Amazon Ring Alarm System Tested

By Brian Rhodes, Published Jul 16, 2018, 12:31pm EDT

Amazon Ring is going to hurt traditional dealers, and especially ADT, new IPVM test results of Ring's Alarm system underscore.

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IPVM found that the system overall works well, easily overdelivering versus its groundbreaking low pricing.

The system clearly does have issues (inside we detail 5 functional problems our testing found), and given those and the strengths of incumbents, Amazon / Ring will not eliminate traditional providers. However, given the fundamental capabilities, low pricing and Amazon's massive reach, we expect Amazon / Ring to put notable downward pressure on both customer acquisition and margins for large incumbents.

Pros ** **** *****

******* ****** *********** *** good, **** ** ****** or ***** ***** ******, nor ************ ***** ** a **** ** * common *********** *******. ***** the ****** **** ***** does ****:

  • ********** *********: ** *** ****** phases, **** ********* ********* to ****** **** ** missed ***** ****** *** no ***** **** ** operation.
  • ******** ********: ** ****** *** three ******* *** *******: local ******, ********** ***, and *** ******. *** three ********** **** **** to *** *** **** only ***** *********** **** the ****** ** ******* equally ****.
  • **** ************* *****: **** ***** **** the ******** ** ******* path, ****** ******** ** integrated ****, *** **** includes **** ****** ** no ********** **** *** monitored *******. *** **** of **** ***** **** they **** **** ** claimed **** ** **** configuration ******.
  • **** **** *******: ** ***** ** both **** *** ***** Response ** *** *********** or **** *********. ** those *****, **** ********* were ******* *** ************* on *** *******, *** knowledge **** ** *** product ** ********** ***** to ********* *********** ****** were *** ******. ********* were ******** ** *** same ****, **** ** a ******** ********.

Cons ** **** *****

*******, *** ******* ******* is *** ******* ************ and ********:

  • **** ****** *****: **** *** ***, potentially ********* ******* ***** sensors. *** ***** ******* for *****, *** ******** type ** *******, **** does *** ***** *******.
  • *** ****/****** **********: ******* *** ******** is *** ***** ******** is *** ********* **** other **** *** ****** (ie: *****) ********, *** each ******** **** **** to ** ******** ********** by *****, ********* ** a ****** **********. **** claims **** *********** ** coming *** ***** ** clear ******** ****.
  • ****** *-****: ****, ******* ***** Z-Wave ** *** ******* system ******* ******* *** base *******, *** ****** is ****** ** ********** other '****' *-**** *******, potentially ********** *** ******** of ***** *******, *** connecting ** ****** **** automation ******* **** ***** and ***********. **** ****** further **** *-**** ******* is ****** *** ***** no ***** ******** ****.
  • ***** *** *****: *** ********** ***** speaker ** **** *** base ******* *** ****** can ** *********** ** other ******* ********* ***** or *** ** ******** by ****** ***********. ****'* upcoming ******* ** ********* sirens **** ****** ** needed ** ****** ****** will **** ******** ***** in ******* ***** ** other ******.
  • **** *** '*** ********': * ********* ****-**** in ****** ****** ** that ******* **** ***** the **-***** **** ********* may ********** ******* *** motion ******, **** ** the ******'* *********** ********* is *** ** ******* detection ******. **** *** no ******** *** **** other **** ** ********* nonspecific '***** *******' ** the ******* ******** ******.

Disruptive ******* ******* ******

* *** ********* ** Ring ***** ** *** pricing, **** *** ****** kit **** *** ******** monthly **********. ****** ********* alarm ********* **** ******* years ** ********* ********** at $**+ *** *****,**** ****** ** *** $10.

**** ***** *** ***** systems **** ****$***+ *** * ***** kit,****** ****'* ***** *** sells *** $***, (********** *** *** with********** ******* ********** * ******* ********* or ***** ***** **** ~$40 - $**).

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******, ** ** ********** system *****,**** ** **** *** price ** ****'* *****($*** ** $***) *** ~$30 **** **************'* '**********' ***** ******($*** ** $***).

System ******** ********

*** ******** ***** ***** shows *** **** **** system **********:

*** **** ******* ******** a ******* *** ** LED **** **** ******** system ******, *** **** annuciates * ***** ***** horn **** *********. ** our *******, *** ***** volume *** ******** ** base ******* ******** *** if ****** ** * bookshelf ** ** * room, ******* ****** *** chimes ***** ** ******:

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* ******** **** ** the **** ******** ********** uncovers **** ********* **********:

  • ******: *** ******'* ******* control *** ** ********, but **** ** ******* using ** **** **** charger *** **** *** have ***** *********** *********. The ****** ******** * status *** **** *** speaker ***********.
  • **** *******: *** **** **** station ******** ** ********** siren, ****** *****, *** option ** ******* ***** WiFi ** ********* ********.
  • **** ******* ******: *** ****** ******** one **** ** *-**** magnetic * ***** ******* contact. **** ***** ** claims ***** * *** wireless *********** ** **********, and ******* ****** ** added ** ******* *-**** hubs. ** ***** *** detect *** *** *** Ring *-**** ******* **** a **** *** ****** ***** ***** ********** hub.
  • **** ****** *** ******: * ****** ***** PIR ***** ****** '*** immunity' ***** ** ******, but **** **** *********** set ** *** ***** sensitive ******* *** *** was ******** ********* ** a ~** ***** ***. While ***** *-**** **** are ********* ** *** market, **** *** *** compatible **** **** *****.
  • *-**** ********: ******* *** ******* use *-**** *** ******** connection ** *** **** station, ***** ****** ******** floors ** ******* ***** can ** ****. ***** Ring ********** ***** *** included ******** *** ********* longer **** *** ****, we ***** ** ******** performance **** **** **** sensors ** **** **** and ***** ****** **** users **** **** ** even *** ****** *****, open ********* *********.

**** ****** *** ***** kit *** ** ******** up ** *** ******* or *******. **** ***** will **** ** ******** at ***** *** ** two ********** ******* ** monitor ******* ******, ** the ***** *** ** sized *** ***** ********** or *****.

Testing ***** ******** ****

**** ****** **** ***** of *************, ***** * stopwatch ** ******* ******** between *** ***** ************ pushed ** ****'* ****** expires ** **** *** central ******* ****** *** phone. ****-**-**** *** ** to ** ******* ****** using **** ****** *** the ***** ** ******** between ** - *** seconds ** ******* ** most ********* ***** *******:

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*** ***** ************ **** prompt ******* ** *** app **** ****:

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**** ****, *** '**** first' ***** ****** ******** to ** *******, *** is **** ************ ** 15-second **********.

Rapid ******** *******

******* **** ***** **** now ******** *** ***** a ***** *** ***** for ******** ********* *******, both **** *** ***** central ******* ********** ************ ************ ********** *** **** to ****** ***** ****** questions.

*******, ***** ******** *** notably **** ******** *** helpful ** ********** ****** configuration, ******** ********** ***** the ******* ******** ***** from ****** ****. ** many *****, *** ******** from ***** ******** (******** disclosed ** '****' **** answering ****** *****) **** the ***** ********* ********* and ************* ******* ** memory **** **** * Ring ******** ******** ****** a ********* ** *** to *** ******* ****.

** *** *****, ****** Ring ** ***** ******** was ******* *** **** to ****** *** ********* in * ****** **** or ****, **** ** a ******** *** ****** to ******** * ********.

System ********

*** ******* ****** ***** are ****** ** *** for ****** ********* ** Ring's ********** ***. *** system's *** ****, *** Away, *** ****** ******* are ********* ** *** when *** *** ** opened:

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*** ***** ***** ***** an ******** ** *** app ********, *** **** the *********** **** **** other **** ******** ******* using *** **** ***:

******** ** ***** *******, the **** ****** *** Ring ** * ******** connected ****** ******* ** Simplisafe, *** **** ****** on *** ****. *******, Ring's ****** ** **** a ********** **** **** be ********* ** * Base *******, ****** **** Protect ** ***** ********** combo ******* (**:****) **** ******* *** main ****** **** *** system ****.

****'* ****** **** *** need ********* ***** ** operate, *** ******** ** internal ******* **** *** company ****** ** '**** for ***** * *****' between *******.

****-****, **** ** ******* of ***** *** ****** sizes, *** ** ******** between ********** *** * and **** ******. * side-by-side ********** ** *****:

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*******, ****** **********'* ****** that **** ******** ** batteries, ****'* ** ****** and **** ** ******* via * ****-**** ***** wall ** *** *******.

Ring's **** *******

*** ** *** ******* weaknesses ** **** ** the *********** ***** **** and ******* ********* ** alarm *******.

******* ***** *-****, ********** sensors *** ******* ** those ******* ** ****, which ** ******* ** a ****** ***** ******** contact *** ****** *** unit. ****-**-**** *********** ** Ring **. ***** ****** types *** *****, ***** PIRs:

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*** **** ****/****** ********:

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** **** *****, **** is ********* ****** **** competitive ******, *** *********** is *** ****** ** either ****. *** ***** magnetic ******* ********* ****, while *** *** *** trouble *****-******** ** **** smaller **** *** ** pound **** ********* ********* in ****** *********.

*** ******** ***** ***** takes * **** ** the ************* ***** ****** sizes *** ******** *********** of *** ***:

*************, **** *** ******* options *** * *****-******** PIR *****, *** ** the *******'* ******** *** on *** ************* **** ***** *** need ** ***** ***** options **** *** ***:

...********* ** **** ***, you *** **** **** there ** ** ******* where ** **** *** set *** *** *****. In **** ****, *** may **** ** ******** other *******.

Siren ****** ****

*** ******** ** ****'* system ** *** ******* noise ******** ** *** base ******* *** ****** is **** ******** ** other ***** *******, *** even **** ********** ** the *** ******, *** alarm ***** *** *** wake ********* ******** ** distant ***** ** ********* be ***** ** ****** floorplans.

**** ** ******* *** issue ** **** *******, Ring's ************** *** ** relocate *** **** ******* closer ** ***** ***** occupants *** ******** *** to **** **** *** speaker ** *** ********** by ******* ** ***** room ***********.

*** *** ********* **** most ***** *** ****** to **** ******, ** not ********, ******'* ******** $** *-**** 105 ** ***** *******:

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*** ****** ** *** yet *********, *** **** is ****** ***-****** *** and ***** ** **** plan ** ***** ******** it ** ****** *****.

Cell ****** ********

****'* ****** ******** * factory-installed **&* **** ******* for ************* **** ******, and *** ******* **** is ******** ** ***$**/***** ********** ****. ***** ** *** need ** ******** *** cell ********** *** ** is **** **** *** system ** ********** ** setup:

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*** ******** ********** ** only **** ** *** primary ******** ************* ** lost, ********* **** ***** is **** ** * location's *****. ***** ** concerns ****** ******'* ******** **********, ** ***** **** if * ********* *** when ***** ****** **** allowed *** * '****' for ******* ** ******* in **********. **** ******** that ***** '*********** *** not ****** **********', *** system ****** ******* ******* notifications '**** ** *****' when **** *** ******** by *** ******. *** testing ***** * ** to ** ****** ***** in ******* ******* ************* on **** ******, *** this ** *** ****** a ****** ** ******** in ****** ********.

Not ********** **** ****, *****, *-****

******* ********* ****-******* *** Ring ***** ********* ** that *** ****** ** essentially *** ********** **** other **** ******* *************/*******, *** ******'* *** 'personal ********* ***' *****, nor **** *-**** ************* despite ***** ** ** connect *** *** *******.

**** **** ****'* ***** devices, *** **** *** makes ********** ** ***** clips **** **** *** main ********* ******** *********, but ****** *** *** linked *** ****** ********* is ***********.

*** *******, ** *** Ring ***** ****** ** armed **** *** ******** is *********, ***** **** manually ****** *** ***** system ****** ******* * monitored ****. ***** ***** operations *** ** **** from *** **** ***, the **** **** ******** remember *** ** **** or **** * ***** alarm ***** **** ******.

Versus *** *** ***** *******

**** ********** *******.*** ****************** ***** ******* *.* Tested, ****'* ****** ****** access ** ****, **** incremental **** *** ***** video ******* *** ********* and *******, ****** *** $35 - $**/***** ***** monthly *** ** *** 'Smarthome' *********.

********, *** $** *** month, **** ***** *** add ******* ******* **********, unlike *** ******* $** - $** ***** *** for *** ******* ***** ADC *** ***** *******.

******* ****** **** *****, both *** *** ***** Connect *** **** **** just ********* ******* *** fundamentally ***** **** ********** management *** *-****. ******* like ***********, **** *****, garage **** *********, ********, and **** **** ********** can ** ******* *** those *********, ***** **** Alarm ** ******* **** to ********* *********. **** may ****** ** * later ****, *** **** has *** ** **** users *** ****** ******** automation **********.

Ring ****** ** *** *** *********** *******

****** / **** ********** new *********** ** * crowded *******. ********** '*** Incumbents' ************************* ********* **** ******* features *** *************, ******* with ****** ********** ****-****** promotional *******, *** ******** management *****, *** ****** / **** *** ***** or ****** ***** ********** from *** *. ******, it **** ** ***** a ******* ******* ***** 3, *** *** **** heavy ******* ****** ****.

** ****** *** *, and ** **********, ****** / ****, ***** ** their *********** ****, ** put ******** ** *********** dealers ***, **** *******, ADT, *** **** ****-****** provider **** ** **** to * ***-****, ***** quality, *** ***** ********* like ****** / ****.

Comments (11)

Great report!  Thanks for all the detail.  Sounds like I should wait about six months to give them time to improve the app and roll out nicer sensors.

"Sounds like I should wait about six months to give them time to improve the app and roll out nicer sensors."

I could care less about the size of sensors... imo, it is embarrassing for a tech company like Amazon to roll out Alarm before they could make it compatible with Doorbell.

I mean, come on! You don't have a few code rangers to come to the rescue and write integrations to Ring Doorbell before you go Live?

dumb.

I’m not worried about this. I’ve asked every customer we’ve run into since ISC West where I first saw Ring alarm. It’s suprising how few know who Ring is. This type of system will be a threat to us down the road but not today and not this year. We’re already competing and we’re not going to lose just yet. This may be more of a threat in other market but living in an area where people are paying $10,000 to $20,000 per year in property taxes and they don’t mind has its advantages. I have a budy who used to work for a cable TV company. Now he sets people up with Netflix and OTA TV and makes a killing. There’s always opportunity. He’s got 5 employees now after just 12 months.

We’ve just released a new product that’s professionally installed and not much more expensive than Ring (and it includes installation) and our monitoring isn’t much more expensive either. Our profit margins are still strong. 

Alarm companies can either roll over and die or they can come up with innovative solutions. 

In Belgium there’s a voluntary qualit6 label for intrusion called INCERT.  If you’re certified, you can only install certified products. So unless Amazon would have it certified, it won’t work for INCERT certified installers. Off. Ourse there are the non cer5ified installers who could use this. 

So,it depends on the market. In higher end installations, INCERT will be required by the theft insurance policy. For low end and DIY this will probably work

What about jamming protection?That's all about everything on a wireless system…..

Ring uses Z-Wave which provides basic supervision, but no anti-jamming.

The protocol allows for 128-bit AES encryption, but (like many Z-Wave devices) Ring does not use this.  They told us that future firmware updates may incorporate this, but at release no encryption or jamming protection is offered.

900 MHZ? with no anti jamming?alarm system is not the correct name for this tool even a kid could outwin ...i dubt antij amming is going to be just a fw feature since it needs also hardware on the panel

To rebutt: Anti-jamming is still fairly uncommon among wireless panels in the residential space, and even among commercial systems it is only becoming common recently (since the exploits covered in: How to Hack an ADT Alarm System).

Do you see jamming sensors as one of the primary ways thieves/burglars are breaking into homes?

 

Absolutely yes.In my area (northern Italy) jamming of systems and/or GSM is "basic feature"of a bulglar intruder.Lately we are dealing with jamming of GSM comunicators

Visonic has anti jamming (EN30/60 the ONLY acceptable anti jamming in my opinion)

DSC WP panels (that are same as Visonic) have it

Risco has it

Pyronix has it

Plus a bunch (every) system produced in Italy that are names maybe unknown outside of IT They all have anti jamming….in the past (beginning of 2000's) bulglars used to jam 433 Mhz systems (mostly French)with a remote for authomatic gates

Nowdays you can build yourself ( i wont say i have one cause it's illegal in EU) or buy one very basic tool that Jams everything from 850 to 900 MHZ...even from Amazon…….

Are we talking about security?if yes then the sistem must be secure otherwise it's not security

Thanks for the informative comment!  +1

re:

Are we talking about security?if yes then the sistem must be secure otherwise it's not security

Have you ever seen 125 kHz access card copying?  Yikes!

Yes even mifare 13.5 can be sniffed and copied.it can be secured with end to end aes encrypted systems where the encryption begins at card's level

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