SimpliSafe is one of the most flexible and affordable security systems out there. It’s nothing fancy, but we love that it covers the basics at an extremely affordable price.
If you pick SimpliSafe, you get inexpensive monthly monitoring without contracts—something that used to be rare in the security industry. And if you don’t want to pay for monitoring, the system still works as a local alarm.
The main drawback to SimpliSafe is that it doesn’t offer as much equipment or home automation integration as competitors. SimpliSafe recently improved its smart home support, and now its systems work with Alexa, the August door lock, and the Nest thermostat. But unfortunately, SimpliSafe systems still aren’t compatible with Z-Wave devices, which puts them behind many competitors.
SimpliSafe recently improved its smart home support, and now its systems work with Alexa, the August door lock, and the Nest thermostat.
Even though the equipment selection is limited, SimpliSafe’s equipment is easy to install and not too pricey, so it could still work for you if you don’t need to sync your alarm system with smart home gear.
Pros and cons
- No contracts
- Easy setup
- Option to turn professional monitoring on/off
- Inexpensive equipment
- Customizable equipment packages
- 60-day money-back guarantee
- Minimal home automation integration
- No mobile access with less expensive plan
Compare SimpliSafe packages
|Learn more||View Plans||View Plans|
Inexpensive professional monitoring
SimpliSafe has some of the cheapest professional monitoring plans out there. You can get eyes on your alarm system 24/7 for as low as $14.99 per month. Even with the influx of DIY alarm systems these days, that’s still a really good price for professional monitoring.
Plus, since SimpliSafe doesn’t make you sign a contract, you’re free to cancel your alarm monitoring plan whenever you want. You can even cancel it for a month if you need to, and then resubscribe when it fits your budget.
Inexpensive environmental monitoring
SimpliSafe doesn’t offer many flashy features, but you do get environmental monitoring (water leaks, temperature, smoke, and carbon monoxide) with the basic monitoring package.
Inexpensive environmental monitoring doesn’t sound that exciting. But it’s actually an awesome feature because it protects your home and your family against threats like water damage, frozen pipes, and fires.
You can get environmental monitoring from other security companies, but it will cost you $15 to $20 more every month.
SimpliSafe works only with Amazon’s Alexa, the Nest thermostat, and the August door lock. If you want to add Z-Wave devices like smart lights or other brands of smart locks, you’re out of luck.
Basic home automation
SimpliSafe systems are…well…simple.
If you want to add Z-Wave devices like smart lights or other brands of smart locks, you’re out of luck.
SimpliSafe home alarm systems have a big range of basic equipment, including motion detectors, smoke alarms, and door/window sensors. But you won’t find smart home extras like garage door openers or smart locks. (If you want those, we recommend going through a provider like Frontpoint.)
SimpliSafe offers two camera models: its indoor camera (SimpliCam), and its doorbell cam (Video Doorbell Pro). SimpliSafe doesn’t have an outdoor camera yet, but we’d love to see one in the lineup in the future.
Video Doorbell Pro
The SimpliCam is super affordable at only $99, and it has pretty solid features for such a low price.
- 720p resolution
- 120º field of vision
- Two-way audio
- Night vision
- Motion detection
- 30 days’ worth of cloud storage (with recording plan)
The recording plan for the SimpliCam is cheap at only $4.99 per month, but you don’t have to subscribe if you don’t want to. Without a recording plan, you can watch the camera’s livestream online, and the cam will take a snapshot when it senses motion, but that’s about it.
SimpliSafe Video Doorbell Pro
SimpliSafe’s doorbell camera isn’t the cheapest out there—at $169, its pricing is midrange. (It’s about $30 less than the Ring Video Doorbell 2.)
SimpliSafe Video Doorbell Pro cost: $169
Ring Video Doorbell 2 cost: $199
That said, the SimpliSafe doorbell camera gives you some of the same top-notch features you can expect from doorbell cams like Ring and the Nest Hello (and even better resolution than ADT’s and Vivint’s doorbell cams).
SimpliSafe Video Doorbell Pro features:
- 1080p resolution
- 162º field of vision
- Motion detection
- Night vision
- Two-way audio
- Pan and zoom
- Works with 8–24VAC (works with older homes)
Installing SimpliSafe equipment is easy. In fact, a lot of it uses very strong stickers so you won’t have to drill holes or hunt down your screwdriver. And if you need to pull those stickers off the wall later, they won’t damage your paint, which is good news for you renters out there.
SimpliSafe installation steps:
- Plug your base station into an outlet near a flat surface (not on the floor).
- Set up your keypad. Follow the prompts it gives you to set your PIN. (You can put the keypad basically anywhere using the sticky strips on the back. We recommend putting it by the door you enter through most.)
- Use the keypad to name your sensors (things like “Living Room,” “Kitchen,” etc.) and link them to the system. Once they’re programmed, you can put them up on your main doors and windows.
- Install any other devices you have as part of your system, including motion sensors and glass break detectors.
SimpliSafe recently updated its equipment. While the new gear isn’t going to win any interior decorating awards, it’s stylish and subtle, so it’ll look nice in your home without drawing attention to itself. And it has some thoughtful features, like a motion sensor that’s designed to fit on either a flat wall or in a corner. (Not many other motion sensors work in corners!)
The most important part of the SimpliSafe system is the base station. The base station is a cylindrical tower that connects with your sensors and sounds the alarm if anything (or anyone) triggers your system.
SimpliSafe also offers standard wireless keypads you can use to arm and disarm your system, but it’s the base station that does all the heavy lifting for your system.
You get a three-year equipment warranty on SimpliSafe gear, which is the same warranty you get from Frontpoint and Link Interactive. If anything goes wrong with one of your SimpliSafe products in the first three years, you’re covered.
Price is where SimpliSafe shines—both its equipment and its professional monitoring plans are much cheaper than competitors’.
Monitoring through SimpliSafe costs either $14.99 or $24.99 per month, depending on which plan you choose. (Most competitors charge at least $30 per month for a basic professional monitoring plan.)
We suggest choosing SimpliSafe’s Interactive monitoring plan because it also includes access to the mobile app and (some) home automation support. We highly recommend having access to the mobile app—we just wish SimpliSafe included it with its lower-priced plans.
>>Check out our full breakdown of SimpliSafe costs
SimpliSafe monitoring plans
|Learn more||View Plan||View Plan|
You don’t have to pay any extra fees with SimpliSafe, which is rare in the security world. A lot of other companies charge activation fees—even if you install the equipment on your own.
With SimpliSafe, you just buy the equipment and subscribe to monitoring (if you want to), and you’re done. You don’t even have to pay to cancel if you decide you don’t want monitoring anymore.
SimpliSafe’s home security equipment is way cheaper than most competitors’. Check out the table below to see how much it costs to buy SimpliSafe gear.
Keep in mind: you can purchase a set SimpliSafe package, or you can just create your own. If you need a specific number of sensors or key fobs you don’t see in the package, you can add them to your order.
|Package||The Foundation||The Essentials||The Hearth||The Knox||The Haven|
|Equipment included||Base station, keypad, 1 entry sensor, 1 motion sensor||Base station, keypad, 3 entry sensors, 1 motion sensor||Base station, keypad, fob, 3 entry sensors, 1 motion sensor, siren, smoke detector||Base station, keypad, fob, 6 entry sensors, 2 motion sensors, siren, smoke detector||Base station, keypad, fob, 4 entry sensors, 2 motion sensors, siren, panic button, freeze sensor, water sensor, smoke detector|
|The Foundation||The Essentials||The Hearth||The Knox||The Haven|
|Base station, keypad, 1 entry sensor, 1 motion sensor||Base station, keypad, 3 entry sensors, 1 motion sensor||Base station, keypad, fob, 3 entry sensors, 1 motion sensor, siren, smoke detector||Base station, keypad, fob, 6 entry sensors, 2 motion sensors, siren, smoke detector||Base station, keypad, fob, 4 entry sensors, 2 motion sensors, siren, panic button, freeze sensor, water sensor, smoke detector|
À la carte equipment prices
- Base station: $114.99
- Wireless keypad: $69.99
- Door/window sensor: $14.99
- Motion sensor: $29.99
- SimpliCam: $99.00
- Video Doorbell Pro: $169.00
- Glass break sensor: $34.99
- Panic button: $19.99
- Smoke detector: $29.99
- Carbon monoxide sensor: $49.99
- Temperature sensor: $29.99
- Water sensor: $19.99
- Key fob: $24.99
- Siren: $59.99
- Yard sign: $3.99
SimpliSafe’s customer service team is available every day from 9:00 a.m. to midnight ET. If you don’t like using the phone you can also contact them through email.
Those support hours are pretty good, but we always like it when companies offer 24/7 support so you can call them at 2 a.m. if you need to (or if you feel like it).
Contracts and cancellation policies
If you’ve had a security system before and you hated the long contracts and the hefty cancellation fees, SimpliSafe’s no-fee approach is a refreshing change.
You never have to sign a contract with SimpliSafe—ever, for anything. And if you subscribe to a monitoring plan, you can cancel it any time you want. You can even cancel it for a month and reinstate it the next month if you just needed to tighten your budget for a bit.
What customers are saying about SimpliSafe
Overall, SimpliSafe reviews indicate that customers like the system (especially compared to big-name, traditional security providers like ADT or Brinks). It gets excellent reviews across the web, and customers love that SimpliSafe’s system is easy to set up and affordable. Plus, they like being able to turn monitoring on and off when they need or want to.
We’ve also seen customers mention SimpliSafe’s environmental monitoring as being a big perk for vacation homes. If you have a summer house you don’t visit every day, it helps to know your property’s safe while you’re away.
What about SimpliSafe complaints?
The main SimpliSafe complaints we’ve seen from customers are that SimpliSafe has too many false alarms. We’ve also seen some SimpliSafe customer service complaints saying support is not available as much as customers would like. (24/7 service would be better.)
SimpliSafe vs. the competition
SimpliSafe vs. Frontpoint
SimpliSafe and Frontpoint both offer DIY security systems that use some proprietary equipment. (That means they both design certain pieces of their equipment themselves, which is rare with big-name security providers.)
Despite the DIY similarity, Frontpoint is much more of a “traditional” security company than SimpliSafe is. Frontpoint requires charges more per month for its monitoring plans, and it requires you to sign a 36-month monitoring contract.
That said, Frontpoint has great customer support (which is an area SimpliSafe has been criticized for in the past). It also offers way more home automation options than SimpliSafe. With Frontpoint, you can add smart lights, locks, garage door openers—whatever you want.
Compare SimpliSafe vs. Frontpoint monitoring plans
|Monitoring price range||$14.99–$24.99/mo.||$34.99–$49.99/mo.|
|Contract length||No contract||36 mos.|
|Home automation support||Limited||Yes|
|Mobile app access||Yes*||Yes**|
|No contract||36 mos.|
*Only with SimpliSafe Interactive monitoring plan
**Only with Frontpoint Interactive monitoring plan
SimpliSafe vs. Nest Secure
Nest Secure and SimpliSafe both have DIY systems, but that’s about as far as the similarities go. Nest is (a lot) more expensive than SimpliSafe, but it has much nicer equipment and more home automation support.
Nest Secure integrates with other Nest devices, so if you already have Nest cameras or a Nest thermostat, it’ll fit right in. Just take a look at the costs first, because the Nest alarm system will cost you quite a pretty penny—and way more than you’d spend on SimpliSafe.
SimpliSafe Foundation package: $229
Nest Secure starter system: $399
SimpliSafe vs. Ring Alarm
Ring Alarm is perhaps the only security provider that makes SimpliSafe look spendy. Ring’s starter package costs even less than SimpliSafe’s, and it offers professional monitoring for only $10 per month.
If you want the most affordable system on the market, Ring takes the prize. It also offers more home automation options than SimpliSafe, and you can control your system in the same app you use for your Ring cameras.
SimpliSafe Foundation package: $229
Ring Alarm starter package: $199
SimpliSafe vs. Abode
Abode is similar to SimpliSafe but has more options for professional monitoring and home automation. If you’re taking off on vacation and want someone to watch your system for just that week, Abode lets you subscribe to temporary professional monitoring.
You can also use Abode to support any Z-Wave home automation device you want to add on to your system—a feature SimpliSafe lacks.
All that said, Abode costs more than SimpliSafe, and its starter package is almost as expensive as Nest’s.
SimpliSafe Foundation package: $229
Abode starter package: $389
Do I need Wi-Fi for the SimpliSafe system to work?
The short answer is no, you don’t need an internet connection for your SimpliSafe system to work. The system uses a cellular connection, so it doesn’t need Wi-Fi to connect.
If you want to get the SimpliCam (SimpliSafe’s indoor camera) or the doorbell camera, then you’ll need Wi-Fi to connect the cameras.
Does SimpliSafe work with Amazon Alexa?
Yes, you can use Alexa to arm your SimpliSafe system or check whether it’s armed. You can also set modes for Alexa—you can say a command like, “Alexa, I’m leaving,” and it will set your SimpliSafe system to Armed.
Does SimpliSafe work with Nest?
Currently, SimpliSafe works only with the Nest thermostat. The Nest thermostat syncs with your security system’s setting so it knows when you’re home or away and it can adjust the temperature for you automatically.
We recommend SimpliSafe if you want an affordable, flexible alarm system and you don’t mind that it doesn’t include a lot of home automation support. We definitely recommend opting for the Interactive monitoring plan if you can. We think it’s worth it to have mobile control over your system through an app.
The great thing about SimpliSafe’s monitoring is that you can always turn it off if it doesn’t fit your budget anymore, or if you’re heading out of town. Just remember that without monitoring, there’s no one watching your system for intruders.
Have you used SimpliSafe home security? We’d love to hear from you. Tell us about your experiences in the comments below.