Amid the pandemic, one thing is certain — people want to feel safe. And with that increased desire to feel safe, there has been a nearly 40% increase in DIY home security devices purchased since 2018. According to the FBI, homes without a security system are 300% more likely to be burglarized. With a statistic like that floating around — and the fact security systems are becoming more affordable, automated and easy to use — why would you go without a home security system? Two of the most popular home security system choices are Ring and Nest. But which is best for your home security needs?
Ring vs. Nest: What to Know
Ring is owned by Amazon, while Nest is Google-owned. So, if your home is full of smart home devices from one company or another, your choice may be an easy one. Beyond what tech giant owns which home security system, we’ll get into the nitty-gritty to help you make the best choice for your needs.
The good news is you aren’t required to pay for a subscription for any product if you choose to self-monitor your cameras. For example, with Ring, you still have features such as instant alerts, live view and two-way talk without a subscription. At the same time, Nest allows you to stream live video camera footage and view it from your Home app subscription-free. But if you want the good stuff, such as more comprehensive video features, you’ll have to bite the bullet and purchase a subscription. But thankfully, they aren’t expensive.
- Ring Basic: $3 a month with video recording for one camera
- Ring Plus: $10 a month with video recording for all devices at your home
- Ring Pro: $20 a month with video recording and 24/7 professional monitoring
Find a full breakdown of the subscription comparisons and the available features of each Ring plan here.
- Nest Aware: $6 a month with 30 days of event-only video history
- Nest Aware Plus: $12 a month with 60 days of event-only video history and 10 days of 24/7 video history
Find a full breakdown of the subscription comparisons and the available features of each Nest plan here.
Ring has an assortment of hardware you can mix and match to create your own security bundle, or you can purchase a complete system and add a la carte. Some of the options include:
- Ring Doorbell Video Camera – These cameras allow you to see who is at your door from your phone. This is a great way to protect yourself from porch pirates and box burglars.
- Ring Cameras – These come in an assortment from indoor stick-up cameras to outdoor floodlights. All cameras have HD video, two-way communication and activity alerts.
- Ring Alarm – This is the bundled home security system. The smallest and most affordable bundle is a five-piece alarm system that includes a base station, keypad, contact sensor, motion detector and range extender. You can use these to protect and detect motion from doors and windows in your home
Nest also has a great variety of security items for your home, which include:
- Nest Doorbell – View who is at your door from your phone.
- Nest Cam – Both indoor and outdoor cameras are available as wired and battery-powered varieties.
- Nest Cam IQ – Camera with 4K video, facial recognition and Google Assistant.
- Nest X Yale Lock – Tamperproof lock with your choice of passcode, door status updates and locking options from your phone via Google Assistant.
Much like if you own an assortment of Apple products like an iPhone and MacBook, you might be inclined to choose Airpods as your choice of wireless earbuds for the seamless integration and ease of use between all of your existing Apple ecosystem. The same goes for Nest and Ring home security systems.
If you’re team Google, have Nest Thermostat, Google Home and use Chromecasts in your house, you’ll probably be more inclined to go with a Nest home security system or security devices. You’ll be able to control everything easily with your Google Home app or Google Assistant.
If you’re team Amazon (or Alexa), and you have Amazon Smart Plugs, Amazon Echo or other Amazon devices throughout the house, a Ring security system or cameras make sense since you can integrate quickly and control everything via Alexa.
Ring vs. Nest: Useful Add-Ons
As we mentioned above, once you’re in either Ring’s or Nest’s ecosystem, adding different pieces is easy. Expanding your home security system with additional components and controlling them becomes incredibly streamlined and straightforward. Let’s look at a few popular additions you can purchase to take your Ring or Nest home security system from basic to best suited for your specific needs.
Ring Solar Pathlight
Ring Solar Pathlights will not only automatically create a well-lit pathway in the middle of the night but also notify you when someone is approaching your home. They are solar-powered, so there is no need to worry about replacing batteries. You’ll need a Ring Bridge or a compatible Echo device to take full advantage of customizable settings such as notifications or control these lights with Alexa.
Ring Solar Flood Light Starter Kit
Like the Solar Pathlights, this solar floodlight also garners power from the sun. With the Bridge included in the starter kit, you can pair and control all of your smart lighting and security devices together from the Ring App. Additionally, you can turn the light on and off or set it to motion protection and be alerted any time you want with the app.
Ring Indoor Camera
Protection shouldn’t stop outside of your home. Ring indoor cameras are an excellent add-on for a Ring smart home security system. These wired cameras can be placed on a table or mounted to a wall. You can connect several indoor cameras, get a complete view of your home from your phone, and control the devices via Alexa or the app.
Ring Video Doorbell Wired
You can connect this to your existing chime, but it’s a serious upgrade turning your once “dumb” doorbell into a smart one. It’s significantly cheaper than the comparable Nest Doorbell and offers plenty of great features, including two-way talk and pre-roll recording. If you’re looking for a great budget doorbell from Ring, this is it.
When it comes to the question of the Ring vs Nest doorbell, which brand has the better system? The answer will depend largely on which ecosystem of products you prefer — Amazon devices or Google Home products. However, Ring wins out on price, and since both video doorbells have similar features, we have to give Ring the edge in this head-to-head matchup.
Nest Programmable Thermostat
This smart thermostat allows you to create an energy-efficient schedule to run and keep your house at just the right temperature. But that’s not all the smarts it contains. Have a family member heading to the house before you get there? Adjust the temperature from your phone before they arrive, so they are nice and comfortable. When using optional HVAC monitoring, it will send you alerts when something doesn’t seem to be going right with your furnace.
Nest Temperature Sensors (3 Pack)
Do you have trouble spots in your home that get too hot or too cold? These sensors can help. Place a sensor in your room or the living room, and you can set schedules and prioritize rooms to keep them the temperature you want. This is especially helpful for kids’ rooms or your bedroom if there’s a hot or cold sleeper in the bed.
Nest Doorbell Camera
This doorbell connects to your chime and provides head-to-toe video so someone doesn’t get cut off when they get close to the camera. With a Nest Aware subscription, this device can also recognize faces and let you know that your friend “Jim” is at the door. The price is a little steep, but this doorbell camera offers some exceptional features that make it worth the price tag.
Google Nest Cam Indoor (3-Pack)
Cover your entire home with this 3-pack of Nest indoor cameras. A wide, 130-degree field of view with 1080p HD allows you to get a great view of the room. And with night vision, even when the lights are off, you still get a great picture. You have 24/7 streaming access from your phone and a three-hour snapshot history.
Ring vs. Nest Home Security Systems: Final Verdict
So, what’s the best system out there? Well, that’s not such a simple answer. Undoubtedly, Nest is the most expensive system — the subscription costs more, and many of the individual components are more expensive. But we liked some of the additional features such as facial recognition from the doorbell and the intelligent thermostat that, when paired with sensors, can make your house nice and cozy — even when you aren’t home.
That said, Ring is no slouch. Its components and subscription are more affordable, and the professional monitoring is solid.
Our final thought — if money is no object and home automation is your thing (also, being team Google helps), go with a Nest system or mix and match components. But if you already have Amazon devices throughout the home or want to build a system from scratch on a budget, Ring is the way to go. And don’t worry about getting a “cheaper” home security system — Ring is top-notch as well.