The Ring Alarm Range Extender is a Z-wave device designed primarily to extend the Ring Alarm System’s range. It works with every device within the Ring Alarm family of products; however, Z-wave technology isn’t exclusive to the Ring Alarm system, so you may be wondering whether the range extender can be used with other devices.
Almost any Z-wave device can potentially connect with the Ring Alarm Range Extender and Ring Alarm system. But Ring is also very clear about the products they approve, and only those on that approval list are covered under Ring’s Protect Plus and Premium plans.
Below, we’ll cover which devices the Ring Range Extender works with and what that means for how you operate your Ring system and other smart devices in your home.
Ring has two lists that you can visit on their site. One list is a total of Z-wave devices compatible with the Ring Alarm System; the other list is a group of specific products approved for use in the Ring Alarm system network.
Z-wave devices not approved by Ring will connect to the Ring Alarm Range Extender and Ring Alarm Base Station, but they won’t be operable through Ring. The approved list, however, will be.
Non-approved devices don’t work on the Ring app the way approved ones do. Approved devices are integrated into the Ring Alarm system via the Base Station or Alarm Range Extender, and they function in lockstep with Ring Alarm System features.
Fortunately, for non-approved Z-wave devices, IFTTT and Alexa pick up the slack. With IFTTT (Android or iOS) and the Alexa app (Android or iOS), you can create “If This Then That” or Alexa Routines to tie in other Z-wave devices.
For instance, an Alexa Routine will determine if several Z-wave smart lights turn on when a Ring Alarm device is triggered. IFTTT offers the same benefits but on a more customizable level.
The Ring Alarm Range Extender will pick up these devices as well, just as the Ring Alarm Base Station would.
When Ring released the Ring Alarm System, they decided to go with Z-wave, even though many Ring devices relied on Wi-Fi.
Ring devices that rely on Wi-Fi aren’t compatible with the Ring Alarm Range Extender. The only Ring cameras that work with the Range Extender are Ring Video Doorbell 3 and the Ring Video Doorbell Pro since they work with Z-wave.
Once again, IFTTT and Alexa Routines are useful here. They’ll tie other Ring cameras into your security network, so you’re not stuck with a brand new Ring Alarm system and no camera but the one at the front door.
Whether you need the Ring Range Extender depends on how many Z-wave devices you have plugged in. Z-wave works as a mesh network with the signal bouncing from device to device before reaching the hub. It’s kind of like playing catch with a lot of players involved.
Each Z-wave device serves as a repeater; however, only the ones that are plugged in have that capacity. Z-wave devices require that extra bit of juice to relay the signal. Since most devices in the Ring Alarm System are not plugged in, it necessitates the Ring Alarm Extender.
When the Ring Alarm System came about, it operated on the Z-wave Plus protocol, a generation ahead of older Z-wave devices, so Ring created its base station and Alarm Range Extender.
As other technologies come out with newer versions of Z-wave devices, it’s possible they could join the Ring “approved” devices list.
Ring products, before the launch of the Ring Alarm System, communicated via Wi-Fi. For some reason, Ring changed to Z-wave for its Ring Alarm line. So neither device has anything to do with the other, even though they both “extend” your wireless network.
If you elect to go with the Ring Alarm System—which comes with a Ring Alarm Range Extender—because you have many Ring Cameras and devices, you’ll find that half of them won’t communicate with each other.
The Ring Alarm Range Extender does work with other devices, so long as they operate under Z-wave protocols. In fact, you may find that if you have Z-wave, non-Ring devices plugged in, they’ll serve as repeaters—even though they won’t work on the Ring app. If that’s the case, you may not need the Range Extender after all.
Z-wave is an interesting technology designed around the idea of creating mesh networks. The Ring Alarm Range Extender has a place in that ecosphere, but Wi-Fi devices are simply out of the question.