SimpliSafe Wireless Home Security Pack
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Bought this during the last sale on Woot (same price) and I’ve been pleased with it. It was straightforward, easy, and fast to install. It’s probably necessary to upgrade to the 105db extra siren ($59.99) if the alarm should serve to deter an intruder. The supplied base unit may not be loud enough for your neighbors to hear right away, and can probably be easily located and disabled.
The $14.99 a month plan provides security service but unfortunately no online or iOS app configuation / remote toggling. I have not tested the motion sensor extensively with the cat in the house, but from cursory testing and what I have read online, the claims that it ignores small animals seems to be supported.
All in all I have a tough time imagining that what you get out of much more expensive systems is worth the extra cost.
An additional note, the base unit uses Tmobile by default and could not reach the service center from my location. I called and they sent me a Verizon chip board overnight with a return label for the Tmobile. That worked and was easy to swap out of the base unit. I had read online about long waits for phone customer service but they answered right away.
I also bought this the last time Woot had this on sale and I am mostly pleased with it.
Easy to install and configure as long as you have a computer to do the updating (who doesn’t).
Support is VERY good and help you out significantly and quickly.
You can stop the monitoring service and reactivate it whenever you want.
I only need monitoring when we go on vacation as the Big Dogs (better deterrent than alarm) go to a kennel.
Everything is wireless.
Everything is wireless. (see what I did here). It is both good and bad. I good thief will just get one of those cell phone blockers and you are screwed. No alarm signal will go out.
It will most likely stop the casual thief from bothering, though.
Bigest Flaw for the product is NO Camera integration. Judging by all the customer posts on their blog, this is the item they want most. They have been promising this for years but so far have not produced any type of integration with any camera systems.
If i can think of more I will repost.
I bought a Simplisafe system direct from the company, and I just want to pop in and voice my satisfaction with their product. It’s great and cheap!
The base station can be plugged into a phone line or internet connection if you’re worried about that. But if a thief comes with a cell phone blocker, they probably know to cut off your phone and internet lines too… so don’t use Simplisafe if this is the thief you’re expecting:
I’ll second that; the base unit speaker is hardly impressive. Additionally, the base and siren chirp for 30 seconds before calling the cops, and you don’t want your intruder to be able to find and disable the base station. Having a second chirp source should prevent the thief from easily ferreting out the base location. But beware, the siren is the most power-hungry accessory I have for my system… it’ll chew through 4 AAs in 9 months.
I love my Simplisafe system. It’s a cheap way to get a discount on my homeowner’s policy, it’s effective and easy to use, and it gives me peace of mind. What more could you want?
I wonder if the 60 day money back guarantee will apply to this purchase?
Wireless security sensors are better than nothing , but not much better. If you do buy the system don’t put the stupid stickers up on your house and advertise you have it. Contrary to popular belief, having the stupid stickers on your house saying you have a security system can make you a target. Because in some areas will target houses with certain systems they know how to bypass because security systems often make owners complacent.
Weakness in system is the wireless sensors, runs in 433mhz and 315mhz. Thieves know that and for a small investment can buy a “hobby kit” on ebay. While sales of cell phone jammers are generally tightly regulated the “hobby kits” in the these frequency ranges are not. Not to mention that the sensors themselves have been shown to be susceptible to simple mechanical bypasses.
So if thieves know which wireless security system you have they generally will know several ways to just walk right in without tripping alarm.
We’ve used Simplisafe for years and have been very satisfied - very reasonable and no hype.
Thanks for the link. I’d be interested to hear any rebuttals or ways to “harden” a SS system. Of course the advice of not advertising what system you have is a good one.
Ok, about the Forbes article and video of the magnet on the sensor. Notice how he placed it there before walking out. So the burglar would have to be inside your house first to bypass the sensor?? Why not try it from outside the door. Good luck. Maybe if you had a really strong magnet, and knew where the sensor was, you could place the magnet outside of the frame and fool the sensor.
Also note that he says this type of sensor is used in virtually every residential security system. So it isn’t just SimpliSafe. So even if the burglar was able to bypass the entry sensor, you use motion sensors too.
I’ve had my system for over a year now, and have not had any issues. I purchased it straight from SimpliSafe and customized one of their packages. I’ve got 14 entry sensors, 3 motion detectors, 2 smoke detectors, 2 water sensors, 2 105db sirens (1 inside, 1 outside), 2 glassbreak sensors, 2 keychains (which we almost never use), 1 keypad. I’ve replaced the batteries in the keypad and both 105db sirens recently, and everything else is still running on the original batteries.
Also, check with your insurance company about a discount on homeowners insurance. After my 10% discount, I’m paying a few dollars a month for the basic monitoring.
I got 5% for monitored burglary, and 5% for monitored fire (smoke detectors). Insurance agent also went on and on about the water sensors I said I installed. He said there are usually more claims for water damage in homes than anything else, because a pipe may break or switch malfunctions in washing machine or ice maker and the water just pours out on the floor all day while you’re at work.
I’ve been using a Simplisafe system (this kit, plus the smoke detector) for about 6 months now and I’ve had a good experience with it so far. Setup is easy and it’s mostly maintenance-free since then.
I’m using the $25/mo. monitoring service, which includes the android/iOS app that lets you arm/disarm the system from your smartphone and that’s pretty convenient. It also sends email/text notifications (configurable) for any alerts or based on time-of-day, which is good for peace of mind when I’m away from home. When I’ve talked to the monitoring service people, they’re responsive and professional.
I’ve got two 50-60 pound dogs and they will trip the motion sensor. Also, I once had a false alarm in the middle of the night when one of the door sensors fell down… The sticky pad on the back of it had gotten a little wet from condensation on the door during a big storm - but I stuck it back up and it stayed.
I would definitely go with Simplisafe if I had it to do over. They’re way cheaper than most other systems for pretty much all the same hardware. Monitoring has lots of budget/feature options, or you can use the system without it, which is cool.
we have it (Not bought from woot, we bought directly from simplisafe) and we are unable to use the motion sensors … i have a 40# dog that sets it off (i think when he jumps up and wanders around on the furniture or sits on the window seat) … So typically we just leave it in “home” mode whether home & sleeping or away… this activates everything except the motion sensors… i probably should just remove them
Bought one a year ago from woot. Easy to install, easy to use. If you are worried about a thief finding the base unit, buy a lampshade and put in on it. Hard to tell it is not a lamp.
happy user here.
All alarms use magnetic switches, nothing is perfect, and if master thieves want your stuff, they are gonna get it.
This is great to scare off small time thug types.
re folks having problems with motion sensors- try flipping them over (leaving space under the beam for your critters) and also, there is a sensitivity adjustment switch under the battery – some folks are unaware of that. Try medium or low, default is high I think.
I like the flexibility of wireless sensors and on the fly changes in configuration from the website. I also use the app all the time.
I have a sensor on a drawer that when I’m home, I want to know if anyone opens. It’s set to just text me, not trigger the alarm-- the possibilities for that are broad. Know if guests are snooping in the med cabinet at a party… know if somebody’s in the booze drawer. Parents know if the under sink door guarding poisonous chemicals has been breached by a toddler that likes to eat stuff…
No alarm is undefeatable. Use some common sense, this is a good, flexible system.
The monitoring, by the way, has been excellent. The few times I’ve set it off myself, they’ve called me before I could disarm.
Check with your local gov, you might have to get an alarm permit (I did).
Oh, and re flexibility- you can tell the system which sensors to arm when. Which are instant triggers and which have delay. All from the web interface. Very handy. When I had an issue with a motion sensor (fat cat) I was on vacation. After the false alarm, I was able to set that sensor to only text me until I got home and relocated it and adjusted it to not get set off by the cat. From the website I could see that although one interior motion had been tripped, all doors were closed, and no other motions had been set off, so the odds of anyone being there were very, very low (because the Mission Impossible folks do not want my junk).
You can hide the “brain” anywhere it has good signal. Inside an attic hatch. On a shelf in a wicker basket…
But the only concern with somebody getting your base station is this: they have to know your entry door that has a delay, and know that’s how the alarm is set up, and know where to find the base station, and disable it within 30 seconds of entering (away mode, less time can be set for home mode). Since the base is wireless and has back up battery in it, they have to smash it to bits in that time, not only find it. If they hit an instant trigger (which all should be except the door you open first) the signal is already sent. You could even set all sensors to “instant” and arm/ disarm through the app and not need an entry delay-- if that makes you feel better.
A few other nice things- set guest/ worker PIN codes easily. Family visiting? Give them a PIN code for their stay, then deactivate it in case your mother in law wrote it down on a note with your address…
It did occur to me that a thief could destroy the base station before the 30 second delay expired. To get around that I put a motion sensors that cover the base. They are set to no delay at all.
Now if a thief wants to destroy the base, they have to come in through the front door, which is the only sensor with a delay. Then they need to find and smash the base faster than it can dial because going past the foyer will set of the alarm instantly. I’d say they have about 3 seconds.
So they have fixed the problem then? Owners have been asking since 2012 to have the motion alarms set off the alarm instantly, but last I saw they still hadn’t fixed it. During the 30 second door delay motion alarms wouldn’t trigger an instant alarm.
To me it looks like simplisafe still hasn’t implemented the option to have motion sensors instant trigger if entry delay is still counting down.
The reason he demo’d the sensor bypass that way he did vs showing your the real way criminals do it is he is trying to be responsible. Its the same reason that the video of him walking around the house with the jammer in his hand is blurred so you can’t see what it is.
I worked as a private contractor doing investigations and processing insurance claims for years. I was always amazed that insurance companies gave discounts for these types of systems. We would have guys come in and show us demo’s on how they could detect and bypass a magnetic trip (from outside the house) in under 5 minutes. Now with a $20 SDR (to detect alarm frequency) and a small little hobby kit you have gangs of young kids bypassing these systems. There are even video’s online telling them how to do it.
I don’t have any skin in the game, don’t work in the industry anymore, don’t really care what you buy as I don’t have to live with the consequences. Like I said before, its better than nothing. A system such as this gives you yet another method to maintain awareness of what is going on in your house while you are away, just don’t rely on it as a “security” system.
There are closed loop wireless systems, where the base pings all sensors, and if sensor doesn’t respond they alarm. It keeps the thieves from using simple cheap jammers. This is not one of those systems. You get what you pay for so do your research and be an educated consumer. Impulse buys are fine on t-shirts and lawn furniture but not so great on security systems or parachutes.
During the 22-30 second entry delay from a door trigger, the alarm is beeping. Siren beeping.
Last time my home was broken into the thieves entered through a garage window, triggered a motion (with delay as garage was entry point) and ran, triggering the garage back door trigger on his way out, empty handed.
The typical thief doesn’t hear the countdown and calmly and rationally find and destroy the base in 22-30 seconds (home vs away delay minimums allowed by the system). They leave. And that’s the point.
Can it be done? Sure, I’ve seen lots of movies about “the big heist”. My house is not so attractive a target.