For various reasons – time, money – many of us are building up our smart home systems piecemeal, adding a security camera here, a smart plug there, and not really paying too much attention in terms of who makes what. SimpliSafe is here to change all that.
SimpliSafe makes sensors and monitors for just about everything, and they all communicate with one central base station and keypad. If the alarm is raised – for an intruder, a fire, or a leaky pipe – then the siren in the main base station goes off.
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What's more, SimpliSafe can call up its security partner – Securitas here in the UK – who will ring you and even go round and check on your property themselves, calling out the police if needed. It's the sort of next-level protection most smart home gadgets don't offer.
This is very much a home security system, with no smart lights, smart plugs or similar extras, and the sole aim is to keep your property safe. There are a couple of SimpliSafe subscription packages to choose between as well, which we'll explain in detail below.
SimpliSafe home security system review: components and design
SimpliSafe really has thought of everything when it comes to setting up the system – all the batteries and wall fastenings and so on that you need are included. You can be up and running in minutes, without any fiddling around with apps or Wi-Fi connections (though this comes later). It really is a breeze to configure, and extra devices, from cameras to motion sensors, are all straightforward to add.
Overall, the design of the SimpliSafe system is functional rather than fashionable, though the two most important components – the base station and the keypad – are stylish enough to fit into the decor of any home. Still, do your smart home security devices need to look good? As long as they work, you're probably not going to care too much.
The SimpliSafe range includes a motion sensor, an indoor security camera, an entry sensor (for doors and windows), a glass break sensor, a freeze sensor, a panic button, a water sensor, and a smoke detector – we told you it was comprehensive. There's a video doorbell in the US, but that's yet to make it over here in the UK.
One gap at the moment is the lack of any outdoor security camera. Also on the downside, the apps aren't quite as polished as some of SimpliSafe's rivals, but really you're paying for the all-in-one comprehensiveness of it all – and a few rough edges in the apps can be forgiven (these may well be tidied up with future updates anyway).
SimpliSafe home security system review: how it works
We couldn't fault the SimpliSafe sensors and monitors in our testing – everything worked as advertised, including the rather loud alarm. If you just want the sensors to work with the alarm and the keypad (for arming and disarming), you don't need to pay any subscription fees or even connect the devices up to your internet.
Cough up £12.99 a month and you get the remote security service monitoring we mentioned above. If you go to the top-level package – £19.99 a month – you get text alerts sent to your phone, the police dispatch option, and the ability to use the mobile apps to arm, disarm, and monitor your SimpliSafe system (it's strange that app support isn't included for free, but there you go). This top level plan also lets you receive alerts to your phone without sounding the siren each time.
There are no contracts involved though – you're free to stop paying at any time. The SimpliSafe system was originally intended to protect students, so the story goes, and was therefore designed to be installed and removed easily – which indeed it is.
Integration with third-party services and devices is rather limited, and basically just amounts to being able to arm the system with Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant. The idea is very much that you go all in on SimpliSafe for your home security needs – with so many products in the range and such a straightforward way of operating them, that's a pretty viable option too.
SimpliSafe home security system review: price and verdict
SimpliSafe sells its hardware in bundles to get you started, ranging from £279 to £504 at the time of writing (all including the base station and the keypad) – check the price widgets on this page for the latest deals. It's quite a substantial investment, but you do get a lot back for your money.
You also get a month's free trial of the premium subscription package mentioned above, with all the bells and whistles. A month should be enough time for you to decide whether or not you like it – or whether you want to just stick with the siren and the keypad.
It's an investment, for sure, but it's also one of the most comprehensive and easy to configure home security systems you're likely to come across. You don't need to worry about different gadgets working together, or even a loss of power or internet – the base station comes with a backup battery and SIM card.
We would like to see a few more device options included (maybe even a smart plug or two), and better integration with other smart home systems (which would solve the extra device problem as well), but even as it is, SimpliSafe really impresses.
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