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SimpliSafe Review

Thursday, December 8th

2022 Alarm System Company Reviews

SimpliSafe Review 3 Star Rating


3 Star Rating
  • "A+" rated and accredited by the BBB
  • 60-day risk-free trial
  • No required contracts
  • DIY installation; professional setup available for a fee
  • Professional monitoring starts at $14.99/month
  • Self-monitoring with camera recording starts at $9.99/month
  • Self-monitoring with no recording is free

SimpliSafe was founded in 2006, and its alarm systems protect more than a million homes throughout the US and UK. This is one of the few home alarm systems on the market that come with options for both professional, round-the-clock monitoring and self-service if you prefer to keep an eye on things yourself without 24/7 external surveillance.

Lots to choose from

SimpliSafe makes it simple to get the equipment you want for the alarm system you have in mind: either customize it from the get-go, shop refurbished systems, or choose from their five packages:

  • The Foundation: if you've only got one entry point to protect, SimpliSafe's Foundation kit might be just enough for you. It comes with one entry sensor, one motion sensor, one keypad and one base station for $171.47.
  • The Essentials: $164.97 gets you a basic set-up with three entry sensors, a keypad, a motion sensor and a base station. This would be a good kit if you live in an apartment building where the smoke and fire detectors are already provided.
  • The Hearth: you'll pay $233.95 for this mid-tier equipment package, which comes with three entry sensors and one each of a smoke detector, wireless siren, base station, motion sensor, keypad and key fob.
  • The Knox: for $278.92, you'll get six entry sensors, two motion sensors, and one each of a keypad, key fob, wireless siren, smoke detector, and base station.
  • The Haven: priced at $353.40, this 14-piece kit comes with four entry sensors, two motion sensors, and one each of a wireless siren, water sensor, smoke detector, temperature sensor, panic button, keypad, key fob, and base station.

Add what you need, including professional install if desired

Not seeing the equipment you need in one of the packages? No problem. You can add extra components without adding to your monitoring costs. These systems are designed to be easy for the average person to set up, but if you want professional help you can choose that for an extra fee (starting at $99).

4 monitoring options

There are four ways you can use your SimpliSafe alarm system: unmonitored, self-monitored with camera recording, standard, or interactive. All four allow you to arm and disarm your system remotely, keep you informed with push notifications, and send you alarm/error/camera alerts.

Unmonitored lets you DIY for free

The Unmonitored service only comes with the cost of the equipment you choose to install. It's a pretty bare-bones option; there's no police or fire dispatch, no SMS or email notifications, and you can only view a 7-day timeline of any events logged. As you might imagine, this plan isn't very popular among consumers who want a halfway-decent home alarm system.

DIY plus cameras for under $10/month

The next tier, Self-Monitoring with Camera Recording, costs $9.99/month. If you want a truly DIY alarm system from install to monitoring, this is your plan. You can view an unlimited timeline/history of your system, you'll get all possible notifications and alerts, unlimited recording on up to five cameras, and it can integrate some smart home components. There's no emergency services dispatch: you essentially are the monitoring center.

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2 professional monitoring packages

To add in professional monitoring, you'll need to choose between the Standard ($14.99/month) and Interactive ($24.99/month) plans. The standard doesn't have a lot of bells and whistles: it's a basic alarm system that has round-the-clock monitoring but no integrations, SMS/email notifications, or arming reminders. Most people who want a well-rounded alarm system setup choose the Interactive, which allows you unlimited recording on up to 10 cameras and all of the other features SimpliSafe makes available.

No contracts, 60-day trial

No matter which plan you choose, you have a 60-day risk-free trial to see if your alarm system meets expectations. Plus, there are no long-term contracts with SimpliSafe; you can cancel at any time.

Features you won't see elsewhere

There are two novel features of SimpliSafe's monitoring that are available with the top-tier package that you might want to consider. One is Visual Verification; it allows SimpliSafe reps to confirm that your alarm is real so that police can be dispatched faster. The other is the Secret Alert: if you've got a cabinet or private area that you want to monitor without setting off an alarm, your SimpliSafe system can do that. You'll get a quiet alert when those places are breached.

Recent updates lead to sharp decline

As we went to check out SimpliSafe's most recent customer feedback, expecting it to be on par with the glowing reports we found in the past, we were surprised and disappointed. One huge detail is that the company had recently pushed two-factor authentication to all of their accounts: ordinarily, that's a good thing, but in SimpliSafe's case they were restricting it to a single username. In other words, unless you allow all of your household users to log in using the same account, only one person can access the system remotely. When we reached out to SimpliSafe's live chat online, the rep confirmed that this is the case - and that they had no projected date when the two-factor authentication would be available for multiple usernames on one alarm system. They also didn't respond to our question as to whether it would be feasible for everyone in a household to log in remotely using the same sign-on.

Reputation not trending upward lately

That lines up with a downward trend we see reflected in other client comments. While the company has thousands of five-star reviews, many of those are several years old; on the other hand, ratings left within a few weeks of this evaluation complain about struggles to get equipment repaired or connected, to get refunds for broken components (or even just during the 60-day free trial), or even just to reach support reps in a timely manner. Not a good look.

Not our favorite right now

While SimpliSafe used to be in a tie for our highest rating, these recent developments leave us wondering if their alarm systems are still a trustworthy choice. Because it's going to take some time to (hopefully) see improvements, we've downgraded SimpliSafe to a "just average" three-star rating and suggest looking at a different service in the meanwhile.

Which Company Offers the Best Alarm Systems?

There are so many options today, from well-known providers that have been around for fifty years or more to brand-new companies selling DIY-installed, wallet-friendly home alarm systems and automation all in one.

You've got plenty of reasons to use an alarm system, whichever route you choose. Not only can they protect you against break-ins while you're away, but they can also give you extra peace of mind if you're one of the millions of Americans who find themselves working from home on a regular basis. Need to know who's at your door before you open it? Many systems will send live video right to your smartphone, letting you decide if you should interrupt that conference call with your team!

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Alarm System Company FAQ

As many as 21 million households in the US use a security alarm system to protect themselves from burglary, home invasions and other crimes. With almost four million burglaries each year, it's important to have round-the-clock monitoring and an immediate emergency response if someone tries to break in.
It doesn't have to be. There are two costs associated with all alarm systems: the equipment and the monitoring service itself. Some companies give you the equipment at no charge as part of your plan, but the monthly fees are often higher to account for the free gear. Other services may require you to pay for your equipment upfront, but your monthly charge will be lower than the competition. Most alarm systems have monthly fees ranging from the low $30s to the upper $50s.
In the past, alarm systems were 100% wired - and yes, they had to be installed by a professional. While there are still a handful of companies that use these types of systems (including a landline to monitor them), most services today use totally wireless technology. In fact, many alarm systems have equipment that you can install yourself in just a few minutes.
The most basic systems include a few door contact sensors and that's about it. Depending on your circumstances, you may want to include wireless motion sensors for the interior or exterior of your home, fire and carbon monoxide detectors, flood sensors or even a panic pendant. The most advanced alarm systems give you options for video recording as well.
You might. If you got your equipment at no cost, chances are you'll be signing a contract of at least three years (ouch). If that doesn't appeal to you, consider an alarm system company where you purchase your equipment outright: they're less likely to require you to sign a contract to use their monitoring service.
You can rest assured that your alarm system provider wants to keep your business, and they'll make it as easy as possible if you move. Whether that includes setting up monitoring at your new address or even doing a full install, they will help you get it done. The easiest systems to move are the ones with do-it-yourself installation: move the equipment when you go, and don't forget to update the alarm company with your location.
Almost certainly. Savings typically range from 2-10%, depending on the type of alarm system you have and your insurer.
Many of today's popular alarm systems come with a 30-day risk-free trial. However, some companies have hefty fees for cancelling a contract prior to the end date, so you'll want to read all of the fine print before you commit to a provider.
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Continued from above...

What are the basics of an alarm system? Most packages come with a few window/door sensors and some kind of control panel. You can still find traditional equipment that includes a wall-installed panel, but most of today's systems have a portable tablet used to arm and disarm it. From there, the options are nearly limitless and can include indoor/outdoor cameras, video doorbells, smoke/fire and carbon monoxide detectors, and many other features to keep you feeling secure.

Beyond safety, alarm systems now give you plenty of choices for home automation. What might have seemed like space-age tech just ten years ago is commonplace: use your smartphone to turn down the thermostat before you get home from work, arm your system with a voice command even when you're already in bed for the evening, or sign into your system from your computer at work to make sure you really did remember to lock the front door (and take care of it if you didn't!).

With so many options, it can feel overwhelming to choose an alarm system. There are several things to keep in mind that can help make the decision clearer and lead you to the package that will meet your needs:

  • Features. What are the most essential components your alarm system needs to have? For most people, that will be the right number of window and door sensors to cover all easily-accessible entry points (such as the first-floor), and a control panel that works best for all occupants. Is there any nice-to-have equipment on your wishlist? That could include indoor video recording/storage, lots of home automation capabilities, and so on. Use your must-have and nice-to-have lists to determine if a provider has what you need.
  • Cost. There are several costs associated with an alarm system. This usually includes the price of the equipment (either upfront or monthly with a contract), monthly monitoring fees, and possibly installation. The company may tell you straight out what you can expect to pay, or you might have to reach out for a quote. Make sure to carefully read all of the terms and conditions before you commit, especially if your home alarm systems provider requires you to sign a contract of a year or more.
  • Service Area. Most home alarm systems companies service all 50 states, but some have limited coverage areas. Before you get too far into your research, check to see if you're eligible to be a customer and, if so, which authorized retailer might be responsible for your installation and service.
  • Reputation. What do clients say about their alarm systems? Is it worth the money? Have they been able to get prompt, professional support when equipment doesn't work properly? It's not uncommon for the larger companies to have thousands of complaints, but that's not cause for concern if they're responding appropriately each time.

TopConsumerReviews.com has evaluated and ranked the best alarm systems available today. We're confident that this information will help you get the right protection to keep you, your loved ones, and your property safe and sound!

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