SimpliSafe Residence Safety Evaluation: Nonetheless a High DIY Selection




SimpliSafe Residence Safety


  • Simple to put in and function

  • Nice customizability

Do not like

  • Restricted sensible house integrations

Product particulars

  • Set up

    DIY set up

  • Contract Required


  • Voice Assistant

    Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant

  • Further Charges

    24/7 skilled monitoring price, storage price

  • Service Bundles


Is SimpliSafe a very good purchase in 2023?

The house safety class continues to be a aggressive mixture of professionally put in companies and DIY choices. Amongst them, SimpliSafe takes a hybrid method with units which can be simple to arrange and set up your self mixed with the choice of 24/7 skilled monitoring. It is nonetheless a comparatively good worth, notably when put next with established names like Vivint and ADT, which might value a whole bunch and even 1000’s extra for a full-home setup.

SimpliSafe’s choices have not modified a lot for the reason that final time we examined the system within the fall of 2021. You may discover the identical mixture of sensors, cameras and different tools as you construct out your system, and for essentially the most half, costs have held regular in recent times. That stated, the price of 24/7 monitoring, which was once accessible for $18 a month once we first examined it, has risen to $30 a month (you can even monitor issues your self with limitless storage for motion-activated digital camera clips for $10 a month). In the meantime, the price of non-obligatory skilled set up (which SimpliSafe says 97% of shoppers skip) has risen from $99 to $125. 

SimpliSafe provides three monitoring plans for 2023. Probably the most complete one is a full-featured interactive plan with 24/7 reside monitoring and different options like a mobile backup on your system that prices about $30 per thirty days. 

SimpliSafe/Screenshot by CNET

There’s additionally a wise wi-fi indoor digital camera that guarantees to permit SimpliSafe’s monitoring facilities to speak with anybody they see on digital camera by way of two-way speak, and has a built-in movement sensor. The digital camera is $140, which is $40 greater than the usual wired digital camera. 

Present rivals, together with Ring, Wyze, Abode, Arlo and others, have labored to muscle their manner into the DIY safety market in recent times, so it is value procuring round to search out the finest safety digital camera by itself. Nonetheless, as one of the well-rounded techniques available on the market — and one that does not require you to name a salesman to listen to what it will value to arrange — SimpliSafe is a pretty and easy choice for house safety consumers in 2023. 

Our full evaluation, initially revealed in September 2021 and up to date in November 2023 to replicate latest pricing modifications, continues under.



SimpliSafe Residence Safety has fairly a monitor report. It received a CNET Editors’ Selection Award again in 2014 after exploding onto the still-burgeoning DIY house safety scene. Then in 2018, when the third-gen system launched, it impressed us once more — and it is remained considered one of our high DIY house safety picks ever since (solely Amazon’s Ring Alarm Professional system has bested its rating).

SimpliSafe’s house safety packages begin at $245, technically talking, however you possibly can nearly all the time discover them at steep reductions on the corporate’s website. On the time of at the moment’s replace to this evaluation, for example, the essential package deal solely prices $196 and essentially the most beneficiant one (which incorporates two out of doors safety cameras along with the bottom station, two movement detectors and 4 entry sensors) prices $560. I am going to do a extra thorough breakdown of the costs in contrast with rivals later within the evaluation, however suffice it to say, it is a stable deal.

The system is simply as succesful as earlier than, too. It really works reliably, the units on provide cowl every part you’d want, and you’ll bag 24/7 skilled monitoring alongside your native alarm for $30 a month. That is a steep enhance from earlier monitoring plans, which solely value $18 a month, however SimpliSafe lessens the sting by bundling in enticing options like a mobile backup on your system at no further value.

In brief, SimpliSafe continues to be implausible — even when it isn’t fairly as dominant a worth because it as soon as was.

Getting began

We have examined SimpliSafe quite a lot of occasions, however our newest take a look at, in August and September of 2021, was of a package deal that totaled about $827 — or $630 if I opted for a free two-week trial of the 24/7 skilled monitoring service. Sure, the corporate incentivizes signing up for a month-to-month subscription.

A part of SimpliSafe Residence Safety’s enchantment is which you could additionally construct your personal customized system with the precise sensors that make sense on your residing area. To take action, you will begin with the necessary base station and keypad, which collectively now value $80, down from $185, then add further units a la carte. This is the total menu, plus what I paid:


The $169 video doorbell is bought individually out of your safety package deal, oddly sufficient — which introduced my complete, with the promotion, to $630.

Screenshot by David Priest/CNET

Housebreaking sensors

  • Entry sensor: $15
  • Movement sensor: $30
  • Wi-fi Out of doors Digicam: $190
  • Wi-fi Indoor Digicam: $140
  • Wired Indoor Digicam: $99
  • SimpliSafe Video Doorbell Professional: $169
  • Glass break sensor: $35
  • Panic button: $20

Hazard sensors

  • Smoke and Carbon monoxide sensor: $60
  • Smoke Detector: $35
  • Temperature Sensor: $30
  • Water Sensor: $20


  • Keypad: $70
  • Key fob: $25
  • Siren: $60
  • Yard signal: $4

I used three entry sensors, one movement sensor, considered one of every digital camera, together with a glass break sensor, leak detector (now referred to as a water sensor), freeze detector (now referred to as a temperature sensor), panic button and key fob. The one greatest think about my complete value was the three cameras — with out them, my complete with a subscription would’ve ended up at $272 (extra on the cameras later).

In the case of the sensors, SimpliSafe’s pricing is properly positioned: It isn’t as low-cost as Wyze’s Monitoring system, the place movement and leak sensors are each $9 every, and entry sensors are $24 for 3. But it surely’s constantly cheaper than, say, Abode’s comparable units (Abode’s entry sensors, for instance, are $40 every, although you will get them at a major low cost by catching a sale or getting a six-pack).

Although SimpliSafe’s units value a bit greater than Wyze’s business low, they really feel far more stable, they usually look higher, too. In my time with SimpliSafe, all of the sensors carried out as anticipated.

As soon as your system arrives, it is as much as you to put in it your self. SimpliSafe made this actually, very easy. Every sensor comes with a preapplied sticky tab on its removable backs. Simply peel and stick — no wiring crucial. If it is advisable transfer one thing, the sensors detach from their backings, exposing the sticky tabs for simple removing that will not injury your partitions. The one factor you will have to plug in is the bottom station.

That stated, SimpliSafe does provide skilled setup assist for $125 if you happen to want it, but in addition says 97% of its clients set their techniques up themselves.

Along with your sensors in place, you will put the keypad into pairing mode, then pair every part up by urgent a button on every sensor, then giving it a reputation on the keypad. From there, you may make any last tweaks to the system settings by logging in to SimpliSafe’s net portal, or by utilizing the SimpliSafe app. The entire course of took me lower than an hour; it isn’t fairly so simple as with Abode (the place all of the units got here already paired), nevertheless it’s about as painless as self-installs can get.

SimpliSafe fees $30 a month for the interactive plan, which incorporates 24/7 skilled monitoring alongside different options just like the mobile backup, alarm texts and video alarm verification. The opposite choice is to watch your system your self with a $10 month-to-month plan that features limitless storage of motion-activated digital camera clips for as much as 5 cameras. Each are smart sufficient, nevertheless it’s a disgrace that SimpliSafe eradicated the middle-ground plan that provided 24/7 monitoring for $18 a month.

The SimpliSafe base station quarterbacks your whole sensors and homes a siren in addition to Wi-Fi and mobile connections to the corporate’s monitoring service.

Chris Monroe/CNET

The way it works

The SimpliSafe Residence Safety system’s sensors preserve in fixed contact with the bottom station, which relays every part to your telephone (or, in an emergency, to authorities) by way of Wi-Fi. The bottom station additionally features a 24-hour battery backup and a fee-free mobile connection to the corporate’s monitoring service — if the facility or the Wi-Fi ever goes out, it will nonetheless be capable to name for assist. This cell backup is considered one of SimpliSafe’s standout options, and it is one of many huge methods the service differentiates itself from extra inexpensive alternate options like Wyze and Ring Alarm, which do not provide that further security measure (though the more moderen and costlier Ring Alarm Professional does).

SimpliSafe’s method additionally separates essentially the most delicate system parts from the keypad, the half that beeps and asks for a PIN if the alarm is ever tripped. In lots of circumstances, that beeping keypad might be the very first thing that an intruder would attempt to smash to be able to shut down the system, however doing so would not make a distinction.

You’ll be able to arm and disarm the system utilizing the keychain fob accent.

Chris Monroe/CNET

The system provides three modes throughout use: Off, which is fairly self-explanatory; Away, which arms the sensors; and Residence, which leaves some sensors on however disarms issues like movement detectors so you possibly can transfer round inside with out setting something off. By default, SimpliSafe offers you 30 seconds to disarm the system upon entry (you possibly can customise that size of time within the app).

To disarm the system, press the off button on the important thing fob or within the app, or enter your code utilizing the keypad. You’ll be able to assign particular codes to particular customers or company, and you can even set a duress code for conditions the place somebody is forcing you to disarm the system in opposition to your will. Punch it into the keypad, and it’ll seem as if the alarm is canceled and the system disarmed, however SimpliSafe will nonetheless ship within the authorities.

In the event you’re paying $30 a month for the total system controls, you can arm and disarm the system from the SimpliSafe app, or arm it in your manner out the door with a fast voice command to Alexa or Google.

If the alarm is ever tripped, your telephone will ring and a SimpliSafe consultant will ask if every part’s OK. They will additionally ask on your protected phrase — a secret password of your selection that acts like an additional vocal PIN for the system. Fail to present it, they usually’ll nonetheless ship the authorities, it doesn’t matter what else you say. Just like the duress code, it is a good, further layer of safety.

SimpliSafe additionally enables you to specify which sensors will set off an entry delay and which of them will set off an prompt alarm. You may in all probability need an opportunity to disarm the system if you happen to journey a contact sensor or a movement detector, for example, whereas a glass break sensor alert would possibly advantage an prompt alarm with no delay (once more, you possibly can personalize this, in case you are susceptible to dropping plates or have children round the home).

You can even set secret alerts that may ship you a SMS, e-mail or app notification with out tripping the alarm in any respect. Conceal a contact sensor on the within of your liquor cupboard, for example, and you will get an alert in case your teenager ever tries to sneak a sip.

Our take a look at canine Dolly wasn’t in a position to set off the SimpliSafe movement detector. It does an important job of distinguishing between folks and pets.

Chris Monroe/CNET

You are on, cameras!

SimpliSafe’s system has been amongst our favourite house safety techniques for quite a lot of years — however that does not imply it does not have room to develop. Positive, the sensors — these essential bits of connective tissue for any good house safety system — provide stable worth for the value, however the cameras aren’t fairly as unmitigated successful.

Today $99 indoor cameras and $169 video doorbells are pretty commonplace units, even if you’re shopping for them stand-alone from high manufacturers like Google Nest, Amazon Ring or Arlo — and SimpliSafe’s choices merely do not stand as much as these high units.

The video doorbell provides all of the fundamentals you’d count on, like two-way speak, movement alerts, evening imaginative and prescient, reside feed monitoring and storage (with digital camera plans beginning at $10 per thirty days). However its wide-angle lens means you do not get an important view of your precise doorstep, the place packages are often left. What’s extra, the doorbell cannot be arrange wirelessly — which is an actual bummer, since many shoppers on the lookout for DIY house safety kits will not have doorbell wiring, or will not be allowed by their landlord to fiddle with it.


SimpliSafe’s new out of doors digital camera is a stable addition to its safety lineup.

Chris Monroe/CNET

The indoor digital camera, which once more comes with all of the fundamentals, like a 120-degree subject of view, movement detection and evening imaginative and prescient, is a bit more spectacular. It features a privateness shutter, like Arlo’s indoor digital camera, and particular person alerts utilizing warmth sensing.

The out of doors digital camera prices $190, however you will get rather a lot out of it: reside monitoring, two-way speak, 8x digital zoom, evening imaginative and prescient and a built-in siren. The out of doors digital camera was a breeze to put in and use, and I cherished that it got here with a built-in highlight. The one disappointment there was that I could not manually management the sunshine, setting occasions for it to activate or off, or just switching it on once I wished.

For $190, although, the out of doors mild/digital camera is a stable deal.

System efficiency

SimpliSafe’s method to DIY safety is interesting, nevertheless it’s all for nothing if the sensors do not work reliably properly. Again in 2018, we put the sensors via a weeklong battery of checks, and the outcomes have been stable.

The open/closed contact sensors have been essentially the most dependable, triggering the alarm every time they have been alleged to. The movement detector carried out properly, too. It was in a position to distinguish between folks and small pets simply advantageous, and it caught our reviewer strolling via the room about 95 p.c of the time. The different 5%: a take a look at the place one thing appeared to hiccup and it was a couple of minutes earlier than any movement was sensed. That wasn’t an important end result, nevertheless it was the one true misfire throughout a number of days of testing.

The leak detector (water sensor) was one other standout, firing off an alert as quickly because it entered water in every of my checks. The one disadvantage to that stage of sensitivity — it additionally went off at one level when somebody picked it up and moved it. That is not an enormous deal although, particularly for one thing you are going to toss beneath your sink and overlook about.

Subsequent up, the freeze detector (temperature sensor). By default, it’ll ship an alert if it ever senses ambient temperatures under 41 F or above 95 F, however you possibly can set these thresholds to no matter factors you want. It labored as anticipated over the long term, nevertheless it solely takes readings and sends them to the bottom station as soon as per hour. That is a contact extra sluggish than you need for particularly delicate temperature monitoring, however for most individuals, it will do the job you want it to do.

The ultimate barrage of checks was aimed on the glass break sensor. Just like the title suggests, it will sound the alarm if it ever hears a window break — and SimpliSafe claims that its calibrations are exact sufficient to tell apart between a damaged window and a damaged plate. Translation: It was time to interrupt some stuff!

We began by making an attempt to trick the sensor into sounding a false alarm. We tried dropping a lightweight bulb, loudly clinking glassware collectively, taking part in glass-breaking sound results at full quantity and even tossing keys in opposition to the wall, as one follower recommended on Twitter. Nothing labored — the glass-break sensor wasn’t fooled.

That each one made for a promising begin, however then we tried breaking a small pane of precise glass. (We stole it from an image body — apologies to the CNET Sensible Residence staging crew!) To our shock, that did not set the glass break sensor off, both. Perhaps it thought it was a plate?

The workforce at SimpliSafe recommended we attempt dialing the sensitivity up — turns on the market’s a slide swap on the again of the sensor with three settings. We set it to “excessive” and tried once more, this time with an precise window bought at a junk retailer. That did the trick — throughout a number of checks, the glass break sensor caught us smashing the window every time.

Ultimately, we might name {that a} profitable end result, however we might undoubtedly advocate beginning along with your glass break sensor set to “excessive” and dialing down from there as wanted. As for us, the glass break sensor is likely to be one that we would be comfy skipping.

Sensible safety, sure; sensible house platform, no

One thing else value eager about as you are purchasing for a house safety system is whether or not you are involved in one thing that can tie in with a bigger house automation platform. In that case, SimpliSafe won’t be your best choice. 

Positive, the SimpliSafe system works with Alexa and Google Assistant, and it provides an integration with Nest that’ll allow you to monitor your thermostat from the SimpliSafe app and tether its house and away modes as to whether or not your system is armed. That is ok for many, however if you wish to add issues like sensible bulbs and sensible switches to your setup, you will have to regulate them individually out of your safety system. As talked about already, you are additionally caught with SimpliSafe’s cameras — and there are loads of cameras that we like higher.

In the meantime, the SimpliSafe Sensible Lock is a good and comparatively cheap addition to the system, however it is a bit extra restricted in options than some stand-alone sensible lock rivals.

The world of sensible house integration feels notably underdeveloped since Amazon shook up the sensible house safety business in late 2021 with its best-in-class Ring Alarm Professional — which not solely provided safety measures to rival SimpliSafe’s, but in addition loads of shocking and genuinely helpful integrations with issues like cameras, lights, video doorbells, Alexa and Wi-Fi 6. 


The previous SimpliSafe system in its awkward teenage years.


Different issues

With an old-school, wired safety system, you’d should reside with the fear that somebody may deactivate your system by chopping a wire. Wi-fi techniques like SimpliSafe get rid of that subject — however what if somebody manages to dam the system’s wi-fi transmissions? Would not which have the identical impact? As commenter Joe Duarte factors out, safety researchers haven’t any scarcity of questions like these about SimpliSafe and different techniques prefer it.

We seemed into jamming again in 2015, and examined SimpliSafe’s protections in opposition to it. The corporate says that it makes use of a proprietary antijamming algorithm to detect if a classy thief is making an attempt to mess along with your system. If it does, SimpliSafe will instantly notify you about it. That is what occurred once we examined it out. With the fitting tools, we have been in a position to block a transmission to the bottom station, however not with out SimpliSafe sending us an alert informing us of the jam. 

Backside line: Jamming assaults like these are completely doable, but in addition exceedingly uncommon and troublesome to tug off. A SimpliSafe consultant claims that, so far, the corporate has no report of any buyer ever being jammed. Even so, if a would-be thief have been to attempt it, they’d come up in opposition to a useful layer of protection. That is greater than sufficient for me — simply make sure that to concentrate to any interference alerts, and do not simply dismiss them.

As for different issues like replay assaults the place a hacker would attempt to intercept your keypad’s code, SimpliSafe says that each one system transmissions are encrypted, and likewise factors out that its {hardware} permits for over-the-air firmware updates, making it a lot simpler for the corporate to answer evolving threats and vulnerabilities in actual time.

SimpliSafe Residence Safety: Last ideas

SimpliSafe’s method combines do-it-yourself enchantment with reside monitored peace of thoughts. The SimpliSafe system provides wonderful worth relative to the competitors, it is remarkably simple to arrange and use, and it does not really feel (or look) like a compromise choose. Actually, its layers of safety are about as complete as DIY safety will get. We would wish to see extra sensible house integration as SimpliSafe continues to develop, however the firm can be rising in different methods — introducing an out of doors digital camera, for example, and partnering with RapidSOS to enhance 911 response occasions.

We have seen new competitors emerge from names like Ring, Wyze, Abode, Vivint and ADT. Procuring round is all the time sensible, however for most folk involved in easy house safety, we really feel assured saying that SimpliSafe is among the many finest choices available on the market.


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