SimpliSafe Home Security Review - 2019
SimpliSafe is a Boston-based home security systems provider with 12 years in business and an A+ rating with BBB. Available nationwide, SimpliSafe offers one of the best price-per-value ratios on the market without lock-in contracts, while monitoring is optional. It’s DIY, versatile, and ideal for budget-conscious consumers.
SimpliSafe manufactures all the equipment they sell. It is quality hardware that not only looks sleek but also has advantages over the competition. For example, its backup batteries in control panels and cameras run for days during power outages, while with other providers you get 24 hours backup at best. Also, their pet-friendly motion sensors aren’t weight-focused but engineered to detect the unique heat signature of humans, not pets.
For security surveillance, SimpliSafe works with C.O.P.S. Monitoring, an award-winning agency, which has multiple locations that back up each other’s calls in case of natural disasters and other emergencies.
Equipment options include a pushbutton control panel, keychain remote control, SimpliCam indoor video camera, a panic button, a high-decibel siren, and a laundry list of sensors and environmental protection detectors.
With SimpliSafe, you can choose from a landline, broadband, or cellular monitoring options. Most of the SimpliSafe equipment is wireless and doesn’t require a landline phone. The base needs a power source, while the keypad and sensors are mounted with sticky pads.
Unlike other providers that use a control panel to control sensors and sound alarms, SimpliSafe uses the main base station that’s independent of the keypad you use to arm/disarm the system. Here’s why it’s an advantage.
Most alarm systems have a “grace period,” typically around 30 seconds, during which they do not alert you to an intruder. Knowing this, most burglars locate your control panel and destroy it. Since finding it is easy because it beeps, disabling your security system with brute force is no rocket science.
By contrast, the SimpliSafe keypad doesn’t control anything. Your base station does. If you hide your base station, any burglar trying to smash it is out of luck. Also, the keypad does start beeping if the system is triggered, tricking intruders into smashing the keypad but not the base, which is the actual brain of your system.
Other highlights include:
- SimpliCam, an indoor camera, features a motion sensor, night vision, HD video quality and a wide-angle view of up to 120°. You can view your video online and send footage to police.
- The compact keychain remote lets you arm/disarm your system with the push of a button and comes complete with a panic button, while the entry sensors can trigger an audible – or silent – alert.
- The Standard monitoring package bundles email or text alerts, while the Interactive package allows you to arm/disarm your system and adjust your settings through a mobile app or any web-enabled device.
- SimpliSafe lets you buy the equipment without the monitoring package if you want to monitor your system by yourself.
- No smart home automation features are available with SimpliSafe, except for its integration with Nest.
- No contract – buy your security system, install it, own it, take it with you if you move. You are free of any minimum service agreement. You don’t even have to buy a monitoring package if all you need is the system.
- Choose between new or used and refurbished equipment, which comes at 15-30% discount.
- Professional installation is available for $199. A DIY installation is free.
- SimpliSafe costs begin at $99 for a single SimpliCam. No monitoring is included.
- The Foundation package ($299) includes 24/7 alarm monitoring, a free SimpliCam, one base station, a keypad, and one entry sensor.
- The Essentials ($259) adds one motion sensor and three entry sensors.
- The Hearth ($374) tops that off with one key fob, 105dB siren, and one smoke detector.
- The Knox ($449) adds six entry sensors and two motion sensors to the above package.
- The Haven ($489) bundles one key fob, four entry sensors, two motion sensors, 105dB siren, a panic button, one freeze sensor, one water sensor, and one smoke detector.
Preset packages aside, you can build your own kit. The monthly monitoring plans are Standard $14.99/mo (no mobile control) and Interactive $24.99/mo (with mobile control).
Monthly monitoring is optional with SimpliSafe. Without it, your system works as a local alarm, which sets off a siren when triggered.
You can monitor your house through the indoor SimpliCam with 24/7 HD video feed cast to your smartphone, tablet, or computer complete with audio, night vision, 120-degree field of vision, heat-based motion detection, and end-to-end 256-bit encryption. It also alerts you when it detects motion, at no extra cost.
An optional recording plan ($4.99/mo) lets you trigger recording remotely from your phone and download and share clips. 30-day storage is included.
SimpliSafe boldly claims it’s on a mission to fix the security system industry by not having sales people to pressure you into buying, not locking you into any contracts, and not using any “nasty fine print.”
Reviews of their customer service are positive. Their emergency operators respond 24/7, but Boston-based customer service hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST.
SimpliSafe is easy to set up and use. Your free keychain remote ships with a USB drive, which, when plugged into a computer, shows a setup guide. Plug in the base station, place peel-and-stick sensors around your home, adjust settings via your computer – you’re all set.
Otherwise, professional installation is available at $199.
Things to Consider
- No home automation, except for integration with Nest thermostats.
- The mobile app is available with the Interactive monthly monitoring plan only.
- No outdoor camera.
- The indoor SimpliCam doesn’t pan or tilt.
- Monthly monitoring is optional. You don't have to pay for service if all you want is security hardware.
- SimpliCam uses Wi-Fi, so make sure you have a strong signal where you place it.
- The base station supports up to 41 sensors.
SimpliSafe is an excellent, customizable security system you can buy with or without monthly security monitoring. No contracts, robust hardware, no-pressure online shopping, battery backup for all equipment, and cheap monitoring fees make it a go-to solution for modern households that prefer mobility and freedom to restricting contracts. Their 60-day trial makes it easy to recommend.
- Wallet-friendly rates
- Easy DIY installation
- Professional installation is an option
- No contracts
- Wireless equipment, cellular alerts
- Environmental disaster protection
- Indoor camera
- Security monitoring is optional
- 60-day trial
- No home automation
- Equipment payment upfront
- No outdoor cameras