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Review: LifeShield Security Advantage vs. Ring Alarm

July 14, 2019

This story was written in collaboration with Forbes Finds. Forbes Finds covers products we think you’ll love. Featured products are independently selected and linked to for your convenience. If you buy something using a link on this page, Forbes may receive a small share of that sale.

Going away this summer and want to make sure all your stuff is where you left it when you return? Sure you do. That’s why I’m back with more recommendations for products to keep your family and home safe.

Modern DIY security systems let you bypass the hard sales pitch and time-consuming professional installation. You can even ditch the monthly service fee. Just buy a prebuilt package online, set it up yourself in minutes, and integrate it with your existing smart home.

But with so many options, which gives you the most for your money? Let’s take a closer look at two of the top contenders.

LifeShield Security Advantage by ADT

Much like the other featured systems, LifeShield started out as its own company, albeit one that specializes in DIY home security. So when ADT began searching for a do-it-yourself solution of their own, LifeShield was a natural fit.

The LifeShield package is one of the more robust options out there. Its 15-piece system starts with the L.O.U. (LifeShield Operating Unit) base that not only offers landline and cellular connectivity for your system, but 24-hour battery backup.

The Security Advantage set also comes with four entry sensors, two pet-friendly motion detectors, a fire safety sensor, a keypad, and a keychain remote. Unique to systems in this price range, a touchscreen tablet to operate the system and a smart camera are also included in the bundle. Once you grab the LifeShield mobile app to get started with setup, it should take about an hour.

You can purchase additional compatible hardware as well, including outdoor cameras and an HD video doorbell camera (available this summer).

LifeShield is smart home compatible. You can control it with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and IFTTT. It’s also Z-Wave compatible. Professional monitoring isn’t required to operate the system, but is available for around $20-25 per month. You’ll get free monitoring during the 30 day money-back guarantee period. There aren’t any contracts required and you can cancel at any time.

Ring Alarm

One of the first companies to bring a doorbell cam to market, Ring is now an Amazon company and offers a full-fledged security system.

While you can create a custom hardware kit directly on the Ring site, I recommend heading to Amazon and picking up one of their standard packages consisting of a base unit, keypad, motion detectors, and up to eight entry sensors. It’s only on Amazon that you can grab a free Echo Dot. Since Ring is Alexa-enabled, it gives you a way to control your security system without having to fiddle with the keypad or app.

Speaking of, there are multiple ways to control your system. In addition to using Alexa or enabling or disabling the system with the keypad, you can use the Ring app for system commands and to view your integrated cameras.Reviewing past video clips is available for $3 per month and professional monitoring is $10, but it’s not required and there are no contracts.

Ring Alarm works with the product that put Ring on the map, the Ring Video Doorbell, but you’ll need to buy it separately. The same goes for Ring’s Stick Up Cam. As you might expect from an Amazon company, those cameras can stream directly to your video-enabled Amazon Echo devices. You can also add Z-Wave devices to work with the Ring Alarm system.