Simplisafe home security ratings

Editor's Rating

SimpliSafe sells and monitors exclusively wireless home security equipment. Shopping online, their customers choose from five security systems and add à la carte equipment if desired. Each set arrives ready for do-it-yourself installation, which requires no tools and takes less than an hour. SimpliSafe emergency monitoring costs as little as $14.99/month. Examples of SimpliSafe equipment are entryway sensors, infrared motion detectors, glass break sensors and panic buttons.
customer service
4
value
5
equipment
3
features & technology
2
ease of use
5
3.8 overall score
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PROS

Low Monthly Rates
Easy DIY Installation
Award-Winning Monitoring
No Long-Term Contracts
Wireless Equipment
Cellular Alerts
Environmental Disaster Protection
Alarm Works Without Monitoring
60-Day Equipment Trial

CONS

Cameras Not Yet Available
No Home Automation
Proprietary Equipment
Equipment Expense


Overview

Two students at Harvard Business School founded SimpliSafe in response to local residential break-ins in 2006. Before SimpliSafe existed, students and other renters were unable to get home security monitoring because it required agreeing to a long-term contract and/or drilling into walls for equipment installation. The SimpliSafe solution is no-contract monitoring with completely wireless security systems that owners can easily move from one rental to another. Because these systems are flexible and do-it-yourself, they’ve become popular among homeowners too.

SimpliSafe manufactures all equipment used in its security sets. Features include base stations and entry sensors, motion detectors, high-decibel alarms, glass break sensors, smoke detectors and/or panic buttons. Unlike many other DIY alarm systems, those by SimpliSafe continue to function even when mains power is down for days.

Emergency monitoring service is sold separately with month-to-month agreements. Using a cellular or landline connection, a SimpliSafe system can alert operators at C.O.P.S. Monitoring. This award-winning monitoring provider has multiple locations that can field each other’s calls, so SimpliSafe customers can receive rapid emergency assistance even if the nearest monitoring center is compromised.

Customer Service

Reviews of SimpliSafe customer service are positive overall but many customers suggest extending the hours of operation. While SimpliSafe’s emergency operators respond 24 hours/day, the hours for regular customer service from Boston headquarters are 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. EST.

After rapid popularity growth in 2015 SimpliSafe suddenly earned many bad reviews for phone wait times, but in 2016 the company hired additional agents to serve its 300,000 customers.

Since 2013 the company has been accredited by the Better Business Bureau where it has an A+ rating and an average of less than one formal complaint to resolve per month.

Value

SimpliSafe makes it easy to customize home security with various value sets and add-ons. As described below, value sets have different combinations of a base station, wireless keypad, sensors and other equipment. Prices range from about $230 to $499. All SimpliSafe security equipment is under warranty for three years. Skip ahead or read about the sets in order:

  • Starter $230
  • Economy $260
  • Classic $350
  • Master $399
  • Ultimate $499

The five-piece Starter Home Security System costs about $230 online and includes:
1 Base Station
1 Wireless Keypad
1 Keychain Remote
1 Motion Sensor
1 Entry Sensor

The seven-piece Economy Home Security System has additional entry sensors. The set sells for about $260 online and includes:
1 Base Station
1 Wireless Keypad
1 Keychain Remote
1 Motion Sensor
3 Entry Sensors

The nine-piece Classic Home Security System adds fire protection to home security. The full set sells for just under $350 and has the following features:
1 Base Station
1 Wireless Keypad
1 Keychain Remote
1 Motion Sensor
3 Entry Sensors
1 Smoke Detector
1 Extra Siren

The 14-piece Master Home Security System combines fire protection with plenty of intrusion sensors. For just under $450 shoppers get:
1 Base Station
1 Wireless Keypad
1 Keychain Remote
2 Motion Sensors
6 Entry Sensors
1 Smoke Detector
1 Extra Siren

The 16-piece Ultimate Home Security System is normally priced at $499 but sometimes sells for $399 on the SimpliSafe website. Its special features compared with the other sets are a glassbreak sensor and a panic button. The collection includes:
1 Base Station
1 Wireless Keypad
2 Keychain Remotes
3 Motion Sensors
6 Entry Sensors
1 Panic Button
1 Extra Siren (105dB)
1 Glassbreak Sensor

Additional equipment for SimpliSafe is low priced compared with that from competitors, partly because there’s no middleman markup. Entry sensors cost $14.99, motion sensors $29.99 and glass break sensors $34.99. Panic buttons cost just $19.99 each.
No Long-Term Contract

SimpliSafe, unlike most other home security leaders, does not require long-term contracts. Customers pay month-by-month and can cancel emergency monitoring at any time without penalty.

A SimpliSafe security system set, which is paid for up-front, can be returned for a full refund within 60 days. Keep in mind that unmonitored SimpliSafe systems can be useful, potentially calling attention to crime by sounding alarms for four to five minutes.

Equipment

SimpliSafe manufactures its security equipment to help keep costs low. The following options are available, plus the company has cameras under development.

Controls

  • Pushbutton Control Panel
  • Keychain Remote Control

Sensors

  • Door Entry Sensor
  • Window Entry Sensor
  • Glass Break Sensor
  • Motion Detector
  • Carbon Monoxide Detector
  • Smoke Detector
  • Water Leak Sensor
  • Water Freeze Sensor

Features & Technology

SimpliSafe keeps home protection easy with an appealing spectrum of features for security and environmental monitoring. Here are highlights.

Award-Winning Monitoring
SimpliSafe’s optional emergency monitoring is provided by C.O.P.S. Monitoring, winner of the “Best Monitoring in the Industry” distinction from the Central Station Alarm Association. C.O.P.S. uses multiple stations and multiple signal carriers to help ensure rapid emergency dispatching even during natural disasters.

Keychain Remote
Sized to fit a keychain, the SimpliSafe remote controller lets you arm/disarm your security system with the push of a button. It also has a panic button to instantly summon emergency help.

Entry Sensor
SimpliSafe entry sensors can easily be affixed to doors and windows with removable adhesive. An entry sensor can trigger a chime or send an emergency alert.

Glass Break Sensor
SimpliSafe glass break sensors detect the audio waves of breaking glass. These devices provide an extra layer of protection in case door/window sensors aren’t triggered. Glass break alerts can help expedite police response.

Environmental Protection
Going beyond intrusion protection, SimpliSafe set-ups can help prevent or minimize environmental damage to a home by including smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, freeze sensors and water leak sensors.

Ease of Use

SimpliSafe is remarkably easy to use. Its clever design includes a USB drive on the keychain remote, and when plugged into a computer this guides the user through set-up. Installation involves plugging in the base station, placing sensors around your home, and adjusting settings right from your computer. You can see a five-minute video of set-up on the SimpliSafe website.

Summary

SimpliSafe is a relatively young company with admirable success. It developed wireless security with renters in mind, but SimpliSafe has become popular with homeowners too as people remain wary of long-term contracts and a general DIY ethic has gained more traction. Key advantages of SimpliSafe over many other DIY wireless security systems are no-pressure online shopping, battery backup for all equipment, and the option to get 24/7 monitoring using cell radio or a landline. Our favorite SimpliSafe monitoring plan costs just $25/month and includes mobile access.


Simplisafe Home Security

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