Everybody who lives in a home, apartment, or condominium should have a security system to protect themselves and their belongings. That’s easier said than done though, installing a security system isn’t cheap and if you’re renting, you may not be able to install your own system.
SimpliSafe Home Security System Review
On top of that, the monthly expense of alarm monitoring adds up over time. Believe me, I know this from first-hand experience. The good news is there is an alternative in the marketplace that addresses many of the problems associated with legacy security systems. I installed SimpliSafe two months ago in my home, now I will share with you my experiences with it.
Before I get started on the review, I want to address the reasons why homeowners and renters should own a security system. The benefit of having a security system is that it adds a layer of protection to the most valuable things in your life; your home and it’s occupants. Having one will deter a potential burglar by making his job more difficult to accomplish. Simply having signs and stickers on the exterior of your property makes it a less desirable target for a thief. A good alarm system will create a lot of noise and attention too if it is triggered, which is what bad guys don’t want. Furthermore, connected security systems send an alert to a monitoring station so the police can be dispatched.
Keep in mind that installing a security system is not a magic talisman that will keep all bad guys away from your domicile. The objective is to add another layer of security, thereby making your place a harder target. If your home is more resilient than others, a burglar is more likely to target other homes that aren’t as secure. Think of a security system as an additional wall that surrounds your castle that makes a thief’s job more difficult.
In my case, I have had a security system installed at my house for many years. It was from one of the large, legacy alarm companies so I thought it was a good idea to get one from a trusted name. However, the contract I signed was a long-term one with an automatic renewal. After a while, the rates were no longer competitive and I was looking for an upgrade. Plus, some of the sensors began to fail which triggered false positive alerts. Finally, I decided to look around for something else.
Over the last year or so, I heard and seen a lot of ads for SimpliSafe. I looked around and read some reviews, all of which looked positive. After a few months, I decided to try it out but had to extricate myself from my current contract. That is another story for another day, let’s say it wasn’t easy and took a while to complete. Once I had everything ready, I ordered my system and made preparations to install it.
- Wireless "Do it yourself" home security system
- Monitoring stations are ul-certified with a built in cellular connection
- Not compatible with current Simplisafe monitoring plan
I ordered my system online and selected the components that I needed. The beauty of SimpliSafe is that just about anybody can install it. The sensors use double-sided adhesive tape and are easy to attach to the wall. It comes with a USB device that enables you to set-up your system online and configure your sensors. This is vastly different from legacy systems that require a technician to wire, configure, and test it. From the beginning, I liked how straightforward everything was.
The base components for every SimpliSafe system include a base station, a keypad, a USB remote, and a sign. Since I created my own package, I also purchased two motion sensors, two glassbreak sensors, and four entry sensors. You can also purchase water sensors, carbon monoxide sensors, smoke alarms, freeze sensors, a panic button, and even a camera. You can add sensors whenever you need to, my intent is to purchase a camera and some water sensors before I go on vacation this summer. This flexibility is great to have since you can customize the system to your needs and your budget.
You can get started with a basic SimpliSafe system for around $230. The costs can vary depending upon the number and type of sensors you buy along with any discount codes. Everything is ordered through the company website. Monthly monitoring starts at around $14.
Even before I purchased my system, I was impressed at how thorough their website was. It answered most of my questions and allowed me to make an informed decisions on what I needed to buy. Once I ordered, it took about a week for my system to arrive. Once I received my system, I read through the instructions and took the items out of their boxes. The setup and configuration of the base station only took me a few minutes. Then I created my account for monitoring, which took only a few minutes.
Then I began to install the sensors. I followed their instructions and got everything installed in less than an hour. During this process, I tested the sensors to ensure they were connected with the base station. Everything was a snap, I was very impressed at how well thought-out everything was. I synchronized the USB key with my base station and checked my configuration online to ensure everything was right.
There was a snag with my password though. I had to call their support number because the page I needed to get on to didn’t allow me to change my initial password. The lady I spoke to was friendly and we got the problem resolved but it revealed a problem with their website. While I was talking to her, I let her know that I was missing an additional sign that I ordered with my system. Again, not a big deal but it revealed a potential problem with their fulfillment process.
These were relatively minor problems compared to what I went through with my legacy security company. After a few days, the system went live and I completed my alarm form with my city. The whole process went better than expected but still included a few minor hiccups. Since SimpliSafe is a fairly new player, I would put those problems down to growing pains and not incompetence. My interactions with SimpliSafe have been good so I don’t have anything bad to say about them. Ask people about their experiences with legacy security companies and my guess is you will hear much different stories.
Quick and simple installation, customizable, and great value for the money.
The entry sensors are a bit larger than legacy sensors, company is a new player and as such still has a few bugs to work out with their website and fulfillment.
The Dallas Morning Newgives a Tech review of the simplisafe home alarm:
I am very happy with my SimpliSafe system despite the minor problems I encountered. Their prices are much less than legacy systems and the ability to install it yourself is a great benefit. I recommend it to my friends and family because I think it is a much better system than the legacy providers offer. If you don’t have a security system, consider this one. If you already have a security system, give some serious thought to switching to SimpliSafe.
Overall Rating 8/10
Do you own a Simplisafe home security system or planning on getting one? Please let us know in the comments below!
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True, SimpliSafe hardware is customizable, but it is not programmable. For instance, you cannot program in the telephone numbers to call. For me, that’s a big negative.
Larry, I believe you can list at least 2 numbers for them to call first prior to police. They call my cell number, then my fiancé if I don’t answer before contacting our police department. Check with the company.
Trisha, I was about to buy SimpliSafe, but checked the owner’s manual first. Couldn’t find in the owner’s manual where you could call alternate numbers first. So I called SimpliSafe and had them confirm my findings. So, I hope they’ve made changes in the ability to call the numbers I program in.
I love mine and monthly fees are pleasantly cheap!
I’ve owned this system for a couple of years. I like that I can start simple, but upgrade with more sensors at any time and change my monitoring plans as well. It’s super easy to install and maintain. Occasionally a battery needs replaced but other than that, auto-pilot. And when the alarm goes off, which we’ve had several times due to forgetting it was set or hitting a panic button by mistake, they call you immediately to check on you and if you don’t answer, the local cops are notified and there pretty quick in our case. I highly recommend them in my line of work, which is an insurance agent.
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.
Have had the system for several years now….response to an alarm is IMMEDIATE…all you need is the master password they keep on file….installation is simple…had problems with a base station and they sent a replacement, no cost..just send the old one back (prepaid)…you can turn the sensors upside down to change the activation angle if you have pets roaming the house..
Next step is a video unit.
Price is GREAT…no contracts…
You can log onto their site and check your log file…
The little remote keytag is nice as well…hang it inside out of sight and you just push a button to deactivate, rather than going to the keypanel and entering the password code.
I concur except I’d give them a 9 out of 10. I’ve had mine for a few years and, for me, they beat the “legacy” providers hands down. $14.95/mo. and if I need to get ahold of them for something, they answer their phones promptly …. big plus. No contracts and no bull.
I’ve been a simplisafe customer for about 4 years. The system has operated as it should. However, I am looking for another alarm company because simply safe dropped the NRA discount after the parkland massacre which in my opinion is ridiculous. Honest citizens are not the threat! Also, the signal between the base and the sensors is not encrypted. That means while it’s unlikely, someone could sit near your house and retrieve your code. I don’t think it’s a good idea to advertise what kind of system you have in your yard because if someone does their homework, they can defeat it. Over all, it’s a decent alarm for the money and they do stand behind their products. I just can’t swallow their politics. Just my two cents.