Top critical review
Beware: Don't let the low cost fool you. (Updated 1/5/19)
Reviewed in the United States on October 7, 2018
Original Review - 10/7/19 (See below for updated review)
I got my new Ring security system yesterday and installed the panel, door sensor, and motion sensor yesterday. I have had a security system with a major national monitoring company for nearly six years. I am not new to this. I got the new Ring system to replace the current system I have due to the price of the monitoring. I like the idea of having $10 a month for all of my cameras and security system combined. By switching, I am able to save $55 a month by cancelling my previous monitoring from the companies that did so for my security system and cameras.
The ring system itself is pretty basic. There aren't really bells and whistles. I am going from a fancy touchscreen panel that can control my thermostat and do a lot of other things to a panel that doesn't have a screen at all. I am aware of the change and am more than accepting of it for the monthly savings.
I do hope that Ring will eventually come out with a nicer panel that can be added to the system. Glass break sensors would also be nice to have with the Ring system.
I do like the new Ring system but it does have some things you need to be aware of that could be deal breakers for you.
First, people have complained about the larger size of the door sensors and magnets. I didn't really think this was a problem until I tried to install them on my windows. The size of the sensor itself isn't really the issue. Its the size of the magnet. IF YOU HAVE DOUBLE HUNG WINDOWS, LISTEN UP!!! If you aren't sure what a double hung window is, it is a window in which both the top and bottom panes can be opened. You can slide the top pane down or the bottom pane up independently of each other. Why is this a problem? If you do not modify the magnets for the sensors, you will need to buy two sensors for each window that you have. With my last security system, the sensor was mounted to the bottom pane and the magnet was mounted to glass on the top pane. This was done so that if either pane was moved, the sensor would trip. With the Ring window sensors, the magnet is too big to place on the glass so that the bottom panel can be moved. If you try to open the bottom panel, the window will hit the magnet and knock it off, causing it to sit on the panel in front of the sensor and not trip it. Not all windows are made the same, so this may not be the case for you, but it is worth considering. The only way I have found to get around this is to order two sensors per window or to remove the magnet from the casing and attach it to the glass. The second option doesn't look aesthetically pleasing at all. If I figure out another way, I will update this review.
Update: I used the magnets from my previous security system. If you’re truly concerned about your security, and you have double hung windows, you’ll need to either order two sensors per window or find a smaller magnet to use.
The second issue I have for the system is that there is no quick exit feature. For the entire six years that I've had a security system, I have been used to being able to press a button that will give me one minute to quietly exit the house. This is important when I am leaving for work a few hours before my family wakes up for their day. The Ring system doesn't have this feature at all. When the system is armed, it has to be disarmed (which it announces) and rearmed before exiting with a delay that can be set up with your phone (it will announce this as well and will make a sound while it counts down) or can be armed from your phone after you leave (again, it will announce this with the countdown sound). You either have to chose if you want the system to count down or not. Not counting down will immediately arm it and you will have to arm from your phone if you leave and arm it on the "Home" setting while others are still there. You can adjust the sound that is emitted from the panel so that it isn't loud, but it will also make your door and window chimes use the same volume all of the time. If you have your system armed while you’re home, and the volume is down, you might not hear the system telling you that it needs to be disarmed if you forget and open a door. There is no in-between here. If you have to leave while others are still sleeping, this may be a problem for you.
One major issue that I have is that I don't believe there is a duress code for this system. A duress code will disarm the system but also secretly send a notification that there is a problem to the monitoring company, who will send the police. The Ring system has a way of doing this that would make it obvious to an intruder that you're letting the police know there is a problem. The panel has two buttons with red dots on them. By pressing both buttons at the same time, the system will notify the Ring monitoring center that you need assistance. The problem is that the intruder will definitely see you do this instead of entering your code to disarm the panel. I can see where this may upset the intruder. I feel like Ring needs to step up and add a duress code feature so that you can be discreet about needing help.
The last thing I have an issue with is that you must enter your passcode not only when you disarm the system but also when you want to arm it. I think that is a little excessive. I think that the passcode should required only for disarming.
The positive things about the system are that it is inexpensive to purchase and monitor. I just don't know yet if the pros outweigh the cons.
I will update this review after using it for a month or so.
Updated Review (1/5/19)
I wanted to preface this updated review with the following information. I am updating this review because Ring's customer service team reached out to me about my one star review. While they didn't ask me to change my review, they did ask if there was anything they could do to make my experience better. Since I have had a few months with this system, I feel like it deserves an update.
I am leaving my original review because I feel like it still applies, since nothing has really changed as far as those issues go.
You can now arm and disarm the system with Alexa. This is very convenient because it allows you to say "Alexa, arm the system" and it will immediately do so without a passcode. Entering the passcode on the panel every time you want to arm the system is still there and still excessive, in my opinion. You can also say "Alexa, disarm the system". Alexa will then ask you for your verbal passcode (you can set this up in the Alexa app on your phone or tablet) and she will then disarm the system for you. This is extremely convenient when you first enter your home with an arm full of groceries or whatever.
To be able to walk in and disarm with your voice instead of having to put everything down and walk to the panel is the only reason my review is getting two stars instead of one. Aside from that, there haven't really been any other changes to warrant a better review from me.
The customer service rep told me that there is also Z-Wave Lock that has been implemented, but I don't know what that is. I can't find anything about it on the app. I was also told that they will be somehow integrating the Ring Stick Up Cam into the Ring Alarm system, but I am not sure how or when.
I was informed by the customer service rep that a dome siren, glass break sensor, "smoke listener" and flood and freeze detector are also being released. I was told that they are reviewing the addition of the quick/silent exit feature and duress code. I was also told that they are planning to redesign the contact sensors to be slimmer, but they cannot tell me when that will be done. If and when those things are changed, my review will definitely go to a 4-5 star review.
I really do like the system. I like the price point of the monitoring of the system, I just feel like there are a few very important things that hold it back.
I guess the takeaway from my review should be this:
Its a really good system for a great price, but it is kind of half baked. It all depends on what is important to you. I have no time frame of when the things they told me are being released. If they are going to be released in the next few months, I would say wait. If its a year down the road, I would say get the system but be prepared to possibly have to buy extra components if you want to update the system to be on par with some of the bigger companies' systems. It's really just a toss up for what you think is important to you.