Ring Alarm System (2nd Gen) review: the brand's made-over kit is still a winner

We tested the Ring Alarm System 5-Piece Kit to see if it could make home security simpler for the average user, and how it may have improved on the first gen system.

best home security system: Ring Alarm keypad and contact sensor (2nd Gen)
(Image credit: Ring)
Livingetc Verdict

The 2nd Gen Ring Alarm Kit would be a great addition to any household already equipped with Alexa or Ring devices, with a solid suite of devices that work well and are, by and large, easy to install. The 5-piece kit doesn't offer too much more than rival systems, but the buildability puts it on top.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Competitive price

  • +

    Easy-to-install components

  • +

    An amazing array of add-on devices

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Large and bulky hub

  • -

    Google or HomeKit households would miss out on some features

Livingetc knows design. We spend hours testing and comparing the latest products, bringing only our edit of the very best to you. Find out more about how we review.

Ring has established a remarkable reputation for its home security products, which include a diverse array of video doorbells and security cameras. Among its most sought-after products is the Ring Alarm 5-Piece Kit, which comes with an assortment of contact and motion sensors, designed to secure the interior of your home and keep it safe from unwelcome intruders.

We first tried out the Ring Alarm Kit's first-generation offering back in 2021, but things have had a makeover since then. We thus wanted to see if anything had been improved since our 4* review, and whether it was still worthy of the top spot in our guide to the best home security systems.

Keep reading to see what we thought.

Ring Alarm Kit components laid out side by side in writer's home

(Image credit: Ring)

Ring Alarm Kit: First impressions

The first thing you may wonder when unpacking the Ring Alarm Kit is how they have managed to fit everything into such a small box. The aesthetically pleasing structure of the inside will be pleasing to anyone (like us) who appreciates efficiency, but it's also hard to square the use of so much cardboard. Thankfully, there is very little plastic, but it's still a lot of packaging to contend with.

Still, the box has everything you need, from plug attachments for your region to screws and fittings for the larger components. Things like the motion sensor and contact sensor have sticky backs for easy installation, but you will either have to source more for the keypad and hub or use the screws provided.

Ring Alarm Kit contact sensor on window in writer's home

(Image credit: Future)

Ring Alarm Kit: Set-up and performance

We had quite a bit of trouble connecting the Ring hub with our app, but this could have been due to Wi-Fi issues as much as a problem with the system. One thing that could have been better was how many steps there were to get it online, and if one didn't work, you would have to go right back to the beginning again.

Still, once the hub was installed and added to our virtual home (you will need to download the app and create an account before you start), things went a lot more smoothly. You will be prompted to scan the QR code on the back of the keypad, and from there, the app will bring up a list of sensors that can be added one by one.

We installed the contact sensor on our bedroom window at the front of the apartment, where it's most vulnerable, and placed the motion sensor in the hallway. Both worked perfectly, setting off a load beep from the hub in a different room. The only setup for the keypad was to set an access code.

The siren, which will go off when you've set your system to 'armed,' is extremely loud, so make sure you know what you're doing before testing. Still, it's very reassuring that should something happen, everyone in the vicinity will know about it immediately.

Everything worked great in our one-bedroom apartment, but there is a range extender in the box for larger homes.

Ring Alarm Kit hub and keypad mounted to wall in writer's home

(Image credit: Future)

Ring Alarm Kit: Design

There are no huge surprises with the various parts of the Ring Alarm Kit, but it's nice to see that the contact sensor has been redesigned slightly since it's first iteration. The keypad looks great and isn't too big, but we take issue with the size of the Ring hub. With its always-on blue light and 6.6 x 6.6 x 1.4" dimensions, it's hard to find an appropriate place for it. We ended up mounting it to the wall in the same location as the keypad, but you'll definitely notice it if it's anywhere in sight.

Ring Alarm Kit: Our verdict

Ring's Alarm Kit is one of the best, earning its spot as the best home security system in our guide for a reason. The 5-piece kit we tested has its limitations, but key components work immediately and brilliantly, and extras like pre-installed sticky mounts and helpful in-app guides help newcomers not to get overwhelmed by the number of devices they're dealing with. 

Alexa integration is also a good bonus for households that use the smart assistant, and the buildability of the Ring system is second to none, with additional sensors including glass break, smoke alarm, temperature, and water alongside its security cameras. If only the hub were a little smaller...

Caroline Preece
Smart Homes Ecommerce Editor

Caroline is the smart home ecommerce editor for Livingetc, covering everything tech for the home, from smart speakers to air purifiers and everything in between. She is passionate about the role that technology and smart devices can play in daily life, enhancing the home without sacrificing personal style and carefully chosen interiors. In her spare time, she can be found tinkering with bulbs, soundbars, and video doorbells in an effort to automate every part of her small home. Previously, she lent her expertise to the likes of Expert Reviews, IT Pro, Coach, The Week, and more.