Simplisafe Simplisafe Review
The SimpliSafe Home Security System is a DIY, wireless home security system, which is built specifically for DIY installation and takes less than an hour to set up. Available components and equipment include cameras, alarms, motion detectors, glass breakage sensors, entryway sensors, and more.
But is SimpliSafe home security worth it, compared to a more fully-featured security system with permanent installation, such as ADT or Vivint?
In this Simplisafe Security review, we’ll take an in-depth look at the SimpliSafe 3 Home Security System, and discuss what we thought of this unique, cloud-based security system.
SimpliSafe home security was first founded more than a decade ago, by students at the Harvard Business School, who were looking for a solution for apartment break-ins.
They found that renters, in particular, had difficulties obtaining monitored home security systems, because these systems require a long-term contract and serious property alterations.
The solution was SimpliSafe. The system was based on the rapid growth of wireless technology. Using wireless sensors, users were able to quickly set up a completely wire-free home security system.
The biggest selling point of the original SimpliSafe system was that it could be moved between apartments and that it did not require a long-term contract or other service fees. This made ideal for first-time homeowners and renters alike.
Today, SimpliSafe has improved on their original technology, with the SimpliSafe 3 system, which utilizes modern wireless technologies, and has updated, high-quality equipment that’s been modernized for today’s homes.
Emergency monitoring services from SimpliSafe are sold month-to-month. The system can alert operators at the reputable C.O.P.S. Monitoring agency when an emergency is detected. There is no option to use SimpliSafe without subscribing to emergency monitoring services.
Equipment – 8/10
In the decade that SimpliSafe home security was founded, wireless monitoring technology has grown by leaps and bounds, and high-quality cameras, sensors, and other electronic components have become even more inexpensive.
This means that the 2018 SimpliSafe 3 home security system is the best one yet. It offers devices manufactured by leading companies like Honeywell and GE, and better operability, and customization.
You can get a “starter system” from SimpliSafe home security for a reasonable price. This includes the base station, as well as a keypad, a remote on a keychain for controlling the system, a motion sensor, and an entry sensor. For an additional fee, you can buy the “Summerfort” security system, which has 19 total devices including sirens, sensors, cameras, panic buttons, and a CO/water/smoke detectors.
You can even build your own, fully-customized system. The company offers the following sensors and devices, from which you can choose:
- Window and door sensors
- Garage door sensors
- Glass break sensors
- Motion detectors
- Recessed door sensors
- Crash/smash protection
- Temperature change (freeze sensors)
- Carbon monoxide
- Indoor cameras
- Outdoor cameras
- Event-triggered surveillance and live surveillance
- Panic buttons
- Medical alerts
The overall integrations and build quality of these systems are top-notch. It’s simple to add new devices to your security system. And – as we found out while trying to add a new window sensor during testing for our SimpliSafe Security Review – even if you have issues, you can turn to SimpliSafe technical support for help.
Features & Technology – 7/10
SimpliSafe 3 has a number of additional features and technological improvements, compared to the previous iterations of this home security monitoring system. Here are a few of the biggest improvements we found during our SimpliSafe security review.
- Enhanced security – The first SimpliSafe iteration was a reasonably good security system, but a serious design flaw was found by security consultants. This flaw was unfixable and allowed anyone with an inexpensive piece of specialized hardware to snoop on customer PINs, or even turn off the alarm system, from a distance of up to 200 yards.
SimpliSafe 3 home security is not backward-compatible, and this is likely the reason. The company has begun using advanced encryption – on “every single signal”, according to the SimpliSafe team, to provide users with better security.
- Sleek and aesthetically-appealing design – The new SimpliSafe 3 system sensors are about half the size of the older devices and have been built with a new design language that emphasizes smooth forms, subtle lighting, and a modern design.
We’ll just say it. It looks really cool! And because many SimpliSafe devices like the monitoring base, PIN keypad, and other sensors and cameras will be highly visible in your home, this really is a great feature.
- WiFi support – The original SimpliSafe base station only used 3G cellular connectivity with a backup landline in case service was used. The new SimpliSafe 3 devices can use both cellular networks and WiFi, ensuring consistent service.
- Compatibility For Amazon Alexa – This is a great feature for SimpliSafe 3. You can use Alexa to turn your system on and off.
The downside is this is currently all you can do with Alexa, and no other smart home devices like Nest or Google Home are supported. However, SimpliSafe claims to be working on “future integrations”. For now, though, you’re limited to Alexa – and a single voice command.
Monitoring – 8/10
Because you purchase the SimpliSafe home security equipment from the company – instead of signing a long-term contract that comes with free equipment – monitoring services are, comparatively, inexpensive.
You can choose to eschew any kind of monitoring at all if you want – but this is not recommended.
Here are the features you get with self-monitoring. If a sensor is activated, your alarm will sound.
There is no mobile app, monitoring system notifications, or cellular backup. To be honest, it makes no sense at all to buy SimpliSafe home security if you don’t want professional monitoring services.
With professional monitoring, you get 24/7 responses from C.O.P.S., a leading home security monitoring system, cellular backup, and the ability to control your system through the web and mobile applications.
There are two tiers of professional monitoring. Standard monitoring costs $14.99 per month. You’ll get monitoring services, but will be locked out from Alexa and Nest thermostat compatibility, as well as SMS/email alerts. You also can’t customize your services, or remotely arm/disarm the service.
To unlock those features, you’ll need Interactive monitoring, which costs $24.99 but is worth the price of entry. It’s the tier we tested during our SimpliSafe security review.
Value – 7/10
The value of SimpliSafe really depends on your security needs, and whether or not you think that you’ll be living in your home long enough for a long-term security contract to make sense.
If you are expecting to move often, or you rent a home, SimpliSafe is the best security system on the market. You can cancel your monitoring services whenever you want, you don’t have to modify your home, and you’re not locked into a long-term service contract.
However, the steep up-front cost of buying your own equipment may be a turn-off. And because you’re “locked-in” to the SimpliSafe ecosystem, your equipment will – eventually – be the victim of planned obsolescence. It’s unlikely to work for more than a decade, as proven by the phase-out of the SimpliSafe 1 security system in recent months.
Customer Service – 7/10
During our SimpliSafe security review, we had issues setting up a window sensor. It kept saying that the window was “open”, even after we disarmed and reset the system. We contacted SimpliSafe support – and they walked us through troubleshooting. Within just a few minutes, our sensor was working perfectly. We call that good customer service!
However, hours for customer service are limited to just 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST. West-coasters may have trouble getting customer service.
Also, SimpliSafe has had some trouble in the past with unresponsive phone agents, though these seem to have been resolved – we got help in just a few minutes.
Finally, C.O.P.S., the monitoring service SimpliSafe uses for emergency response, has a good reputation in the security industry. With 6 monitoring stations and backups, they provide fast emergency responses, giving you peace of mind.
Summary And Conclusion – 7.4/10
If you don’t like the idea of long-term service contracts, and you’re willing to drop some cash up-front for a monitoring system, SimpliSafe may be a good choice for you. It’s a particularly good choice for homeowners who may be moving in the near-term, or renters who want some extra safety and security.
However, some of the drawbacks include lock-in to the SimpliSafe ecosystem, and the inability to monitor your local sensors, video cameras, and other systems without paying at least $14.99/month for monitoring services.
Overall, though, SimpliSafe is a better value than it has ever been before, and its new design makes it attractive and easier to set up, and has also enhanced safety and security with advanced encryption and WiFi connection backups.
Simplisafe sits in a niche between DIY, at-home systems, and professionally-installed systems from companies like ADT – and it’s very good at it. So if you’re curious to try it for yourself, this is as good a time as any!
Get started today and you won’t be disappointed.