Simplisafe Home Security System review: easy, secure

The Simplisafe Home Security System is not only easy to install and use, but can be expanded to meet most people’s security needs.

Feb 13, 2024 - 06:30
 0  10
Simplisafe Home Security System review: easy, secure

Simplisafe Home Security System: One-minute review

Simplisafe home security systems are pretty well known to be some of the best home security systems. Since its foundation in 2006, the brand has taken a buffet-type approach to home security that makes getting just the right system for you about as easy as pie, though the price can add up as a result.

Of course, there are specific bundles – something I’ll get into below. But, even with the bundles, you can add any peripheral later if you find an area of your home is not fully protected. The reality of adding a device is intuitive, not to mention mostly non-destructive as well. Really, what Simplisafe has to offer is great for most people, especially in apartments, thanks to that ease of installation and use. 

Just be aware that you do need to invest in a subscription with Simplisafe’s system, but the cheapest tier is less than a month of Netflix.

Simplisafe Home Security System: Specs

Simplisafe Home Security System: Price and availability

  •  How much does it cost? Starting at $249.96 / £284.96 (AU$378) 
  •  When is it available? Available now 
  •  Where can you get it? Available in the US and UK 

Simplisafe Security Systems included items

(Image credit: Future)

While Aussies will have to sit this one out unless they can access Simplisafe through a third-party vendor or the cargo hold of an inbound flight, those in the US and UK have quite a smorgasbord of options available, starting with the Foundation bundle, which goes for $249.96 / £284.96 (AU$378). This bundle includes a base station, keypad, entry sensor, motion sensor, and an indoor camera.

The next step up is the Essentials with a price tag of $279.95 / £349.93 (about AU$424). This bundle includes a base station, keypad, three entry sensors, a motion sensor, and an indoor camera. This is the closest to the review unit I received, which also includes a smoke & carbon monoxide (CO) detector (an additional $59.99 / not available in the UK).

From there, the bundles get more expansive with names unique to each territory. For instance, the Beacon is the top bundle in the US at $799 while the Edinburgh is the most expensive one in the UK at £664.87.

Simplisafe Security System keypad

(Image credit: Future)

Just remember that this doesn’t include the subscription packages, of which there are two. A more expensive one at $0.99 / £0.83 a day (about $30 / £25 a month) includes live guard monitoring and emergency service response while the cheaper one at $0.33 / £0.53 a day (or about $10 / £16 a month) just alerts you to any disturbances, leaving you with the duty of calling emergency services. On the bright side, there is no contract.

While the price can add up with additions, it’s pretty reasonable generally. For example, we took a look at Vivint a few years ago, which admittedly adds some smart home automation, and their packages started at $599 with a $39.99/mo subscription.

A better comparison might be Abode with their more a la carte offerings. They also have bundles with the closest one to what’s reviewed here being the iota, which costs $279.99 and doesn’t come with a CO detector. There are various bundles and add-ons so the price tag is not really that big of a difference. However, overall their plans are cheaper, with the self-monitoring plan going for $6.99 a month and a $22.99 per month pro plan similar to Simplisafe’s highest tier. And, you can use Abode’s devices without any plan if you want.

Value: 4.5 / 5

Simplisafe Home Security motion sensor installed

(Image credit: Future)

Simplisafe Home Security System: Design

  •  Sleek and discreet 
  •  Mostly tool-less installation 
  •  Entry sensors can’t be used on door frames with molding 

Simplisafe Security Systems CO detetcor

(Image credit: Future)

Unless you have a very unusual interior color scheme for your home, all the Simplisafe peripherals in their sleek and inoffensive white colorways discreetly fade into the background. The most imposing item is the required base station, which is 21 cm or 8.21 inches tall and needs to be placed somewhat centrally in the home for WiFi access.

The keypad is the next conspicuous item only since it needs to be placed on the wall in an easy-to-reach location. Whenever an alarm is triggered, you have to make it to the keypad within sixty seconds to disarm.

The entry sensors and motion sensor are pretty innocuous as is the indoor wireless camera. The smoke and CO detector looks like most smoke detectors and will need to be placed as such.

Simplisafe Security System entry sensor installed

(Image credit: Future)

Installation, outside of the smoke detector, is tool-less as every peripheral comes with adhesive tape so you can just place them wherever, hold them for thirty seconds, and move on to the next peripheral. The smoke detector is a bit more traditional in that you’ll have to use the included screws to install. Of course, that’s not a big deal and only leaves you with a few holes if you decide to move it.

The entry sensors and the wireless camera also come with screws in case you need them, but I found that I could skip. The only real hindrance with installation is the fact that I couldn’t use the entry sensors on door or window frames with molding as the two ends of the sensors wouldn’t sit flush with each other. While this certainly creates a weak spot, you can overcome this by placing the motion sensor in a way to pick up activity around that particular door or window.

Design: 4.5 / 5

Simplisafe Security System base station setup

(Image credit: Future)

Simplisafe Home Security System: Performance

  •  Using the app to set up is easy 
  •  System is quick to trigger 
  •  Can be used with some smart home ecosystems 

Simplisafe home security system app on an iPhone

(Image credit: Future)

Beyond the physical installation, using the app to connect everything to the base station, not to mention set up the base station, is the height of simplicity. In fact, I was stunned by how easy it was considering the amount of included pieces. I’m embarrassed to say that I procrastinated on this review trying to figure out where to place everything and the amount of work it would take to set up, yet once I actually set everything up, I was basically done in about 20 minutes.

The app gives very specific instructions on how to install each item physically, where to place them (especially placement-sensitive peripherals like the cameras and motion sensor), and how to connect them to the base station, which speaks up every time a new device is connected.

Simplisafe home security system app on an iPhone

(Image credit: Future)

In fact, the base station talks quite a bit. Any time a sensor is triggered or the security system is turned on, you’ll hear an Alexa-like voice. I spent most of the time during testing (once everything was installed or set up) trying to trigger the security system and it was quick to pick up any strange activity whether it’s me opening the door, walking by the motion sensor in the dark, or by the camera when the light is on.

Once triggered, you have to enter a PIN on the keypad or app to disarm, meaning intruders can’t do anything if they don’t know your PIN and either you’ll be notified and/or the police will depending on the subscription plan.

Simplisafe home security system app on an iPhone

(Image credit: Future)

If you’re smart home-savvy, you can also arm the system through Alexa, Google Assistant, or one of the best smartwatches.

A few other interesting tidbits to consider – everything except the base station runs off batteries and only the wireless camera can be recharged. If the base station loses physical power, it does have battery power to continue to keep your home safe until the power has been restored.

Performance: 4.5 / 5

Simplisafe home security system app on an iPhone showing the camera setup

(Image credit: Future)

Should I buy the Simplisafe Home Security System?

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How I tested the Simplisafe Security System

  •  I used the Simplisafe Security System for a week 
  •  I installed the whole system unassisted  
  •  I tested each device individually 

Simplisafe Security System indoor camera

(Image credit: Future)

Not only did I install the Simplisafe security system without help, physically and through the app, but tested each individual device to see how sensitive it was and whether it worked as advertised.

I found that the Simplisafe is perfect for anyone who doesn’t believe in a one-size-fits-all approach to home security and wants something that can scale with their place, whether it’s an apartment or house.

I’ve spent the last few years reviewing tech gear for the home, where I’ve gotten a feel for what to look for and how to put a piece of kit through its paces to see whether it’s worth the recommendation.

First reviewed January 2024