Our takeaway is that the SimpliSafe Home Security System is overall a great choice for homeowners due to its flexibility, easy installation, helpful customer service, and low cost. The overall value outweighs the minor glitches we experienced.
We test-drove a SimpliSafe alarm system for 14 days to determine if the system is a good choice in the crowded home security market. We tested the SimpliSafe Essentials Security System, a SimpliCam Security Camera, and Interactive Alarm Monitoring.
SimpliSafe is a solid choice for people who want to build their own home security system or shop from a series of bundled products. All systems begin with a base station and a wireless keypad, and the homeowner can customize their system from there by adding any number of entry sensors, motion sensors, glass break detectors, and cameras, plus items like smoke detectors and water sensors.
SimpliSafe offers the following bundles:
Most competitors offer two to four security system packages, but with seven options to choose from, SimpliSafe offers customers the highest level of customization. And more devices can be added to every SimpliSafe bundle to create a completely personalized home security system.
Another way to customize your SimpliSafe system is to connect it to your smart home devices. SimpliSafe’s products integrate with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple Watch. Unfortunately, SimpliSafe’s third-party integration is otherwise limited to August door locks and doesn’t currently integrate with any smart lights or thermostats.
All of the equipment we received appeared to be good quality, including our indoor camera. We received the second-generation SimpliCam, which has several notable features. It has a shutter that you can close when you’re at home for added privacy. The camera is adjustable and can be angled up, down, or level. There are three options for picture quality: 480p, 720p, or 1080p HD resolution. You can modify the picture resolution through the SimpliSafe app. The wide-angle screen has a 120-degree view that easily covers an entire room, and the SimpliCam comes with night vision and two-way audio. The SimpliCam is a good basic indoor security camera.
SimpliSafe compatibility with voice assistants
SimpliSafe compatibility with climate control systems
SimpliSafe compatibility with lighting control systems
SimpliSafe compatibility with smart door locks
|Smart door lock||Compatible?|
We found SimpliSafe’s home security products to be competitively priced. Buyers can save even more money by purchasing a package and taking advantage of frequent promotions. For example, we purchased The Essentials package and bundled it with an indoor camera for well under $200—making it a good buy in our book. For comparison’s sake, a similar bundle from Ring was nearly twice the cost. SimpliSafe’s low base pricing and common promotions give it a clear advantage.
We’ve seen some great deals on the SimpliSafe website, including a free indoor camera with the purchase of a package and even 60% off the base price with activation of one month of free interactive monitoring. Check the website often to find the best deals.
We also like SimpliSafe’s 60-day money-back guarantee. If you're not 100% satisfied within that time frame, it’ll offer a full refund and even pay return shipping. The brand also offers a one-year limited hardware warranty; but if you activate interactive monitoring, you’ll receive a lifetime warranty.
While we found SimpliSafe to be of remarkably high value overall, you’ll pay a bit more for its top-tier monitoring plan than some of its competitors, such as Ring.
You don’t have to be a tech expert to install your SimpliSafe home alarm system. In fact, SimpliSafe was named “Best for Easy Installation 2022” by This Old House magazine. (1) New users can set up their security systems themselves in about an hour or add professional setup for about $100. We chose a DIY installation. The drill-free installation process was simple using the SimpliSafe app. The app walked us through the process with step-by-step instructions, starting with plugging in the base. The app provided photos to aid in the steps as well as short videos from the SimpliSafe YouTube channel.
Connecting our alarm system components with the base was fairly uncomplicated. To connect a new device from the app, we had to choose from a series of pictures of multiple devices such as motion sensors, entry sensors, etc. When an item was successfully connected, the base gave an audible notification, saying “motion sensor added.” To connect the SimpliCam indoor camera, the app provided a QR code that we just had to scan with the camera. In addition to the app instructions, the user manual also gave helpful advice for where to place motion sensors to prevent pets from setting off the alarm.
We did encounter a few glitches when the base wouldn’t initially connect with our home Wi-Fi, and when the keypad couldn’t connect with the base station for a few moments. After about six minutes, the base found the Wi-Fi signal. The issue with the keypad was resolved by a quick call to customer service.
Overall, we found SimpliSafe extremely easy to use. When you install your keypad, you’ll create a four-digit PIN in order to control the system. You can arm or disarm your system from your phone app or from the keypad. Both have identical buttons for OFF, HOME, and AWAY—which helped us avoid mistakenly pushing the wrong button based on habit. The app has a direct link to your camera’s live feed—though we found that there is about a two-second delay in the footage.
One of the nicest features we found in the app is the ability to modify settings to suit our preferences. Through the app, there are general settings, device settings, and camera settings that can all be customized. Users can control everything from the volume of the alarm siren, voice prompts, and sensor chimes to the entry and exit delay time periods.
In addition, under camera settings, users can utilize the privacy shutter as needed and enable or disable video verification. Video verification, available only with the interactive monitoring plan, allows the professional monitoring company to access 30 seconds of footage when an alarm is set off. This could help verify a break-in and aid the police in identifying a suspect. One of the things we found most helpful was the ability for users to set reminders to arm the system for certain days or times.
One of the things we loved most about SimpliSafe was its monitoring tiers. While many competitors only offer one choice (including the inability to monitor your system yourself), SimpliSafe offers three levels of monitoring:
With standard or interactive monitoring services, if an intruder triggers a sensor in your home, a SimpliSafe Emergency Dispatch Center agent first attempts to notify you through a phone call. If it’s a true emergency or if they can’t reach you, they’ll contact the 911 center in your location to dispatch the police or fire department. According to customer service, the average response time from when an alarm is activated to the dispatch center calling the police is 90 seconds. If you accidentally set off your home alarm, you must provide the dispatch center with your previously chosen safe word.
The cost of monitoring is one drawback to SimpliSafe’s home security system because the cost of comprehensive interactive monitoring is a bit higher than some competitors’ monitoring rates. For example, Ring’s Protect Pro plan is about $8 less per month for similar coverage.
SimpliSafe home security experts are available by phone from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm Eastern time seven days per week. With zero hold time, we found this to be the most efficient way to get the help we needed from a live person. We did try to contact support through Twitter and text messages, but we only received links to an FAQ article. Both customer service agents we spoke to were courteous and knowledgeable.
Your alarm activity—including when the alarm is armed and disarmed or is triggered—is also stored in your online account. If you enable the recording feature of a video camera or video doorbell, SimpliSafe records, stores, and processes video and audio recordings for a minimum of 30 days. And for peace of mind, SimpliSafe employs security controls that prevent its employees from accessing your video and audio recordings.
SimpliSafe also collects non-personally identifiable information through cookies and analytics providers when you interact with the website or the SimpliSafe app. Its analytics partners include Google Analytics, Optimizely, and Crazy Egg, but users can opt out of all three.
SimpliSafe does share your personal information with some third-party service providers to enable professional monitoring services, emergency dispatch, payment processing, email updates, and marketing services. With your permission, SimpliSafe may also share your information with third-party partners when you integrate your system with Amazon Alexa, Apple Watch, or Google Assistant. SimpliSafe belongs to ad networks that may use your browsing history to show you interest-based ads.
To find out exactly how SimpliSafe uses your data, read the terms and conditions carefully and reach out to customer support for further details. And keep in mind other questions you should ask home security companies before you make the purchase.