SimpliSafe Home Security: Review

Our review of this home security systems leader lays out SimpliSafe's competitively priced plans, no-contract terms, integrations with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and more

If home security is a priority, but you don't want to spend a bundle or sign a lengthy contract, SimpliSafe Home Security System might be the answer. It is an affordable, DIY system that is easy to set up and provides peace of mind for you and your family. SimpliSafe lets you monitor everything remotely via cellular and Wi-Fi connectivity (optional), with or without a monthly plan. 

SimpliSafe is completely configurable, with prices that start from $200 and professional monitoring that is open 24/7, 365 days a year and starts at just $14.99 per month. The original system lacked cameras and third-party support, and customers often criticized the design of the hardware. But as you'll see in our SimpliSafe Review, the system has been updated, and most of those issues have been addressed in the new-and-improved version. 

Pros:

  • No long-term contract required
  • DIY system that is easy to use and install
  • Completely configurable, a la carte system

Cons:

  • Monthly plan needed for remote control and monitoring
  • Video storage fees can be a bit pricey

SimpliSafe Packages

Packages

Price*

Best for

Ease of  Use

Type of Installation

The Foundation

$183

Small homes, cabins, and apartments

Easy

DIY

The Essentials

$207

Condos and single-family homes

Easy

DIY/Pro set up available

The Hearth

$299

Single-family homes

Easy/Intermediate

DIY/Pro set up available

The Knox

$359

Homes with four or more bedrooms

Intermediate

DIY/Pro set up available

The Haven

$391

Large, expensive homes

Intermediate

DIY/Pro set up available

Date effective 06/11/2020

*Plus equipment financing if paying for equipment over the contract term

SimpliSafe has packages for different kinds of homes and budgets. But they also offer the option to build your own system, which allows you to customize your security system if one of the packages won't work for you. Or, if you prefer to spend less on the equipment, you can save 25% with a SimpliSafe refurbished system that comes quality tested and certified and is protected by their standard warranty.  

All the options qualify for 24/7 alarm monitoring and don't require a contract. And you can try out the system in your home for 60 days, and if you are not satisfied, SimpliSafe will refund your money. Because it's a DIY (Do-It-Yourself) system, it's easy to install with no drilling or tools needed. But, if you're a little queasy about installing the system on your own, SimpliSafe will put you in touch with a pro who will do the work for you. 

Who is each SimpliSafe package best for?

SimpliSafe's packages are highly customizable, but our recommendations for some of their most popular options are here.

The Foundation: This is SimpliSafe's basic system that will meet the needs of most people who live in an apartment, own a small home or cabin. It comes with one base unit, a keypad, one entry sensor and one motion sensor. 

The Essentials: If you live in a small home and want protection for your family without paying too much for a security system, the Essential is a great choice. It's SimpliSafe's most popular system and comes with everything you need, including the base station, one keypad, three entry sensors and one motion sensor.

The Hearth: The Hearth includes everything you get in the Essential package, plus smoke detection and a 105dB extra siren. It also comes with one base unit and keypad, one key fob, three entry sensors, and one motion sensor. This is the system you need to protect your family in case of a fire. 

The Knox: The Knox offers protection for large homes with four or more bedrooms and comes with twice the motion and entry protection of the Hearth. It comes with one base unit and keypad, one key fob, six entry sensors, two motion sensors, one 105dB siren and smoke detection. Because there are 13 pieces of equipment in this package, you might want to pay a little extra for a pro setup. 

The Haven: The Haven is SimpliSafe's most expensive package to protect your larger home or business. Besides everything offered in the Knox package, you also get protection from floods, which is a frequent and expensive claim on your insurance. It comes with one base unit and keypad, one key fob, four entry sensors, two motion sensors, one 105dB siren and smoke detection. It also comes with a panic button, one temperature sensor and one water sensor. It might be wise to opt for a pro setup with this package. 


SimpliSafe equipment:

  • Base Unit
  • Wireless keypad
  • Key Fob
  • Entry Sensors
  • Motion Sensors
  • 105dB Alarms
  • Smoke Detector
  • Panic Button
  • Temperature Sensor
  • Water Sensor
  • Video Doorbell Pro
  • SimpliCam
  • SmartLock

SimpliSafe prices

The fact that Simplisafe is customizable and affordable makes it a stand out in the world of home security. Updated components and improvements in design and pricing that is on par when compared with most other similar systems make it one of the best DIY systems available. Plus, you can always opt for refurbished components that will save you 25% off the initial cost.

The company offers two professional monitoring plans, Standard is $14.99, and Interactive is $24.99. The main difference is that with Interactive you get access to an app to control de system, unlimited video recording and faster police dispatch. You can also get a 20% discount on the system's hardware when you choose the Interactive plan. None of the plans requires a monthly contract, so that you can cancel at any time.

Ease of use

SimpliSafe is very straightforward to use and install. It has three modes for arming and disarming the system. Home mode activates door and window sensors; Away mode activates both motion and entry sensors; Test mode ensures that everything is in working order.

Clear instructions (included) make installation a snap, but for larger units, SimpliSafe will put you in contact with a pro in your area to make sure everything is installed correctly or to do the set-up for you. The system is wireless, requires no drilling or landline. 

SimpliSafe types of installation

Professional installation

For $79, SimpliSafe will put you in contact with a certified technician in your area to help set up your systems. Payment is due when you schedule an appointment, so if you change your mind and want to tackle installation on your own, you can. Installation doesn't take long, but if you want a doorbell installation, you'll need to pay an additional fee. 

You will have to allow the technician full access to your home and suggest where you'd like the base unit and sensors set up. Of course, the pro can also provide expertise in placing the components for the system. 

Pros:

  • It gets installed correctly
  • It takes little time to set up and test
  • You don't pay until you make an appointment

Cons:

  • It costs $79 on top of the price of the components
  • You have to schedule an appointment 
  • Doorbell installation has an additional cost

DIY installation

SimpliSafe is designed for Do-It-Yourself installation. There is no drilling or tools required as with many home security systems. Instructions are clear so that anyone can set up SimpliSafe in only a few minutes. Just plug in the base unit, place the sensors where you want them to go and start protecting your home and family.  

Pros:

  • Save on the cost of hiring a professional technician.
  • Set up only takes a few minutes.
  • User manual included.
  • No strangers in your home.

Cons:

  • If you have questions during installation, you need to contact customer service to set up an appointment with a pro. 
  • You do all the work.
  • If your house or office space is large, installation can take longer. 

SimpliSafe types of monitoring


Self-monitored

Standard

Interactive

Cost

$0/month

$14.99/month

$24.99/month

Monitoring

DIY

Professional

Professional

Installation

DIY or $79 for professional

DIY or $79 for professional

DIY or $79 for professional

Mobile App Control

SimpliSafe offers two main monitoring plans that come with 24/7 dispatch service. The basic plan starts at $14.99 per month and goes up to $24.99 per month for all features.  The Standard Plan comes with 24/7 live alarm monitoring, cellular connection and environmental monitoring. The Interactive Plan comes includes all this, plus their mobile app to arm and disarm from anywhere, alerts to your phone, secret alerts, video alarm verification, unlimited camera recording and smart home integration. 

Additional benefits

SimpliSafe integrates with the Nest Learning Thermostat: So if you own a SimpliSafe system and a Nest Learning Thermostat, the temperature in your home will be automatically adjusted to the temperature you want. You can also use Google Assistant to sync your Nest Thermostat via the SimpliSafe app. 

The existing SimpliSafe system can support up to four cameras: The cameras can also function as standalone devices. So, when you want to be sure everything is okay at home, you can see and hear what's happening from any device–laptop, smartphone or tablet. It has a 120-degree field of vision, night vision and 30-day storage. This function requires a Wi-Fi connection.

Add-ons include the Video Doorbell Pro: It may cost an extra $169, but it is well worth the cost for the peace of mind you'll get from  HDR Imaging, 1080p HD, Infrared Night Vision, 2-way Audio, Motion Alerts, Pan and Zoom capability, 162° Wide Angle Field of View, and Door Chime.

Additional drawbacks

Customer dissatisfaction: Out of 123 ratings submitted last year, SimpliSafe had an overall customer satisfaction rating of only 1½ stars on Consumer Affairs. It also gets 1½ stars from customers who have filed complaints on the Better Business Bureau. Most SimpliSafe's reviews state problems with the system not working. 

Costly add-ons: Additional equipment like the SmartLock, Video Doorbell, and SimpliCam range in price from $99 to $169. Ordering extra sensors and such may only cost less than $20, but if you want to upgrade and add these extra and much-needed, equipment you'll have to pay for it, over and above the cost of the package you choose. 

Lack of response: According to many of the reviews left on both Consumer Affairs and the BBB, it seems customer service can be hit and miss. Many people said they had tried calling numerous times about a problem but had to call back when the problem wasn't fixed weeks later. 

Compare home security providers


SimpliSafe

ADT 

Frontpoint

Vivint

Ring

Our Rating*

4.73/5

4.63/5

4.34/5

3.67/5

3.54/5

Starting Cost

$14.99/month**

$36.99/month

$35/month

$39.99/month

$3/month

Installation

DIY/Professional

DIY/Professional

DIY

DIY/Professional

DIY

Contract length

No contract

36 months

36 months

48 months

No contract

* Our rating is based, in part, on industry metrics such as Better Business Bureau grades and rankings in the J.D. Power 2019 Home Security Satisfaction Study, as well as user ratings via the Google Play Store and Apple App Store.

** Pricing is for the basic package. Please note pricing will vary based on customization, package tiers, and fees.

The bottom line

SimpliSafe is an affordable security system for your home, office, apartment or cabin. Choose one of its five packages or customize your own package to meet your needs. Prices are comparable to or a bit better than most systems on the market, and its do-it-yourself installation can save you money unless you choose Pro installation for an extra $79. 

SimpliSafe has no long-term contract to sign and its camera reviews pointed to several issues that have been mostly addressed.     

Overall, the company is on top of updates and tweaks to products to make the system a worthwhile choice for home protection. 

SimpliSafe Home Security FAQ

Do I need Wi-Fi for SimpliSafe?

You will need W-iFi to access the SimpliSafe app through the App Store or Google Play for both the SimpliCam and the Video Doorbell Pro. However, you do not need Wi-Fi for SimpliSafe to work for your basic home security needs.

Is SimpliSafe easily hacked?

In 2016, IOActive reported the SimpliSafe systems are possibly vulnerable to being remotely disabled. However, this is not exclusive to SimpliSafe systems and is an industry problem. Since then, SimpliSafe has added extra levels of protection against hacking into the system.

How long do SimpliSafe batteries last?

Battery life varies depending on the component type and which version of the system you're using. The base station uses four NiMH rechargeable AA 1.2V batteries. Battery life for the other components ranges anywhere from eight months to ten years. 

Does SimpliSafe work if the power goes out?

The SimpliSafe base unit has a backup rechargeable battery that keeps your unit powered up for up to 24 hours if the power goes out. It also has a cellular module that operates without Wi-Fi, so if your Wi-Fi quits working, the base unit will communicate through the cellular network. 

Can you use SimpliSafe without a subscription?

Yes. SimpliSafe does not require a contract or subscription. However, if you want monitoring you will have to pay extra for that service. 

How does SimpliSafe compare to ADT?

ADT is more expensive overall, and you will be required to sign a contract. ADT is well-known for home security, but other companies, like SimpliSafe, are gaining momentum by keeping pricing low.

How does SimpliSafe compare to Vivint?

Like ADT, Vivint also requires a contract. Its prices are also significantly higher ($39.99 per month) vs. $14.99 for SimpliSafe.

How does SimpliSafe compare to Frontpoint?

Frontpoint requires a contract, and its pricing is higher than SimpliSafe. It is a DIY system like SimpliSafe, but Frontpoint's most expensive package costs $479.90, discounted from $599.88 compared to $391 for SimpliSafe.

How does SimpliSafe compare to Ring?

Like SimpliSafe, Ring requires no contract, but it does require a monthly subscription that starts at $3/month up to $10/month.