SimpliSafe Home Security Review

We're on our fourth round of SimpliSafe testing, and it's still as easy to use as ever.
Budget pick
SimpliSafe
4.3 out of 5 stars
4.25
Pro monitoring starts at
$17.99
/mo
  • pro
    No contracts
  • pro
    60-day money-back guarantee
  • con
    No fancy extras
Cathy Habas
Staff Writer, Safety & Security
September 01, 2022

If you're a first-time security system buyer looking to get the hang of a simple system, SimpliSafe Home Security is a great choice. We've installed and tested SimpliSafe multiple times over the years. Although it usually lives up to its name with easy setup and use, we're here to tell you about the surprises and frustrations so you know what to expect.

The big thing to be aware of is that SimpliSafe isn't designed to be part of a smart home ecosystem. So if you've gotta have the latest-and-greatest tech, you might outgrow SimpliSafe before you know it. 

SimpliSafe deals

Get a SimpliSafe system for 40% off. You'll also get an extra 5% off if you choose the Interactive Monitoring plan.

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

pro
Pros
pro No contracts
pro 60-day money-back guarantee
pro Easy setup
pro Cheap monthly fees
pro Affordable equipment
pro Financing available
pro Stylish design
pro Free self-monitoring option
pro Video alarm verification
pro RapidSOS integration
con
Cons
con Limited smart home compatibility
con Simple functions
con Quiet base station siren
con So-so cameras
Light Bulb
Do you live in the UK?

UK readers should check out our SimpliSafe UK review for accurate equipment costs and monitoring policies. 

SimpliSafe costs less than most competitors

SimpliSafe's equipment packages start at around $245 and usually include a free indoor camera. We tallied up the costs of the same equipment from other DIY security companies and found that SimpliSafe has some of the best prices, beaten out only by Cove and Wyze

Even if you select tons of equipment and rack up an impressive total, you don't have to shell out all that money at once—SimpliSafe finally offers equipment financing through Affirm.

As for monthly monitoring payments, using your SimpliSafe system costs between $0 and $27.99 per month. SimpliSafe’s 24/7 professional monitoring is optional, and you can add, cancel, upgrade, or downgrade your monitoring service plan at any time without any extra fees.

Read more about SimpliSafe costs or how to choose a security system, or jump down to the equipment packages comparison table.

Bell
Recent SimpliSafe price increases

​As of Februrary 2022, SimpliSafe's pro monitoring plans increased by about $3. This brings the cost of the Standard plan up to $17.99/month and the cost of the Interactive plan to $27.99/month. 

The Standard price increase applies to new customers only, but the Interactive price increases apply to both new and existing customers.

We also noticed that SimpliSafe's packages increased by about $15 in March 2022. We traced it back to the base station, which now costs about $130. No other equipment prices have changed.

Compare SimpliSafe monthly monitoring plans

Monitoring plan
Monthly fee
Monitoring
Video verificationIcon Tooltip  Dark
Timeline access
Video recording
Smart home integration
Learn more
Interactive Monitoring Professional
Icon Yes  LightYes
Unlimited
Icon Yes  LightUp to 10 cameras
Icon Yes  LightYes
Standard Monitoring Professional
Icon No  LightNo
7 days
Icon No  LightNo
Icon No  LightNo
Self Monitoring w/ Camera RecordingSelf
Icon No  LightNo
Unlimited
Icon Yes  LightUp to 5 cameras
Icon Yes  LightYes
UnmonitoredSelf
Icon No  LightNo
7 days
Icon No  LightNo
Icon No  LightNo

Data as of post date. Offers and availability subject to change.

Thumbs Up
SimpliSafe listened

We previously criticized SimpliSafe for restricting its remote arm/disarm feature to its most expensive plan. Now all SimpliSafe plans—even the free one—include crucial app functions:

  • Arm/disarm the system
  • Configure settings
  • View a timeline of events
  • Receive push notifications


These changes make it much easier to self-monitor your SimpliSafe system.  

Why SimpliSafe's Interactive Monitoring plan is worth the money

As far as professional monitoring for SimpliSafe goes, we recommend the Interactive Monitoring plan for a few reasons. It costs more per month than SimpliSafe's other plans, but it's still cheaper than other DIY systems like Frontpoint.

Image: Alina Bradford, SafeWise

It's better for video: 
The Interactive Monitoring plan comes with unlimited camera recording, on-demand recording, and video verification. This means you can tune into happenings around your home any time and have the pros help you out in an emergency with the footage you capture.

It's better for emergencies: 
The Interactive Monitoring plan also comes with 24/7 monitoring and dispatch, fire monitoring, and medical response. So any kind of emergency is covered. It even includes less common dangers like temperature and water damage monitoring. 

It's better for equipment: 
SimpliSafe's Interactive Monitoring plan includes a lifetime warranty and a 10% discount on all accessory purchases. 

Compare SimpliSafe to other home security brands

Brand
Best for
Monthly costIcon Tooltip  Dark
Starter equipment price
Contract required
Smart home compatibilityIcon Tooltip  Dark
Learn more
Read review
Best overall$599.00
Icon Yes  LightNo *
Amazon,
Google,
Z-Wave
Budget pick$245.00
Icon Yes  LightNo
Amazon,
Google
Quality DIY pick$129.00
Icon Yes  LightNo
Amazon,
Google,
Z-Wave
Most experienced$0.00
Icon No  LightYes
Amazon,
Google,
Z-Wave
Best DIY automation$279.00
Icon Yes  LightNo
Amazon, Apple, Google, Z-Wave, Zigbee

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

SimpliSafe vs. the competition

SimpliSafe consistently ranks high on our list of the best home security systems. It's tough to beat an easy-to-use and affordable security system with generous customer policies. Plus, SimpliSafe has proven that it's not going to leave users in a lurch—it was founded in 2006 as the original DIY home security company and is far less likely to dissolve than newcomers like Cove (which can still count its birthdays on one hand). 

The big thing to remember when considering SimpliSafe vs. the competition is that SimpliSafe is simple. And that's definitely by choice, since SimpliSafe wants to keep everything low-cost and effortless to install, use, and troubleshoot.

So while you can't connect a ton of different third-party gadgets (like you can with Abode) and its outdoor camera won't squawk at trespassers (a hallmark feature of Vivint and Frontpoint), SimpliSafe arms your home with sensors galore, offers renter-friendly security, supports self-monitoring, and doesn't punish you with cancellation fees.

SimpliSafe's competitive edge

While we're talking about the competition, we want to point out that SimpliSafe has a few features that are hard to find elsewhere.

Video alarm verification: Available only to Interactive Monitoring subscribers, this allows SimpliSafe's professional monitors to view brief clips from your security cameras to understand what's going on. It helps them confirm the alarm and dispatch the best emergency services.

Only ADT offers the same type of video verification service, but for twice the monthly rate of SimpliSafe. 

RapidSOS: RapidSOS allows SimpliSafe's monitors to share your information with local dispatchers within seconds, which can shave minutes off the police response time.4

Cove is the only other national security brand currently integrated with RapidSOS.

Small-batch pro monitoring: Although they don't advertise it, we have the inside scoop straight from SimpliSafe. You can buy 30 days of pro monitoring through SimpliSafe and decide exactly when to use them. It could be only for the weekdays, weekends, or when you're on vacation.

Only Abode sells its pro-monitoring services in small batches too.

Looking for something else?

If you've made it this far and know you need more than what SimpliSafe has to offer, check out our roundup of alternatives to SimpliSafe or our one-on-one brand comparisons:

SimpliSafe contracts and guarantees

SimpliSafe breaks from security system tradition and skips the contracts. There's no hefty cancellation fee chaining you to a system you don't like.

You also aren't tied to a monthly payment—and you can activate the professional monitoring service only when you need it. If you want extra protection when you’re on vacation, you can add monitoring for that month and then cancel and go to unmonitored when you return with no penalties or hassle.

60-day money-back guarantee

You have two months to try out SimpliSafe and decide if you like it. That's one of the longest trial periods in the home security industry, matched by Cove and outdone only by ADT's incredible 6-month money-back guarantee.

Start your countdown from the minute you complete your order—the 60-day money-back period starts from the day you order, not the day you receive the system.

If you decide that SimpliSafe isn’t the right fit, you can send it back in that 60-day window, and the company will process a full refund and cover the cost of return shipping.

Learn more about how to cancel SimpliSafe.

Video: We tested a USED SimpliSafe system

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SimpliSafe tech and equipment

SimpliSafe's equipment is both stripped-down and state-of-the-art.

The company’s goal of keeping things simple limits the bells and whistles—including third-party compatibility and smart home functionality (more on that in a sec). Where SimpliSafe stands out is in the elegant, modern design of its Gen 3 components—a welcome upgrade from the clunky and dull-looking Original SimpliSafe system that debuted in 2006.

Image: Katie McEntire, SafeWise

The SimpliSafe keypad is still old-school

Image: Alina Bradford, SafeWise

There's just one exception to the modern and unobtrusive look of SimpliSafe equipment: the keypad. SimpliSafe's push-button keypad looks like one of those T-89 calculators that'll give Millennials flashbacks to high school math class.

Other home security companies offer sleek touchscreen control panels, so SimpliSafe's keypad feels a little behind the times. But maybe this design choice keeps prices low.

Using the keypad to name devices or enter your Wi-Fi password during setup is a bit like texting on an old flip phone—you may have to hit each button multiple times to select the right letter. Navigating through the menu isn't super intuitive either since you have to press down on either side of the screen to move forward or back.

Despite the slight learning curve, this keypad gets the job done and worked as expected when used to arm and disarm the system. 

SimpliSafe's base station looks nice . . .

Image: Katie McEntire, SafeWise

The base station's cone-shape design reminds us of an oversized essential oil diffuser, so it fits right in with today's trending décor. SimpliSafe used to offer it in black, but we don't see that option on their site anymore.

The bottom cover hides four AA batteries and a reset button, while the cellular module, speaker, and circuit boards are enclosed in the slender tower. A status light circles the entire base station for easy viewing from all angles. 

. . . but its siren is too quiet

The base station met all of our expectations except one, and it's a doozy: the siren was quiet. Home security sirens are supposed to be loud and disruptive. Neighbors should be peeking out their windows to witness the burglar's getaway when sirens start screaming. But with this siren, no one outside our tester's home would've known anything was amiss. 

We recommend installing the extra siren outside

Image: Alina Bradford, SafeWise

The base station siren is supposedly 95 dB, which isn't that far off from other DIY home security sirens. SimpliSafe sells an auxiliary siren that's 105 dB that can be used outside, and we think it's worth the $60 price tag. 

Smart Lock wouldn't connect to app

Image: Alina Bradford, SafeWise

We've had the chance to test the SimpliSafe Smart Lock more than once, and the results were a little different each time. In our first Smart Lock rodeo, we could lock and unlock the door via the SimpliSafe app.

But in our most recent round of testing, the app just wouldn't talk to the smart lock. Fortunately, the app isn't required—our tester could still use the keypad to get into her home—but that definitely takes the "smart" out of "Smart Lock."

Physically installing the SimpliSafe Smart Lock has always been a breeze. Learn more in our full SimpliSafe Smart Lock review.

SimpliSafe cameras lack important features

SimpliSafe sells an indoor camera, an outdoor camera, and a video doorbell camera. They work okay. (Yes, that's pretty much all the enthusiasm we can muster for these cameras.)

Here's what one of our testers had to say about the new SimpliSafe Outdoor Camera:

"There are so many better cameras for that price [$169.99]. It looked crystal clear and sounded great, but I wish you could adjust the motion sensitivity, add motions zones, and create privacy zones."

—Alina Bradford, SafeWise

Image: Katie McEntire, SafeWise

Another tester couldn't even get the Outdoor Camera's footage to show up in the app—even after lengthy phone calls with customer service.

Unfortunately, SimpliSafe doesn't integrate with other camera brands. You're stuck with their "okay" options if you want to take advantage of SimpliSafe's video alarm verification (available with the Interactive Monitoring plan only). 

Learn more about what to expect from SimpliSafe cameras in our guides and reviews:

SimpliSafe doorbell camera night footage

Images: Kasey Tross, SafeWise

Everything else worked as expected

Aside from those frustrations, all SimpliSafe equipment performed as expected. The other sensors seem pretty run-of-the-mill in terms of looks and size.

To see everything SimpliSafe has to offer, how much it costs, and how it compares to other security brands' offerings, check out our page dedicated to SimpliSafe equipment.

SimpliSafe equipment packages: convenient but not discounted

SimpliSafe lets you pick-and-choose your own sensors or select a pre-made bundle. There is no cost difference—bundles aren't discounted. 

You'll have the option to add cameras or the SimpliSafe Smart Lock to your cart after choosing a bundle or à la carte sensors.

Equipment package
Equipment price
Base station and keypad
Entry sensors
Motion sensors
Additional equipment
Learn more
Icon Yes  LightYes
Icon Yes  LightYes (1)
Icon Yes  LightYes (1)
Icon No  LightNo
Icon Yes  LightYes
Icon Yes  LightYes (3)
Icon Yes  LightYes (1)
Icon No  LightNo
Icon Yes  LightYes
Icon Yes  LightYes (3)
Icon Yes  LightYes (1)
Siren, smoke detector, key fob
Icon Yes  LightYes
Icon Yes  LightYes (6)
Icon Yes  LightYes (2)
Siren, smoke detector, key fob
Icon Yes  LightYes
Icon Yes  LightYes (4)
Icon Yes  LightYes (2)
Siren, panic button, freeze sensor, water sensor, smoke detector

Data as of post date. Offers and availability subject to change.

SimpliSafe setup and installation

In our experience, installing SimpliSafe is a straightforward process unless you're getting a used system from a friend, previous tenant, or marketplace seller. Used systems need to be reset, which adds a smidge of extra hassle to the process. 

"Once I got the system up off the ground, installing and using it was a breeze.

"But it got off the ground like a flightless bird.

"A lot of that was due to it being used before. Things like resetting the PIN and base station and my issues with the outdoor camera were all due to previous ownership."

—Katie M., SafeWise

Unlike some other DIY security companies—notably Cove and Frontpoint—SimpliSafe's sensors don't arrive pre-paired with the base station. You name and pair everything yourself by following the setup instructions on the keypad. 

It's pretty easy, but the pairing process takes time. Still, our testers report that it took less than an hour to install the system, and the app helps speed things along too. 

Learn what to expect in our SimpliSafe installation guide. We've also written an installation guide for the SimpliSafe doorbell.

SimpliSafe falls behind on smart home features

For a modern-looking system with a new approach to pricing and contracts, SimpliSafe’s smart home features are surprisingly old school. Its proprietary equipment keeps prices low but limits the system’s smart home abilities. 

You can pair SimpliSafe with Alexa or a Google smart speaker and add other smart home devices to the speaker, but devices like lights and plugs don’t work directly with SimpliSafe.

Image: Katie McEntire, SafeWise

SimpliSafe smart home compatibility

SimpliSafe customer service has treated us well

We've talked to SimpliSafe a lot, both as industry professionals and confused consumers. Everyone at SimpliSafe has treated us with kindness and courtesy, from the phone reps to the forum moderators to the marketing pros.

Here's what our video lead Katie M. had to say about her experience calling the helpline to reset the PIN during her latest round of SimpliSafe tests:

"I was really pleased with how helpful everyone I talked to was. They were patient with me while I figured out all of these steps and walked me through it without feeling like I did anything wrong."

—Katie M., SafeWise

Learn more about SimpliSafe's helpline hours, troublshooting articles, online forums, and overall reputation in our SimpliSafe customer service guide.

SimpliSafe app is easy to use

We're really impressed by the SimpliSafe app, which is free to download from the Apple App Store and the Google Play store.

And we're not the only ones who love how easy it is to control the SimpliSafe system remotely. The SimpliSafe app for iOS has earned 4.8 out of 5 stars from over 265,000 reviews.1 Over 20,000 users rated the SimpliSafe Android app 4.6 out of 5 stars.2

Your app experience defines your home security experience. After all, you really don't physically interact with smart security equipment after the initial installation. That's why we strongly recommend choosing a home security company with an intuitive and well-maintained home security app.

SimpliSafe fits the bill. And if you do run into trouble with the app, your account, or the equipment, it's good to know that SimpliSafe's customer service team has a reputation for courtesy and prompt action.

Screenshots: SafeWise

Final word

SimpliSafe is a straightforward, low-cost, do-it-yourself home security solution. Its discreet equipment is ideal for small living spaces, but it may fall short if you need to protect a large amount of property.

For those looking to add home security on a budget, SimpliSafe’s affordable equipment and no-contract professional monitoring are hard to beat.

How we reviewed SimpliSafe Home Security

Our review of SimpliSafe is based on hands-on testing and extensive research. We've installed and used the system in four homes to date. We evaluated how easy it was to set up, how convenient it was to arm and disarm, and how well its sensors and cameras performed.

We also researched the specs of the system and compared it to other home alarm systems to understand its role in the industry.

Image: Katie McEntire, SafeWise

But we didn’t stop there:

  • We met with SimpliSafe.
  • We read hundreds of customer reviews.
  • We visited the SimpliSafe online forum to find out what long-time users have experienced with their SimpliSafe security system.
  • We even tried jamming our SimpliSafe system.

Check out our methodology page to learn more about how we rate and rank products and services.

SimpliSafe FAQ

No. The SimpliSafe alarm system doesn't require a Wi-Fi connection, cell phone, or computer. All you need are the base station and keypad. These components use a built-in cellular connection to communicate

But you may need to go online to activate and access certain features, including the SimpliCam security camera, which does require a Wi-Fi connection.

The benefit of adding professional monitoring to your SimpliSafe security system is knowing someone else is watching over your home. When your SimpliSafe alarm is triggered, the monitoring center receives an alert so they can confirm the emergency and contact help. 

Without professional alarm monitoring, you're on your own to assess the danger (it may be a false alarm) and reach out to law enforcement.

SimpliSafe uses Verizon & T-Mobile.

You may have seen some SimpliSafe advertisements from a few years ago claiming that the company could dispatch police 3.5 times faster than other security companies. In 2020, the National Advertising Division asked SimpliSafe to stop including this claim in its marketing materials because it couldn't be verified.3

More recent SimpliSafe advertisements claim that the company "alerts police in just 16 seconds." 

It's easy to assume that the "16 seconds" is counted from the time your alarm goes off to the time a police officer starts heading your way. But that's virtually impossible because SimpliSafe—like all alarm monitoring companies—will attempt to contact you to verify the alarm before sending the police. This can take minutes and is intended to ensure police officers and other first responders aren't sent to investigate a bunch of false alarms

It's more likely that "16 seconds" is counted from the time an alarm is verified to the time SimpliSafe finishes requesting a police response. But this is a hard one for us to confirm through testing, since we don't want to waste police resources. Just take that claim with a grain of salt and learn more about the security industry's average response times.

Got more questions? Check out our in-depth SimpliSafe FAQs page.


Sources

  1. Apple App Store, "SimpliSafe Home Security App." May 2022. Accessed June 20, 2022.
  2. Google Play Store, "SimpliSafe Home Security App," May 2022. Accessed June 20, 2022.
  3. Laura Brett, National Advertising Division, "NAD Finds Supported Certain Advertising Claims for SimpliSafe Home Security; Recommends Modification / Discontinuation of Others, Including Claim that its System Enables Police to Dispatch 3.5x 'Faster'," April 2020. Accessed June 20, 2022. 
  4. RapidSOS, "4 Ways RapidSOS Can Help Reduce Stress for Telecommunicators," October 2021. Accessed June 20, 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.

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