I have been using the Ring Alarm for some time now and through this use I have a good amount to say about it. I know the Ring Alarm has been out for some time now but I wanted to wait and really use the Ring Alarm for some time before throwing a review out. For those of you who do not know the Ring Alarm is a DIY monitored (professional or self) security system from the same people who brought you the Ring Video Doorbell…Amazon!
The Ring Alarm has your typical alarm system components, a siren, door/window contact sensors, motion sensors, and keypads. All of these sensors connect to the Ring Alarm Hub using wireless via Z-Wave Plus and have your typical Z-Wave range so pay attention when building your mesh network as these are battery powered devices so they will not repeat! Luckily Ring includes a Range Extender with the kit and you can always add more.
The design of the components I feel is a bit dated. The motion sensors and door/window sensors included with the Ring Alarm are rather large so I am not a huge fan but I can live with them. That being said you can pair some third-party Z-Wave sensors to the Ring Alarm however if you have professional monitoring these sensors will not be monitored. I am a fan however of the design of the keypad for the Ring Alarm. The keypad has what I will call a minimalistic, industrial design which I find easy to use and gives me everything I need and nothing more. I have read a lot of people asking for a touchscreen display on the keypad but I am not in that camp.
Now something I thought was interesting is that when you first set up the Ring Alarm you will notice that everything is already paired to the Hub. I was not entirely sure how I liked this. From a DIY perspective I get it and it really does make things simple during setup, but from someone who has a lot of experience in this space and who knows how to properly build a mesh network I felt handcuffed. When I first setup my system I did not need the range extender but because all the devices were already paired I had this device that was showing offline and my O.C.D. could not handle that so I had to plug it in. That is most likely just a me problem and not something that should take away from the Ring Alarm in any way.
Now what makes the Ring Alarm different from other players in this space is the price of monitoring….$10 per month is supper inexpensive for professional monitoring plus if you have a Ring Video Doorbell or other Ring camera cloud storage is included so you do not need to pay for that in addition to monitoring. If you are in the Ring ecosystem (which I am heavily entrenched in) and in the market for an alarm system the Ring Alarm is a steal.
In my experience with the Ring Alarm I have not had any issues with false alarms or sensor reliability. I know there are some people who will say “its Ring you are going to have issues, don’t trust your security to Ring” but I don’t know I must be doing something wrong because I do not have issues with my Ring devices but maybe that is because I put so much time into designing every aspect of my home systems. I did a good amount of testing to see how fast notifications worked and how quickly the monitoring company would call and those were both on par with larger alarm companies like Alarm.com and ADT that I have worked with in the past.
One thing that the Ring Alarm is missing is integration with other systems. I would love to see Wink or SmartThings integration but understand it is a security system so that may need to stay separate. IFTTT and/or Stringify support would also be nice and I can only assume some of that is coming. As I write this however I am not really sure what I would use third-party integration for other than to remove the now duplicate motion and contact sensors I have. So I guess lack of third-party integration is something that I am okay with but would love to get everything security and automation into one ecosystem so perhaps in the future…
With the hardware costs for the Ring Alarm being as reasonable as they are and the low cost of monitoring (its free if you are already paying for cloud storage of your Ring Video Doorbell) there is no reason not to jump on the Ring Alarm if you are in the market for an alarm system.
Anyone using the Ring Alarm? Let me know your experiences in the comments below.
I am passionate about the IoT and connected devices. Using connectivity to automate our lives will empower civilization to achieve greatness.