The Best Alternatives to SimpliSafe
If you’re considering DIY home security options, you’ve almost certainly encountered SimpliSafe. This simple, renter-friendly security provider has recently skyrocketed into public awareness. But is SimpliSafe right for you? It’s time to consider your options and discover the best alternatives to SimpliSafe. (We’ll give you a hint, one of them includes proactive monitoring by live virtual guards.)
The History of SimpliSafe
They say that necessity is the mother of invention.
That’s definitely true for SimpliSafe. Chad and Eleanor Laurans started the company in 2006 while they were attending Harvard Business School. But it wasn’t a school project or a particular desire to enter the industry. Rather, SimpliSafe was born out of necessity.
Several friends had been victims of break-ins. But when they looked for security solutions, they found few options that were designed for renters. What would happen to their system if they decided to move? Or what if their landlords denied permission in the first place? At the time, there was a gap in home security offerings because all existing offerings appealed to homeowners.
Chad and Eleanor worked on their product—focusing on affordability, a DIY mentality, and semi-permanent installation—for a few years before formally launching in 2009. Since then, SimpliSafe has grown to become one of the biggest and best-reviewed providers in the game, with over 3 million paid subscribers.
What Is SimpliSafe?
You can buy a SimpliSafe bundle for several hundred dollars. Or you can build your own, starting with the base station and wireless keypad and adding security items from a selection of sensors, indoor and outdoor cameras, smart locks, video doorbells, smoke detectors, and more.
With no contract, DIY set-up in minutes, and optional subscription packages that include additional features and remote monitoring, it’s easy to see why SimpliSafe is popular.
So if you’re in the market for a DIY home security solution, the choice is pretty clear, right? Not so fast. It’s not the right option for everyone. Make sure you explore the many alternatives to SimpliSafe before you choose.
The Problem with SimpliSafe
SimpliSafe is a solid choice to better protect your home or business. However, it’s not perfect. There are plenty of alternatives to SimpliSafe that you should consider.
As for SimpliSafe, some complaints against it include:
- Limited feature set if you opt to skip the subscription packages. If you want something as basic as the ability to record video and HD live view, you’ll need to pay for self-monitoring at least.
- Limited home automation integrations.
- Lacks facial recognition capabilities, which may cause false alarms.
- Pairing accessories with the base station requires some level of tech awareness.
- Famously disabled with a $2 device available on Amazon.
- Offers just one type of indoor and one type of outdoor camera.
- It’s a reactive security system, meaning it doesn’t proactively deter crime.
Maybe none of that is a deal-breaker for you. But maybe it is. SimpliSafe is a reliable option, but it’s far from being the only option.
So, what are the best alternatives to SimpliSafe? Try these on for size.
Alternatives to SimpliSafe
The global home security systems market value is expected to hit $78.9 billion by 2025, up from $53.6 billion in 2020. That’s good news from a consumer viewpoint, as the industry is large enough to support a wide range of competitors and budgets.
So if SimpliSafe is falling short of your needs, here are some of the cheaper, better (that’s subjective, of course) alternatives to SimpliSafe.
What do you get when a former exec at ADT—one of the oldest and most well-known security providers—partners with experts in technology, security, and energy? abode.
Looking at the price alone, abode and SimpliSafe match up nicely. You can get a smart security kit for $279 or the iota all-in-one security kit for $329. Then, add on whatever accessories you like, including the indoor/outdoor Abode Cam 2, door/window sensors, doorbell cameras, motion detectors, keypads, glass break sensors, sirens, and more. While the upfront cost can quickly add up, abode provides financing to stretch the expense out over 3, 6, or 12 months.
But the real differentiators are abode’s smart home integrations and its monitoring packages. SimpliSafe only integrates with Google Assistant, Amazon’s Alexa, Nest thermostats, and August smart locks. But abode? Google, Alexa, Apple Homekit, IFTTT, Bose, ecobee, Philips Hue, and 100+ others. It’s appealing if you’re looking for complete smart home automation. No one integrates with more providers.
And as for monthly subscriptions, abode’s Pro Plan comes in at $20/month for remote monitoring, cellular backup, live and recorded video, and more. SimpliSafe’s Interactive Plan—the most feature-rich package—is $28/month. But abode also offers on-demand monitoring for either 3 or 7 days at a time. Users can quickly and easily turn it on via their mobile app. So even if you don’t need monitoring all the time, you can switch it on for a long weekend or family vacation as needed. That’s a unique feature.
Though Frontpoint Security has been in the security game for over a decade, it still doesn’t have the name recognition of some others. But don’t let that stop you from exploring this option. SafeWise named Frontpoint a top choice for home security and chose it as one of its “best alternatives to SimpliSafe.”
Frontpoint has some of the best equipment deals. The starter package is just $99. However, more robust offerings will run you anywhere from $500 to $700. The build-your-own package starts with a hub and keypad for $229, with camera, intrusion, hazard, and home automation add-ons available. Every bundle comes with a free doorbell camera, too.
Monitoring is more expensive than most other providers, starting at $49.99/month. You get high-quality service for that, of course, but it is roughly 3x more expensive than SimpliSafe’s cheapest plan. It is important to remember, though, that SimpliSafe doesn’t include mobile app access in its free plan, but Frontpoint does. That’s a big plus. And Frontpoint also includes ID Protect—online monitoring tools to protect your identity and finances—for free to all customers.
Frontpoint doesn’t offer as many integrations as abode, but it plays nicely with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Z-Wave via the mobile app.
In short, you can get a lot more out of Frontpoint’s free plan than SimpliSafe’s. And since their equipment costs are comparable, that makes Frontpoint a better deal overall. Add in strong customer service and an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, and you can see why Frontpoint is frequently named as one of the better alternatives to SimpliSafe.
Cove is a smaller player in the DIY security game, but it punches above its weight class. The executives have a combined 30+ years in home security, and the company consistently ranks well in most industry comparisons.
Cove’s equipment also costs about the same as SimpliSafe, depending on the package and accessories that you choose. Even better, you can get started with $0 upfront with its Economy Plan.
Unfortunately, Cove does not offer a free self-monitoring plan. But monitoring packages start at just $15/month (compared to $18/month for SimpliSafe). Opt for the $25/month Plus Plan, and you’ll also get a lifetime equipment warranty, a lifetime rate-lock guarantee, and a $5 credit each month that you can save up for equipment upgrades.
One of Cove’s most notable differentiators is its TripleTouch Alarm Response. While most providers attempt to call you, Cove takes a three-pronged approach to every alarm: InstaText, LiveAssist via their touchscreen control pad, and direct phone call. This gives the monitoring team a greater chance to verify a crime in progress, which expedites police response.
Cove has limited integration with only Amazon Alexa and Google Home.
All told, Cove is possibly the most similar alternative to SimpliSafe. But in a side-by-side comparison, Cove has a slight advantage in some key ways. If you’re looking to spend about the same as you would with SimpliSafe but get more bells and whistles, Cove is a winner.
Scout Alarm is another strong alternative to SimpliSafe.
Scout Packs (i.e. bundles) start at $229 and max out at $549, on par with SimpliSafe. You can also build your own system, starting with the Scout Hub for $120. Then, add accessories like door panels, access sensors, doorbell cameras, motion sensors, panic buttons, indoor cameras, and so on. But while SimpliSafe offers an outdoor camera, Scout has no such product. Service plans are Always On for $10/month—with self-monitoring and cloud storage available for an extra $2.99/camera—and Always On+ for $20/month, including remote monitoring. Both plans are 10% cheaper if you pay annually.
No contract? Yes. Self-monitoring plan? Absolutely, albeit for a price. Smart home integrations? You bet. More than SimpliSafe—Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Hue, Z-Wave, IFTTT, Lifx, Zigbee, First Alert, Kwikset, and Yale—but not as many as abode.
A unique feature of Scout is its RFID capabilities. RFID allows you to arm or disarm your system with little stickers or tags. Attach them to your keys, for example, and your system will automatically arm itself when you walk out and disarm when you return.
Using your smart device, you can arm and disarm the system from anywhere, look over the activity feed, and create custom alerts and actions.
More Powerful Security Alternatives
SimpliSafe is a reliable DIY option for your home security needs. But that doesn’t mean it’s automatically the best choice for you. SimpliSafe and others are reactive, only responding after a break-in occurs. If you need a more proactive security system, look for home security cameras with live video surveillance.
Deep Sentinel is one of the most powerful security solutions out there. No one gets the police involved faster, with zero false alarms. If SimpliSafe just won’t cut it, give Deep Sentinel a try.