Link Interactive vs. SimpliSafe Review

Link Interactive and SimpliSafe both have easy installation, but Link Interactive has better equipment options.

Best equipment options
  • Icon Blank
    Monitoring price: $30.99–$47.99/mo.
  • Icon Blank
    Starter kit price: Varies
  • Icon Blank
    Home automation support: Yes
Best Value
  • Icon Blank
    Monitoring price: $9.99–$29.99/mo.
  • Icon Blank
    Starter kit price: $195.97
  • Icon Blank
    Home automation support: No
Catherine McNally
Jul 07, 2023
Icon Time To Read8 min read

Link Interactive and SimpliSafe are two DIY home security systems, but that’s about where the similarities end.

SimpliSafe is super affordable and great for basics, like door and window sensors and even a smart lock. But Link Interactive has more types of equipment so you can customize the heck out of your system. Plus, Link Interactive has smart home support, whereas SimpliSafe’s smart home support is limited to Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.

Let’s dig into the details and find out which of these two DIY security systems is best for you.

Link Interactive vs. SimpliSafe: Prices and monitoring plans

Winner: SimpliSafe

SimpliSafe’s monitoring prices are a better deal compared to Link Interactive. Along with a lower price point, two out of three of SimpliSafe’s plans come with video monitoring and recording.

But if you’re looking for home automation support, Link’s plans may be worth the extra cost.

Link Interactive vs. SimpliSafe monitoring price comparison
Home security company
Monitoring price range
Base equipment price
Camera price range
Details
Link Interactive$30.99–$47.99/mo.Varies
(Ranges from $24–$388)
$127.00–$255.00
SimpliSafe$9.99–$29.99/mo.$195.97$99.00–$189.99

Data effective 07/07/2023. Offers subject to change

Link Interactive monitoring pricing

Link Interactive doesn’t offer a self-monitoring plan, but you’ve got your choice of three levels of professional monitoring. Link uses Avantguard Monitoring Centers for its professional monitoring services.

Link Interactive monitoring plans
Plan
Price
Video recording
Smart home support
Learn more
Standard$30.99/mo.
Icon No  DarkNo
Icon No  DarkNo
Gold$39.99/mo.
Icon No  DarkNo
Icon Yes  DarkYes
Elite$47.99/mo.
Icon Yes  DarkYes
Icon Yes  DarkYes

Data effective 07/07/2023. Offers subject to change.

All three plans offer two-way voice communication, plus intruder and fire alarms. If you want video recording, you’ll need to fork over for the most expensive plan, Elite. It’s not ideal, and we’d prefer to see recording included with all of Link’s plans.

Additional Link Interactive monitoring plan features include the following:

Standard

  • Two-way voice communication to your monitoring station
  • Intruder and fire alarms
  • Smoke, fire, and carbon monoxide detection

Gold

  • Two-way voice communication to your monitoring station
  • Intruder and fire alarms
  • Smoke, fire, and carbon monoxide detection
  • Home automation support, including app control for smart locks, lights, and thermostats

Elite

  • Two-way voice communication to your monitoring station
  • Intruder and fire alarms
  • Smoke, fire, and carbon monoxide detection
  • Home automation support, including app control for smart locks, lights, and thermostats
  • HD video monitoring (either on-demand, scheduled, or movement-activated video recording)

What is video recording versus monitoring?

Video recording captures footage from your security cameras and stores it for you. Some security companies also allow you to stream your camera footage.

Video monitoring is a service where your home security company watches all your video footage and contacts the police, fire department, or an ambulance for you—even if your alarm didn’t go off.

SimpliSafe monitoring pricing

At just $10 a month, SimpliSafe’s Self-Monitoring with Camera Recordings plan is by far the cheapest option between these two home security systems.

But you’ll be doing all the monitoring yourself—no monitoring center will call you if you’re away and your alarm goes off. Instead, it’s up to you to notice that something’s not right at home.

If professional monitoring is what you’re looking for, both SimpliSafe’s Standard and Fast Protect plans offer that. So if an alarm trips at home, you’ll get a call right away—even if you’re still in the driveway. (Speaking from experience.)

SimpliSafe monitoring plans
Plan
Price
Video recording
Smart home support
Learn more
Self-Monitoring with Camera Recordings$9.99/mo.
Icon Yes  DarkYes
Icon No  DarkNo
Standard$19.99/mo.
Icon No  DarkNo
Icon No  DarkNo
Fast Protect$29.99/mo.
Icon Yes  DarkYes
Icon Yes  DarkYes

Data effective 07/07/2023. Offers subject to change.

Two of SimpliSafe’s plans come with video recording while Link’s cheapest and mid-level plans come with no recording—you’ll need the most expensive Link Interactive plan to record any footage your cameras pick up.

Video recordings let you collect evidence of a break-in or other events, which can be helpful to share with the authorities or your insurance company if you have to file a claim.

And speaking of the authorities, SimpliSafe’s Fast Protect (formerly Interactive) plan includes video verification. This means the monitoring center can access 30 seconds of live camera footage to double-check that it’s not a false alarm before they alert the emergency services.

Here’s a summary of all the perks that come with each SimpliSafe monitoring plan:

Self-Monitoring with Camera Recordings

  • HD live video view
  • Unlimited recordings for up to five cameras
  • Arm/disarm system remotely
  • Push notifications
  • Scheduled arming
  • Secret alerts

Standard

  • HD live video view
  • 24/7 police, fire, and ambulance dispatch
  • Confirm or cancel alarms with Alarm Texts
  • Arm/disarm remotely
  • Cellular backup
  • Push notifications

Fast Protect

  • HD live video view
  • Unlimited recordings for up to 10 cameras
  • 24/7 police, fire, and ambulance dispatch
  • Video alarm verification
  • Water damage and temperature monitoring
  • Cellular connection backup
  • Arm/disarm remotely
  • Push notifications
  • Scheduled arming
  • Secret alerts
  • 10% off additional purchases
  • Lifetime warranty

Link Interactive vs. SimpliSafe: Security equipment

Winner: Link Interactive

Link Interactive offers far more choices when it comes to equipment. You can pick and choose between three different touchpad panels and two different indoor cameras. That means you can customize your home security system based on your exact needs.

We should note, though, that Link’s equipment is made by Alarm.com, while SimpliSafe makes its own equipment. That’s not to say one is better than the other, but it does result in more expensive equipment if you go with Link Interactive.

SimpliSafe’s equipment is pretty pared down. You’ve got your base station and keypad, then the standard set of sensors and cameras. There’s also a handful of add-on equipment, like a carbon monoxide detector, flood sensor, a smart lock, and doorbell camera, which let you keep tabs on other potential home hazards.

Link Interactive equipment details

  • Pick and choose your equipment setup
  • Includes smart home products like a thermostat, garage door controller, and door locks
  • Equipment can be a bit pricier compared to SimpliSafe
Skybell Doorbell cam

SimpliSafe equipment details

  • Offers pre-packaged equipment kits or you can pick and choose
  • Only two smart home equipment add-ons: video doorbell and smart lock
  • Cheaper equipment costs compared to Link Interactive
SimpliSafe Video Doorbell Pro on exterior of home with blue siding

Source: Reviews.org

SimpliSafe's new outdoor camera

SimpliSafe recently unveiled a new wireless outdoor camera. Take a peek at how it works and get our expert opinion on whether it’s worth the price in our SimpliSafe outdoor camera review.

Link Interactive vs. SimpliSafe: Cameras

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When it comes to cameras, Link Interactive is best for the sheer number of choices it gives you. But SimpliSafe could be the better option if you’re looking for a cheaper yet still high-quality camera for your security system.

Link Interactive cameras

Link Interactive offers three different indoor and outdoor cameras, all with high-definition (HD) resolution and motion detection.

You may be wondering if the high cost of the Premium Indoor Camera is worth it—the answer is yes, if you’re looking for Z-Wave home automation features and a larger field of view. The Premium Indoor Camera lets you use the Z-wave automation language to trigger events—like turning on a light when motion is detected, which could deter a potential intruder.

If you don’t need any fancy features, the regular Indoor Camera still helps you keep tabs on activity at home, like making sure your kiddo got home safe or your dog isn’t destroying the couch.

Link Interactive camera prices
Camera
Price
Resolution
Field of view
Learn more
Indoor Camera$127.001080p (HD)110°
Premium Indoor Camera$255.001080p (HD)180°
V724 Outdoor Camera$241.001080p (HD)140°
Doorbell Camera (Skybell)$167.001080p (HD)180°
Slim Doorbell Camera$177.00720p (SD)170°
Alarm.com Video Doorbell$211.001440p (4K)150°

Data effective 07/07/2023. Offers subject to change.

Link’s V724 Outdoor Camera gives you a 140-degree diagonal field of view, and can be tilted to focus in on a specific area of your backyard, front porch, or driveway. This is a great feature to have if you really want to focus in on a certain spot, like your front walkway, to watch for packages. (And avoid triggering alerts for other areas, like the backyard where the neighborhood kids like to play.)

The biggest downside is that the camera needs to be plugged in, so you’ll potentially need to drill holes for its cord.

On top of indoor and outdoor cameras, Link also offers three different Wi-Fi video doorbells so you can keep an eye out for important deliveries. The $211 doorbell cam offers 4K resolution, but if you’ve got a large porch, you may want to go for the Skybell doorbell cam with the largest field of view.

SimpliSafe cameras

SimpliSafe may not offer the variety of cameras that Link Interactive does, but it charges a lot less for the three cameras it does offer.

Its Wireless Outdoor Camera is a step above Link’s outdoor camera thanks to its wireless capabilities. No need to drill holes to hide your power cord here—and if you’re worried about batteries running out, SimpliSafe also offers a solar panel made just for the camera.

SimpliSafe camera prices
Camera
Price
Resolution
Field of view
Learn more
Wired Indoor Camera$99.001080p (HD)120°
Wireless Indoor Camera$139.991080p (HD)120°
Wireless Outdoor Camera$189.991080p (HD)140°
Video Doorbell Pro$169.001080p (HD)162°

Data effective 07/07/2023. Offers subject to change.

Our testers noted that SimpliSafe’s doorbell camera notifications lagged a bit. If the doorbell rang, it took about five seconds for a notification to pop up on their phone. This may not seem like a long time, but it could mean the difference between telling your delivery person that you’ll be right down and them leaving a notice on your door to schedule a redelivery.

If you’re really looking for a deal, SimpliSafe also sells refurbished equipment at 20 to 30% off, and you keep the same warranty you’d get if you bought it new.

Link Interactive vs. SimpliSafe: Smart home integrations

Winner: Link Interactive

If you want your security system to work seamlessly with any other smart home products you already own, then Link Interactive is your best choice. If you grab the Gold monitoring plan or above, you get Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Z-wave home automation support.

Link Interactive vs. SimpliSafe home automation comparison
Home security company
Smart home support
Smart home equipment
Details
Link InteractiveAmazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Z-waveThermostat, door locks, garage door controller, smart plug, video doorbell
SimpliSafeAmazon Alexa, Google AssistantDoor lock, video doorbell

Data effective 07/07/2023. Offers subject to change.

SimpliSafe, on the other hand, works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. It’s also worth noting that SimpliSafe’s system doesn’t come with many smart home accessories—just a smart lock and video doorbell for now. And if you need help coordinating your SimpliSafe system and Alexa talking to each other, we can help with our easy SimpliSafe and Alexa guide.

So if you want to add smart plugs, light bulbs, or thermostats to your home security system, Link may be the better fit.

Link Interactive vs. SimpliSafe: Customer service

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Both Link Interactive and SimpliSafe earned close to top marks from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and TrustPilot.

We’ve heard lots of great feedback from customers about Link Interactive. Some even said that Link’s technicians helped them install smart home devices that didn’t come with their Link Interactive system. One item we noted about Link, though, was that it’s website is a little difficult to navigate—and you’ll need to provide personal info in order to get a quote for your new security system.

SimpliSafe also has a great reputation, and we noted how easy it was for our parents to use. The monitoring representatives are professional, helpful, and kind when they call, and the SimpliSafe site is easier to get around on than Link’s.

One more thing to note is that Link Interactive requires you to sign a one- to three-year contract, while SimpliSafe doesn’t require a contract at all. And if you suspect you may need to end your Link Interactive contract early, you’ll have to pay 75% of your remaining contract cost.

Link Interactive vs. SimpliSafe: Which is better?

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The best option out of Link Interactive and SimpliSafe really comes down to what you need.

Link is best for folks who own a large home or want to customize their security system with home automation and lots of different types of sensors. SimpliSafe is great for anyone on a tight budget who’s still looking for a quality home security setup.

  • Prices and monitoring plans: SimpliSafe. You’ll find the best prices for monitoring plans and equipment with SimpliSafe. Even its most expensive monitoring plan costs less than Link Interactive’s cheapest plan, and SimpliSafe doesn’t require a contract like Link does.
  • Security equipment: Link Interactive. You’ll get way more options when it comes to equipment with Link Interactive. And though it’s more expensive than SimpliSafe, you’ll find a sensor or device for pretty much anything you’d need to monitor.
  • Cameras: Both Link Interactive and SimpliSafe offer a full range of cameras, from indoor to outdoor to doorbell cams. But Link has more options, while SimpliSafe’s cost less.
  • Smart home integrations: Link Interactive. Both security systems work with Alexa and Google Assistant, but only Link lets you program smart home automations using Z-wave technology.
  • Customer service: Both companies are known for friendly reps and helpful service, though we prefer the simplicity of SimpliSafe’s online ordering process over Link’s request-a-quote system.
Link Interactive vs. SimpliSafe comparison
Home security company
Monitoring price range
Base equipment price
Camera price range
Details
Link Interactive$30.99–$47.99/mo.Varies
(Ranges from $24–$388)
$127.00–$255.00
SimpliSafe$9.99–$29.99/mo.$195.97$99.00–$189.99

Data effective 07/07/2023. Offers subject to change.

Methodology

To compare the Link Interactive and SimpliSafe DIY home security systems, we took a close look at the following features:

  • Price: We make sure to contextualize a home security service's equipment and monitoring prices with the features offered.
  • Equipment: Not all home security systems offer the same equipment options. We take a comprehensive look at each home security service to give you the most thorough rundown of its cameras, accessories, and available features. 
  • Home automation: If you already own smart home tech, you might want to choose a home security system that's compatible with your current smart home protocols. We dig into each service's home automation protocols and capabilities.
  • Cameras: It's important to look beyond just price when choosing the right home security camera for you. We investigate home security providers' camera features, such as their battery life cycle, charging method, video definition, smart home capabilities, and field of vision.
  • Customer service: It can be a high-stakes problem for your home security system to malfunction. We take a look at each home security provider's customer service reviews, the company's response to customer complaints, as well as the provider's various methods of contact.

We conducted hands-on testing for the SimpliSafe security system, including living with it for a year. Our research for Link Interactive involved online research of its monitoring plans and prices, plus research of its Alarm.com equipment.

FAQ

Still have questions about how SimpliSafe and Link Interactive compare? We’re here to help.

Link Interactive uses Avantguard Monitoring Centers in Utah and Idaho.

SimpliSafe has six monitoring centers located around the US.

Yes, Link Interactive offers a panic button equipment add-on for $34 that can be worn around your neck, wrist, or on your belt. When pressed, the button sends an alarm to your Link Interactive security panel—even if your security system is currently disarmed.

SimpliSafe also offers a panic button for $19.99.

Nope, neither Link Interactive nor SimpliSafe require a landline for home security monitoring. Link Interactive’s monitoring technology uses a cellular connection, while SimpliSafe’s monitoring technology uses either a cellular or internet connection.

Link Interactive integrates with Z-wave home automation technology, as well as Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.

Yes, Link Interactive can integrate with a Nest thermostat, an Amazon Smart Thermostat, and the Alarm.com Premium Thermostat.

Catherine McNally
Written by
Catherine McNally
Catherine has a degree in journalism and an MBA, and has spent the last 10+ years writing everything from Okinawa travel guides to stories on Medium. She’s been online since AOL CDs were a thing and is an unapologetic PC gamer. She believes the internet is a necessity, not a luxury, and writes reviews and guides to help everyone stay connected. You can also find her on Twitter: @CMReviewsIt.

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