SimpliSafe is a DIY smart security system designed to keep your home safe from intruders, fire, and flood. Its modular setup means you can choose the devices that best suit your needs. It’s easy to set up, and you’re not locked into a contract. SimpliSafe has an optional 24/7 monitoring plan and is one of the cheaper home security systems on the market, though you have to pay up front for the hardware.
In our SimpliSafe evaluation, we put the system to the test to help you decide whether it’s the best home protection system for your needs.
SimpliSafe: Plans and pricing
SimpliSafe offers around 20 pre-built kits and the option to custom build your own system. At the time of writing, you can get a free camera and 20% off all kits. Kits can be purchased without a monitoring plan, but if you bundle in 24/7 Interactive professional monitoring ($24.99/month), you get 5% off your initial purchase and the first month of monitoring is free.
At $183, the cheapest kit is the Foundation, which includes a base station, an entry sensor, a wireless keypad, and a motion sensor, enough for a small apartment. If you need two more entry sensors, you can choose the Essentials kit at $207.
The nine-piece Hearth kit ($299) adds a smoke detector, a 105 dB extra siren, and a key fob. For larger homes, the Knox plan ($359) covers more ground with six entry sensors and two motion sensors.
The 14-piece Haven kit ($391) shows you how far SimpliSafe’s modular system can go. It has a base station, wireless keypad, key fob, panic button, freeze sensor, water sensor, smoke detector, siren, four entry sensors, and two motion sensors. With the custom plan builder, you can purchase hardware that suits your exact needs.
SimpliSafe: How it works
After you’ve paid for your SimpliSafe system through the website, it’s shipped to you free and will arrive within five to seven business days. If you’d like assistance setting your system up, professional in-home setup costs $79.
If you’re installing the system yourself, you start with setting up the base station somewhere central in your home. It should be within 400 feet of your sensors and 100 feet of your keypads. The base station requires a power connection but doesn’t need a phone line because it uses 802.11n Wi-Fi or cellular connection.
SimpliSafe lives up to its name. The sensors, for example, use coin cell batteries that you replace about once every five years, and sticky strips instead of screws or wires. It only takes about an hour to set up SimpliSafe in a medium-sized home.
SimpliSafe: Features and services
SimpliSafe is an interesting DIY option if you don’t want to pay a monthly monitoring fee. Without a monitoring plan, SimpliSafe’s alarm will still sound, but it will be up to you to phone the professionals in the case of a break-in, fire, or medical emergency. If you want basic remote monitoring, SimpliSafe’s Standard monitoring is an attractively priced $14.99/month, undercutting most competitors.
The fully featured Interactive monitoring plan costs $24.99/month. According to SimpliSafe, the Interactive plan results in faster police responses because operators can use video streaming to confirm the nature of the emergency. You can also set up SMS and email alerts and use the mobile app to arm or disarm the system. It’s possible to set up Secret Alerts, where you’re informed when a sensor is tripped without actually sounding the alarm.
You can use SimpliSafe’s SimpliCam indoor cameras as part of your security setup. Despite only offering 720p HD video, we found the recorded video to be smooth and clear. An internal microphone picks up most sound, though it’s a little muffled. The camera has night vision and motion detection, both of which work well. You can buy a weatherized wet suit for the camera so you can use it outside, but we’d prefer to see a dedicated outdoor camera option.
SimpliSafe: Support and customer care
SimpliSafe’s monitoring center is open 24/7/365, but customer support is only available 8 AM to midnight daily. The company offers support via phone or email. In our testing, we received email replies within a day, which is about average.
SimpliSafe’s online help pages are good, with a long FAQ that acts as an interactive manual of all features. SimpliSafe also has one of the busiest customer forums in the industry, with hundreds of posts per day. But we’d like to see much more interaction from the company on these forums, as most posts appear to go unanswered.
We found SimpliSafe to be easy enough to set up, but if you prefer a professional installation that’s customized to your needs, consider ADT, whose installation technicians will set up your complete security system for you and show you how to work all the features. If you’re not happy, there’s a six-month money-back guarantee. However, you can expect to pay more for monitoring.
SimpliSafe has limited support for home automation, but if you want a future-proof security system to complement your smart home setup, options like Abode exist. Abode works with Amazon Alexa, Zigbee, Z-Wave, and Apple HomeKit, among others.
SimpliSafe is easy to use and competitively priced, and you’re not locked into a long contract. We liked its modern, understated devices and were impressed by its simple DIY installation. SimpliSafe’s cameras aren’t the best, and the system has limited smart home integration, but other than that, SimpliSafe is perfect for those who need a versatile modular DIY security system that covers the entire home.