Learn More About SimpliSafe

Between these two security systems, our favorite is SimpliSafe.

SecureScore™: 9.4/10

SimpliSafe and Alarm Relay are home security companies who have built solid reputations for themselves, albeit in different ways. Where SimpliSafe offers its own equipment and monitoring services, Alarm Relay is often the company of choice for homeowners who already have a system, but are looking for a new company to take over the monitoring responsibilities. Both companies offer quality equipment and rapid response monitoring.

Overview: SimpliSafe vs Alarm Relay

Both SimpliSafe and Alarm Relay offers equipment starter packages that are similarly priced. The main difference is that the equipment provided by SimpliSafe is produced by students of Harvard Business University. Alarm Relay offers a system by Helix Security systems or, if the customer already owns a system, can provide professional monitoring at a competitive price. When it comes to cost, the upfront cost is similar but with Alarm Relay, the customer pays for the entire year instead of being charged a month to month fee.

  • Alarm Relay's monthly cost is just under $9 and is payable by the year
  • SimpliSafe offers two monitoring plans that are competitively priced compared to other systems
  • Alarm Relay's services are designed to monitor existing systems that are already in place
  • SimpliSafe offers several package options that include a variety of different devices
  • Both companies offer similar devices

Similarities: Alarm Relay vs SimpliSafe

SimpliSafe and Alarm Relay both offer nationwide coverage for affordable monthly coverage. The equipment package from SimpliSafe and the equipment package from Helix that is offered by Alarm Relay contains many of the same devices. Equipment is purchased upfront with each starter kit costing less than $300. Each kit comes with instructions so that the homeowner or renter can install and set up their system on their own without having to rely on a technician.

  • Upfront fees include the cost of the equipment
  • Home automation compatibility
  • Do it yourself installation is the standard but professional installation can be scheduled
  • Cellular alerts and notifications
  • Environmental hazard detection

Differences: Alarm Relay vs SimpliSafe

While SimpliSafe produces its own equipment, and offers professional monitoring through C.O.P.S., Alarm Relay is designed to monitor systems from other companies. It has partnered with Helix security systems to offer equipment for homeowners who don't already have a system in place. The other big difference is their pricing and how they work their payments. While they don't require a contract per se, monitoring services are paid for by the year instead of on a month-to-month basis. Alarm Relay also requires an activation fee and an installation fee if the homeowner wants their system installed professionally.

  • Alarm Relay charges a $35 activation fee
  • SimpliSafe makes all of its own equipment
  • Alarm Relay can take over an existing system (there is a $50 fee for the module)
  • SimpliSafe has a 60-day equipment trial
  • Alarm Relay offers professional installation

Features

In addition to its 24/7 professional monitoring, SimpliSafe offers many features that are designed to provide peace of mind. The mobile app allows the user to access their system from anywhere, at any time. Home automation and environmental hazard sensors are also available. The indoor surveillance cameras and entry/motion sensors add an extra level of protection.

With Alarm Relay, their biggest feature is the module that can be added to an existing home security system. This allows you to use Alarm Relay's award-winning monitoring service to watch over your home, no matter what brand of equipment is in place. If you choose, you can purchase a Helix security system kit and create your own home security system.

Contracts

SimpliSafe is contract free and doesn't require a service agreement.

Alarm Relay does not require a written contract but does demand a year's payment up front. If not canceled, the service will auto-renew itself at the end of the year.

Pricing

SimpliSafe requires its equipment to be purchased upfront. The starter kit costs around $230 with the more expensive kits priced as high as $500 or more. If you want the Standard monitoring plan, you will be charged $14.99 a month. The Interactive Plan will run you $24.99 a month.

Alarm Relay charges $50 for the module to connect to an existing home security system. If you want to purchase a Helix starter kit, it will cost you approximately $300. There is also a $35 activation fee as well as an installation fee if you decide to have a professional install your system. The monthly monitoring fee is approximately $9 a month. To pay for the whole year costs approximately $108.

Equipment

SimpliSafe offers state of the art equipment that has been designed, tested, and produced by Harvard University students. Touchscreen keypads, a base unit, entry sensors, home automation devices, door locks, motion detectors, and indoor video cameras are all available through the company.

Alarm Relay offers the connecting module, while the Helix security system has more traditional devices. These include a key fob, touchscreen keypad, base unit, motion sensors, Z-wave home automation devices and a mobile app.

Installation

Both SimpliSafe and Alarm Relay allow for do it yourself installation and setup, but offer professional installation upon request. There are additional fees for this service.

Emergency Connections

SimpliSafe uses a cellular connection and wireless devices to connect with both the homeowner and emergency personnel. As soon as an alert is triggered, EMS teams and the homeowner will be notified. If the system is self-monitored, it will be up to the homeowner to notify the authorities.

Alarm Relay can use a landline, cellular, or Wi-Fi connection to communicate with homeowners and local authorities. The self-monitoring option will be determined with the type of system that is installed in the home.

Summary: SimpliSafe vs Alarm Relay

SimpliSafe is an affordable home security system for both renters and homeowners who want to have a choice in monitoring, installation, and the various types of equipment they have installed.

Alarm Relay is an ideal choice if you already have a home security system installed and are just looking for a monitoring service. It's very affordable compared to other popular brands.