Ring Alarm professional monitoring gets a lot more expensive

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Ring announced today that its existing Ring Protect Plus service plan is changing in a significant way—at least as far as it applies to its Ring Alarm home security system. Users who want professional monitoring and LTE backup of their systems will eventually need to switch to a new plan that costs twice as much.

The ultra-low cost of optional professional monitoring and LTE backup have long been two of the biggest attractions of a Ring Alarm home security system. For just $10 per month or $100 per year, paying for Ring Protect Plus has meant your system is monitored by a central office that can dispatch first responders to your home in the event of a break-in or a fire or medical emergency.

LTE backup, meanwhile, will keep your Ring Alarm system connected to the internet in the event your primary broadband network fails (such as might happen if a burglar cut your phone, cable, or fiber-optic line). A Ring Protect Plus subscription also gave you 60 days of cloud storage for an unlimited number of Ring cameras and Ring video doorbells.

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It will cost significantly more to have the all-new Ring Alarm Pro home security system professionally monitored.

Ring Protect Pro to cost $20 per month

The Ring Protect Pro plan announced today will cost twice as much: $20 per month or $200 per year. It incorporates all the features of the existing Ring Protect Plus plan and adds new features made possible by the integrated Eero 6 Wi-Fi router in the all-new Ring Alarm Pro. The most important of these is the potential for LTE internet backup for every device on your Eero home network. (You can read our coverage of the all-new Ring Alarm Pro at the preceding link.) This broader LTE backup will ensure that important devices such as your battery-powered home security cameras remain connected to the internet even if your normal connection to the internet fails. If that additional broadband backup means you’ll need additional bandwidth, you’ll be able to purchase extra data for $3 per gigabyte.

A Ring Protect Pro plan also includes local video storage and processing, Eero Secure cybersecurity features, and Alexa Guard Plus service. Those first three features are available only if you have a Ring Alarm Pro system, however, and the last one is beneficial only if you have Amazon Echo smart speakers or displays.

Eero Secure service includes features such as enhanced online security, parental controls, ad blocking, and priority tech support for your Eero-powered network. Alexa Guard Plus, launched in September 2020, adds a raft of home security features to Amazon Echo smart speakers and displays, including the ability to ask for local police, fire, or medical help by simply saying “Alexa, call for help.” The service will then connect you with an emergency response agent. Purchased on their own, Eero Secure costs $2.99 per month or $29 per year, while Alexa Guard Plus costs $4.99 per month or $49 per year.

Impact on existing Ring Protect subscribers

Existing Ring Protect Plus subscribers will be automatically converted to a Ring Protect Plus (1st Gen) plan that still includes professional monitoring for $10 per month until 2025. On their first renewal date after January 1, 2025, they’ll be switched to the new Ring Protect Pro plan at $20 per month.

Anyone who has set up a Ring Alarm system (first -or second generation) as of September 28, 2021, but does not have a Ring Protect Plus subscription will be able to sign up for Ring Protect Plus (1st Gen) for $10 per month until January 30, 2022. Anyone who sets up a Ring Alarm system—including the Ring Alarm Pro—after September 28 will need to subscribe to Ring Protect Pro at $20 per month if they want professional monitoring.

Anyone who wishes to take advantage of the new services available with Ring Protect Pro will be able to upgrade at any time. The Ring Protect plans have always been a compelling value, and that will remain the case even at the higher price. Ring will no longer have the least expensive professional monitoring service, though; SimpliSafe charges $15 per month to monitor its home security system.

As for Ring video doorbell and Ring security camera users: You can continue your existing Ring Protect Basic subscription plans to get cloud storage for one Ring camera for $3 per month or $30 per year, or you can continue paying $10 per month or $100 per year for an unlimited number of Ring cameras.

Ring Virtual Security Guard

Ring Alarm users with Ring Protect subscriptions will also have the option to sign up for a new and different type of monitoring service, dubbed Virtual Security Guard. For a fee, the same type of third-party professional monitoring services that watch over your armed Ring Alarm security system will also be alerted to motion alerts from your outdoor Ring security cameras when your alarm system is armed. Rapid Response, the same company that provides Ring’s existing monitoring service, will be the first company to support Virtual Security Guard.

When your security system is armed, and an outdoor camera’s motion detector is tripped, a monitoring-service employee will view the camera’s live feed and—if appropriate—respond, either by communicating with the person in view of the camera, sounding the camera’s onboard siren, or dispatching an emergency response, based on guidelines provided by Ring.

Ring says its agents will only be able to monitor a live freed from an armed outdoor camera if motion is detected, and they won’t be able to download, save, or share videos. Virtual Security Guard will cost $99 per month per location on top of the cost of a Ring Protect subscription. As such, it sounds very similar to—but somewhat more expensive than—the service that Deep Sentinel currently offers for $100 per month, plus $699 up front for three outdoor cameras.

Interested Ring Alarm/Ring Protect users can apply for early access to Virtual Security Guard starting today.

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