SimpliSafe offers two different camera models: the SimpliCam, a basic indoor security camera, and the Video Doorbell Pro, a high-definition smart doorbell. Each has their own set of unique features.
SimpliSafe Camera Reviews: Pros, Cons, and Cost
The SimpliCam’s motion sensors detect heat signatures, so it knows the difference between a human intruder and a dog or cat. The Video Doorbell Pro lets you pan and zoom, so you can make out details—like whether that package was meant for you or your next-door neighbor.
Read on to learn more about each of SimpliSafe’s cameras, how they compare to the competition, and whether either is right for you.
Does SimpliSafe have outdoor cameras?
If you’re looking for a dedicated camera to help monitor your driveway or your backyard, SimpliSafe offers an outdoor camera kit that works with SimpliCam. Priced at $19.99, the kit comes with a waterproof, weather-resistant sleeve and a 25-foot-long power cable. It also works in pretty frigid and warm temperatures, from 14°F to 104°F.
Still, there are other outdoor cameras with a better value that have a higher resolution and more expansive field of view. To check out some of our favorites, read our roundup of best outdoor security cameras.
Note that because SimpliSafe’s compatibility with third-party products is limited, you won’t be able to integrate any cameras on that list with your SimpliSafe system. But many of them will let you monitor the footage with their respective apps—or you can use most of them with another of our favorite home security systems.
Compare SimpliSafe cameras
|Product||SimpliCam||SimpliSafe Video Doorbell|
|What it looks like|
|Field of view||120°||162°|
|Compatibility||SimpliSafe, August Smart Lock, Nest Thermostat, Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant||SimpliSafe|
- Dimensions: 4.56 x 2.55 x 2.08 in.
- Resolution: 720p HD
- Field of view: 120°
- Operating temperature: 14°F–104°
- Power source: AC adapter
Pros and cons
- No contract
- Easy installation
- Smart motion detection
- Privacy shutter with bank-level encryption
- Unlimited recording requires subscription to premium monitoring plan
- No two-way audio
Features and flaws
The SimpliCam is a basic, no-contract home security camera that can be used on its own or as part of your SimpliSafe home alarm system. It covers most of the essentials: 24/7 access to live video, a smart motion sensor that differentiates between the heat signature of humans and pets, and night vision so you can keep an eye on what happens after dark in your home. Plus, it adds a stainless steel privacy shutter that closes when the camera is in away mode to give you a sense of, well, privacy.
Still, SimpliCam misses a few must-haves. It doesn’t offer two-way audio, so you won’t be able to use it to scare off intruders or tell your puppy to get down from the table. And while motion alerts and access to the live camera feed are free, you’ll have to pay $5 per month to record, download, and share footage for 30 days.
That can be a bit of a burden, especially if you’re already paying for one of SimpliSafe’s professional monitoring plans. It’s also worth pointing out that some standalone cameras, like the Blink XT, offer cloud storage—and the ability to download and share video—for free.
SimpliSafe camera installation
Installing the SimpliCam is simple enough. You place and plug in the camera and download the SimpliSafe app, which will connect the cam to your Wi-Fi network and walk you through the process of syncing the camera to the app.
At $99, the SimpliCam is more affordable than a lot of other home security cameras, but it also lacks the features of other cameras. Its resolution is a bit low at 720p HD; it lacks two-way audio; and without the outdoor kit, the SimpliCam can be used only indoors. It’s a decent choice if you already have other SimpliSafe products, but if not, there are better choices for cheap security cameras, like the Logitech Circle 2 or the Arlo Q.
There are also a few added costs to consider. You don’t have to pay for one of SimpliSafe’s monitoring plans to use the SimpliCam, but we wouldn’t recommend using the camera without one. With a subscription to SimpliSafe’s Interactive monitoring plan ($24.99/mo.), you’ll be able to get push alerts when your camera detects motion; unlimited camera recording; and integration with Alexa, Google, and more.
SimpliCam vs. the competition
Compared to brands like Logitech, Arlo, and Blink, SimpliCam is one of the most affordable options. But it has the fewest extras: the competition offers varying amounts of free cloud storage, and both the Logitech Circle 2 and the Blink XT can be used indoors or outdoors without purchasing an additional kit.
To learn more, check out all our favorite security cameras.
ASecureLife’s recommendation: The SimpliCam may be a good fit if you already have a few SimpliSafe products and you’re looking for a camera that covers the basics. But if you’re looking for a standalone camera, we’d recommend looking for something with a few more features, like the Arlo Q.
>>Simplify your security. Get the SimpliCam.
SimpliSafe Video Doorbell Pro review
- Dimensions: 2.91 x 6.65 x 4.48 in.
- Resolution: 1080p HD
- Field of view: 162°
- Operating temperature: 14°F–185°F
- Power source: Hardwired
Pros and cons
- No contract
- Easy installation
- Two-way audio
- Pan and zoom functionality
- Requires existing doorbell wiring
- No smart home integration
Features and flaws
The SimpliSafe Video Doorbell Pro offers an expansive field of view so you can see more of your doorstep, infrared night vision for quality playback at the darkest hours, and crisp 1080p HD resolution. And with a sleek, compact design, it’s pretty good-looking too.
You’ll be able to use two-way audio to talk to whoever is on your doorstep, although some users report a bit of lag time between the talk and listen features. You can also pan and zoom, which helps you pick up details—like whether Amazon put your neighbor’s package on your porch again.
The Video Doorbell Pro does require existing doorbell wiring (if you’re looking for the doorbell experience but you don’t have existing wiring, we recommend the Ring Doorbell 2). SimpliSafe’s doorbell also lacks automation support, so you won’t be able to use voice commands or integrate it with anything besides whatever SimpliSafe equipment you already have.
SimpliSafe Video Doorbell Pro installation
Installing the Video Doorbell Pro requires some very basic screwing and wiring but isn’t too difficult. The only tool you’ll need is a screwdriver.
Instructions aren’t available on the SimpliSafe website, but SimpliSafe’s forum is a good place to find answers to frequently asked questions about installation and more.
At $169, the SimpliSafe Doorbell Pro is pretty inexpensive for a doorbell camera. Other video doorbells, from the August Doorbell Cam Pro to the Nest Hello, range in price from $199.99 to $229.99.
Part of that discrepancy is because those brands offer a bit more when it comes to features. The Nest Hello can integrate with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT, and other Nest products. And the August Doorbell Cam Pro offers integration with smart hubs like Apple HomeKit, SmartThings, and Wink.
As with the SimpliCam, you can use the Video Doorbell Pro without a monitoring subscription. And as with the SimpliCam, we don’t recommend that you do: you’ll have to pay $24.99 per month for SimpliSafe Interactive, which offers unlimited camera recording and push alerts on your mobile device—and you’ll also have to pay $5 per month for access to 30 days of video history.
SimpliSafe Video Doorbell Pro vs. the competition
Overall, the SimpliSafe Video Doorbell Pro is a good option with high-quality video and an affordable price tag. But other brands offer much more in the way of smart home compatibility.
To learn more, read our round up of the best doorbell cameras.
ASecureLife’s recommendation: The Video Doorbell Pro has some solid features and a sleek, compact design. We recommend it as part of one of SimpliSafe’s wireless home security plans. If you’re interested in a standalone video doorbell solution, Ring has enough options to fit just about everyone: from inexpensive to splurge-worthy and from wired to wireless.
>>Dress up your doorstep. Get the SimpliSafe Video Doorbell Pro.
SimpliSafe’s cameras, the SimpliCam and the Video Doorbell Pro, are great at covering the basics with HD resolution, easy setup, and on-demand video recording. They’re both good choices if you plan to integrate them with SimpliSafe’s alarm monitoring system.
>>Cameras, simply. Buy the SimpliCam and the Video Doorbell Pro.
If you want an indoor security camera with more extras, there are plenty to choose from. Check out our roundup of best security cameras.
If you are interested in a doorbell camera with more features, we’ve got suggestions for that too. Check out our round up of the best video doorbells.