestream footage and reviewing it, controlling your security system whenever and wherever, and receiving notifications.
If there’s one area where the Ring Alarm lacks when it comes to smart systems, it’s the lack of voice control. Instead, you have to arm the Ring security using the keypad or the app. With SimpliSafe, however, you can arm the system by simply giving an Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant-type voice command.
Although this isn’t much of a big deterrent for Ring, there are times when voice command can be useful, like when you enter or walk out of the house with your hands full.
Smart Home Integration
In spite of only having Wi-Fi access, SimpliSafe fares better than Ring Alarm in terms of smart home integration. For instance, you can easily arm or disarm your system with an Apple Watch or you can have the sensors inform your Nest thermostat to adjust the temperature of the house when you leave. Integrating with August Smart Lock will enable your house to lock itself as you leave, thereby giving you peace of mind in the event that you forgot to lock the house on your own.
Even though Ring Alarm doesn’t shine in smart home integration, it still works great with other Ring devices such as security cameras and smart doorbells. The technology for integration is there, which means that we can expect more features to be included in the passage of time.
Finally, when it comes to design, there isn’t really much of a difference between the two security systems except in colors. Ring comes in only white, whereas SimpliSafe comes in both black and white. Overall, both have a sleek and minimalist design that can easily blend with any decor in your house.
Which Security System Reigns Supreme?
Both security systems have their ups and downs. SimpliSafe’s monthly subscription can be a pinch for some and Ring can be a bit annoying due to its lack of smart home integration. Still, when it comes to installation, features, and usability, almost neither of them edge past one another. So in the end, the real winner depends on your preferences.