SimpliSafe Starter Security Alarm System Kit is designed for small homes and flats. It’s got an entry sensor to cover your main door, plus a motion sensor for an extra layer of protection.
SimpliSafe is a well known US brand and not one I had heard of in the UK. I was not aware of monitored security systems. By that I mean that some third party is keeping an eye on your house instead of you via an app. SimpliSafe work on a two-tier system. You purchase and self-install the hardware, and then pay a monthly/yearly cost for the monitoring.
SimpliSafe Starter Security Alarm System Kit Open box, Start Protecting
The Starter Kit I was sent £278.96, which includes an entry sensor, motion sensor, camera, keypad and a base station to link them all together. You then have the option of three monitoring choices none (free), pro (£12.99) and pro premium (£19.99). Pro Premium features things I would want in a security system including alerts right on your phone. Though this is lacking a “self-monitoring” option, where you get an alert on your phone, you can view the feed and you can then call the police. Also, you are given a couple of window stickers to scare off any intruders, and a sign to stick in your front garden.
Installation is easy, all the devices have 3m stickers on them, so just peel and stick where you want. The base station can be plugged in and turned on, it uses 3g and Wifi. This is quite clever so if the bad guys takeout your internet the base station will still work. You can buy individual sensors and just add them to your security ecosystem, such as the glass break sensor I got.
You can use the Simplisafe app to get all set up and use the keypad to activate and deactivate the alarm. The system has to go through a learning stage to get an idea of how the household works, and allow it to spot anything out of the ordinary. You also need to set up secondary contacts and a safeword. This means if there is a reason to call you, they can run down the list of contacts.
Once all done, you can then use the keypad to turn off/on the alarm when you get in or are going out. If you forget to turn on the alarm, you can always use the app. The app is also useful to check the status of the sensors.
Home Sweet Home | SimpliSafe Home Security
One thing I loved was that I didn’t get any false alarms, and when I did test “breaking in” I got the call to alert me. This compared to Canary which sends me 5 – 15 alarms a day, none of which are actual alarms.
The way the system works is that if a sensor goes off, Barry down in the monitoring room will look at the camera feed for the 15 mins around the alarm and see what’s occurring. Now if they see someone they will then call me and tell me what’s happening. Barry can’t just access your camera footage as he will need to request permission from me to do so. For instance, if an alarm is triggered:
- A security expert from the SimpliSafe receiving centre will call me to see if i’m ok/if it’s a false alarm or that it could be a possible intruder.
- If i’m not home, they will ask me if they can access my SimpliCam’s live footage but only have access to 15 minutes. This is to visually verify whether an intruder is in my home.
- If an intruder is confirmed they will request police dispatch.
- If the ARC can’t reach me or any of your other contacts via the phone, they can dispatch a guard. Guard dispatch does incur an extra charge but you can opt in and out of this.
The camera is lacking the features found in other smart systems. Although, at under £50 each, they can afford not to. The Pro Premium subscription gives it unlimited cloud storage, but there are no alert zones or tagging options.
This system is perfect for any technophobes with a bit of dosh. The modular system is easy to upgrade and install. The app is straight forward and you even have the option to just use a physical keypad. My message to SimpliSafe is, come up with a self-monitoring option and I am all yours. Finally, check out our other Security reviews. Follow us on Twitter or Facebook.