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:


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.



4.7K Messages

Il y a 4 y

I just posted in another thread I have 4 echo devices (one echo, two dots and an ecobee4 thermostat). The connectivity options with the Echo environment are great, however,  will be remaining with Simplisafe and my SS3. Why?  Security is first, that for now the system is separate yet provides basic integration with safeguards. Yes, I want more functionality, and believe SS will provide it, for turning on lights primarily.  It can leave the locks alone, thank you, but to me the lights are a no brainer.  With the overall performance of SS3 and excellent service provided by COPS, not willing to try out a Ring experience for the $200 a year difference in savings.

Will revisit it again in a year but I believe SS will continue to provide more value and reliability in the coming year.

216 Messages

Il y a 4 y

Has anyone seen that article about that Arizona man who talked to a hacker through his Nest security camera?  The hacker told him about his passwords and a variety of personal information.

Is that sort of security breach possible with Simplisafe? Either through the Cameras or the Doorbell?

Will the Cellphone connection of SS reduce the chances of such a breach?  How much risk is involved in a networked system?  Should we rethink our security measures?

IS there a cross-marketing opportunity for SimpliSafe and some Identity protection service?

36 Messages

Il y a 4 y

Simplisafe will have to try to match Amazon/Ring with the no-cost app functionality, but I don't think they necessarily need to match on monitoring costs. Amazon is clearly dumping prices for monitoring in order to gain market share, and with the Bezos dollars behind them they can do that for a while, until they drive out the competition and raise prices.

Having the app functionality require a $25/month subscription is probably making SS a non-starter for most who are comparing with Ring.

Personally, I have decided that the benefits of the SS reliability (for me it has worked great) AND not being part of the Bezos behemoth (we need competition, people!) is reason enough to stay and pay $200 more per year.

10 Messages

I agree.  Their monthly is going to need to come down a bit to be more competitive.  The best thing of course that SS has going is they entered the market before Ring, but growth will be greatly decreased for new purchasers going forward when the monthly costs are 1/3 with Ring.

If SS was $15/mo, or maybe even $20/mo, I wouldn't even consider moving to Ring.

166 Messages

Hey Dan, I've only paid the $14.99 monthly fee since I signed up 6 years ago.  Their basic service suits me just fine and I don't see a need to pay more.  One thing in their favor is that there hasn't been a price increase since I signed up.

Ring is new to the game and they don't offer as meany sensors as SS, plus who knows how well their monitoring works.  SS (COPS) responds to all my tests in less than a minute, and I've never had a problem with SS's customer service.

I do have a Ring doorbell and outside camera and they both depend on a fast WiFi connection, so if their alarm is WiFi only, good luck with that.

10 Messages

Il y a 4 y

Well, I'm going to make the switch to the Ring alarm system.  Of course when I called SS today, their office is closed so I'll have to wait til tomorrow to cancel.  I like being able to use the apps on my iPhone and going from $24.99/mo for SS to $8.33/mo (on 1-year plan) is worth it.  Unless SS ever gives service discounts...has anyone every received one?  If not, it's been nice SS, but just too pricey for what I need.



2.2K Messages

Il y a 4 y

I think they have a discount for paying for the year.  Still won't get anywhere near 8.33 though.  

Let's hope the service you get for that low price is adequate...

And that it stays at that low price...



4.7K Messages

Il y a 4 y

@sevensiamesecats, you are correct. Pay one year, get one month free. That's how I pay mine. And staying with SS.

10 Messages

Il y a 4 y

Hope the Ring price stays low.  Definitely can see it rise over the years (like my cable bill!).

Yesterday when I called to cancel SimpliSafe, after waiting on hold for 5 min, I think it took 40 seconds with the rep.  Just said I wanted to cancel and he didn't ask why, try to offer me anything, just said ok and processed it.  At least not a hassle, but they also didn't seem to care at all they were losing a subscriber.

I'll hang onto the hardware for a little while just in case Ring doesn't perform well and perhaps SS will lower their pricing.  We'll see.

33 Messages


I had the same experience when I cancelled. I was expecting at least, "why would you like to cancel?" I like not being pressured and I don't need to be given an offer, but like you said, at least express some concern for my decision. If SS really cared about my home security, then shouldn't they be at least a little bit concerned about my decision to cancel?

Besides, how will SS be able to operate an efficient and effective customer retention program and/or make product changes if they don't know why people are cancelling? I think SS really needs to address this internally. This is causing them to miss a huge opportunity in understanding their customers and the home security market. Maybe they get the info they feel they need from this forum, but I think a voluntary phone conversation could go a long way.

If they're worried about tying up their phone lines, then they could ask if the customer would be willing to do a survey (link emailed) after the conversation for a chance to win a gift card or something. Or they could include a "cancel account" button on the app instead of forcing a phone call.

34 Messages

Il y a 4 y

For those of you that are evaluating camera solutions (indoor/outdoor) to complement your existing SS install, have a look at the Reolink Argus 2: https://reolink.com/product/argus-2/.  Sure, it requires a separate app and doesn't seamlessly integrate with your SS system (e.g., no visual verification for COPS to use when an alarm goes off), but it's yet another layer of protection.  It uses rechargeable batteries for power (or a solar panel), indoor/outdoor (although the extreme low temp is only 14 degrees F - so that may be a showstopper for some people), uses both local (sd card) and cloud storage and has amazing night vision.

There are lots of great reviews and comparisons on YouTube (I personally like the ones from LifeHackster).  Most reviewers are putting this in the class with the Arlo cams - and prefer this one.  Lastly, they're on sale for $92 until Monday.

I have one on order, arriving tomorrow.  If I like it, I'm buying more.

In another thread (https://simplisafe.com/forum/customer-support-forum/testimonials-reviews-and-suggestions/please-offer-a-self-moni), I mentioned that I'm returning my SS kit and going with the Ring package.  Actually I'm still on the fence.  I just wish they would offer a more reasonable/competitive monitoring package that would allow me to use the app when I'm away.

33 Messages


Thanks for the great recommendation!

I mostly agree with you here about the Argus 2 (and I fully agree with you about Lifehackster--excellent reviewer!). I bought one a few months ago. As you said, this is a great camera, and Reolink has many great camera options (wireless/WiFi, NVR, DVR, cellular) for great prices that can all be viewed in the Reolink app. So you could have wireless cameras and an NVR system all viewable from the Reolink app--that's cool.

My favorite thing about the Argus 2 is that it will always work, no matter if power and/or internet goes out (though it can't be viewed remotely without home internet). I like the SD card option because it keeps everything local and enables the camera to always record since it's not dependent on internet to upload video to the cloud. Of course, someone could steal the camera, which would negate this benefit; but, as you said, they also have cloud storage. Very versatile and thoughtful.

You're right, video quality is great. This is mostly because it doesn't have to send a compressed video to the cloud, which lowers the quality. Instead, we see raw footage from the SD card, which looks great, even at night. The night vision is much better than my Ring Spotlight Cam, Doorbell Pro, and Logitech Circle 2.

I do have a few gripes, though.

For starters, setup was a hassle. Maybe I'm an anomaly, but the camera wouldn't connect to my internet nor read the QR code from my phone. I had to contact customer service (who are actually pretty good) and they instructed me to reset the camera. Setup should be easy and simple, but this was not.

Secondly, when I record in full 1080p HD video quality, the camera records choppy, even though it's good quality. This could also be due to the slower 15 frames per second rate of the camera. But if I switch to 720p, the video gets smoother with slightly lower video quality (though, still very good). You just have to compromise.

Third, the app is just okay. It's a bit cumbersome and could benefit from some easier viewing options and type of activity indicators (different colors to indicate different types of motion activities).

Lastly, motion detection is not the best. My other cameras in the same area pick up far more activities than the Argus 2. It seems like motion activity needs to be closer to the camera in order to be picked up. That makes it a good option to secure an entry door but an not-so-good option to secure a yard.

However, I, too, would recommend this camera. The pros outweigh the cons, in my opinion. It's nice to know that it always works (as long as the battery is charged, ha). Thanks again!

34 Messages

@djchavar - Now that I've had my Argus 2 cam for a few days, your comments are spot on (I really love the local storage):

- Setup was definitely a hassle (glad it wasn't just me)

- I'm very disappointed in the motion detection - especially if you plan on using this as your only source of motion detection (and not supplement an existing system like SS).  Check out the latest video here (along with my extended comments): https://youtu.be/HxWO3HO_6Tw

The one other gripe I had was with the Wifi signal.  I have a wifi extender about 5 feet away from the cam and it still shows up as a weak signal (one bar), when all of my other devices (iphone, ipad, etc.) display full strength (3 bars).

As for activating PIR/motion detection - I really wish there was a way to keep your scheduled times intact AND be able to immediately arm the camera.  Currently, it's one or the other; and if you want to arm it when you leave the house, you need to delete your scheduled times.

I currently have a ticket open with Reolink (Karen) on these issues.  I'm hoping these can be improved with a firmware update.

33 Messages


I have the same issue with WiFi. It's not the best connection, which is probably why I get choppy video quality.

If you could, let us know what you find out regarding your open ticket with Reolink.

15 Messages

Il y a 4 y

I read the original post about how Simplisafe "seemed to stand by and watch" .

The worlds most valuable company, Apple, can be accused of "standing by and watching" while its competitors get features to market first... but when they do it, it is perfected and works.

Simplisafe has moire sensors and as a new purchaser it just works..

Honestly, with Ring being owned by Amazon, a HUGE company, I would actually expect them to step up the product a bit.  Granted they win as far as pricing, however you need a range enhancer and their keypad doesn't even have a display!

Il y a 4 y

SimpliSafe does have an upgrade program from SS2 to SS3! its for 40% off the new system. it does require you to ship back the old system however. just call in to simplisafe and ask for the All-New SimpliSafe Upgrade System. if the rep is still unsure about it then just tell him/her to look up the coupon code ALLNEW40CS. hope this helps out anyone interested in the newer generation.



2.2K Messages

Il y a 4 y

You don't even need to send back the same stuff as you ordered for SS3.  They say they are looking for the "key" components, which they list as base, keypad and master keyfob.

96 Messages

Il y a 4 y

Thank you for an excellent non-bias review of your new RA system.
You've provided some great insight into the difference between the 2 systems

33 Messages


Thanks--I'm glad I could help! Let me know if you have any questions about the systems.

708 Messages

Il y a 4 y

@djchavar - I started to respond to another poster about not being asked why are you leaving, but passed on it.  Not that I am singling you out, ...   I am finding this comment a little amusing.  If I were to be considering canceling SS monitoring because of a specific issue, I probably would begin the call with "because of X, I am canceling my service."  this would give SS a chance to try to solve the issue.  But what really makes me chuckle about this comment is I can just imagine the posts if SS support did ask "why are you canceling."  I can see the comments now: SS support gave me the third degree, they tried to sell me even more, they kept me on the phone for 30 minutes, they make canceling so hard,...

33 Messages


Thanks for the comment!

I'm not sure that I fully understand what you're saying, but it seems like you're saying the cancellation situation is a lose-lose for SS. Is that right? That is, if SS doesn't ask "why are you cancelling?" they get grilled for not caring; yet if they do ask "why are you cancelling" they get grilled for being difficult.

If that's what you're saying, then I can see your point. (But if I misunderstood, please do correct me.)

In my opinion, I simply think it's good business practice for a subscription-based service company to understand their customers in order to better serve them and thereby better obtain and retain subscribers.

Here was the gist of my cancellation experience: Me: I would like to cancel my service; SS: what's you safe word?; Me: (safe word); SS: okay, you're account has been cancelled. thank you for calling. (Please note, the rep was not rude.)

I know this seems nit-picky, but I really think this conversation can help SS in the long run. As you suggested, surely there are people who provide a cancellation reason up front. But I think there are also many who don't.

Here's my suggestion for a cancellation script: Me: I would like to cancel my service; SS: sure, I can help you with that. what's you safe word?; Me: (safe word); SS: okay, is this (first name)?; Me: (yes); SS: okay (first name), I'm going to process your cancellation for the (subscription plan). Is there any particular reason you're cancelling today? Or is there anything I can help you resolve? Me: (reason); SS: I understand. We appreciate your business and hope to serve you again in the future.

I don't think something like that is too pushy (leading to a harsh negative comment, as you suggested), yet still provides SS with some crucial info needed to find strengths and weaknesses and areas for change and adaptation.

Thanks again for your comment!



2.2K Messages

Il y a 4 y

I have an outdoor camera with SD card: I don't use it any more because it rapidly fills up and then can't hold any more.  Maybe not a problem indoors, but a total pain outdoors.  Unless it starts overwriting the oldest entries, I would not ever get another SD card based camera.  DVR is a better choice for outdoor monitoring.

34 Messages

The Argus 2 camera does not record continuously - only when instructed or when motion occurs (if enabled).  This is to save battery since it's truly a cordless device (with a rechargeable battery).  Once the card fills up, clips are overwritten FIFO.  The maximum size of the SD card is 64GB.  Reolink recently launched their beta cloud storage (for free).  Whenever video is captured, it is also written to the cloud - which is useful in case someone destroys/steals the camera.

708 Messages

Il y a 4 y

@djchavar - in spite of my best efforts to create KOAS, your understood exactly what I was saying.  I agree SS should know why people are leaving.  I am ASSuming if a person is canceling service (most of the time) they haven't had a good experience.  Yes, a few will cancel for financial reasons, etc.  If the user already has a "bad taste in his/her mouth" anything other than "yes, it is done," will be magnified significantly to the point of "SS wouldn't let me cancel."  Again, this wasn't intended specifically/directly at you, only that many that cancel post the same comment.

Good luck with whatever company you go with.  I would follow with a quote from the Captain, but, ...