Understanding Monitoring

Ring Alarm is a "monitored" security system. The term "monitored" has a very specific meaning in that an outside agency (either you or a professional monitoring center) is actively watching for alarm signals from your home and when they're received, will alert authorities.

The type of monitoring you choose is extremely important. The remainder of this article will give you information on each type of monitoring. 

Practice Mode

When you first sign up for monitoring, your system will go into a seven-day "Practice Mode" that allows you learn the system without having to worry about false alarms or alerting the authorities. This is not actually a "monitoring type" because while you may have signed up for professional monitoring and the system will still send a signal to the monitoring station, there won't be a phone call to the emergency contacts or dispatch. Once the Practice mode time runs out, you will automatically be professionally monitored.

The seven-day Practice Mode period is the perfect time to learn to arm and disarm the system using both the Ring app and the separate keypad. The following article will walk you through the process: 

Arming, Disarming, and Setting Modes on your Ring Alarm

The seven-day Practice Mode is also when you should test your sensors and make sure everything is working. Here are a few things you should test:

  • Do the sensors trigger at the right time? If a sensor is incorrectly installed or improperly placed (we recommend placing sensors six feet from the ground), your system may not work properly.
  • Can the sensors talk to the base station? If your sensors are too far from the base station, they won't be able to report if anything's wrong.
  • Does the system alarm go off when a sensor gets triggered? If your Ring Alarm is set to Away or Stay and a door opens, does the system alarm go off properly (or go into Entry Delay)?

The seven-day Practice mode also gives you time to obtain any required alarm permit and enter its details into the Ring App.

Click here for more information about alarm permits.

Self Monitored

A self-monitored system is fairly self-explanatory. Your Ring Alarm will monitor all of your sensors and motion detectors as usual and in the case that they are faulted, will sound an alarm and send all Users a notification. In the case of a self-monitored system, however, all notifications are only sent to Users. There is no professional monitoring or dispatch. The Users will have to decide how to react to any sort of alarm and, if necessary, alert authorities. 

Professionally Monitored

Being professionally monitored means that a professional monitoring center is actively watching for alarm signals from your home. If your system alarm goes off, the monitoring center will immediately call you to make sure everything is OK. If it isn't—if you don't answer the phone or if you and all of your emergency contacts provide an incorrect Verbal Password - they'll dispatch emergency responders to your address.

In order to have your system professionally monitored, you'll need to sign up for the Ring Protect Plus plan. Click here for more information on the Ring Protect plans. 

Important Notes on Professional Monitoring

If you decide to sign up for professional monitoring, there are a few important details you should be aware of: 

  • Use a valid address and cross-street in your Ring App: During the sign-up process for your Ring app, you will be asked to enter your address and a cross street. It is vital that this address be accurate. Only verified addresses can be enrolled in professional monitoring. With a verified address, emergency responders know which location to be dispatched to if an emergency happens. If you have made a mistake when entering your address, changing the address in your Ring app is easy. Click here for details. 

Note: Ring is dedicated to all aspects of your security - including information security. Ring never divulges the personal details (including addresses) of our neighbors. 

  • You will need to provide at least two emergency contacts: You'll need to have at least two emergency contacts for your monitored address (three in some jurisdictions). The primary contact is usually yourself, and the others are usually another member of the household, or perhaps a next door neighbor. In the event of an emergency, the monitoring center will call the primary contact. If they cannot reach that person, they will then call the other contacts.
  • You'll need to choose a Verbal Password: A verbal password is a word the monitoring station uses to make sure they're talking to you or someone you trust. You'll define your verbal password when you sign up for monitoring and can update it at any time within the app. If the monitoring station ever has to call you, they'll ask you for the verbal password to confirm that they're talking to you. Make sure your other emergency contacts know your verbal password. Your verbal password is used by everyone on your account, not just you. 

A good verbal password should contain:

  • Letters or numbers
  • No spaces
  • No symbols
  • No offensive words

Also, your verbal password should be something easy to remember. You and your emergency contacts will be asked for this, so choose something that comes to mind quickly.

Changing your Monitoring Type

You can change your monitoring type at any time. To change your monitoring status:

  • In the Ring app, open the menu.
  • Tap Location Settings.
  • Tap Monitoring.
  • Tap Monitoring Type.
  • Choose the new type of monitoring you want.
    • If you enable Professional Monitoring, you will be prompted to choose a Primary and Secondary Contact and a Verbal Password.
    • If you are in Practice Mode, you will need to Exit Practice Mode and confirm that you want to exit.
    • If you are enrolled in Professional Monitoring and want to change to Self Monitoring, tap Self Monitoring and confirm that you want to end professional monitoring.
    • If you are enrolled in Self Monitoring and want to change to Professional Monitoring, tap Professional Monitoring and confirm that you want to enable professional monitoring.
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