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ByAnne Dennon Home Technology Writer

Anne has covered home security and home automation for Reviews.com for two years. She's interested in human-computer interaction and tech ethics.

SimpliSafe Home Security Review

SimpliSafe lives up to its name, eschewing the long contracts and steep rates of traditional home security companies in favor of month-to-month subscriptions that cost less than half the industry norm.

SimpliSafe promises “more protection, less markup, no nonsense” and follows through with sleek, easy-to-install hardware and no contracts. SimpliSafe earns its place as the home security newcomer to beat. Get smart home capabilities plus professional monitoring for a couple hundred down and $15-$25 per month. Those who have been priced out of traditional home security now have a top-shelf option. It’s not just a good deal; it’s a good system.

SimpliSafe Pros

✔ No contracts
✔ Updated equipment
✔ Budget-friendly pricing

SimpliSafe Cons

✘ No guarantee against theft
✘ Upfront equipment cost

SimpliSafe Packages

It all starts with the gear. You can build your own SimpliSafe equipment package, piecing together the cameras and sensors that fit your security needs, or choose from over a dozen packages designed to fit homes of all sizes.

Your SimpliSafe equipment package is a one-time purchase, unless you decide to add further devices down the road. All of SimpliSafe’s devices come with a 60-day trial period, so you can experiment with how much security you really need, sending back what you don’t.

Who is each SimpliSafe package best for?

SimpliSafe's packages are highly customizable, but here are our recommendations for some of their most popular options.

  • The Haven ($489) - Best for comprehensive security coverage
  • The Knox ($449) - Best for large homes
  • The Hearth ($374) - Best for basic coverage plus smoke detection
  • The Essentials ($259) - Best for basic security coverage
  • The Foundation ($229) - Best for small homes and apartments

SimpliSafe Monitoring

  Self-monitored Standard Interactive
Cost $0/month $14.99/month $24.99/month
Monitoring DIY Professional Professional
Installation DIY or $47 for professional DIY or $47 for professional DIY or $47 for professional
Mobile App Control

If you opt to self-monitor your SimpliSafe system, you only have to pay the upfront cost of equipment. But unlike some self-monitored plans with other providers, you can’t eschew SimpliSafe’s professional monitoring and just get mobile app control. A self-monitored SimpliSafe system is basically just a siren — triggered sensors won’t alert you or command centers; they’ll just trip a loud alarm. Potentially enough to deter burglars, but it’s all bark and no bite.

Upgrade to Standard to get professional monitoring, or Interactive to get professional monitoring and the mobile app control that defines modern smart home security. It takes the top monitoring tier to remotely arm and disarm your system, plus affect other home automation tasks.

SimpliSafe Cost

Budget-friendly pricing

SimpliSafe’s monthly monitoring rates are some of the lowest we’ve seen. You can monitor your system for free if you feel comfortable with alerting authorities on your own, but you might as well throw in the $15 per month for professional monitoring services — it’s the only way to access all of SimpliSafe’s smartphone controls.

You can also score refurbished SimpliSafe equipment for 25% to 30% less than brand-new prices, but with the same three-year product warranty. With low monthly rates plus the budget-friendly option of building your own custom package with just the products (new or refurbished) you want, SimpliSafe cuts out all the extra expenses associated with home security in the most logical ways.

Compare Home Security Systems

  SimpliSafe ADT Frontpoint Vivint Ring
Our Rating* 4.73/5 4.63/5 4.34/5 3.67/5 3.54/5
Cost $15/month** $36.99/month $35/month $39.99/month $10/month
Installation DIY/Professional DIY/Professional DIY DIY/Professional DIY
Contract length No contract 36 months 36 months 48 months
60 months
No contract
View plans View plans View plans View plans View plans

* Our rating is based, in part, on industry metrics such as Better Business Bureau grades and rankings in the J.D. Power 2019 Home Security Satisfaction Study, as well as user ratings via the Google Play store and Apple App Store.
** Pricing is for basic package. Please note pricing will vary based on customization, package tiers, and fees.

SimpliSafe vs. ADT

ADT is the leader in home security systems, protecting around 8 million customers across North America. The big name comes with a big price. ADT requires a three-year contract and charges more than double what SimpliSafe does for professional monitoring. On the other hand, ADT offers a theft protection guarantee — the company will pay up to $500 toward your insurance deductible if a burglary occurs while your system is armed. Both providers have six monitoring locations around the country, easy-to-use home automation features, and a money-back guarantee.

SimpliSafe vs. Vivint

Out of all the SimpliSafe’s competitors, Vivint may be the most different. Vivint has exceptionally long contracts — 48- or 60-month terms — and high rates for professional monitoring. So what do you get for making such a big commitment to Vivint? Lots of bells and whistles. Impressive smart home capabilities and user-friendly security features make it a stand-out option for anyone looking to make automation a central part of their security system. If you want automation, but also value flexibility and affordability, SimpliSafe is a better option.

SimpliSafe vs. Frontpoint

SimpliSafe has a lot in common with Frontpoint. Both companies are associated with DIY setup coupled with strong professional monitoring and recently updated security equipment. Frontpoint has the more sophisticated equipment of the two, but the upgrade comes at a price. Required professional monitoring plus a three-year contract makes Frontpoint potentially more costly long-term. If you have to cancel Frontpoint service due to a move, you still have to pay the remaining balance on your contract at 80 percent of the original price. SimpliSafe is the more affordable — and perhaps, simpler — option for DIY security.

SimpliSafe vs. Ring

Both SimpliSafe and Ring are home security newcomers making waves with their a la carte, DIY systems that emphasize customization and automation. Both enable you to keep your system concise with choose-your-own kits, plus competitive monthly rates for video storage and/or professional monitoring. They charge $10-15 per month; the industry standard is $40. But while those old guard systems levy higher monthly fees — and ensure that you'll be paying them for years to come with stringent contracts — those companies also tend to distribute the cost burden of installing a home security system over time. After all, they've got you for three years. Fancy-free Ring and SimpliSafe, on the other hand, require you to purchase all your equipment up front. The main difference between SimpliSafe and Ring is compatibility. As an Amazon company, Ring functions best with Alexa. SimpliSafe is compatible with all three big players: Amazon, Google, and Apple.

SimpliSafe Equipment

SimpliSafe equipment packages range in size from three to 12 devices, containing some selection of the following — or the whole buffet.

  • Base Station and Keypad
  • Entry sensor
  • Motion sensor
  • 105dB Siren
  • Smoke Detector
  • Key Fob
  • Panic Button
  • Freeze sensor and Water sensor

If you don’t need a complete system, and just want to be able to keep an eye on your front door, SimpliSafe also offers its own version of the popular video doorbell. This multi-functional device provides security and automation capabilities all on its own, but it also feeds into a larger SimpliSafe setup. If any sensor picks up movement, the video doorbell starts recording.

Updated equipment

SimpliSafe revamped their entire fleet of home security equipment in 2018 to be half the size and double the range, five times faster, and 50% louder. The new keypad is “SmashSafe,” which means even if an intruder damages it, SimpliSafe still alerts the police to the break-in. Its equipment relies on a built-in cellular connection but is reinforced with WiFi – something they call “Twice Secured.” SimpliSafe also features some great smart home compatibility, playing nice with Nest thermostat systems, Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and even your Apple Watch.

Last but not least, the motion sensors are built to know the difference between human heat signatures and your pets. This means your dog won’t set off any alarms.

Upfront equipment cost

Without contractual obligations, there’s no way to pay SimpliSafe over time for your equipment. That means that you’ll need to foot the total device bill up front. SimpliSafe’s affordable monitoring means you’ll save money going with the company in the long-term, but you’ll feel the pinch at first.

Depending on your home security preferences, a SimpliSafe equipment bundle could cost as much as $600 before taxes, fees and your future months of professional monitoring. Even the most basic equipment bundle will run you close to $200. Another option: refurbished equipment. You can score refurbished SimpliSafe kits for 20% off or better, and they come with the same three-year warranty as new SimpliSafe gear.

SimpliSafe Installation

SimpliSafe is designed for easy DIY installation. There’s nothing to wire in or nail up. Just peel off the stickers covering the sticky adhesive tabs to fix devices to the wall. If you want some assistance to make sure you’re getting everything up and running properly, you’ll have to pay $79 for professional installation.

SimpliSafe Mobile App

You can’t find a home security system today that doesn’t offer an app. Mobile control of your security system, as well as any home automation devices you have looped in, is what takes home security to the smart home age. But plenty of such apps fall short of customer expectations. The SimpliSafe app, true to the company ethos of simple, powerful technology, garners 4.6 on Google Play and 4.8 on iTunes, blowing much of the competition out of the water. In addition to instant notifications and a live feed of your cameras, the SimpliSafe app keeps a timeline of all system commands and detection events.

SimpliSafe Contracts

No contracts

SimpliSafe stands out amongst home security systems for its no-contract pricing structure. Many companies want to get you on the hook for three years or more, and may only offer a discount on upfront equipment costs if you sign the dotted line. With SimpliSafe, you spend approximately $200-$500 up front on the equipment of your choice, and then figure out which professional or DIY monitoring plan is right for you. The professional monitoring option, which allows you to control your system through a smartphone while alerting the police on your behalf in the event of a break-in, starts at just $15 per month. The system will still function as an alarm without the monitoring, but the police won’t be called and you won’t be notified if you’re away from home — smartphone control only kicks in with the professional monitoring option. Aside from this unfortunate catch-22, SimpliSafe prides itself on aligning with customers’ best interests. Not locking customers into service contracts is the best example of this commitment.

SimpliSafe Theft Policy

No guarantee against theft

Unlike the leading competitor in the home security industry, ADT, SimpliSafe offers no guarantee against theft or break-ins. If you choose to use SimpliSafe as your security servicer, don’t expect any reimbursement from the company.

SimpliSafe Home Security FAQ

Do I need WiFi for SimpliSafe?

Yes. Like most modern home security systems, SimpliSafe is a completely wireless system that relies on cellular connection to communicate with the monitoring centers, but it’s also backed up with a WiFi connection as well.

Is SimpliSafe easily hacked?

All systems are vulnerable to hacking. The only real course of defense is releasing timely security upgrades, something SimpliSafe has not so far offered. The company is behind the times in this respect. Take standard safety precautions (like keeping doors and windows locked) to supplant the natural weaknesses of smart home security.

How long do SimpliSafe batteries last?

Simplisafe estimates that batteries for all its devices, from sensors to your key fob, will last about 3-5 years.

Does SimpliSafe work if the power goes out?

Yes. SimpliSafe is a wireless system, reliant on the same cell phone towers that keep your mobile phone working in a power outage. And because all of the devices are battery-powered 24/7, they don’t run a mobile phone’s same risk of running out of juice before the lights flicker back on.

Can you use SimpliSafe without subscription?

You can, but it renders the system practically inert. Even the most deluxe SimpliSafe equipment package can only function as an alarm system if you don’t sign up for professional monitoring. And you have to get the highest tier of monitoring, Interactive at $24.99 per month, to tap into smartphone capabilities, like remote arming/disarming.

The Bottom Line

SimpliSafe is the DIY security company you should turn to if your main priority is affordable, transparent pricing and no contract commitments. The equipment is easy to install, easy to use, and covers all the essentials of home security. Depending on your home’s unique needs, you can customize your package with extra sensors or integrate third-party automation devices to build out a complete smart home. You get more for your money with SimpliSafe, and your savings just increase over time; SimpliSafe pricing blows most recognized competitors out of the water.

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