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SimpliSafe Reviews: No Contract Home Security

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SimpliSafe is just like the name implies: simple so that the customer can focus on home security and not all the fine print. The company makes it easy for people to install by shipping all equipment pre-programmed and ready to just plug and play. And with no contract, the system is flexible to turn central monitoring on if you’d like that added security measure or you can opt out if you don’t want to pay the monthly fee. However, if you don’t pay for a monthly monitoring package your system will act as a local system only. Meaning that if the siren goes off it merely “scares” the intruder away because of the sound but does not contact authorities, monitoring professionals or you. It’s a no pressure company that leaves the decisions up to the customer. SimpliSafe took 5th place in our Home Security Systems Reviews and stands out as the premier choice in our home alarm system reviews for those looking for a system without the burden of a contract.

Pros

Cons

  • Simple to relocate
  • Wireless and easy to install
  • A+ BBB rating
  • Equipment has a 3-year warranty
  • Dedicated cellular communication with remote monitoring station in Amcest, New Jersey
  • Inexpensive monthly monitoring
  • 60 day money back guarantee
  • No contract
  • No home automation features
  • No security cameras
  • If the control panel is destroyed, communication with the monitoring center is not possible
  • Expensive upfront equipment costs
  • If you want Interactive features (access your system from a computer or your smartphone) price will increase by $10 monthly and $100 for the initial fees
  • No contract also means there is no price lock on monitoring or equipment

What Customers Think

Now that you’ve read what Simpli Safe excels at and what they could improve on, check out what some of their customers think. Below are a couple good SimpliSafe reviews and a couple bad ones for you to consider when making your decision.

Positive Reviews

My husband and I decided to purchase the SimpliSafe security system after seeing it on DIY network. It works very well. We can leave our home now with peace of mind knowing our property is safe and secure. We highly recommend this security system. –Phyllis A. Hines, Amazon.com 12/29/13

Awesome alarm system. I have ADT and they are pretty cool too it’s just one night there was a fire in my garage and I had an alarm go off and no one called even though I pay the bill, I would highly recommend SimplySafe security. Had no problem so far besides my German Shepherd Max knowing how to open my sliding glass door and the alarm base station didn’t send a message to the company. HOWEVER, I called SimplySafe and they sent me a new one right away at only $5.99 for shipping! –Ethan, Best Home Security Companys 3/28/14

Negative Reviews

Paid over $400 for the system and it never worked correctly. First keypad didn’t communicate with base station. Got a replacement it worked sometimes. Then they sent a new base station to see if that would fix the problem. The 2nd one was worse. The speaker doesn’t work. Can turn it on from the keypad, but not off. So after 2 weeks of trying to get an alarm system, I’m back where I started. –Willie Williams, Amazon.com 5/9/14

Unfortunately it appears you get what you pay for. Like most, I signed up for this system for the monitoring cost and ease of installation. However, like other customers, I’ve had malfunctioning components and poor monitoring service. I’ve had two motion sensors cause false alarms with no actual entry by any person. They didn’t cancel the police after we had cancelled the false alarm (caused by faulty motion sensor), so we ended up getting charged by police for a false alarm. They did not notify me properly that my base station had stopped sending cell signals to them, so I ended up with a completely unmonitored system for a week and a half. I had to reset the base by taking it apart and removing the batteries to get it working again. The phone staff is always rude and unconcerned. We had purchased a second system for a separate home but returned it. Nice idea, but they aren’t providing the proper service or quality. –David J., Best Home Security Companys 4/22/13

Slideshare: SimpliSafe Reviews

Key Features

No Contract

No Contract – Simplisafe does not require customers to sign a contract to get started using their system. This is appealing to many who are not interested in signing on for a long-term commitment. Most companies require 2-3 years minimum to get started but not Simplisafe! But keep in mind you will pay the full price for equipment whereas competitors with monitoring contracts often offer free or deep-discounts on these components.

Cellular Monitoring

SimpliSafe uses dedicated cellular communication to monitor your system. This is they best type of communication and is similar to Frontpoint in this aspect because they both only offer cellular whereas many other security providers offer broadband or landline as their main communication. Keep in mind that this only really matters if you are paying for a monthly monitoring plan.

Key Concerns

Lack of Crash and Smash Protection

The biggest concern is their minimal coverage of crash and smash robberies. In many alarm systems, when an alarm is triggered (either by the homeowner or an intruder), there is a 30 second grace period to give the homeowner time to turn off the system. With a SimpliSafe system, if somehow the intruder were to destroy the control panel within that grace period, an alarm will not occur. Other security companies offer “smash and crash” technology, so that if the monitoring station is notified of a pending alarm and no disarm notice is received (because the panel was destroyed), an alarm will be triggered.

How to Make A SimpliSafe More Secure

The good news is that the SimplySafe Base Station must be placed at least 15 feet away from the keypad, so it could be concealed by the homeowner and there is a simple workaround that can help you achieve better security coverage from the crash and smash risk with SimpliSafe:

  • Hide the base station inside a locked room
  • Put a door alarm sensor on the door to the locked room that contains the base station
  • Place a motion detector inside the same room
  • Arm your SimpliSafe security system

Crash and Smash Note: This technology does not work if the control panel is disarmed on any current alarm system so be sure to arm your system if you wish to take advantage of this feature.

SimpliSafe Home Security Packages

Below are the five packages offered from SimpliSafe. You can always add any SimpliSafe component to any of the packages below to truly make your system custom.

PackageStarterEconomy Available on AmazonClassicMasterUltimate
Price$229.96$259.95$349.92$449.87$539.85
SimpliSafe KeypadKeypadcheckmarkcheckmarkcheckmarkcheckmarkcheckmark2 Included
SimpliSafe Motion SensorMotion Sensorcheckmark1 Includedcheckmark1 Includedcheckmark1 Includedcheckmark2 Includedcheckmark2 Included
SimpliSafe Entry SensorsEntry Sensorcheckmark1 Includedcheckmark4 Includedcheckmark4 Includedcheckmark6 Includedcheckmark4 Included
SimpliSafe Keychain RemoteKeychain Remotecheckmark1 Includedcheckmark1 Includedcheckmark1 Includedcheckmark1 Includedcheckmark1 Included
SimpliSafe Smoke DetectorSmoke Detector$29.99 Each$29.99 Eachcheckmark1 Includedcheckmark1 Includedcheckmark1 Included
SimpliSafe Carbon Monoxide SensorCarbon Monoxide Detector$49.99 Each$49.99 Each$49.99 Each$49.99 Eachcheckmark1 Included
SimpliSafe Freeze SensorFreeze Sensor$29.99 Each$29.99 Each$29.99 Each$29.99 Eachcheckmark1 Included
SimpliSafe Water SensorWater Sensor$19.99 Each$19.99 Each$19.99 Each$19.99 Eachcheckmark1 Included
SimpliSafe Panic ButtonPanic Button$19.99 Each$19.99 Each$19.99 Eachcheckmark1 Includedcheckmark1 Included
SimpliSafe Glassbreak SensorGlassbreak Sensor$34.99 Each$34.99 Each$34.99 Each$34.99 Each$34.99 Each

All packages come with the following accessories:

  • 1 yard sign
  • 2 decals
  • 5 year batteries
  • Adhesive strips

Monitoring Options with SimpliSafe

  • Standard – $14.99/month: The Standard package includes 24/7 monitoring and notification from central monitoring station.
  • Alert – $19.99/month: The Alert package everything the Standard package has as well as SMS/Email alerts.
  • Interactive – $24.99/month: The Interactive package has all of the features of the Alert package, as well as wireless access to your system from your mobile device.

Video: Installation Demo

News: On May 21, 2014, Sequoia Capital (a VC firm in Silicon Valley) invested $57 million to continue this companies growth.

Is SimpliSafe Right for You?

Simpli Safe is dedicated to making security simple for people to use. All devices come ready to install and operate using a plug and play system. The adhesive strips make it so you can attach devices without damaging the home and you can take them with you to use at another residence if you ever relocate. You can add onto the system if and when you ever need to and its customer service has proven helpful and not pushy. If you don’t mind the higher upfront costs without any long-term obligation, SimpliSafe is great home security solution.

What do you think? Are you a SimpliSafe owner? Do you love them or hate them?

Our site's mission is to help consumers make more informed purchase decisions. This website accepts financial compensation from some of the companies mentioned which allows us to provide this free service to our readers. Compensation does not influence the rankings of products. More info on our disclosure page.

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About Jeff Butler
Jeff's first exposure to security systems came from a real life experience. Nearly ten years ago, after multiple burglaries at his 4,000 square foot retail operation, Jeff was frustrated with the high costs of his failing security system. Knowing there had to be a better way, he built an efficient and streamlined system that prevented many future burglaries. Now focused on home security, he loves to stay on top of this ever-changing industry.
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  • JW

    Run away from this product as fast as you can! Like others have stated, it’s an awesome concept for security on paper, but in reality it does not work. You definitely get what you pay for and this system is a shining example of the negative side. Our new home was built and I thought this would be the perfect system as I’m kind of a do it yourself person. From day 1 it did not work. False alarms, sensors indicating windows/doors were open when they were not, sensors not responding including our carbon monoxide detector and inconsistency were the norm. One day it would seemingly work just fine and the next day several of the sensors would not respond.

    I lost track of the calls and emails and suggestions that we tried. Every call a different solution was offered with little to no record of previous calls. I got the feeling it was them throwing darts at a dart board and coming up with ideas on the fly; “Hey try (insert any idea you could think of here)”. I was even told by one rep that insects might have triggered our false alarm? Insects??? Ours was a new home and I have yet to see a single bug! Another time I was told that it had to be an AC/heating vent that triggered the false alarm. Nevermind that the nearest vent was 25 feet away and that due to mild temps we hadn’t even turned on the heat or AC in the 2 months that all this was going on. I think the best one I heard was the batteries were low in the sensors. So when the batteries go low it triggers false alarms and says window/door sensors are open when they are not? Shouldn’t that be disclosed beforehand that low batteries will trigger these kinds of problems? I changed out all the batteries anyway and still the same problems continued.

    I really, really, really wanted this product to work. And I tried all the solutions suggested and tried to be patient but the truth is it simply doesn’t work. I was over the top polite even when these obvious insane suggestions were made (cockroaches were triggering my false alarms, I kid you not, that was actually stated). But it became obvious that each time I called I was being passed around or given some of the cuff idea to get me out of their hair for the time being. Finally I was told it won’t work in my house because we have a surround sound system? Really? So anyone with a surround sound system should be fore-warned that it will foil the Simpli-Safe system. Maybe this is true (but how many people have surround sound these days…I would think that is a fairly common thing to have and you’re saying this won’t allow it to work?), but my gut tells me based on the curtness of the last rep that they simply wanted to get rid of me. To their credit they did offer a refund.

    Simpli-Safe should be renamed to “Simpli-Ineffective”!

  • zumbooruk

    I am a bit leery of wireless systems. I work in electronic warfare (Navy EA-18G Growler) also a ham radio operator, therefore I know how easy it is to intercept and jam the signals, both wireless inside and cellphone to the outside.

    Quick Internet search proved that my hunch was proven correct, apparently it is fairly easy to defeat SimpliSafe :-( and most other wireless systems.

  • Kelly

    All these new and wonderful DIY wireless & cellphone based alarm systems are false hopes unless you have guaranteed cellphone coverage and don’t expect an insurance discount.

    Insurers want monitoring and cellphone coverage is getting worse. You could have an alarm and not be connected. Furthermore, this company omits to mention you need a contract for the dedicated cellphone line too.

    There’s nothing as good as a wired system where monitoring can be contracted for less than $10/month.

    • Expert

      Cell data coverage (which is the line of communication between your Control Panel and the monitoring station) is actually improving constantly. A wired alarm system is extremely vulnerable to being cut by intruders. Basically disarming your system from the outside of your home. Wired systems are a false sense of security.

  • whyohwhydidn’tieatthebluepill

    I bought a Simplisafe alarm because I thought I could buy it without a contract and it would call me instead of anyone else on its built in telephone. However, the telephone is disabled and un-hackable for noobs like me. Therefore I bought a $300 thing that is not-quite useless unless I pay $15 a month to Simplisafe for their system which in theory did not need to have monitoring. It does give me peace of mind, but I’m pissed that it’s not what I expected. For $300 I can definitely get something on eBay that will call me or 911 when the alarm goes off. That said, it was incredibly easy to install. I started at 7:44 on the night it arrived and by 9:04 I had installed it and driven home and I was sitting into my living room to watch TV. Customer service was totally reasonable when I called to figure out what was going on with activation. Three stars I guess, because it is good for what it is, but it is advertised as something even better.

  • Kal

    Company has the worst customer support. You can call and leave a message and then get a call back 4 hours later or maybe the next day. Support personnel are confused about the features and set up. Sent it back after trying to deal with them. Try calling for customer support and see what you get. A security company should at least offer immediate support on the phone.

  • Chris

    The system would be great if it only worked. I just sent them this email:

    I accidentally set off the alarm. It was going on for a good five minutes before I realized it and turned it off. I immediately called to cancel police dispatch and was told that they hadn’t even been notified yet. What? How long does it take for them to be notified after the alarm is set off? Over five minutes is unacceptable.

    The following day the keypad is notifying me that an entry sensor is failing and that I have “no link to dispatcher”. This comes after I had to get the base station replaced because it was setting the alarm on and off by itself.

    Every time something happen it is either after hours or I wait on the phone for over half an hour before I get someone. If I leave a message no one ever calls back. Your customer service is completely inadequate. You are an alarm system company, supposed to provide security around the clock therefore you should have people working around the clock.

    When I finally get to speak with someone I am on for another half hour resetting the system again and again. As it is I have no idea if my system is protecting me or not. Why am I paying you?

    If you can’t tell by the use of capital letters you are dealing with an unsatisfied customer. DO SOMETHING!

    It is Saturday evening, I called in this morning and after 25 minutes of waiting on the phone left a message asking for someone to call back and nobody did. I am sending this email but don’t expect to hear from you guys before monday if I ever get a reply.

    In the meantime I don’t know if my alarm works or not. Why am I paying you?

  • td99

    Just to update your review, I see that glass sensors are now available.

    • http://www.coverstorymedia.com/ Jeff Butler

      Thanks for the comment, we updated the article last month with the news that the Glass Break Sensors are now offered from SimpliSafe.

  • Vicki

    Simplisafe now has Glass Break sensors available with their alarm system.

  • guest

    The biggest issue that I found with SimpliSafe is their lack of customer support outside of the hours 9:00 AM – 6PM EST. The CSR I spoke to was horrible, I had to repeat my questions many times because he was typing and not paying attention. I asked him specifically as to what will happen in the event, my system malfunctions in the middle of the night and stops working. He said wait and call us during the normal working hours. In addition to that, they do not offer 2 day shipping included in the costs. Normal shipping is 5-7 business days but I have seen on their forums that people have had shipping issues. I asked for Verizon module and he said that T Mobile would be the only one that would be available to m. – I know that I have issues with T Mobile signals but he said that the cell coverage is different for alarm systems and cellphones. Really??

    As per the CSR, they only have one monitoring station which again is a concern for me because what happens when a disaster strikes that area? How will we get our monitoring services? For these reasons, I do not think I will go with SimpliSafe. I chose SafeMart — agreed that with SafeMart I have to pay $60 extra over the course of the year but they have Verizon module, offered 3 months free which compensated for the extra cost. Equipment wise the cost was slightly expensive ($25) but they have offered me 2 day shipping and a $15 discount.

    If you are willing to live with the disadvantages of Simplisafe then you should go with it and not look else where. But if you are like me who wants certain things in place to have peace of mind then you should look at Safemart or some other service provider.

  • jbr2

    There are two main pieces in the SimpliSafe system other than sensors, the base unit which can be hidden and the control panel.  The base unit is the brains of the system.  When an intrusion is detected the base unit is silent until the alarm is sent.  It then sounds an alarm, destroying it at this point is useless to the burgler since the alarm monitoring company has already been notified.  The panel is often in a visible location and will lure the intruder.  If destroyed by the intruder the base will still send a signal, so making the base unit difficult to locate will enhance the possibility of sending a notification event before it is found by the intruder.

    In addition most sensors can be set for immediate notification so that the instant a breach is detected a notification is sent.  The owner might set all sensors except the entry or entries normaly used for entry to immediate, leaving entry sensors to allow for delay for the owner to disarm the system after entry.

    The key fob can also be used to disarm the system even before entering the building.

  • Laura S.

    Location: San Francisco, CA

    I really like this system. Initially, I was going to go with
    Frontpoint. But, they sent me their stuff and when I went to set it up
    I was having problems because my door edges didn't match the height of
    the sil around it. They had to send me extra adhesive. This was the second
    time I had to call them during the test period.

    So I did some extra looking around and I found Simplisafe. They have
    most of the same stuff, but they have month to month payment option instead of a 3
    year contract. The month to month rate is cheaper and you can cancel whenever
    you want.

    With all of the self installs I advise having a security expert come
    over and see where you need sensors, which windows are vulnerable and where
    would you need a motion sensor. This is the disadvantage of all of the
    self install systems. They don't send an expert to look first.

    My only critique of Simplisafe is that they don't have glass break
    censors. Otherwise, I say don't waste your money on the other folks. These guys are great.

  • a Security Professional

    If “Crash-and-Smash technology” is correctly installed, the Simpli Safe system will “become” Crash-and-Smash "proof".

    There are only two ways to detect a “Crash-and-Smash” event in a timely manner:

    1. A sensor must detect intrusion and successfully transmit a message that is received at the monitoring station BEFORE the control panel is attacked or destroyed.  Alarm systems cannot transmit messages after they have been destroyed.
    2. The alarm control panel stops transmitting its “supervised heartbeats” or “internet polling” signals.  These signals are supposed to be sent approximately every 3 to 4 minutes, continuously 24/7.  This is a superior advantage to “Crash and Smash technology” which transmits its pre-alert signal from the front door contact ONLY when the alarm system is armed.  "Crash and Smash" technology does not work if the control panel is disarmed. 

    Therefore design your security system with enough sensors, and install your alarm control panel in a hidden location, so that an alarm is created BEFORE the control panel is located and destroyed.

    • Michelle

      Thank you for the clarification. I have updated the article to reflect most of what you stated in your comment and have left a few items here to allow readers to read some advice straight from you. Take care.

  • Scott Amundson

    I've had a SimpliSafe alarm for almost 3 years. I supplemented the basic kit with an extra siren that is mounted outside of the house so the neighbors (& the burglars) can be alerted. Every once in a while, the siren triggers after the alarm has been disabled and is difficult to silence. My spouse refused to use the system until I disabled the extra siren. Tech support has told me to move the system components around until they work (they can't say exactly what works). I don't have a lot of freedom to move them from their convenient locations in my small house. They refuse to give me a refund 60 days after the purchase (the first problem took more than that to show). I feel they should warn customers about potential problems and shouldn't be selling a poorly designed Siren. They've had two years to solve the problem and have failed.

    Recently they are selling upgrades that includes texting and emails. I feel those features will reduce calls to their emergency line and would actually save them money if they gave them away.

    Besides the above complaints, I've been happy with the system. When the alarm has been triggered, they've been quick to respond. However, shop around before you buy. There may be better inexpensive solutions available now.

  • Jason

    For the 'smash and grab' concern, the web site specifically states that the base station sends the alert signal before alarming.  So, the intruder would actually have to know where the base station is hidden before the siren goes off.  Once the signal is sent, it doesn't matter what happens to the station; the monitoring station knows something is wrong and can monitor the situation, alert authorities, etc.

  • steve

    I am interested however, I rent this Townhome. I also have 2 Greyhounds around 60 lbs each.

    • A Secure Life

      Yes, one of the areas of specialty for SimpliSafe is renters since very few companies accommodate them. FrontPoint also services renters so that is another option for a higher security option.

  • Richard

    I am thinking of installing this system in my home. Does anybody have any good or bad comments regarding the equipment reliability and the monitoring service they provide? Especially response time to an intrusion?

  • Above average security guy

    Simply Safe prices do appear very attractive, but as you point out, the lack of smash and grab protection makes it essential that you hide your primary SimplySafe beacon (the triangular looking control panel) somewhere that is a) difficult to locate and b) will take someone along long time to get to (enough time so the alarm signal can be sent to your monitoring station and the corresponding authorities deployed).

    One thing that would advise the owners of a SimplySafe security system not to do is install their yard sign or any Simply Safe decals. Why? Because it will tip thieves off to the fact that you don't have smash and grab protection, not to mention other known vulnerabilities specific to this type of system. You're best off putting another vendor sign in your yard or a generic sign, to throw off any potential burglars.