If you’re looking into purchasing an affordable home security system, you may find yourself deciding between two top contenders on the market—Ring vs. SimpliSafe.
Ring was founded in 2013 but back then, it went by the name Doorbot. It originally offered just a smart doorbell, but since then, the company has expanded to offer cameras, smart lighting and other home security products too. Amazon acquired Ring in 2018, and it is based in Santa Monica, Calif.
SimpliSafe was founded in 2006 by two Harvard Business School students after their friends’ places were burglarized, and they couldn’t find home security systems for rentals. It now offers a full line of home security products, including smart doorbells. SimpliSafe is now used in more than 3 million homes, and the company is based out of Boston.
While both companies offer solid options for protecting your home and family, SimpliSafe comes out on top for its long-standing, solid reputation as well as the flexibility of its customizable home security packages. Here we take a look at SimpliSafe vs. Ring, including what the companies have in common, what sets them apart from each other, and, ultimately, why we think SimpliSafe comes out slightly on top.
Ring and SimpliSafe: What do they have in common?
- Competitive rates: Both Ring and SimpliSafe offer affordable options when it comes to home security systems. Neither requires professional installation or professional monitoring, so you can save money if you choose to DIY.
- Easy DIY installation: Installing and setting up both systems is straightforward and simple for most people to do on their own.
- No contracts: Neither SimpliSafe nor Ring requires that you sign any long-term contracts. Even if you choose to sign up for monitoring services with either company, you can end them at any time.
- Professional monitoring options: For those who do want the extra reassurance, professional monitoring plans are available from both companies. That way if suspicious activity is detected, emergency services will be called immediately.
Ring and SimpliSafe: What are the differences?
- Package types: While both companies offer products a la carte, when it comes to a system to get you up and running, SimpliSafe offers more flexibility. SimpliSafe has a Build My System feature that allows you to create a package that fits your unique needs.
- Extended vs. limited warranty: Both companies offer the ability to get your money back if you’re not fully satisfied. But SimpliSafe offers double the amount of time for the warranty than Ring does. Ring offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, while SimpliSafe offers a 60-day guarantee.
- Camera options: While Ring offers products for both the inside and outside of your home, SimpliSafe’s cameras are meant for use inside only.
- Range of product offerings: SimpliSafe features more options when it comes to home security products. For example, it offers glass break sensors, but Ring currently doesn’t.
- Professional set-up option vs. DIY only: While both systems are simple to set up yourself, some people want the extra reassurance that professional installation brings. SimpliSafe offers it starting at $79. Ring does not.
Ring: What you need to know
Ring wowed the market when it introduced its doorbell camera back in 2013. Since then the company has expanded its product offerings to include an impressive array of other home security products as well. There are some pros and cons to consider, however.
- Indoor and outdoor cameras: Ring provides a selection of cameras to cover both the inside and outside of your home.
- Affordability: For just $179, you can get up and running with a 5-piece set from Ring. While you can add the option of professional monitoring and paid storage plans, those features are not required.
- Professional monitoring option: If you can afford it and want the extra security of 24/7 professional monitoring, you can get it with Ring for $10/month or $100/year.
- Limited package options: If you want to start with a home security package, Ring doesn't offer as much flexibility as SimpliSafe, and you may end up paying for items you don’t need.
- Glitchy sensors: There continue to be reports of issues with Ring’s sensors, which can be frustrating to customers.
- Video storage isn’t free: If you want to save any of the video footage from your cameras, you’ll have to sign up for one of Ring’s storage plans.
- Upfront payment: While not getting locked into a long-term contract is a pro for many, that also means you have to pay for the equipment upfront instead of spreading the cost out over time. Not everyone has the funds to set out in full to get started.
SimpliSafe: What you need to know
SimpliSafe has long been a leader in the home security space and has a solid reputation for providing innovative, affordable products. We think this company is a great choice, but there are some pros and cons to consider before making your final selection.
- Flexibility: In addition to preset packages, SimpliSafe offers the option to pick and choose from its offerings to design a package that meets your specific needs without overspending for products you don’t need.
- Professional monitoring option: While DIYers are welcome to monitor their cameras themselves if they want to save money, there’s also the option of adding 24/7 professional monitoring. SimpliSafe also gives you the flexibility to stop and start professional monitoring services on a month-to-month basis.
- Professional setup option: While most customers can set up their system by themselves in a matter of minutes, the letters DIY strike fear in some people’s hearts. If that sounds like you, or you just want to make sure everything is done 100% correctly, SimpliSafe does offer a professional installation option starting at $79.
- Video storage isn’t free: If you want to save any of the footage from your cameras, you’ll have to sign up for one of SimpliSafe’s storage plans.
- Indoor models only: SimpliSafe cameras are only designed for indoor use and so may not handle being exposed to the elements.
- Upfront payment: Not getting locked into a long-term contract is a pro for many customers, but that also means you have to pay for the equipment upfront instead of spreading the cost out over time. Not everyone has the funds to set out in full to get started.
Ring or SimpliSafe?
We picked SimpliSafe as the frontrunner because it has a long history of providing an array of reliable home security products, and we like the greater flexibility Ring offers when it comes to a la carte options rather than just preset packages. Both Ring and Simplisafe, however, are strong choices for helping to protect your home and family. Both companies offer affordable products and easy DIY installation, so you can get up and running quickly. They also both offer the option of a professionally monitored plan for extra security. No matter which of these two companies you choose, you can rest assured that you’re taking solid steps to protect your family and home.
This article has been reviewed and approved by Officer Banta.
Officer Banta is the official SecurityNerd home security and safety expert. A member of the Biloxi Police Department for over 24 years, Officer Banta reviews all articles before lending his stamp of approval. Click here for more information on Officer Banta and the rest of our team.