SimpliSafe vs Arlo Comparison
Our pick is SimpliSafe! Read below to find out why.
- Month-to-month plans
- Fast and easy DIY installation
- Reliable professional monitoring
- 100% wireless home security cams
- Wide-range of high-quality camera options
- Third-party smart home integration
We compared these wireless home security options side-by-side. Find out which one gets our experts’ vote.
Key Takeaways from Our SimpliSafe vs Arlo Comparison:
- SimpliSafe basic home security can be enjoyed for as low as $14.99/mo. (or free if you ‘self-monitor’)
- SimpliSafe and Arlo are both wireless systems, no landline required
- SimpliSafe does not offer outdoor video or home automation
- Arlo is strictly a camera-based security system, and does not come with entry sensors
- Both companies are relatively new to the market but growing in popularity
These key takeaways are just a sampler of what’s to come in this comparison. There’s more to the story. In fact, this is the most comprehensive SimpliSafe vs Arlo comparison available online. So read on to learn about the key differences and similarities.
SimpliSafe vs Arlo Comparison Overview
Key Differences: SimpliSafe vs Arlo
- SimpliSafe does not offer home automation, while Arlo has advanced automation capabilities
- SimpliSafe has been in business for 10+ years longer than Arlo
- Unlike SimpliSafe, Arlo does not offer professional monitoring
- Unlike Arlo, SimpliSafe does not offer outdoor cameras
- Arlo’s cameras are all-around better than SimpliSafe’s cameras
Key Similarities: SimpliSafe vs Arlo
- Both systems are 100% wireless and easy to install (30 minutes or less)
- SimpliSafe and Arlo both offer no-contract, cancel-anytime home security
- Both companies require upfront equipment fees
- SimpliSafe and Arlo are known to have good customer service
Now let’s dig a little deeper to look at the individual categories to see how SimpliSafe and Arlo compare. Remember, the difference is in the details. So let’s find out how they stack up.
Home Security Categories We Compare:
- Age and Influence
- Features and Technology
- Monitoring Options
- Emergency Connections / Response Times
- Camera Quality
- Home Automation
- Ease of Installation
- Customer Service
- Cost and Value
Age and Influence
SimpliSafe — Flashback to 2006 in a Harvard dorm room. That’s where you’ll find the beginnings of SimpliSafe, a security system originally geared toward dorm-dwellers. The founders had perhaps unwittingly created a future big-league player in the home security space. Today, with hundreds of thousands of customers and loads of momentum in a crowded market, SimpliSafe delivers DIY, no-contract home security that you can hang your hat on.
Arlo — Arlo was founded much more recent. It started in 2014 as a division of NETGEAR, then rebranded as its own entity in 2018. In early 2019, the company had reported nearly 3 million registered users with 11.7 million devices sold. That’s what you call ‘hitting the ground running’. But Arlo is not without its complaints. For all of the traction they’re gaining, the reviews we found suggest they should focus on retaining customers by offering a better product and service.
Age and Influence Category Winner: SimpliSafe
Compared to Arlo, SimpliSafe has been around the block a few times over. The company has way more customers than Arlo. And while SimpliSafe is not yet a household name (like ADT for instance), they certainly have more influence in the market than Arlo does.
Features and Technology
SimpliSafe — SimpliSafe is more advanced than Arlo, pretty much across the board. And that’s saying a lot, as SimpliSafe typically isn’t known for offering the latest bells and whistles. The company offers just enough features and tech for the newbie in home security. Among SimpliSafe’s features are door and window sensors, motion detectors, 24/7 professional monitoring, indoor video (no outdoor video), remote control with keychain fob, enviro monitoring, and of course, easy DIY installation.
Arlo — Unlike SimpliSafe, Arlo is a camera-based system and does not include door and window sensors. However, the high-quality cameras offer crisp and clear imaging, along with infrared night vision, motion alerts, two-way talk, smart home integration, custom activity zones, live-streaming, and more.
Features and Technology Category Winner: SimpliSafe
SimpliSafe takes the crown for all-around more advanced features and tech. Unfortunately, Arlo does not offer whole home protection like SimpliSafe. Arlo’s cameras are great, but the system leaves a lot to be desired.
SimpliSafe — Get 24/7 home protection from the pros. SimpliSafe has two packages, with a mile-long lineup of upgrade packages and add-on equipment. Customers can either purchase the affordable professional monitoring plan, or ‘self-monitor’ and save. All of SimpliSafe’s home security systems are wireless and cellular.
SimpliSafe’s monthly monitoring plans:
- SimpliSafe Standard — Easy DIY installation, 24/7 monitoring, and no contracts. The price is $229.96 upfront, and $14.99/mo. (Includes door & window sensors, etc)
- SimpliSafe Interactive — Includes everything in Standard package, plus SMS and email alerts and remote control capabilities. This plan costs $229.96 upfront, and $24.99/mo. (Includes door & window sensors, etc)
Arlo — Unfortunately, Arlo does not offer 24/7 professional monitoring. But the company does offer a $1.99/mo cloud storage plan. Other monthly video storage options include:
- Basic: Covers five cameras, offers seven days of stored video, and 3-months of basic phone support. The basic plan is free.
- Smart: Offers 30-days of video history, advanced A.I. detection, custom activity zones, and lock screen notifications. The price is $2.99/mo. per camera.
- Smart Premier: Supports up to 10 cameras, offering everything in the ‘Smart’ plan, plus e911 emergency call service. The price is $9.99/mo.
- Smart Elite: Supports up to 20 cameras, offering everything in the ‘Smart Premier’ plan, plus 60-day video history. The price is $14.99/mo. or $149 paid upfront for the year.
Monitoring Options Category Winner: SimpliSafe
You can’t win a category without skin in the game. SimpliSafe offers 24/7 professional monitoring, whereas Arlo only offers ‘video storage’ but no real-time monitoring by emergency monitoring personnel.
Emergency Connections / Response Times
SimpliSafe — SimpliSafe offers wireless, cellular-based home security systems. The system communicates with cell towers to ensure a fast and reliable connection and response. No landline is required, and cellular systems like SimpliSafe are superior to landline-based systems.
Arlo — Arlo is wireless, but since they do not offer monitoring services, the devices do not use cellular technology. With this in mind, there are no ‘response times’ to speak of. Do not expect a response from emergency personnel when an Arlo camera is triggered.
Emergency Connections Category Winner: SimpliSafe
With SimpliSafe, you can guarantee fast response times when you need it most. The company claims a dispatch response time of 9 seconds, but most users receive a call between 15-45 seconds on average.
SimpliSafe — SimpliSafe manufactures its own equipment in-house. This keeps costs low and improves quality control. SimpliSafe’s base package comes with a keypad, a base unit, one door sensor and one window sensor, and a motion detector. Unlike Arlo, SimpliSafe only offers indoor cameras. Of course, this is a major weakness for the company, and something we’d like to see addressed. Their indoor camera is decent quality, but nothing to write home about.
Arlo — Arlo delivers the total surveillance package, with both indoor and outdoor cameras. The cameras are built to last, and are designed to keep “Every Angle Covered,” as the tagline goes. The cameras are 100% wireless and offer easy installation (which we’ll cover shortly). Arlo security cameras also boast a sleek design, with a black and white color scheme, and loads of features to keep watch over your property.
Camera Quality Winner: Arlo
If you’re after a camera-based system, Arlo is your best bet. SimpliSafe’s video capabilities are severely lacking. It is unclear whether or not SimpliSafe plans to add outdoor video cameras to their equipment lineup.
SimpliSafe — Here’s another element of modern systems that SimpliSafe simply doesn’t deliver. While the home security systems do integrate with Alexa, Google Home, and Nest, you only get basic voice control and nothing more. If you’re looking to create or improve upon a smart home ecosystem, SimpliSafe is definitely not the system for you.
Arlo — The Arlo SmartHub allows users to tap into third-party home automation platforms. Arlo also offers something called Ultra 4k Surveillance which is a 3-in-1 surveillance, security, and automation solution. Control smart lights, remotely lock and unlock doors, and much more. Users will also enjoy access to voice control, as Arlo is compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant. All in all, Arlo offers a surprising range of smart home capabilities.
Home Automation Category Winner: Arlo
Arlo Technologies is actually a home automation company that happens to make home security cameras. So it’s easy to see why they excel in this category. On the other hand, SimpliSafe falls abysmally short when it comes to smart home automation.
Ease of Installation
SimpliSafe — The name says it all. These home security systems are up-and-running in just minutes from unboxing. It comes pre-configured from the factory, and only requires a few simple steps to setup. That’s the beauty of DIY. SimpliSafe truly shines when it comes to ease of installation.
Arlo — Much like SimpliSafe, Arlo installation and setup is a cinch. The cameras can be mounted almost anywhere — whether it be walls, roofs, ceilings, and other places. Just set aside 10-30 minutes and you’ll be in business with quality home surveillance.
Ease of Installation Category Winner: Tie
SimpliSafe and Arlo are both simple to set up. You don’t need any handy skills, and you don’t need to drill into walls. There are no wires to get in your way and risk having criminals snip to bypass your system. If you’re looking for easy installation, you can’t go wrong with either brand.
SimpliSafe — SimpliSafe maintains a solid A+ BBB rating. And from what we’ve seen, the majority of customers are happy with the service. However, some express disapproval of longer than average wait times and limited service hours. Overall, SimpliSafe makes the grade when it comes to customer service.
Arlo — You can find help via the Arlo online community of knowledgeable techies. You can also access an FAQ resource page, and their support center chock-full of videos and articles. And if you want more personalized help, hop on Arlo’s live chat and ask away. Finally, even Arlo’s base package includes 90 days of phone support on-the-house.
Customer Service Category Winner: Arlo
While SimpliSafe just ‘makes the grade’, Arlo goes the extra mile to ensure a stellar customer service experience. The company lays out several avenues for customers who have questions, comments, or concerns.
SimpliSafe — SimpliSafe systems are 100% contract fee. No contracts mean you can cancel at any time without penalty. This month-to-month service is attractive to most customers, especially renters. You will have to pay $229.96 upfront for the equipment. Finally, the systems include a 2-month money-back guarantee.
Arlo — Arlo also offers month-to-month, no-contract video storage plans. But if you want access to more than 5 Arlo cameras, or tap into Arlo’s premium features, you’ll have to sign a one-year service agreement. Or you can pay for the full year upfront and skip the contract altogether. Arlo gives options.
Contracts Category Winner: Tie
Both companies offer month-to-month home security. This gives you the flexibility you need if (or when!) you realize the system isn’t for you. Also, if you’re moving into a different living situation, or you simply can’t afford it, having a no contract home security system pays off in dividends.
Cost and Value
SimpliSafe — If you value simplicity and can do without the advanced features offered by companies like Vivint, Frontpoint, and ADT, then SimpliSafe is the home security system for you. Basic security and 24/7 professional monitoring can be yours for just $229.96 upfront, and $14.99/mo. That’s one of the lowest prices in the industry, and an incredible value. If SimpliSafe did offer outdoor video and home automation, the company would be hard to beat.
Arlo — If you’re strictly looking for a camera-based system with smart home automation, then Arlo is a safe bet. But if you want even basic entryway protection (via door and window sensors), then you should pass on Arlo. The truth is, for the price you pay for the cameras ($120 for the base camera, $79.99 for the base station, and upwards of $400 for premium devices), you could get outfitted with a complete home security solution. In other words, Arlo isn’t cheap, and the ‘bang-for-your-buck’ factor just isn’t there.
Cost and Value Category Winner: SimpliSafe
With SimpliSafe, you can safeguard your home with a complete DIY set up starting in the mid $200’s. If you’re willing to spring for the premium packages and add-ons, you can customize your system to your heart’s content. Overall, SimpliSafe delivers tremendous value for the equipment and service you get. This is a go-to system for those who desire fast setup, no contracts, and basic (but solid) home security.
By now you should know these two home security solutions inside and out. They each serve a slightly different purpose when it comes to home protection, and both help to secure your home from break-ins and theft. But there can only be one winner. See below for an at-a-glance breakdown of the category winners.
- Age and Influence: Winner – SimpliSafe
- Features and Technology: Winner – SimpliSafe
- Monitoring Options: Winner – SimpliSafe
- Emergency Connections: Winner – SimpliSafe
- Camera Quality: Winner – Arlo
- Home Automation: Winner – Arlo
- Ease of Installation: Winner – Tie
- Customer Service: Winner – Arlo
- Contracts: Winner – Tie
- Cost and Value: Winner – SimpliSafe
Overall Winner – SimpliSafe
The Bottom Line
SimpliSafe and Arlo are two up-and-coming DIY home security systems. But they really are complete opposites. SimpliSafe offers total home protection with door and window sensors, motion detectors, etc. And Arlo is a camera-based system that offers indoor and outdoor surveillance, without entryway sensors.
So go with SimpliSafe if you want easy DIY setup and basic home security. SimpliSafe doesn’t offer outdoor cameras or home automation. It really is a lean, nimble, and incredibly affordable home security setup. With SimpliSafe, you can protect your home and family for as low as $14.99/mo. Or better yet, purchase the equipment and ‘self-monitor’ your home and don’t pay a dime on a monthly basis.
Or choose Arlo if you want quality video surveillance inside and outside your home. This can be pricey, but Arlo makes quality products that are built to last. Also, you’ll enjoy a growing list of home automation capabilities and features with Arlo. And if you can forego the fancy video storage options, you’ll be paying as little as $2 monthly. That’s a deal in our book.
Before we end this review, let's look at some of the most frequently asked questions about SimpliSafe and Arlo.
Which is better, Arlo or SimpliSafe?
SimpliSafe is better than Arlo overall. Although Arlo is one of the leading security camera brands today, SimpliSafe’s systems are more well-rounded in terms of equipment. SimpliSafe offers security systems complete with intrusion sensors, environmental safety sensors, indoor security cameras, and video doorbells. On top of that, SimpliSafe offers professional monitoring, so even if you can’t take action yourself, SimpliSafe can call for help on your behalf during emergencies. On the other hand, Arlo focuses only on wireless and battery-powered security cameras, video and audio doorbells, cloud storage, and artificial intelligence like person and package detection. While that’s great on Arlo’s part, it’s not enough to match the level of security that SimpliSafe systems provide, with no products other than cameras and video doorbells and self-monitoring only.
Are Arlo security cameras better than SimpliSafe's security cameras?
Yes, Arlo security cameras are better than SimpliSafe’s security cameras. For one, Arlo provides more device options. There’s the popular line of Arlo’s battery-powered security cameras like the Arlo Pro 3 and Arlo Ultra, the Arlo Essential, Arlo Q, and Q Plus indoor cameras, the LTE-enabled Arlo Go, the Arlo Video Doorbell, and the Arlo baby monitor. Arlo also invested in making its security cameras smarter. For as low as $2.99 per month, Arlo cameras can gain artificial intelligence that will enable them to distinguish people from vehicles, animals, and packages. And lastly, most Arlo cameras come with a seven-day free cloud storage. Next to those features, SimpliSafe’s two-camera lineup consists of an indoor camera and a video doorbell with no artificial intelligence or free cloud storage, which pales in comparison to Arlo.
How much does SimpliSafe cost a month?
SimpliSafe costs $0 a month if you choose to self-monitor only. With the free plan, the system will monitor your home for intrusion, fire, gas, and other threats, but it won’t send you alerts of any sorts or notify the monitoring center. Instead, it will only sound the base station’s siren. If you want your system to notify you and SimpliSafe’s monitoring center in case of emergencies, also known as professional monitoring, you need to upgrade to the $14.99 per month Standard plan or the $24.99 Interactive plan.
Free Standard Interactive Price per month $0 $14.99 $24.99 Professional monitoring X ✓ ✓ Cellular communication X ✓ ✓ Alert notifications Base station siren and auxiliary sirens SMS and email alerts SMS, email, and SimpliSafe app push notifications Smartphone control X X ✓ Smart platform integration X X Alexa, Google Assistant, August, and Philips Hue 30-day cloud storage for cameras X X ✓
Does SimpliSafe offer security cameras?
Yes, SimpliSafe offers security cameras. For indoor video monitoring, there’s the 720p HD SimpliCam. This $99 camera is capable of live streaming to your smartphone and recording on-demand and motion-based clips. Although the SimpliCam is for indoor use only, SimpliSafe sells a $19.99 Outdoor Kit that can turn the SimpliCam into an outdoor camera using a weatherized case. For your front door monitoring needs, there’s the $169 SimpliSafe Video Doorbell Pro. This video doorbell sends alerts when someone presses the doorbell button, allowing you to have a conversation with your guests via the SimpliSafe smartphone app. Both cameras can store recorded clips in the cloud, but only with a cloud recording plan or the Interactive plan.
Features SimpliCam SimpliSafe Video Doorbell Pro Price $99 $169 Video resolution 720p HD 1080p HD with HDR Viewing angle 120 degrees 162 degrees Night vision Infrared Infrared Audio Two-way audio Two-way audio Motion detection PIR motion sensor PIR motion sensor Power requirement AC power Hardwired over existing doorbell setups Cloud storage 30-day cloud storage included in the Interactive plan, $4.99/month 1-camera plan, or $9.99/month 10-camera plan 30-day cloud storage included in the Interactive plan, $4.99/month 1-camera plan, or $9.99/month 10-camera plan