Bottom line: SimpliSafe’s smart lock keeps it simple
The SimpliSafe Smart Lock gets the job done—and it’s probably the cheapest smart lock on the market. But its simplicity leaves out a lot of features that we’d be happy to pay a little more for.
Even though it works with voice control, you can’t ask Alexa or Google Assistant to lock and unlock the door. The lock is also dependent on the SimpliSafe security system. So if you’re not already in the SimpliSafe club, you need to join if you want this lock.
And to get full functionality, you have to subscribe to SimpliSafe’s Interactive Plan (that’s an extra $25 per month).
That said, the SimpliSafe Smart Lock is possibly the thinnest smart lock I’ve seen, and it works with your existing deadbolt so installation is a snap (literally).
Slim and attractive
Easy to install
Equipped with auto-lock
60-day money-back guarantee
Locked into SimpliSafe ecosystem
Limited without subscription
Restricted to 4-digit PINs
Limited voice control function
The SimpliSafe Smart Lock (left/top) makes my Schlage lock (right/bottom) want a makeover—so much sleeker.
Info current as of 04/10/20. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.
What’s in the box
The SimpliSafe smart door lock is pretty to look at—which isn’t something you can say about very many smart locks. Here’s a peek at what you get in the box.
Lock mounting plate
Adhesive mount and tape
Unboxing the SimpliSafe Smart Lock.
How we reviewed
To review the SimpliSafe Smart Lock, we had a tester install it in their home and live with it for a while. We also talked to other people who use it, read customer and expert reviews, and compared it with other smart locks. The criteria we considered includes:
Other than the fact that this lock is fully integrated with the SimpliSafe security system, it has an auto-lock function that we love.
The SimpliLock™ feature sets you free from worrying about whether or not you locked the door. You can program the door to automatically lock after it’s been unlocked for a specific amount of time.
If you’ve got someone in your home (we won’t name names, Roomie) who always forgets to lock the door, you can set a timer to take care of that. That means that even if someone comes in and gets instantly distracted by the kitty, the door will lock itself up after five, ten, or however many minutes you determine.
How to install your SimpliSafe Smart Lock
This smart door lock is one of the easiest things we’ve ever installed . . . ever. Installation took 10 minutes or less.
Part of what makes it so simple is that you’re not replacing your existing door lock. It’s closest competition is the August Smart Lock, which also uses your current deadbolt.
I like that SimpliSafe provides written instructions—August only provides guidance in the app. This makes the process more accessible for those of us with different learning styles or folks without a smartphone.
SimpliSafe’s written instructions are helpful as we get started replacing the old deadbolt.
The SimpliSafe lock works with the deadbolt you already have. All you have to do is remove your deadbolt’s housing and swap it out for the SimpliSafe mount plate and thumbturn (that’s what the elongated “knob” you grab to lock and unlock a deadbolt is called—who knew?).
The mounting plate comes pre-installed on the thumbturn, so you’ll need to remove it in order to install it on your door. Next, you select the proper adapter (SimpliSafe gives you a helpful guide to the adapters in the installation instructions) and slide it through the mounting plate onto the tailpiece of the lock.
Color-coded adapters make it easy to match your deadbolt (left). Installing the mounting plate (right).
After that, you simply snap the thumbturn into place using the handy “wings” that grasp both sides of the plate.
The trickiest part for us was keeping the deadbolt’s innards in place while we made the swap. But SimpliSafe had us covered—a lovely strip of non-damaging blue tape is included in your box for just this purpose.
I loved the inclusion of the tape to keep everything in place—and the mounting adhesive for the keypad is peel and stick.
After the lock is in place, you can place the keypad on the front of your door using the included paint-friendly adhesive mount
Sneaky Expert Tip
If you want to keep your SimpliSafe smart door lock on the downlow, you can skip the keypad altogether or place it somewhere less obvious, like inside the door frame. That way no one knows you’ve got a lock with smarts!
When you’ve got all the hardware in place, your last step is syncing your lock with the rest of your Simplisafe home security system.
Use the keypad to pair the lock with the system.
Select the “Menu” on the keypad.
Go to “Devices” and choose “Add Device.”
Scroll down and select “Locks” when you see it.
It will ask if you’ve installed your lock; select “Yes.”
To activate the lock, press the button behind the battery plate.
When the base station senses the lock, it will confirm that the lock has been added.
Finally, you’ll get a prompt to physically lock the deadbolt so it can be calibrated for a secure, tight fit.
A job well done. The lock is installed and ready to go.
How to use your SimpliSafe Smart Lock
Now comes the fun part. What can you do with your new SimpliSafe Smart Lock?
Locking and unlocking the door
There are a few different ways to lock and unlock the SimpliSafe Smart Lock. You can use your original key (remember that the same deadbolt is still installed on your door), you can punch in a PIN using the keypad, you can purchase a remote key fob, or you can use the SimpliSafe app on your smartphone.
You can also set the lock to automatically lock and unlock depending on the status of your alarm system. When the system is armed (in Home or Away mode), the door will automatically lock. Likewise, it will unlock when you disarm the system.
You can enter up to four unique PINs that will open your smart door lock. This comes in handy if you’ve got kids that need to get in after school, a dog walker that needs to grab Rover, or a BFF that urgently needs to raid your closet.
The downside is SimpliSafe’s PINs are only four digits, which isn’t as secure as a longer PIN.
And you can’t set PIN numbers to automatically expire. That means if you give a house sitter a PIN so they can water the plants while you’re on vacation, you’ll have to completely delete that PIN when you get back. If you don’t, they’ll still have access to your house.
One of the coolest features of the keypad is that it has built-in defenses against would-be intruders. If someone enters the wrong PIN five times, the lock automatically stays locked for half an hour and sends you an alert that something fishy’s going on.
If you’re subscribed to one of SimpliSafe’s monitoring plans, the monitoring center will call you and alert the police, if needed.
The SimpliSafe app
If you subscribe to SimpliSafe’s Interactive monitoring plan, you can access your smart lock using the mobile app. This gives you the option to lock and unlock the door using your smartphone instead of the keypad.
The best part about using the SimpliSafe app with the lock is that you’ll get instant alerts whenever the door is locked or unlocked. This can give you reassurance that the kiddos got home from school safely, or let you know how long the dog walker was out with your pup.
You can remotely lock and unlock the door through the app, which is nice if you need to let a service technician in or give the in-laws access to leave the grandkids a surprise.
But unlike some other locks out there, there’s no Bluetooth or proximity sensors that automatically unlock the door when your phone is in range.
Adding voice control
I’ll be the first to admit that I’m becoming ever more addicted to bossing around everything in my life, thanks to the likes of Siri, Amazon Alexa, and Google Assistant. (Adjusting to an empty nest would be so much harder without this unexpected bonus!)
Needless to say, I was delighted to learn that you can add the SimpliSafe Smart Lock to the list of things that you can control with the sound of your voice.
But, unfortunately, there are limits to how much this lock lets you tell it what to do.
First, you need to be on the Interactive monitoring plan to use voice control. That’s no real surprise for SimpliSafe, but once you’re all set up you can’t really control the lock using Alexa or Google Assistant.
All you can do is arm and disarm the entire system (which will lock and unlock the door if you’ve added that setting). You can’t control the lock specifically.
So if you’re elbows-deep in dinner prep and someone needs help getting into the house, you can’t ask Alexa to unlock the door.
That’s a pretty big disappointment.
We hope that this is just the start for voice control when it comes to the SimpliSafe Smart Lock, and that we’ll see more functionality in future upgrades.
Amazon.com price as of 04/10/2020 at 03:17 p.m. (MT). Read full disclaimer. *App available with monitoring plan subscription.
We were glad to see the ruler of DIY home security expand its offerings with a smart lock. And the company stuck to its “simple” roots, which makes the SimpliSafe Smart Lock the perfect match for SimpliSafe devotees.
If you’ve already got a SimpliSafe security system, it’s a no-brainer to add this lock to your smart security setup. But if you’re shopping for a stand-alone smart door lock, or one that works with a different home security system, you’re out of luck.
Compatibility aside, the SimpliSafe Smart Lock is attractive, super easy to install, and at $99, it’s one of the best deals you can find. Just keep in mind that sometimes you get what you pay for, and in this case that means limited features—especially if you don’t use SimpliSafe’s upgraded monitoring plan.
Does the SimpliSafe Smart Lock work without a security system?
Not really. This smart door lock is specifically designed as part of the SimpliSafe ecosystem. It uses the SimpliSafe base station for alerts and remote arming and disarming. Plus, you need a SimpliSafe monitoring plan to access all the coolest features.
Do any other smart door locks work with SimpliSafe?
Yes. August Smart Locks are compatible with the SimpliSafe security system, but you need the Interactive monitoring plan to make the integration work.
Does SimpliSafe work with Apple HomeKit?
No. Currently, you can connect your SimpliSafe Smart Lock or security system to Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant. For years, the company has said that there are plans in the works for future integration with HomeKit, but there’s no official word as of yet.
Amazon.com list price as of 04/10/2020 at 03:17 p.m. (MT). Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. Safewise.com utilizes paid Amazon links.
Certain content that appears on this site comes from Amazon. This content is provided “as is” and is subject to change or removal at any time.
Written by Rebecca Edwards
Rebecca is the lead safety reporter and in-house expert for SafeWise.com. She has been a journalist and blogger for over 25 years, with a focus on home and community safety for the past six. Rebecca spends dozens of hours every month testing and evaluating security products and strategies. Her safety expertise is sought after by publications, broadcast journalists, non-profit organizations, podcasts, and more. You can find her work and contributions in places like TechCrunch, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, HGTV, MSN, and an ever-growing library of radio and TV clips. Learn more