SimpliSafe Camera Review: Pros, Cons, Installation & More

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SimpliSafe camera on table with app on smartphone in hand (caption: SimpliSafe Camera Review)SimpliSafe is known for its affordable, user-friendly DIY security systems, but they also offer some security equipment you can purchase with or without the system.

Their WiFi camera (aka SimpliCam) is a popular option, and we wanted to see if it stands up to their other equipment — and other WiFi cameras on the market. Is the SimpliSafe camera reliable and does it have all the features you want?

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Article Overview

SimpliSafe Cameras

4.3 / 5
SimpliSafe Cameras
Field Of View 4.3
Audio 4.5
Remote Viewing/Streaming 4.8
Price 3.8
Recording 4.1
Tech Support 4.5

Pros

  • Easy to set up and use
  • Free motion alerts and live viewing 24/7
  • Infrared night vision
  • Two-way audio
  • Smart motion detection (detects heat signatures from humans)
  • Privacy shutter
  • Compatible with SimpliSafe security system, August Smart Lock, Nest thermostat, Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant
  • 60-day money-back guarantee

Cons

  • 720dp video resolution (lower than 4K or 1080p)
  • Requires AC power
  • No pan and tilt
  • Expensive relative to other basic indoor security cameras
  • Monthly fee required for recording and clip storage
  • Designed for indoor use (requires an “outdoor kit” (wet suit, 25 ft power cable) at an additional cost)

Price

  • $99 for camera
  • $19.99 for outdoor kit

Cloud Storage & Recording

  • $4.99 per month for cloud storage plan (gives you recording capability*, 60-second motion-triggered recording, and 30-day storage)

*Your camera will record if you have an integrated SimpliSafe security system with a monitoring plan (the $24.99/month monitoring plan gives you unlimited camera recording). 

Coupon

Use this link to get the best possible SimpliSafe pricing we can offer our readers.
SimpliSafe Camera in box

Technical Specifications

  • Dimensions: 4.56″ x 2.55″ x 2.08″
  • Operating Temperature: 14°F to 104°F (-4°F to 104°F with outdoor kit)
  • Weight: 0.33 lbs
  • Video Quality: 720p
  • Field Of View: 120°
  • Three-year warranty 

Simplisafe doorbell outside (caption: Simplisafe Doorbell Review)Video Doorbell Pro

Our experts review the SimpliSafe Video Doorbell Pro that you can use with or without their system. Does this camera live up to the quality and ease of setup you’ll find with SimpliSafe’s other equipment? And how does it stack up against other doorbell cameras? Learn that, plus technical specifications, help with installation, and real user feedback in our expert coverage.

Does SimpliSafe Have Other Outdoor Cameras?

Unfortunately, besides the doorbell camera mentioned above, SimpliSafe still doesn’t offer a security camera designed specifically for outdoor use. Your only other option for outdoor security is to purchase an outdoor kit for the SimpliCam camera.

Outdoor Kit

The outdoor kit costs $19.99 and includes a weatherized “wet suit” that protects the camera from rain, snow, and dust. While the kit also comes with a 25-foot power cable, you’re somewhat limited in where you can place your camera outdoors because it requires AC power.

Where Can I Get The SimpliSafe Camera Outdoor Kit?

SimpliSafe Camera Outdoor Kit on outside of homeFrom what we can gather, the only way to order the outdoor kit is to check the box to add it to your cart when purchasing the SimpliSafe camera on their website. To order the kit only (without the camera), you’ll need to remove the camera before completing checkout.

Why is it so difficult to obtain this kit? We have no idea but maybe because they don’t really want SimpliCams placed outdoors, exposed to the elements. We hope that an outdoor SimpliCam is in the works.

On their website we discovered the language “using the SimpliCam outdoors without an outdoor kit may void your warranty.”

What Do People Think Of SimpliCam?

Positive Reviews

Camera was really easy to setup and get it connected. Just remember that it has to be connected to 2.5Ghz network. Picture quality is really good at 720p. Definitely recommend this to anyone looking for a camera for their Simplisafe system. – KevO, Best Buy 8/2020

Product works very well. Video and sound quality is excellent. Integrated well with the rest of my Simplisafe security system. I purchased the weather proof exterior housing from Simplisafe for $20 for exterior recordings. – Nick, Best Buy 7/2020

Negative Reviews

I find this camera just all around difficult to set up. I guess it would be ok if it stayed plugged in all the time but we bought it to take with us when we go on vacations for our little one. It is not easy to set up and connect. Seems to lose connection a lot compared to other camera I have owned. – BPpdx, Best Buy 8/29/2020

Bought it because of the SimpliSafe system, but I think the camera is their biggest weakness. It’s not 1080p; it’s not wireless; and it’s not battery powered. It’s always corded. Also, the set up was a little finicky with one of the two I got and took awhile. But after the set up it seems to work fine so far. – marcusaurelia, Best Buy 7/2020

Installation & Setup

Simplisafe App ScreenshotAll of SimpliSafe’s equipment is designed for easy installation and setup. Here are the steps for the SimpliCam.

  1. Remove the cap on the micro-USB cord and slide it through the base.
  2. Insert the micro-USB into the port on the back of the camera (you should feel a click).
  3. Slide the camera back onto the base and plug it in.
  4. Download the SimpliSafe app (Android App | iOS App) on your smartphone. (Current users: go to “Set Up Product” in the app menu.)
  5. Log into your account using your SimpliSafe username (the email that you gave them at the time of purchase) and your password.
  6. Tap the three-bar ≡ menu icon on the top left, and select “Cameras.”
  7. If you don’t have any cameras installed yet, you’ll see an “Install Camera” button. Tap it to get started. If you have another camera installed already, tap the ⚙ Gear icon, then “Add New Camera.”
  8. Name your camera (under 14 characters).
  9. If your phone is currently connected to your home WiFi, that network will be automatically selected. Otherwise, you can select another network. Type in your WiFi password.
  10. Tap “Get Your Code.” You’ll be shown a QR Code (a square barcode). Hold your phone in front of the camera, about 12″ away, so that it can scan the code.
  11. Once code scans, the camera will attempt to connect to WiFi. You’ll know that it’s connected when the “Connected” message pops up on the app.

Here’s a link to the quick installation guide for the SimpliSafe camera, and here’s a short video showing everything we’ve laid out above.

Is SimpliSafe Worth It?

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The SimpliCam is a part of SimpliSafe’s extensive lineup of reliable, high-quality equipment and monitoring. If you’re only interested in a WiFi camera, you do have some slightly more affordable WiFi camera options that will give you 1080p resolution and other features you don’t get with SimpliCam. But many customers say the video quality of SimpliCam is quite good for a 720dp camera and that it’s very reliable.

If you already have a SimpliSafe security system, the SimpliCam makes a great addition and integrates seamlessly with other equipment. If you’re considering getting a system, you can learn more about SimpliSafe’s home security features in our comprehensive review to see if their DIY equipment and monitoring options are a good fit for your needs.

Are you leaning towards trying the SimpliCam?

About The Author:

While attending the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s graduate school for journalism and public relations, Sally began a long career researching and writing about hard-to-understand topics, such as insurance and finance.

Her additional experience in marketing, fundraising, public relations and financial planning at various foundations and nonprofit organizations over the years has given her the practical tools to inform consumers about making the smartest business and personal financial decisions. Her work has appeared in many notable media outlets, including The Washington Post, Entrepreneur, People, Forbes, Huffington Post, and more.

Speaking of smart living — growing up in the (at-the-time) per-capita murder capital of the U.S. (Richmond, VA) taught her a thing or two about the need for personal and home safety. Sally stays on top of all the latest gadgets and services to protect her and her teenage daughters from potential predators and thieves. And she brings this knowledge to every article she writes.

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