There’s no way you haven’t. If you’re active on YouTube at all, you’ve definitely heard of SimpliSafe; the security system company that prides itself on making getting an alarm system both quick and easy.
“Why…” you may be asking “is Shelby talking about a security system on a site about video games and the games industry?”
Well, that’s a fantastic question, and it’s one I’m happy to answer later. Suffice it to say, I’ve heard so many different plugs for SimpliSafe from all kinds of personalities online; from societal commentary channels to science-focused personalities. These come as a result of the company sending free systems to various personalities and influences.
I’m not big enough to snag those kinds of deals, but I managed to snag a system.
Ease Of Use Is Paramount
I was already in the market for a security system, and I had been doing my research. I looked at traditional companies like ADT, as well as smaller companies, but I couldn’t get away from the negative feedback and comments regarding the services. The contracts are usually both expensive and hard to get out of once you got in. Couple that with the requirement of having someone come out to your house to not only sell you the equipment they think you need, but also install the system itself, and you have a recipe for a headache.
So when I saw the first few plugs for SimpliSafe, my interest was piqued. The fact that I had just about everything set up in one afternoon is amazing, honestly. I felt much better that I bought this system after our first big scare.
Pulled my car out in the driveway to get ready to wash it when I saw a “neighbor” wave and say hello from the road. Being nice, I waved back and then proceeded to get my husband. The “neighbor” approached us and told us he’d recently been laid off, was a neighbor, and
— Jennifer Steiner (@Steiner_1020) July 21, 2019
The free sign they sent me got staked into the yard that night.
SimpliSafe isn’t kidding when they say it’s easy to get set up. Ordering was a breeze, as was getting most of it up and running. The gear isn’t too expensive either, which is very nice to say the least. Comparable systems can run you easily over $1000 in some cases, and that’s not considering contracts or service calls. SimpliSafe’s equipment just sticks to where you want to mount it, essentially, with Command Strips. I worried that the adhesive might not stick well enough to keep the gear in place, but it holds up very well.
I tested the system once it all got up and running, and the company gave us a few days to get used to the system, what worked at least.
See, everything worked beautifully, except for the cameras. They’re built well enough (made with sturdy plastics and metal), but the problem isn’t build quality; the issue is connectivity.
I’ve spent hours trying to get the cameras that I purchased to connect to the network, to no avail. It seems that the mantra of ease-of-use just went completely out the window when they designed the firmware for the cameras themselves. About the best that I’ve been able to narrow it down to is that the cameras are connecting to the network, but they aren’t getting through my local network to the internet. Similarly, the base station itself can connect to my wifi network, but it shows that the connection is “down”.
Based on what I’ve read, this is due to the limitations of their devices, and how they interact with user’s network. The cameras themselves are completely incompatible with 5.0 GHz networks, which is fine I suppose, since 2.4 GHz generally has a longer range. Still, it’s frustrating when troubleshooting steps for anything requires you to try disabling half of your network, removing any sort of password protection, or even just flat out doing a factory reset of your router, just to see if it works.
To this day, after ordering the system around Father’s Day, I still haven’t been able to get the cameras to work. I’ve since set up an RMA with SimpliSafe to return the cameras, but part of me is hanging onto the chance that I can get them to work somehow. Thankfully the base station still functions with the built-in cellular connection, and it also has an emergency battery as well.
What I can say however, is that I love the items that work. The system itself was relatively cheap, but still functional. Furthermore, despite not having to sign a 5-year contract, we have full monitoring, meaning that any alarm activation will result in SimpliSafe contacting us before attempting to contact the police. You can set up two contacts that the monitoring staff will try to contact before they contact the police, then additional contacts they can get a hold of if they’re unable to contact those on the list.
One thing to note however, is that it’s often required that you register your system with your police department after setting everything up. Thankfully, SimpliSafe let me know ahead of time that this was the case before my equipment even arrived. I believe that most police departments do this as a means to mitigate false alarms, as our department actually will fine you, and eventually terminate your permit after too many false alarms.
I know this, because we had a false alarm the first day after the test period ended. It appears that our cats Milo and Sammie triggered the motion sensor right after I arrived at work (I couldn’t verify this, because the cameras don’t work). In response, I was able to change the trigger of the motion sensor to send an alert to my phone instead of triggering the alarm. Any one of the sensors can be programmed to do anything from simply sending an alert, triggering an alarm after a set amount of time, or even just going off immediately. There is a minor catch though…
The advertised 50 cents a day (~$15 a month) is only good if you don’t care about using the mobile app, cameras, or secret alerts like the ones I mentioned earlier. If you want to be able to disable the alarm without needing to go to the keypad, you’ll either need to buy a key fob for $25, or pay for the “Interactive” plan (which is ~$25 a month) in order to use the alarm control functionality in the mobile app.
The app itself works very well, and it allows you to fully control your system from anywhere, meaning you can change settings on the fly. This came in handy when my security system went off while I was at work. I was able to change the settings from my phone and reset the system when I got home for lunch. There are a few more niceties as well, such as having the freedom to name the devices themselves, to make them easier to identify when they generate alerts, and you can even enable duress codes on the keypad in the horrific event that someone forces you to disable the alarm (entering the duress code sets off a silent alarm).
What’s cool is that you can still do much of this through a web browser on your phone, but the app makes things a little more convenient. For instance, you can view your camera feeds at any time through the app (assuming that you got them to work in the first place).
You may remember when you asked what this review for a security system is doing on Falcon Game Reviews (of course you remember; you’re the one that asked, remember?). The reason I decided to write a review for this is because I’ve been seeing sponsored posts everywhere it seems, but I honestly have a hard time trusting people receiving something like this for free. Given that I was already in the market for a security system, and I don’t have any skin in the game, I wanted to give an actually unbiased reviewsince so many in the tech and gaming field seem to be telling people to buy into SimpliSafe.
All that said, I don’t think that $15-$25 is too much to ask, and SimpliSafe does offer a lengthy time period to return everything for a refund. It’s clear to me that the company is interested in getting the customer experience right at the very least, even if their equipment leaves something to be desired.
Based on my experience, between the easy setup (barring the camera issue) and the cost of the equipment and service, I’m willing to go on the record saying that this is a pretty good system to buy into. Keep in mind that I’m both extremely paranoid, and also pretty cheap. So the fact that SimpliSafe puts me at ease and doesn’t make me reel from the price tag is frankly kinda amazing. If only their cameras actually worked…
So have you seen the ads around the internet? What are your thoughts on sponsored posts? On SimpliSafe?