SimpliSafe vs LiveWatch Home Security Review

SimpliSafe and LiveWatch are two separate companies competing for the same share of the same home security market.

When it comes to home security we can neatly divide companies into multiple categories. We have full service or professionally monitored companies, partial service, and no service or self-monitored type companies. SimpliSafe and LiveWatch fall into the professionally monitored but self installed catagory. What makes them so attractive is that they happen to be two of the lowest cost options for this type of market and their similarities make them rather easy to compare. As both companies offer multiple packages and hardware types I’ve selected packages that put them as close to apples to apples as I could get.

Unique Features from LiveWatch

LiveWatch is one of our top 10 home security companies we recommend for several reasons. One of the biggest aspects they offer that really help them lead the way in home security is their approach to emergency response in the case of a security breach or crisis. To be specific, while traditional home security companies alert those on your emergency contact list one at a time in a specific order as well as local emergency responders, LiveWatch utilizes the ASAPer (As Soon As Possible emergency response) communication system to simultaneously contact local authorities and every member on your emergency contact list at the same time via phone, text, or email. Then once everyone has been contact, the ASAPer communication system allows those said members to then continue communication among each other moving forward so no one is cut off or has only one-way communication with the emergency responder alone.

Another element we love about LiveWatch is how easy the equipment is to not only install, but use as well. Each item of equipment serves a specific function and is ready to use right out of the box as soon as it arrives. With a simple peel-and-stick installation and a few quick steps to synchronize with your control panel, you’ll be able to start securing your home in no time without additional complex configuration, customization, drilling or wires. Everything is configured specifically to you before it ships.

To go further in terms of the quality of their equipment, LiveWatch has proven in recent months that it’s a company that strives to maintain innovation and offer customers the best in technology and user experience. While it used to offer a base control panel, the GE Simon XT, which was a basic keypad control panel that was identical in design and functionality as that of Frontpoint, LiveWatch has upgraded their base control panel to a touch screen! This new GE Simon XTi 1.0 touch screen control panel supports two-way voice control and has built in quick buttons to contact local emergency response teams faster than you would with the keypad. Despite the upgrade for a basic level control panel, the price still remains the same at $99 and is included in your package. For those that want a control panel that will support a full range of home automation and video surveillance, you’ll still need to opt for their IQ 2.0 touchscreen control panel.

Unique Features from SimpliSafe

What we’ve found from customer reviews and research into comparing the best home security companies is that SimpliSafe offers some of the most affordable packaged pricing for professional monitoring without skimping on quality of its products and equipment. And while most security companies with professional monitoring require a long-term commitment, SimpliSafe has no contracts! If you’re in the market for a system that’s easy to use without any excess bells and whistles at an affordable cost, SimpliSafe is extremely appealing.

While they may not offer an equipment selection that’s as far reaching as that of our other top security companies like LiveWatch, Frontpoint or Link Interactive, they do offer your basic necessities to ensure a safe home like smoke detectors, motion sensors, and door/window sensors. We’d love to see SimpliSafe participate in the world of home automation and more robust video surveillance, but what they currently offer meets our expectations for the price you pay.

SimpliSafe and LiveWatch Features Compared

Two areas that I did not compare on the chart but want to touch on are the required contract length and the return period.

Required Contract Length and Return Period:

SimpliSafe does not require a contract. Instead, customers pay month-to-month. For example, let’s say that you only want montoring when you are out of town during the months of October and March. You would pay for October and March only. It’s that simple. If you are not happy with SimpliSafe, you can return the system within 60 days.

LiveWatch does require a contract but there’s a twist to this story. The minimum contract length is 12 months but there is also a 12 month return period. If you are not happy with the service, call them up and cancel.

 
BBB RatingA+A+
How many monitoring facilities will guard your alarm?13
Average Alarm Response Time?10 Seconds18 Seconds
Product Warranty3 Years2 Years
Can I expand to home automation via this company?
Can I expand to video surveillance via this company?Home Security Cameras Coming Soon
Our Full Review
Where to Buy
BBB Rating
A+
How many monitoring facilities will guard your alarm?
1
Are the monitoring facilities UL-certified?
Average Alarm Response Time?
10 Seconds
Product Warranty
3 Years
Can I expand to home automation via this company?
Can I expand to video surveillance via this company?
Home Security Cameras Coming Soon
Our Full Review
Where to Buy
BBB Rating
A+
How many monitoring facilities will guard your alarm?
3
Are the monitoring facilities UL-certified?
Average Alarm Response Time?
18 Seconds
Product Warranty
2 Years
Can I expand to home automation via this company?
Can I expand to video surveillance via this company?
Our Full Review
Where to Buy

Entry Level Packages Compared

As expected with most entry-level monitoring security plans, you may not get the most interactive experience, and you certainly won’t get any home automation or video surveillance features, but SimpliSafe and LiveWatch both offer 24/7 professional monitoring with easy access to communicate with their central monitoring centers. This is the perfect package for those needing the bare minimum security coverage for their home.

 
Package NameStandard PlanBasic Plan
Monthly Monitoring Cost$14.99/month$29.95/month
24/7 Professional Monitoring
Cellular Monitoring
Control Panel
Number of Motion Sensors11
Number of Door/Window Sensors42
Number of Remote Keychains1 
Our Full Review
Where to Buy
Package Name
Standard Plan
Monthly Monitoring Cost
$14.99/month
24/7 Professional Monitoring
Cellular Monitoring
Control Panel
Number of Motion Sensors
1
Number of Door/Window Sensors
4
Number of Remote Keychains
1
Our Full Review
Where to Buy
Package Name
Basic Plan
Monthly Monitoring Cost
$29.95/month
24/7 Professional Monitoring
Cellular Monitoring
Control Panel
Number of Motion Sensors
1
Number of Door/Window Sensors
2
Number of Remote Keychains
0
Our Full Review
Where to Buy

SimpliSafe and LiveWatch Middle Level Monitoring Packages Compared

LiveWatch actually offers two mid-level monitoring security packages. One applies mobile usability and control while the other offers that in addition to home automation controls and image sensor support. So while SimpliSafe may offer the lower costs, LiveWatch gives you what extra controls and features that make the added cost worth while.

 
Package NameAlertMobile ProTotal Home
Monthly Monitoring Cost$19.99/month$34.95/month$39.95/month
24/7 Professional Monitoring
Cellular Monitoring
Remote Arm and Disarm
Free App
Crash & Smash Protection
Smartphone Control
Home Automation
Geo-Based Control
Smart Image Capture
Where to Buy
Package Name
Alert
Monthly Monitoring Cost
$19.99/month
24/7 Professional Monitoring
Cellular Monitoring
Remote Arm and Disarm
Free App
Crash & Smash Protection
Smartphone Control
Home Automation
Geo-Based Control
Smart Image Capture
Where to Buy
Package Name
Mobile Pro
Monthly Monitoring Cost
$34.95/month
24/7 Professional Monitoring
Cellular Monitoring
Remote Arm and Disarm
Free App
Crash & Smash Protection
Smartphone Control
Home Automation
Geo-Based Control
Smart Image Capture
Where to Buy
Package Name
Total Home
Monthly Monitoring Cost
$39.95/month
24/7 Professional Monitoring
Cellular Monitoring
Remote Arm and Disarm
Free App
Crash & Smash Protection
Smartphone Control
Home Automation
Geo-Based Control
Smart Image Capture
Where to Buy

Advanced Packages Compared

When we look at the higher-tiered monitoring packages from some of the top leading home security companies, features like home automation and video surveillance controls are usually a given. However, while LiveWatch certainly meets our expectations for that kind of criteria, SimpliSafe comes up short. However, when you consider the fact that SimpliSafe’s price is at about half the cost of LiveWatch, it brings the bigger picture more into perspective. SimpliSafe’s top package doesn’t support home automation or video features, so it’s understandable that there is no extra cost tacked on.

 
Package NameInteractiveTotal Home + Video
Monthly Monitoring Cost$24.99/month$49.95/month
24/7 Professional Monitoring
Cellular Monitoring
Remote Arm and Disarm
Free App
Crash & Smash Protection
Home Automation
Geo-Based Control
Smart Image Capture
Live Video Streaming
Video ControlComing Soon
Where to Buy
Package Name
Interactive
Monthly Monitoring Cost
$24.99/month
24/7 Professional Monitoring
Cellular Monitoring
Remote Arm and Disarm
Free App
Crash & Smash Protection
Home Automation
Geo-Based Control
Smart Image Capture
Live Video Streaming
Video Control
Coming Soon
Where to Buy
Package Name
Total Home + Video
Monthly Monitoring Cost
$49.95/month
24/7 Professional Monitoring
Cellular Monitoring
Remote Arm and Disarm
Free App
Crash & Smash Protection
Home Automation
Geo-Based Control
Smart Image Capture
Live Video Streaming
Video Control
Where to Buy

Simplisafe and LiveWatch Are Both Good Options Depending on Your Needs

In our rankings, Simplisafe beats out LiveWatch because they offer basic monitoring, fantastic DIY options, and have a reputation for great customer service. They also feature low monitoring prices compared to the other companies in our top 5. If you are looking for more extensive home automation options, however, Livewatch may be the way to go. Ultimately, you can’t go wrong with either company. They are both customer focused and provide top-notch security service.