Home security is important whether you are living in an apartment or a house, and modern home security systems offer a range of features to update you when your home is disturbed. These may include cameras that you can use to monitor your house remotely with your phone or 24/7 monitoring subscriptions so that someone is always keeping tabs on your home's safety.
Home security systems vary in their upfront price and subscription costs for monitoring systems, and the difficulty of installation will vary. Some systems include nothing more than alarms for doorways and windows, while others may include motion-sensing HD cameras, sirens, remote controls, and other features. Finding the right home security system for you means considering the size of your home and what features will offer the most peace-of-mind.
Since it's 2019, you have more options than ever. The traditional options (like ADT or Brinks) are still out there. And now there are more options in the market for those looking to save some money through harnessing technology.
SimpliSafe offers affordable home security system that are easy to set up and discreet in design. They have several packages with varying numbers of safety features, which may include protection against both burglary and disaster. In addition, the 24/7 monitoring system is reasonably priced, and the upfront cost of SimpliSafe is low. Pair this with installation so easy that you can do it yourself in less than an hour and you have one of the most affordable options for home security.
There are drawbacks, of course. SimpliSafe does not have systems as feature-packed as more expensive options, and other smart devices may not be compatible with your SimpliSafe system. For those looking to equip their home with a seamless network of smart devices, this may mean you will want to look elsewhere. But if you need a reliable security system that won't break the bank, SimpliSafe may have a package that meets your budget and your needs.
We tested the SimpliSafe Haven in a variety of environments and found it easy to set up and simple to use. To learn more about our thoughts on SimpliSafe and the types of features available in this modular line of security equipment, continue reading.
SimpliSafe features and options
Whether you are looking for a basic system for preventing burglaries or a more versatile option that covers events like floods and fires, SimpliSafe likely has a system that will meet your needs. Their security systems are modular, with a "hub" at the center of a network of wirelessly connected devices.
The main component in a SimpliSafe system is the hub, or "Base Station." This requires access to an outlet to operate. In addition, the Base Station requires either cellular reception or WiFi, or both, to connect to the monitoring system and receive updates.
Each component of the security system must be placed in an appropriate location within a certain range of the Base Station in order to operate properly. This varies from one component to the next, so be sure to consult the manual for proper placement.
SimpliSafe offers an intimidating number of systems, but they mostly vary in their components and security features. You can opt for a complete setup, or you can build your own -- their products are entirely modular and compatible with one another, so customizing your system is easy.
The Base System is included in every SimpliSafe package -- it's the home base that all peripheral devices will communicate with. This must be placed in a central location off of the floor.
Keypads are included in every package and grant access to only those with the entry code. These can be used to name your devices, allowing you to learn exactly which device is triggered.
Motion sensors have ranges of 30 feet and should be placed off of the ground. These are designed to detect the heat signatures of people but not pets -- though many customers have reported that this is not always the case. Placing your sensors 4 feet off of the ground and away from any objects pets might climb can ensure that you don't get constant notifications triggered by your furry friends.
SimpliCams are designed for indoor use and use motion sensors to record HD video with a 120° angle lens. You can access live or recorded video via the SimpliSafe app. The camera requires a power source.
Glassbreak sensors are designed to recognize the sound of breaking glass and should be placed near windows.
Entry sensors attach to windows and doors and notify you of visitors, wanted or otherwise.
Panic buttons attach to walls and allow you to manually set off the siren system.
Extra sirens supplement the siren in the Base System.
Smoke detectors work like traditional detectors but link with the hub to keep you notified of smoke or fire whether you are home or away via sirens and the SimpliSafe app.
CO detectors work like the smoke detectors, alerting you via sirens and the SimpliSafe app.
Water sensors are installed on the floor to detect flooding and leaks.
Temperature sensors alert you of low-temperature areas to prevent burst pipes, a valuable tool for property managers.
The difficulty of installation is somewhat dependent on how many parts your SimpliSafe system has.
We tested the SimpliSafe Haven and found that setup was quick and easy in a variety of configurations. The modular nature of the system made it easy to connect whichever components we chose, and adding extra components would not be difficult.
We did like that none of the wall-mounted devices require nails. However, it did mean they were more prone to falling off.
4. Monitoring system
SimpliSafe offers two monitoring systems that protect your home in different ways. The standard plan costs $0.50 per day ($15 most months) and includes 24/7 monitoring by the SimpliSafe team to keep you up to date on your home when you can't. The interactive plan costs $0.83 per day and includes a handful of extra features, including integration with the SimpliSafe app and unlimited video recording.
Both plans are optional -- your SimpliSafe system will continue working without a subscription, and you can cancel either contract-free subscription at any time without penalty. This is a good option if you don't worry about your home when you're not there. You can also save hundreds of dollars over time when you compare costs to security systems that both require montioring services and typically charge more than $15 a month. However, your home is most likely to get broken into while you're away - between the hours of 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.
SimpliSafe offers several affordable and accessible home security systems with a decent selection of features, but their systems are not without some issues.
Quick and easy installation
Police are notified if tampering occurs
No commitment subscription services
Not compatible with all smart home devices
Wall mounting devices can be challenging and adhesive can come unstuck from the wall
Loss of WiFi or cellular connection is possible
Customer service can be spotty
Is it worth it?
For the value and the ease-of-use, SimpliSafe is a great option for anyone who is unfamiliar with home security systems. The different packages and modular systems allow you to easily pick and choose which devices are best for your home. If a basic home security system that covers break-ins and disasters meets your needs, then SimpliSafe likely offers a package that will fit your budget. The straightforward installation and no-commitment, low-priced subscription plans further add to the value of SimpliSafe security systems.
SimpliSafe systems are well worth the price, but you may get extra mileage out of a more comprehensive security system.
If you like your home to be as online and connected as possible, SimpliSafe is not the best option. Though SimpliSafe has expanded its compatibility over the years, some smart home devices may not work with SimpliSafe products. In addition, losses of connection are frequent even with compatible devices.
SimpliSafe products are a great option for anyone interested in a no-hassle security system that they don't have to monitor themselves -- though the option is there if you ever want to cancel the subscription.
Peter McPherson is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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