An In-Depth Review Of SimpliSafe Home Security


In today's world, things are becoming much more simple in how we listen to music, watch television, order food, communicate with friends and family, and now even in how we can secure our homes. Just as you can now have cell phone plans with no contracts or activation fees, or cable television alternatives that also have no contracts, hookup costs or termination fees, you can do the same thing with your home security system. For far too long, the home security industry has made large profits at the expense of people keeping their homes safe with a lot of high equipment costs, technician installation costs, and many other fees that are hard to get around. While there ultimately is no getting completely around all the startup and equipment costs to setup a home security system, there are much cheaper options that you can sign up for that let you get the security for your home that you want, and SimpliSafe is one of those options. SimpliSafe basically is to home security what SlingTV and FuboTV are to cable TV.

You may have heard about SimpliSafe if you listen to talk radio as certain syndicated hosts have endorsed the company on their shows and offered promo codes through their links. If you're wondering if the system is really worth the hype, our review can tell you that in some ways you do get a little more than what you pay for, but it also does lack a few features that other more expensive companies include with their systems. But all in all, the system is relatively versatile and can benefit not only regular homeowners, but also smaller apartment renters and small business owners. What our review will do first is break down the costs of what you're getting, and then go through the setup and monitoring.

Breaking Down What You Pay For

Basically, the costs are broken down into the following categories:

  • Equipment package
  • Monitoring plans and mobile app
  • Camera plan

The equipment you buy can be purchased either in a bundle that SimpliSafe has put together, or you can buy whichever equipment you want in your own customized order. If you're new to buying and setting up security equipment, you may want to go with one of SimpliSafe's bundled packages which can match your needs based on the size of your home or apartment and the level of security you want. But if you're a pro at knowing what you need for your home, you're free to select as much or as little equipment as you want. Cameras can be purchased in the equipment package, but the camera plan has some additional features.

The monitoring plans are monthly plans that have professional assistants standing by who will contact you and appropriate authorities in the event an alarm goes off in your home. This is not just for break-ins and vandalism; this could also include a fire or a high level of carbon monoxide. There are two plans offered by SimpliSafe which are their Standard Plan and Interactive Plan. The Interactive Plan is the better plan because it doesn't cost much more than the Standard Plan, and it also has the following:

  • Mobile app access
  • Silent alarm monitoring
  • E-mail and text alerts

The SimpliCam is an additional equipment purchase to go with your regular alarm system, but it also has its own plan that you can sign up for. This plan basically lets you rewind through footage and download it for when you want to look back through it. Keep in mind though if you have more than one camera, you'll need to get this plan for each camera.

Equipment Offered And How You Set It Up

What makes SimpliSafe very nice is that each piece of equipment can interact with the base station wirelessly, and there's instructions on how to set it up that can be read easily. The base station with its key pad practically controls everything, and it's portable and lightweight and can be plugged in wherever you want it. The following equipment is what you'll usually get along with it:

  • Motion sensors for your doorways and hallways
  • Window sensors that can detect if glass is broken
  • Smoke, water, carbon monoxide and pipe freeze detectors
  • Sirens
  • Panic button
  • Keychain remote
  • Mobile app control

One thing you'll love about SimpliSafe is you do not need to run wires through your walls, or even drill into them to mount the sensors or cameras. The equipment comes with a kind of adhesive that sticks solidly to the walls but doesn't peel paint off when you need to remove it. Also, the cellular connection it uses to connect to the internet can come in handy in case your home wifi goes down, and if your home loses power the base station has a 24-hour battery backup. SimpliSafe customers have said they've been able to get everything installed in as little as 15 or 20 minutes.

One of the downsides of SimpliSafe's equipment is that you can't integrate it with as much smart home technology as some systems out there. For example, you won't be able to automatically lock your door or hit the lights the way other systems allow for. But you can integrate it with Amazon's Alexa which lets you use voice commands to arm it, and if you have a Nest thermostat, it can tell Nest information about you that's useful to adjusting the thermostat.

Monitoring, Mobile App And Camera

The standard or interactive monitoring plan really is necessary if you're going to use SimpliSafe, because otherwise the most that will really happen is a siren going off but nobody contacted or any help dispatched. As previously mentioned, you might as well go with the interactive plan because it has the mobile app and more helpful features. Keep in mind that even if you have cameras installed, only you can watch them live through the mobile app, but the monitoring agents will alert you any time an alarm is tripped.

The mobile app not only lets you arm your system remotely and look at your camera feeds, you can also look through the activity log to see if anything strange or out of the ordinary happened. You can even get live notification updates in case you have visitors arrive at your home. The mobile app is also a place you can go if you need any video demonstrations on using or installing equipment, or need any other assistance.

The SimpliCam has to be used indoors and isn't nearly as functional as other more expensive cameras. For example, it's stationary and you won't be able to hit a control button to swivel it around or zoom in on any area. But it does have good picture quality as well as night vision and isn't bad for being cheaper than most of its competitors. But again, you will need a separate monthly camera plan if you wish to go back through the captured footage and download it.

Our Overall Thoughts About SimpliSafe

SimpliSafe can really be an effective monitoring system for those who are on a budget and can't afford an elaborate and complex system. Plus if you consider yourself to be a big DIY person and like to set things up your way, this is very much for you. The pros and cons could be summed up like this:

Pros:

  • Easy to order equipment online and have it shipped to you
  • Easy to understand instructions for setting up equipment and quick setup times
  • Reliable power battery backup and cellular connection
  • Very affordable monthly plans
  • Easy to navigate mobile app
  • Integration with Alexa and Nest
  • You can even buy refurbished equipment that's still highly reliable but at a lower cost

Cons:

  • Cameras are limited in functionality
  • Signing up for the Interactive Plan is required to access the mobile app
  • No automated home technology integration outside of Alexa and Nest

All in all, because SimpliSafe has no exorbitant contracts and you can start or end your plan at any time, it's definitely one of the top home security solutions out there. Their customer service is also pretty friendly and will work to resolve any technical issues you might experience.