Ring Alarm is an alarm system for your home or office, with an app and expansion options. A monthly subscription is required to get the most out of the system. Techzle tells you in this Ring Alarm review whether the 299 euro set is a buying tip.
€ 299, –
1x contact sensor, 1x motion sensor
90 dB siren
Signal amplifier, control panel, base station
Ring Protect trial month, then optional 10 euros per month
8 Score 80
- Ease of use and reliability
- Possibilities (especially with Ring Protect)
- Fits perfectly into the Ring ecosystem
- Subscription required for all functions
- Extra accessories are pricey
- Little integration with other smart home platforms
The Ring brand is part of Amazon and has been active with smart video doorbells and security cameras for some time. The brand recently released Ring Alarm in the Netherlands, an alarm system that competes in price and possibilities with sets from brands such as Gigaset, Eufy and Somfy.
The starter kit
The cheapest starter kit costs 299 euros. For that money you get a base station, a signal amplifier, a control panel, a set of contact sensors and a motion sensor. The first three parts really belong to the basic package. With the set of contact sensors you can secure one window or door. The motion sensor is intended to monitor one room. You decide where you hang the sensors. In any case, do this inside and out of reach of a burglar. I secured my home office by hanging the control panel in the room by the door, hanging the motion sensor in a corner, and attaching the contact sensor to my window. You can also choose to hang the motion sensor in the living room, for example, and to attach the contact sensor to the inside of the front or back door. If you – logically – want to secure more windows, doors or rooms, you have to buy extra sensors. I find that firmly at the price. A set of contact sensors costs 35 euros and you pay 50 euros for a motion sensor. Securing your entire apartment or house can become an expensive joke. Ring sells more starter kits through its website, which are comparatively cheaper than buying many sensors separately.
This is how Ring Alarm works
You install Ring Alarm by installing the free Ring app and following the instructions. Connect the bass station to your WiFi and preferably put it in your living room. The base station contains an 85 decibel siren that goes off when visitors are uninvited. You don’t want to hide that siren in your meter cupboard, because then no one will hear it.
After installing the base station, hang or glue the sensors in the desired places and connect them – simply – to the base station. If necessary, connect the signal booster – something I didn’t do because my home office has its own router and isn’t a big room. The control panel has a battery, but it is best to hang it on the socket, so that it never runs out. On this panel you enter your own pin code when you switch the alarm on or off. When Ring Alarm is on and you get home, you have one minute to enter your code – then the siren will sound. The same is true when you leave. Therefore, place or hang the control panel in a logical place that you can quickly reach. You can also turn the system on and off from the Ring app.
You switch between three modes: switched off, home and away. When switched off, the system does nothing, so that you do not receive unnecessary notifications. At home, it registers movements, but you only receive useful notifications, for example from your linked Ring video doorbell or security camera. When away, the alarm is ‘on alert’ and keeps an eye on everything.
After a month of use, I have nothing to say about the operation of Ring Alarm. The system works properly, is reliable, has clear modes and does not give false alerts. I like that my office is secured when I leave. Fortunately for me, but unfortunately for this review, no burglary attempt was made. That’s why I did it myself, by simply not entering my code and waiting for the minute to run out. The siren is so loud that you are really startled and neighbors and / or people on the street can also hear it. I can imagine a burglar will run off.
The Ring Alarm system is, of course, more than a siren with a deterrent effect. In the event of an uninvited visit, you will receive notifications on your phone and you can take action, ranging from manually operating the siren to calling 112. If you have a Ring Protect subscription, the alarm system can automatically call the Ring emergency center and / or preset contacts. You get this subscription for a month on a trial basis and then costs ten euros per month or one hundred euros per year (which saves you twenty euros). With Ring Protect, the base station also switches on its own battery and hotspot function if your internet and / or power goes out. Your alarm system will therefore continue to work. Without Ring Protect, the base station only activates its backup battery in the event of a power failure. Nice, but less useful because your router requires power, so you don’t have internet in the event of a power outage. The alarm system cannot therefore send you a notification. I did not purchase a Ring Protect subscription after the trial month expired because I think $ 100 a year is too much money for the features on offer. Maybe you think differently, and you do take a subscription. In any case, it is nice that Ring offers these extras.
It is nice that the Ring Alarm works well with other Ring equipment such as the video doorbell and security camera. You can link them for an even more extensive system. I am less enthusiastic about the fact that Ring Alarm does not work well with the smart home platforms of Google (Assistant) and Apple (HomeKit). With this system I feel very trapped in Amazon’s ecosystem, and prefer products that offer more integrations with (competing) platforms. This may follow, because Apple, Google and Amazon will release an open home automation standard in 2021 that is supported by all.
Conclusion: Buy a Ring Alarm?
Ring Alarm is a complete and user-friendly alarm system that works accurately and can do everything I personally need. Points of attention are the expensive extra sensors, the limited integration with other smart home platforms and the fact that you have to pay ten euros per month to get everything out of the system. Because of these points, Ring Alarm is not the best alarm system for everyone, but for a large part of users it is a very good choice.