Rob Gabriele

So you probably know that SimpliSafe is fast becoming one of the best security companies in the industry today — particularly for folks looking for DIY solutions without the burden of long-term contracts. Their systems are affordable, fairly robust, and their monitoring plans offer a lot of flexibility.

How do we know?

Because we spent almost 100 hours testing SimpliSafe in our own home, and believe us — we put the system 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 any 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. They also have a self-monitoring plan with cloud backup for your cameras, in case you want to really do it yourself. Don’t worry, we break it down for you below, along with prices.

SimpliSafe Monitoring Plans & Prices

Monitoring Plans Standard Interactive
Protection Level Basic Intrusion + Environmental Intrusion + Environmental + Home Automation + Video
Connection Type Wi-Fi + Cellular Backup Wi-Fi + Cellular Backup
Contract No Contract No Contract
Price $19.99 per month $29.99 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

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 $19.99 per month, or the whole shebang for $29.99 per month. We could also opt to monitor the system ourselves, but we weren’t really interested in that right now.

If you’re on a tight budget right now — and really, who isn’t right now — 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 $19.99 per month, you’ll get SimpliSafe’s around-the-clock professional monitoring, environmental monitoring, and smartphone access via the SimpliSafe app, but that’s about it. It’s definitely the leaner option of the two. And considering Ring Alarm has a $20 per month monitoring plan — stacked with most of these same features — we think SimpliSafe could lower their price some.

SimpliSafe Standard Plan Features Include:

  • Intrusion protection
  • 24/7 professional monitoring
  • Environmental monitoring
  • Smartphone access
  • 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 off, we really appreciated the visual alarm verification. This will enable the SimpliSafe monitoring team to patch into your live video feed to confirm the validity of a sounding alarm. Of course, to make this feature work you’ll need to purchase a $99 SimpliCam, but in our book that’s money well spent.

If the monitoring team confirms the alarm, they’ll verify it with police dispatch who should be on their way quickly. We’ve seen this feature with Arlo and Ring cameras, too, and we think it’s worth its weight in gold.

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.

Pro Tip: If you’re interested in voice assistants and home automation, you might also be interested in reading about four ways AI can protect your home and family. We’re living in the future, folks.

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 Plan Interactive Plan
24/7 professional monitoring Yes Yes
Built-in cellular technology Yes Yes
Environmental monitoring Yes Yes
Visual alarm verification No Yes
On-demand video recording No Yes
Mobile app with instant alerts Yes Yes
Alexa and Google Assistant compatible No Yes
Price $19.99 per month $29.99 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 $18 to $28 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.