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?
Read on in my SimpliSafe home security system review to find out!
Price: $229.96 (as tested), $24.99 monthly 24/7 monitoring service
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 Fee||N/A|
|Equipment Cost (as tested)||$229.96|
|Door or Windows Sensors|
|Smoke, Carbon Monoxide|
|Mobile App/Remote Access|
|Crash and Smash Tech|
|Power Outage Protection|
|Take It With You|
Hardware and Design
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.
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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
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.
Related: Scout Home Alarm System Review
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.
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.
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.
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