Here is my review of SimpliSafe, the DIY home alarm system.
Have you ever been approached by a door-to-door alarm salesman? I know that I get them to my house once a week at least. They continue to come to the house, even though I have a security placard in my yard. I had a really bad experience with my current alarm system company and after a few years, I was able to get out of the contract. You can read about my bad experience with the door-to-door salesman and let me know what you think.
With the birth of my son, I have wanted to make sure that my home was safe. I have done what I can to make sure that my home is as safe as I can make it, but my wife and I still like having a home security system. It gives you the peace of mind along with the many other things that we have done to fortify the house. While there are alternatives to a home security system, it is hard for me to put a price on peace of mind. With this in mind, I decided to look for another home security system.
Any company that arrives at my house with a salesman, I automatically take off the list. This really leaves me with little to choose from. As I have described before, after being burned a few times with my purchases, I like to take some time to research options. This is almost entirely impossible when a salesman comes to your home. I wasn’t sure what system I was going to get, until I came across SimpliSafe.
I found SimpliSafe when I was searching online for some DIY home security systems. I consider myself very handy when it comes to anything electronic and home repairs. I am comfortable with a wide range of tools and will try to fix and install anything once. A DIY home security system was something that peaked my interest. Come to find out, even Dave Ramsey encourages his listeners to try SimpliSafe.
Since I was intrigued, I decided to check them out and here is what I found.
SimpliSafe offers a full-featured DIY alarm system for different sized homes. Their system are completely wireless, except for the base station, so you can add different components onto your system. Here is a list of the components that they currently offer:
- Wireless Keypad
- Wireless 105db Extra Siren
- Wireless Smoke Detector
- Wireless Carbon Monoxide Detector
- Wired Base Station (uses GSM sim card for service)
- Wireless Door and Window Sensors
- Keychain Remote
- Wireless Panic Button
- Wireless Motion Sensor
- Wireless Glass Break Sensor
- Wireless Freeze Sensor (temperature sensor)
- Wireless Water Sensor
So, from the list of components, you can see that SimpliSafe does have what you need in order to protect your home.
How SimpliSafe Works
So, you might be wondering how the system works if it is all wireless. I wondered the same thing, so I did a little digging on their website. The information is easy to find, but I will give you the run down.
The SimpliSafe system comes with a base station that you plug into your wall. It also comes with a battery backup inside of it, just in case you lose power. This is just for the peace of mind that your alarm will still function. The base station uses wireless cell phone technology to communicate with the monitoring service. It uses a GSM sim card, which I believe is part of the T-Mobile service. T-Mobile works great near my home, so I have great connectivity. While you can hook up the system with a landline phone, I think the wireless technology is a selling point. You don’t want anyone cutting your phone line before they break into your home.
One thing that separates SimpliSafe from their other competitors is that their monitoring service is not required to use the system. You can buy their system and use it as a local security system for the peace of mind and deterrent ability. I am sure there are quite a few people that do that. While doing this is certainly an option, they do provide monitoring service that is quite cheap. I will go over it a little later.
While you may see other alarm companies give you a free system or free installation when you order their system, SimpliSafe does not offer this. The reason this is true is because you don’t have to get monitoring service from them. They offer a budget-friendly alternative to the larger alarm system companies. Yes, you might have to pay upfront for the system, but you will save money in the long run.
If you are like me, then you want things to be easy. SimpliSafe allows for that. When you head over to www.simplisafe.com, then you will be welcomed with an easy to use web experience. You can go over the features that they provide and then head over to shop for the alarms. SimpliSafe offers 5 packages, which will depend on your need. Here are the 5 packages and what they include. All packages include one yard sign, 2 decals, 5 year batteries, and adhesives strips for the install.
- Starter Package – The starter package is simply that, just for starting out. This package includes the base station, one wireless keypad, one motion sensor, one entry sensor, and one free keychain remote (currently a special!).
- Economy Package – The economy package comes with the base station, one wireless keypad, one motion sensor, three entry sensors, and one free entry sensor and keychain remote (both are currently a special when you order).
- Standard Package – The standard package is what would probably work for most people. This package includes the base station, one wireless keypad, one motion sensor, four entry sensors, one panic button, one 105db extra siren, and one free smoke detector with keychain remote (both are current special gifts).
- Elite Package – The elite package comes with the base station, one wireless keypad, one keychain remote, two motion sensors, six entry sensors, and one 105db extra siren. They are offering a special gift with order that includes one panic button, one smoke detector, and one extra keychain remote.
- Complete Package – The complete package includes the base station, one wireless keypad, one keychain remote, two motion sensors, six entry sensors, two smoke detectors, one water sensor, one carbon monoxide detector, and one freeze sensor. They are offering a special gift with order that includes one panic button, one 105db extra siren, and one extra keychain remote
You can see that each of their packages offer a great deal of components. The great thing is that if you need more than what the package offers, you can order each of the components individually from their site. That just makes it much easier.
SimpliSafe Coupon: Save 5% Off Any SimpliSafe Home Security Package With Code: SAFENOW
My Alarm Package
The package that worked best for my house was the Standard Package. After reading all of the features and reviews online, I decided that I wanted to become a SimpliSafe customer. With this information, I decided to reach out to SimpliSafe to see if they had any deals going on. While doing so, I asked them if they would allow me to review their system for this blog. I wasn’t expecting much, but they actually agreed. Having said this, I do want to disclose that SimpliSafe provided me with my alarm system at no charge. This does not sway my review of their service and remember that I reached out to them because I wanted my house protected by their service. I do pay for their monitoring service along with a few more components that I wanted.
My standard package system came in a few days after they shipped it. You can’t be upset with getting your order quickly. The components were packaged well, so I didn’t have to worry about any damage. All of the components were in the box along with the owner’s manual.
Here is the process that might frighten some. Most alarm companies have installers that will put in your alarm system for you. You don’t have to lift a finger except for pointing where you want the components installed. It is a little different with SimpliSafe. You are the one that has to install the entire system. Don’t let that scare you. I had the whole thing done in less than 30 minutes and that was with me taking my time and testing each component.
SimpliSafe makes installing your system pretty easy. You have two options if you have certain components. You can use the owner’s manual and follow those instructions. If you have one of the keychain remotes, then you can pull off the end and it will reveal a USB stick. You put that into your computer and it will give you an interactive installation guide. This is what I used.
One of the biggest selling points for the system is that you don’t have to use any tools in order to install it. Each component comes with 3M sticky strips to adhere to the installation locations. I found this awesome and I can tell you that they work. With no tools required, it really cuts down on how long it takes to put up the system. SimpliSafe also gives you extra strips just in case you need to move your components.
After turning on the interactive guide, I was able to get through all of the step and test the system. It was incredibly easy. I don’t know of any other way when describing it. If you can read, then you can install the SimpliSafe system. It is not rocket science.
Now, what good is a home security system if you don’t have it monitored? Well, that can be up for debate, but I think people buy alarms in order to be protected at all times. Since you can order a system and purchase the monitoring at any time, I am going to describe what SimpliSafe offers. Here is their monitoring option chart.
From the chart, you can see that their most expensive option is only $24.99 per month. This option gives you the ability to have SMS/Email alerts sent to you , remote controls via your smartphone, and secret alerts. The secret alerts are pretty cool. They allow you to set a sensor to “alert only” mode, which will not set off your alarm system, but will send you an alert to your phone or email. This is good for gun safes, medicine cabinets, liquor cabinets, or anything else you want to know someone might be opening.
My Take on SimpliSafe
So you know understand a little more about SimpliSafe. After installing the system, I can see what the allure is. I didn’t have to deal with a salesman and I could install the system on my own time. I could put the components where I wanted them and find out if they worked well there. While I got the standard system, I could easily customize my system for what I needed. I ordered another keychain remote and smoke detector. These should be arriving soon.
I can say that the components that come with the system are not as clean as some systems. They don’t offer touchscreens and sleek looking sensors, but what they do offer are items that work. Your alarm system doesn’t have to be fancy. It just needs to function. SimpliSafe does just that. If you are looking for futuristic bells and whistles, then this might not be the system for you. If you are looking for a great DIY option that includes just regular bells and whistles, then I would say check SimpliSafe out. I am going to put the trust the security of my home and family onto SimpliSafe and I don’t think I will be disappointed.
I do plan on putting together a detailed post on how I installed my SimpiSafe system. I want to be able to help anyone that might be having problems.
Have you ever heard of SimpliSafe? Is this a company that you would try for you home security option? If you have any questions about them, please let me know and check them out if you are searching for a new home alarm system. You can view everything at www.simplisafe.com.