SimpliSafe Home Security Review
We received a SimpliSafe Ultimate Security System (Model SSCS2) to review and tell you about.
The SimpliSafe system has 17 pieces and retails for around $540.
What’s in the box:
1 base station
1 wireless keypad
2 keychain remotes (which cleverly doubles as a USB flash drive).
2 motion sensors
4 entry sensors
1 panic button
1 auxiliary siren
1 yard sign
2 window decals
1 smoke detector
1 water sensor
1 carbon monoxide detector
1 freeze sensor
1 free wireless keyboard
The SimpliSafe system arrives pre-programmed to work instantly. I did not need to monkey with any wires, or drill any holes in my walls. There are no installation costs because you install it yourself. The setup seems fairly straightforward. SimpliSafe has dozens of step-by-step videos to guide you through the installation process, which are really helpful. The voice prompts from the base station are a nice feature. They make setup and use much more user-friendly. It is very easy for the average person to install; you don’t have to be some sort of electronic genius to figure it out.
The thing is, I am kind of a electronic genius. I’m an electronics engineer, known to my friends as a whiz kid (well, pushing 50 now so not really a kid anymore… and frankly what is a “whiz” anyway? Isn’t that some kind of cheese?) So, in all honesty, I might be a little hard on this bad boy. For the average Joe (ha, that’s actually my name), this is a pretty decent system. It’s easy to set up and use. It does the job of monitoring stuff around your house. It does what a home security system should do. To get the full benefits, you have to pay for monthly monitoring. That’s the part I struggle with. I would like to be able to control it from my smartphone without paying a monthly monitoring fee. I’d like to check on things in the house, such as what the water sensor and CO2 sensors do, as a feature that’s built in without having to pay more. I realize that might be asking a little too much. But, I’m a cheap whiz kid. 😉
I like that they offer a 60-day window for refunds and they pay for return shipping. So you have 60 days to decide if you like the system or not. Also, the equipment has a three-year manufacturer’s warranty.
Like other home security systems, such as ADT (whose monitoring starts at $28.99 per month), SimpliSafe offers three different monitoring packages.
- It costs $14.99 a month for the basic plan which includes live monitoring and cellular backup.
- It costs $19.99 per month in order to receive SMS (text) and e-mail alerts.
- And, it’s $24.99 a month if you want to control your system from your smartphone.
Or, you can skip the cellular connection and live monitoring (in other words, don’t pay for the monthly monitoring service), which would give you a local alarm with no monthly fee. But basically, you’ll have the equivalent of a car alarm that will make noise locally and not do much else.
Like I said, I don’t like the idea of having to pay for monitoring. It seems expensive, although to be fair even the highest level of monitoring with SimpliSafe costs less than the lowest level of monitoring with competitor, ADT. During setup and while SimpliSafe is functioning, you are constantly reminded that it’s not connected to a monitoring service. That’s a good thing if you’re planning on using the monitoring service, but a little annoying if you’re not.
One nice thing about SimpliSafe’s monitoring is that there are no contracts. You don’t have to agree to a 2-year service contract as you might with other home security systems. You pay as you go.
TIP: In Washington County, Oregon, you can be fined $500 if the police respond to an unregistered alarm signal! And in some parts of the country, the fine is even larger. In some cases, the police won’t respond to an alarm at all if it hasn’t been registered with a permit. Just call your local police department at their local, non-emergency number. Ask them what your city’s requirements are for home alarm systems. And be sure to indicate that your alarm system is self-installed.
- With a monthly monitoring plan such as the ones Simplisafe offers, you can save up to 20% on your homeowner’s insurance!
- Save 5% on your system with SimpliSafe Coupon Code SAFENOW
- NO contract
- Easy installation, no wiring, no drilling
- Helpful voice prompts
- Step-by-step instruction videos, if you need them
- 60-day refund and 3-year warranty
- Cellular backup with monitoring service eliminates the wire-cutting vulnerability of hard-wired systems
- Sensors all run on batteries
- Base station needs to be kept plugged in, but it has a battery backup that will keep running for four days. The battery automatically recharges once power is restored.
- While I feel that the start-up costs and monthly fees are relatively expensive, they are still comparably better than other companies with similar services
- I felt that some of the pieces look silly, but they seem to function fine so that isn’t a real big deal
- I was surprised that there was no camera
- For me personally, I would be more interested in the ability to have direct monitoring to my smart phone, not through a paid monitoring service
- I would like to have remote access to the motion-, smoke-, freeze-, and water sensors just so I could know what was going on at home (and it would be nice if I could just get it to feed and water my dogs in the middle of the day, lol!)
- In my opinion, the base system looks silly. It could just as well have been a square box that could be mounted somewhere, instead of looking like one of the “Cone heads” from Saturday Night Live in the late 70’s. The keypad resembles a vintage calculator.
- One thing that I did not like about the keypad is that in order to have the backlights light up, you must press a key, and if you press a key, then you must enter a 4-digit code. Would be nicer/easier if they just had a “backlight” key. After all, in the dark you can’t see the keys to do all that