Last year I started shopping DIY home security options for my home. After long studies of all the players, I went with Simplisafe and honestly couldn’t be happier. I’d like to share my overall experience along with my time with the company’s latest addition Smart Lock.
I’d original shopped three names: Ring, Nest, and Simplisafe. I’m not quite sure what ultimately drew me to Simplisafe, but I’m a sucker for the underdog. I backed Palm and then Android when Apple and Microsoft were still kings. I use Linux on the desktop. I seem to like the little guys.
Whether this was the deciding factor, I’m not sure, but Simplisafe seemed like a good bet. I also like that it’s not beholden, at least not as of this post, to a larger corporation. I’m sure that Ring and Nest are great products. However, I like knowing that Simplisafe has a driven focus of only providing me with security systems.
Getting up and running with Simplisafe was all in the name. Simple. Following a few steps from the included setup guide and you are good to go.
- Decide where you want to place your base station
- Find the power port and plug in your station
- Pull the tab for the backup battery power
- Wait for the LEDs to let you know it’s ready with a nice glow
There are a few small items to consider before you continue with the setup. It’s recommended that your base station is centrally located in your home for the best coverage. You should also start mapping out the rest of your installation.
Depending on what kit package you’ve chosen, even the Essentials pre-built kit comes with one keypad and three entry sensors. Most will follow a similar path of positioning the keypad next to the main door into the house and the entry sensors on all the exterior doorways. If you want to stray from this map, you should make the preparations.
After you’ve completed the installation, it’s time to really fire the system up. Grab the first keypad and pull the battery tab. Once you’ve introduced power, the keypad and base station will attempt a handshake. Then follow the steps.
- You will be prompted to choose a master PIN
- Enter the master PIN and confirm
- Mount the keypad in the desired location
Mounting the keypad can be done in a couple of ways. You can choose a more temporary solution with the included 3M tape on the back of the keypad or you can make it more permanent with screws and drywall installation kit.
After performing these first few installation steps you are now ready to add your auxiliary elements of the Simplisafe ecosystem. This can include a long list of items that add features to your home security. On top of the standard entry sensors, you can add smoke alarms, cameras, panic buttons, doorbell cameras, or indoor cameras.
Every add-on follows the same basic steps to get it running go on the system. Remove the battery tab on the add-on, find add sensor from the system keypad, hit the test button on the add-on you are bringing aboard. The keypad then finds the add-on and prompts you to give it a name based on the location in the house.
The system is very flexible. You can set all this up with a one-time purchase that you max out your wallet. Or you can do like I’ve done and started with the Essential kit and then periodically added more entry sensors to my downstairs windows as well as smoke detectors. And that brings us to Simplisafe’s newest addition…
After I had my system set up and used Simplisafe for some time I started really wanting a connected lock option. Luckily for me, the company launched it’s Smart Lock and also allowed me the opportunity for review.
Much like the rest of the addons, the Smart Lock integrates flawlessly with the system with little effort.
- Remove your old deadbolt
- Choose the correct adapter for the lock you have from the colored options
- Install the deadbolt
- Position your outside keypad
- Remove the front cover and add your batteries
- Add the smart lock to your system via the Simplisafe keypad you have in the house
- Sync the keypad and lock via the app (this assigns the lock to the door it’s installed for the lock with alarm feature)
You’re done! Now you have a great option to access your lock via the app. This gives you remote permissions to unlock or lock your house if you’ve forgotten. Or maybe you have a seasonal cleaning service you’d like to have a custom PIN. You can also have the lock to activate whenever you arm the security system.
App and subscription
I’d be doing this review a disservice if I didn’t cover the app. While remote access will cost you $25, I feel it’s well worth the peace of mind and Simplisafe has built a great, modern application for Android.
You can arm or disarm the system with just a few taps. You can view your cameras if you have them. You can also alter the PINs for that new Smart Lock.
If you don’t think the additional features of the app are worth it, you can still use Simplisafe as a local option to monitor the perimeter. It still offers great cover of entry chimes to know when someone is coming or going to your home. Or, you can still scare the crap out of an intruder with the amazingly loud panic buttons.
It’s pretty simple for me. I love my Simplisafe. The support has been awesome. The app is great. And it’s even given me a discount on my home owner’s insurance. Add the new Smart Lock in the mix and I feel secure and futuristic at the same time with my Simplisafe system. As previously mentioned, most people go for the monitoring fee to get the full extent of the security system, but you really can make it what you want.
Systems start as low as $229 for the Foundation kit or you can max it out with the Haven kit at $489 (hit the website now for even cheaper prices). If you’d like to start out even smaller you can build your own system starting with just a base station and keypad.
I wouldn’t hesitate in the least to recommend Simplisafe to a reader looking to secure their homes. If you’ll excuse me, I need to go consider adding the Simplisafe Video Doorbell next.