Ring Alarm 14 Piece Kit (2nd Gen) Home Security System Review

The Ring Alarm Security Kit protects and monitors your home. Installation is quick and easy, and you can self-monitor or pay for a professional monitoring service. The system works well with Ring cameras, doorbells, and lights. It supports smart door locks, switches, and Alexa voice commands. It’s a great security system for Ring users.

The Ring Alarm Security Kit includes a base station, keypad, door/window sensor, motion sensor, and Z-Wave range extender. A mounting kit for the keypad and two sensors, an AC adapter for the base station, a USB power adapter and cable for the keypad, a getting started guide, and an alarm kit security basics guide are also included.

It measures 1.4 by 6.6 by 6.6 inches (HWD) and has a 1.5-inch LED Ring, speaker, USB port, LAN port, pairing button, reset button, Wi-Fi, and power indicators. The base supports dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi, Z-Wave, Zigbee, Bluetooth 4.1, and LTE cellular if you have Ring Protect Plus (more on this later). It also has a 24-hour backup battery and a 105dB internal siren. The LED Ring glows solid blue when the system is disarmed and red in Home (only contact sensors are armed) or Away mode (all sensors are armed). A voice tells you the mode when you arm and disarm the system.
A sensor triggers a chime.

The 4.1-by-4.4-by-0.75-inch keypad has numeric buttons (0-9). Disarm, Home, Away, Fire, and Police buttons sound the siren and alert the monitoring service so first responders can be dispatched. Pressing the Medical button will call for an ambulance.

Z-Wave contact sensors for doors and windows are bulky (2.5 by 1.0 by 0.5 inches). Each uses a three-year CR123 battery and can be mounted with double-sided tape or screws. The motion sensor runs on a CR123 battery and uses Z-Wave to communicate with the base station. The range extender (3.1 by 1.8 by 1.1 inches) plugs into a wall outlet and extends the Z-Wave signal by up to 250 feet.

The Ring Alarm uses the same Android and iOS apps as the Ring Video Doorbell Pro, Ring Floodlight Cam, and Ring Stick Up Cam. App links all Ring devices to alarm. When an alarm sensor is triggered, you can start recording a Ring Stick Up Cam and turn on Ring lights. The Alarm works with Kwikset, Schlage, and Yale door locks, Leviton, and GE switches and dimmers. It supports Alexa voice commands and Alexa Guard, which listens for smoke alarms and breaking glass while you’re away. IFTTT applets, Apple HomeKit, and Google Assistant aren’t supported.

Extra door/window sensors are $19.99 each, motion sensors are $29.99, and range extenders are $24.99. First Alert smoke/CO, flood/freeze, and panic buttons are also included.

You can monitor the system using the mobile app and web app, but you’ll have to alert the police or fire if there’s a break-in or fire. 24/7 professional monitoring includes police and fire department dispatch and push and email alerts. You can also get Ring Protect Plus. It has unlimited cloud recording for all Ring cameras, making it a great deal.

SimpliSafe’s basic 24/7 monitoring costs $14.99 per month, but you must pay $10 more to control the system from your phone and receive email and push notifications. Add $4.99 per camera per month to record, download, and share video, and you’re up to $30 per month, three times the Ring Protect Plus plan.

The Ring app has a user-friendly Dashboard with a live camera and doorbell previews. Disarmed, Home, and Away buttons are on the Dashboard screen. Below the buttons are tabs for Neighborhood posts and Event History.

Ring’s Neighborhood lets you share recorded events with neighbors.
You’ll get alerts when a neighbor posts a video or there’s a fire or police activity. The Events tab displays sensor activity, arming and disarming times, and motion detection. Live views of each Ring video doorbell and camera are displayed below Neighborhood and Events.

Tap the three-bar icon in the upper left corner of the Dashboard to access the Alarm settings. Here you can enable/disable email and push notifications, change your location, enable/disable specific sensors in Home and Away mode, change the Entry and Exit delay timers (30 to 180 seconds), and allow additional users to control the Alarm and other Ring devices.

Well-written instructions make installing Ring Alarm easy. If this is your first Ring device, download and create the app. I opened the app, tapped Add a Ring Product, and selected Alarm. I plugged in the base station and pressed the pairing button, which started the blue LEDs spinning. I opened Find My Base Station, selected Wi-Fi as my internet connection method (you can also use Ethernet), and entered my Wi-Fi password. The LEDs flashed white briefly before turning solid blue, indicating a successful pairing. App confirmed the connection.

Next, add the pre-paired included devices. The contact sensor was added after I removed the battery tape. If you want professional home monitoring, verify your address now; otherwise, accept the terms of service. Choose the device type (door, window), name it, and assign it to a room (or choose No Room Assigned). I tested the sensor on a window and then moved on to the keypad.

I removed the battery tape and waited a few seconds for the app to add the motion sensor. After plugging in the keypad, it was recognized in a few seconds. I gave it a name and location, hung the mounting plate with the included screws, snapped the keypad into place, and created an Access Code. I named it, mounted it with double-sided tape, and tested the sensor. I plugged the Z-Wave range extender between the base station and the motion sensor, named it, and assigned it to a room. Installation took 20 minutes.

The alarm worked perfectly. When a sensor was triggered in Disarmed mode, the base station chimed and logged the event within seconds. I received push and email notifications when the base station was unplugged and switched to the cellular network on battery power. An alarm doesn’t send push or email notifications when a disarmed sensor is triggered. This may not seem like a big deal, but it’s nice to know when windows and doors are opened while you’re away.

In-Home and Away mode, the system reacted with a piercingly loud siren and flashing red LEDs whenever a sensor was triggered, and the app provided a screen that allowed me to disarm the system with a button quickly. My Home, Away, and Disarm commands were quick.

Ring Alarm’s home security system is easy and affordable. The system can be installed in 20 minutes and self-monitored via mobile device or desktop. Or subscribe to the inexpensive Ring Protect Plus Plan, which includes unlimited cloud storage for any Ring camera you own. The Ring Alarm works with all of Ring’s security cameras, doorbells, and smart lighting devices, making it one of my top picks.

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