In the battle of home security companies, it can be difficult to decipher which offers the best value for money, ease of use, and security in the long run. Two of the biggest players are Ring and SimpliSafe, both of which have their strengths but also weaknesses that help set their offerings apart.
Both feature in our guide to the best home security systems due to their self-contained nature and relatively low cost of entry.
We looked at what both brands offer with their own security systems, standalone security cameras, and other accessories in this Ring vs SimpliSafe guide to help you decide which one will work best with your lifestyle and home setup, and provide some answers to questions you probably have.
Ring vs. SimpliSafe: Security Cameras
SimpliSafe offers indoor and outdoor security camera options, both of which require an existing SimpliSafe system to operate. The indoor option provides 24/7 HD video for free, and the motion sensors are calibrated to recognize the heat signature of only humans. You also get 30 days of storage and the ability to record, download and share videos. The camera costs £49 / $99.
The SimpliSafe outdoor camera is powered by a battery with a promised life of 3 to 6 months before it needs to be recharged. A built-in spotlight means you can see more at night, and the 8x zoom means you’re never left staring at the footage to see what was going on. The camera also has a built-in siren and two-way audio. It costs £180 / $180.
Ring has a wide range of indoor and outdoor security cameras, from wired and wireless indoor cameras to outdoor devices with floodlights and built-in solar chargers. The new Ring Spotlight Cam Plus is battery operated and features color night vision, built-in spotlights and a siren. It costs £180 / $200 / AU$289.
At £49 / $60 / AU$99, the Ring Indoor Cam is the closest in price to the SimpliSafe indoor model. However, you will need an additional Ring Protect subscription (read more below) to be able to record videos.
- Referee – Ring has more cameras to choose from, and the brand’s flood cameras are great if you want to capture more action at night. However, if value for money is most important to you, you arguably get more with the free SimpliSafe package. If you want to be able to record and store video without an additional charge, for example, you might be better off with SimpliSafe.
Ring vs. SimpliSafe: Video Doorbells
The Ring is probably known for some of the best visible doorbells around, so SimpliSafe has a hill to climb in this area. The selection offered by Ring certainly dwarfs that of its competition, and this difference in features and price gives Ring the edge.
SimpliSafe currently has one video doorbell that integrates seamlessly with their security system – the Simplisafe Video Doorbell Camera Pro (Opens in a new tab). Video is delivered in 1080p HD with a 162-degree field of view, infrared night vision, and pan and zoom functionality. It’s also hard-wired, so it requires your existing doorbell setup. The doorbell will cost you $169 in the US but is not currently available in the UK and Australia.
Ring offers eight different doorbells – four wireless and four wired – with the cheapest being the Ring Video Doorbell Wired at £50 / $65 / AU$119 and the most expensive being the Ring Video Doorbell Elite at £350 / AU$350 / AU$499.
The latest model, the Ring Video Doorbell 4, features HD resolution, a 160-degree field of view, fast responses, and customizable motion zones. It also adds a pre-roll feature to the lineup, allowing you to see not only an event but also the seconds leading up to it.
- Referee – You can’t argue with Ring when it comes to video doorbells, and their device design is iconic for a reason. With more options at a wider range of price points, it’s easier for newcomers to invest in a doorbell that fits their home, while SimpliSafe’s wired option requires existing hardware. Moreover, it is currently only available in the United States.
Ring vs. SimpliSafe: Smart Alarm System Packages
SimpliSafe currently offers six different packages to choose from, costing between £519 / AU$505 and £264 / AU$245. The cheapest option includes a base station, keypad, entry sensor and interior camera. More expensive options add a combination of entry sensors, a panic button, a smoke detector, a temperature sensor, a glass break sensor, a keyfob, and a wireless siren, depending on which zone you’re in.
You can also choose to build your own package, with the base station and keyboard included as standard. Everything else will cost a total of £634 / $684, so you’ll save money by opting for a pre-selected package.
Ring packs of 8 (Opens in a new tab)It varies in different regions but includes a combination of a base station, alarm keypad, contact sensors, motion detectors, range extender, and indoor camera. The company’s website offers a wide range of different fittings and sizes, but prices for this medium-sized bundle are around £390 / $250 / AU$756 on Amazon. There is also a 5-piece option for £220 / $200 (not available for Australia).
- Referee – It’s a tie. While SimpliSafe has an excellent range of accessories and products, and it’s nice to see the basic package includes a security camera from the jump, Ring offers more devices in its lower-priced package. However, SimpliSafe offers a bit more choice, adding a wider range of products as prices go up.
Ring vs. SimpliSafe: Additional costs
A Ring Protect subscription is required to access some advanced features, such as the ability to record video, receive Personal Alerts, richer notifications, and more. This costs £3.49 / $3.99 / AU$4.95 per month for the Basic package (one device) or £8 / $10 / $15 per month for the add-on package (whole home). There is also a 30-day trial for these memberships.
SimpliSafe offers a 60-day trial of its security system, after which you can return it for a 100% refund if you’re not satisfied. For the monitored system, you can pay 53p a day (about £16 a month) for the basic package or 83 cents / 93p a day (about £25 / $28 a month) for absolutely everything.
- Referee – SimpliSafe subscription plans are significantly more expensive, and features like video recording are hidden behind a paywall for both Ring and Simplisafe users. Only US Ring customers can get Professional Monitoring for $20 per month (through Assisted Monitoring (Opens in a new tab) available elsewhere), but the fact that SimpliSafe charges £25 / $28 per month still means the former offers better value for money. In the meantime, the UK and Australians will need to choose SimpliSafe or look elsewhere for this service.