SimpliSafe Home Security Review 2021
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 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 devices.
Get a free indoor camera with your SimpliSafe system
|Product||Price||Equipment starter kit price||Home automation integrations||Learn more|
|$14.99–$24.99/mo.||$229.00||Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, August, Apple Watch||View Plans|
Data effective 4/13/2021. Offers subject to change.
SimpliSafe contracts, pricing, and fees
No doubt about it, SimpliSafe is substantially cheaper than other security options
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.
|Equipment package||Price||# of door/window sensors||# of motion sensors||Learn more|
|The Foundation||$229.00||1||1||View Plans|
|The Nook||$254.00||1||1||View Plans|
|The Essentials||$259.00||3||1||View Plans|
|The Bedford||$274.00||2||2||View Plans|
|The Homestead||$284.00||3||1||View Plans|
|The Sanctuary||$304.00||6||1||View Plans|
|The Bunker||$329.00||4||2||View Plans|
|The Oakstone||$359.00||8||1||View Plans|
|The Hearth||$374.00||3||1||View Plans|
|The Barrington||$388.00||2||1||View Plans|
|The Stronghold||$424.00||7||1||View Plans|
|The Keep||$443.00||5||2||View Plans|
|The Knox||$449.00||6||2||View Plans|
|The Stonefort||$484.00||9||2||View Plans|
|The Haven||$489.00||4||2||View Plans|
|The Fortress||$509.00||6||2||View Plans|
Data effective as of 3/29/21. Offers subject to change.
* Only the Haven, the Knox, the Hearth, the Essentials, and the Foundation are listed on the SimpliSafe website equipment page. But when you make a selection for one of those, you’ll see other packages pop up under “You Might Also Be Interested In.”
Check out this affordability comparison: SimpliSafe’s Haven equipment package costs less than $500 for 14 pieces of equipment. That same amount of money will buy you much less equipment from a big-name provider like Vivint.
And with SimpliSafe, the 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.
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.
Professional monitoring: How much is it?
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.
|24/7 professional monitoring|
|Mobile app access|
|Smart home integration|
|Text or email alerts|
|Environmental monitoring (smoke, flood, etc.)|
|Details||View Plans||View Plans|
Data effective 4/13/2021. Offers subject to change.
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.
How does SimpliSafe pricing compare?
SimpliSafe is cheaper than a lot of other home security systems, including big names like ADT.
|Product||Monitoring price||Learn more|
|Ring Alarm||$10/mo. OR $100/yr.||View Plans|
|Blue by ADT||$19.99/mo.||View Plans|
Data effective 4/27/2021. Offers subject to change.
SimpliSafe security equipment
We like the simplicity of SimpliSafe’s equipment and the (wide) range of home protection devices you can get
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
- Smoke detector
- Carbon monoxide sensor
- Panic button
- Key fob/keychain remote
- Smart lock
- Video Doorbell Pro
- Yard sign
Not sure what you need? SimpliSafe has a ridiculous number of packages with different combinations of equipment.
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 mostly cellular system. That means you don’t need to connect everything to a landline or rely exclusively on a Wi-Fi signal for your safety—SimpliSafe can use 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
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.
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’s cameras are basic, but they’ll do the job
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.
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.”
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 fast 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
SimpliSafe has only three smart home integrations, and none of them are very impressive
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 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.
SimpliSafe smart locks
SimpliSafe offers its own smart lock, which 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.
If you don’t want to pay for app access, you can control your system using the keypad alone, but this option is pretty inconvenient. You can’t check your system’s status from anywhere and you can’t arm the system using your phone.
SimpliSafe installation is a breeze. It took us about 15 minutes to set up
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.
SimpliSafe security system installation steps:
- Unpack the base station and plug it into a wall outlet.
- Unpack the keypad and follow the instructions it gives you for setting a master PIN.
- Stick the keypad to your wall with the adhesive tape on the back.
- Follow the instructions on the keypad to install and name all your sensors, one by one.
- Put your sensors in their proper places using the adhesive tape on the back.
- Activate your alarm monitoring through the SimpliSafe web page.
- The sensors are super sticky and definitely stay where you put them, but they’re still safe for paint. We put the entry sensors and motion sensor on and took them off a couple of times, and our paint was left intact.
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
SimpliSafe could use some more smart home integrations, but on the whole, it’s easy to use
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.
Recap: Is SimpliSafe good?
SimpliSafe is cheap, accessible, and easy to install. And it’s backed by professional monitoring
SimpliSafe is pretty good. 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.
If SimpliSafe doesn’t sound like the right option for you, check out our Best Home Security Systems review for more options.
Is your house ready for SimpliSafe?
Smart security systems work best when you’re prepared for them. To get the most out of a SimpliSafe system, you need a reliable internet plan.
We suggest getting a higher-speed internet plan when you have more devices connected to the Wi-Fi. The exact speed you need depends on the number of devices you have and the bandwidth they require.
|Xfinity Internet - West||Blast! Pro Plus||$64.99*||400 Mbps||View Plan|
|Verizon Internet - Fios Gig||Internet 400/400||$59.99/mo.†||400 Mbps||View Plan|
|AT&T Fiber||AT&T Internet 1000||$60/mo.‡||940 Mbps||View Plan|