We Tested the SimpliSafe Home Security System for Six Months to See If It's Worth It (2024)

The first step in protecting your home from robbery and break-ins is to invest in high-quality home security. Because no one has eyes in the back of their head, installing a robust home security system that features sensors, cameras, alarms and real-time monitoring can help you keep tabs on your valuables when you're at the office, on vacation or out getting groceries.

To help you get started, our pros tested one of the most popular home security brands on the market today: SimpiSafe. “SimpliSafe broke the mold on home security with its release of the first truly DIY system back in 2009,” says Dan DiClerico, the director of the Home Improvement & Outdoor Lab at the Good Housekeeping Institute, who tested the system over six months at his home in Brooklyn, New York. “It now has plenty of competition in the space, but it’s still one of the best bets in terms of value, design and ease of use.”

The home improvement experts and test engineers at the GH Institute test everything you need to help you protect your home, from home security cameras to video doorbells, smart locks, smart garage openers and more. Over the years, we’ve been hands-on with a variety of home security systems, assessing criteria like ease of installation, performance, price, app intuitiveness and more. Here, we're breaking down everything you need to know about our experience testing the SimpliSafe home security system and whether or not it’s worth it for you.

SimpliSafe The Essentials

We Tested the SimpliSafe Home Security System for Six Months to See If It's Worth It (1)

Pros
  • We Tested the SimpliSafe Home Security System for Six Months to See If It's Worth It (2)Easy DIY installation
  • We Tested the SimpliSafe Home Security System for Six Months to See If It's Worth It (3)Great value
  • We Tested the SimpliSafe Home Security System for Six Months to See If It's Worth It (4)24/7 home monitoring with Fast Protect plan
  • We Tested the SimpliSafe Home Security System for Six Months to See If It's Worth It (5)Base station features back up battery and cellular connectivity
  • We Tested the SimpliSafe Home Security System for Six Months to See If It's Worth It (6)Intuitive app
Cons
  • We Tested the SimpliSafe Home Security System for Six Months to See If It's Worth It (7)Monthly subscription required
  • We Tested the SimpliSafe Home Security System for Six Months to See If It's Worth It (8)Only available in white

Packages: What’s included

We Tested the SimpliSafe Home Security System for Six Months to See If It's Worth It (9)

SimpliSafe home security system ready to be set up in DiClerico’s home.

There are seven packages you can choose from on SimpliSafe’s website, depending on your needs.

The Essentials package is the brand’s most popular system and includes a base station, motion sensor, keypad, indoor security camera and three entry sensors. Fortunately, if none of the packages are exactly what you're looking for, you can customize your SimpliSafe system online and add accessories like water sensors, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, smoke detectors, panic buttons, key fobs and more.

We break down each piece of equipment below, but it’s important to keep in mind that SimpliSafe requires you to enroll in a monthly monitoring plan to receive alerts through the smartphone app. DiClerico explains that with some other DIY security systems, this remote monitoring is free, but that's not the case with SimpliSafe.

Pricing: SimpliSafe monitoring plans

SimpliSafe offers two monitoring plans: Fast Protect Professional Monitoring and Self Monitoring with Camera Recording.

The recommended Fast Protect plan costs $0.99 per day, and it enables agents to see, speak and deter intruders via indoor cameras should your alarm go off. In addition, agents monitor your home 24/7 to immediately respond to alarms or emergencies and dispatch police when needed.

The Self Monitoring plan is only $0.33 per day, but you’ll sacrifice access to SimpliSafe’s monitoring agents. The plan does come with unlimited camera recordings and 30-day cloud storage, but you’ll be required to make any urgent emergency calls yourself, which can be difficult if you’re out of town or asleep at the time of an incident.

Installation and set up

You can choose to install your SimpliSafe security system yourself, or you can make an appointment with a professional technician for an extra $124.99 to install if for you.

If you’re looking for the most budget-friendly option, DIY installation is the way to go. DiClerico confirms that the process went smoothly when setting up SimpliSafe in his home. Once you’re ready to set up your system, you’ll follow interactive instructions in the SimpliSafe app. Customer service is also available to assist in the installation should you run into any issues.

Base station and keypad

We Tested the SimpliSafe Home Security System for Six Months to See If It's Worth It (10)

DiClerico setting up the keypad in his Brooklyn home.

Every SimpliSafe system requires both a base station and a keypad to get started. The base station is "the brains of the system," according to SimpliSafe. Should a camera or sensor detect danger, a signal is sent to the base station to trigger its siren. It's what makes it possible for SimpliSafe agents to be alerted of any alarm signals going off in your home.

The base station is conveniently equipped with both Wi-Fi and cellular, meaning should your Wi-Fi connection be interrupted your home will continue to stay protected thanks to a built-in SIM card. Our pros also appreciate that there's a backup battery that lasts up to 24 hours in case of a power outage.

"The base station’s built-in siren is extremely loud, about equivalent to a lawn mower," says DiClerico. "So it should do the job of scaring off intruders while alerting any sleeping family members to a possible break-in."

The keypad, another key component to your home security system, makes it easy to arm and disarm your system when you're heading out for the day or back home for the night. There's even a hidden panic button should you need it. And while it's "smash-safe," an intruder can still break it — though rest assured that SimpliSafe will be notified immediately. DiClerico found controlling the system through the keypad easy and liked its intuitive interface.

Cameras

Cameras can capture not only what's going on inside your home, but also anything suspicious outside. When building your home security system, you can choose among a variety of cameras, including wireless indoor and outdoor cameras, a wired indoor camera and a video doorbell, to capture essential footage of break-ins, package theft and more.

"The video quality of SimpliSafe’s suite of cameras, including indoor, outdoor and doorbell, is excellent, thanks to its 1080p resolution and night vision," DiClerico shares. "The two-way communication is another nice feature since it allows you to talk with people through the camera and app on your phone."

Sensors

SimpliSafe breaks up its sensors into two categories: burglary sensors and hazard sensors. To help detect burglary, you can opt for entry sensors, motion sensors and glassbreak sensors. According to DiClerico, "the peel-and-stick contact sensors for windows and doors are extremely easy to install." They're also super compact and discreet.

Entry sensors go on windows and doors to help identify when a window or door has been opened, while motion sensors detect unusual motion in a 90º radius and 35-foot range of the sensor. These are designed to distinguish between humans and pets, and will immediately alert you of movement on your phone. Lastly, glassbreak sensors detect the sound of shattered glass to notify you if someone is trying to break into your home. When the sound of glass breaking is detected, it'll trigger your alarm.

You can also choose among several hazard sensors, from water sensors to smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, smoke detectors and temperature sensors. Though not everyone will need to add these to their home security system and may already have such devices installed, we appreciate having the option.

The SimpliSafe app

One of the most important components of SimpliSafe's home security system is, of course, the app. DiClerico found it "straightforward and intuitive" in his tests. In addition to being easy to navigate, we like that you can arm and disarm your system directly from the app if you forget to do so. We also found alerts timely and informative.

Bottom line: Is SimpliSafe worth it?

If you're looking for a robust DIY home security system, SimpliSafe is absolutely worth it. While it doesn't double up as a smart home hub and lacks certain features like voice control, SimpliSafe does what it sets out to do: keep your home protected. Installation is easy and the cost of a basic package will only set you back around $150. Though we wish it didn't require a monthly subscription, we think it's worth the 24/7 monitoring you get from SimpliSafe's agents and the peace of mind that your home is being watched over when you're out of town.

Why trust Good Housekeeping?

The Good Housekeeping Institute Home Improvement Lab provides expert reviews and advice on all things home-related, including security cameras and other connected devices. GH Institute writer and product analyst Olivia Lipski covers everything from consumer electronics to home, fitness, travel and more.

To write this review, she worked with the director of the Home Improvement & Outdoor Lab, Dan DiClerico, who brings more than 20 years of experience to the GH Institute, having reviewed thousands of products for Good Housekeeping, as well as brands like This Old House and Consumer Reports. Over the past few months, he's been testing the SimpliSafe security system in his home.

We Tested the SimpliSafe Home Security System for Six Months to See If It's Worth It (11)

Olivia Lipski

Media & Tech Reviews Analyst

Olivia (she/her) is a media and tech product reviews analyst at the Good Housekeeping Institute, covering tech, home, auto, health and more. She has more than five years of experience writing about tech trends and innovation and, prior to joining GH in 2021, was a writer for Android Central, Lifewire and other media outlets. Olivia is a graduate of George Washington University, with a bachelor's degree in journalism, political science and French, and she holds a master’s degree in communications from Sciences Po Paris.

We Tested the SimpliSafe Home Security System for Six Months to See If It's Worth It (2024)
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