SimpliSafe Home Security Review 2021

We’ve lived with the SimpliSafe system for over 120 days, and it’s a bargain home security option
SimpliSafe logo
Overall Rating 4.5 out of 5
Affordable equipment and monitoring
Easy installation
Limited smart home functionality

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.

Deals

Get a free indoor camera with your SimpliSafe system

Right now, SimpliSafe is offering 20% off any new system, plus a free indoor camera (the SimpliCam). Check out the SimpliSafe website to see the sale.
SimpliSafe overview
ProductPriceEquipment starter kit priceHome automation integrationsLearn more
SimpliSafe logo$14.99–$24.99/mo.$229.00Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, August, Apple WatchView 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

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

Source: Reviews.org

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 packages pricing
Equipment packagePrice# of door/window sensors# of motion sensorsLearn more
The Foundation$229.0011View Plans
The Nook$254.0011View Plans
The Essentials$259.0031View Plans
The Bedford$274.0022View Plans
The Homestead$284.0031View Plans
The Sanctuary$304.0061View Plans
The Bunker$329.0042View Plans
The Oakstone$359.0081View Plans
The Hearth$374.0031View Plans
The Barrington$388.0021View Plans
The Stronghold$424.0071View Plans
The Keep$443.0052View Plans
The Knox$449.0062View Plans
The Stonefort$484.0092View Plans
The Haven$489.0042View Plans
The Fortress$509.0062View 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.

Money icon
SimpliSafe almost always has discounts available
SimpliSafe equipment is almost always on sale for one reason or another. SimpliSafe routinely discounts equipment packages if you sign up for its Interactive monitoring plan, and it often offers a free indoor camera when you buy a new system. It’s pretty easy to save money on a SimpliSafe system. Check the SimpliSafe website for current deals.

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.

SimpliSafe pricing
SimpliSafeStandardInteractive
Price$14.99/mo.$24.99/mo.
24/7 professional monitoring

No

Yes
Mobile app access

No

Yes
Smart home integration

No

Yes
Text or email alerts

No

Yes
Secret alerts

No

Yes
Environmental monitoring (smoke, flood, etc.)

Yes

Yes
DetailsView PlansView 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.

Pin 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.

How does SimpliSafe pricing compare?

SimpliSafe is cheaper than a lot of other home security systems, including big names like ADT.

SimpliSafe pricing compared to other home security systems
ProductMonitoring priceLearn more
SimpliSafe$14.99–$24.99/mo.View Plans
ADT$27.99–$62.99/mo.View Plans
Vivint$29.99–$44.99/mo.View Plans
Frontpoint$49.99/mo.View Plans
Ring Alarm$10/mo. OR $100/yr.View Plans
Blue by ADT$19.99/mo.View Plans
Cove$14.99–$24.99/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
  • Keypad
  • Smoke detector
  • Carbon monoxide sensor
  • Panic button
  • Key fob/keychain remote
  • Smart lock
  • SimpliCam
  • Video Doorbell Pro
  • Yard sign

Not sure what you need? SimpliSafe has a ridiculous number of packages with different combinations of equipment.

Right now, every SimpliSafe equipment package comes with a free camera on the side.

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

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.

Bullhorn 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’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.

Screenshot of the SimpliSafe app showing a timeline of camera motion events

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.

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

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.

Heads Up icon
The SimpliSafe smart lock
SimpliSafe’s lock is well reviewed and comes in three colors. So while it would be nice to be able to use a third-party lock, the SimpliSafe smart lock isn’t a bad choice.

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

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 logo
  • Free indoor camera with every new package

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.

Recommended plans for SimpliSafe
ServicePlanPriceDownload speedDetails
Xfinity Internet - WestBlast! Pro Plus$64.99*400 MbpsView Plan
Verizon Internet - Fios GigInternet 400/400$59.99/mo.400 MbpsView Plan
AT&T FiberAT&T Internet 1000$60/mo.940 MbpsView Plan
Data effective 11/04/20. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
* For the first 12 months with a 1-year agreement.
w/ Auto Pay + taxes & equip charges
for 12 mos, plus taxes & equip. fee. Autopay & Paperless Bill req'd. $10/mo equip. fee applies
  • 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.