Travis Goodreauhttps://www.safehome.org/security-advisors/travis-goodreau/

You might know that SimpliSafe is fast-becoming a favorite among folks looking to protect their homes. These DIY systems are surprisingly affordable — from the equipment to the monitoring. How do we know? We spent nearly 100 hours testing SimpliSafe in our own home, and trust us, we put the Interactive monitoring plan to work.

SimpliSafe Equipment

SimpliSafe Equipment

There are two monitoring plans to choose from, which makes sense because SimpliSafe likes to keep things… well… simple. And thankfully, you won’t have to sign a contract on either of these month-to-month plans. So we really appreciated the flexibility offered here.

The response-time wasn’t exactly lightning fast, and we think the home automation features could be expanded, but overall we’re impressed with how SimpliSafe watched over our home. And we were really happy with the mobile app features and user-friendliness, especially for the price. So hang tight, as we’re sharing all about SimpliSafe monitoring, the good and the bad!

A Snapshot of SimpliSafe Monitoring Plans

Much like the other DIY home security systems out there, SimpliSafe has a basic plan for intrusion protection, as well as a premium plan with intrusion protection plus video support and home automation. Don’t worry, we break it down for you below, along with prices for both options.

SimpliSafe Monitoring Plans & Prices

Monitoring PlansStandardInteractive
Protection LevelBasic Intrusion + EnvironmentalIntrusion + Environmental + Home Automation + Video
Connection TypeWi-Fi + Cellular BackupWi-Fi + Cellular Backup
ContractNo ContractNo Contract
Price$14.99 per month$24.99 per month

As mentioned, we went with the Interactive plan because we wanted mobile app-based controls. Being able to arm and disarm our system using our smartphones, from pretty much anywhere, is a must-have feature for us. And the basic Standard plan doesn’t offer this, so we figured an extra $10 per month for the Interactive plan was worth it to get SimpliSafe’s app, along with other great features that we’ll highlight next.

24/7 Professional Monitoring

SimpliSafe’s 24/7 professional monitoring is fairly standard. Your system will connect to your Wi-Fi network, which is how it communicates with the monitoring center should a break-in occur. Note that it also uses T-Mobile and Verizon cellular technology for backup in case your Wi-Fi goes out.

The few times that we tested our SimpliSafe siren, the monitoring center was on the line with us within 20-30 seconds from the alarm sounding. Not bad! While this isn’t ultra-fast, we think it’s plenty fast enough and falls right in line with the industry standard for response times. But if you’re really looking for lightning-fast emergency response, we recommend checking out Vivint.

What’s Included With Each Plan

You won’t have to worry about option overload with SimpliSafe. They make it easy to choose between their plans. When we signed up, we had the choice between basic home security for $15 per month, or the whole shebang for $25 per month.

If you’re on a tight budget right now (and really, who isn’t?), the Standard plan might be the way to go. But if you can swing it, the Interactive plan comes with extra features like a mobile app, video recording, voice control capabilities, and other smart home integrations we think you’ll like. In our opinion, the Interactive plan is worth springing for. But let’s check out the features of both options before we put the cart before the ol' horse.

SimpliSafe Standard

If you choose the Standard plan at $14.99 per month, you’ll get SimpliSafe’s around-the-clock professional monitoring, environmental monitoring, and that’s about it. It’s definitely the leaner option of the two. And considering Ring Alarm has a $10 per month monitoring plan — stacked with most of these same features — we think SimpliSafe could lower their price some. It’s almost as if they don’t want people to buy the base plan, and instead upgrade to the Interactive subscription. Pretty clever.

SimpliSafe Standard Plan Features Include:

  • Intrusion protection
  • 24/7 professional monitoring
  • Environmental monitoring
  • Nationwide cellular connection

It’s worth mentioning that SimpliSafe’s environmental monitoring can detect smoke, heat, water/floods, and frozen pipes. But note that you’ll have to buy these sensors separately. The devices are pretty affordable, but it’s another cost to consider if you want the added layer of home protection. We’ve found that environmental monitoring is a standard offer these days — even with DIY home security systems.

Now let’s get into the meat and potatoes of SimpliSafe monitoring, the Interactive plan.

SimpliSafe Interactive

As mentioned, we went with the Interactive plan. It comes with everything in the Standard option, plus some great extras that we’ll highlight below. If you want to dig even deeper, we recommend checking out our full hands-on experience with SimpliSafe's Interactive plan here.

SimpliSafe Interactive Features Include:

  • Intrusion protection
  • 24/7 professional monitoring
  • Environmental monitoring
  • Nationwide cellular connection
  • Unlimited camera recording
  • Alarm verification for priority dispatch (SimpliCam required)
  • SimpliSafe app with mobile alerts
  • Remote arming and disarming
  • Alexa and Google Assistant voice control
  • Some smart home automation integrations

If you’re new to the world of home security, you might be foggy on what “alarm verification” or “voice control” means. So let’s unpack these features before moving on.

First, we appreciate the visual alarm verification, which enables the SimpliSafe monitoring team to tap into your live video feed while your alarm is going off. Of course, you’ll have to buy the $99 SimpliCam to access this feature, but if your home is targeted by burglars, it could pay for itself 10x over. If the monitoring team sees a threat, they will “verify” it with police dispatch, and the police should arrive in a jiffy. We’ve seen this feature with Arlo and Ring cameras, too. Money well spent.

SimpliCam and Base Station

SimpliCam and Base Station

Next, if you have an Amazon Alexa device, or products in the Google Home or Apple HomeKit ecosystems, you can access voice control to manage SimpliSafe hands-free. Trust us, it’s more than a party trick. We used it with Amazon Echo — and it was as simple as saying “Alexa, ask SimpliSafe to arm my system in away mode,” or if we wanted the status of our system we’d say “Alexa, ask SimpliSafe what's shakin'.” And this is just scratching the surface of the SimpliSafe custom skill feature with Alexa. You just don’t get this with the Standard plan. Again, money well spent.

The other main reason we chose the Interactive plan was to get the SimpliSafe app. Honestly, we refuse to go without smartphone controls. It puts our security system in our pocket, allowing us to check our system’s status while away, arm our home from the office, and even remotely view the live feed of our SimpliCam camera (is the pup behaving?). We also appreciated the instant activity notifications sent to our smartphone.

We found SimpliSafe’s app to be well-designed and intuitive, we just wish it were free. Some other DIY security brands offer their apps free of charge, but with SimpliSafe you have to purchase their premium plan to get it. Not a dealbreaker, but something to keep in mind.

Check out the chart below to see the different plans side-by-side. We think this illustrates how much better of a deal the Interactive plan is compared to the Standard plan.

SimpliSafe Plan Features

Standard PlanInteractive Plan
24/7 professional monitoringYesYes
Built-in cellular technologyYesYes
Environmental monitoringYesYes
Visual alarm verificationNoYes
On-demand video recordingNoYes
Mobile app with instant alertsNoYes
Alexa and Google Assistant compatibleNoYes
Price$14.99 per month$24.99 per month

Self Monitoring with SimpliSafe

Bear in mind that you have a third option. You could “self monitor” your home and skip the monthly fee altogether. If you go this route, the burden is on you to call the police if (or when!) an emergency or break-in happens. In our opinion, that’s a beast of a burden. So we think it’s worth $15 to $25 per month for the peace of mind of knowing you’re connected to SimpliSafe’s monitoring center in case a crisis occurs. But hey… to each their own! The choice is yours.

Which SimpliSafe Plan is Best?

Our short answer is: the Interactive plan. You’ll simply get more ‘bang for your buck' compared to the base plan. With that said, you might not care about staple features like smartphone controls, video support, and home automation. If that’s you, then the Standard plan will do the trick and should keep you and your family safe and secure. Honestly, both plans are pretty reasonably priced, so you really can’t go wrong.

The Big Takeaway

Using SimpliSafe in our home, we were glad to have chosen their premium subscription. It provided us with 24/7 protection from break-ins and environmental threats like fires and floods (you have to watch those washing machines!). But it went beyond monitoring, offering convenient app-based controls and video support, too. And let’s not forget that SimpliSafe plays well with Alexa and Google Assistant — that is, if you’re willing to spring for the Interactive subscription.

SimpliSafe Equipment (Boxed)

SimpliSafe Equipment (Boxed)

Compared to other monitoring plans we’ve tried, SimpliSafe really impressed us with all-around value. Our only gripe was that we wished it had better smart home automation options, and an outdoor camera would be nice. But if you can overlook these minor drawbacks, we think you’ll be happy with SimpliSafe’s affordable plans. They’ll protect your home day and night, and they’ll do it with a dash of style.