Is the Ring Alarm System, still worth buying in 2022?
Late last year, amongst the Amazon Black Friday deals, I purchased a Ring Alarm System, with the intention that I would make a video for it on my YouTube channel.
In the meantime, I installed another Smart Alarm System to test and post a review on my YouTube channel, and as that replaced another smart alarm system (A traditional DSC Alarm which I'd 'smartified' myself), it puts me in a great position to compare.
Last weekend, I finally ended up installing my 2022 Ring Alarm system, so here is a little about my experience and a review/comparison of the system.
Firstly, what did I buy and how much did it cost?
I purchased a Ring Alarm 13 Piece Kit (2nd Generation) + Indoor Cam for £289 Inc VAT, on the 2021 Black Friday Week sales.
The normal Price is £499, though Ring themselves are currently selling this for £429.99
The 13 piece kit that I purchased includes:
- 1x Keypad + Base Station (Internal Siren)
- 3x Motion Sensors
- 6x Door Contacts
- 1x Range Extender
- 1x External Siren
- 1x Indoor Cam
Ring also offers additional sensors to monitor for glass breaks, as well as a contact sensor for external doors.
As far as pricing goes, and based on the price that I paid - it is very, very aggressively priced in comparison to its competitors.
On-going subscription options for the Ring Alarm System are:
- Free Forever, no limit on devices
- £2.50/mo or £24.99/yr to unlock 30-day video history and additional features
- £8/mo or £80/yr for Assisted monitoring, cellular backup, 10% off further Ring purchases, and lifetime warranties for all Ring devices
Things I love about the Ring Alarm System
If you can wait for Black Friday or maybe Amazon Prime Day discounts, then the Ring solution is by far, one of the most affordable solutions on the market. Far cheaper than their competitors.
Ring Plus and Unlimited Warranty
If you subscribe to their Plus plan, at £8/mo or £80/yr - one of the things that you get is an extended warranty for all Ring devices. This is quite an understated feature that would otherwise require you to replace devices at a cost of £20-30 per sensor, were they to be faulty.
The Plus subscription also gets you 10% off further purchases from Ring direct and gives you assisted monitoring, which will automatically call key people when the system is triggered.
Having the ability to seamlessly integrate the Ring Alarm System into my Home Automation system (Home Assistant) is really powerful.
I can use all of the motion sensors and door contacts around the house to trigger other automation. Like turning my outside lights on when the front door is opened at night. Or flashing the house lights when the alarm triggers. The possibilities are limitless.
The Ring App
As far as the app experience goes, I've used this across both Android and iOS, and the experience is great.
There's quick access to your alarm system, to arm, or disarm. You can access the Ring cameras and other ring devices (I also have a Ring doorbell camera), and there is a wide range of settings that you can get to.
Get notified when doors open/close. You can also get audible chirps when doors open/close, which I find very useful to enable on external doors as an extra safety blanket. Disable the LEDs from flashing to save battery life, and even get into the advanced settings to troubleshoot connectivity issues if necessary.
From the base station, you can check and install firmware updates, see the mobile signal strength if you have cellular features enabled, test the siren, change how loud the siren is, set a schedule for when the alarm will set/unset automatically. That's a great feature if you have younger kids who let themselves downstairs in the early mornings.
Ring is one of only a handful of other smart home security companies that can integrate security cameras with the more traditional alarm system. Rings' integration of both cameras and security systems in a single app works very well together.
Notifications are fast, accurate, and you can also set the system to snooze notifications from your Cameras upon you arriving home, which can be really helpful. Ring also has a feature that I use very often when the kids are playing outside and triggering the cameras - to just snooze specific cameras for set periods of time.
Also worth mentioning here is that you can configure which sensors are armed when Home / Away modes are set. At night, you might want to only arm the door sensors to let you move around freely in the home, and during the day you might want the whole house to arm except the Garage Door.
The App can also notify you if you leave the house and forget to set the alarm.
The ring keypad has additional buttons for medical emergencies, and panic alarms - which can be really easy to show my kids how to use it. Upon someone pressing the button, my Alarm can alert neighbours or close family who could respond, so this is a hugely valuable feature to me with a house full of young kids.
Things that I don't like about the Ring Alarm System
The door contacts themselves, whilst they are one of the smallest I've seen for the new era of smart alarm systems, are still much more visible than the invisible door contacts I had on my previous alarm system. Those contacts could be hidden within the actual door frames themselves, rather than attached on the outside of the frame, visible to anyone who was looking for them.
Ring also doesn't offer different colour sensors, so my white sensors do stick out like a sore thumb against my brown frames.
The Outdoor Siren
The Outdoor Siren, whilst it looks great in its Blue hexagon shape - actually doesn't look that great (in my opinion) when stuck to the outdoor of my house.
Also, a feature that I wasn't aware of, that lets you have the Ring logo glow at night, isn't available unless you connect a second power source to the siren.
The Siren comes with 3x D-Size batteries and will function just fine with those. But for the additional feature, you also need either the extra rechargeable battery pack or mains wired power.
Retrofit Alarm Kit
I'm only adding this in here, because Ring actually makes a Retrofit Alarm Kit, which can convert traditional wired sensors, to smart Ring sensors.
This would be perfect for me here in the UK, with a house that has already been pre-wired with sensors across the whole house, in every room, and even interior doors - but is now useless with my Ring alarm.
From my research, it's available in the US only, and you cannot import one abroad because it operates on a different wireless frequency than the EU models. So unless you were to buy your entire alarm system overseas, and also risk having an alarm that is operating on illegal frequencies in this country, then it's not possible to fit this, even if you can get your hands on one.
Ring, please could you make a UK version of this!
No Police Response
Though the Plus subscription does give you assisted monitoring, this doesn't give you a professional monitoring service, and no police response. You’ll need to upgrade to the Ring Alarm Pro model for that feature.
This is a feature of the Boundary Smart Alarm that I recently reviewed. So if you need a police response, then your options are very limited, and for a smart alarm, the Boundary system is pretty much the only option.
No Siri or Google Assistant Support
Alexa echo devices integration is there, but nothing for Siri or Google - which is a huge shame when it would seemingly be fairly simple for it to be added. Since Ring is owned by Amazon, it's kind of expected though.
Overall, the Ring alarm system has been a great replacement for my old DSC alarm system. Grab yours here
I love that it integrates with my smart home system, it has the ability to automatically call me when the alarm goes off, as well as the quick action buttons for my kids to use if they need to.
The only thing to do now is wait until the next Black Friday or Amazon Prime day, so I can snap up a load more sensors to fully deck the house out!