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Ring Alarm 2nd Gen: 1 Year Later

I have had the 2nd generation Ring Alarm securing my home for over a year now so I thought it would be a good opportunity to share my thoughts on the system and how it has faired till now. If you want to read my initial review of the system, when I first got it, then click the link below.

Setup & Maintenance

For me, the ease of installation was one of the main reasons I decided to get a smart alarm. The ability to be able to install the Ring Alarm system myself and with no messing around running cables through the walls was a big plus point. Looking at traditional, mains operated alarm systems now, I personally cannot see the appeal. It was easy to set up my Ring Alarm system and even better if I was to ever move house I can take it with me. Also, if I ever want to increase security and add more sensors or cameras I can just order more and place them wherever I want myself. No electrician, no mess, no hassle.

Ring Alarm 2nd Gen packaging picture

The only thing I have changed since my original install was that I went back and secured the motion sensors using screws and raw plugs instead of the adhesive strips. This was just personal preference as I’m doing a lot of painting and decorating around the house so it’s easier to take the sensors off and put them back again when they are screw mounted but the adhesive strips are perfectly fine if you want to set and forget.

Battery Life

Now I have to be honest, battery life was one area I was a bit nervous about when looking at smart alarm systems. All the Ring Alarm sensors are battery powered, so there is no option to give them a constant power supply. This gives you visions of all the sensors running out of juice on the one night you get burgled, not ideal. The reality of it is that I haven’t had to change the batteries in any of my motion or contact sensors yet however, I did get a low battery notification for the motion sensor from our landing sensor. This does make sense as this sensor probably gets triggered the most out of all the sensors in the house. The fact you get these notifications though, quite early in advance of the device dying, squashes any of those fears you might have had about the system being useless because all your sensors have died. Also, our keypad is not constantly plugged in and has been charged once so far since its initial charge. On the whole, it hasn’t really been anything to worry about and you shouldn’t be concerned about battery life with the Ring Alarm system.

Ring Alarm Motion Sensor Settings in app
Ring Alarm Motion Sensor Settings in app
Ring Alarm Motion Sensor Settings in app

Ring Alarm Features

As an alarm system, the Ring Alarm does what it’s intended to do. It works as a fully functioning alarm system that protects your home with the additional benefits that having a smart alarm brings. If you’re not familiar with smart alarms they basically give you the option to control your alarm system in a number of different ways including your phone and smart speakers to name two. They also give you the ability to manage who can control your alarm and how and when they can do this. The days of sharing your main alarm code are through when you upgrade to a smart alarm system as you can configure guests with their own new alarm code which you can control and manage. The Ring Alarm gives you all these features.

Additional user settings in the Ring app
Additional user settings in the Ring app

I have had no issues using my Ring Alarm system over the last year and it’s no different to a traditional alarm really. In fact, it’s probably more convenient. Even if your WIFI drops out the alarm still functions and will siren if it is tripped, you just don’t get phone notifications. So if you live in an area with temperamental WIFI this still shouldn’t be an issue for you however, you may lose some of the benefits of owning a smart alarm system.

There was one incident where my Ring Alarm triggered in the middle of the night, which was turned out to be a false alarm. From that, I can confirm the alarm siren is plenty loud enough to wake you up. Plus your phone also makes a noise when your alarm is triggered, just make sure you have the setting changed in the Ring app to override your phone’s “Do Not Disturb” setting. That false alarm incident did make me realise another gap in the Ring Alarm system though which is that you can’t use smart speakers, like the Alexa Echos, to boost the alarm siren. This would be a nice to have feature and would enhance the siren coverage around the house but having said that the siren is quite loud so nothing that should put you off purchasing the Ring Alarm.

Ring Alarm 2nd Gen base station

Smart Home Features

When I first reviewed the Ring Alarm system this was one of the only negatives I had. I just think with Ring being an Amazon owned company they could have better integration with Alexa, especially routines. A routine that is triggered by the Ring Alarm being set off is something I hoped I could do with this setup but unfortunately, it’s not the case. This would mean you could have lights come on or set Alexa announcements if the alarm was going off but sadly you can’t do it. Hopefully, this will be added in future releases but it’s a shame it’s not available now. I think there is quite a bit of work to be done in this space to integrate Ring products into Alexa more but hopefully, it can only improve.

options available in the Alexa app for routine triggers for the Ring Alarm
The only routine trigger options available currently in the Alexa app for the Ring Alarm

Recently Alexa has introduced Guard. This is a feature that uses the microphones in the speakers to listen out for glass breaking, running water and alarm noises such as smoke detectors. It then alerts you that this is happening. You can’t use these as routine triggers though which again is a shame but it works to complement your alarm systems like the Ring Alarm. I have it enabled, and it seems to work seamlessly with my Ring Alarm. It automatically switches on when I set my Ring Alarm.

Alexa Guard settings in the Alexa app

Would I Recommend The Ring Alarm?

Absolutely, yes! I have already recommended it to a few family and friends who have installed it in their homes. The convenience of the system and how easy it is to set up and extended if needed is just something you can’t do with a traditional alarm system. There are a number of alarm systems on the market from the likes of SimpliSafe and Yale but some of their offerings are quite expensive. The Ring Alarm is reasonably priced but still delivers great performance and features. If you’re a smart home enthusiast like me prepare to be a little bit underwhelmed but as I mentioned above, hopefully, updates over time will improve these features.

If you’re looking to buy the Ring Alarm system my advice would be to wait until Amazon is doing a sale like Black Friday or Prime Day. The Ring Alarm systems are usually always discounted and the bundles give you everything you need to get started.

Thanks for reading this review.
Until next time