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SimpliSafe Home Security System is one of the best do-it-yourself security systems that allow you to save money while keeping your home protected. It boasts of affordable components that enable you to expand your system.
It does not need a monitoring contract but you can get some of the best professional monitoring services on it. It also has cellular and battery backup, making sure that your home is protected even when the power or the Internet goes out.
However, SimpliSafe does not use third-party devices and does not offer any integration. If you already have a smart home, you might be able to save by using the devices you already have as part of your security system.
If, for whatever reason, you do not want to get SimpliSafe, there are a few alternatives out there.
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#1 Alternative to SimpiSafe: Abode
The Abode starter kit includes the gateway, two window and door sensors, a remote key fob, and a security camera with motion sensors. With this starter kit, you can already be notified if the windows and doors are opened, or when there is movement captured on the camera.
When the sensors are tripped, you will be informed via the mobile app. The good news is that you can customize the notifications so that you can get alerted for those security events that are important to you. Additionally, Abode has several bundles that let you to save money.
On top of that, you can also add more sensors to help you monitor and protect your home from more threats, such as glass break sensors, entry sensors, different types of door sensors, motion sensors, security cameras, temperature sensors, smoke alarm monitors, water leak sensors, and others.
Abode also offers signs and decals advertising that your home is protected by Abode, potentially scaring off would-be robbers who are out for a hassle-free heist.
Plans. Abode offers three plans for its security system. There is the basic plan, which comes free with all Abode purchases. This free plan allows you access to the mobile app and gives you three days of media storage, as well as access to the IFTTT channel and e-mail support.
You can also opt for the Connect plan, which gives you a 3G cellular backup connection and 14 days of media storage, on top of the features already offered with the Basic plan.
You can also add professional monitoring service to your Basic or Connect plan; you will need to pay $8 for three days of monitoring or $15 for a week of monitoring.
If that is not enough, you can opt for the Connect + Secure plan, where you pay $240 per year and get round-the-clock professional monitoring, 90 days of media storage, and access to premium support, plus everything offered in the Connect plan.
Integrations. Abode has its own IFTTT channel, which would allow you to connect your security system with other smart devices. It also works with Nest Camera, allowing you to request an image from the camera using the Abode apps, or set up automation rules.
You can also connect Abode with Nest Protect allowing you to have these professionally monitored, or get more savings when you integrate it with Nest Thermostat. The company also offers a Zigbee Extender that you could use to make your Abode devices integrate with other Zigbee devices.
#2 Alternative: LiveWatch
LiveWatch believes that you can protect your home without having to fill it up with sensors. As such, its starter kit comes only with door sensors and motion sensors. The basic kit also comes with a keychain remote and you can opt to get a security camera when you choose a plan with video.
You can add more door sensors, motion sensors, and keychain remotes when you order.
One of the unique features of the LiveWatch system is the ASAPer. The ASAPer will create a group chat that includes you and all of your emergency contacts once there is a detected security event. You can discuss whether it is a false alarm or whether you should call the police in to your home.
This means that each one of your emergency contacts would have the chance to verify a possible security threat, rather than have the professional monitoring service call them one by one.
LiveWatch offers three paid plans with professional monitoring. The Plug Mobile Pro Plan costs $34.95 a month and includes 24/7 professional monitoring, ASAPer, remote arm or disarm, and access to the LiveVoice service.
The Total Home Plan costs $39.95 and gives you additional services like smartphone control, home automation, location-based control, real-time notifications, and smart image capture.
Meanwhile, the Total Home + Video Plan costs $49.95 and includes live video streaming on top of everything offered for the Total Home Package. You can also save more money if you opt for the Basic Plan, which gives you professional monitoring and the ASAPer technology for only $19.95 a month.
LiveWatch does not have any integrations outside of Z-Wave, but it does work well with Alarm.com. The system is aimed at those who want to simplify their home security system with both cellular back up and professional monitoring thrown in.
However, the lack of sensors and the absence of a free option might turn some people off.
#3 Alternative: ADT Pulse
ADT Pulse is probably one the most trusted names in home security. The company delivers some of the best customer service there is, on top of the wider choices in the devices and sensors available for you to choose from.
The ADT Pulse system can protect your home from potential break-ins and environmental threats. No other security system gives you control over many different sensors and alarms, including smoke and fire alarms, garage door control, smart thermostat, lights, and flood monitoring, among many others.
You can view all of these on the mobile app, and you can opt to have them included in the professional monitoring service.
ADT Pulse works with Amazon Alexa, enabling you to arm or disarm your security system with just a voice command. It also works with Zigbee devices.
You can integrate it with several devices such as Ring Video Doorbell or Nest Learning Thermostat, but, unlike other ADT devices that you can control from the ADT Pulse app, you would need to download separate mobile apps to control them.
What’s more, you can access the control panel from the mobile app or a Web-based app. The Web-based app, however, gives you a finer degree of control, while the mobile app gives you an easy way to check how things are at home.
ADT Pulse, however, is not what you might call budget-friendly. It does require a three-year subscription up front and you will need a professional to install it. However, if you want full home security where everything is monitored for you, then this should be a good product to consider.
Just make sure that you get only what you need because ADT’s online customer service is very good at upselling stuff. You also have to find out what tier you belong to.
All in all, ADT Pulse can prove to be very expensive, especially for those who opt for a customized system. But it is one way to make sure that you are adequately protected.
Plans. ADT has five monitoring package that includes 24 hours monitoring, digital keypad, door and window sensors, siren, backup battery, signs and decals, and a wireless keychain remote.
The Essentials package has a monthly rate of $36.99, while the Essentials Plus go for $42.99 and includes two-way voice on top of the basic package. The Total Protection costs $44.99 a month and has everything in the Essentials package and the Safewatch Cellguard.
The Total Protection Plus version costs $47.99 monthly and adds two-way voice to the Total Protection Package. Meanwhile, the Premium Protection with ADT Pulse costs $52.99 and includes everything in the Total Protection Plus package and a range of interactive solutions from ADT.
How do these three security systems stack up against each other?
Round 1: Value for money
|Free plan available||Yes||No||No|
|Professional installation needed||No||No||Yes|
|Lowest prices for|
Abode is the only one that offers a free plan, while both LiveWatch and ADT require a monitoring contract. ADT also requires that your system be installed by certified installers.
Furthermore, ADT is more expensive, with the lowest price you need to pay for cellular backup being $540, plus you also need to pay at least $444 for professional monitoring.
The Abode, on the other hand, has the most attractive prices on top of offering the free plan. It has a battery backup, which is very useful in the event of a power outage, and is something that LiveWatch does not provide.
Overall, Abode is the best choice when it comes to features and value for money.
Round 2: Integrations
|Z-wave or Zigbee||Optional||Yes||Yes|
LiveWatch works only with Z-wave, while ADT beats it by having Nest integrations and support for Amazon Alexa. Abode, however, is the most connected of these three.
Round 3: Devices and prices
|Starter kit price||$329||$99||$550|
|Glass break and vibration sensor||$36||X||Supported|
|Entry sensors (doors and windows)||$25||$30||$25|
|Acoustic glass break sensor||$59||X||Supported|
|Smoke alarm monitor||$54||Supported||$63|
|Temperature, humidity and light sensor||$49||Supported||Supported|
|Water leak sensor||$49||X||$35|
Lastly, you have the supported devices for each security system. This will help you know what you can monitor with each system.
LiveWatch aims to keep things simple. It has the cheapest starter kit at $99, while the sensors it offers, such as entry sensors and motion sensors, are moderately priced. The system has minimal protection against environmental threats such as temperature, smoke, and fire.
Abode offers a wide range of supported devices and they also have their own available devices. These sensors are priced competitively, making Abode the most attractive alternative to SimpliSafe in terms of price.
ADT does not publish its prices, but it does have a partnership with Samsung SmartThings. ADT’s system can support different types of sensors and devices, but for the most part, ADT relies on third-party products such as the SmartThings ADT product lines, Ring Video Doorbell, and others.
Also worth considering – Honorable Mentions
There are other home security systems worth considering. These include:
- Vivint Sky. It can integrate with your existing door locks, cameras, thermostats, and other sensors. It also offers cloud storage for your media. It functions both as a security system and a remote control for various devices around your home.
- Frontpoint Home Security Sytem. This is A DIY home security system that is both very easy to install and set up. It has some of the most responsive sensors there are, and it also has a wide variety of accessories available. However, this might prove to be more expensive especially when compared to others on this list.
- SkylinkNet Alarm System. The starter kit costs less than $150, but sensors can be quite basic. The lower price comes at the expense of a lack of features, so you may not be getting the home protection you need or want.
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Patrick Sinclair is a geek; make no mistake about that. He runs All Home Robotics in his spare time so he doesn’t have to think about his depressing cubicle and it gives him an excuse to buy expensive gadgets to review!