SimpliSafe Home Security Review
SimpliSafe lives up to its name, eschewing the long contracts and steep rates of traditional home security companies in favor of month-to-month subscriptions that cost less than half the industry norm. SimpliSafe solves a number of age-old home security problems, from contracts and their associated red tape (so long, early cancellation fees) to bulky, hard-to-install devices. Sleek equipment, smartphone control, automation possibilities, and professional monitoring, for a couple hundred down and $15-$25 per month — SimpliSafe earns its place as the home security newcomer to beat.
SimpliSafe advertises “more protection, less markup, no nonsense” with a product lineup, service promise, and general ethos that seeks to make total home protection “smaller, faster, stronger.”
Is it true?
Yes. SimpliSafe carries through with their promise of better, smaller hardware and a generalized “no nonsense” approach to security — they don’t have contracts or levy any of the fees associated with them.
SimpliSafe also offers the most plan flexibility among our top picks for home security systems with a plethora of packages, including refurbished and custom kit options. You can get professional assistance to install a SimpliSafe system (for a $79 fee), but you probably don’t need it. No tools are required to complete the simple DIY installation.
In addition to affordable, customizable device kits and affordable, month-to-month plans, SimpliSafe modernizes home security by embracing home automation. Combine SimpliSafe devices with other automation gadgets and control the lot via any of the three biggest home automation systems: Amazon Alexa, Google Home, or Apple Homekit.
While established home security companies like ADT can boast decades (or, in ADT’s case, a century) of proven service, consumers and professional techies alike sing SimpliSafe’s praises. It’s not just a good deal; it’s a good system. SimpliSafe has rethought the pricing and the goals of home security. The result is a complete smart home security system priced to provide ease and safety to a greater swathe of the market, including those who have been priced out of traditional home security systems.
✔ No contracts
✔ Updated equipment
✔ Budget-friendly pricing
✘ No guarantee against theft
✘ Upfront equipment cost
SimpliSafe offers over five device packages to choose from, plus a build-your-own option, designed to cover homes ranging from apartments to multi-floor houses with up to four entrances.
If you don’t need a complete system, and just want to be able to keep an eye on your front door, SimpliSafe also offers its own version of the popular video doorbell. This multi-functional device provides security and automation capabilities all on its own, but it also feeds into a larger SimpliSafe setup. If any sensor picks up movement, the video doorbell starts to record.
All of SimpliSafe’s devices come with a 60-day trial period, so if you want to order a larger kit and then experiment with how much security you really need, it’s painless to test in house and then send back products you end up not needing.
SimpliSafe stands out amongst home security systems for its no-contract pricing structure. Many companies want to get you on the hook for three years or more, and may only offer a discount on upfront equipment costs if you sign the dotted line. With SimpliSafe, you spend approximately $200-$500 up front on the equipment of your choice, and then figure out which professional or DIY monitoring plan is right for you. The professional monitoring option, which allows you to control your system through a smartphone while alerting the police on your behalf in the event of a break-in, starts at just $15 per month. The system will still function as an alarm without the monitoring, but the police won’t be called and you won’t be notified if you’re away from home — smartphone control only kicks in with the professional monitoring option. Aside from this unfortunate catch-22, SimpliSafe prides itself on aligning with customers’ best interests. Not locking customers into service contracts is the best example of this commitment.
SimpliSafe revamped their entire fleet of home security equipment in 2018 to be half the size and double the range, five times faster, and 50% louder. The new keypad is “SmashSafe,” which means even if an intruder damages it, SimpliSafe still alerts the police to the break-in. Its equipment relies on a built-in cellular connection but is reinforced with WiFi – something they call “Twice Secured.” SimpliSafe also features some great smart home compatibility, playing nice with Nest thermostat systems, Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and even your Apple Watch.
Last but not least, the motion sensors are built to know the difference between human heat signatures and your pets. This means your dog won’t set off any alarms.
SimpliSafe’s monthly monitoring rates are some of the lowest we’ve seen. You can monitor your system for free if you feel comfortable with alerting authorities on your own, but you might as well throw in the $15 per month for professional monitoring services — it’s the only way to access all of SimpliSafe’s smartphone controls.
You can also score refurbished SimpliSafe equipment for 25% to 30% less than brand-new prices, but with the same three-year product warranty. With low monthly rates plus the budget-friendly option of building your own custom package with just the products (new or refurbished) you want, SimpliSafe cuts out all the extra expenses associated with home security in the most logical ways.
No guarantee against theft
Unlike the leading competitor in the home security industry, ADT, SimpliSafe offers no guarantee against theft or break-ins. If you choose to use SimpliSafe as your security servicer, don’t expect any reimbursement from the company.
Upfront equipment cost
Without contractual obligations, there’s no way to pay the company over time for your equipment. That means that you’ll need to foot the total device bill upfront. SimpliSafe’s affordable monitoring means you’ll save money going with the company in the long-term, but you’ll feel the pinch at first. Depending on your home security preferences, a SimpliSafe equipment bundle could cost as much as $600 before taxes, fees and your future months of professional monitoring. Even the most basic equipment bundle will run you close to $200.
*Pricing is for basic package. Please note pricing will vary based on customization, package tiers, and fees.
SimpliSafe vs. ADT
ADT is the leader in home security systems, protecting around 8 million customers across North America. The big name comes with a big price. ADT requires a three-year contract and charges more than double what SimpliSafe does for professional monitoring. On the other hand, ADT offers a theft protection guarantee — the company will pay up to $500 toward your insurance deductible if a burglary occurs while your system is armed. Both providers have six monitoring locations around the country, easy-to-use home automation features, and a money-back guarantee.
SimpliSafe vs. Vivint
Out of all the SimpliSafe’s competitors, Vivint may be the most different. Vivint has exceptionally long contracts — 48- or 60-month terms — and high rates for professional monitoring. So what do you get for making such a big commitment to Vivint? Lots of bells and whistles. Impressive smart home capabilities and user-friendly security features make it a stand-out option for anyone looking to make automation a central part of their security system. If you want automation, but also value flexibility and affordability, SimpliSafe is a better option.
SimpliSafe vs. Frontpoint
SimpliSafe has a lot in common with Frontpoint. Both companies are associated with DIY setup coupled with strong professional monitoring and recently updated security equipment. Frontpoint has the more sophisticated equipment of the two, but the upgrade comes at a price. Required professional monitoring plus a three-year contract makes Frontpoint potentially more costly long-term. If you have to cancel Frontpoint service due to a move, you still have to pay the remaining balance on your contract at 80 percent of the original price. SimpliSafe is the more affordable — and perhaps, simpler — option for DIY security.
SimpliSafe vs. Ring
Both SimpliSafe and Ring are home security newcomers making waves with their a la carte, DIY systems that emphasize customization and automation. Both enable you to keep your system concise with choose-your-own kits, plus competitive monthly rates for video storage and/or professional monitoring. They charge $10-15 per month; the industry standard is $40. But while those old guard systems levy higher monthly fees — and ensure that you’ll be paying them for years to come with stringent contracts — those companies also tend to distribute the cost burden of installing a home security system over time. After all, they’ve got you for three years. Fancy-free Ring and SimpliSafe, on the other hand, require you to purchase all your equipment up front. The main difference between SimpliSafe and Ring is compatibility. As an Amazon company, Ring functions best with Alexa. SimpliSafe is compatible with all three big players: Amazon, Google, and Apple.
SimpliSafe Home Security FAQ
What does SimpliSafe Home Security include?
Does SimpliSafe require a phone line?
What happens when SimpliSafe detects a threat?
How do you install SimpliSafe?
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