SimpliSafe vs Ring: Which Smart Security System Is Best for You?

Both DIY security systems have a lot to offer

If you're looking for a DIY security system, you might be trying to decide between SimpliSafe vs Ring. Both are wireless and offer some great benefits, so what's the difference? We reviewed them both to find out.

SimpliSafe and ring logos

Overall Findings

SimpliSafe
  • Wireless DIY installation.

  • Professional or self-monitoring.

  • Low entry costs, low monthly monitoring fees.

Ring
  • Wireless DIY installation.

  • Professional or self-monitoring.

  • Low entry costs and monthly monitoring fees.

When considering SimpliSafe vs Ring, on the surface, they seem like they're pretty similar, but they do have some subtle, but important differences. Both offer DIY installation and both have wireless systems that include cellular backup so if the power goes out you're still covered.

Both also have professional monitoring, but SimpliSafe is a little bit more expensive on a monthly basis, though neither company requires a long-term contract. Finally, both systems have a variety of equipment offerings so you can create the system that's right for you.

Installation: Both are Peel-and-Stick Easy for the DIYer

SimpliSafe
  • Fast, Easy installation.

  • Additional components to build the exact system you need.

  • Limited to SimpliSafe devices.

Ring
  • Fast, Easy installation.

  • Additional components to build exactly the system you need.

  • Works with third-party devices.

As a DIY option, you can't go wrong with either SimpliSafe or Ring. Both have easy installations that aren't much more involved than peel-and-stick adhesive. And for both systems, you have multiple options for the equipment you choose to install.

SimpliSafe has window and door sensors, indoor and outdoor cameras, and doorbell cameras to choose from. You can even add on water sensors, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, glass break sensors, and panic buttons. All come pre-programed to automatically sync with the SimpliSafe mobile app, making installation almost as simple as choosing a location and turning the device on.

Ring on the other hand, has all those devices, plus a few extras, like a garage door sensor, and it works with many third-party devices such as Z-Wave smart locks and GE wall switches. Ring has also moved into smart lighting, which means you can get path lighting, indoor and outdoor lighting, and spotlights integrated into your home security system.

Both also offer professional installation, but SimpliSafe comes out on top in this aspect. For a flat fee, someone will come install your SimpliSafe system for you. With Ring, however, you'll have to pay by device to have your system installed, which can get expensive fast.

Camera Options: Ring Offers Many More Options

SimpliSafe
  • Offers a limited number of cameras.

  • Does have a doorbell camera, but no other outside options.

  • No battery-powered version of the indoor camera.

Ring
  • Many camera options available, both indoor and outdoor.

  • Battery-powered wireless options available.

  • Multiple doorbell camera options to choose from.

It's hard to imagine a security system that doesn't offer outdoor cameras, but SimpliSafe does not. The company, does, however offer a doorbell camera. Beyond that, there's an indoor camera. So, this system is mainly for indoor security, and won't help much beyond the area surrounding your front or back door.

Ring offers a larger variety of cameras, including indoor powered and wireless cameras, outdoor cameras, and spotlight cameras. This is in addition to the Ring Doorbell line of cameras that work wired or wirelessly. Your cameras can also connect with Amazon Alexa, so you can view live camera streams on any Alexa device with a screen.

Mobile App: SimpliSafe Has Better Ratings

SimpliSafe
  • Fast, easy setup of new devices.

  • App is intuitive and easy to use.

  • Can view and record video at the same time.

Ring
  • App is easy and intuitive to use.

  • Connects with 'Neighborhood' to help you know what's going on with your community.

  • Cannot view live and record at the same time.

In a DIY security system, the functionality of the app is essential to using the system. In this case, SimpliSafe has an app that's straightforward and it's easy to add devices because they're already app-ready when they arrive. Just turn the device on, the app recognizes it, and you're live. There are also some settings you can tweak to make your devices, like motion sensors, more useful to your specific situation.

Ring's app is also easy to use, but adding a new devices is a little more complicated than just powering it on. Still, even new users can figure it out relatively quickly, and like SimpliSafe, Ring has some features you can tweak in the app to further customize your devices to meet your needs.

One additional feature Ring has which some users may find useful is 'Neighborhood' alerts. Ring receives and shares crime data within people in a given area, so if something (a break in, armed robbery, etc.) occurs in your area, you'll receive an alert on your app to keep you in the know.

Emergency Services: Mostly a Tie

SimpliSafe
  • 24/7 Professional monitoring & self-monitoring available.

  • Amazon Alexa integration.

  • Higher monthly price for monitoring service.

Ring
  • 24/7 Professional monitoring & self-monitoring available.

  • Amazon Alexa integration.

  • Lower monthly price for monitoring with discounts for paying yearly.

Both SimpliSafe and Ring offer a professionally monitored option for their security system. Both are 24/7, and both include alerts to emergency services if an alarm sounds and you can't be reached to verify that it's an actual need. And with both systems, you can use Amazon Alexa to arm or disarm your system.

Where Ring takes the lead is in pricing. Even the most expensive monitoring plan with Ring is less than SimpliSafe, and that's even at a month-to-month price. With Ring, if you pay for a year at a time, you also get a discount on monitoring.

Final Verdict

If you're still trying to decide on SimpliSafe vs Ring, you'll likely find that it comes down to two things: device selection and personal preference. Ring has far more devices to offer, and with third party integration, you can integrate the system with your smart home for a full smart safety system. Despite that, both of these systems offer security options for the DIYer that are easy to install, and mostly very affordable.