A less-than comprehensive security system that benefits from smart home compatibility, usability and an affordable price tag.
Good value for money
Choose between 10, 9, 7 or 5-piece kit
Can connect to other Ring and Alexa devices
Doesn’t include security cameras
Hub is quite large (but can be wall mounted)
Ring has built its reputation on home security products, from its range of leading video doorbells to its security cameras. The Ring Alarm 5-Piece Kit is probably its most popular home security set, offering a range of devices such as contact and motion sensors that promise to guard the inside of your home from unwanted intruders.
We wanted to put the kit through its paces to make sure its brand recognition wasn’t hiding a sub-par system. All in all, we don’t think so, and had a good experience with the Ring Alarm overall. Scroll down to see what we thought, and how we tested it.
And if you still want to shop around, take a look at our roundup of the best home security systems from a wide range of brands.
Note: The Ring Alarm (2nd Gen) 5-Piece Kit is now available to order, and includes the same devices with a significant makeover.
Ring Alarm 5-Piece Kit: Specs & Set-Up
Components: Base station, keypad, contact sensor, motion detector, range extender
Power (base station): 100-240V
Dimensions (base station): 16.9 x 16.9 x 3.6cm
When first unboxing the Ring Alarm system it can seem a little overwhelming, but set-up is actually very easy. You’ll need somewhere to plug the base station into the mains, and you should download the Ring app and set up an account before getting started. When reviewing, we already had an account connected to the Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus.
Helpfully, all of the devices can be set-up without any drilling or screwing into walls, and items like the contact sensor come ready with adhesive strips so that you can attach them to doors and windows immediately. The only big piece of advice we have is to make sure everything is where you want it to be before you arm the system - you don’t want the siren going off before you’ve figured out how to shut it off!
This is done either with the app or the keypad, which can also be used to switch between customisable Home, Away and Disarmed modes.
And if you live in a larger home, then the range extender will ensure that your alarm system will be able to cover the whole property without any problem. Place it at a more or less central location for best results.
Ring Alarm 5-Piece Kit: Features & Design
For this review we installed the contact sensor on a set of French doors, the motion sensor by the back door of the house and the hub and keypad in the main living area.
Personally we found it easier to control the system using the Ring app, which also gives you control when you’re entering the house from the outside. That said, others will likely prefer using the keypad the majority of the time, whether that’s because they don’t use their smartphone frequently or they prefer its simplicity.
The contact sensor was by far the most useful element of the alarm system, letting off a brief ‘ding’ as soon as the door was opened (when the system was set to Home) and a very loud siren when it was opened while the system was armed.
The siren is definitely loud enough to alert neighbours should it be left blaring for too long, making it effective should a burglar open a door or window without you knowing.
The motion sensor also works well, operating much like the sensor on the Ring Doorbell range. And if any of your devices begin to run low on battery, a push notification is sent to your phone so you know when it’s time to charge.
We tested the kit without an Alexa-enabled smart speaker but, if you happen to have one, it can be used to control the Ring Alarm kit by saying something like ‘Alexa, set Ring to Away mode’. Useful if you’ve got your hands full on the way out of the door.
Ring Alarm 5-Piece Kit: Our Verdict
Ring’s Alarm kit is one of the simplest to use and inexpensive home security systems out there, and gets bonus points for allowing you to build a comprehensive set of security devices over time. It’s compatibility with Alexa, Ring and other Amazon-friendly devices is a huge plus if you have other smart technology in the home, but will limit its use if you currently have a Google Assistant smart speaker.
Overall, the 5-Piece Kit is a brilliant place for home security newcomers to start, but you will need to purchase additional devices such as security cameras to get the most out of it.
About this review
Caroline writes about home security products and other smart home devices for Livingetc, testing them to see how they work in a real home environment. All reviews are based on real-life experience using the products over time to ensure that our recommendations are as informed as they can be.
On the House: Sophie Heawood's Property Binge. This week, town houses that feel like country homes
Sophie Heawood trawls Rightmove so you don't have to. This week, she unearths houses in towns that are like a breath of country air
By Sophie Heawood •
Before and After: This old French Chateau in Cognac has been transformed into a modern home
Tour this alluring Southern French maze – from the chandelier in the clock tower to the speakeasy in the basement
By Megan Slack •
Abigail Ahern's controversial paint advice may change the way you decorate – for good
The esteemed designer has just made her most daring statement yet. Will you follow her bold advice?
By Megan Slack •