SimpliSafe Smart Alarm Indoor Camera Review

Live guard protection is a great feature for SimpliSafe's latest camera—an otherwise unremarkable device.
Wireless indoor camera for SimpliSafe security systems
SimpliSafe Smart Alarm Indoor Camera
SimpliSafe Smart Alarm Indoor Camera
  • pro
    Live guard protection on Fast Protect plan
  • pro
  • pro
    Privacy shutter
Live guard protection
Video recording
Timeline access
Smart home integration
Fast Protect
Icon Yes  LightYes
Icon Yes  LightUp to 10 cameras
Icon Yes  LightYes
Standard Monitoring
Icon No  LightNo
Icon No  LightNo
7 days
Icon No  LightNo
Self Monitoring w/Camera Recordings
Icon No  LightNo
Icon Yes  LightUp to 5 cameras
Icon Yes  LightYes

Info current as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

John Carlsen
Jun 26, 2023
Icon Time To Read3 min read

SafeWise experts have years of firsthand experience testing the products we recommend. Learn how we test and review

SimpliSafe cameras are still relatively new additions to the SimpliSafe security system, which is great for all the fans that waited for years for them. As such, the SimpliSafe Smart Alarm Indoor Camera ($139.99) is a noteworthy update to the company's indoor camera offerings.

Its best feature is live guard protection, which allows the monitoring center to actively watch alarm events over a live camera feed. While this is a handy evolution of video verification to confirm alarm events, the requirement of a SimpliSafe system makes it little more than a perk for new and existing subscribers. Still, the feature is powerful enough to keep SimpliSafe at the top of our DIY home security rankings.

pro Interactive live guard protection during alarm events
pro Battery-powered unit for easy installation
pro Privacy shutter
con Live guard protection requires priciest plan
con Camera requires SimpliSafe Gen 3 system
con Power adapter sold separately

What's in the box

SimpliSafe Smart Alarm Indoor Camera in the box

Image: John Carlsen, SafeWise

  • Smart Alarm Indoor Camera
  • 10-foot USB charging cable
  • Wall mounting plate and screws
  • Quick start guide

Live guard protection

The main draw of the Smart Alarm Indoor Camera is how it folds into SimpliSafe's Fast Protect professional monitoring with 24/7 live guard protection. With this feature, agents at SimpliSafe's monitoring center can check your camera's live feed during an alarm to keep tabs on what's happening in your home. The agents can even speak with people using two-way audio to deter an intruder, offer assistance to your family, or help cancel a false alarm using a safe word.

While this sounds similar to the video verification feature of other SimpliSafe cameras, the main difference is live guard protection's ongoing communication and access to your cameras. Video verification lacks the interactive element altogether—it relies on agents checking static video recordings instead of a live feed before sending help. Significantly, live guard protection and video verification are critical tools for reducing false alarms, which can result in fines for unnecessary emergency responses.

Ring offers what appears to be a similar service with Virtual Security Guard, but it costs four times more than SimpliSafe's option—you pay for a Ring Protect Pro plan ($20 per month) and Virtual Security Guard ($99 per month). The extreme price difference works in SimpliSafe's favor. While we're sure that other home security companies offer similar services, we still have more research to conduct on the subject.

Wireless features

The Smart Alarm Indoor Camera is SimpliSafe's second wireless camera since the company introduced the Outdoor Security Camera in 2021. A rechargeable battery is a low priority for an indoor camera since there's almost always an electrical outlet nearby. Still, we love that you can install the device wherever it makes sense—even where a power cord won't reach. It’s also great for areas prone to power outages.

The camera has a handy stand that can rest on a shelf, but we prefer using the included mounting hardware to place the camera at a high vantage point on a wall. This angle gives you the best room view and keeps the camera away from curious hands.

How long does the battery last?

SimpliSafe says you can expect up to three months of battery life on this camera, which is about average for a wireless security camera. The camera supports a wired connection for continuous power but comes only with a charging cable and no charger. You can buy the charger for around $10 on SimpliSafe's website.

Privacy shutter

In essence, the privacy shutter on the Smart Alarm Indoor Camera is a small piece of what feels like plastic that slides up over the camera's lens when you want to turn it off. You can hear if the cover opens, which tells you if someone reactivates the camera. This simple solution helps protect your privacy and spot unauthorized access to your camera—an essential feature for a camera that's supposed to work with monitoring personnel outside your home.

Privacy modes aren't new for security cameras, but you don't see physical privacy shutters on many cameras. Only the Arlo Essential Indoor immediately comes to mind. Still, we like how the visual and noise cues make it easy to see your camera's status at a glance.

Final word

The SimpliSafe Smart Alarm Indoor Camera is a great addition to our favorite DIY home security system. Its live guard protection and privacy shutter may even be enough to convince some folks to drop a competing system for SimpliSafe. But there's no reason to get it unless you buy or upgrade an existing SimpliSafe system. Plenty of standalone options have better video performance and features if you want only a capable wireless security camera without a security system.


Does SimpliSafe's wireless indoor camera replace the SimpliCam indoor camera?

No, SimpliSafe still sells the SimpliCam but renamed it the Wired Indoor Camera—more descriptive but more forgettable. While the company no longer prominently displays the Wired Indoor Camera on the SimpliSafe website, you can find it when customizing equipment options during checkout.

Do I need a monitoring plan to use the Smart Alarm Wireless Indoor Security Camera?

You can use this camera without a monitoring plan, but it won't record video clips. You can access video recordings with SimpliSafe's Self-Monitoring and Fast Protect plans. The 24/7 live guard protection requires a Fast Protect professional monitoring plan.

How we reviewed the SimpliSafe Smart Alarm Indoor Camera

SimpliSafe sent us the Smart Alarm Indoor Camera and a security system to test for this review. One of our team members tried everything at home for a few days and shared their experiences with editorial and YouTube creators at SafeWise.

SimpliSafe Smart Alarm Indoor Camera testing

Image: John Carlsen, SafeWise

For our testing, we explored the camera's features as a typical customer would. While not very scientific, this approach helps us get comfortable with the camera and how it works. We also looked at product information provided by SimpliSafe. You can learn more about how we test security cameras on our wireless cameras comparison and methodology page.

John Carlsen
Written by
John Carlsen
John is a technology journalist specializing in smart home devices, security cameras, and home security systems. He has over a decade of experience researching, testing, and reviewing the latest tech—he was the Smart Home Editor for Top Ten Reviews and wrote for ASecureLife before joining SafeWise as a Staff Writer in 2020. John holds a Bachelor's degree in Communications, Journalism emphasis from Utah Valley University. In his spare time, he enjoys hiking, photography, cooking, and starting countless DIY projects he has yet to complete.

Recent Articles

woman adjusting thermostat in bright home
The Best Home Security Systems of 2024
After thousands of hours of tests and research, we picked Vivint and SimpliSafe as the...
senior couple hiking
Most Affordable Medical Alert Systems
Medical alert systems can save lives, but how much do they cost? We compared the...
medical alert products on an illustrated background
Best Medical Alert Systems
See which medical alert system is the best to keep you and your loved one...
Man and woman couple wife husband set up surveillance security camera
Best Apartment Security Systems
These renter-friendly apartment security systems help keep you safe and require less commitment than your...