Is SimpliSafe Effective as a DIY Alarm
SimpliSafe currently ranks well on our list of professionally monitored systems, but as a DIY alarm, it is dead last. (You can view the professionally monitored review here.) How can there be such a difference? The answer is simple. We have a completely different review process for professionally monitored systems and self monitored security systems.
It’s wonderful that SimpliSafe offers the option of a local alarm. In fact, you can switch back and forth between local and professional monitoring at will, as they are one of the few security companies that will monitor an alarm without a contract. The problem is as a local alarm, SimpliSafe’s system is no more than a noise maker. They don’t offer a mobile app for self-monitored customers, they don’t offer video surveillance (though this is coming soon), and they don’t offer any home automation features. What they do offer can be purchased directly from for under $260.
How does the SimpliSafe Self-Monitoring work?
If a sensor is triggered, the sensor will send a wireless signal to the base unit which will sound an audible alarm. Did you ever hear the old saying “If a tree falls in the woods does it still make a sound?” SimpliSafe is the tree. It doesn’t do anything beyond make a sound. If you want to disarm the system you will need to physically disarm it at your home. You cannot disarm it from your cellphone with the self monitoring option.
Let’s say that you are self-monitoring the system and you are planning to leave for vacation. You could simply call SimpliSafe and ask for one month of monitoring. For $19.99 per month, SimpliSafe will provide 24/7 monitoring for your system using a UL certified monitoring center. You will also get text and email alerts if the alarm is triggered. They also offer an Interactive package for $24.99 per month. In addition to live monitoring, text, and email alerts, you will be able to arm/disarm the system using your mobile app. The Interactive package includes a feature they call “secret alerts”. Secret alerts allow you to tie the service back to open/close sensors. These sensors work on drawers, cabinets, windows, and doors. If a drawer or cabinet is opened, you will receive a notification – think protection for liquor and medicine cabinets. The Interactive package will also allow you more online control over sensor settings like adding them, removing them, adding pins, naming sensors, and viewing your home’s temperature.
To be clear, the self monitoring option does not include access to their mobile app. If you add a monthly monitoring plan you will have access to SimpliSafe’s proprietary mobile app which is currently rated 2.5 stars on iTunes and 3.9 stars on Google Play.