SimpliSafe Monitoring Plans Explained
Only two monitoring plans were listed above, but there are actually three. The two monitoring plans are professional monitoring, which means a team of trained professionals will keep an eye on your system 24/7. The third plan, which is free and what your system will default to if you don't get a professional monitoring plan, is self-monitoring.
What Self-Monitoring Entails
Self-monitoring is the term used if you have a security system that's not tied to a professional monitoring service. In some cases, an alarm company will offer a self-monitoring plan with monthly fees. The fee usually covers notifications, app access, and other services that would make self-monitoring your system a lot easier. Unfortunately, SimpliSafe doesn't offer a paid self-monitoring plan. If you decide to monitor your security system on your own, you only get to use the system as is; no extra features. What does that entail?
The biggest downside of self-monitoring your system is that whatever happens, it's your responsibility to take action. For example, if your house is broken into, you are going to be the one to call for help. What if you're in a situation that prevents you from calling the cops? That's the problem. Without a monitoring center to back you up, you're on your own.
Another downside of SimpliSafe's self-monitoring option is its lack of a way to notify you when you aren't home. You don't get access to the app, which means there are no push alerts. You also don't get email or text notifications. The only way your SimpliSafe system can notify you is by sounding the Base Station's siren and add-on sirens if you have any.
SimpliSafe's Standard Plan
The good news is that if the cost of professional monitoring is what's keeping you from signing up, SimpliSafe actually offers a low-cost professional monitoring plan. SimpliSafe offers its entry-level monitoring plan for $14.99/month, half the price of what most alarm companies offer. This monitoring plan includes the basics: 24/7 professional monitoring of security and home hazards and activation of the cellular chip. It isn't much, but it's similar to what other companies, such as Frontpoint, offer for $35/month.
If you're wondering how SimpliSafe was able to offer professional monitoring at such a low price, it has something to do with how SimpliSafe offers its equipment. Before getting a monitoring plan, you must first buy the equipment at its full price. With other alarm companies, you can get the equipment at a discounted price but they will recoup the equipment cost by adding it to your monthly fee. There are also other alarm companies that only lease their equipment, so you're actually paying to rent the equipment and use their service.
SimpliSafe also eliminated the middle man. Instead of hiring door-to-door salespeople, SimpliSafe relies on its online presence and reputation to do the talking.
SimpliSafe's Interactive Plan
If you're ready to dive in deeper into SimpliSafe's monitoring service, you can always opt to get the Interactive Plan. It's the plan that adds the greatest value to your home security while maintaining a low monthly fee.
Subscribing to the Interactive Plan allows you to enjoy the full SimpliSafe experience as it unlocks SimpliSafe's full capability. First, the cellular chip activates, giving your system two ways to communicate with the monitoring center— Wi-Fi and cellular. Second, you get access to the SimpliSafe mobile and web app, opening the door to new capabilities. You can customize your system's behavior on a device level, choose how you want to receive alerts, control your security system remotely, and more. Third, it unlocks email and text alerts. Wherever you are, you'll stay on the loop of what happens in your home. Fourth, you get access to third-party integrations. With the Interactive plan, you can integrate your August Lock, Nest Thermostat, Amazon Echo, and Google Home with SimpliSafe 3. Finally, you can add security cameras and enjoy the benefits of cloud recording and video verification at no extra cost.
Besides being affordable, there's another reason to love SimpliSafe's monitoring service; it's flexible. Other alarm companies require annual contracts that can reach up to five years. In the duration of the contract, you can cancel your monitoring service. If you do, you're going to have to pay a hefty amount as a penalty. With SimpliSafe, there are no contracts. You simply need to write SimpliSafe a formal cancellation letter or call its customer support to cancel your service. Better still, you can swap between SimpliSafe's monitoring plans. For example, you can subscribe to the Standard plan for this month and switch to Interactive the following month.
DIY Vs. Professional Installation
SimpliSafe also lets you choose between DIY and professional installation. With a DIY installation, you install the system yourself with the help of how-to articles and videos available on SimpliSafe's website. With professional installation, a technician will come to your house and install the system for you. Which is better? Both installation methods have their pros and cons.
The advantage of self-installation is that it's free. All you need is a few minutes of your time and a little bit of research on how to best place your sensors. If you choose professional installation, you're going to have to pay $79 for the service.
The advantage of professional installation is that the technicians know what they're doing so you can be more assured that your system is installed correctly and optimally. However, SimpliSafe's system is really designed for DIY installation. It will ship to you preprogrammed so that all that's left to do is turn on the Base Station and place the sensors. That said, don't be afraid to self-install. According to SimpliSafe, 97% of its customers self-install their systems and only a few actually choose professional installation.
Cutting Down The Equipment/Monitoring Cost
A security system is a huge investment and even though SimpliSafe's monitoring plan is already inexpensive, there are still ways to cut down your security expenses.
Shop For Packages
Custom building your security system is nice, but if you want to cut down the equipment cost, shopping for a package that closely resembles the system you have in mind will save you a few bucks. It won't save you much, but it's a start.
You might even want to try shopping from third-party retailers instead of SimpliSafe's website. That way, you can use any promo code you might have from that retailer and enjoy free shipping promos if available.
If you're not too picky, SimpliSafe offers refurbished security systems. These are systems returned to SimpliSafe that are refurbished and restored to a sellable quality. Refurbished systems cost up to 30% less than brand new systems, but the catch is that the devices included might show some wear and tear. Also, only SimpliSafe Original refurbished systems are available for now.
Look For Promo Codes
If you look hard enough, you can find legitimate SimpliSafe promo codes that you can use when shopping online. Promo codes range from discounts to free equipment and free monitoring.
Add Monitoring Later
One trick our testing team discovered is purchasing the equipment first and adding monitoring services later. When they called the sales department, SimpliSafe offered them one month of monitoring for free. Cool, right? That's not all. When our testers showed no interest, the same agent called the next day and offered two months of monitoring for free. Only then did our testing team comply and signed up for monitoring.
Shop During Sales Season
Five words: "Black Friday and Cyber Monday." SimpliSafe is known to take part in major sale seasons, so don't miss the chance. If buying a new security system can wait, making the purchase during peak sale seasons will save you significant money.
If you're a member of the military, you can ask SimpliSafe for discounts. After buying the equipment, simply give SimpliSafe a call and ask if you can get the military discount.