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Wed, Jun 13, 2018 7:32 PM

A detailed word about Simplisafe vs. Ring Alarm

Why Ring Alarm matters:

The home security market is much different today than it was about ten years ago when Simplisafe (SS) entered the market. At that time, SS was ahead of the game by offering easy, simple, no-contract, DIY home security solutions at a reasonable and understandable price. However, as the residential smart home market exploded in recent years, SS seemed to stand by and watch (from a consumer perspective) as other companies avidly worked to integrate their product offerings into whole-home solutions, and now it seems that SS is trying to play catch-up. But with the Ring Alarm system currently taking pre-orders, it may be too late for SS to take hold of a large portion of the home security market share that it easily could have owned.

Sadly, as a SS customer, sifting through the SS forums and experiencing the "no upgrade' fiasco for the SS3 system tells me that SS missed out on major opportunities to keep winning customers (both existing ones and new ones--because both matter). Like most consumers nowadays, the SS customer base cares most about price (the lower the better), simplicity (i.e., no contracts and DIY), and products that work (they do at least what the companies says they will do). In my opinion, at this time in the market, I see Ring as SS's biggest competitor. So this post will mostly compare these products as well as convey how SS can possibly win back the faith of their existing customer while drawing in new customers.

Subscription pricing:

The Ring Alarm system will cost $10/month or $100/year for professional security monitoring and unlimited cameras, which can all be viewed and accessed in the Ring app. SS offers professional monitoring and app access for $24.99/month (~$300/year). EDIT: Per SS forum users, SS changed their camera subscription to include up to 5 cameras for free in SS Interactive Plan.

What does SS offer that makes it at least $200/year better than Ring Alarm? And it can't just be aesthetics (as great as SS looks). Ring Alarm looks decent enough to save $200/year and also get more outdoor security features.

Equipment cost:

SS/Ring

Starter Kit: $229/$199 (keypad, base station, entry sensor, motion sensor, base station range extender [extender for Ring only])
Keypad: $69.99/$50
Base Station: N/A (price typically embedded in bundle kit; don't need multiple)
Entry Sensor: $14.99/$20
Motion Sensor: $29.99/$30
Alarm Range Extender: None/$25
Extra Siren: $59.99/$30
Smoke Alarm: $29.99 (SS)
CO Alarm: $49.99 (SS)
Smoke/CO Alarm: $40 (Ring)
Alarm Smoke/CO Listener: $35 (Ring)
Water Sensor: $19.99 (SS)
Flood/Freeze Sensor: $35 (Ring)
Temperature Sensor: $29.99/None
Glassbreak Sensor: $34.99/None
Panic Button: $19.99/None
Key Fob: $24.99/None

SS has more components, but Ring seems to be trying to undercut in price on the items that matter most. What makes SS components better than Ring's components? Why does that matter? Is SS now becoming the new "high-end' security system because of Ring's prices? That may rub some people the wrong way. Also, Ring will likely work with third-party products in the future via z-wave/zigbee protocols, and Amazon has the capability to make this happen very easily.

Suggested solutions:

I realize some of these suggestions are in the works, but I just want to lay out some thoughts about them.

Outdoor Camera
I think the outdoor camera could be a game-changer for SS, just like the doorbell was for Ring. An excellent outdoor camera can cause non-SS subscribers to get into the SS ecosystem, and therein draw them into the SS home security offering. Here are a few outdoor camera items to consider:

1) Ring's night vision is only average, so have excellent night vision. If you really want to make a dent in the market, make the night vision in color, and tell everyone about it.

2) Ring doesn't (and can't) record 24/7, so have an option for 24/7 recording. I don't prefer this because it uses too much internet and can clog up my Wi-Fi, but others really want this feature (just look at Nest's success). Like Arlo has done, this can be an added feature that costs extra.

3) Ring doesn't have local video recording storage, so have both local storage and cloud storage. Consumers want the option for both, and if you allow both options concurrently, that'd be huge.

4) The most significant feature (in my opinion) is including cellular capabilities and a solar and/or battery back-up. Consider this: When the electricity goes out, so does the Wi-Fi. And when the Wi-Fi goes out, so do the Ring cameras (along with most other wireless cameras). If SS can harness the same technology from the base station into an affordable outdoor camera that can continue recording and be viewed remotely even during power outages, this would be highly desirable. Although Arlo Go and others have done this, they are expensive and have no ties to whole-home security. Many coastal residents evacuate during hurricanes. It'd be comforting to monitor your property in such an instance even after power goes out--this is true home security and monitoring. The solar and/or battery back-up would keep it powered.

5) SS customers have wanted an outdoor camera for over a year. Ring has several outdoor cameras with more integrations. It's easy to see why Ring is more compelling. It's a need that they are meeting.

6) Get consumers excited by showing us pictures and telling us about the planned features. Ring does a superb job of promoting and showcasing their upcoming products.

7) Think potential, not profits. This camera should be seen as (A) an additional security feature for SS customers and (B) an entrance ramp for new SS security system customers. Let it work without a SS security system. But let it work better with a SS security system. Don't try to make huge profits with this product. Make it affordable enough to compete with the camera market, but give it more features. Take the best from all the existing cameras and bring it all together in one excellent outdoor security camera. This should make some noise in a crowded market.

Homekit (HK)
Ring promised HK integration over two years ago, and customers are upset that they haven't delivered. Many Ring customers are looking for alternatives right now, so strike while the iron is hot--don't let Abode, and especially, don't let Ring win this race.

SS customers have been asking for this for over a year. iOS users want a solid HK security system with cameras and security alerts for both indoor and outdoor activity. SS must now rush to be the go-to HK security system and then market themselves in that way. iOS users are more than ready. I know it's "under active development,' but consumers need a timeline and/or frequent updates. Technology is evolving too rapidly for vague answers. Plus we're impatient. iOS users are also very brand loyal, value aesthetics, and are willing to pay a little more to have simplicity. If an iOS user can get all of their home automations in the Home app, they will likely do what they can to make it happen--including pay a little more.

Lower Subscription Prices
Provide annual discounts and a lower monthly rate. If SS doesn't do this, then an explanation is needed for why Ring can do the same thing for much cheaper. Why is SS more expensive? Why does it matter? This goes back to the "high-end' discussion. If this doesn't change, Dave Ramsey and his frugal followers might be jumping ship for the cheaper alternative.

Offer Upgrades for to SS3
It goes without saying that many SS subs are upset with SS and are looking for other options. Don't make it easy to switch. Think about it: If SS customers have to buy a new system to get the new features, then they will look at competitors, too. Don't give customers a reason to look elsewhere. Just make them happy while they are still customers. If SS is concerned about losing money, remember it's cheaper and easier to keep an existing customer than get a new customer.

Market to Young Families
Young parents want to protect their family. SS likely knows this, but Ring actually markets like they know this. I don't see YouTube ads for SS, but I do for Ring. And Ring makes themselves seem fresh, relevant, and social, whereas SS seems less personal and more, well, high-end. Also, young parents have older parents that they want to take care of. So by marketing to younger parents who understand the pricing and technology of modern security systems, SS will also be indirectly marketing to older parents who are highly influenced by their kids.

Closing remarks:

I'm not sure what to expect from this post. I'm just a SS customer who is open to switching to Ring Alarm if SS doesn't do something quickly. And I don't think I'm alone. I just want SS to be aware of my thoughts before I make any changes (not that I'm any different than any other SS customer). I'm looking to get a more updated and "smarter' security system, and I've been denied an upgrade deal by SS. Thus, if I'm going to pay for a new system, I'm going to shop around. I wish SS the best as they move forward, and I hope they do something soon to keep us existing SS customers around. Thanks for your time.

1.2K Messages

4 y ago

7 nailed it! We are talking about security for your home and family here. Dont switch just to save a couple bucks. If ring turns out to be better go for it, but at this point youre betting safety on an unproven product. Theres not even 1 review yet.

33 Messages

Does anybody use Ring products? If so, what do you use? How do you like/dislike it? Does it work well and meet your security needs?

3 Messages

Hasn't shipped yet, so performance is unknown.  But IF, and that's a big if, it does work as promised, then those of us who have SS systems, particularly older monitored systems, could buy a new system and pay for the new equipment with the savings on the monitoring costs.  Amazon may or may not be losing money with $10 monitoring (including cell backup) but they've got deep pockets and can afford to do so to gain market share.  Many SS customers got into SS because they didn't want to pay ADT, etc $600/year to monitor their "free" equipment.  We knew we could pay for the upfront hardware cost with the savings on monitoring.  The same type of analysis works for comparing SS to other DIY systems, such as Ring.  If I can get a new Ring system for $300 and save $15/month on monitoring, it's something I'm going to look at really hard.

But first,we will have to wait and see if Ring works as promised.  And it it doesn't - my guess is Amazon throws money at it to make it work.  They didn't spend $1 billion+ on Ring to watch it fail.

1.2K Messages

4 y ago

"They didn't spend $1 billion+ on Ring to watch it fail."

Tell that to Disney and Star Wars.  :)

3 Messages

SS has two monsters coming after them, Google (Nest) and Amazon (Ring).  Just sitting around hoping they fail is certainly a strategy, but probably not a good one.  We'll just have to see if they are up to the challenge.

33 Messages

@cbrabson61

Well said. I agree that SS isn't just competing with security/alarm system companies anymore, they're now competing with massive global organizations with significant resources, data, and influence. That's why I think they should go all-in with Apple HomeKit (HK) and become the go-to home security solution for the HK ecosystem. This will provide them with a unique market position that has yet to be satisfactorily filled.

I know this won't matter much for non-iOS users, but the reality is that this will matter for the over 85 million iOS users in the US who don't have an attractive, simple, and high-quality security system to fit nicely into their HK ecosystem. Furthermore, 82% of US teens use an iPhone--that speaks to where the smartphone future is headed (of course, tech is always subject to change). This can help keep SS sustainable and influential for the near future.

These global companies are aiming to do much more than be a security/alarm system, and SS surely knows that. This will make it extremely difficult for them to compete. For example, when you walk into a Lowes or Home Depot or Wal-Mart or Target, you see Amazon/Ring and Google/Nest in prominent positions, but SS is nowhere to be found. These players are just too big for a great company like SS to compete. I really think SS needs to quickly get board with HK and then add great products. Because that will help them to be seen as more than SS devices, but also HK devices--and Apple will definitely push HK (and whoever is on board with HK) into the future.

1.2K Messages

4 y ago

"Furthermore, 82% of US teens use an iPhone--that speaks to where the smartphone future is headed"


82% of teens also eat McDonalds.  Most of them will evolve as they get older.   :)

33 Messages

@drunkpenguin

Touche! :) Well played, well played.

216 Messages

LOL! I'm 68 and still eat at MickeyDs. (love the Fries and the McGriddles)  Age and taste don't necessarily mature at the same rate.

708 Messages

4 y ago

As was posted in different words in another thread a while ago, who says the Google monster isn't devouring SS as we speak and the delay on the cameras (for instance) isn't due to relabeling the equipment.  SS already integrates with Nest...

33 Messages

@General_KAOS

That's true, and definitely possible. Google may see the benefit of having a major player in the industry like SS on their team--just like Amazon purchased Blink and Ring. Maybe they like the idea of having Nest and SS, which is quite a combo.

I think that if SS rolls out Google Assistant/Home support (not announced) before Apple HomeKit support (announced), then that may be what's happening. I tend to think, however, that SS is trying to be like the Amazon Alexa of home security systems, meaning they want to be open to all smart assistant ecosystems and not limited to just one. They've already begun Alexa support, and now HomeKit support is under active development--and surely Google Assistant/Home support later.

This model may work for SS. It will be a tough battle, though. Because, like we all know, they're going up against major companies who will heavily market and promote their own security systems in such a way to overshadow players like SS. If SS isn't careful, Ring will do this first, leaving SS with no unique market position. Ring already has Alexa and Google Assistant/Home support, and HomeKit support has been pending for over two years (the latest rumors indicate a Fall 2018 rollout for support). That's why I feel that Ring is SS's biggest competitor. They're so close to being a universal home security system plus an ecosystem, with unreal pricing.

Hopefully, SS has been working on something since Ring announced their alarm system last year. Now it's time to see what they will do.

Advocate

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2.2K Messages

4 y ago

"82% of teens also eat McDonalds. Most of them will evolve as they get older".

How will they evolve if they will be WORKING at McDonalds?  Seeing as the real jobs are being sent out of the country or being done by cheap foreign labor.

216 Messages

"How will they evolve if they will be WORKING at McDonalds? Seeing as the real jobs are being sent out of the country or being done by cheap foreign labor."

Well with the new self order kiosks and the burger flipping robots, I don't see much of a career path there, either.

12 Messages

4 y ago

I've been a huge SS fan from the sidelines for years. I finally pulled the trigger but am planning to call this week to return my system. The pricing of the Ring system is too good not to at least test the system. SS is a tried and true system but to get monitoring for $10 a month (assuming it's reliable) would be worth the savings. I'm expecting it to be a solid system. If the SS interactive plan were $15 a month I don't think I'd blink twice. But factoring in that for $10 a month or $100 a year Ring gives you not only professional monitoring and cellular backup, but also unlimited cameras and an extended warranty for your equipment, it could be a game changer. I hope SS does something to remain competitive.

33 Messages

@ms43482

If you decide to go with Ring Alarm, let us know about your experience. I'm sure many people on the SS forum are at least slightly curious about the quality of the system. Ring's pricing is too good to not be interested!

12 Messages

I purchased a Ring Alarm to try but ended up returning it for a multitude of reasons. I'll start by saying it's a nice system, but doesn't have the polished feel of SimpliSafe. SimpliSafe has been in the alarm business for 10 years, while Ring is brand new to the game. I'm only going to give a few positive/negatives in this post. There are some features about the Ring system that I really like including
- Tamper switches in the Ring Sensors
- The ability to see when sensors were opened (example: front door) when the alarm was off.
- Ring is coming out with a Smoke/CO2 listener that will listen to the audible alert of an existing smoke or carbon monoxide detector. This is especially nice for homes that have many existing alarms. Currently SimpliSafe sells separate smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. This is a big benefit.
- Monitoring costs are incredibly low at $10 a month or $100 a year. Ring also includes an extended warrantee when paying for monitoring with the Ring Protect Plan.
- Even without paying for monitoring you have the ability to "self-monitor" your system via the app. SimpliSafe requires you to pay for the $25 per month plan to have smart phone features.

Negatives:
- At the time of my purchase you were not able to change how sensors react. With SimpliSafe you can set sensors to instant trigger or perform secret alerts. There was just one default with Ring and I was not able to change sensors to instant trigger. Again, this was version one of the system and app and could certainly change.
- When alarming the system, if a sensor is open you are notified that you have to do an alarm bypass. To determine which sensor is open you have to open the app on your phone, unlike the SImpliSafe pin pad that will tell you what sensor is open. With Ring, you are bypassing the sensor in this scenario and it will not be monitored unless the alarm is turned off and turned back on. With SimpliSafe, if you close the sensor after the alarm is set (example: you set alarm to home and then close a window with sensor before going to bed) it will be monitored.
- When arming the system you need to enter your pin. I like with SimpliSafe you can just hit "away" or "home" and it automatically sets.
- The sensors and pin pads are not on the same level aesthetically as SimpliSafe.

These are just a few notes on my time with the Ring system. It's a great system for first generation hardware/software. I spent considerable time researching the Ring system and ultimately deciding to stick with SimpliSafe. If you have any specific questions please feel free to reach out to me.

12 Messages

@djchavar

I purchased a Ring Alarm to try but ended up returning it for a multitude of reasons. I'll start by saying it's a nice system, but doesn't have the polished feel of SimpliSafe. SimpliSafe has been in the alarm business for 10 years, while Ring is brand new to the game. I'm only going to give a few positive/negatives in this post. There are some features about the Ring system that I really like including
- Tamper switches in the Ring Sensors
- The ability to see when sensors were opened (example: front door) when the alarm was off.
- Ring is coming out with a Smoke/CO2 listener that will listen to the audible alert of an existing smoke or carbon monoxide detector. This is especially nice for homes that have many existing alarms. Currently SimpliSafe sells separate smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. This is a big benefit.
- Monitoring costs are incredibly low at $10 a month or $100 a year. Ring also includes an extended warrantee when paying for monitoring with the Ring Protect Plan.
- Even without paying for monitoring you have the ability to "self-monitor" your system via the app. SimpliSafe requires you to pay for the $25 per month plan to have smart phone features.

Negatives:
- At the time of my purchase you were not able to change how sensors react. With SimpliSafe you can set sensors to instant trigger or perform secret alerts. There was just one default with Ring and I was not able to change sensors to instant trigger. Again, this was version one of the system and app and could certainly change.
- When alarming the system, if a sensor is open you are notified that you have to do an alarm bypass. To determine which sensor is open you have to open the app on your phone, unlike the SImpliSafe pin pad that will tell you what sensor is open. With Ring, you are bypassing the sensor in this scenario and it will not be monitored unless the alarm is turned off and turned back on. With SimpliSafe, if you close the sensor after the alarm is set (example: you set alarm to home and then close a window with sensor before going to bed) it will be monitored.
- When arming the system you need to enter your pin. I like with SimpliSafe you can just hit "away" or "home" and it automatically sets.
- The sensors and pin pads are not on the same level aesthetically as SimpliSafe.

These are just a few notes on my time with the Ring system. It's a great system for first generation hardware/software. I spent considerable time researching the Ring system and ultimately deciding to stick with SimpliSafe. If you have any specific questions please feel free to reach out to me.

1 Message

4 y ago

I've been on the fence committing to any to any DIY home security system for the past couple of years.   We've seen new players entering the market as to be expected when a avoid in competition presents itself.  I'm familiar with with SS2 as my friend has it in his home, but I wasn't impressed -- it looks/feels like a fischer-price toy to me, not a home security system (sorry diehards).  He wants to upgrade to SS3 but annoyed as their is no upgrade path without purchasing a whole new system and he, too, is evaluating competitor offerings

Ring's(Amazon) entry looks promising not because of it's look but it's $10/mo monitoring plan (or $100/yr).  Ask professional in the security system business and they will tell you the money is not in the hardware, it's the recurring revenue (and commissions) on the monitoring.  That's how ADT affords to give "free" systems if you lock yourself into a 3-year contract at $40/mo+ ($55/mo+ if you want cellular).

I like Nest(Google), but it fails on monitoring costs ($30/mo, or $20/mo with a 3-year contract).

So I'm going to keep watching.  Until I see some independent Youtubers show me an real world installations and evaluations, I'm not buying.  Ring's website doesn't have detailed enough information to answer these questions (not even downloadable user manual(s) that I could find.,   I can already say I don't think I care for the keypad (A/C adapter and rechargeable battery). And no fobs.  (please don't say the Ring app).

216 Messages

We've stopped using the Key Fobs. Too many times we've (Well, Me) accidentally triggered 'away' when we weren't away.  The Phone app is much more reliable for residing in my pocket.   The new fobs are pretty, but not very useful in my opinion.

1.2K Messages

4 y ago

@glennbarrinton

Perhaps they should join the military to help us fight against these burger flipping robots when they've had enough and rise against us!

Advocate

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2.2K Messages

4 y ago

I'm pretty sure I can handle attacks by burger flipping robots.  It's the robots they are working on to replace the military which concern me...

33 Messages

4 y ago

@ms43482

Thanks for the great review! You make some excellent points about how SS has an edge over Ring and vice versa.

In terms of security features, it seems like the only advantage of Ring is the Smoke/CO2 Listener. That's a really nice concept. However, not having instant triggers is a big deal. Personally, that's how I set all my window sensors. Furthermore, the whole alarm bypass thing is rather inconvenient, too--not to mention the arming methods. Most people want to arm/disarm their alarm in a quick and easy way, which SS makes happen with the fob, app, and keypad.

Like you said, SS's experience in home security is really shining through right now. But, it seems like most of the cons with Ring could be addressed with a software update. Whether or not they do it is another thing.

Is there any sort of panic feature with the Ring Alarm? I think that's a really strong feature for SS.

Thanks again for sharing!

Captain

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4.7K Messages

4 y ago

@djchavar, wanted to thank you for not only initiating this thread but also being an ongoing contributor/moderator for it. Great information on both SS and Ring systems, I just hope SS dev and marketing are reading it too!

33 Messages

@Captain11

Thanks for the kind words! I just hope it helps consumers be a little more informed to make their own decision. And of course, like you said, I hope SS is keeping an eye on it to better understand consumer needs. What company would pass up free market research, lol?

33 Messages

4 y ago

I recently read this comment on an Amazon review of the Ring Alarm. It's regarding the instant triggers. It seems that there is a way to make it happen with Ring.

However, I noticed the Ring employee only mentioned this works on "Arm Away" mode and with motion sensors. Not sure if it works in "Home" mode or with entry sensors. It doesn't say whether it does or doesn't.

Check it out:

Hi Amazon Customer,

I'd like to follow up on your return and work with you directly to turn this experience around for you. You are able to set all devices to alarm immediately via the web app when you sign into your Ring account. If you would like the motion sensors to set off alarms immediately you can set your placement to 'Room'. You can change your placement by going to your device in the app, selecting the gear icon and selecting the placement item. It will allow you to change it there. On your next 'Arm Away' the motion sensor will set off the alarm immediately if it is tripped. Would you reach me directly at Kandyce@ring.com today so that we improve your experience with your Ring Alarm? I would appreciate this second opportunity and hope to hear from you.

All the best,
Kandyce K., Customer Satisfaction Manager
Kandyce@ring.com

33 Messages

4 y ago

I recently read this comment on an Amazon review of the Ring Alarm. It's regarding the instant triggers. According to this comment, it seems that instant triggers are possible.

However, I did notice that the Ring employee who wrote the comment only mentioned that it works in "Arm Away" mode and/or with motion sensors. So I'm not sure if it works in "Home" mode and/or with entry sensors. It doesn't say whether it does or doesn't.

Just FYI, I removed the email address in the comment below to not be flagged as SPAM.

Check it out:

Hi Amazon Customer,

I'd like to follow up on your return and work with you directly to turn this experience around for you. You are able to set all devices to alarm immediately via the web app when you sign into your Ring account. If you would like the motion sensors to set off alarms immediately you can set your placement to 'Room'. You can change your placement by going to your device in the app, selecting the gear icon and selecting the placement item. It will allow you to change it there. On your next 'Arm Away' the motion sensor will set off the alarm immediately if it is tripped. Would you reach me directly at [email address] today so that we improve your experience with your Ring Alarm? I would appreciate this second opportunity and hope to hear from you.

All the best,
Kandyce K., Customer Satisfaction Manager

1 Message

4 y ago

I will probably be switching to Ring for the monthly savings to use Alexa without paying a premium.  

I recently purchased an Echo Dot to add smart home devices.  Lo and behold, Alexa only works with the SimpliSafe premium monitoring plan.  Had I known that I wouldn't have upgraded to the new SimpliSafe system.

The savings on the Ring monthly plan will compensate for having to purchase all new equipment.  I will wait a bit to see if SimpliSafe matches the Ring plan (which includes Alexa support) before switching over.

10 Messages

4 y ago

I'm thinking of switching over to the Ring alarm as well.  Driven by the monthly cost savings.  SS is $300 per year for the service and Ring just $100.  New hardware from Ring pays itself off in a year.

Main concern is usability and which dispatch services are linked to.  Been happy with SS, but the monthly fee is too high in comparison which appears to be apples to apples for yet 3X the cost vs Ring.

33 Messages

So I thought I'd give my hands-on experience with the Ring Alarm (RA).

Here's a little background of my decision. If you just want to read about RA, you can skip down to the "Experience with RA" section.

Based primarily on cost, but also other features, such as camera options and (near future) outdoor lighting integration, I opted to make the switch to RA from Simplisafe (SS). I was a SS user for about 1.5 - 2 years using the SS2 system. The SS2 system did its job, albeit with about 3-4 false alarms. Thankfully, I never experienced an actual break-in. I also appreciated the regular "test signals" on my alarm timeline. However, when SS limited their new smart home integrations to SS3 and (at the time) did not offer an upgrade path, I began to research other options. It just so happened that RA had just been announced, and the price was significantly less.

In spite of my trust of SS and the excellent design of SS3, I made the switch to RA. I should note that I've had a Ring Doorbell Pro for about a year, which introduced me to the Ring ecosystem, reliability, and quality. In fact, the police were able to catch a group of porch pirates who stole my packages using footage from my doorbell. The motion sensor on the doorbell works incredible well, so I figured the same would be true of the RA motion sensors. I also did a little research to find that RA uses a legitimate USA central monitoring station, so that made the decision easier.

Experience with RA

I'll start by giving the RA a 3.5/5 rating. I've been using it since mid-late November 2018.

As has been noted, the overall physical design is quite clunky. It seems like something designed 4-5 years ago (which is a long time in technology years).

This clunky design issue is especially true of the keypad, which feels and looks cheap, and has stock batteries that die quickly. Some of the spacing in between the keys don't even line up. The keypad is back-lit (once you press a key) and has a small speaker that serves as a secondary speaker to the base station to provide alerts. However, these speakers are not in sync. So when I open a monitored door in Away/Home mode (giving me 30 seconds to disarm), I first hear the base station begin to sound, then the keypad. I don't like that because it immediately draws attention to the base station, which if found in time, could be destroyed and possibly prevent protection (though, Ring says it will send authorities if the alarm is not disarmed). What makes it easier to find is that it has a red (armed) or blue (off) light on it that can't be turned off or dimmed. It makes it really easy to spot at night.

The motion sensors are pretty large, but apparently that is because they have other features built in that will be used in the future. Sadly, these motion sensors don't seem to work as well as the camera motion sensors. They are pretty inconsistent. I tested it by removing my front door entry sensor to rely upon the motion sensor to detect activity. I then set the motion setting to high. Sometimes it senses motion as soon as I walk in the door. Other times, I can walk right passed it without it sensing me. That's not very comforting. Maybe Ring instructed the sensors to be placed too high on the wall (7ft), thereby affecting its ability to sense motion at lower angles. Whatever the reason, it's not consistent. (I should note that I never tested SS in this way, so I can't honestly say whether it's better, same, or worse.)

The base station design is okay, not the best or the worst. But it's also not consistent. About once a week, my Ring app will show the entire RA system to be offline. It doesn't last very long, maybe 30 seconds, but it's not what you want with an alarm system. Also, my backup cellular connectivity is 2/4 bars using AT&T.

The entry/contact sensors are actually the best designed and most consistent device. They have worked without fail.

Regarding the Alexa integration: this needs a lot of work. It has worked much less than it has not worked. Sometimes my echo dots won't disarm after I give the pin saying "sorry I can't do that." Sometimes it will disarm, but the light on the base station will still show armed, and the app will show offline. It's pretty annoying. And it was probably rushed to the public. I will say that it arms way more consistently than it disarms.

So do I regret switching? Not really. This is a new product, and though some of these issues should've been better implemented, it still works. Also, I have front door and back door cameras (both Ring) that work well enough to alert me prior to anyone reaching my home. And Ring seems to roll out updates fairly regularly. The bigger question is, do I trust Amazon?

Regarding future price increases, Amazon will likely influence Ring to follow it's method of low prices to attract the masses, then increase later. I probably won't start looking elsewhere until prices reach $200/yr. Even then, it would likely still be much cheaper than most, if not all, DIY security systems. However, if some of these issues don't improve, I'm certainly willing to switch again.

Let me know if you have any questions about RA. I'll do my best to answer them.