Abode vs. SimpliSafe Review

Abode and SimpliSafe are both affordable, DIY security options. But Abode has better smart home support.
  • Best for Smart Homes
    4.5 out of 5 overall
  • Best Value
    4.5 out of 5 overall

Abode and SimpliSafe are both part of the DIY wave of home security systems. Gone are the days where you had to take an entire day off work and wait for someone to come install your alarm system for you. Both Abode and SimpliSafe send you everything in a box and you can put it up yourself—no drill required.

While you get DIY installation either way, Abode and SimpliSafe do have different features. If you love smart home stuff and already have your house decked out with smart lights and smart outlets (or if you want to start getting those things), then we recommend Abode for its superior smart home support.

Abode and SimpliSafe comparison
CompanyAbodeSimpliSafe
Monitoring price range$0–$20/mo.$14.99–$24.99/mo.
Self-monitoring optionYesNo
Installation typeDIYDIY
ContractNoneNone
Smart home integrationsZ-Wave, Zigbee, Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple HomeKit, SonosAmazon Alexa, Google Assistant
Starter kit price$229$229
Learn moreView PlansView Plans

Data effective 2/10/2020. Offers subject to change.
* Mobile app control not available with all monitoring plans.

What we like about Abode

Abode iota hub

Abode has excellent smart home support and some unique equipment features—neither of which you’ll get from SimpliSafe.

A lot of home security systems have one of two smart home protocols: Z-Wave or Zigbee. Abode gives you both. And as for your favorite smart speaker, Abode works with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple HomeKit, and Sonos. That’s a pretty impressive lineup.

As for equipment, Abode has some things we haven’t seen from other home security companies. It offers two different hub options that act as command centers for your system. One is a traditional, tower-style hub while the other (called the iota) has a built-in indoor camera so you can keep an eye on your mischievous cocker spaniel.

Abode also has motion sensors with built-in cameras, and a little outdoor camera that you can hardwire into your doorbell port. (It doesn’t have a button for visitors to push, but it can still trigger your doorbell chime. Wild, eh?)

What we like about SimpliSafe

SimpliSafe hub and sensors

SimpliSafe is just all-around easy. It’s easy to shop online and order your system. Once your equipment arrives, it’s easy to set up with SimpliSafe’s step-by-step instructions. And once it’s set up, the system is easy to control through the SimpliSafe mobile app or the analog keypad (or key fob).

SimpliSafe also offers its own indoor camera, doorbell camera, and smart lock. Best of all, the smart lock retrofits your existing deadbolt. No need to rip out your existing lock and start from scratch—SimpliSafe’s smart lock works with what you’ve already got.

Abode and SimpliSafe pros comparison
Abode pros:SimpliSafe pros:
Excellent smart home supportCheap pro monitoring
Unique equipment featuresEasy DIY installation
Flexible monitoringAffordable cameras
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What we don’t like about Abode

While Abode does offer a professional monitoring plan, it also lets you self-monitor your alarm system if you want to. Like Google Nest Secure, Abode’s self-monitoring option is free, but if you want cellular back-up, then you’re going to need to subscribe to a monthly plan.

Cellular backup protects your security system in case your internet connection goes down. Without it, a regular ol’ blackout will take down your entire alarm system, and it will be useless until the power—and your internet connection—comes back on.

Luckily, the base plan with cellular backup is pretty cheap at $8 per month.

What we don’t like about SimpliSafe

While Abode is a smart home superstar, SimpliSafe struggles on the home automation front. It doesn’t work with Z-Wave, Zigbee, or even IFTTT. It won’t bring all your smart home devices together in a single app.

SimpliSafe does work with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, so you do get smart speaker control with the two most popular robot assistants. But once again, Abode wins because it supports Apple HomeKit and Sonos as well.

Abode and SimpliSafe cons comparison
Abode cons:SimpliSafe cons:
No official doorbell cameraNo outdoor camera
Cellular backup costs extraLimited smart home support
View PlansView Plans

Which one should you choose?

If you want a basic, easy-to-use DIY home security system, and you don’t really care about smart home stuff, then SimpliSafe has what you need. But if you want to dig into home automation devices, then Abode is a much better choice.

Want to learn more?

Want to compare some other home security options? Check out our other reviews.