SimpliSafe Home Security Review: DIY, Affordable, and Contract-Free

Written by | Updated December 12, 2019
logo of simplisafe home security

Overall Rating

4.3/5
  • Cheap monthly monitoring
  • Money-back guarantee
  • No fancy extras
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Last Updated: 3 days ago
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How SimpliSafe Stacks Up

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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.

Pros

  • No contracts
  • Money-back guarantee
  • Easy setup
  • Cheap monthly fees
  • Affordable equipment
  • Stylish design

Cons

  • Equipment purchase required up front
  • Limited smart home compatibility
  • Super-simple design and function

SimpliSafe Pricing

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.

Monthly Monitoring Plans

Monitoring Plan
Monthly Fee
Mobile App Access
Live and Recorded Video
Smart Home Integration
Standard Interactive
$14.99 $24.99
No Yes
No Yes
No Yes

Data effective 08/27/2019. Offers and availability subject to change.

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.

Expert Tip

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.
security camera next to papers and glasses on a table

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.

photo of simplisafe system on a wooden table

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.

Equipment
Package
Equipment Price
What's Included
SimpliSafe Foundation Package SimpliSafe Essentials Package SimpliSafe Hearth Package SimpliSafe Knox Package SimpliSafe Haven Package
The Foundation The Essentials The Hearth The Knox The Haven
$229 $259 $374 $449 $489
Base station
Keypad
Entry sensor
Motion sensor
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

Data effective 08/14/2019. Offers and availability subject to change.

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.

SimpliSafe Equipment

Simplisafe base state with blue light

Base Station

This is the brain that controls the whole security system. The base station contacts the monitoring center when an alarm is triggered.

SimpliSafe Wireless Keypad

Wireless Keypad

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 Motion Sensor

Motion Sensor

SimpliSafe’s motion sensor is designed to tell the difference between humans and pets.

SimpliSafe Entry Sensore

Entry Sensor

Entry sensors let you know if a door or window is tampered with or opened.

Expert Tip

You can save money when you use one motion sensor (instead of multiple entry sensors) in rooms with three or more windows.
SimpliSafe Panic Button

Panic Button

This is an extra way to trigger the alarm and alert the monitoring center that you need help.

SimpliSafe Smoke Detector

Smoke Detector

This smoke alarm detects smoldering fires and sends an alert to the monitoring center as well as sounding a loud siren.

SimpliSafe Siren

Siren

This siren lets out 105 dB of startling noise and can be installed either inside or outside the house.

SimpliSafe Simplicam

SimpliCam

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

Easy Setup

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.

Pet-Friendly 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.

Expert Tip

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 keypad on wooden background

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 Third-Party Compatibility
Voice control Amazon Alexa, Google Home
Climate control Nest Thermostat
Lighting control Coming soon
Smart locks August, Yale

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.*

  • Trustpilot rating: 3 stars out of 5, Average
  • Google customer reviews: 4.7 stars out of 5
  • SimpliSafe Home Security app on Google Play: 4.3 stars out of 5
  • SimpliSafe Home Security app on Apple App Store: 4.8 stars out of 5

*Ratings as of August 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.

photo of SimpliSafe Hub in home

SimpliSafe FAQs

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.

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

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.

SimpliSafe Cyber Monday Deal

For a limited time, get 50% off any new SimpliSafe home security system. Terms and conditions apply.

Other Home Security Options

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.

SimpliSafe vs. Frontpoint Security

SimpliSafe vs. ADT

The Best DIY Home Security Systems

The Best Home Security Systems of 2019

SimpliSafe vs. the Competition

Brand
Lowest Price
Installation
Features
Phone
Website
No-Contract Pick
Smart Home Pick
Best Monitoring
Best Service
Best Budget Option
logo of simplisafe home security logo of vivint home security ADT logo logo of frontpoint home security ProtectAmerica logo
$14.99 $29.99 $27.99 $44.99 $19.99
DIY Professional Professional DIY DIY/Professional
Cheap monthly monitoring
Money-back guarantee
No fancy extras
High-end smart home tech
Customizable plans
Month-to-month contracts
Fast response times
Outstanding guarantees
140+ years of experience
Risk-free trial
DIY installation
Great customer service
Lifetime warranty
Locked-in rates
Many package options
N/A 855-374-4999 855-374-4999 855-374-4999 855-374-4999
View Packages View Packages View Packages View Packages View Packages

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 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.


SafeWise’s Best Home Security Systems

The SafeWise team has researched and reviewed security companies from around the nation. Each year we release our annual rankings. Check out our picks below! To read more, including reviews and packages, you can visit our Top Home Security Systems.

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

Share this article.
  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.