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A Brief History Of SimpliSafe
SimpliSafe was a startup founded in 2006 by Chad and Eleanor Laurans as a security company designed with renters in mind. For two years, the couple operated SimpliSafe in their own home and tested their security system at friends' residences.
SimpliSafe officially launched in 2009, after getting its initial funding from angel investors. In 2014, just five years after its launch, it has grown to have over 100,000 customers. The following year, its customer base nearly tripled and it grew from having 100 employees to 250 employees.
SimpliSafe's journey was not without controversy. In 2016, a whitehat hacking company reported a vulnerability in SimpliSafe's security system that could potentially allow someone with specialized equipment and skills to hack and disable the system from up to 200 yards away. According to SimpliSafe, the vulnerability is not unique to the SimpliSafe system and that other similar security systems can be affected. Nonetheless, SimpliSafe resolved the vulnerability by launching a newer and better version of its security system, SimpliSafe 3. Unlike its predecessor, SimpliSafe 2, SimpliSafe 3 can be updated over the air to allow fixes for similar vulnerabilities.
What Makes SimpliSafe Different?
SimpliSafe was one of the first alarm companies to steer away from traditional alarm company setup. Instead of annual contracts, its monitoring service is offered month-to-month. Instead of tying their system to professional monitoring, it lets its customers choose between self-monitoring and professional monitoring. And instead of offering products, manufactured by a third-party company, SimpliSafe sells its own products.
SimpliSafe also stands out from the crowd because of its low-cost professional monitoring plans. Where other companies charge $30/month upwards for basic monitoring, SimpliSafe only charges $14.99/month. For more information on SimpliSafe's monitoring plans, check out our SimpliSafe deals and pricing review.
Who Is SimpliSafe Most Ideal For?
SimpliSafe is most appealing to DIYers and renters because of how it approaches installation and monitoring.
SimpliSafe doesn't require professional installation. The equipment will be shipped to you pre-programmed and it's up to you to install it. You can even move your sensors around after the initial installation, depending on your current security needs. For example, if you have a motion sensor set up in your guest room and the room will be temporarily occupied by a guest, you can take down the sensor and move it somewhere else for the time being. According to Simplisafe, 97% of its customers self-install their system, but if you need a hand, you can ask SimpliSafe to send a technician to install the system. Professional installation will only cost you $79.
SimpliSafe, a system originally created to benefit renters, remains one of the most renter-friendly to this day. For one, professional monitoring is not required although it's highly recommended. If you do sign up for professional monitoring, you don't have to worry about contracts at all. Your subscription will auto-renew every month, but you can cancel anytime. You can even have professional monitoring this month, skip for a couple of months, and then sign up again. Finally, if you have to relocate, you can simply take SimpliSafe with you, no penalties for moving at all.
SimpliSafe Key Features & Tech
- 24/7 Professional Monitoring: SimpliSafe offers 24/7 burglary, fire, and medical emergency monitoring at a low starting price.
- Cellular + Wi-Fi Monitoring: Using the new Base Station, SimpliSafe offers simultaneous monitoring via cellular and Wi-Fi signal.
- Wireless Equipment: SimpliSafe's equipment is almost 100% wireless, with the exception of some products that require power or internet.
- Smartphone Access: SimpliSafe offers a smartphone app that allows users to extensively customize their security system. The app is only available to Interactive plan users.
- Video Surveillance: SimpliSafe offers an indoor camera and an outdoor camera. With the right plan, you can have video verification and unlimited cloud storage at no extra cost.
- Third-Party Compatibility: With the right plan, you can integrate smart home devices to your SimpliSafe system, including Nest, Alexa, and Google Home.
SimpliSafe Equipment Overview
The core components of every SimpliSafe system are the Base Station and Keypad. Together, these two components are responsible for controlling your security system. The Keypad serves as the interface and it's designed to be installed near your front door. The Base Station, on the other hand, is the brain of the system. It's best to be hidden away to prevent intruders from destroying it.
The Base Station has several key features. For one, it has a backup power supply, allowing it to run for 24 hours without an in-wall power source. It also features two communication chips that it uses to send alert signals to the monitoring center. By default, it uses Wi-Fi. If you pay for a monitoring plan, the cellular chip also activates. Finally, the Base Station has a built-in siren (with volume control) that sounds during emergencies.
The primary job of the Base Station is linking your sensors to the monitoring center. SimpliSafe doesn't offer many sensors, but it has enough to cover the basics.
- Entry Sensor: A small sensor that tells you when a door, window, or even cabinet opens.
- Motion Sensor: A sensor that detects any human movement within its field of vision. It relies on passive Infrared technology.
- Glass Break Sensor: A sensor trained to listen for the sound of glass breaking. It's ideal for rooms with large glass doors or windows.
- Panic Button: A key fob with one easy-access button that can trigger the system to sound or send an alert to the monitoring center.
- Smoke Detector: A sensor that detects smoke and fire before it gets out of hand.
- Temperature Sensor: A sensor that can warn you if the ambient temperature drops below 41 degrees. It helps prevent pipes from freezing or bursting.
- Water Sensor: A simple sensor that detects the presence of water to keep you away from potentially expensive repairs. It can be placed under sinks, near your air conditioner, near fish tanks, and anywhere a leak might happen.
- SimpliCam: An indoor camera with 720p resolution, two-way talk, night vision, and motion detection. It's designed to help you visually monitor your home.
- SimpliSafe Video Doorbell Pro: A slim video doorbell that lets you monitor your front door and speak to guests wherever you are by only using your smartphone.
To learn more about SimpliSafe's equipment and home automation offers, check out our SimpliSafe in-depth review.
Ratings & Reviews
SimpliSafe has received an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.1 The company also rates well on consumer review websites. The company also rates well on consumer review websites.
However, SimpiSafe's customer reviews are mixed. People either love SimpliSafe or they hate it. Those that love SimpliSafe feel just as strongly as those who don’t. The most common complaint from those who don't like SimpliSafe is the company's slow response to customer queries.