Nest Secure vs. Ring Alarm: Which should you buy?

By | 19th October 2018

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Ring Alarm

Security on a budget

$199 at Amazon

Pros

  • Inexpensive compared to the Nest system.
  • Includes all the pieces you need to get going.
  • No long-term commitments or cancellation fees.

Cons

  • Fewer sensors included than the Nest system.
  • More complicated to set up.

If you have a smaller home — or just don't want to spend too much on your first security system — the Ring Alarm system is for you. It includes all the pieces you need to get started and works wonderfully with Amazon's Echo speakers.

Nest Secure

Better integration

$399 at Nest

Pros

  • Integrates with other Nest products.
  • Includes more sensors out of the box.

Cons

  • Twice as expensive.

If you already have a Nest thermostat, adding this security system will make everything easier to use than using a security system from another company. You can use the same Nest app that you use for your thermostat to activate your alarm and get alerts. And if you already have a Nest camera, that'll make your security system that much better.

Both the Ring Alarm and the Nest Secure are great choices for your home security system. But dig a little deeper, and there are a few differences that should help you decide which is better for you. A lot of it comes down to a couple factors: do you already have Nest or Ring products, and how much money you're willing to spend.

Ring Alarm vs. Nest Secure

Ring AlarmNest Secure
KeypadYesYes
Motion DetectorYes, one includedYes, two included
Contact SensorYes, one includedYes, two included
Range ExtenderYes, one includedSeparate purchase
Smart home integrationYesYes

The Ring Alarm starts off being cheaper than the Nest Secure, and will likely still end up being cheaper when all is said and done. The Ring Alarm only includes one motion detector and contact sensor (the thing you wear to tell the alarm to trust you), but buying more of these is well within the $200 you'll save compared to the Nest system. Since Ring has fewer sensors in the box, it's a better fit for those that have smaller homes and less area to cover. That way, you don't need to buy extras and you'll keep the cost down.

The range is a big consideration since a sensor that can't talk to other sensors is kinda useless. Nest says its Detect sensors will work up to 50 feet away from the main Secure sensor, but this can be shorter depending on interference from other gadgets in your home. If you need the Detect sensor to reach further, you'll need to spend extra money on a Nest Connect range extender. Ring includes a range extender in the box, so interference and dropouts should be less of an issue. It's also another thing to consider if you don't want to spend a lot of money.

The real difference, however, comes down to what's already in your home. Nest has been around for a few years, and there's a good chance you already have a Nest thermostat or camera in your home. If you do, getting another Nest product may be worth the extra cost since the Nest Secure's motion detector can work in conjunction with a Nest camera, and you'd be able to control everything from one application instead of two. Both Nest and Ring work with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, so no matter who makes your smart speaker you're in business.

If you're just getting started building your smart home — or you don't mind living in two ecosystems — Ring is the better option. It works just as well as Nest's product, and even with the cost of extra sensors, you'll save some serious money.

Ring Alarm

Low price

$199 at Amazon

For your first smart home

The Ring Alarm is significantly less expensive than the competition, and it works just as well. Everything you need is in the box, and you can add more sensors without blowing your budget.

Nest Secure

Better integration

For when you already have some Nest gear

$399 at Nest

If you already have some Nest gear at home, it's worth spending the extra money for Nest's security system. You get easy integration with your Nest Cams, and the benefit of having all your smart home products inside one application.