SimpliSafe technically offers self and professional monitoring, but some key features are missing if you don't pay monthly fees.
- Month-to-month plans
- Fast and easy DIY installation
- Reliable professional monitoring
When it comes to choosing a home security system, it can be hard to tell the difference between a trustworthy company and pure marketing. SimpliSafe, one of the newer names in the game, does a ton of advertising, as you’ve probably seen online or even on TV during the 2019 Super Bowl1, but that doesn’t mean it’s sufficient to protect you and your family. This page gives you a ton of objective information about the brand itself, including equipment and monitoring prices and packages and overall value. We also compare SimpliSafe’s pricing and package information to other top security companies in the industry. Let’s get started to see how this all shakes out!
How Does It Compare?
In terms of equipment and monitoring costs, SimpliSafe is at the lower end of the pricing spectrum with professional monitoring and cellular backup costing only $24.99 a month. We’ve seen some more traditional brands range from $40 to $60 a month, as well as require long-term contracts, some as much as five years. In terms of both cost and term length, SimpliSafe is affordable and flexible. While its monitoring costs aren’t the absolute lowest on the market (we’ve seen as little as $9 a month), it’s still very affordable.
Our Favorite Features
- DIY or professional installation through an authorized third-party: SimpliSafe is easy to install even if you’re not a security expert like us. Most of the system is wireless, so sensors are as easy as peel-and-stick. However, we like that professional installation is also an option for just $79, although this will be done by a third party.
- 24/7 professional monitoring and cellular backup available: $24.99 a month will get you professional monitoring, cellular backup, 30 days of cloud storage, smart platform integrations, remote control, notifications, and more.
- Integrations with Alexa and Google Assistant: Those in the Amazon and Google smart home ecosystems will be able to command their SimpliSafe system using the voices alone, although Alexa has a lot more capabilities than Google Assistant.
- Packages range from about $275 to $490: You can also create a customized system, but we recommend buying a package to access savings. As far as pricing goes, SimpliSafe is one of the more affordable companies around in terms of both equipment and monitoring costs.
- Works with Nest thermostats and August smart locks: Users will be able to connect their SimpliSafe components with smart thermostats and locks from Nest and August, respectively, automating their smart homes.
Although you can create a customized system from SimpliSafe, they offer a number of packages that range from around $275 all the way up to about $500. You can also create a custom system from SimpliSafe, but the packages include savings, so we’d recommend checking them out first. However, if you have an apartment or a small house, it may make sense to purchase a base station, entry sensor, and motion sensor. Whatever you choose, we like that SimpliSafe gives its customers so many options.
However, SimpliSafe is missing two key components: a glass break sensor and an outdoor camera. Users will need to use their motion sensor near windows to detect movement from people, and SimpliSafe offers an Outdoor Kit for its indoor camera.
FYI: We recommend looking elsewhere for an outdoor camera, as SimpliSafe’s Outdoor Kit isn’t made for the rain or snow.
The Haven— $489.86
Components: Base station, keypad, key fob, four entry sensors, two motion sensors, auxiliary siren, panic button, freeze sensor, smoke detector, water sensor
The Knox— $449.87
Components: Base station, keypad, key fob, six entry sensors, two motion sensors, auxiliary siren, smoke detector
The Hearth— $374.91
Components: Base station, keypad, key fob, three entry sensors, motion sensor, auxiliary siren, smoke detector
The Essentials— $259.95
Components: Base station, keypad, three entry sensors, motion sensor
The Foundation— $229.96
Components: Base station, keypad, an entry sensor, motion sensor
Refurbished System— $274.94
Components: Base station, keypad, two entry sensors, two motion sensors
If you want to create your own system from scratch, here are the prices:
SimpliSafe Equipment List
To see exactly what we thought of SimpliSafe’s components in practice, read our full SimpliSafe security system review.
Monitoring Options and Pricing
Now we know what you’re thinking. After paying upwards of $500 for equipment, how much is SimpliSafe going to cost you per month? Well, the short answer is, you don’t have to pay any monthly fees with SimpliSafe, and you’ll still be able to live-stream footage from your home. For some people, this may be sufficient, as you’ll be able to contact the police if you see a break-in happening in real-time. However, some people may want to control their systems remotely or to get notified as soon as an alarm goes off. For the rest of us, there are paid plans, which both include 24/7 professional monitoring and cellular backup. Now, what exactly does that mean?
Unlike self-monitoring, where you’ll be responsible for your home’s security, 24/7 professional monitoring means that a team of people will be available at all times to check in if any of your alarms go off and verify if an emergency is happening. If that’s the case, they can contact the proper services for you, be it the police, the fire department or even your local hospital.
Cellular backup, on the other hand, will ensure that your system will stay on even in the event of a power outage. Your best bet is to get 24/7 professional monitoring and cellular backup, although we appreciate that SimpliSafe gives you options. Let’s talk a little bit more about each option.
SimpliSafe Monitoring Breakdown
|Free Plan||Cloud Storage – 1 Camera||Cloud Storage – 2-10 Cameras||Standard Plan||Interactive Plan|
|24/7 Professional Monitoring||x||x||x||✓||✓|
|Video Verified Alarms||x||✓||✓||x||✓|
|30-Days of Cloud Storage||x||✓||✓||x||✓|
|Smart Home Integrations||x||x||x||x||✓|
- Free plan: Just to reiterate, without any monthly fees, you’ll still be able to live-stream footage from your SimpliCam or SimpliSafe Video Doorbell Pro, but otherwise, your system will be a local alarm system only.
- Standard Plan: While the Standard Plan adds on 24/7 professional monitoring, cellular backup, and environmental monitoring, it lacks remote control, notifications and cloud storage, among other features. The cost is $14.99 a month.
- Interactive Plan: The Interactive Plan gives you all of the features of the Standard Plan plus remote control notifications, 30 days of cloud storage, smart home integrations, and secret and video verified alarms. Secret alarms mean that you can set it up so only certain people get notified if an alarm goes off, silencing the base station’s siren. Video verified alarms means that you’ll get a video clip along with your notification if motion or a person is detected. The cost goes up to $24.99 a month.
All of SimpliSafe’s plans are month-to-month, so you won’t have to commit to a long-term contract. This isn’t the case with older security companies like ADT and Vivint, so this is a huge advantage of SimpliSafe.
Did You Know: SimpliSafe isn’t a good option for those that want to self-monitor, as you can’t receive notifications or control your system remotely.
For those that want more cloud storage than the SimpliCam comes with, you are able to buy cloud storage separately, a new feature of SimpliSafe as of this year.
SimpliSafe works with Alexa and Google Assistant, the two most popular voice assistants from Amazon and Google, respectively. Here’s exactly what users can do with each.
Using Alexa, users can arm their security system in either home or away mode, or check the status of their security system. Here are the commands for each:
- Alexa, ask SimpliSafe to arm my system in away mode
- Alexa, tell SimpliSafe I’m going out
- Alexa, tell SimpliSafe I’m leaving
- Alexa, tell SimpliSafe to turn on
- Alexa, ask SimpliSafe to arm my system in home mode.
- Alexa, tell SimpliSafe to lock up.
- Alexa, tell SimpliSafe good night.
- Alexa, tell SimpliSafe I’m going to bed.
- Alexa, ask SimpliSafe if my house is secure
- Alexa, ask SimpliSafe if I am protected
- Alexa, ask SimpliSafe for my current status
- Alexa, ask SimpliSafe what’s shakin’
This skill only works with the latest version of SimpliSafe and users must pay for the Interactive Plan to use it.
Those in the Google smart home ecosystem can have the Google Assistant arm their SimpliSafe security system in either home or away mode, just like the Alexa skill. Users can say either “arm security” or “set security to arm”. Again, this integration is only available with the Interactive Plan2.
Note: Although SimpliSafe works with Alexa and Google Assistant, the Alexa integration is much more robust in terms of capabilities.
Aside from voice assistants, SimpliSafe also works with Nest thermostats3 and August smart locks4, allowing for automated actions. For example, users can have their Nest thermostats automatically turn down or have their locks lock automatically when the system is armed in away mode.
SimpliSafe is one of the more affordable smart home security brands on the market today, but its prices for professional monitoring aren’t the cheapest we’ve seen (that would go to Ring Alarm, which has plans for as little as $10 a month). Still, in terms of both equipment and monitoring, SimpliSafe doesn’t break the bank. However, if you’re looking to self-monitor, Ring is tough to beat, as you’ll still be able to receive notifications and control your system remotely even without paying any monthly fees. But for those that want 24/7 professional monitoring, SimpliSafe might make more sense.
YouTube. (2019). SimpliSafe: “Fear Is Everywhere” – 2019 Super Bowl Commercial. youtube.com/watch?v=XoYHhoRPj7U
SimpliSafe. (2020). Monitoring Plans. simplisafe.com/choose-monitoring2
SimpliSafe. (2020). SimpliSafe Now Works With Nest. simplisafe.com/simplisafe-now-works-with-nest
August. (2020). August Home Integrates with Simplisafe. august.com/pages/simplisafe