SimpliSafe Home Security Review 2021

We’ve lived with the SimpliSafe system for over 120 days, and it’s a bargain home security option
Compare Plans
Our Rating
Our Rating
PlanPriceMonitoring typeMobile app accessCamera supportDetails
Standard$14.99Professionally monitoredNoNoView Plans
Interactive$24.99Professionally monitoredYesYesView Plans
PriceMonitoring typeMobile app accessCamera supportDetails
$14.99Professionally monitoredNoNoView Plans
$24.99Professionally monitoredYesYesView Plans
Deals

SimpliSafe sale

SimpliSafe is running a major sale for 40% off with the purchase of a new system! You can score this deal here. But act fast—the deal only lasts a few days.

Is SimpliSafe right for you?

SimpliSafe is a well-priced, DIY home security system that has a lot to offer to renters and homeowners alike. It doesn’t have any contracts, and you can buy both your security equipment and a 24/7 professional-monitoring subscription for a lot less than you’d pay for other alarm systems.

But SimpliSafe is not good for home automation. Its limited smart home integrations can’t do very much, and it probably won’t work with your other smart devices.

Pros

  • Affordable equipment
  • Professional monitoring
  • DIY installation
  • Online ordering
  • Alexa and Google integrations

Cons

  • Limited smart home integrations
  • No true outdoor camera
SimpliSafe monitoring plan comparison
Monitoring planStandardInteractive
Price$14.99/mo.$24.99/mo.
24/7 professional monitoring

Yes

Yes
Mobile app access

No

Yes
Smart home integrations

No

Yes
Text or email alerts

No

Yes
Secret alerts

No

Yes
Environmental monitoring(smoke, flood, etc.)

Yes

Yes
Learn moreView PlansView Plans

We recommend SimpliSafe’s Interactive plan

SimpliSafe’s Interactive plan is more expensive than the Standard, but you get a bunch of extra features for your money.

Without the Interactive plan, you can’t use SimpliSafe’s mobile app to control your security system. You also can’t connect your SimpliSafe system with your Amazon Alexa or Google Nest smart speaker.

The Interactive plan gives you a few other perks too, including fire protection and unlimited video recording for your SimpliSafe security cameras.

SimpliSafe pricing and monitoring

SimpliSafe has two professional monitoring plans: the Standard, which costs $14.99 per month, and the Interactive, which costs $24.99 per month. Unfortunately, the Standard plan skips a lot of the most useful features, so we recommend shelling out the extra $10 per month for the Interactive plan.

SimpliSafe plans and pricing
PlanPriceMobile app accessSmart home supportSmart home support
Standard$14.99/mo.NoNoView Plans
Interactive$24.99/mo.YesYesView Plans

Professional monitoring means there’s always someone ready to respond if an intruder triggers your alarm system. If your alarm system goes off, SimpliSafe’s monitoring center will try to call you first in case it’s a false alarm. If they don’t get an answer, they’ll call law enforcement to go check out your house.

If you opt out of professional monitoring, then your SimpliSafe system will function as a “local alarm.” That means if someone trips a sensor, it will still set off a siren. But that’s it.

Without a monitoring service, no one will contact you. You won’t get a notification. No one will call the police for you. The only thing deterring a burglar from stealing your TV is a loud noise.

Info Box icon
What are secret alerts?
A secret alert sends you a notification if a particular sensor is tripped, but it doesn’t trigger the actual alarm. You can set any sensor to secret alert mode with the app. This feature is great for protecting liquor cabinets and gun safes from curious kids.

SimpliSafe security equipment

SimpliSafe equipment is cheap compared to a lot of other home security companies, especially big names like ADT and Vivint.

Because of SimpliSafe’s DIY installation and no-contract model, you do have to buy all your security equipment up front. Even so, you’ll still pay less for SimpliSafe’s equipment than you would for equipment from most other security companies.

SimpliSafe equipment package comparison*
Equipment packagePrice# of pieces of equipmentLearn more
The Foundation$229.005View Plans
The Essentials$259.007View Plans
The Hearth$374.0010View Plans
The Knox$449.0014View Plans
The Haven$489.0015View Plans

* Does not represent all equipment packages SimpliSafe offers

Check out this affordability comparison: SimpliSafe’s most basic equipment package costs even less at a mere $229. In comparison, Vivint’s smallest and most basic equipment package will cost you $599.

Vivint aside, SimpliSafe’s pricing is roughly on par with other DIY home security systems like Abode and Ring Alarm. But you’ll pay less for SimpliSafe than you would for Frontpoint.

SimpliSafe equipment pictured spread out on a granite countertop next to the user guide for the system

Source: Reviews.org

If you want to save some extra cash, SimpliSafe also offers refurbished equipment. Used equipment costs around 20 to 30% less than new, and it comes with the same warranty as the new stuff.

What equipment SimpliSafe offers

True to the name, SimpliSafe equipment looks simple. The design is nice-looking but basic, and the system isn’t going to turn your home into a Jetson-esque, fully automated smart home.

Still, SimpliSafe offers a lot of equipment. You can get the following pieces straight from the company:

  • Entry sensor
  • Motion sensor/motion detector
  • Glass break sensor
  • Water sensor
  • Temperature sensor
  • 105 dB siren
  • Keypad
  • Smoke detector
  • Carbon monoxide sensor
  • Panic button
  • Key fob/keychain remote
  • Smart lock
  • SimpliCam
  • Video Doorbell Pro
  • Yard sign

The current SimpliSafe system is an improvement over previous versions. The old SimpliSafe system was a lot less stylish. (It looked like something you’d see in your parents’ house in the 90s.) And SimpliSafe didn’t offer a smart door lock or a video doorbell.

SimpliSafe equipment security features

SimpliSafe has a bunch of features to make its equipment more secure:

  • Simultaneous cellular and Wi-Fi connections. So if your internet goes out or you lose a cell signal, your system will still work.
  • “SmashSafe” back-up. If an intruder destroys your wireless keypad or base station, your system will send out an alarm to the monitoring center.
  • Base station battery backup. If your base station loses power, it still has 24 hours’ worth of battery backup juice.

Perhaps the biggest tech highlight to SimpliSafe’s equipment is that it’s a cellular system. That means you don’t need to connect everything to a landline or rely on a Wi-Fi signal for your safety–SimpliSafe uses a cell signal the same way your smartphone does.

Cellular is the most secure connection a home security system can offer, so as long as your location has a strong enough cell signal, we can’t recommend a better option.

SimpliSafe base station features

SimpliSafe base station shown on a granite countertop in between a kitchen knife block and a paper towel holder

Source: Reviews.org

A lot of security systems use a main control panel to communicate with sensors and sound the alarm should someone crack a window and creep into your living room at 2 a.m. But SimpliSafe uses something a little different: a tower console called the base station.

Light Bulb icon
How many sensors can you add on to a SimpliSafe system?
A single SimpliSafe base station supports up to 100 devices–that’s more than you should ever need.

The base station communicates with all your sensors and devices. (SimpliSafe’s wireless keypad is just there to turn things on and off.) When you set up your SimpliSafe system, you’ll take the base station out of the box and plug it in. Easy peasy.

The base station does have a pretty bright light on the bottom that stays on all the time, so keep in mind if you put it in your living room, it might annoy you during movie night. You can turn the light off in Settings, either through the keypad or through the mobile app.

SimpliSafe cameras

SimpliSafe has two cameras:

  • SimpliCam indoor camera
  • Video Doorbell Pro

Neither of these cameras is the best security camera option, and SimpliSafe doesn’t offer a true outdoor security camera. But both of SimpliSafe’s cameras have all the basic features you’ll need to keep an eye on your house and talk to visitors on your porch.

SimpliSafe Doorbell Camera Pro shown installed on a house next to a front door

Source: Reviews.org

Both the SimpliCam and the Video Doorbell Pro have person detection, so SimpliSafe can notify you only when the camera spots people, rather than telling you about every squirrel running down your fence.

But person detection only works if the camera has light. Both cameras have night vision, but person detection turns off. So overnight you’ll get alerts about any motion at all, be it car, delivery truck, or racoon.

SimpliSafe’s cameras also don’t have many artificial intelligence features. These cameras can’t tell the difference between an animal and a package. They don’t have facial recognition, and they don’t send smart alerts. Even if the camera spots a person, it will send you a generic notification that just says “motion detected.”

Screenshot of the SimpliSafe doorbell camera's live view showing a driveway at night

Source: Reviews.org

The load time for SimpliSafe’s camera feed is also a bit slow. Every time you get a doorbell notification, the app takes about five seconds to pull up. That sounds short, but it’s pretty slow if you want to catch the delivery person and ask them to hide your new Amazon box.

We tested some Eufy outdoor cameras at the same time as the SimpliSafe Video Doorbell Pro, and despite being on the same Wi-Fi network, Eufy always loaded up faster than SimpliSafe–even though our Eufy camera was technically farther from our internet router.

There are plenty of doorbell cameras out there that can do more than the SImpliSafe version, such as the Google Nest Hello and the Arlo Video Doorbell. But these models won’t integrate with your SimpliSafe security system, and you’ll have to use separate apps for them.

For more info on the SimpliCam and the Video Doorbell Pro, check out our SimpliSafe Cameras Review.

SimpliSafe home automation

We’re big fans of the smart home trend around here, and we love when alarm systems integrate with smart home technology. Unfortunately, SimpliSafe is a little behind the times on that front.

A lot of alarm systems come with either Z-Wave or Zigbee integration (or both if you’re Abode or Scout), which lets you add in third-party devices like smart locks and lights. SimpliSafe comes with . . . neither of those. It also doesn’t work with IFTTT or SmartThings.

SimpliSafe has only three smart home integrations:

SimpliSafe Alexa and Google integration

The Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant integrations let you arm your SimpliSafe system with just your voice, so you don’t have to get out of your comfy bed at night when you realize you forgot to turn the system on.

But arming your system and asking about your system’s status are all you can do with SimpliSafe through either an Amazon Echo or a Google Home device. You can’t disarm your SimpliSafe system, you can’t control your SimpliSafe door lock, and you can’t view your SimpliSafe camera’s livefeed.

Light Bulb icon
Not sure how to connect SimpliSafe to Alexa or Google?

SimpliSafe smart locks

SimpliSafe debuted its own smart door lock in 2019. The SimpliSafe Smart Lock modifies your existing deadbolt so you don’t have to replace the whole thing. It works a lot like the August Wi-Fi Smart Lock, except that August has way more smart home integrations and features.

But good news, you can use an August Smart Lock and sync it with your SimpliSafe system to lock and unlock your doors depending on your security system’s status. You can set it so that when you leave for work in the morning and arm your security system, your front door locks automatically.

SimpliSafe mobile app

If you want SimpliSafe’s mobile app (and we think you do), then you have to subscribe to SimpliSafe’s Interactive monitoring plan.

SimpliSafe monthly monitoring plans:

  • Standard: $14.99 per month
  • Interactive: $24.99 per month (This is the one you need to get the mobile app.)

SimpliSafe monitoring plans are pretty cheap–especially by industry standards. But we still don’t like the mobile app being treated like an “extra” you pay a premium for. You need the mobile app to control your system from your smartphone and to get mobile alerts about any incidents.

It’s especially annoying to pay extra for the SimpliSafe app considering the app is nothing special. It’s pretty basic, and we experienced some glitches from time to time, like the SimpliSafe app crashing when we tried to access it by tapping on a camera notification. It doesn’t seem worth $10 more per month.

SimpliSafe installation

SimpliSafe installation is totally DIY, and it’s easy. No drilling or punching holes in your walls (which is great for renters). Also, the equipment comes with adhesive strips, so you just peel off the cover and stick the sensors where you want them.

Even setting up the base station and arming the system are no big deal. Just follow the instructions in the setup guide or go through the SimpliSafe app. We used the app, and it gave us step-by-step directions to get everything connected and ready to go.

Our whole system was up and running within 15 to 20 minutes.

SimpliSafe customer experience

Aside from its lack of smart home integrations and camera features, we don’t have many bad things to say about using the SimpliSafe system. It’s exactly what it tries to be: a basic home security system that will help protect your house.

Everything from ordering our SimpliSafe system online to setting it up at home went smoothly for us. We got one call from the SimpliSafe monitoring center when we ran a test signal for our system. They called us within seconds, and they were pleasant to talk to.

There are definitely smarter home security systems on the market, but if you just want the basics, then SimpliSafe is a good (and affordable) choice.

How does SimpliSafe compare to other companies?

SimpliSafe is cheaper than a lot of other home security companies, especially the ones that require professional installation and multi-year contracts. SimpliSafe has DIY installation, and it’s contract-free.

SimpliSafe pricing compared to other home security systems
ProductMonitoring priceInstallation typeContract lengthLearn more
SimpliSafe logo$14.99-$24.99/mo.DIYNo contractView Plans
ADT SafeStreets logo$27.99-$62.99/mo.Professional3 yearsView Plans
Vivint Logo$29.99-$44.99/mo.ProfessionalNo contract, or 5 years View Plans
Frontpoint logo$49.99/mo.DIYNo contractView Plans
Ring logo$10/mo. OR $100/yr.DIYNo contractView Plans
Blue by ADT logo$19.99/mo.DIYNo contractView Plans
Cove logo$14.99-$24.99/mo.DIYNo contractView Plans

Even compared to other DIY home security companies, SimpliSafe’s still pretty cheap. But if you want something that costs less than SimpliSafe, we recommend the Ring Alarm security system.

Recap: Is SimpliSafe good?

As DIY security systems go, we think SimpliSafe is a good choice. We see it as a cheap, reliable option for home security. The online ordering is super convenient, the DIY installation is easy, and the system worked well during our tests.

  • Pricing: All the podcast ads are true: SimpliSafe is affordable. It’s not the cheapest security system on the market, but it’s pretty close. And it has a well-known brand name that potential intruders will recognize on your yard sign.
  • Equipment: SimpliSafe has a range of security and environmental sensors to help protect your home from both human and non-human events. It doesn’t have a lot of smart-home devices, and its cameras are pretty basic, but its security equipment is good.
  • Home automation: SimpliSafe falls short on the home automation front. It works with Alexa and Google, but you can’t do much with either. And the system doesn’t integrate with any smart lights.
  • Installation: SimpliSafe installation is a piece of cake. We had our system up and running in about 15 minutes.
  • Customer experience: SimpliSafe monitoring contacted us quickly, and the monitoring rep we talked to was friendly. Overall, the system is easy to use.
SimpliSafe
SimpliSafe Home Security
Our rating:
4.5 out of 5 stars
Monthly price:
$14.99$24.99
Learn more:
Starting at $14.99 a month

SimpliSafe FAQ

Does SimpliSafe require Wi-Fi?

No, SimpliSafe doesn’t need Wi-Fi to work. It has a cellular connection you can use to connect the system wirelessly without an internet connection. If you can use Wi-Fi though, SimpliSafe recommends it for faster updates.

Does SimpliSafe have outdoor cameras?

SimpliSafe does not currently offer a dedicated outdoor camera. It does sell a silicone sleeve you can put over the SimpliCam indoor camera to make it suitable for outdoor use, but we recommend you use a weatherproof camera built for the great outdoors instead.

Does SimpliSafe offer self-monitoring?

SimpliSafe does not currently offer self-monitoring. If you want a security system you can monitor yourself and control from your smartphone, then we recommend Abode or Ring Alarm.

Methodology

We bought and installed the SimpliSafe system ourselves and lived with it every day for over three months to write this review. We also tested both the SimpliCam indoor camera, and the Video Doorbell Pro, and we connected SimpliSafe to both an Amazon Echo Dot and a Google Nest Mini to test smart home functionality.

  • KS

    Good Afternoon,
    I live in the US Virgin Islands and plan to use the Simplisafe system without monitoring. I am concerned because the house has poor cell reception. It sounds like the system will not communicate without it? We plan to get an at&t signal booster but have not done that yet.

    • Maria Millett

      Hi there!

      Yes, make sure to get that AT&T booster. Cell reception and wifi are really important to make SimpliSafe work for you!

  • ham&egg

    Thanks great review! This here is the deal breaker…. “If you want SimpliSafe’s mobile app (and trust us, you do), then you have to subscribe to a SimpliSafe monitoring plan. And not just any SimpliSafe monitoring plan: the most expensive plan, the Interactive.”

    So if I don’t subscribe to a monitoring plan, there will be no way for me to be alerted if I’m away from home and all other conveniences that come with mobile app are not available. No thank you then.

    • IndependentEddie

      It sounds like even if you get the basic monitoring service for $14.99 you WILL get alerted. Typically they call you at a number you give them and you give a password. If the password is bogus or you don’t answer the phone they call the local police.

  • IndependentEddie

    What I think is a great and necessary feature is the SmashSafe backup. Our current system doesn’t have this and typically you have the panel near the door for easy access. All the person has to do is break in the door and then put a hammer to the control panel before the 60 second delay to enter you passcode is up (or whatever you set it to). No alarm. SmashSafe will still send the alarm. Also with cellular sending it will still send the alarm even if someone cuts your phone or cable wires which disables a lot of systems. When we move I definitely will get one of these systems. We winter in Florida so need an alarm system.