The home security industry is booming, with new providers popping up constantly. It can be challenging to know which provider is best. If you're looking at upgrading your home security cameras, you'll encounter a variety of providers. Ring and YI cameras have decent reputations and a lot to offer.
Ring was launched in 2013 following a successful Kickstarter campaign, launching with a video doorbell that remains popular now.
YI was launched in 2014 and sold various equipment under its primary brand YI and sub-brand, Kami. YI provides security cameras, dash cams, and more. Let's take a look at what each provider can offer.
Ring vs YI: What do they have in common?
- Installation: No professional installation is offered, but each provider offers user-friendly DIY installation.
- Night vision: Many cameras offered by YI and Ring have night vision capabilities.
- Cloud storage: YI and Ring rely on Cloud storage.
- Customizable motion detection: You can set customized motion detection zones
- Two-way audio: Two-way talk is an essential feature for most security cameras - you can make it seem like you're home, even if you're not.
- Mobile app: You can receive motion alerts and notifications from your outdoor security cameras via a handy mobile app, available on Android and iOS.
- 1080p resolution: Ring and YI cameras offer 1080p HD camera quality. Some of the best home security cameras in this industry offer 1080p HD quality - most aren't up to 4k resolution yet.
- Amazon Alexa: You can set up either system to work with Amazon Alexa.
- Weatherproof cameras: YI and Ring offer weatherproof cameras.
Ring vs YI: What are the differences?
- Video quality: YI's frame rate is lower than Ring's, resulting in decreased video quality.
- Speaker quality: YI's speakers are lower quality and don't pick up all sounds - not ideal for a home security system.
- Pricing: YI's cameras start at less than $30 - Ring cannot beat that pricing.
- Local storage: YI is built for optional local storage with a MicroSD card slot on all cameras (except the doorbell camera).
- Customer support: Ring offers solid customer support, but customer reviews on YI products reveal that customer support can be lacking.
- Indoor options: YI offers extras such as a baby monitor with crying detection. Ring's offerings are primarily outdoor options.
Ring: What you need to know
Ring was launched ten years ago with the help of a successful Kickstarter campaign. Following success with their video doorbell, Ring expanded to offer extensive security systems, with smart lighting, smoke alarms, and traditional security equipment offered. Let's look at what they have to offer
Your experience with installation will depend upon your choice - a Wi-Fi camera is quite straightforward to install; it's a matter of plugging in and turning it on. But wired systems are more difficult, relying on some skill and patience (or an independent tradesman). Depending on where you live, you can ask Amazon for a quote, but professional installation isn't offered as standard.
Ring offers some equipment and compatibility with others, such as Honeywell security equipment.
Some equipment you can incorporate includes:
- Keyless smart locks
- Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
- Smart video doorbells
- Outdoor cameras
- Indoor cameras
The base package includes:
- Base station
- Five contact sensors
- Two motion detectors
- Range extender
Ring can play a key role in your smart home, and you can build your ecosystem comprising window sensors, smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, and more. Still, there's no real third-party automation (beyond Amazon Alexa).
- Equipment costs: Ring's basic package begins at $199, and a premium kit is available for under $600. Individual cameras are available for $99.
- Monthly costs: You can pay for monitoring at $10 per month or $100 per year.
- Indoor and outdoor cameras: Ring offers a vast selection of cameras designed for indoor and outdoor use, with built-in motion sensors.
- Affordability: For less than $200, you can receive a 5-piece security kit from Ring, with optional paid storage and monitoring.
- Professional monitoring option: Ring provides affordable monitoring for just $10 monthly.
- Limited package options: Ring doesn't offer mix-and-match or customizable packages.
- Video storage fees: If you want to keep your videos stored, you'll need to sign up for a cloud storage plan.
YI: What you need to know
YI is a modern, affordable provider that launched in 2014 to offer advanced, intelligent imaging technologies, an array of HD video quality security cameras for homes and businesses, and dash cameras. Let's take a look at what they can do for you.
YI cameras are easy to install; everything you need will come with your purchase. One disappointing aspect is that customer support can be hard to get in touch with - if you can't find the answers you need online, you may get stuck. All cameras are wireless, except the Kami wire-free outdoor camera - which still needs to be plugged into a power outlet, which is something to remember during installation.
YI offers a range of equipment compatible with the YI Home app. Popular equipment includes:
- Baby monitors
- Indoor cameras
- Outdoor cameras
YI cameras are wireless, with real-time monitoring and motion-activated video recordings. Most are plugged in, except battery-powered cameras. Battery life is an area that could do with improvement. Most YI cameras have a 110-degree field of view; compared to Ring's specs (field of view up to 180 degrees), they're not as advanced, but they're affordable.
YI smart cameras have smart features such as motion tracking and human detection, but third-party integrations are lacking. The only meaningful integration offered is Alexa compatibility with some indoor cams.
- Equipment costs: YI cameras are affordable; the YI 1080p Home Camera is the cheapest starting at just $24.99. The YI Dome Camera has more features and costs $59.99. No matter which you choose, you'll have an excellent piece of kit without paying much.
- Monthly costs: YI stores 6-second clips when motion triggers, but if you want additional cloud storage, you'll need to subscribe to one of three YI cloud plans. The Entry plan is $5 per month and covers a single camera with seven days of history.
The Standard plan runs $12 per month and covers five cameras with a 15-day history.
The Plus plan runs at $19 per month and covers five cameras with a 30-day history. You may be able to access a discount for paying yearly.
- Cost: YI cameras offers some of the cheapest indoor security cameras in the industry, starting from $24.99.
- User-friendly: YI cameras are easy to use and install.
- Quality: YI cuts corners in some areas, such as frame rate and customer service, to achieve cut prices.
- Professional monitoring: There's no professional monitoring offered
Ring or YI?
YI is ideal for those looking for a cheaper provider, but you get what you pay for. While some of their equipment is handy and easy to use, customer support is limited, and they cut some corners. Ring is ideal for peace of mind; you have access to a greater variety of features (including better video resolution) with Ring cameras and better customer support from Ring.
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.