Simplisafe: Quick Review and Update On New Equipment

Simplisafe, a self-install home security company based in Boston, just announced increased offerings in regards to the peripherals they sell on their website. These new motion detectors, glass breaks and also a new app available on your smartphone where a Simplisafe user can be notified of events that have occurred in the home.

Techcrunch wrote about the new peripherals here: http://techcrunch.com/2014/03/13/simplisafe-adds-new-sensors-services-to-their-diy-home-security-system/

Simplisafe sells their product direct to users through the internet or over the phone and then sends it through the mail for the user to install themselves. Packages range from $229 to $540 for the system (each package has increased equipment).

Simplisafe operates through a cellular connection between their unit and the Simplisafe central station. The systems do not have two-way voice or a dual backup network through digital phone lines or the internet.

Monitoring rates range from $14.99 for their basic monitoring to $24.99 for multiple features, which include Simplisafe’s app which allows you to remotely turn on and off the system and “secret alerts” – a gimmick where you place a sensor somewhere in your home for text alerts that someone has done an activity (such as opening a medicine cabinet, etc).

Simplisafe does not require a contract, which differs from other home alarm companies in the self-install space, such as Protect America, Frontpoint, and Lifeshield.

Simplisafe is a good option for a DIY self-install home alarm system, far lower in price than other self-install home alarms, however, the fact they do not offer live two-way voice is a detriment. Perhaps they will at some point, however currently they only offer traditional monitoring.

The other knock on Simplisafe is the high upfront cost of the system. The quality of the hardware is on par with others in the space, however, the upfront cost seems higher than it should be. Perhaps the company wants to limit their risk since they don’t require a contract between them and the customer.

Regardless, Simplisafe is a better value than most companies in the self-install space, and definitely a far better value than traditional home alarm systems, which require an installer, contract, and high monthly fees.

If a Simplisafe customer cancels their monitoring and wants to switch to another company, can another company monitor a Simplisafe system? I’m not sure. This is definitely something potential Simplisafe customers should be asking before they sign up for a system.

Think protection when buying or leasing a home security system. Make an informed decision and remember to spend your money wisely.

 

What is a Motion Detector And How Does It Work?

You’re looking for an alarm system and a company just quoted you on a ton of equipment. Let me guess, they told you that you need every single door and window covered with a door/window contact?

Yes, folks, I know what you’re thinking, I can read minds. The truth is that every single big box company will try and squeeze every penny out of you knowing well enough that you actually don’t need all that equipment.

But how is that possible? How can I possible secure my home if I don’t have a peripheral covering ever entrance point? The answer to that question is simple; you can protect your home best through the use of motion detectors.

A motion detector covers a lot more ground than a door contact.

Let’s break this down for all of you. If you put a contact on your window and someone cuts the glass and enters, the contact will never go off because the seal will not have been broken. You run the risk of these peripherals on the windows and doors being easily by-passed. Your alarm company will then say, get a glass break detector, so that way if the glass is broken the detector will sound. Well, guess, a burglar could just duct take the window, smash it, then take it off, and the glass break detector won’t pick up a thing!

There is no way to bypass a motion detector!

If you have a motion detector once the intruder works his/her way through the home they are going to be passing through an area that has a high traffic volume. This is where a motion detector will be the most useful. The intruder has nowhere to go, once they enter into that area the alarm is going to sound. If you are smart enough to find a company that offers two-way voice monitoring well than that’s even better because that will prompt automatically.

Adding all that equipment can be very costly as well, think about how many doors and windows you have in your house. It adds up, especially when you have to start replacing batteries for all those sensors. Typically a motion detector can cover an area of 150 feet, this is a very large range so one maybe two motions detectors at most may be needed. I would suggest that if you really want a door contact, throw one on your back door and your front door.

When a company starts telling you that you should be putting contacts on your windows upstairs that should trigger a red flag. Think about it for a second, how are the intruders going to get into your windows from upstairs? Do you really think they are going to get a ladder and try to break in that way? I really hope you don’t think that could be an option. Intruders will always try and enter into your home from the bottom floor so what’s the point in spending all that money for the upstairs because they will never go off. You want to make sure you have the motion detector covering the bottom floor so if the intruder tries to go anywhere in the house including upstairs the motion detector will be tripped and the live two-voice monitoring will come on. By that time the intruder will know he doesn’t have any time to spare so they will try and get out as fast as possible.

So when you start calling these big companies like Rogers Smart Home Monitoring, ADT, Protectron, CPI, Comcast Xfinity and Vivint don’t let them bully you around and tell you that you need all this equipment. Better yet, think protection and find a company that truly knows something about securing homes and call them, do your research!