The SimpliSafe do-it-yourself home security system lives up to its name with straightforward pricing and basic equipment offerings. Its equipment costs are lower than most other home security companies, and you have the option of monthly monitoring without a long-term contract.
The “simple” in SimpliSafe may be its biggest pro and its biggest con. This literal out-of-the-box home security solution may be too basic for people looking to protect a larger home. Plus, there are no outdoor security cameras, and home automation options are limited.
If you’re looking for home security on a budget, SimpliSafe’s affordable equipment and no-contract professional monitoring are hard to beat.This system is ideal for small living spaces, but it may fall short if you need to protect a large piece of property.
Cheap monthly fees
Equipment purchase required up front
Limited smart home compatibility
Super-simple design and function
SimpliSafe is different from traditional home security companies—it has lower equipment costs and contract-free monthly monitoring service. You do have to buy your equipment up front, but all of SimpliSafe’s preselected packages are under $500.
Both of SimpliSafe’s monitoring plans include a cellular connection and environmental protection (smoke, water leaks, and extreme temperatures). That means you have a direct link to the fire department, and you don’t need a landline or Wi-Fi connection to use it. 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.
SimpliSafe packages its monitoring service in 30-day bundles, and it's not tied to a calendar month. When you buy 30 days of professional monitoring, you don't have to use them all at once. If you only want monitoring for a week of vacation, you can pause it when you get back and use the rest of your days whenever you need some extra security.
SimpliSafe Contracts and Guarantees
If you’re looking for a long-term commitment SimpliSafe is going to break your heart. Contracts are a mainstay of the home security industry, and SimpliSafe was one of the first companies to buck the tide and get rid of them altogether.
This means you’re not tied to a monthly payment—and you can have 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 when you return with no penalties or hassle.
Keep in mind, though, that without professional monitoring you can’t use the mobile app. You can’t receive alerts or remotely arm and disarm your system, and you don’t have a direct link to emergency services. The system will still work as an alarm with a siren, but you’ll need to contact help on your own.
Note: You can use the app to view video with the SimpliCam or Video Doorbell Pro whether or not you have a monitoring plan. But it still won’t give you remote control or a connection to help in an emergency.
60-Day Money-Back Guarantee
You may have to pay for your SimpliSafe equipment up front, but you have two months to try it out and decide if you like it. Start your countdown from the minute you complete your order—the 60-day trial period starts from the day you order, not the day you receive the system. If you do 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 shipping.
The SimpliSafe system we got our hands on.
SimpliSafe Tech and Equipment
SimpliSafe offers technology and equipment that’s both stripped down and state of the art. The company’s goal of keeping things simple (hence the name) limits the bells and whistles. Where SimpliSafe stands out is in the elegant, modern design of its components.
We’ve been disappointed by the lack of outdoor security cameras, but SimpliSafe has taken the first step with the Video Doorbell Pro. And rumor has it the company will release full-blown outdoor security cameras soon.
SimpliSafe Equipment Packages
It’s not unheard of to pay around $1,000 (or more) for home security equipment. But SimpliSafe has packages priced between $225 and $500—and that includes multiple sensors in all packages, plus a siren and a connected smoke detector in the higher-priced ones.
Base station Keypad Entry sensors (3) Motion sensor
Base station Keypad Key fob Entry sensors (3) Motion sensor Siren Smoke detector
Base station Keypad Key fob Entry sensors (6) Motion sensors (2) Siren Smoke detector
Base station Keypad Key fob Entry sensors (4) Motion sensors (2) Siren Panic button Freeze sensor Water sensor Smoke detector
We recommend The Hearth package because it has a siren and a smoke detector—essentials we think are worth a little bit extra out of pocket. But you’re not stuck with one of the company’s preselected packages. You can pick and choose your components to get even more control over how much you spend. If you want the extra protection of security cameras, you’ll have to add those on, so keep that in mind when looking at your needs and your budget.
This is the brain that controls the whole security system. The base station contacts the monitoring center when an alarm is triggered.
The keypad is used to control the security system. Because it’s separate from the base station, you’re still protected if the keypad is damaged.
SimpliSafe’s motion sensor is designed to tell the difference between humans and pets.
Entry sensors let you know if a door or window is tampered with or opened.
You can save money when you use one motion sensor (instead of multiple entry sensors) in rooms with three or more windows.
This is an extra way to trigger the alarm and alert the monitoring center that you need help.
This smoke alarm detects smoldering fires and sends an alert to the monitoring center as well as sounding a loud siren.
This siren lets out 105 dB of startling noise and can be installed either inside or outside the house.
SimpliSafe’s indoor security camera is motion-activated and lets you view live footage from a smartphone, computer, or tablet.
SimpliSafe Tech and Equipment Highlights
SimpliSafe claims that all you have to do to set up its system is open the box, and that turned out to be pretty accurate. I was surprised at how easy it was to follow the instructions and set everything up. This alarm system is truly plug-and-play. The keypad walks you through every step with onscreen instructions, and it even comes with adhesive on the back. All you have to do is peel and stick to install the wireless keypad and the door, window, and motion sensors.
As someone with a few four-legged pals running around the house, I’m always on the lookout for pet-friendly home security systems. It was nice to discover that SimpliSafe sensors have built-in technology that helps them ignore movement from pets. That cuts down on false alarms (I hate it when my phone blows up with alerts about the cat and dog playing chase). SimpliSafe motion sensors use unique heat signatures to tell the difference between humans and pets to make sure the alerts you get are worth your attention.
We like that SimpliSafe is proactive about updating its offerings, but the only way to take advantage of those upgrades is to buy all new stuff. If you’re thinking of updating an existing SimpliSafe system, contact the company to find out if any of your equipment is compatible with the latest version.
SimpliSafe Smart Home Features
We like home security systems that come with built-in home automation tech. Systems that use Z-Wave or other IFTTT (If This Then That) protocols make it easy to combine security and convenience. Surprisingly, this tech-forward company has neglected to focus on home automation until recently.
Original incarnations of the SimpliSafe base station had no smart home compatibility at all. Today, it works with some smart locks and voice assistants—and the company promises more home automation features throughout 2019. Plus, SimpliSafe launched the Video Doorbell Pro last year, so you can add a doorbell camera to your SimpliSafe security system.
SimpliSafe Smart Home Compatibility
Smart Home Features
Amazon Alexa, Google Home
SimpliSafe Customer Service
Because the SimpliSafe system is so easy to use, I didn’t need to contact customer service directly. But SimpliSafe has a strong rating from the Better Business Bureau and high marks from customer reviews on Google. But it’s not all sunshine and roses; customers regularly report long wait times and dissatisfaction with changes to online account access.
Here’s a closer look at current SimpliSafe reviews and ratings for customer service and satisfaction.*
Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating: A+
Trustpilot rating: 3 stars out of 5, Average
Google customer reviews: 4.7 stars out of 5
SimpliSafe Home Security app on Google Play: 3.9 stars out of 5
SimpliSafe Home Security app on Apple App Store: 4.8 stars out of 5
*Ratings as of April 2019.
SimpliSafe Customer Service Hours
Even though SimpliSafe doesn’t offer 24/7 customer service, its helpline is open seven days a week from 9:00 a.m. until midnight (EST). And if you have professional monitoring, the monitoring center is operational 24/7. You can also request help from SimpliSafe tech support via email or join online forums to get help and ideas from other SimpliSafe users.
Do I need to have the internet or a cell phone to use SimpliSafe?
No. The SimpliSafe alarm system doesn’t require a Wi-Fi connection, cell phone, or computer. All you need are the base station and the keypad. These components use a built-in cellular connection to communicate with each other. 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.
Can I combine newer and older SimpliSafe components?
Unfortunately, new SimpliSafe equipment isn’t compatible with older versions. If you want to upgrade your system to access new features like smart home compatibility, you’ll need to buy a new base station and sensors. But if you don’t want to start over, SimpliSafe plans to continue selling and supporting its original equipment. There is some other good news—your SimpliCam or Video Doorbell Pro should work with new and older equipment.
Why would I want to pay extra for professional monitoring?
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 and reach out to law enforcement.
The Bottom Line
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.
Our review of SimpliSafe was based on hands-on testing and extensive research. We installed and used the system at home to see how easy it was to set up and how well it performed. We also researched the specs of the system and compared it to other home alarm systems. But we didn’t stop there—we also met with SimpliSafe, read hundreds of customer reviews, and visited the SimpliSafe online forum to find out what long-time users have experienced with their SimpliSafe security system.
Check out our methodology page to learn more about how we rate and rank products and services.
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Written by Rebecca Edwards
Rebecca has honed her safety and security skills as both a single mom and a college director. Being responsible for the well-being of others helped her learn how to minimize risk and create safe environments. Learn more