How Do I Install My SimpliSafe System?

SimpliSafe is one of our best DIY systems, best wireless security systems, and best security systems with cameras. We like it for its flexibility and relatively inexpensive monitoring.

When you get your security system, though, you might feel overwhelmed and not sure where to start. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the setup for a SimpliSafe $229 Foundation package.

>>Get started by buying a SimpliSafe alarm package or checking out SimpliSafe cost.

Before you start

Unbox the security system and make sure you have each component. For a Foundation package, you should receive:

  • A base station
  • A wireless keypad/control panel
  • A motion sensor
  • An entry sensor
  • A yard sign
  • Two window decals

Look for sticky adhesive strips included in your package. (Some of them may already come on the equipment for easy installation.) You won’t need any drills, screws, or extra brackets with this stick-on equipment.

The first time you use your account, it will ask you for your address, your emergency contact info, and a safe word.

How to install your SimpliSafe system

We’ve tested a lot of home security systems, so we’re not newbies to the installation scene. Still, SimpliSafe surprised us. Unlike some security systems, which rely heavily on the mobile app to set up installation, the bulk of a SimpliSafe alarm setup occurs using the devices themselves.

We set up the system ourselves and also looked over the instruction booklet and the SimpliSafe support page to create the most helpful instructions possible.

Installing the base station

First things first. The base station is the center of your security system, so you should start here.

  1. Find a central area in your home to place your base station. It must be near an electrical outlet.
  2. Remove the tab on the back.
  3. Plug in the base station.

SimpliSafe syncs the base station and keypad before shipping, so you shouldn’t need to do anything else.

Master PIN
Take Note

If something unexpected pops up during installation, the app may ask you for your master PIN. The default PIN for all new SimpliSafe systems is 1234.

Installing the keypad

Next, the keypad. You’ll use the keypad to arm and disarm your system.
Make sure there are four AAA batteries in the keypad.
  1. Remove the tab at the bottom of the keypad.
  2. Make sure there are four AAA batteries in the keypad or else it won’t work.
  3. Once on, your keypad connects to the base station automatically.
  4. Attach the bracket to the back of your keypad.
  5. Use the adhesive strips to place your keypad on the wall. Press firmly.
  6. Follow the keypad prompt to change your master PIN from the default.
  7. Slide the keypad from the bracket to take it with you as you install your motion detector and door/window sensor.
Removing the back panel from Simplisafe keypad
Keypad selection
Case Study

You’ll press the sides of the keypad screen to navigate through and select options.

Installing the motion sensor

This step is interchangeable with installing the entry sensor; you can do these in either order and it shouldn’t make a difference.

Sensor placement
Case Study

You don’t want your motion sensor near a heater or air conditioner, lamps, or electronic devices. SimpliSafe also recommends keeping the sensor about four to five feet off the ground. If you have a cat, the brand suggests putting it higher, at about six feet.

  1. Remove the tab from the motion sensor.
  2. Place your motion sensor as desired. SimpliSafe recommends putting it in a corner. 
  3. Use the adhesive strips on the back of the sensor to place it on the wall. Press firmly.

  4. Bring your keypad to your motion sensor’s location.

  5. If your keypad doesn’t automatically go into naming mode, select Menu.

  6. Enter your master PIN.

  7. Select Setup and Naming.

  8. Select Press a button on a device to test and name.

  9. Press the test button on the top of the motion sensor.

  10. When the motion sensor flashes blue, the keypad will prompt you to enter a name.

  11. Enter a name for the motion sensor.

SimpliSafe motion detector back with installation strips
SimpliSafe motion sensor installed
You can also place your motion sensor on a shelf rather than sticking it to a wall.

Installing the entry sensor

Entry sensor installations can get a bit tricky. For a successful installation, the two pieces need to be aligned so that the magnet-based tech can work.

  1. Remove the tab from the entry sensor.
  2. Line up the two pieces with one on the frame of the closed door/window and one on the edge of the door/window itself. The pieces must be less than two inches apart, and the oval grooves need to align.
  3. Holding the pieces in place, open and close the door/window to confirm the alignment is correct. A blue light will flash when the pieces pull apart and come together.
  4. Use the adhesive strips on the back of the sensor pieces to place them on the frame. Press firmly.
  5. Bring your keypad to your entry sensor’s location.
  6. If your keypad doesn’t automatically go into naming mode, select Menu.
  7. Enter your master PIN.
  8. Select Setup and Naming.
  9. Select Press a button on a device to test and name.
  10. Press the test button on the top of the entry sensor. (If the test button ends up on the bottom during installation, that’s not a problem. The entry sensor will still work.)
  11. When the entry sensor flashes blue, the keypad will prompt you to enter a name.
  12. Enter a name for the entry sensor.

How to install your SimpliCam

If you have a Foundation package, a camera’s not included. But you may get one added through a promotion or spend extra for it. With that in mind, here are SimpliCam instructions.

Before getting started, download the SimpliSafe app on your smartphone. Even if you’re not using the Interactive Plan with mobile monitoring, you can still set up the camera using the app. If you’d rather not download the app at all, you should be able to use your SimpliSafe account on your computer.

  1. Plug the SimpliCam in. (You’ll have to remove the stand in the back.)
  2. On the app, select Set up my SimpliCam.
  3. Select Indoor Camera.
  4. Confirm whether you’re setting the camera up at your home.
  5. Select the preferred Wi-Fi network.
  6. Enter the preferred Wi-Fi network password.
  7. Wait until you see a blinking white light at the top of the SimpliCam. The SimpliCam may also verbally tell you it’s ready for installation.
  8. Use the SimpliCam lens to scan the QR code presented by the app.
  9. The SimpliCam should then automatically connect to your base station.
SimpliCam back with the stand installed
SimpliCam with the stand installed.
SimpliCam back with the stand removed
SimpliCam with the stand removed.
SimpliCam back with the stand removed and plug installed
SimpliCam with the power cable installed.

Extra SimpliSafe equipment

If you’d like other extras to go along with your SimpliSafe system, take a look at our SimpliSafe equipment page to learn more about SimpliSafe security products:

  • Glassbreak sensors
  • Water sensors
  • Freeze sensors
  • Video doorbells with two-way audio
  • Panic buttons
  • Smoke detectors
  • Outdoor camera kits
  • Key fobs
  • Smart locks
  • Sirens

How to set up Wi-Fi

SimpliSafe systems have built-in cellular connections, but you can also set up your home Wi-Fi network.

  1. Select Menu on your keypad.
  2. Enter your master PIN.
  3. Select System Settings.
  4. Select WiFi.
  5. Select the Wi-Fi network you want to connect to.
  6. Enter the network password.

SimpliSafe installation FAQ

How does SimpliSafe work?

A SimpliSafe security system is primarily connected through cellular, though you can add a Wi-Fi connection for better performance. As we mentioned before, the base station and keypad are paired together before you receive the system, cutting down on installation time.

The base station contains the siren that goes off when the alarm is tripped. The keypad lets you arm and disarm your system and connect all the equipment to the base station. Finally, the motion and entry sensors trip the alarm when they’re disturbed.

Do I need a permit to install a SimpliSafe system?

Permits are often used as a way to either cut down on false alarms or levy fees for the disturbance. Whether you need one depends on where you live. Check with your police department to find out if your city requires permits.

Where should I put my SimpliSafe base station?

Since the base station is the system brain, we suggest putting it in an easily-accessible, central area of your home.

Where should I put my SimpliSafe keypad?

Most users like to put their keypad near their door for easy arming and disarming as they enter and exit. You can slide the keypad off the bracket if you need to take it to a different area of the home.

Where should I put my SimpliSafe sensors?

There are two approaches to sensor placement.

You can put sensors in the most visible, highest-traffic areas of your home. For you example, place them in the front room or on the street-facing window. Or you can put them in areas where an intruder’s less likely to be seen or caught upon entry, like in your basement or on the door leading from the garage to the mudroom.

Whatever you choose to do, we suggest not placing your motion sensor and entry sensor too close together. Spaced-out placement will give you a larger system coverage area.

If you’d like more sensors (whether you need extra motion sensors or more entry sensors for your doors and windows), you can buy them on the SimpliSafe site.

Getting a professional SimpliSafe installation

Sure, it’s marketed as DIY, but that doesn’t mean you have to do it yourself.

When you buy a SimpliSafe package, you can add professional setup help at extra cost. But if you already purchased a system and decided last minute that DIY installation isn’t for you, here’s a guide to finding a professional installer. Or, if you’re already familiar with Thumbtack and Taskrabbit, you can jump straight to one of those.

Conversely, if you selected the professional option at checkout but changed your mind, it’s not too late. SimpliSafe won’t charge you for the pro installation until you schedule it. If you want to take a whack, you’ll be out nothing for the attempt, and you’ll still be able to schedule the appointment if you need it after all.

>>Haven’t bought a SimpliSafe system yet? Get a customized system recommendation.

>>SimpliSafe sound like too much trouble? Check out our alternatives to SimpliSafe.