SimpliSafe FAQs

Founded in 2006, SimpliSafe was one of the first home security companies to offer a no-contract DIY system. Despite a recent influx of competition from brands like Cove and Ring, SimpliSafe remains a good choice for renters and a favorite among our readers.

Below, we’ve answered frequently asked questions about SimpliSafe to help you decide if it’s right for you. If you want to know what we think about this brand after years of testing, head over to our full SimpliSafe Home Security review

Reader favorite
SimpliSafe
SimpliSafe
Monitoring starts at
$17.99
/mo
Pro Bullet No contracts
Pro Bullet DIY installation
Pro Bullet Good for renters

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

Protect your property
Sign up for our weekly newsletter to get the latest deals, home security tips, and in-depth reviews.

By signing up, you agree to our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.

SimpliSafe pricing and fees

This is the tip of the iceberg. Learn more in our full breakdown of SimpliSafe costs.

How much does SimpliSafe cost?

Expect to spend at least $245 on SimpliSafe equipment. Professional monitoring starts at $17.99 per month. This is more affordable than the national average—nearly $32 per month—but not the cheapest price on the market.

Keep in mind that you could instead self-monitor the system for free. Check out our list of best cheap home security systems for more alternatives.

What’s the cheapest SimpliSafe package?

SimpliSafe’s cheapest equipment package is The Foundation, which costs $245 and includes a base station, keypad, door/window sensor, and motion sensor. This is enough to cover one exterior door and one ground-level room.

What does SimpliSafe charge for monitoring?

SimpliSafe’s professional monitoring starts at $17.99 for the Standard Monitoring plan. The Interactive Monitoring plan costs $27.99 and includes extras like video alarm verification, secret alerts, and smart home integrations.

Can I pay a one-time fee for SimpliSafe?

Yes. If you don’t want professional monitoring or camera recording, you can pay a one-time fee for SimpliSafe equipment and monitor it yourself.

Does SimpliSafe offer financing?

Yes, SimpliSafe offers financing through Affirm. It takes just a couple of minutes to sign up for Affirm when you’re ready to check out. Look at the terms carefully—some options affect your credit score and accrue interest.

Does SimpliSafe charge for false alarms?

SimpliSafe doesn’t charge for false alarms, but you might face a fine from your local emergency dispatch service if SimpliSafe sends them to your home and nothing’s amiss.

Does SimpliSafe charge sales tax?

Yes, SimpliSafe charges your state’s sales tax at checkout.

Does SimpliSafe offer discounts to AARP or USAA members?

Yes, SimpliSafe offers a 15% discount to AARP or USAA members. The discounted rate is for new systems only.

SimpliSafe policies

Does SimpliSafe require a contract?

No, SimpliSafe doesn’t require long-term contracts. Professional monitoring is available on a month-to-month basis.

What’s SimpliSafe’s return policy?

SimpliSafe offers full refunds and returns within 60 days of purchase. After 60 days, you can send your system back, but you may not get a full refund.

Does SimpliSafe offer a warranty?

Yes, SimpliSafe’s systems—including refurbished ones—are covered by a free three-year warranty. For a lifetime warranty, choose the $27.99-per-month Interactive Monitoring plan.

Does SimpliSafe offer a free trial period?

Not quite. SimpliSafe offers a 60-day money-back guarantee instead of a free trial period. 

What’s SimpliSafe’s moving policy?

SimpliSafe is mover-friendly, with no take-down fees or any other surprises. In fact, SimpliSafe goes above and beyond for movers with their moving package—a padded box that protects your sensors in transit. You’ll also get extra adhesive stickers so you can easily reinstall your equipment.

Request a moving package by calling +1-888-692-0229. Don’t forget to update your address, billing info, and Wi-Fi settings in the SimpliSafe app to complete the moving process.2 

What’s SimpliSafe’s cancellation policy?

SimpliSafe’s monitoring services can be canceled at any time and without penalty. You keep the equipment.

Learn more in our guide: How to Cancel SimpliSafe.

Do you have to be a homeowner to use SimpliSafe?

No, SimpliSafe has no homeowner stipulations, thanks to its wireless setup and month-to-month contracts. It’s an excellent security choice for renters.

Does SimpliSafe do a credit check?

No, SimpliSafe doesn’t run a credit check because they don’t offer long-term contracts.

If you choose to finance your SimpliSafe equipment, the lending company Affirm will run a soft credit check. Affirm doesn’t have a minimum credit score requirement, but other factors may affect your loan approval.1 

The SimpliSafe home security kit laid out on a granite countertop

SimpliSafe products and packages

Familiarize yourself with SimpliSafe’s bundled packages and full equipment lineup in our SimpliSafe product guide. But first, the FAQs:

Can I customize a SimpliSafe package?

Yes. SimpliSafe offers pre-bundled packages or the option to build a custom system from scratch. It’s all done online.

Does SimpliSafe’s equipment work well?

Overall, yes. We’ve tested this equipment hands-on and read user reviews to see if our experiences were unique. Our reviews of SimpliSafe equipment actually tend to be more critical than what the masses say on retail sites like Amazon, Lowes, and Walmart—and we still rate everything three stars and up:

Wi-Fi connectivity is a common complaint, but that’s the case with any wireless device. We can’t really fault SimpliSafe for that since it all depends on your bandwidth, internet speed, type of internet, and even your location. Take advantage of SimpliSafe’s 60-day money-back period to make sure it works well for you.

Does the SimpliSafe base station listen in?

No, the SimpliSafe base station can’t listen in because it’s not voice-activated and doesn’t have a microphone.

Does the SimpliSafe base station have a siren?

Yes, the SimpliSafe base station includes a 95 dB siren.

Does SimpliSafe sell smoke or carbon monoxide detectors?

Yes, SimpliSafe sells a smoke detector and a carbon monoxide detector.

What is the red button on the SimpliSafe keypad?

The red button on top of the SimpliSafe keypad is a panic button. Press and hold it for two seconds to activate it. If you’re worried about false alarms, you can disable it on the keypad menu.

Do SimpliSafe cameras have local storage?

No, SimpliSafe cameras don’t use microSD cards for local storage.

Video clips are stored on the cloud if you have the $9.99 Self Monitoring with Camera Recording plan or the $27.99 Interactive Monitoring plan.

Do you need a security system to use SimpliCam or Video Doorbell Pro?

You don’t need a SimpliSafe security system to use the SimpliCam or the Video Doorbell Pro. These devices are sold individually and work for free with SimpliSafe’s mobile app. No monitoring plan is required.

What is the difference between SimpliSafe Original and other SimpliSafe packages?

SimpliSafe won’t monitor any new accounts using Original SimpliSafe equipment, so beware those too-good-to-be-true deals on Amazon and eBay. Existing customers continue to receive support and monitoring for the Original SimpliSafe equipment, but new customers should stick to the Gen 3 equipment.

The Original SimpliSafe equipment—also called SS2—is bulkier than the newer SimpliSafe Gen 3 models, doesn’t connect to Wi-Fi, uses a 2G cellular module, and doesn’t integrate with Amazon Alexa or Google Home.

Can I combine older and newer SimpliSafe components?

Unfortunately, new Gen 3 SimpliSafe equipment—like the Outdoor Camera—isn't compatible with the Original SimpliSafe base station. If you want to upgrade, contact SimpliSafe to take advantage of their 50% discount for Original customers.

What equipment am I missing out on with SimpliSafe?

SimpliSafe doesn’t have a touchscreen control panel, garage door alarm, humidity sensor, smart plug, smart light, or smart thermostat. And, because SimpliSafe doesn’t work with Z-Wave or IFTTT, it’s difficult to add third-party accessories to your system.

The only workaround is to use Google Home or Amazon Alexa as the middleman between SimpliSafe and other smart home devices.

SimpliSafe monitoring plans

Does SimpliSafe have professional monitoring?

Yes, SimpliSafe has two levels of professional monitoring. Learn more in our full SimpliSafe review.

Can SimpliSafe be self-monitored?

Yes, SimpliSafe has two self-monitoring plans. One is completely free but doesn’t allow you to store video clips. With the $9.99-per-month plan, you get smart home integrations and unlimited recording for up to five SimpliSafe cameras while still self-monitoring all alarms. 

Who monitors SimpliSafe?

SimpliSafe’s professional monitoring is routed through a third-party company named Central Station Security (C.O.P.S.)—a TMA Five Diamond-certified company with six monitoring stations across the US. They claim to have a 25-second average response time.

However, SimpliSafe recently told us that it will expand its existing operation in Henrico County, Virginia to include a fully owned-and-operated alarm monitoring center.

What is SimpliSafe’s RapidSOS monitoring?

SimpliSafe partnered with RapidSOS to send more information to first responders.

This could include your exact location based on GPS data from your phone or important medical history that you share with the monitoring center ahead of time.

Learn more in our guide about RapidSOS.

Is SimpliSafe monitoring worth it?

We strongly recommend professional monitoring regardless of which security company you choose. Learn more in our guides:

installing simplisafe lock mounting plate with screwdriver

SimpliSafe installation

We put SimpliSafe’s “easy DIY installation” claim to the test by setting it up ourselves. Learn more in our SimpliSafe installation guide after checking out these FAQs.

Do I have to set up SimpliSafe myself?

You can have SimpliSafe installed by a security professional for $99 if you don’t want to do it yourself. Be sure to check the optional “pro installation” box during checkout.

Can I set up more than one PIN for a SimpliSafe system?

Yes, you can set up four additional PINs alongside the master PIN.

Can you install the SimpliSafe doorbell without an existing doorbell?

No, the SimpliSafe Video Doorbell Pro uses existing doorbell wiring.

Does the SimpliSafe doorbell need to be hardwired?

Yes, the SimpliSafe Video Doorbell Pro needs to be hardwired. Its battery supplies temporary power during an outage and doesn’t last for long. Indoor power adapters may burn out the doorbell and render it useless, so hardwiring is the best solution.

How high should I mount my SimpliSafe motion sensor?

The best height for motion sensors is usually 6 to 8 feet high. If you have large dogs that might set off a false alarm, install the SimpliSafe sensor upside down (test button down) to create a blind spot in the lower part of the room, and place the sensor just 4 to 5 feet off the ground.2 

For more tips, read our guide on how to effectively place motion sensors in your home.

Using the SimpliSafe system

What happens in case of a false alarm?

When an alarm trips, you have about 30 seconds to cancel it on the keypad by pressing Off  and entering your master PIN.

If you don’t cancel the alarm on the keypad, the SimpliSafe monitoring center calls the first and second primary contacts. If neither answers and gives the safeword, the monitoring center dispatches the police to check things out.

How do SimpliSafe’s silent alarms work?

A silent alarm bypasses SimpliSafe’s alarm verification procedure and immediately dispatches the police to your home. The base station siren won’t go off, and you won’t get a phone call from SimpliSafe asking if it’s a false alarm.

This can be life-saving during medical emergencies that limit your ability to speak, as well as in tense situations where you don’t want an attacker to know you’ve sent for help.

You need a standalone panic button and the Interactive Monitoring plan to use silent alarms—this feature doesn’t work with the red keypad panic button. The panic button isn’t automatically configured to silent alarm mode, so make sure you choose this device setting from the keypad menu.

Does SimpliSafe let you set up a duress PIN?

Yes, you can set up a duress PIN from the SimpliSafe keypad.

SimpliSafe will immediately dispatch the police to your home when you deactivate an alarm with your duress PIN. It’s a secret code that lets you communicate that you’re in danger without riling up a potentially violent assailant.

Can SimpliSafe call my cell phone?

Yes, you can have SimpliSafe call up to two phone numbers—called primary contacts—to verify alarms. You can add your landline and cell phone number to the primary contact list.

After emergency responders are dispatched, SimpliSafe can call up to five other numbers—called secondary contacts—to let them know an alarm was triggered and police were sent.

SimpliSafe app

We go into more detail in our SimpliSafe app guide, but here are some app-related FAQs to get you started.

Can you arm and disarm SimpliSafe remotely?

Yes, you can use the app to remotely arm and disarm your SimpliSafe system, and you no longer need to pay for a pro monitoring plan to do so.

Can you add multiple users to the SimpliSafe app?

No, you can’t have more than one user per SimpliSafe system. This can pose a problem for families using two-factor authentication for extra login security. Even if you share the username and password with your family members, the authentication code only goes to one phone number.

Can you manage multiple systems from the SimpliSafe app?

No, you need a separate account for each SimpliSafe system.

Does the SimpliSafe app have a panic button?

No, the SimpliSafe app doesn’t have a panic button. Instead, check out our roundup of the best personal safety apps.

SimpliSafe smart home compatibility

SimpliSafe doesn’t offer much in the way of smart home compatibility. Get the full scoop in our SimpliSafe equipment compatibility guide.

Does SimpliSafe have smart home automation?

Yes, you can set up some home automation routines with the SimpliSafe app.

Does SimpliSafe work with Google Home?

Yes, SimpliSafe works with Google Home.

Does SimpliSafe work with Amazon Alexa?

Yes, SimpliSafe works with Amazon Alexa.

Does SimpliSafe work with Apple HomeKit?

No, SimpliSafe Home Security doesn’t work with Apple HomeKit.

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. It’s notoriously difficult to meet the requirements for HomeKit integration, so we’re not holding our breath.

Does SimpliSafe work with IFTTT?

No, SimpliSafe isn’t IFTTT-friendly.

Screenshot: SafeWise

SimpliSafe privacy concerns

Has SimpliSafe ever been hacked?

SimpliSafe says it’s never been hacked or had a security breach,3 but a viral video circulated in 2019 showed how it could be done with the Original Simplisafe system. Learn more in our rundown of home security system vulnerabilities.

Can SimpliSafe be hacked?

Anything’s possible, but SimpliSafe has taken appropriate security measures to protect its customers’ privacy.

SimpliSafe addressed the potential hacking issue with its Gen 3 products, so one way to protect yourself is to upgrade your equipment. All data is encrypted, and SimpliSafe has an “anti-jamming algorithm” to alert you to hacking attempts.

You can also make sure the two-factor authentication option is enabled in your app settings and boost your Wi-Fi security.

Video: Hacking SimpliSafe

Play Video

Subscribe to our YouTube channel and learn how to protect your home, loved ones, and belongings.


Is SimpliSafe encrypted?

Yes, SimpliSafe protects data through encryption.

Do SimpliSafe cameras have a privacy shutter?

SimpliSafe’s indoor camera—the SimpliCam—has a privacy shutter that automatically covers the lens when the security system is set to “Home” mode.

Do SimpliSafe cameras record all the time?

No, SimpliSafe cameras record clips only in certain circumstances:

  • Alarm is activated (including silent and duress alarms)
  • System is disarmed
  • Motion is detected
  • User starts recording via app

You must subscribe to the Self-Monitoring with Camera Recording plan or the Interactive Monitoring plan to unlock camera recording.

SimpliSafe troubleshooting

What do SimpliSafe error codes mean?

The SimpliSafe keypad will display error codes if a sensor isn’t working properly, among other issues. Consult the chart on page 18 of the user manual for a list of SimpliSafe error codes and their meanings, or check out our SimpliSafe troubleshooting guide

Can SimpliSafe work without Wi-Fi?

The SimpliSafe alarm system works without Wi-Fi thanks to a backup cellular system, but you’ll need a Wi-Fi connection for the SimpliSafe cameras.

Can SimpliSafe work without power?

Yes, the SimpliSafe base station has a 24-hour backup battery that keeps the alarm system running during a power outage.

Why can’t I get the new SimpliSafe Outdoor Camera to install?

Make sure your system has been updated to the latest firmware by going to System Settings on the keypad. Version 2.3 or later is required for the SimpliSafe Outdoor Camera.

SimpliSafe customer service

View our guide to SimpliSafe’s customer service for contact information and additional insight into their reputation.

Who owns SimpliSafe and where is it based?

SimpliSafe is headquartered in Boston and owned by the private equity firm Hellman & Friedman.4  

Does SimpliSafe have bilingual customer service representatives?

No, SimpliSafe customer support is only available in English.

What’s SimpliSafe’s BBB rating?

SimpliSafe has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.5 

Is SimpliSafe customer service good?

It’s hard to make a sweeping judgment call, but we do know SimpliSafe has a four-star rating on TrustPilot, where 82% of reviewers left at least a three-star rating.6 That’s on par with Vivint’s TrustPilot ratings but below Frontpoint’s and Cove’s.7,8,9 

That said, one of the common complaints we’ve seen about SimpliSafe customer service is that you might have to wait on the phone for a long period of time to talk to someone. SimpliSafe reps seem to be active in the community forums, so that’s a good place to start if you have a basic question. Otherwise, brace yourself for a wait.

SimpliSafe versus the competition

How does SimpliSafe compare to other security systems?

SimpliSafe is a no-contract DIY system that tends to top our charts, but other home security companies are gaining ground. Before you compare them all in our Best Home Security Systems review, take a quick look at how SimpliSafe stacks up to its main competitors:

  • Vivint Smart Home Security leads the way in smart home integrations and equipment but isn’t a no-contract, DIY system like SimpliSafe. Compare SimpliSafe vs. Vivint.

  • Frontpoint is a no-contract, DIY system with better smart home integrations and equipment than SimpliSafe, but it’s more expensive. Compare SimpliSafe vs. Frontpoint.

  • ADT offers a done-for-you security system backed by nearly 150 years of industry experience, whereas SimpliSafe’s been in the DIY security game for just 16 years. Compare SimpliSafe vs. ADT.

  • Cove is SimpliSafe’s cheaper, more customer-friendly twin, but SimpliSafe sells more products and has been in business over a decade longer. Compare SimpliSafe vs. Cove.

You can also check out our recommended alternatives to SimpliSafe.

Why is SimpliSafe bad?

We don’t think SimpliSafe is a bad system, but here’s where it’s lacking:

  • Limited PINs
  • No ethernet connection
  • Average camera quality
  • Only one login per system
  • Limited smart home integrations
  • Long wait times for customer service
  • Basic equipment with limited features
  • No date or time stamps on camera footage

Is SimpliSafe as good as ADT?

It depends on which features you’re comparing. For a basic home alarm system, SimpliSafe works just as well as ADT and offers advantages like month-to-month contracts and zero cancellation fees. SimpliSafe is also easier to install.

But if you’re interested in smart home automations and more than one camera to choose from, ADT is better than SimpliSafe in those categories.

SimpliSafe in other countries

What’s the difference between SimpliSafe UK and SimpliSafe US?

SimpliSafe offers different equipment packages to customers in the UK. The monitoring plans are also structured differently, and some products—like the Video Doorbell Pro and Smart Lock—aren’t sold in the UK at all.

Learn more in our SimpliSafe UK review.

Does SimpliSafe work in Canada?

No, SimpliSafe doesn’t work in Canada.

Does SimpliSafe work in Mexico?

No, SimpliSafe doesn’t work in Mexico.


Compare the best home security systems

Brand
Best for
Lowest monitoring price
Starter equipment price
Contract required
Installation
Smart home compatibilityIcon Tooltip  Dark
Learn more
Read review
VivintVivint
Best overall$599.00
Icon Yes  LightNo *
ProAmazon, Google,
Z-Wave
SimpliSafeSimpliSafe
Budget pick$245.00
Icon Yes  LightNo
DIYAmazon, Google
ADTADT
Most experienced $0.00
Icon No  LightYes
ProAmazon, Google,
Z-Wave
CoveCove
Best customer experienceQuote required
Icon Yes  LightNo *
DIYAmazon,
Google
FrontpointFrontpoint
High-end DIY pick$129.00
Icon Yes  LightNo
DIYAmazon, Google,
Z-Wave

Amazon.com price as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change. Read full disclaimer.
Full ADT disclaimer


Sources

  1. Jackie Veling, Nerd Wallet, “Affirm Loans: 2022 Review,” November 2021. Accessed March 16, 2022.
  2. SimpliSafe, “How Do I Install my SimpliSafe Motion Sensor?” Accessed March 16, 2022.
  3. SimpliSafe, “How SimpliSafe Protects Your Home From Hackers,” December 2020. Accessed March 16, 2022.
  4. Crunchbase, “SimpliSafe.” Accessed March 16, 2022.
  5. Better Business Bureau, “SimpliSafe, Inc.” Accessed March 16, 2022.
  6. Trustpilot, “SimpliSafe.” Accessed March 16, 2022.
  7. Trustpilot, “Vivint.” Accessed March 16, 2022.
  8. Trustpilot, “Frontpoint.” Accessed March 16, 2022.
  9. Trustpilot, “Cove.” Accessed March 16, 2022.
Cathy Habas
Written by
Cathy Habas
With over seven years of experience as a content writer, Cathy has a knack for untangling complex information. Her natural curiosity and ability to empathize help Cathy offer insightful, friendly advice. She believes in empowering readers who may not feel confident about a purchase, project, or topic. Cathy earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Indiana University Southeast and began her professional writing career immediately after graduation. She has contributed to sites like Safety.com, Reviews.com, Hunker, and Thumbtack. Cathy’s pride and joy is her Appaloosa “Chacos.” She also likes to crochet while watching stand-up comedy specials on Netflix.

Recent Articles

security system being installed on wall
Best DIY Home Security Systems of 2022
DIY install home security systems are cost-efficient, effective, and easy to install. See which DIY...
Senior woman hugging dog
The Best Medical Alert Systems of 2022
See which medical alert system is the best to keep you and your loved one...
safewise's best home security systems
10 Best Home Security Systems of 2022
After hundreds of hours of tests and research, plus a combined 50+ years of experience,...
couple sitting on floor with moving boxes and a dog
2022 Best Home Security Systems for Renters
These renter-friendly home security systems keep your house or apartment safe and require less commitment...