SimpliSafe Home Security Review

We review SimpliSafe, the affordable, no-contract home security system for renters and homeowners.
Reader Favorite
SimpliSafe
4.3 out of 5 stars
4.25
  • Pro monitoring starts at $14.99/mo.
  • Money-back guarantee
  • No fancy extras
Rebecca Edwards
Researcher & Writer
Read More
Published on March 08, 2021

Bottom line: SimpliSafe offers low committment DIY security

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.

See how it compares to the best DIY home security systems and the best security systems for renters.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet No contracts
Pro Bullet Money-back guarantee
Pro Bullet Easy setup
Pro Bullet Cheap monthly fees
Pro Bullet Affordable equipment
Pro Bullet Stylish design
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Equipment purchase required up front
Con Bullet Limited smart home compatibility
Con Bullet Super simple design and function

SimpliSafe cost

You do have to buy your equipment up front, but all of SimpliSafe’s preselected packages are under $500 (or under $400 when you add the Interactive Monitoring plan at checkout).

Compare monthly monitoring plans

Monitoring planStandard Interactive
Monthly fee
Mobile app access
Icon No  LightNo
Icon Yes  LightYes
Live and recorded video
Icon No  LightNo
Icon Yes  LightYes
Smart home integration
Icon No  LightNo
Icon Yes  LightYes
Learn more

Data effective 03/08/2021. Offers and availability subject to change.

Is SimpliSafe right for you?

SimpliSafe’s accessible prices, nonexistent contracts, and indoor equipment make it one of the best home security choices for renters

Whether you rent 500 or 5,000 square feet, SimpliSafe offers kits with everything you need to secure your home. And most of them cost less than $400. 

You’ll have to pay up front for your system, but you can cancel any time without worrying about fees or complicated contracts. 

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.

Light Bulb
Save by spreading out the 30-day service

SimpliSafe lets you purchase 30-day bundles of monitoring service that you can use whenever you want. Without the boundaries of a calendar month, you can turn on your monitoring when you leave town or need extra eyes on your house.

How SimpliSafe stacks up

Not sure SimpliSafe is your ideal DIY home security match? We can help you shop around.

We’ve stacked up SimpliSafe against other home security companies to make it easy for you to compare.

Luxury smart home pickHigh-end DIY pickReader favoritePro monitoring pickNo-contract DIY pick
BrandVivintFrontpointSimpliSafeADTBlue by ADT
LogoVivintFrontpointSimpliSafeADTblue by adt logo
Lowest monthly monitoring price
Starter equipment price
Contract required
Icon Yes  LightNo
Icon Yes  LightNo
Icon Yes  LightNo
Icon No  LightYes
Icon Yes  LightNo
InstallationProDIYDIYProDIY
Smart home compatibilityAmazon Alexa Google Assistant
Z-Wave
Amazon Alexa Google Assistant
Z-Wave
Amazon Alexa
Google Assistant
Amazon Alexa
Google Assistant
Amazon Alexa
Google Assistant
Learn more
Read review

Data effective 01/29/21. Offers and availability subject to change.
* Landline monitoring only. Some restrictions apply. (Full disclaimer)

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 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 SimpliSafe 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.

Notepad
Camera control with the app

While you need the Interactive plan to use the SimpliSafe app, you can still view video from your SimpliCam or Video Doorbell Pro without it. You just can't control the camera or connect to help in an emergency through it. 

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 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 every SimpliSafe home security system comes with basic equipment like a base station, wireless keypad, motion sensor, and entry sensor for between $225 and $500.

The higher tiered packages include multiple sensors and add-ons like a siren, smoke detector, or hazard sensors (like the water sensor to prevent flooding).

Equipmentsimplisafe foundation productSimplisafe essentials productssimplisafe hearth bundleSimplisafe knox bundlesimplisafe haven bundle
Package
Equipment price
What's includedBase station, keypad, entry sensor, motion sensor Base station, keypad, entry sensors (3), motion sensorBase station, keypad, key fob, entry sensors (3), motion sensor, siren, smoke detectorBase station, keypad, key fob, entry sensors (6), motion sensors (2), siren, smoke detectorBase station, keypad, key fob, entry sensors (4), motion sensors (2), siren, panic button, freeze sensor, water sensor, smoke detector
Learn more

Data effective 03/08/2021. Offers and availability subject to change.

A closer look at SimpliSafe equipment

Here's a quick rundown of some of the core SimpliSafe equipment. To learn more about each of these devices and all of SimpliSafe's gear, check out our page on SimpliSafe Equipment Compatibility

Product
Base Station for SimpliSafeSimpliSafe base station
simplisafe-equipment-wireless-keypadWireless keypad
SimpliSafe Motion SensorMotion sensor
SimpliSafe Entry Sensore
Price
PurposeControl system, keep tabs on sensors, backup battery, communicate with monitoring centerArm/disarm system, adjust system settings Detect motion using infrared lightDetect when windows or doors open and close

Data effective 03/08/2021. Offers and availability subject to change.

Our recommendation

For our SimpliSafe review, we recommend The Hearth package because it has a 105 dB 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.

SimpliSafe 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. 

SimpliSafe offers a branded smart lock and video doorbell, but they only really work with your SimpliSafe system. 

And you can pair your Amazon or Google smart speaker with your system with other smart home devices onboard, but devices like lights and plugs don’t work directly with SimpliSafe.

SimpliSafe smart home compatibility

  • Voice control: Amazon Alexa, Google Home
  • Climate control: Nest Thermostat
  • Lighting control: Coming soon
  • Smart locks: Smart locks
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Buy new for the latest upgrades

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 customer service

When it comes to customer service, SimpliSafe has a lot of options to offer. From libraries of help articles about specific devices to email and phone support, the company can help you get answers about your system. 

Check out our full review of SimpliSafe's customer service to get the full story. 

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.

How we evaluated SimpliSafe

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 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.

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

simplisafe smart device on shelf

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.

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. The good news is SimpliCam and Video Doorbell Pro both work with new and old equipment.

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.

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

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.

Related pages on SafeWise


Disclaimer

* ADT $27.99 Essential package: $99.00 Customer Installation Charge. 36-Month Monitoring Agreement required at $27.99 per month ($1,007.64). 24-Month Monitoring Agreement required at $27.99 per month ($671.76) for California. Form of payment must be by credit card or electronic charge to your checking or savings account. Offer applies to homeowners only. Local permit fees may be required. Satisfactory credit history required. Certain restrictions may apply. Offer valid for new ADT Authorized Dealer customers only and not on purchases from ADT LLC. Other rate plans available. Cannot be combined with any other offer. The $27.99 Offer does not include the 6-month guarantee or the Quality Service Plan (QSP). Quality Service Plan (QSP) is ADT’s Extended Limited Warranty. Landline monitoring only.

Rebecca Edwards
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.
  • mikemancuso1

    I never thought I’d get robbed by a home security company… It’s been weeks since I returned my order and I’ve yet to receive a refund.

    I decided to return the product after reading a number of critical reviews on their cameras. I put their return label on the unopened box and sent it back to them.

    After multiple attempts to contact customer support to get an ETA on the refund, they finally wrote back with an evasive answer. I ended up needing to get American Express involved…

    I’d advise anyone looking at SimpliSafe to reconsider.

  • Adam Walker

    My family and I recently moved into a new house and I wanted to install a full security package. Simplisafe appeared to fit the bill so I went to the website and started building my custom system. The website was having issues with the cart, so I called and put in my order over the phone. This was May 23, 2020 and there was a 20% off Memorial Day sale. Even better! I was very excited, especially about the three cameras with black outdoor kits.
    May 29, the system arrived. I started going through the components and all looked good except NO OUTDOOR KITS for the cameras! I immediately called Simplisafe and explained the problem. The woman I spoke with said the outdoor kits were not part of the original order. I am certain they were supposed to be. If they weren’t it was an error by Simplisafe. At any rate, I had to reorder them. Fine. Could I at least get the 20% off since they should have been included on the original order? She said no, the offer had expired. This irritated me very much. But they were on their way, I had a tracking number and would have them within a week. I started setting up what I could, disappointed that my cameras would have to wait.
    A week went by… nothing came. I gave it a couple more days, then called to check the status. Apparently the outdoor kits weren’t even in stock when I had ordered them the second time around, so now they were on back order! No one ever notified me! When would they be in? No one could tell me.
    I gave it another week or so and checked back in. Still on back order. Okay, I really need to get my cameras installed. If my Black Outdoor Kits were on back order, how about white? The lady I spoke to on this occasion said sure… but after cancelling my order for the black ones and changing it to the white, she said, “Oh, looks like those are on back order too.” So disappointing! I said well forget it then, I really want the black. Please change it back and I’ll just have to wait.
    Finally I get the notification that my outdoor kits are shipping. I received them yesterday (June 20). They were WHITE! Whatever, I’m sick of this now. I’ll just use them.
    As I started setting up the cameras, only one out of the three cameras worked!!! I called again; new ones are in the process of being sent out.
    It’s been a month now that I’ve been trying to get my system up and running for the protection of my family and my home.
    It has been one terrible issue after another. And we’re not done! When the new cameras come in, who knows what other issues will come up.

    I should also add that one of my carbon monoxide detectors was broken when it arrived and one of my entry sensors had a bad battery. Both of those issues have been resolved, but this whole experience has NOT BEEN GOOD AT ALL.

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  • Hazel Kahl

    Didn’t know what Armorax’s system was before, but good thing I came here to the comments section. I placed an order for their Link Interactive alarm yesterday, 36 month contract with the 0 down option. Like others have mentioned, Armorax is now pushing a Link system. I got the Qolsys 7 inch touchscreen, and the Interactive monitoring plan. It includes the app and it costs way less than other systems I’ve been seeing online.

  • Dennis Deleon

    I ended up getting my system through Armorax as well after reading the comments here. It’s a Link system with the Qolsys control panel. Really like the pricing though. Paid $99 down and $30sh something per month.

  • john eric

    Thanks guys for recommending Armorax, good thing I came here to the comments section. I placed an order for one yesterday, 36 month contract with the 0 down option. Like others have mentioned, Armorax is now pushing a Link system. I got the Qolsys 7 inch touchscreen (paid separately for that), and the Interactive monitoring plan. It includes the app and it costs way less than other Alarm.com providers. Thumbs up!

  • john eric

    Hmm, a lot of people seem to be talking about Armorax. Why? What do they offer that the rest don’t?

    • Mario Green

      I believe why you see a lot of comments on Armorax here is because they’re a known home security company, usually listed in the top 10 on most security review sites, but they’re not here on this site, and it wouldn’t be unfair to say that they offer a real good security product and monitoring service. They just partnered up with another security provider, so their pricing should become more competitive now too, or so I hope!

  • Mario Green

    After reading the comments on this page I went to Armorax’s site to see what they offered; they’ve partnered with another security company and their starter package I believe starts at $0 down. The panel and sensors are Qolsys, so that’s good. Monitoring is priced well too, so all in all a great deal.

  • segaldj

    I am a brand new SimpiSafe owner. I will report on the system once it is installed and up and running. However, I thought I should point out that the system is missing a basic life safety component. SimpliSafe offers no heat detector that detects the rate of temperature rise. This is a very important component to have in a kitchen in lieu of a smoke detector. A certain degree of smoke is expected in a kitchen from cooking and a good smoke detector will trigger a false alarm. A heat detector solves that issue and commonly used by all major competitors. Besides the kitchen, heat detectors are often placed in attics above a heat pump or in a furnace room near HVAC equipment. A smoke detector in attic will not last and will have nuisance alarms because of heat, humidity, and insects. Adding a heat detector seems long overdue. More to come on our system later.

    • Celeste Tholen

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts! We’d love to hear your experience with the system once you’ve had some time to use it.

  • DW

    I just received my system last week and was kind of excited and installed it immediately. Adhesives are a joke, you have to screw them in. One of my key fobs did not work so I tried to call customer service to avail, are you kidding me? I could never get ahold of them so I emailed them, not a peep from anyone either. Steer clear from this place, they could not care less about you. I am returning asap and going with a company that understands what customer service means.

    • Celeste Tholen

      Hi DW,

      Thanks for commenting. Disappointed to hear that! We’re keeping your comment on file so we can re-evaluate during our next update.

  • Amy Trim

    BAD REVIEW. I have been a Simplisafe customer for a few years now and I can not adequately express my frustrations with the company at this point. Since AUGUST of 2019 every month they send me an email saying they were unable to charge my debit card for payment and to please update my billing information. The first time this happened I called and they told me it was my banks fault and I need to contact my bank. After doing and confirming it had nothing to do with my bank I called again and explained everything that the bank said. The lady took my card number down again and it seemed like it was fixed. Well……EVERY SINGLE MONTH since I get the same email and have to call AGAIN to speak to someone that never reads the notes on my account and I have to repeat everything every month. I am so over this! So….I get the email again on Dec 17, and again on Dec 24th! Tried calling on the 24 only to have them keep me on hold “while she trys to locate here manager” then transfer me to a mailbox that was not set and then hangs up on me! I call back and oh by the way they are closed now for the holidalys. Awesome. Really professional. So here I am waiting on hold….AGAIN……Dec 26th. “Estimated hold time, 15 minutes”……still waiting….39 minutes later…….and waiting…..and waiting…….still waiting……

    • Celeste Tholen

      Hi Amy,

      Hoping you’ve gotten this resolved—that’s a long time to wait! We’ll keep your experience in mind for our updated review. Thanks for commenting!

      • Amy Trim

        Nope…..still going. Supposedly they will have fixed this month and I will receive a call to confirm that but in order for that to happen I had to pay for an additional security lawn sign…..I’m done after this and will cancel service if it doesn’t happen.

  • Jean Dunlap

    After reading the material on the simplysafe website (also downloaded the material) and the videos on all of the components (how to install, test, name and Diagnostics). It does take more than a user manual to understand the system and how the components work with the system. All of the information is on the simplysafe website. We received emails that contained links to more information which was also helpful. Will use our system and tested our system for a full 2 weeks before we activated the monitoring service. During this 2 weeks. We learned how to keep the system operating at optimal levels. If we could award 10 stars we would. Out standing performance and reliability. The customer service section receives 5 stars as well. We had a few issues with a few components the service center sent the replacements in a timely manner. Fast and efficient service. Bottom line the more you learn about the system the easier it will be to install and maintain. The system is not complicated it is easy to learn and even easier to install. Comprehending the instructions and user manuals is a necessity.

  • Ron Bell

    Horrible system. Can’t believe they keep getting good reviews. Easy to set up but problems almost every day. These sites keep stating pets don’t set off motion detectors. Wanna bet? 8 pound kitty kept setting it off even when we followed advice and moved them up the wall and turned them over pointing up. Now we’re set if Spider Man beaks in and crawls across the ceiling! Police threatened to start charging for responding to false alarms. One problem after another. Lost WiFi signal over and over. Moved base all over the house. Had to get replacements for base, entry sensors, siren, batteries. All this in first 2 months! Tech support is the WORST! Takes 30 min’s average on hold. Lost track of the hours we spent on the phone due to this junk. Never knew if we were protected when we went to sleep or too work. Sending back for refund.

    • Rebecca Edwards

      Thanks for sharing your experience. I’m sorry you had such an unsatisfactory experience. Your input helps us look for potential issues in testing and gives us insight about what to ask other customers to find out if what you experienced is common.

  • Richard Neider

    Simplisafe has too much sales garbage when you sign in to your account. It is difficult to find your data. It is harassment.

  • Leon C. Fontaine

    I use a home security system, but only from Kangaroo. The smart home system is very effective in the modern world. Sensors are very easy to install, and all over the phone using the application. The main thing is to install the sensor at the entrance door and windows.