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Ring Alarm Review

The Ring Alarm is Ring's first home security system - read our review to find out whether it's right for you

Ring Alarm
(Image: © Ring)

Our Verdict

Ring’s smart security system is easy to install, easy to use and will give homeowners peace of mind when you’re away from home

For

  • Easy DIY installation
  • Designed to suit a variety of homes
  • Loud siren

Against

  • No key fobs

The Ring Alarm is Ring’s first DIY home security system, and while Ring is arguably best known for reinventing the doorbell, the Ring Alarm goes one step further: it practically reinvents your entire household security. 

The five piece security kit lets you monitor and secure your home from your smartphone. It’s easy to install, and its flexibility means it will suit most home layouts.  

(MORE: Save big on smart home gadgets)

Spec and Main Features

  • Upfront price: £249
  • Subscription fees: £8 per month or £80 per year
  • Professional installation required: No
  • IFTTT support: No
  • Voice assistant compatibility: Amazon Alexa
  • Warranty: 2-year limited
  • Connectivity: Ethernet, Wi-Fi, Z-Wave, Zigbee, Bluetooth for setup (plus cellular backup with Ring Protect Plus subscription); devices connect to base station using Z-Wave (76 metre range)
  • Power outage back-up: Yes

Scope of Supply

Base Station 

Power: AC adapter, rechargeable battery Included
Battery life: Rechargeable 24-hour backup battery

Keypad

Battery life: Up to 8 months per charge
Installation: Wall mount with quick-release bracket or place it on any flat surface

Contact Sensor

Power: 3V lithium battery included
Battery life: Approximately three years
Installation: Mounts to doors and window frames

Motion Detector

Power: 3V lithium battery included
Battery life: Approximately 3 years
Installation: Mounts to room corners or flat walls

Range Extender

Power: AC adapter, rechargeable battery included
Battery life: Rechargeable 24-hour battery backup
Installation: Plugs into standard UK power sockets

Installation 

The DIY installation is a major tick in the pros column. No professional installation required means no fitting costs, and once you’ve downloaded the Ring App it’s easy to set everything up. The app guides you through each step with straightforward instructions and pictures, while a printed instruction manual is also provided. 

Each device comes with everything you need for set up, including quick-release brackets, screws and adhesive strips. And the Z-Wave range extender and sensors provided are already pre-paired with the base station, so you just need to enrol them into the app. 

How it Works

Each element of the Ring Alarm kit has been developed to suit a wide variety of homes - simply find your weak spots from a security perspective, then attach the appropriate device. Because the devices can be easily moved around the house, you can trial which placements work best for you. 

The motion detector is best-suited for covering large rooms and hallways, while the contact sensor is best placed on windows and doors. The Z-Wave range extender isn’t particularly worthwhile for smaller-to-medium homes, but it can be useful if you live in a larger house because it gives you more range - you can add additional contact sensors and motion detectors if you want to cover a wider area.

The base station connects to your home internet connection using Ethernet or Wi-Fi and doubles up as the siren (at 105 dB, it’s reassuringly loud). 

Finally, the keypad lets you arm and disarm - you can do this on the app too, but it’s more fiddly, especially if you've just arrived home and you need to get your phone out. You’ll need to create a pin number for the keypad, and if you opt in to assisted monitoring with Ring Protect Plus (more on this below), you’ll also need to set up a verbal password so the system identifies you as the authorised user.

Security Modes

There are three security modes to choose from:

  • Disarmed: deactivates the sensor so you can move freely throughout the house 
  • Away: activates the sensor to protect your home while you’re away
  • Home: activates either the motion detector or sensor to provide flexibility.

You don’t have to keep switching between settings if you don’t want to, but each setting has its merit. When you arm and disarm the alarm, a voice tells you what mode you are in. You'll also hear a chime whenever a sensor is triggered (you can remove the chime if you prefer). You can select your mode of choice on the keypad, which is handy if you're just about to leave the house, or on the app. 

Ring Alarm

Ring's 5-Piece Security Kit can be controlled via the Ring app. (Image credit: Ring)

How User Friendly is the Ring Alarm?

The app is well-designed and easy to use, particularly for setting security modes for the devices. Another handy feature is that you can add shared users who can access the alarm system via the app, and create their own unique PIN. Meanwhile, any guests who come round can get their own PIN too, which can be removed once they leave. 

However, while the keypad and app are straightforward to work, it would be more convenient for Ring to have provided key fobs to use as soon as you enter the front door. 

How Sensitive is the Ring Alarm?

Very. Which can be a good thing or a bad thing depending on your requirements. The motion detector is described as pet-safe, but owners of larger pets will find your animal friends can trigger a response. And strong gusts of wind can set it off in certain rooms. 

Therein lie the beauty of attaching the sensors with adhesive tape, because you can move them around the house to suit your circumstances. 

How Smart is it? 

The Ring Alarm covers a number of smart security bases. As mentioned above, you can control the whole thing from the Ring app - you’ll get notifications when things happen, and you can view the statuses of your device and change volume levels. 

But owners of a Ring Video Doorbell or Ring Floodlight Camera (or other Ring devices) can easily connect these too. For example, you can set cameras to record and floodlights to turn on when the delay entry or alarm is triggered. 

You can also use an Amazon Alexa device, such as the Echo Dot, to set the alarm via voice control. The Ring Alarm doesn’t support IFTTT or HomeKit, however. 

Subscription and Add-ons

You can monitor the Ring Alarm yourself without a subscription package, and you’ll get notifications to your phone whenever a security issue arises. 

But if you opt for Ring Protect Plus (£8 per month or £80 per year) then you can add Assisted Monitoring - which is very handy. As a result it means that when an alarm notification isn’t dealt with - perhaps because you’re out and about, or busy in a meeting - you’ll get a phone call to warn you what’s going on. If you don’t answer the call, a pre-selected emergency contact will be notified instead. 

Battery

Each device has an internal back-up battery which will provide up to 24 hours of power in the event of a power failure.

Ring’s smart security system is easy to install, easy to use and will give homeowners peace of mind when you’re away from home