SimpliSafe Review: The Smarter Home Security Choice?

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SimpliSafe system equipment (caption: SimpliSafe Review)You’ve seen the SimpliSafe commercials – low cost, no commitment, etc. – too good to be true? There is no long-term contract and you can easily relocate the system if you move homes.

However, the equipment costs more than competitors and it’s missing an outdoor security camera. We’ll help you decide if SimpliSafe can help keep your family and property safe from break-ins.

View SimpliSafe Packages

Article Overview

SimpliSafe

4.15 / 5
SimpliSafe
Customer Service & Reputation 4.5
Equipment 3.8
Technology 3.5
Value 4.5
Ease Of Use 4.5

Pros

  • Has 6 monitoring stations
  • Excellent customer service
  • Self-installation
  • No contracts
  • Compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Home
  • 60-day money-back guarantee

Cons

  • Self-monitoring functionality is tied to a monthly payment plan
  • Equipment costs are higher than competitors
  • Website and app do not indicate low battery alert
  • No outdoor security cameras
SimpliSafe equipment

Key Features

  • 6 monitoring stations, so if one goes down (e.g., due to a natural disaster), another is there as a backup
  • Wireless via cell network — no landline or internet needed to function
  • Protects home security and safety, including motion sensors, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and more
  • SimpliSafe system supports up to 100 sensors
  • No contract required
  • Professional monitoring starts at $14.99 per month
  • BBB rating: A+
  • SimpliSafe’s monitoring station, COPS, contacts you within 60 seconds

Battery Backup

If the power goes out in your home, battery backup will keep your SimpliSafe system on and your home protected. SimpliSafe has a 24-hour battery backup, which is the standard in home security.

SimpliSafe sends a notification when there’s a power outage to keep you up to date on the status of your system. The backup battery is rechargeable, so once power is restored, the battery will recharge back to 24 hours, so it is ready for any future needs.

Unfortunately, many online forums state that the battery backup lasts less than 10 hours, so it’s not the most dependable

App Features

Android App | iOS App

Below are typical functions you can control within a home security app. The included column lists those supported by the SimpliSafe app. Please know that to use some of the features you must have certain equipment. For example, you cannot view camera footage unless you have cameras in place.

FunctionIncluded
Arm/Disarm SystemCheckmark
Smart Plug Control
Lock/Unlock Smart Doors
View Camera Live StreamCheckmark
Camera Controls (Pan, Tilt, Zoom)
View Recorded VideoCheckmark
View Doorbell CameraCheckmark
Image Sensor Images
Event HistoryCheckmark
Weather
Smart Thermostat ControlsCheckmark
Control LightsCheckmark
Create Programs/Schedules
Garage Door Control
Geofencing
Multi-Factor Authentication

Price

Below is a sampling of SimpliSafe’s packages. Visit SimpliSafe’s website to see all packages available.

 Build Your OwnThe FoundationThe EssentialsThe HearthThe KnoxThe Haven
PriceVaries$229$259$374$449$489
Number of Pieces100 maximum4691314
Base Station$114.9911111
Wireless Keypad$69.9911111
Entry Sensor$14.9913364
Motion Sensor$29.9911122
Keychain Remote$24.99111
Smoke Detector$29.99111
Siren$59.99111
Panic Button$19.991
Freeze Sensor$29.991
Water Sensor$19.991
SimpliCam$99.00
Glass Break Sensor$34.99
CO Detector$49.99
Video Doorbell Pro$169.00
Smart Lock$99.00

Monitoring Options

You can purchase a SimpliSafe security system without adding on a monitoring plan; however, the system is almost useless without monitoring. You won’t be able to monitor it yourself or be notified if a sensor is triggered unless you pay a monthly monitoring fee. The local alarm siren will still sound without monitoring.

 StandardInteractive
Price Per Month$14.99$24.99
24/7 Professional MonitoringCheckmarkCheckmark
Cellular ConnectionCheckmarkCheckmark
Environmental MonitoringCheckmarkCheckmark
Mobile AppCheckmark
Unlimited Camera RecordingCheckmark
Home AutomationCheckmark

Coupon

SimpliSafe is having a 2020 Memorial Day Sale offering 15% off + a free camera with the purchase of any new system. Use this link to take advantage and get the best deal available from SimpliSafe.

Do Customers Feel Secure With SimpliSafe?

As part of our in-depth SimpliSafe alarm reviews, we did extensive research online to see what real customers have to say about their experiences.

Positive Reviews

I have been using this system for 2 years, work perfectly and customer service is great. Their service can’t be beat. If you need to add to your system order the item when it arrives. Go to your desktop program name and add the items to your system. It is just that easy. – John, Consumer Affairs 9/14/2018

Really nice stuff…. Turned my home into a impenetrable fortress with this stuff and easy to install. From really cool servalances cams, water detectors and anything else you need, and I do mean everything… I’ve only been with them for a week now, but am very impressed. Pretty costley startup to purchase the equipment, but I got it all, after figuring it out it will pay for itself in 2 1/2 years.. The $25 a monthly monitoring fee will be 1/2 the cost I am paying for my old service and its all savings thereafter. And did I mention if you need help there a fast phone call away and on the phone with you in seconds if that alarm goes of. – David G., BBB 7/26/2018

Negative Reviews

Purchase SimpliSafe one year ago for my seasonal home. Base station lost connection to dispatch while I was out of town. Paid for monitoring services for 5 months when system was not being monitored. Tried to resolve base station problem with customer service when I returned home without success. Poor system and customer service. – Charles, ConsumerAffairs 10/8/2018

I have had the old Simplisafe system and the new Simplisafe system. I have spent countless hours dealing with technical issues with the base station and sensors, contacting customer service due to the random issues that pop up. Currently, there’s an issue the company has not fixed with data connection to the base station related to Verizon cellular cards in the base station per a customer service supervisor. I was told by this customer service supervisor I would have to connect to my wi-fi. I asked if wi-fi was required for purchase. She said no, but required for updates. So to break it down, Simplisafe reps are saying their system does not work without connecting to a wi-fi hotspot. Simplisafe does not advertise this requirement for their system. Good luck if you don’t have wi-fi or if you don’t want to connect yet another product to your wi-fi. – PP, BBB 9/24/2018

Our Experience With SimpliSafe

Two of Safe Smart Living’s staff purchased a system for their home and want to share their first-hand experience as well:

Setting up SimpliSafe was a breeze! The stickies were pre-applied, and removing a tag activated the battery and made it immediately recognizable by the hub. Even more helpful — the stickies are applied in a way that allows for easy removal. You can pull down, and the sensor comes off without leaving residue on the wall. Great for re-positioning, and they included extra stickies for this purpose.

Getting the keypad up and running was also simple. The hub is constantly talking to you and telling you what to do next as you go through the setup process. The manual is easy to read, straightforward and includes helpful explanations of what each sensor does as well as setup instructions. The way the manual is laid out makes it easy to skip over sections that don’t apply (i.e., sensors you may not have as part of your system).

Any New Equipment On The Horizon From SimpliSafe?

SimpliSafe came out with a new equipment design in 2018, and their app and website got a facelift. The new SimpliSafe is more modern and sleek looking. And while they finally introduced the long-awaited indoor camera, we’re still waiting on an outdoor camera option, home automation features and more robust features in the app and website.

SimpliSafe vs Other Companies

See what the key differences are between SimpliSafe and other leading home security companies.

SimpliSafe vs Abode

  • SimpliSafe has 6 monitoring stations and uses cellular monitoring with broadband as backup while Abode has 1 monitoring station and uses broadband with cellular as a backup.
  • SimpliSafe’s panel has 24 hour battery backup, Abode’s is only 6 to 7 hours.
  • Abode is compatible with Z-Wave and Zigbee, SimpliSafe is not.

Compare SimpliSafe and Abode

SimpliSafe vs ADT

  • ADT offers a wider variety of equipment than SimpliSafe including an outdoor camera.
  • ADT has no equipment fees for introductory systems but requires professional installation with a fee. SimpliSafe charges for its equipment and has a DIY installation.
  • All of SimpliSafe’s plans use cellular monitoring while ADT requires you to upgrade for cellular monitoring.

Compare SimpliSafe and ADT

SimpliSafe vs Frontpoint

  • Neither SimpliSafe nor Frontpoint require long term contracts, so you can cancel whenever you want.
  • Frontpoint’s equipment lineup is more thorough than SimpliSafe’s including an outdoor camera.
  • Frontpoint has exceptional customer service.
  • SimpliSafe’s monitoring plan is $20 cheaper per month than Frontpoint’s.

Compare SimpliSafe and Frontpoint

SimpliSafe vs Ring Alarm

Compare SimpliSafe and Ring

SimpliSafe vs Protect America

  • SimpliSafe has no long term contracts, so you can cancel whenever you want. Protect America requires a 3-year contract.
  • Protect America’s equipment lineup is more thorough than SimpliSafe’s including an outdoor camera.
  • Protect America’s app is much more thorough and has more features than SimpliSafe’s app.

Compare SimpliSafe and Protect America

Is SimpliSafe The Best Security System?

View SimpliSafe Packages

SimpliSafe is widely known because of its advertisements heard on the radio, in podcasts, TV, and magazines. But does that mean it’s better than what the lesser-known competition has to offer?

Just because SimpliSafe is a household name, doesn’t mean it’s necessarily the best fit for you. You may opt for SimpliSafe over the competition because of its DIY installation, no long-term contracts and low monitoring fees. But if you want an outdoor camera and lower equipment fees, you may want to consider other options. We review over a dozen competitors in our best home alarm system comparison.

Are you considering SimpliSafe for your home security needs?

About The Author:

Kimberly is our home security expert, and has been researching and writing about security and safety since 2013, covering everything from security systems and home automation to identity theft protection, home warranties, medical alert systems and more. She has personally tested hundreds of system components and interfaced with dozens of home security companies to find out what's happening behind the scenes.

In 2018, she had her first child, and that opened up a whole new avenue of security experience with baby gear. She wanted to purchase the safest items for her family.

Kimberly received her Bachelor of Arts in multimedia journalism from Simpson College. Her natural curiosity helps her research as she seeks the truth when learning about, comparing and personally testing products and services.

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

Disclaimer: This website contains reviews, opinions and information regarding products and services manufactured or provided by third parties. We are not responsible in any way for such products and services, and nothing contained here should be construed as a guarantee of the functionality, utility, safety or reliability of any product or services reviewed or discussed. Please follow the directions provided by the manufacturer or service provider when using any product or service reviewed or discussed on this website.

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Mary A

I so badly want to like SimpliSafe! But there’s a couple things that really irk me and are preventing me from purchasing:

  1. The self-monitoring catch-22 you point out in your article. If they have the capability to offer self-monitoring, why the heck don’t they?
  2. The sensors – my friends have SS and everytime we’re over they’re dealing with the battery in their smoke sensor. I helped them troubleshoot since I’m a total geek. Basically it blinks yellow until mounted correctly. This wouldn’t be an issue by itself if the sensor wasn’t impossible to mount! As a result, the yellow light very quickly drains the battery (they’ve gone through 3-4 already). A quick internet search showed that the accepted solution is putting a piece of tape over the tab that detects if it’s mounted correctly to hold it down. What a joke!
adam

actually, simplisafe does require a contract. if you don’t pay atleast the basic $14 monthly monitoring, then simplisafe system is just one expensive alarm siren. how do you propose to self monitor away from home without paying their monthly basic contract?

Alex Schenker (Admin)

Thanks for the heads up Adam. We did not realize their self-monitoring features were tied to a monthly payment. We’ve updated our review to reflect this fact. Hopefully feedback like this will incentivize them to “untether” the self-monitoring functionality!

Alex Schenker (Admin)

And our main self-monitored home security review has been updated with this change now as well.