Over the last few years, we have considered getting a security system on several occasions. With the rise in footfall in our street, with us living on a corner, having a young family and hearing reports of crime being on the rise, we started to wonder what the best method would be in order to feel safer. There are so many options available and a lot seemed to be a bit complicated with a lot of professional installation required which isn’t something we really wanted to do as we aren’t sure how long we will be here anyway. So, when SimpliSafe got in touch to ask us to review their very easy to use home security system I was eager to find out more.
Who Are SimpliSafe?
SimpliSafe is an established home security system company which originated in the US. Founded in 2006, the company went from strength to strength and has now been brought over here to the UK. Their security systems are built to be wireless, simple, they come with packages that can be tailored to your needs and can be installed completely by you.
The SimpliSafe security system is made up of three core components: The base station, wireless keypad and the Simplicam. Each work together along with your motion sensors to give your home the security you need and peace of mind when you are aren’t in or are away for a trip or holiday.
The base station is basically the brains of your system. It is used to inform you of particular activities that are happening, for example, it will speak and tell you that your alarm is off, that it is set, that a sensor is linked and so on, plus it sounds the alarm if an intruder enters and will alert the SimpliSafe control centre.
The keypad is what controls your system. From here you can set your alarm, tell it you are home or switch it off. You will also use this to link additional components to one another.
The Simplicam is an internal WiFi camera which will capture anything that is going on inside your home whilst you are away. The SimpliSafe app will alert you if there is any movement and you can watch your home live from your mobile phone. You can begin to record a burglary as it is taking place. It is also a great way of checking in every now and then to see if your pets are ok.
The Sensors– The sensors are used to pick up any movement that may occur in your home whilst you are out. The door sensors are triggered when the door is opened and the wall sensors will pick up on movement from a person. These will alert your base station.
As I mentioned above, you can easily tailor packages to your own needs. There are a wide range of packages already made up by SimpliSafe which you can view here but with each one, you can add more components and upgrade your security cover as you see fit (choosing pro cover will provide you with the SimpliSafe monitoring service). We were sent their Starter System to review and this is how we got on…
The starter pack comes with a base station, a keypad, the Simplicam, 1 motion sensor and 1 entry sensor (for a door). You will also receive a yard sign and window stickers to display.
The instructions were very easy to read and follow and within moments I (the technophobe) was setting it all up on my own. Before fixing any of the sensors to the wall, it is very important that you decide on the best areas for these to be placed in your home. Your motion sensors want to be around 1.5 to 2 metres off the ground and have a clear section in front of them to pick up any movement. Now, if you have pets, do not worry, the sensors are designed to only pick up the body heat from a human, not an animal, which means they won’t be able to set an alarm off if left alone in the house. Once you have your chosen spots, you can fix the sensors to the wall using the sticky tabs provided, nope, you don’t even have to get your toolbox out!
The entry sensor can go on any door but the two sections must be able to meet up so you will need to take a close look at where this can be made possible. The images in the handbook are very helpful guides to follow.
The keypad will need to sit on a wall by your front door for ease of use as you leave and enter and your base station will want to live in a central area of your home.
I found the set up to be very quick and easy. Once I decided where each component would go, I popped them into place and then followed the instructions on the keypad to link everything up.
There is nothing technical to any of it, you just follow the instructions from the book and keypad and the system does the rest for you. Once you are all set up, you can place your keypad on the wall too, however, this is much heavier than the motion sensors and after a few falls from using the sticky tabs, we did have to use the screws that are provided in the pack to secure it to the wall. Again, it was no hassle because SimpliSafe have this covered with the appropriate holes in the bracket and plenty of screws.
You want to place your Simplicam in a place where it has an optimal view of a room with no obstructions. The Simplicam is a little different and has to be set up via the SimpliSafe app.
You download the app in the app store and again, follow all of the instructions which includes adding your details and the unique number from the base station. You then link your camera using a QR code. My only tip for doing this is to choose a place that isn’t too bright or do it in the evening. We were attempting to link ours during summer on a very hot and sunny day and it just wouldn’t read the code. We left it until the evening and it managed it immediately.
As you can see, the camera works in colour. It also has sound, you can choose to start recording at the touch of a button and you can also speak to an intruder via your app to alert them that they are being watched/recorded/the police have been called etc.
Using The System
SimpliSafe don’t have the word ‘Simpli’ in there for no reason, honestly, the whole system is just that; simple. You choose a pin code that you will be able to remember and this is what you use to control the keypad. There are three easy buttons on the top– Off, Home, Away– and they do exactly what you’d expect. You can turn your alarm off when you don’t need it, you can select home to let the system know that you are here but you are still protected and away is for when you leave your home and want complete protection.
We have had the starter pack for around a month now and during this time we had a 2 week holiday to Cornwall which made it a perfect way of fully testing the SimpliSafe security system. On leaving the house we obviously made sure that all doors were secured, that keys were removed from locks, curtains were drawn, that the camera and sensors were working (by checking on the keypad and the app) and I also placed a SimpliSafe sticker in our front window to help to deter anybody who may have noticed the house was empty.
On leaving we hit the away button and off we went. It felt really good driving away knowing that our home was protected. On other holidays we have either had a housesitter or a neighbour has had a key but she has since moved away and I didn’t want to ask others that I didn’t know very well. I have family members who have keys and so I also added these as contacts to our secondary call list for SimpliSafe to get in touch with if they couldn’t get hold of us or if they needed access to the property due to a break-in.
Whilst we were away, I could easily check-in with the app to live stream my living room to make sure that no unusual activity was taking place and to check that the system was still set in the away mode.
Of course, we did want our home to be checked on in person too and my Dad was given clear instructions on how to use the system when he visited. He had no issues whatsoever. He switched the alarm off fine, he checked on our home and he set the alarm again on his way out. I could see this on the app too just to be sure.
Our cleaner also came in one day and again, she had no trouble with the alarm system and even messaged me how easy it all was to use.
When we arrived back the house was perfectly secure and safe.
Having the SimpliSafe security system has really helped to put my mind at ease whilst we are away from our home. The last thing we would want is to come back to find that some of our treasured possessions have been taken or that our home has been damaged in some way. I loved the idea that the team would be alerted if anything happened and that the security patrol or police would be asked to visit if an intruder was picked up as being inside. On top of this their customer service team have proved to be helpful, polite and quick to sort any issues (I made a mistake when entering some details) and their clear instructions and package deals made it easy for us to decide on which protection to choose and whether or not we needed extra components (for clarity we also chose an extra motion sensor). The system is so simple to use that you can inform somebody of the directions in a quick phone call or text message and they can also use it with ease. I would highly recommend this system if you are looking for great deals, something that you can set up and control yourself and also a system that can be easily tailored to all of your needs.
*We were sent the SimpliSafe security system in exchange for an honest review. As always all opinions are our own. For further information please refer to my disclosure page.
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