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SimpliSafe Review

Friday, August 12th

2022 DIY Home Security Company Reviews

SimpliSafe Review 3 Star Rating

SimpliSafe

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 is one of a few companies that offers true do-it-yourself home security: both on the installation and on the monitoring. More than one million people in the US and UK have trusted this company for protection since 2006.

Pick a package or design your own

You've got lots of ways to put together your DIY home security system through SimpliSafe. For anyone needing to get protection on a shoestring budget, their Refurbished section can save customers some cash. Otherwise, you can either choose the individual components of your system or simplify with one of five pre-made equipment 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.

Can get professional installation for a fee

SimpliSafe equipment is meant to be easy to install, and most customers have no problem getting everything in place, up and running. But, if you're not confident in your own abilities - or you just want to hand that work off to someone else - you can pay for professional installation starting at $99, depending on your address and how many pieces of equipment are in your system.

Monitoring: four options

Some DIY home security systems give you two choices for monitoring: professional or on-your-own. SimpliSafe ups the ante with not two but four. Your setup can be unmonitored, self-monitored with camera recording, standard or interactive. Each option lets you arm and disarm the system remotely, gives you push notifications, and sends you alerts for alarms, errors and camera activity. And, no matter how many components you include with your SimpliSafe home security system, your monthly monitoring fees will stay the same.

Pay nothing when you choose unmonitored

Whether you're on a budget or you just don't want anyone else "spying" on your property, SimpliSafe's unmonitored option fits the bill. Your only cost is for the equipment itself, but this is a case where "you get what you pay for" is accurate. It's not going to include any kind of dispatch of emergency services or text/email notifications, and your logged timeline will only cover the last seven days. We don't think that most homeowners shopping for a DIY home security system will want to go quite this bare with their monitoring, but it might be a cost-effective choice if you're just trying to keep an eye on a second home or other property that's empty most of the time.

Self-monitoring with cameras: under $10/month

SimpliSafe offers another option for anyone who prefers not to have professional monitoring. For a monthly fee of $9.99, your DIY security system can have up to five video cameras with unlimited recording, no limits on your system's history and timeline, some options for integration of smart home components, and alerts and notifications via all channels (email, text, push). You're still responsible for keeping tabs on all of that, since no one else will be.

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Professional monitoring: two options

If you're shopping for a home security system, you've probably got some kind of professional monitoring in mind. SimpliSafe's 24/7 monitoring can be accessed in two ways: $14.99/month for Standard and $24.99/month for Interactive. What's the difference? The lower-cost service is just the basics of monitoring, but without SMS/email notifications, reminders to arm your system, or smart home integrations. Going up to the Interactive tier gives you all available notifications and services and recording on up to 10 cameras within your security system.

Get a 60-day trial with no contracts

You've got nothing to lose by giving SimpliSafe a try. Every level of monitoring and all equipment come with a 60-day trial, and you can cancel within that time for any reason.

Some noteworthy features

If you choose the Interactive tier of monitoring with SimpliSafe, you'll have access to two features you may not see with other DIY home security systems. We invite you to check out their Visual Verification tool: that's how their professional monitoring service confirms that an alert or alarm is legitimate, which allows them to get first responders dispatched more quickly. Plus, you'll be able to set up Secret Alerts for anywhere in the house - from an entire room to a single drawer or cabinet - and be silently notified when it's been accessed (want to catch your significant other digging into your hidden stash of chocolate? Go for it!)

Reputation isn't trending upward

In the past, SimpliSafe was one of our year-after-year favorites for DIY home security systems. That's why we were so disappointed to see that recent feedback is shockingly poor. Almost all of their five-star ratings are several years old, and more current comments describe difficulties with getting equipment connected to begin with or with getting it repaired while still covered under warranty, missing refunds when accounts are canceled during the 60-day trial, and problems getting adequate responses from SimpliSafe's support team.

Not improved by recent updates

Another issue with SimpliSafe's service relates to the recent implementation of two-factor authentication for all users. Ordinarily that's a big plus for security reasons, but in this case it has made it impossible for more than one person to access the security system remotely when using separate usernames and passwords on the same account. Unless all members of a household log in using the same credentials (which is a security risk in itself), only one person can respond to alerts remotely. Speaking via live chat with a SimpliSafe rep, we learned that there's no target date for a fix on the problem, and they couldn't reassure us that the workaround (namely, letting everyone share a single username and password) wouldn't trigger further issues with their security systems.

Maybe later?

It's hard to completely discount SimpliSafe for DIY home security systems, since they were one of our favorites for so many years running. And yet, with current customers reporting lots of problems and with no solutions on the horizon for some of those, we have no choice but to drop this company in our rankings. We genuinely hope to see them get resolved, enabling us to once again give SimpliSafe a strong recommendation, but for now you should probably stick with the higher-rated providers we evaluated.

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Which Company Offers the Best DIY Home Security Systems?

Across the board, more homeowners are turning to home security systems with do-it-yourself installation. After all, why pay for an expensive professional install and lengthy service contracts when you can choose just the equipment you need and set it up on your own? Then, when it comes time to move, all you have to do is take it down and put it right back up in your new place.

The first thing to decide when choosing a DIY home security system is monitoring: do you also want to do that yourself or would you prefer 24/7 professional care? Most homeowners want to know that someone is on duty round-the-clock and choose to pay for external monitoring, but you've got options if you want to keep an eye on things on your own.

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DIY Home Security Company FAQ

In a word, yes. There are over 2 million break-ins annually in the US, and the biggest deterrent to criminals is a home security system. DIY systems give you an advantage over traditional, professionally-installed security options because you decide exactly what you need, where you want it, and how much you want to spend. No pushy sales appointments or lengthy installs required!
Round-the-clock monitoring is the most critical feature of any home security system, DIY or traditional. Fortunately, that's usually included as standard no matter which provider or package you choose. You'll also want sensors for every exterior door of your apartment or home.
The sky's the limit, and you can go as low- or high-tech as your needs and budget allow. Some of the most popular home security system features include motion detectors, interior and exterior cameras (even with night vision!), smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and flooding sensors.
Sometimes. Typically, DIY home security systems that don't have a contract require you to pay for all of your equipment upfront; you then pay the monthly service fees for as long as you want to use your system. Alternately, you can choose a provider that gives you all of the equipment "for free" , but be prepared to sign a contract for anywhere from 2-5 years.
DIY home security systems can be very affordable - eventually. There's almost always a trade-off: you will usually pay higher monthly premiums if you choose a plan that gives you the equipment at no cost. (In other words, the cost of the sensors and other hardware is built into the monthly fees.) Otherwise, you can pay for your equipment at the outset (think costs from $200 to $1,000+) but your monthly fees will be lower. And, of course, the more high-tech your plan, the more it will cost to service it.
You'll probably be pleasantly surprised with how easy it is to set up your system and get it connected. No matter which company you choose, you'll get step-by-step instructions for installing the hardware and getting it set up with their monitoring system. There are usually videos you can watch and a toll-free customer service number you can use if you get stuck anywhere in the process.
Quite often, your DIY home security system will come with a 30-day trial period, so that you can put it to the test and make sure it functions as expected. But, each company has a different policy as to what happens if you're not satisfied: you could get a full refund if you send the equipment back, or you may only be allowed to break your contract with no money back. It's a good idea to read the terms and conditions very carefully before you sign up with a home security plan.
Yes! That's one of the best parts of these types of home security packages: because you installed it yourself, you can take it down and rearrange it as you wish - or move it to a completely different address. Just don't forget to notify your provider: they'll need your current address in order to send emergency responders to the right location if your system sends an alert.
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Continued from above...

Your next decision relates to your setup. What equipment is necessary to provide the coverage you've got in mind? At a minimum, your DIY home security system will likely include enough door sensors to cover all first-floor entry points and a panel/touchscreen hub for arming and disarming it. Other popular components include indoor and outdoor cameras, video doorbells, and sensors for smoke, fire and carbon monoxide. You may be able to buy your gear a la carte, though some security companies require you to purchase a package and then add on any extra components you need.

Finally, consider your budget. How much can you afford to spend, not just on the equipment but also on the professional monitoring if you so choose? Bear in mind that when you add higher-end features like video cameras with storage, you often have to pay more each month for the service contract.

Now that you have an idea of how you want your DIY home security system to be set up, how can you tell which company you should pick? Here are some criteria you can look for as you make the decision:

  • Value. What will you get for your money? Does the company provide a high level of service for the equipment you install? Are the components well-made?
  • Contracts. Will you have to sign a contract for your security system? Sometimes your equipment costs are rolled into the monitoring price, but then you'll be locked into a term of a year or even longer. What happens if you decide to cancel?
  • Satisfaction Guarantee. What happens if you're unhappy with your system? Can you get your money back? Does the provider offer any kind of trial period?
  • Reputation. What do other homeowners say about their experience with the security system? Was it easy to install? How responsive is the monitoring service when alerts happen? Can you reach a support rep quickly if your system malfunctions? Has the company been rated by the Better Business Bureau?

To help you protect your property and loved ones, TopConsumerReviews.com has evaluated and ranked the most popular DIY home security systems on the market today. We're confident that this information will give you everything you need to choose the most effective coverage at a price you can afford.

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