Ring vs SimpliSafe: which home security company offers the best protection?

Ring Alarm Security Kit
(Image credit: Ring)

In the battle of home security companies, it can be hard to decipher just which is offering the best value for money, ease of use, and long-term security. Two of the biggest players are Ring and SimpliSafe, which both have their strengths but also weaknesses that help differentiate their offerings from one another.

Both feature in our guide to the best home security systems due to their DIY nature and relatively low cost for entry.

We have dug into what both brands offer with their DIY security systems, standalone security cameras, and other accessories in this Ring vs SimpliSafe guide to help you decide which would work best for your lifestyle and home set-up, and provide some answers to questions you may have. 

Simplisafe indoor security camera

(Image credit: SimpliSafe)

Ring vs SimpliSafe: Security cameras

SimpliSafe offers indoor and outdoor security camera options, both of which require an existing SimpliSafe system to work. The indoor option offers 24/7 HD video for free, and motion sensors are calibrated to only recognize the heat signature of humans. You also get 30-days of storage and the ability to record, download and share video clips. The camera costs £49 / $99.

The SimpliSafe outdoor camera is battery-powered with a promised life of 3-6 months before needing to be recharged. A built-in spotlight means you can see more at night, and 8x zoom means you won't be left squinting at footage to see what was going on. The camera also has a built-in siren and 2-way audio. It costs £180 / $180.

Ring has a wider range of indoor and outdoor security cameras, ranging from wired and wireless indoor cams to outdoor devices with integrated floodlights and solar chargers. The new Ring Spotlight Cam Plus is battery-powered and boasts color night vision, built-in spotlights, and a siren. It costs £180 / $200 / AUS$289.

At £49 / $60 / AUS$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 video clips.

  • Verdict - Ring has more cameras to choose from, and the floodlight cameras from the brand are fantastic if you want to capture more action at night. However, if it's value for money that's most important to you, then you arguably get more with SimpliSafe's free package. If you want to be able to record and store video without extra fees, for example, you may be better off with SimpliSafe.

Ring doorbell

(Image credit: Ring)

Ring vs SimpliSafe: Video Doorbells

Ring is probably best known for some of the best video doorbells around, so SimpliSafe has a hill to climb in this area. The choice offered by Ring certainly dwarfs that of its rival, and this variation in features and price gives Ring the edge.

SimpliSafe currently has one video doorbell that integrates seamlessly with its security system - the Simplisafe Video Doorbell Camera Pro. Video is delivered in 1080p HD resolution with a 162° field of view, infrared night vision, and a pan and zoom function. It's also hard-wired, so it requires an existing doorbell set-up. The doorbell will set you back $169 in the US but is currently unavailable 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 / AUS$119 and the most expensive being the Ring Video Doorbell Elite at £350 / $350 / AUS$499.

The newest model, the Ring Video Doorbell 4, has an HD resolution, 160° field of view, quick replies, and customizable motion zones. It also adds a pre-roll feature to the line-up, allowing you to see not just an event but also the seconds leading up to it.

  • Verdict - You can't argue with Ring when it comes to video doorbells, and the design of their devices has become iconic for a reason. With more choice at a wider range of price points, it's easier for newcomers to invest in a doorbell that fits into their home, whereas SimpliSafe's wired option requires existing hardware. On top of this, it's only currently available in the US.

home security system

(Image credit: Simplisafe)

Ring vs SimpliSafe: Smart Alarm System Bundles

SimpliSafe currently offers six different bundles to choose from, ranging in cost between £519 / $505 and £264 / $245. The cheapest option includes a base station, keypad, entry sensor, and indoor camera. The most expensive options add a combination of entry sensors, panic button, smoke detector, temperature sensor, glass break sensor, keyfob, and wireless siren, depending on which territory you're in.

You can also choose to build your own bundle, with a base station and keypad included as standard. One of everything else will cost a total of £634 / $684, so you will save money by choosing a pre-set bundle.

Ring's 8-piece bundles vary across territories but include a combination of a base station, alarm keypad, contact sensors, motion detectors, range extender, and an indoor camera. The company's website offers a huge array of different combinations and sizes, but prices for this mid-size bundle are around £390 / $250 / AUS$756 on Amazon. There is also a 5-piece option for £220 / $200 (it's not available for Australia).

  • Verdict - it's a tie. While SimpliSafe has an excellent range of accessories and products, and it's good to see its most basic package includes a security camera from the jump, Ring offers more devices in its lowest-priced bundle. That said, SimpliSafe offers slightly more choice, adding a wider range of products as you move up in price.

Ring Alarm Outdoor Siren

(Image credit: Ring)

Ring vs SimpliSafe: Additional costs

A Ring Protect subscription is required to access a few more advanced features, such as the ability to record video, receive 'person alerts,' richer notifications, and more. This costs £3.49 / $3.99 / AU$4.95 a month for the basic package (one device) or £8 / $10 / $15 a month for the plus package (the 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 a monitored system, you can pay either 53p a day (about £16/month) for the basic package or 83p / 93c a day (about £25 / $28 a month) for absolutely everything.

  • Verdict - SimpliSafe's subscription plans are noticeably 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/month (though Assisted Monitoring is available elsewhere), but the fact that SimpliSafe charges £25 / $28 per month still means that the former is offering better value for money. Meanwhile, the UK and Australians will need to choose SimpliSafe or look elsewhere for this service.
Caroline Preece
Freelance Contributor

Caroline is a freelance contributor for TechRadar, working primarily across the smart home and appliances channels. Currently the smart home editor for Livingetc and other homes titles, she has a decade of experience in technology journalism and loves nothing more than using whatever knowledge she has gained to help herself and others make better decisions about what devices to bring into their home.