SimpliSafe Home Security Review

Simple and affordable home security with plenty of great features

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SecureScore™: 9.2 / 10 This rating is derived from our editorial team's research, hands-on product testing, and customer surveys.
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Recent News: SimpliSafe recently released Under One Roof, a statistics-driven report that examines how Americans perceive home safety and security and how it evolved since the pandemic. The report highlights how people use security systems to check on their loved ones remotely, including their pets, and how people feel about having a home security system set up prior to traveling, among other statistics and insights about home security perception and use.

SimpliSafe started out as a home security solution that caters to renters and apartment dwellers following a rash of burglaries in a Cambridge neighborhood in 2006.1 Now, it has over 4 million users, and it’s easy to see why it has become so popular. It’s refreshingly simple and affordable.

Compared to the original system, the modern iteration of SimpliSafe is certainly new and improved. It features smart home integrations, supports Alexa and Google Assistant, and even offers professional video monitoring. We like this system so much, we’d say confidently it could go toe-to-toe with industry leaders like ADT and Vivint.

Still, SimpliSafe’s simplistic approach to security is enough to give certain folks pause — us included. Will it really be enough to fully protect a home? Well, speculation isn’t going to get us anywhere, so let’s take a look at the results of over 100 hours of rigorous testing.

Senior Editor Andrew Garcia Unboxing the SimpliSafe Base Station

Examining the SimpliSafe Base Station

Before we get too deep into the details, I do want to give you some context. Simply put — see what I did there — SimpliSafe is one of the best home security systems we’ve tested. You’re going to see plenty of reasons why throughout this article, but pay particular attention to the ease of use and the no-hassle installation. At its heart, SimpliSafe has always been a DIY system, and this approach is one of the main reasons I’d also consider it the top security system for renters. Now let’s dive in and see why.

SimpliSafe Pros and Cons

  • Affordable equipment and monitoring
  • No long-term contracts
  • Easy DIY wireless installation
  • 60-day money-back guarantee
  • Three-year equipment warranty
  • Indoor and outdoor cameras
  • Video doorbell options
  • Environmental disaster sensors
  • No-monthly-fee option
  • Integrations With Alexa, Google Assistant, August Locks, and Apple Watch
  • Award-winning company

  • Up-front equipment expenses
  • Control panel is push-button, not touch screen
  • Sensors are slightly larger than average
  • Only one outdoor camera option

SimpliSafe Customer Survey & Reviews

We recently surveyed 20 SimpliSafe users in ten different categories to get a sense of how they liked using these products in their day-to-day lives. Here’s what we found:

Customer Service & Support:
3.9 out of 5
4.0 out of 5
Installation Experience:
4.2 out of 5
Equipment & Technology:
3.8 out of 5
4.0 out of 5
Home Automation:
4.2 out of 5
4.4 out of 5
Mobile App:
4.1 out of 5
Ease of Use:
4.5 out of 5
Overall Satisfaction:
4.0 out of 5

Unboxing and Setup

SimpliSafe Equipment

SimpliSafe Equipment

Purchasing SimpliSafe is about as easy as it gets. There’s no consultation, no time-consuming phone calls, and no pushy sales agents trying to pressure you into equipment and services you don’t need. I just went over to SimpliSafe’s website, selected a package I liked, and hit “check out.” Really, it couldn’t have been … well … simpler.

My purchase was also risk-free since the equipment came with a 60-day return policy. If for any reason I wasn’t satisfied with it, I could return it and get my money back. Note that SimpliSafe even covers the return shipping cost.

Moving on, I went with the SimpliSafe Essentials kit, with a few extra fixin’s like additional sensors. It only took two days for it to be delivered to my doorstep. Here’s what came in the box:

  • Base Station
  • Wireless Keypad
  • 7 Entry Sensors
  • 1 Motion Sensor
  • SimpliCam Indoor Camera
  • Yard Sign & Decals

When buying a SimpliSafe system, our advice is to keep an eye out for any special promotions. There’s one almost any time of the year, and the best place to look is on SimpliSafe’s website itself.

For example, right now SimpliSafe is offering 30 percent off any new system, and they’ll throw in a free indoor camera when you sign up for interactive monitoring, which will only run you about a dollar a day. Also keep in mind everything is going to be free to try for 60 days, which means if you’re not happy with the system after two months, you’ll get all of your money back — including shipping. That should really tell you something about how confident SimpliSafe is in their products.

SimpliSafe Camera Closeup

SimpliSafe Camera Closeup

When the dust settled, I’d spent a grand total of $301.56 for the equipment. I’ve tested enough security systems to know that that’s an affordable price. Most companies charge upwards of $500 for a basic security system. Considering that we got a security camera and seven (seven!) entry sensors in our package, we walked away smiling.

Did You Know? Many alarm companies don’t make their security systems themselves. They get whitebox products from notable manufacturers like GE and Honeywell, and then set up the hardware to work with their monitoring process. SimpliSafe, however, makes their own equipment, and since customers buy directly from the source, they typically enjoy lower costs from SimpliSafe.

That said, I didn’t like that I had to put money down upfront. Even though SimpliSafe offers financing options, the financing windows are short (three, six, or 12 months) compared to security companies that offer financing for up to 60 months. So if you’re looking to keep the upfront cost low, SimpliSafe may not be the best choice.

One of the best things about SimpliSafe, though, is that you can start small and build out your system over time. You can use one of their packages as a foundation — the most basic starts at around $250 before deals and discounts — and you can then purchase whatever else you decide you need on top of that a la carte. You also have the option of building out your own custom kit, as well.

Now back to the SimpliSafe system I purchased. First things first — installation. Actually, there really isn’t much to it. The word “simple” is in the name, so you can expect a fast and easy setup process.

First, plug in the base station. When it powers on, a soft blue light illuminates the base and a female voice says, “Welcome to SimpliSafe.” The silky-smooth robot greeting feels like it comes right out of one of those lucid dream movies.

SimpliSafe Base Station Closeup

SimpliSafe Base Station Closeup

Now, if you’re a Ring Alarm user who’s jumping ship for SimpliSafe, you might get confused at first by the arm/disarm colors being the opposite. That could take a little getting used to (and perhaps a false alarm or two). But hey, at least you’ll get to hear what the siren sounds like.

Next step: The wireless keypad will connect to the base station, and then it’ll walk you through the setup process. One thing I didn’t enjoy as much as the rest of the experience was the navigation on the keypad. It’s a bit unusual, as you have to press on the screen itself to move through the menu. You don’t see this with other brands, especially those that offer touchscreen control panels, so it may take you a bit to warm up to it.

Pro Tip: Since the keypad is wireless, it’s a good idea to take it with you as you mount your entryway sensors. This makes it easy to name each sensor location as you go. You don’t have this luxury when using wired keypads.

You’ll then be asked to choose a ‘Master PIN.’ Make this PIN memorable, as you’ll be using it constantly with the keypad. Then, all that’s left to do is connect to Wi-Fi.

SimpliSafe App - Connecting to Wifi

SimpliSafe App – Connecting to Wifi

The next part might shake you right out of the “futuristic feels.” When you customize device names, you have to go through each and every letter (and digit!) to select the character you want. Remember texting from your Nokia cell phone in 2001? It’s kind of like that, which is odd because touchscreen control panels are now commonplace.

SimpliSafe Wireless Keypad Setup

SimpliSafe Wireless Keypad Setup

If you’ve ever used Apple products, SimpliSafe’s streamlined equipment is going to feel physically familiar.2 It’s a similar story with the software, too. Everything is simple, straightforward and intuitive, but I will say it lacks a certain panache that you usually get with more expensive systems. Now this is by no means a dealbreaker. In fact, I appreciated the simplicity. But if you’d rather feel like you’re launching a space shuttle with your futuristic touch screen panel, you can check out our Vivint review for the best one there is.

FYI: The SimpliSafe setup and configuration only took a few minutes. So far, it’s the easiest and fastest setup I’ve ever done.

SimpliSafe Wireless Keypad Menu

SimpliSafe Wireless Keypad Menu

All that’s left to do, once the keypad is set up, is to mount the sensors. My system came with a bunch of entry sensors and a motion sensor, and they all had adhesive backings so you can just stick them wherever you want. I decided to place an entry sensor on every first-floor door and window, plus one on the bedroom window that is accessible via a second story patio. That way, SimpliSafe can keep burglars and intruders away from all entry points.

Next, I placed the sole motion sensor in the hallway. Instead of using the adhesive, though, I opted to use velcro to mount the equipment. The installation is just as neat, and the velcro makes it easier to take down the sensors in the future without leaving nasty adhesive stains on walls and door or window frames.

And that’s it! You’ll be up and running in 20 minutes flat. With other top DIY home security systems, the setup and installation are tolerable, but can feel like a chore. With SimpliSafe it doesn’t feel like a chore at all. It’s actually kind of fun.

SimpliSafe - Door/Window Sensor

SimpliSafe – Door/Window Sensor

With your system installed, you’ll notice that it’s rather dashing looking. Maybe not the entry sensors (those are a little chunky to be honest), but the base station is a sight to behold. It sits there and just … glows.

In some ways, it even conjures images of “Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark.” It might sound like a stretch, but take a look at it below.

SimpliSafe Base Station at Night

SimpliSafe Base Station at Night

Now before diving into SimpliSafe’s features and what it’s like to actually use the system, you should know about their monitoring plans.

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SimpliSafe Monitoring Plans and Pricing

There are two SimpliSafe monitoring plans: Standard and Interactive. Both plans give you 24/7 professional monitoring, but Interactive unlocks more features, such as basic home automation, cloud video storage, and video verification.

You can activate either plan once the system is set up, but if you’re planning to go with Interactive monitoring, we suggest adding it at checkout. That way, you get to enjoy the 30-day free trial and the percentage-off discount offered by SimpliSafe at the time of your purchase. Right now, for example, there’s a 20-percent discount waiting for those who add Interactive monitoring at checkout.

SimpliSafe Monitoring Plans, Prices and Features

$19.99 Per Month
$29.99 Per Month
App Controls App Controls
Push Notifications Push Notifications
24/7 Professional Monitoring 24/7 Professional Monitoring
No Camera Recording Recording for up to 10 Cameras
No Home Automation Includes Home Automation

Getting a monitoring plan is actually not required. You can get by with just a basic subscription, although that means you’ll monitor the security system yourself. Self-monitoring means you’ll receive alerts and be able to live-stream footage from your cameras, but your security system won’t alert the monitoring center if a break-in happens. As a backup measure, though, the base station’s siren will sound, which is essentially its best crime prevention feature as a self-monitoring system. (When a burglar breaks in, they’ll be met with a blaring siren.)

A self-monitored solution is enough for some, but if it’s not for you, then getting a professional monitoring plan is your best bet. The Standard and Interactive plans both include professional monitoring — the system will alert SimpliSafe’s partner monitoring provider, which will in turn contact you and call the police if necessary.

The more expensive Interactive plan unlocks even more features. It includes cloud storage for up to 10 cameras so you can store recordings, access basic home automation, and even use voice control through Alexa and Google Assistant.

FYI: One important note, however, and one thing I didn’t like about SimpliSafe, is that the system doesn’t work with many smart home devices. Unlike systems that can pair with Z-Wave or Zigbee automation products, SimpliSafe plays with only a few, select third-party brands like Google Nest and August.

You should definitely consider getting a monitoring plan if you’re buying a SimpliSafe system. While the integrated siren is pretty loud and text notifications are sent in real-time, nothing beats the peace of mind of knowing that a team of personnel are on standby 24/7 to assist you in case of a security breach or any other home emergency.

After all, SimpliSafe plans don’t cost that much relative to the industry norm. Professional monitoring starts at $19.99 per month for Standard monitoring, while the more expensive Interactive plan costs $29.99. For reference, alarm companies have been known to charge double that figure to offer most of the same features.

SimpliSafe Instructions - Monitoring

SimpliSafe Instructions – Monitoring

There are no contracts with SimpliSafe either, so you’re not tied to the service unlike with more traditional security systems. You can, for example, opt in when you’re going away on vacation, and then cancel when you get back. All the plans are charged monthly, so you only pay as you go. That said, once you sign up for monitoring, it will renew automatically every month, so if you want to opt out for the next month, you have to cancel manually via the app.

FYI: We wrote a whole guide on the best no-contract home security systems if you want to learn more about how those setups work.

Daily Use and Standout Features

So, what was it that we liked about SimpliSafe that made us decide to keep it? Well, SimpliSafe makes a fine roommate, and it protects your home well. It’s also very easy to use and, besides a few minor hiccups, it’s pretty reliable.

First off, you’ll be able to arm and disarm your alarm using the SimpliSafe app, wireless keypad, or keychain fob. Using the keypad is straightforward. Just touch the keypad anywhere to wake it (pretty neat feature), enter your four-digit PIN, and press “Off,” “Home,” or “Away.”

SimpliSafe Wireless Keypad

SimpliSafe Wireless Keypad

Now, what about false alarms? If you have the Standard or Interactive plan, the monitoring service is trained to respond when your alarm goes off. However, mistakes happen, so there’s a fail-safe built in. If you accidentally trip a sensor and the siren blares, just disarm it right away and the monitoring center will abort the alarm. If you don’t disarm, they’ll assume you may need help, and they’ll call to see what’s going on.

The few times I tested it, the monitoring center contacted me in just 20 seconds on average. As far as response times go, 30 seconds is the industry average, so 20 seconds is pretty fast. Every second counts in emergency situations, and so with response times, SimpliSafe’s monitoring service works great in keeping burglars and thieves at bay.

SimpliSafe has also been improving its emergency response process. For example, with Fast Protect Technology, a feature included in the Interactive plan, you will receive a text alert for every system alarm. You can waive off false alarms or verify the emergency simply by replying to the text alert.

SimpliSafe App - Alert

SimpliSafe App – Alert

The App Experience

If you’re like most people, you tend to use your smartphone for just about everything. Thankfully, SimpliSafe offers an intuitive mobile app that allows you to control your system from pretty much anywhere. A strong app experience is essential these days, and SimpliSafe really delivers here.

SimpliSafe App - Dashboard

SimpliSafe App – Dashboard

FYI: I managed my system with the app about 75 percent of the time. The other 25 percent of the time, I used the keypad.

The SimpliSafe app gets an impressive 4.8 out of 5 stars in the Apple App Store, with nearly 200,000 reviews. And it bats a strong 4.3 out of 5 in the Google Play store. After testing the app inside and out for several days, I rate it 4.5 stars. It’s good, but it’s not that good. I think companies like Vivint and Ring have SimpliSafe beat in the app department. (For more on how SimpliSafe stacks up against Ring, read our SimpliSafe vs. Ring Comparison.)

Downloading SimpliSafe App

Downloading the SimpliSafe App

In the app, you’ll be able to set up custom notifications — sent via push alerts, email, and/or SMS text messages. Getting those instant alerts is extremely important, especially if you forgo professional monitoring and choose to self-monitor, which is why I recommend subscribing to one of their monitoring plans.

Pro Tip: While SimpliSafe gets a lot right with home security, that doesn’t mean things can’t go wrong. Check out these seven home security mistakes you can’t afford to make.

If you have a SimpliCam set up, you’ll also receive a notification with a short video clip every time you enter your home. As you’ll see in a bit, I experienced a bit of a lag with the camera footage, but it was nice to see video recording of our home right in the dashboard. That way, I can decide instantly if the alert warrants a closer look, which makes this simple yet thoughtful feature effective for stopping burglars in their tracks.

SimpliSafe App - Overview

SimpliSafe App – Overview

Overall, the app was easy to use and quite functional. It would just be nice if it had more customization features. As it stands, you’ll have to use the push button keypad to really fine-tune your system.

Other Features and Settings

That cool glowing base station is BRIGHT. Though it’s nice to look at, there are times when the light might be distracting. (I had it set up in the living room, and it nearly blinded me 10 minutes into ”Braveheart.”)

But never fear, the keypad has an on/off switch for the base station light. It also has controls for the siren volume, chime volume, alarm delay, and other handy things.

SimpliSafe Wireless Keypad Menu Options

SimpliSafe Wireless Keypad Menu Options

This functionality is refreshing, as many DIY systems don’t offer it. SimpliSafe is simple, but it’s not lacking much. That said, don’t get the idea that the keypad (or mobile app) is super high-tech; it’s not. It doesn’t stack up to Vivint’s SmartHub or ADT’s touch-screen keypad. But it’ll give you just enough to scratch your ‘features and tech’ itch.

One last thought on additional features: You might want to consider buying an extra siren. If you live in a large home, it’s a good idea to put one near your front door. While burglars can gain entry from pretty much anywhere, believe it or not, most burglars are brazen enough to enter through the front door.34 So a siren in your entryway is a smart idea. Plus, since your front door is likely close to the street, it can alert your neighbors as well. Even a simple siren can serve multiple purposes in driving away intruders.

Expert Examined
From Travis Goodreau, Retired Burglary Detective
“In the event of a burglary, I want my alarm system loud enough for the neighborhood to hear. SimpliSafe offers an additional audible siren which is something I recommend getting. In my experience, I’ve seen burglars caught because the security alarm was so loud that it alerted neighbors who then spotted the burglars fleeing the house.”

Trying Out the SimpliCam

The SimpliCam is SimpliSafe’s indoor security camera with 1080p HD resolution, two-way talk, and instant alerts. It might not be the most advanced camera out there, but it does the job.

To set it up, just plug it into a wall (unfortunately, it’s not wireless) and follow the prompts in the app. Then you just have to name the “property.”

SimpliSafe App - Camera Setup

SimpliSafe App – Camera Setup

Once your SimpliCam is set up, you can open the app and view your live feed. Note that your SimpliCam will record a short clip every time your sensors are tripped or the system’s status changes. It’s a little much, but you can adjust these settings in the app.

SimpliSafe App - Motion Detected

SimpliSafe App – Motion Detected

The only issue I had with the camera was the lag. It lagged behind “real time” by about five seconds, and that’s plenty for security cameras. We’ve found that lowering the resolution helps with the lag, but it doesn’t fix it completely.

The SimpliCam needs a cloud plan to be able to record. That’s another blunder for the camera. While the SimpliSafe system as a whole doesn’t need a monitoring plan to be effective (you can self-monitor it for free), the SimpliCam needs a monthly cloud subscription.

The good news is if you’re planning to use your SimpliSafe system with a professional monitoring plan, cloud recording that covers up to 10 SimpliSafe cameras is included in the Interactive plan ($27.99 per month). The less expensive Standard plan at $17.99 per month, however, doesn’t include cloud recording.

If professional monitoring isn’t your thing, you can purchase a separate cloud plan for your SimpliSafe cameras at $4.99 per month (one camera) or $9.99 per month (up to five cameras).

SimpliSafe Subscription

SimpliSafe Subscription

I did end up liking the SimpliCam. It was a great addition to our perimeter alarm. But as far as cameras go, there are better options. (Check out our guide to the Best Home Security Cameras.)

Pro Tip: SimpliSafe sells glass break sensors, too. Just don’t place yours in the kitchen, as even the sound of glasses knocking together can cause a false alarm. It’s happened to me!

SimpliSafe - Glassbreak Detector

SimpliSafe – Glassbreak Detector

A Few Gripes With SimpliSafe

I’m extremely pleased with the design and performance of the system. But no home security kit is perfect … not even one of our top-rated systems, SimpliSafe.

For instance, SimpliSafe’s bypass feature could use improvement. When arming the system via the app, it doesn’t send up a red flag if you’ve got a window or door open. It just turns the alarm on, with that opening unprotected.

With Ring and other systems, the app will ask if you want to bypass a tripped sensor (i.e., open window or door) before arming. This is important, because you may not know you’ve got something open.

Now, to be fair, the SimpliSafe base station does announce the bypass, but if you’re far away from it, you may not hear it. A two-step “bypass warning” in the app would be a huge improvement.

Another small gripe with SimpliSafe: motion sensor placement. With most systems, you can put these sensors a good seven feet off the ground, even if you own pets that the motion sensors need to ignore. But with SimpliSafe, dog owners have to mount the motion sensor four feet off the ground. That’s about the height of a light switch. Just imagine a chunky little sensor where a light switch should be. It’s a bit awkward. (If you’re a cat owner, you’ll mount it 6 to 10 feet off the ground, which is more in line with the norm.)

SimpliSafe Instruction Guide

SimpliSafe Instruction Guide

Expert Examined
From Travis Goodreau, Retired Burglary Detective
“SimpliSafe now offers a video doorbell for front porch video recording, but I wish they would offer outdoor-graded cameras for the exterior of homes. Well placed outdoor cameras are not only great deterrents, but they can also provide crucial video evidence to help catch a burglar. I’m still waiting on this feature from SimpliSafe.”

It’ll be nice to see SimpliSafe level-up their camera offerings in the months to come. In the meantime, since you can’t just ask intruders to kindly stay off your property, take a look at our guide to the best outdoor security cameras.

And one last thing in the complaints department. SimpliSafe could stand to be a bit “smarter” in some areas. That is, it would be nice to see better smart home integration, even if it made SimpliSafe a little less simple. As it stands, the system does work with Alexa and Google Assistant for voice control, but that’s about it.

Some Unexpected Findings

SimpliSafe Equipment

SimpliSafe Equipment

I did feel protected in my home. And while away, I was confident that SimpliSafe would keep things secure — or at least notify me immediately should a break-in occur.

But for an affordable DIY system, I was most impressed by how conscientious the system seemed. That’s not something one typically says about a machine, but SimpliSafe sort of feels like a friendly little robot in the house.

For instance, the lady robot in the base station says “Alarm Off” in the evening as a friendly reminder to arm the system for the night. A very conscientious thing to do!

FYI: SimpliSafe also warns you when your batteries are running low. The company claims that battery life is approximately one year for the keypad and five years for sensors.

Also, on my third day using the system, I received a software update notification on the keypad. It said it would take about two minutes to update, but it only took four seconds. That’s like pulling a high number at the DMV and then being the very next person to be served.

SimpliSafe Wireless Keypad Update

SimpliSafe Wireless Keypad Update

Needless to say, the user experience is top-notch. SimpliSafe looks and feels like a system should look and feel. It’s sleek and kind of futuristic with intuitive functionality. Sure, it could use a touch-screen panel and an outdoor camera or two — but if you can overlook those minor drawbacks, SimpliSafe brings a lot to the table.

Customer Service Experience

On the first day using SimpliSafe, I actually needed some help from the tech department to get squared away with monitoring. So I called in and spoke with a service agent named Khalil.

Khalil was friendly and professional, and he solved the problem in minutes. He even offered his personal extension for callbacks. I really appreciated this continuity of service. After all, it’s the worst having to explain your situation to one customer service rep, only to have to rehash it five minutes later with a different rep. (We’ve all been there.)

FYI: SimpliSafe also has an FAQ section, a troubleshooting forum, and email support services. You’ll find it all in the SimpliSafe app under ‘Help & Support.’

SimpliSafe App - Support

SimpliSafe App – Support

Environmental Monitoring

If you want extra peace of mind (especially while out of town!), you might want to look into SimpliSafe’s smoke and CO sensors, flood sensors, and freeze sensors. There isn’t anything particularly special here, as most home security companies offer environmental hazard monitoring these days. Still, these are nice options.

SimpliSafe Equipment Packages and Pricing

If you want to protect your home without losing your shirt, SimpliSafe is the best way to go. The company runs deals that start at $160 for a basic setup. But if you’re wanting a more robust system, you can still outfit your home for less than $400-$500. Remember, I purchased the six-piece Essentials kit and added some extra sensors. This secured my 2,800-square-foot home just fine — for a grand total of $301.56.

Pro Tip: Be on the lookout for SimpliSafe’s rolling deals. Last we checked, SimpliSafe was running a deal for 40-percent off new systems and is giving new customers a free SimpliSafe outdoor camera.

SimpliSafe offers seven main equipment packages (see chart below), but you’re by no means limited to just these options. You can build your own kit by starting with the base station and keypad for $184.98 and adding on sensors ($14.99 each) and other goodies like a video camera ($99) or a video doorbell ($169).

SimpliSafe Equipment Packages and Pricing

The Foundation The Essentials The Hearth The Knox The Haven The Lighthouse The Beacon
Regular Price $244 $274 $389 $464 $504 $464 $699
Current Deal: 40% off $146.98 $164.97 $233.95 $278.92 $302.92 $278.96 $419.94
Size 4-Piece 6-Piece 9-Piece 13-Piece 14-Piece 7-Piece 10-Piece
Base Station 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
Keypad 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
Entry Sensor 1 3 3 6 4 3 4
Motion Sensor 1 1 1 2 2 1 2
Smoke Detector N/A N/A 1 1 1 N/A N/A
105 dB Siren N/A N/A 1 1 1 N/A N/A
Key Fob N/A N/A 1 1 1 N/A N/A
Temperature Sensor N/A N/A N/A N/A 1 N/A N/A
Water Sensor N/A N/A N/A N/A 1 N/A N/A
Panic Button N/A N/A N/A N/A 1 N/A N/A
SimpliSafe Outdoor Camera N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 1 2

SimpliSafe Specs and Features Summary

Before we wrap up with our final verdict, here’s a summary of SimpliSafe’s specs and features.


System communication Wi-Fi (primary) and cellular (backup with monitoring plan)
Monitoring type Self-monitoring or professional monitoring
Self-monitoring alerts App, text, email, and siren
Professional monitoring response time 20 seconds
Installation DIY (pro installation optional)
Control panel Base station with wireless keypad
Sensor options Motion, entry, glass break, etc.
Indoor and outdoor cameras Yes
Home coverage 1,200-2,800+ square feet
App compatibility iOS and Android
Warranty 1-year device warranty
Monitoring contract Month-to-month
Professional monitoring cost $19.99 – $29.99
Equipment cost Starting at $244
Equipment financing Available (3, 6, or 12 months)
Release date January 2018 (SimpliSafe Gen 3)

Bottom Line on SimpliSafe

When I set out to test SimpliSafe, I figured I’d miss out on critical features. But that just wasn’t the case. SimpliSafe has pretty much everything you look for in a home security system, minus outdoor cameras and advanced smart home integrations. I also felt safe and secure in my home, which is really the most important thing.

So is SimpliSafe worth it? Well, it certainly doesn’t rank No. 1 on our list by accident! It’s a safe bet, especially if you sign up for the Interactive monitoring plan with app-based controls. And remember, SimpliSafe has been known to throw in a SimpliCam to sweeten the deal. (I scored one for free!)

Although these systems aren’t packed to the gills with high-tech features, SimpliSafe offers stiff competition at an affordable price point. At the end of the day, the system is refreshingly easy to use, with just enough features to keep you happy.

SimpliSafe FAQs

Is SimpliSafe wireless or hardwired?

SimpliSafe systems are 100 percent wireless and easy to install.

Does SimpliSafe require a contract?

No, SimpliSafe is a contract-free home security system.

Does SimpliSafe have outdoor cameras?

Yes. The $169 SimpliSafe Outdoor Camera offers 1080p HD resolution, a 140-degree field of view, color night vision, and digital zoom, all encased in a body that can withstand outdoor elements.

Is SimpliSafe expensive?

Not at all. In fact, we found that SimpliSafe is one of the most affordable systems on the market today.

Can I self-monitor SimpliSafe?

Yes, you can self-monitor a SimpliSafe system. However, your alarm will not send a signal to the monitoring center. If you self-monitor, it’s up to you to call for help if in an emergency situation.

Our Methodology

Our testing process starts with meticulous research about which available security systems meet our standards in terms of features, pricing, and equipment. We then purchase the systems and, depending on the installation process, we either set them up ourselves or have a technician from the companies install them.

We then begin testing its features, app performance, and the hardware itself. We simulate a number of security breach situations (burglary, home invasion, break-in, etc.) to see how well the system protects us. We also test and rate security cameras for how well they monitor for burglars and package thieves, and if professional monitoring service is available, we test its reactiveness as well.

Our team of home security experts typically spend at least a week testing every security system, but it’s not uncommon for us to test a system for over a month. That’s because we want to see not just how the system works, but how well it fits into our daily lives. Home security is a lifestyle, and we want the systems we recommend to our readers to add value and security to their lives.

Citations only uses high-quality sources to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Kirsner, S. (2016, January 3). SimpliSafe’s success awakens sleeping giant. Boston Globe.

  2. Segall, K. (2016, October 28). The key to Apple's success? Keeping it simple – from the man who put the ‘i' in iPhone. Wired.

  3. Iboshi, K. (2019, March 8). We asked 86 burglars how they broke into homes. KGW.

  4. SecurAmerica. (2013, July). Home Burglary Awareness and Prevention.

Written By
Rob Gabriele
Managing Editor & Home Security Expert

As a home security expert and Managing Editor for, Rob Gabriele has written and edited over 1,000 articles related to home security. His expertise is in smart home protection with thousands of hours of testing and research under his belt. Formerly a reporter and producer for the USAToday network, Rob has been a writer and editor for over 10 years. He holds a Master’s of Science with an emphasis on writing from the University of Montana, and he currently lives in Indianapolis, IN.