Self-install self security systems are popping up everywhere but SimpliSafe is one of the easiest I've come across, it's also pretty good looking and understated -- unlike many other security systems out there.
SimpliSafe offer quite a few packages on their site, designed for small to large homes. You can build your own packages but these pre-made packages offer various savings.
You get three essentials when purchasing a security system. These include:
- Base Station
- Wireless Keypad
There are quite a few sensors and other extras to choose from when it comes to choosing a set up, so it's definitely worth going through what's on offer and figuring out what you would need for your home to protect yourself.
Sensors and extras include:
- Entry sensor
- Motion sensor
- Additional SimpliCams
- Glassbreak sensor
- Panic button
- Smole detector
- Freeze sensor
- Water sensor
- Key fob
- 105dB siren
You can also buy an additional keypad which you can place at another entry way in your home or property, if you regularly use two different entry ways.
I personally went with the entry sensors, motion sensor and security cameras.
I also went for the Base Station and Wireless Keypad in black. You can also buy it in white.
I was impressed by the look of the Base Station and Wireless Keypad as these were items that you would see on a daily basis, it's important they seamlessly blend in to most interiors.
The Base Station is the hub of the system and has a sleek minimalist design with an LED status ring near the base. It's very understated and can easily blend in on any shelf. It houses the siren for the system and manages connectivity between devices. If you have a power cut, it continues to work off a built-in battery. If your Wi-Fi goes down, it has a cellular connection built-in so it can continue to communicate with SimpliSafe's security system and alert you of any activity.
The Wireless Keypad, as the name suggests, is completely wireless and communicates with the Base Station to arm and disarm the system. Provided are some pre-installed sticky pads on the back so you can put it up on the wall with no fuss. It has a simple low-pixel screen which shows you the status of the system. The edges of the screen are also clickable so you can navigate around the interface - very simple and works very well. You use the keypad to set up all of your sensors which is a very quick and easy process. The only sensor that needs a smartphone to set up is the SimpliCam, but again, it's very easy and simple to set up.
The best thing about this system is that you don't need to pull out your phone to arm or disarm the system. When leaving your home you can simply hit "away" on the keypad and it will give you 60 seconds (the time can be adjusted) to leave the property before it arms. Then when you get back, you hit "off" or "home", enter your pin and it's disarmed. But if you do forget to arm it when leaving, you can arm the system with the app.
When it comes to setting up the sensors, again it's very easy and simple. No wiring necessary. The entry sensors and motion sensors work off batteries and can be stuck in place with their provided sticky pads.
The SimpliCam though does require continuous power to operate. You are provided with an extra long cable though so you can put it almost anywhere. I was quite surprised by how large the camera was when initially unboxing it but that can also be seen as a good thing as it acts as a good deterrent.
SimpliSafe state the camera is HD but I think it's only 720p. The quality isn't anything to shout about but it's definitely good enough for monitoring. It also has motion alert and night vision. You can use the app to have a live feed and it automatically records any events. A very neat feature is the stainless steel privacy shutter. So when you set your system to "off" or "home" you can have the SimpliCam deploy the shutter in front of the lens so you have privacy. Thankfully a lot of these features can be managed on a per-camera basis. So if you wanted, you can have a camera always monitoring and detecting motion, even when your system isn't armed.
SimpliSafe offer two plans when it comes to security monitoring but you definitely want the Interactive/Pro Premium plan which gives you all of the best features such as push notifications to your phone, unlimited camera recording and the ability to arm/disarm your system from your phone. It's also very affordable compared to comparable systems that can end up charging you based on how many cameras you have, and that can add up very quickly. There's also no contract so you can cancel your plan whenever you like, you're never tied in.
The only downside is that you if you don't take out a plan you won't receive any notifications for any triggers, the system will only work locally. So if you're away from home and one of your sensors goes off, there will be no way for you to tell what's happening.
The system as a whole seems to be one of the easiest to set up, simplest to use and more affordable than competitors. There is a higher initial cost to buy the sensors and cameras but you can start small and add more over time. It's also very understated and the design as a whole is brilliant.