Expert Rating

SimpliSafe is a home security system that truly lives up to the “simple” part of its name, with a plug and play security solution unlike anything else on the market. But is it possible for a security system to be a little too simple, and run the risk of getting left behind the times? You may also like our Frontpoint Security System Review.

Read on in my SimpliSafe home security system review to find out!


Price: $229.96 (as tested), $24.99 monthly 24/7 monitoring service
Available: Now

Summary: The SimpliSafe home security system doesn’t waste time trying to look good or run with fancy touchscreens, but still performs up to the task of keeping your place safe with a 100% detection rate.

What We Liked

  • Foolproof setup process
  • Nest integration is enabled
  • Performance was solid during break-in scenarios

What We Didn’t

  • Mobile app is missing functionality
  • Design is somewhat dated

SimpliSafe Home Security System Specs

SimpliSafe Home Security System
Activation + Installation FeeN/A
Monthly Fee$24.99
Contract AgreementNone
Equipment Cost (as tested)$229.96
Cellular Connectiongreen-check-mark
Control Panelgreen-check-mark
Motion Detectiongreen-check-mark
Door or Windows Sensorsgreen-check-mark
Smoke, Carbon Monoxide green-check-mark
Mobile App/Remote Accessgreen-check-mark
Home Automationgreen-check-mark
Crash and Smash Techgreen-check-mark
Power Outage Protectiongreen-check-mark
Pet Friendlygreen-check-mark
Take It With Yougreen-check-mark
Installation ProcessDIY
BBB RatingA+
Warranty1 Year
Buy Now

Hardware and Design

SimpliSafe Home Security
SimpliSafe doesn’t have the sleekest system we’ve seen so far, but that’s not always a bad thing

Our review setup of the SimpliSafe home security system included one keypad panel with a digital LCD display, one window/front door sensor, one motion detector, one glass break sensor, one GSM base station, and one USB keychain remote. Your SimpliSafe can be customized all sorts of ways to include dozens of sensors, cameras, and monitors ranging in price from $19.99 to $99 per device.

When it comes to the design of the SimpliSafe system, many of the sensors and monitors look identical to those we found with FrontPoint, LiveWatch, and Link Interactive. The sensors are small, beige, and unassuming enough that you’d be able to hide them in a door jam or in the corner of your front porch window without drawing the unwanted attention of a potential burglar.

If I had to call the aesthetic of the SimpliSafe keypad and base station anything, I’d say they’ve got a bit of a Walgreens style going on, with two primary colors splashed against a plain beige exterior. The choice to go with what I can only refer to as “Hospital Blue” for the buttons only adds to the clinical feel of these devices, one that could have been made for an operating room in the 1990’s instead of alongside the modern interior design of today.

Setup and Installation

From opening the box to the system being fully functional, it only took about 20 minutes system armed and live, which even beats out the recent record holder over at FrontPoint.

This is because every part of the system has already been pre-registered before you opened the box, which means all you need to do is pull the tab from each battery, plug the USB keychain into the base station, and create your online login.

Because the keypad runs on such simple technology (not an Android touchscreen like on other systems we’ve reviewed), all of the details have to be handled ahead of time because there’s no option to change things around after the fact. I like this approach, as it streamlines the DIY aspect just about as far as you could reasonably expect.

Software and Integrations

SimpliSafe Home Security
A simple setup deserves a simple app, right?

Unfortunately one area the SimpliSafe really starts to show its age is in the mobile and web apps. It’s here that you can remotely arm the system, watch the timeline of events, or check images from your camera…but that’s about it.

The software functionality on this system is extremely cut and dry, without any real frills to speak of. One standout option that we haven’t seen until now is the ability to integrate with a Nest Thermostat to link up the keypad and your climate control system. This makes it so whenever you arm your system the Nest will reduce its energy usage, and bring it back up to normal levels once it’s detected that you’re back home.


With such a simple system, comes simple (but effective) performance. During our standard break-in scenario which involved cracking the front door, running up and down the hallway in front of the motion sensor, and clapping from 10ft away of the glass break sensor, the SimpliSafe system registered a 100% detection rate of all activities.

There wasn’t one thing we could throw its way that would cause it to slip up, and every time we tried to dodge the motion sensor or quietly crack the window near the glass break sensor, the alarm would pick it up in perfect timing and send a corresponding alert to our phone.


SimpliSafe Home Security
Buy at the right time and you could save hundreds on your next system

As tested, our SimpliSafe system was $229.96, with a $24.99 monthly 24/7 monitoring service. This was for a system that was extensive enough to handle a one bedroom apartment, though right now SimpliSafe is offering better deals for packages that are made for larger homes that take off a decent chunk of the budget burden.

You can also get cheaper gear if you like by shopping via the “Refurbished” section, which would bring a system similar to the one we tested down to just $188.96 upfront.

Wrap Up

While the SimpliSafe home security system may not be the prettiest or the most feature-rich of the bunch, its solid performance and extremely easy setup make it a good option for anyone who wants to secure their living space on the cheap.

Both the web app and mobile app are positively ancient, so if you’re someone who wants a future-proof option I’d say wait for another software update first, but at prices this low it’s hard to find fault with a system that posted results as consistent and reliable as what we saw during our tests.

Jump back to: Best Home Security System

Related Articles:

Reader Rating0 Votes0
Expert Rating
Bottom Line

Chris Stobing

Chris Stobing is a writer and blogger from the heart of Silicon Valley. Raised around tech from birth, he's had an interest in PC hardware and networking technology for years, and has come to Gadget Review to contribute his knowledge on both.

Related Articles


  1. I bought a refurbished alarm for my mother’s residence. When I got it I drove over about an hour away to install the system. I encountered a problem with one of the entry sensors as they neglected to include the stickum tab so I was unable to affix it to the rear sliding glass patio door. In addition the paper tab that keeps the battery from discharging was missing. So I called SimpliSafe and they apologized and I was under the impression that they were going to send me another entry sensor free of charge for my troubles. I even asked the representative how hard was it for me to include another entry sensor by plugging the key chain device into the computer. After I got off of the phone I played with the original entry sensor and got it to work by rotating the battery repeatedly. I decided to affix this sensors with screws to an interior door since I was getting a new one which I would affix to the rear sliding glass door. When I got the new entry sensor there was a letter telling me to send back the one I had problems with or I would be charged for a new entry sensor. So I’m sending it back and rather upset with SimpliSafe.

    1. Hey Dennis, that’s too bad. That said, they probably wanted to inspect the previous sensor for precautionary purposes as it’s generally a policy such that they can avoid bunk goods on the market. After all, and not to sound too flippant, you probably don’t want a system that would fail in the event of a burgarly in exchange for an additional free sensor :).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Final Score