SimpliSafe Home Security Review: A Great No-Contract Home Security Option

Our Rating 4.0

simplisafe logo on white

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SimpliSafe is a unique company that is not afraid to put their heart on the line. They will let you use their service and buy their equipment without asking for much in return. It was tough to rate this company; I do love the fact that they are so customer friendly (with their lack of contracts and lengthy return policies), but at the same time they aren’t innovative and they don’t offer video surveillance or home automation. What they do offer can be purchased directly from Amazon for under $260 with monthly fees starting at $14.99.

What does SimpliSafe include with their monthly fee?

SimpliSafe shines with their low cost, professionally monitored service. For $14.99 per month, they include professional monitoring 24/7 for burglary/intrusions, fire, carbon monoxide, freeze, and floods. SimpliSafe uses U.L. certified monitoring stations that boast an average response time of 12 seconds.

SimpliSafe Reviews

photo by SimpliSafe

SimpleSafe has a second level package called Alert for $19.99 per month. With Alert, you get all of the features of the basic package plus text and email alerts. Finally, their premium package is called Interactive. The Interactive package is $24.99 per month. It offers live monitoring, text and email alerts, and smartphone arm/disarm capability. Their Interactive package includes a feature SimpliSafe calls “secret alerts”. Secret alerts allow you to tie the service back to open/close sensors placed on drawers or cabinets. If the drawer or cabinet is opened, you will receive a private notification – think liquor cabinets and medicine drawers. Finally, the Interactive package allows you more online control over sensor settings. This includes adding them, removing them, adding pins, naming sensors, and viewing your home’s temperature.

Plan NameStandardAlertInteractive
View Plans
View on Amazon
Monthly Price$14.99$19.99$24.99
24/7 Monitoring
Cellular Monitoring
SMS/Email Alerts
Smartphone Arm/Disarm
Secret! Alerts
Manage Settings Online
Plan Name Standard
View Plans
View on Amazon
Monthly Price
$14.99
24/7 Monitoring
Cellular Monitoring
SMS/Email Alerts
Smartphone Arm/Disarm
Secret! Alerts
Manage Settings Online
Plan Name Alert
View Plans
View on Amazon
Monthly Price
$19.99
24/7 Monitoring
Cellular Monitoring
SMS/Email Alerts
Smartphone Arm/Disarm
Secret! Alerts
Manage Settings Online
Plan Name Interactive
View Plans
View on Amazon
Monthly Price
$24.99
24/7 Monitoring
Cellular Monitoring
SMS/Email Alerts
Smartphone Arm/Disarm
Secret! Alerts
Manage Settings Online

How Do You Control SimpliSafe

With the Interactive package you will have access to SimpliSafe’s proprietary mobile app. The app is currently rated 2.5 stars on iTunes and has been ranked about the same for at least a year and half. The Android app on Google Play is rated 3.9 stars and the Window’s phone version is rated 2 stars.

SimpliSafe Mobile App

Using the mobile app you can:

  • Arm/Disarm from anywhere.
  • Check your alarm history.
  • Get alerts from sensors.

What About Doing It On My Own?

SimpiSafe does give you the option to use their equipment as a local alarm. This option is completely free. Unfortunately, without mobile app control or home automation, this option adds little value to homeowners beyond noise making. If the alarm is triggered, it will not notify a monitoring company nor will it notify you. You need to be home to hear the alarm and turn it off. As a professionally monitored alarm, SimpliSafe ranks #5 on our list of top security companies and as a DIY alarm SimpliSafe is currently ranked second to last.

How does the SimpliSafe Self-Monitoring work?

If a sensor is triggered, the sensor will send a wireless signal to the base unit which will sound an audible alarm. Did you ever hear the old saying “If a tree falls in the woods does it still make a sound?” SimpliSafe is the tree. It doesn’t do anything beyond make a sound. If you want to disarm the system you will need to physically disarm it at your home. You cannot disarm it from your cellphone with the self monitoring option.

Let’s say that you are self-monitoring the system and you are planning to leave for vacation. You could simply call SimpliSafe and ask for one month of monitoring. For $19.99 per month, SimpliSafe will provide 24/7 monitoring for your system using a UL certified monitoring center. You will also get text and email alerts if the alarm is triggered. They also offer an Interactive package for $24.99 per month. In addition to live monitoring, text, and email alerts, you will be able to arm/disarm the system using your mobile app. The Interactive package includes a feature they call “secret alerts”. Secret alerts allow you to tie the service back to open/close sensors. These sensors work on drawers, cabinets, windows, and doors. If a drawer or cabinet is opened, you will receive a notification – think protection for liquor and medicine cabinets. The Interactive package will also allow you more online control over sensor settings like adding them, removing them, adding pins, naming sensors, and viewing your home’s temperature.

To be clear, the self monitoring option does not include access to their mobile app. If you add a monthly monitoring plan you will have access to SimpliSafe’s proprietary mobile app which is currently rated 2.5 stars on iTunes and 3.9 stars on Google Play.

What equipment is included with SimpliSafe?

The base package is called Starter and runs around $229.96. It includes 1 base station, 1 wireless keypad, 1 motion sensor, 1 entry sensor, 1 key fob, 2 window decals, and batteries. One of their more popular packages (which you can get through Amazon) is called Plus. This package runs around $259.95. For $30 more than the Starter package, it includes all the equipment included in the Starter package plus three additional entry sensors. We priced out the 3 sensors individually. If you purchased three sensors to add at a later date the total cost would be $44.97 vs $30 if purchased with the Plus package.

The next option is the Classic package, which costs $349.92. It offers many of the same components of the previous packages, plus one extra siren and a smoke detector. Yet another step up is the Master package ($449.87). It has everything that comes with the Classic, plus one extra motion sensor, three extra entry sensors, and one extra key fob. The most comprehensive of all the packages is the Ultimate package ($539.85). With one base station, 1 wireless keypad, 2 keychain remotes, 2 motion sensors, 4 entry sensors, 1 panic button, 1 extra siren, 1 smoke detector, 1 water sensor, 1 carbon monoxide detector, and 1 freeze sensor, this package covers all of your bases.

You can even choose to build your own package to fit your needs.

Is SimpliSafe a Good Alarm System?

On May 21, 2014 SimpliSafe announced that they received $57 million in funding from Sequoia Capital to help take their business to the next level.

In August of 2015, they announced that home security cameras may be launching after the holidays. Another update was announced in November 2015: the cameras won’t be done in time for the holidays. As of November 2016, the camera is now in beta testing.

Here is a sneak peek:

SimpliSafe Camera

What to Consider When Deciding on Simplisafe

  • DIY Installation is convenient and lowers the total cost of ownership.
  • They offer a 60 Day Return Policy so you can make sure this system is for you.
  • Good for renters and easy to move
  • The equipment comes with a 3 year product warranty.
  • An A+ rating with the BBB is pretty impressive
  • 6,523 reviews on Amazon with a 4.5 star rating
  • SimpliSafe does not expand to home automation. If you want to automate or add video you will need additional equipment.
  • You will need to pay a monthly fee to be able to control the system with your cellphone.
  • As a self-monitored system, the only feature SimpliSafe offers is noise making.

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