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Wednesday, May 18th
Over a million customers throughout the United States and UK use SimpliSafe for their wireless security systems. Founded in 2006, this provider offers both DIY and professional monitoring as you prefer.
Plenty of choices
You'll have several avenues to choose from when deciding on your equipment here. Want to save money? Check out the Refurbished section. Prefer a 100% custom build? You can absolutely do that. Looking for the simplicity of a package? There are five you can select:
DIY or professional install
Any package can be modified to include components you want - and it won't raise your monthly monitoring fees. While SimpliSafe wireless security systems are made to be easy for the everyday customer to set up, the company offers professional installation for $99 and up, depending on where you live and the number of components in your system.
Four choices for monitoring
SimpliSafe is one of the few wireless security providers that gives you more than two choices for monitoring. Here, you'll choose among unmonitored, self-monitored with camera recording, standard or interactive. They all have the functionality of arming and disarming the system remotely, keeping you up-to-date with push notifications, and sending you alarm, error and camera alerts.
No monthly costs if you monitor it yourself
If you just want a simple way to keep an eye on things at home, DIY style, the Unmonitored option is for you and you'll only pay for the cost of the equipment. There's not a lot included with this option: you'll get no access to dispatch of emergency services, no notifications via email/SMS, and your timeline will only span seven days of logged events. It's pretty obvious that most homeowners looking for a wireless security system aren't going quite this basic, but it might be a good option if you've got a vacation home that's usually unoccupied and you only need the simplest alerts.
Pay less than $10/month for DIY/cameras
SimpliSafe's next tier of service is Self-Monitoring with Camera Recording. Priced at a monthly fee of $9.99, you'll get an unlimited system history/timeline, all available notifications and alerts, unlimited recording on up to five cameras, and some smart home component integrations. If you like the idea of a wireless security system that doesn't include outside surveillance, this might be a good option.
Two options for professional monitoring
Most people want a wireless security system specifically because of the 24/7 monitoring, and this service gives you two choices. Standard is $14.99/month, but you don't get a ton for that investment: yes, it has monitoring but no SMS/email notifications, no arming reminders, and no smart home integrations. That's why SimpliSafe's most popular plan is the Interactive: you get every available notification and service plus unlimited recording on up to 10 cameras, all for a still-affordable $24.99/month.
60-day trial and no contracts
All of SimpliSafe's wireless security systems and monitoring plans come with a 60-day, risk-free trial. You'll also get their service with absolutely no contracts: cancel at any time with no penalty.
SimpliSafe offers two features that we didn't see with any other wireless security system, both available only with the highest tier of monitoring. First, Visual Verification is a tool the provider uses to confirm that any alarms/alerts are real: when your emergency is confirmed, police can be dispatched more quickly. Second, there's the Secret Alert capability: if you want to know if a particular drawer, cabinet, or room of the house has been accessed without letting the intruder know you're aware, you can set up your security system to alert you quietly when those locations have been compromised.
Recent updates are not an improvement
SimpliSafe was one of our preferred wireless security providers for a long time, so we were shocked when we found recent feedback that described significant, pervasive issues with their service. The biggest issue has been the implementation of two-factor authentication on all user accounts: that may seem like a good security move, but in this case it makes it so that only one person can access the security system remotely (unless everyone in the household logs in using the same user account). Imagine getting an alert and not being able to turn it off or respond. We confirmed these details with a SimpliSafe rep via live chat - and even more disappointingly, they confirmed that they had no target date for when multiple usernames could once again access the same system. They also didn't confirm if it would even be possible for everyone in a home to log in remotely with the same username and password, or if it would trigger issues with the security system.
Reputation on the decline recently
Recent updates aside, we're not seeing great feedback from SimpliSafe customers these days. Sure, they've got thousands of five-star ratings, but most of them are years old. The more current comments - left in the weeks just prior to this re-evaluation of the company - describe problems getting equipment repaired under warranty (or even connected at all), struggles to get refunds eligible for the 60-day trial, and difficulties reaching support representatives for help. It's easy to see why this isn't our first-place choice for wireless security systems at the moment.
Wait and see
We don't want to completely disregard SimpliSafe as a wireless security system provider: they earned our highest rating for many consecutive years, after all. However, the changes we discovered in the recent past have meant a downgrade in this provider's ranking. We're hopeful that these problems will get worked out over time; until then, though, you've got more reliable options for your wireless security system.
You may be surprised at the number of wireless security systems offered today. You can choose from popular companies that have been in business for decades to startup carriers marketing do-it-yourself, budget-friendly residential protection and automation.
There are many factors to consider when selecting a wireless security system, whichever solution you pick. There are products that can shield you and your family against burglaries when you're out that can also provide added assurance if you're among numerous Americans who work from home often. Want to see who is knocking at your door? You can get live video on your smartphone or tablet screen so you can choose whether to pause a remote meeting to answer the door!
What matters most when choosing a wireless security system? You'll likely want a few window/door sensors and some type of control panel as a basic option, which most systems tend to have. Some conventional devices still exist that consist of an in-wall panel, however the majority of today's systems have standardized on a touchscreen device of some kind to arm and disarm the security system. Lots of other choices exist, including video doorbells, indoor/outdoor cameras, smoke/fire and carbon monoxide detectors, and lots of other ways to maintain a feeling of security.
Today's systems truly are space-age technology. Just ten years ago, who would have dreamed that they could use a smartphone to raise or lower the temperature on the way home from work? Now you can! Who would have thought they could arm the alarm just by saying a few words while getting ready for bed? It's now possible! Hardly anyone thought they could sign into their system from a computer to check the lock on the front door, and lock it if it wasn't. That's one less thing you have to worry about now.
The task of choosing a wireless security system can be overwhelming when there are so many options. Here is a summary of what to consider when deciding so that you get the perfect system for your needs:
TopConsumerReviews.com has evaluated and ranked the best wireless home security systems available today. We're certain that this detailed review will give you everything you need to know to protect yourself, your loved ones, and your property with an excellent combination of equipment and service.
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