Customer Reviews: SimpliSafe Outdoor Camera Home Security System White OSK211 - Best Buy

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Your price for this item is $399.99

Customer reviews

Rating 4.1 out of 5 stars with 56 reviews

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86%
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Page 1 Showing 1-20 of 56 reviews
  • Rated 4 out of 5 stars

    Works Best Paired With Interactive Monitoring Plan

    Posted .

    TLDR: If you fully intend to sign up for 24/7 home monitoring, SimpliSafe’s solution is a no-brainer choice for those that are interested in the best DIY smart security system for your home. If you want the choice to monitor on your own and don’t want to pay a monthly service fee, there are better solutions out there. The SimpliSafe security package is more or a less a complete system that will satisfy most homes in terms of overall hardware coverage, and is expandable if you need more hardware down the road. It comes with two cameras, three door/window sensors, a wall-mountable keypad and even a keyfob for easy arm/disarming. What ties these all together is the included SimpliSafe Gen3 Base Station that keeps you in the loop via app/text/email as well as inform the home monitoring team so they are aware of what’s going on during an intrusion. Getting set up is all done through the SimpliSafe app (on iOS or Android). You create an account, provide details of what property you intend on monitoring, and begin to install all hardware. The app will guide you through the process in great detail and each hardware component will have its own set of instructions. I found the directions to be very easy to follow as well as navigating through the app overall. In the app, the ability to arm and disarm your system is front and center. This is what SimpliSafe is about, and this is their main focus for you as a consumer. You will also see an events timeline showing when you armed/disarmed as well as camera detections and the video snippet it was able to record of that detection. It is worth noting that while all camera detections are recorded and saved, they are only broadcasted as a notification to you when the system is set to an armed state (either home or away). You can customize these alerts if you’re interested in knowing about every single detection, even when the alarm is off. If you’re a hands-off kind of person and want to rely on the home monitoring to do their thing, you can simply arm/disarm using the included keypad or keyfob. The bread and butter of this package is the inclusion of two wireless outdoor cameras, a first for SimpliSafe. Each at an MSRP of almost half the cost of this entire kit, this package provides high value for those looking to add or upgrade their security systems. The camera is at 1080p with 8x digital zoom (pinch zooming while viewing the feed, I’m guessing). I know, 1080p does sound a bit low for today’s standards, but the camera is focused on detecting people first, with all else as secondary detections. SimpliSafe has tuned it for optimal detection up to 15 feet, but it can reach farther than that. It also helps keep the battery usage low at that resolution. It has a built-in spotlight to see in full color at night and a built-in siren to scare the beetlejuice out of criminals. Installation and battery swaps are a breeze, and I found the viewing adjustability to be very good with a magnet-based mounting system. As far as performance, detection latency was about 1 second, which is very good for a wireless camera that needs to spool up from a low powered detection mode. The other aspect to detection latency is the detection duration, which I found is also very good. As long as the camera detects motion, it will continue to record. I’ve owned other systems where the record cuts abruptly even though there is clearly someone in the frame. That being said, I do occasionally run into some hiccups with viewing videos, especially live feeds through an app notification. It will basically timeout and tell me that the connection to the camera dropped. I took a star off for that because I think it's crucial that you be able to see a feed in real time upon notification of a detection. One of the coolest features about SimpliSafe is the secret alert notifications. These are notifications that are not life threatening or require emergency/medical assistance, but more for keeping tabs on areas of your home that should not be accessed, especially by children or guests. For instance, you can set up a door/window sensor on a desk drawer or cabinet that should not be accessed by anyone else other than yourself. If that drawer or cabinet is opened, you’ll immediately know that someone is accessing that area. The door/window sensors are relatively cheap if you’re looking to monitor specific areas of your home, in secret. SimpliSafe builds their system around their award winning 24/7 home monitoring, which is truly interactive; the monitoring center is able to view your camera feeds (with your consent) during an intrusion event and make the determination to call the local authorities to your home. This virtually prevents false alarms that most of us have encountered at least once. I think that is a huge plus and peace of mind while you’re away from home. It comes at a cost; SimpliSafe advertises its interactive 24/7 monitoring service as low as 83 cents a day, no contract required. I’ll let you do the math on that one. They will also be able to determine which sensor was tripped (front door, dining window, etc) as all this information is provided to them via the base station. Ultimately, This service will provide dispatch to police, fire and ambulance if there is the need. Interestingly enough, monitoring for water damage (via water sensor, not included) and fire (temperature sensor, also not included) is part of the monitoring package, which I think is pretty awesome as well. If you’re looking to do all the home-monitoring on your own, you can do it for free with this system, but it will be very, very limited. You’ll be able to arm and disarm from the app, get to see a timeline of events (arming/disarming, doors opening/closing, camera detections), and you’ll be able to view a live feed of your cameras, but your camera detections will not come with corresponding recordings. Camera recordings require a monthly subscription ($4.99 for a single camera, $9.99 for up to 5 cameras) and provide 30 days of recordings. If you’re not looking to pay a monthly fee and want a standalone solution that includes recordings, there are other security systems out there that provide this at no cost.

    I would recommend this to a friend
  • Rated 4 out of 5 stars

    Continued Excellence in Home Security

    Posted .

    Simply stated this is my fourth SimpliSafe security system and the addition of the Outdoor Cameras is a plus. Have used SimpliSafe for four years at my home and three businesses. Have had an excellent experience with the equipment, monitoring, and support when I have required assistance. The SimpliSafe system is remarkably simple to setup and install, no wiring required except for power cable to the base unit. All window/door sensors, motion sensors, Key & Panic FOBs, keypads, and cameras are wireless. You can add your devices through either the APP, keypad or through website except for the camera which must be added with APP. Having excess through the web is a big plus for managing and monitoring. Having utilized several different Home/Business security systems over the years have come to rely on SimpliSafe for my security requirements. SimpliSafe has developed and refined their security system from maintenance and monitoring to providing the service at an industry beating monitoring cost. Previously utilized two different security systems who’s monthly service plans continued to escalate in price. SimpliSafe has saved me an immense amount of service cost, and there is no yearly contract. You can activate the monitoring system, and have it turned off when you want. That is flexibility. Notes: 1. SimpliSafe system operates on Cellular – if wi-fi/internet fail system remains connected 2. Wi-Fi support – “system connected to wi-fi will update faster and be more secure” 3. Spotlight motion triggered 4. 2-way audio 5. Built-in siren – Loud 6. Remote Key Fob with Panic Button – keep in car console 7. “Ultra-wide 140-degree field of view in HD color night vision” 8. Motion event notifications to APP and PC 9. Zoom function works well on focusing events. 10. Solid 3-Year Warranty Camera batteries are spec’d to provide between 3-6 months of charge in outdoor low traffic environment. If installed in very high traffic area, I found it will require charging within days. If installing outside and there are high traffic areas, you can use zones management to focus the motion zone and increase battery uptime. You can continually charge camera if you plug a USB cable to the rear of the camera, but I am not sure if the plug area is waterproof. Camera functions best with strong Wi-Fi connections on your network, faster loading and smoother video. SimpliSafe is a highly innovative system which is easily installed and can adapt to growing homeowner’s security requirements. SimpliSafe provides a solid system, monitoring and support with an incredibly cost effective service plan, all of which is great – Still my Bottom-line is confidence that my family and home are secure and safe and that is why I continue to use SimpliSafe.

    I would recommend this to a friend
  • Rated 4 out of 5 stars

    Great do it yourself home security

    Posted .

    The Simplisafe home security system is a great set up for those looking to add some piece of mind to their homes safety and who want to avoid the hassle of running wires. And while this does require some minor drilling for the mounting bracket there is really nothing that would require the aid of a handy man. Let's talk about what you expect to receive out of the box. Your going to get the main base unit (which is the only unit wired into a wall outlet), two outdoor wireless cameras, two rechargeable batteries for the cameras, three door sensors, one wireless keypad (double batteries are included), and a key fob. Mounting and set up of the unit is very easy and everything is done via the free downloadable app. The three door sensors are easily mounted to any door via the provided tape. The two outdoor cameras have a base plate and that is the only piece that needs some minor drilling to mount. Simply drill two holes, hammer in the anchors and screw in the mounting plate via the two provided screws. You will need to either borrow or buy a drill and drill bits however the anchors and screws are provided of course. Once mounted the magnetic base simply twist on and then the cameras are attached via magnets. The wireless cameras took about 2 hours to charge and according to Simplisafe should yield about 3 months of run time pending your settings and traffic. So far after being a week in the cameras still have a full charge which is something i would hope to expect still. The cameras have a built in two way mic, floodlight, and siren. The two way mic kinda sucks and audio pretty much requires you to put your phone directly up to your to really hear anything. The floodlight built in to the camera is a nice feature to have as it can serve two purposes. One, it deters would be criminals away and two it serves to light a entry path if you arrive home after dark. The flood light can be adjusted via the settings through the app. As of right now the only setting for the spotlight is brightness. The cameras do record in 1080p picture quality and night vision is just as good as you would expect to see from night vision. Through the settings you can also chose to set up how active the motion sensor is and can also set up a grid so that motion is only detected in a certain area if you live in a high traffic area. One nice feature i liked about the cameras is you can adjust how sensitive it is as well as what it decides to pick up on. Right now there are currently only two options, people and all motion. And let me say it does a really good job at ignoring cars and picking up on people only if you chose the people only option. There are sirens built both in to the base station and cameras. The sirens can be turned off and are definitely loud enough to get the attention of your neighbors. I could be wrong but i believe last i checked the siren at its max setting was around 95 decibels. Through the app or keypad you can also adjust settings for your base station. Some of the settings you can currently adjust are chime volume which is the sound it makes everytime a door is open. You can also adjust volume for the voice prompts for the base station which alert you everytime the system is armed. There are a few security features you can adjust as well such as how long it takes to arm the alarm, how much time you have to disarm the alarm, and how long the siren will sound before it shuts off. The keyfob can be attached to your keys which allow for quick arming and disarming of the system without having to use the keypad. The keypad is mounted anywhere of your chosing and is mounted via the provided tape as well. And while the keypad does not have a rechargeable battery they do provide the AA batteries required to power it on. The keypad shuts off when not in use so in all reality the batteries should last over a year. The keypad serves as another access point to arm and disarm the alarm system and also comes equipped with a panic button. On the top of the keypad there is a red button that when pressed down and held for about 4 seconds it will automatically trip the alarm sirens and contact Simplisafe support team. Let's talk briefly about the alarm side of this since that is the main reason your planning on buying this. As far as alarms go this is probably by far the easiest and most user friendly do-it-yourself alarm system i have ever seen. Once all the hardware is set up activating the alarm system is done through the app and can be completed in a matter of minutes. You will be prompted to set up a password for your keypad as well as a paraphrase in the event your alarm goes off and they need to verify you. You can also set up and add primary and secondary contacts which are alerted in the event that alarm goes off. If the alarm goes off these contacts will be called before the police are dispatched so make sure they know your paraphrase password. You can also set up push notifications for your phone which will alert you when the alarm is armed, disarmed, triggered, and when there is motion. With this being a security system expect there to be a payment plan and expect to pay for it. While Simplisafe does offer a free plan, the free plan offers very little in the way security. You basically get the ability to arm and disarm the system with the use of the siren function, and thats about it. In the event that the alarm goes off no police will be called and video footage will be stored so it basically forces you in to a monthly payment. However don't get discouraged by this as most good systems are going to require a plan. And as someone who currently has a security plan from another company i can personally attest to Simplisafe plan being one of the cheapest out there. There are different plans ranging from $9.99 a month up to $24.99 a month. The fact that there is no added contract also means you can come and go as you please with these plans. I opted for the more expensive plan as it provided more for the service including video monitoring to help assist police in the event of a break in. Video monitoring allows you to give Simplisafe the option to monitor your cameras ONLY in the event the alarm is triggered. This will help dispatchers alert the police as to wear exactly in the house the intruders are as well as alerting you where they are also so that you can keep a safe distance. If you do opt in for a payment service then all motion recordings will be saved allowing you to go back and view your recordings whenever you like. Another nice feature i like about this set up is the built in sirens in the cameras. My current alarm set up only triggers the alarm on the base station which means that not everyone may hear it depending their location in the house. However with the Simplisafe when the alarm is triggered the base station sounds along with the cameras alerting everyone in the house as well as the neighbors and also alerting the intruders that they just tripped the alarm. There is nothing worse then having a intruder break in to your home and them not being able to even hear the alarm. If you want some more added features then worry not as Simplisafe does provide add ons which can be bought via their website. You can buy glass break sensors, additional sirens, motion sensors, indoor cameras, video doorbells, smart locks, temp sensors (which alert you if it gets too cold to avoid bursting pipes), water sensors, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors which will trigger the alarm and call the fire department in the event it picks up on either one. In the event that your alarm is triggered for any reason Simplisafe will call you first to make sure it wasn't a false alarm. If they can reach you or any of your contacts then the proper authority will be dispatched if you signed up for a payed plan. Here's my take away from this set up. As someone who has owned a payed alarm plan for the last 5 years i can honestly say this is one of the better sets up i have seen. So much so that i am currently debating rather or not to leave my old company. There is however only one gripe i have with this set up that my other plan has over Simplisafe and that is the lack of a alarm schedule. My current alarm system allows me to set up a alarm schedule so that i can set it and forget it. For example i have my current alarm set up to automatically to arm my system everyday at 11pm and automatically disarm it at 5AM in the morning. This means if i forget to arm it then no worries as it has me covered but more importantly it means that on my day off i don't have to get up early to disarm my alarm system so that my kids don't set it off in the morning when they get up at 7am to let the dogs outside. With the Simplisafe alarm system i have to make sure my kids know the alarm code and more importantly know how to disarm the system before letting the dogs out or else the alarm will go off. For me this is the one and only draw back that is stopping me from dropping my old security system and the only reason i did not give it five stars. Other then that if you can look past that key area then this is a great value and a great way to go in the way of personal home security.

    I would recommend this to a friend
  • Rated 4 out of 5 stars

    Great Value, video sometimes slow to load

    Posted .

    I’ve been using SimpliSafe for a while now and got this kit to expand an existing base station with more cameras, door sensors, and a keychain fob. Overall, I think SimpliSafe is the most economical choice for a monitored alarm system of the several different alarm companies I researched beforehand. The SimpliSafe base station has an integrated battery and cellular connection (with subscription), so even if you lose power and wifi, you’re still protected against an intrusion. I like that I can arm and disarm my system from the SimpliSafe app, and the system itself is fairly easy to setup and add additional accessories to, at least once you locate the menu option within the app, which is more buried than it could be. My only real complaint is that accessing the camera feeds can take several seconds to load. If I’m trying to see activity at my front door, the person has often left before I can pull up the camera feed. Fortunately, the camera still records the interaction so I can review it later, but trying to view the camera when a motion alert comes in is somewhat hit or miss. It’s not a big deal when the motion alert is due to a delivery, but god forbid the alert was someone breaking into my house and I couldn’t pull up the feed quickly enough to react. I removed one star for this issue, but if I lived somewhere I was more concerned about needing immediate access to live feeds, I may turn elsewhere. If that’s a big concern, I would recommend looking into a wired security system instead of a wireless one like SimpliSafe provides. The wireless cameras are the big selling feature with this kit, and overall they perform their job well. I have no issues with low light video, and all deliveries are captured on camera so far. I did adjust the sensitivity to be more sensitive as to capture video a bit earlier and have had a couple false positives from a cat or Christmas decorations blowing on a windy day, but generally the alerts are relevant. Another bonus of having a second kit is that the system supports multiple keypads. I now am able to have a keypad at my front and back door, and I’m considering a third upstairs so the system can be easily armed at night without opening the app. The key fob is nice and includes a panic button on the top, but I’m not sure if I love the idea of being able to disarm it from the key fob. The system provides an option to have a secondary “fake” PIN if an intruder is forcing you to turn off the alarm, and since the key fob doesn’t require a PIN, it’s a potential vulnerability. Overall, I’m happy with the SimpliSafe service, and I would recommend it to anyone looking for an affordable monitored system with outdoor wireless cameras.

    I would recommend this to a friend
  • Rated 5 out of 5 stars

    Good basic security for your home.

    Posted .

    The SimpliSafe system is one of the easiest things I’ve ever set up for my home. The setup process is very simple and straightforward, and it mostly works the way it’s supposed to. This package is focused on basic home security, with three entry sensors and two cameras, and so it won’t be monitoring anything inside your home. Also included is the base station, a keypad, and a keychain remote for arming and disarming the system. After unboxing the base station, you set it up in as central a location as possible, since this is where your entry sensors will connect. Make sure you don’t connect it to an outlet controlled by a light switch. It does have an internal battery in case of power loss. Once you’ve powered up the keypad, it will pair to the base station and you’ll set up your master PIN. You can assign several other PINs for use (I set up two of them). You can update the system directly from the keypad. Adding the door sensors and cameras through the SimpliSafe app is a quick and painless process. The cameras include rechargeable batteries that use a standard Micro USB connector. I’m not entirely certain yet what the battery life is between charges, but in the past week I don’t think they’ve even used 10% of the battery, so I expect to get a couple of months out of them before they need a recharge. The cameras attach to their bases (which attach with included mounting hardware) with a strong magnet, so they sit firmly in place but can be removed with a tug. The cameras could be removed by a thief, but the fact that they’re registered to your account until you unregister them makes them an unlikely target. The app allows for you to flip the camera if it needs to be installed in an upside-down position. The cameras themselves have a wide, 140 degree angle of view. I’m able to focus on both the path leading to my doorway from the street, as well as the path directly in front of the house leading to the driveway, and that’s impressive. The door sensors work reliably, but aren’t really notable beyond that. They’re simple and they do what they’re supposed to. I have noticed that the app sometimes has difficulty waking up the cameras when I want to manually view them, and that they sometimes have trouble resuming their connection to my home’s wifi, even though they’re within 20 feet of my router. The cameras go to sleep to save power, but they do seem to turn on when they detect motion in a reliable fashion. If you want cameras that will record constantly, you’ll want to look at a dedicated camera system. You’ll need a higher-tier subscription if you want your cameras’ recordings to be saved. Motion alerts don’t require a subscription. Overall, I think this is a fantastic choice for anyone looking to add some basic security to their home.

    I would recommend this to a friend
  • Rated 5 out of 5 stars

    Good starter pack!

    Posted .

    This outdoor security pack is a great starter pack to my home security needs. One great thing about this pack is that it can easily be set up and can easily be expanded if needed. All items are wireless aside from the base, and sync up in a breeze with the app. The picture quality was surprisingly clear for the cameras and the adjustability of cameras was on par to what I was expecting. One thing that I was hoping for was a 3rd camera, not a deal breaker. The unboxing of this item was very satisfying as every item is individually boxed and labeled, this was key to me as it removed any level of uncertainty that i may have had about any items. I am also happy of the color too as it complimented the color of my home's exterior. In summary, the ease of use and the ease of operating the app is what impresses me the most about this exterior security setup which is why I highly recommend this to any one looking to set up a beginner system with a moderate amount of options to expand to if needed.

    I would recommend this to a friend
  • Features

    Ease of Use
    5 out of 5
     
     
     
     
     
    Quality
    5 out of 5
     
     
     
     
     
    Value
    5 out of 5
     
     
     
     
     

    Rated 5 out of 5 stars

    SimpliSafe is simply easy!

    |
    Posted .
    Owned for 1 week when reviewed.

    My husband became paranoid after receiving the Ring notifications that were nowhere close to our house. We looked at several systems and decided SimpliSafe best fit our needs. We bought the Best Buy Protection Plan which included free installation. The GeekSquad tech showed up on time, and even he was amazed at how easy it was to connect the system to the internet, and set everything up, including the cameras. He said it was his first time installing the system and he would definitely recommend it. The system itself was on sale. My husband decided we needed an additional camera, and more Sensors. The camera by itself was $169, and the sensors $15 each, $45 for three additional. The SimpliSafe was on sale for Black Friday, and it was cheaper to buy the entire system a second time, as it came with two cameras and a key fob. We love being able to set the alarm from out phone, even when we’re out of town. I would 100% recommend this.

    Features

    Ease of Use
    5 out of 5
     
     
     
     
     
    Quality
    5 out of 5
     
     
     
     
     
    Value
    5 out of 5
     
     
     
     
     
    I would recommend this to a friend
  • Features

    Ease of Use
    4 out of 5
     
     
     
     
     
    Quality
    4 out of 5
     
     
     
     
     
    Value
    3 out of 5
     
     
     
     
     

    Rated 5 out of 5 stars

    Highly functional security cameras.

    Posted .

    One camera covers most of the front of the house and the other covers most of the back. I mounted both at a height of about ten to twelve feet rather than the recommended six feet to make them difficult to reach. Image quality is very good in daylight and fairly good at night. Motion detection works to about 30 feet with the camera right-side up as promised. I purchased an L-bracket to mount one of the two cameras in upright position since it would have otherwise been impossible and I would have lost range for motion detection. I initially had a little trouble keeping the camera farthest away from my router connected to wifi, but eventually got it working fine. Oddly it kept disconnecting when linked to a range extender but stayed connected when linked to the base router at the opposite corner of the house. I run the cameras on the rechargeable batteries for now, but am going to buy 25-foot power cords to plug them into an attic outlet so that I don’t have to climb a ladder and recharge them every two months. To preserve battery power, I haven’t used the spotlight function at night. I also haven’t used the siren since I do not want to disturb my neighbors. I did startle my wife by speaking to her through the camera in the backyard while she was outside with the dog. She said the sound quality was good—easy to understand my words. Overall, I am very satisfied with these cameras, though I do not have any experience with other security cameras for comparison. My only concern is the magnetic mount, which uses a strong magnet but would allow a camera within reach to be easily stolen.

    Features

    Ease of Use
    4 out of 5
     
     
     
     
     
    Quality
    4 out of 5
     
     
     
     
     
    Value
    3 out of 5
     
     
     
     
     
    I would recommend this to a friend
  • Rated 4 out of 5 stars

    Great Security System. Some Standalone Issues

    Posted .

    The SimpliSafe Outdoor Camera Home Security System is a pretty neat all-in-one package. From the packaging and opening things up, you start with an aesthetically pleasing design with the wow factor going up as you realize all components are wireless and thus will be pretty easy to install without needing to plan out long cable runs. While camera monitoring systems have grown in popularity, the need to potentially drill holes and route the power/video signal continues to be a pain. This avoids that with the tradeoff being that you need to access the cameras to swap/recharge batteries. The components are a base station (wired though with battery backup), two wireless cameras with magnetic mounts (more on this soon), a wireless keypad and keyfob, door/entry sensors, and various paraphenalia (signs, instructions, etc). Installation is pretty quick. First, you'd setup the base station, choosing a location with an outlet. The backbup battery is just good for 24 hours. Once that's done, you'd setup the keypad. There's peel and stick for the keypad "base" or wall bracket. Lifting the keypad out then puts it in a mode where you can install sensors. This is nice as it means you can setup everything without the need for a phone app. Though I think you'd still want to get it. You'd setup wifi using the keypad menu. If you're one of those who became expert in T9, good news, those skills are still relevant! Thats how you'd enter your SSID and wifi passphrase. The keypad also has an emergency button which immediately sets off the alarm. Your keyfob is a slimmed down dumb keypad. Just the alarm enable/disable and emergency buttons. A nice touch for those who tend to jet out the house or if you have your keypad located an a less accessible location from the front door (or if you exit out the back through the garage which I have a 50% chance of doing). Next, I did the cameras. First, check that the batteries are charged. They charge independently using a USB cable. You then install them in the camera housing behind the camera sensor/spotlight module. Once you select a location for the cameras, you screw on the base for the magnetic base. The magnetic cover attaches and it's rounded and it's on this that the camera attaches. Due to the shape and using magnets for attachment, you have the flexibility to angle and change the FOV for the camera. The upside is that when you need to swap batteries or if you ever need to replace a camera, things are pretty quick. Just grab the camera off the base and go. The downside, your camera isn't semi-permanently attached to the wall or siding, so you should plan on installing at a level that's not within easy reach. At that point, grab the keypad to pair them up. The cameras are two way audio capable. So you can talk to someone on the other end. This is cool because that means with the system as-is, you could use a camera covering the front of the home as a doorbell camera. You'll get all the same alerts of people walking up to the house anyway. Finally, you'll set up the entry sensors. The entry sensors are the typical make/break magnetic connection type. There's enough to cover a front and back door plus some other thing - perhaps a garage door into the house or a particularly accessible window. Those are simple peel and stick as well. One cool thing is that these don't need to end up right next to each other in the "closed" position. They can be a couple inches apart. I like this because while the base station chime is actually pleasant when a door or window opens, it's nice sometimes to be able to crack things slightly without having the chime go off or potentially the alarm. Once setup is done, you'll probably spend most of your time playing with the app to configure a variety of things, though mostly with the camera. You can do a lot with the keypad, but I'd suggest leaving that mostly just for wifi, alarm delays, and adding a new sensor and even then, the app works just as well. There's a lot of functionality with the camera, configuring recording, motion detection, night vision, zones, etc. Video quality is great and the spot light does a good job of letting it record in color at night. There's a lot of recommend with this system. But there are some issues, not dealbreakers for sure, but one should be aware. First, the two-way audio with the cameras is half-duplex. This means that only one person can speak at a time. If both are speaking, only one person will actually be heard and the other will need to repeat. Second, when you start, you'll auto enroll in a SimpliSafe subscription. This provides a lot of functionality - aside with monitoring your alarm status also cloud storage of videos. For many, this isn't an issue as you'd use your home security system with remote monitoring. But for me, particularly a person who likes to be free from reliance on third parties, this can be problematic. The good news, you can cancel your initial monitoring/subscription trial (with no charges if within the first month) and use it standalone and you'd still get notifications of events. You just lose the ability for video recordings (though you can still stream). It's annoying that one can't record via the app, but I suspect its a deliberate decision to drive subscription revenue. But the other thing is that even in standalone, you still are relying on simplisafe to make the connection between your base station and the app. Now, to be fair, you don't need to use the app. The alarm system, chimes, camera zones, etc will all still work, it's just that you lose all the interaction with the cameras turning them into glorified spotlights. So in summary, this is a great system. Home security/camera systems have a tough time earning all five stars from me and this one as well just gets the four. There's a lot to love and I feel with some slight rebalancing of the functionality one keeps when going standalone, this would be perfect. Great with the monitoring subscription, but still incredibly useful and functional without.

    I would recommend this to a friend
  • Rated 4 out of 5 stars

    Easy to install & use, but limited w/o paid plan

    Posted .

    Like others, I've seen many ads for SimpliSafe on YouTube and other places. And from my experience, it seems to live up to most expectations. From a setup perspective, it's very easy to use. The box is very well laid out and has a very clear step-by-step guide for installing the system. The base station, cameras, sensors, and keypad are all in their own smaller boxes with everything that particular item needs for installation and its own instructions, so there's no hunting for which screws go with which component. The keypad and door/window sensors can be mounted using screws, but they also use normal Command Adhesive strips as well. This makes it easy to reuse or relocate them in the future. The door sensors can be used not only on regular doors and windows, but also kitchen or bathroom cabinets, safes, drawers, and anything else that opens more than two inches. Note that everything connects over 2.4 GHz wireless, so the system can't use a 5 GHz WiFi home network. It also might limit how far away some components can be installed, such as whether your home WiFi reaches a shed or out building on your property. The base station is powered from the wall, but everything else is battery operated. The cameras require screws for mounting, as they are heavier, but they use a clever magnetic gimbal mount. This makes it easy to adjust the angle of the camera, and you can simply pull if off if you need to. The field of view ( FOV ) is wide and a little wall-eyed, but it's also enough to cover my entire backyard when mounted to an out building. Though the camera battery life is rated for months, it depends on how they're configured. By default, they only turn on and record when they detect movement. Otherwise they're in stand-by. You can set which areas in their field of view will trigger them, so if one has a partial view of a street it won't waste its battery recording the cars passing by. However, if there's heavy movement in the camera's area, the battery will only last a few weeks at most. With the magnetic mount, it's easy to grab the camera and bring it inside to charge. you can also purchase spare camera batteries to just swap them out without needing to re-angle the camera. You can disable motion detection if you want, turning the camera into a live-feed only mode. This may be helpful if you want something to monitor your kids playing in the back yard, but don't want the camera recording everything. The cameras also have a speaker and can provide two-way audio, allowing you to speak from your phone or tablet and have it output from the camera. Again, a useful feature for kids playing in the back yard. Camera recording are not stored locally, but instead on SimpliSafe's servers. The alarm system itself has three main modes: Off, Home, and Away. Each mode can have different entry and exit delays and whether there's an instant alarm. The entry sensors can each be configured with different behaviors for each of the alarm modes too. You can also configure multiple PINs for the system, such as a master PIN, PINs for guests or children that disable the alarm but don't allow system configuration changes, and even a duress PIN that will immediately trigger a silent alarm if an intruder is forcing you to disable the alarm system. Sadly, the cameras can't be configured to have different behaviors for the different alarm modes. I would love to disable motion detection on the back yard camera when the alarm is off, but turn it on when the alarm is engaged. And though you can configure the mobile app to give you reminders to engage or disable the alarm, you can't set a normal schedule for it to auto arm itself. SimpliSafe of course has various service plans to go with this, adding features like immediate police, fire, or emergency medical notification and dispatch, video verification ( their monitoring service will check the recordings and live feed from your cameras to ensure a triggered alarm is valid before notifying police ), and cellular data backup so the base station stays in contact with the monitoring service if the WiFi goes down. If you don't pay for a plan, you still have full control over the alarm and triggers ( though no automatic police notification ), but you lose any kind of video camera historical recording functionality. This is probably the biggest hit because the cameras are only good for live feed monitoring. The motion detection feature becomes useless because you can't configure the cameras to save the recordings locally. All in all, this seems like a very affordable and reasonable option for a home security system. It's also very modular so you can add on components and sensors as you need. But not allowing cameras to change behavior with the alarm mode, and not allowing any kind of local video recording ( even if it was limited to only 10 min of video and 1 day of archives on the base station itself ) is a big downside to the DIY homeowners.

    I would recommend this to a friend
  • Rated 4 out of 5 stars

    Solid Home Security Kit for Starters!

    Posted .

    I’ve seen plenty of SimpliSafe ads on YouTube to know that this company provides quality home security and monitoring devices. This security system has it all for someone who is starting to get into home security. This security system has 2 outdoor cameras, 3 entry sensors, a key fob, a keypad, yard signs, decal stickers, and the base station. Setup isn’t too complicated and did take me a little less than 45 minutes to completely set everything up. SimpliSafe does a fantastic job at guiding you through the set-up process whether you are using the app or setting up the hardware. Each piece of hardware comes in its little box and comes with its instructions. And to make it even better, everything is wireless aside from the Base Station. I’ve set up a home security system before and SimpliSafe’s instructions were a lot simpler to follow. The app can be downloaded from Google Play or the App Store and with the app, you’ll be able to control your security system. The app captures all activities like when one of your entry sensors or cameras detects something. You’ll be able to see what entry sensor was triggered or what motion was captured with the camera. The camera also saves a small clip for you to view. (With a 24/7 home monitoring subscription) I did find that the camera feed took a bit long to load up in the app compared to other security cameras I’ve used. The camera quality is decent with a 140-degree field of view. But for the price, I felt they could’ve added better camera quality. The camera also comes with a spotlight that shines and allows you to see the camera feed at nighttime. Great way to spook the cats or lurkers. The entry sensors that can be installed on doors, windows, or cabinets work well, and the latency between the triggered sensor and notification is quite low. The biggest flaw with this security camera is the lack of saved recordings with the DIY monitoring. I’ve used security systems that allow you to save recordings at no cost, With a 24/7 home monitoring subscription, this security system is a solid choice and everything works flawlessly. But without it, there isn’t much to it besides the basics. You’ll get the notifications when the sensors have been tripped and the live camera feed but the biggest item that I believe is important is recordings of the camera feed. If someone steals a package off your porch and you aren’t there to capture it in the live feed you are out of luck since the free version of this security system lacks saving camera recordings. Overall, this is a solid starting security system. If you plan to get this with the 24/7 monitoring, I do recommend you try this out, otherwise, there are better security systems out there that provide more features with DIY monitoring.

    I would recommend this to a friend
  • Rated 4 out of 5 stars

    Perfect starter kit for home security!

    Posted .

    This kit is ideal for getting started on next-level security. Taking things one step beyond just the doorbell cam or just the outdoor cams, and bringing the base station, the keypad/fob some sensors, AND The cameras together. The cameras are where SimpliSafe goes a little awry in my opinion, but they do it in the best way possible. They have long offered unmonitored security, and if you were more interested in self-monitoring or not having a monthly fee, theirs was the best setup in town. Adding the cameras adds some complexity to that, in that you have to pay for unlimited storage of footage and there are limits to the ways you can access/be notified of camera activities if you're not paying for any levels of their service. Basic plans range from $10-$25 a month. The app feels like it was built around the cameras, but that's okay because there isn't really a way to interact with the other sensors anyway, other than arm/disarm/modes. The cameras are what I expect of a company bringing something to market in 2021 however. The battery life so far seems excellent, and I'm hoping it gets close to their reported "3-6 months". They do include some wise tips for maximizing battery life. The camera itself is well made, discreet and stylish, and mounts easily with minimal fuss. The optional power cable is a little steep at $50, but this kit comes in at such a reasonable starter price that I wouldn't mind paying it. Getting the base, keypad, and sensors set up is fairly easy once you realize it wants you to treat the keypad like a mobile device and you visit all your installed sensors. The camera was a little trickier but eventually paired and connected as it should without a phone call for help. Overall I'm loving this system, I think it's well made and well thought out, and I can't get enough SimpliSafe. Just go into the self-monitored/paid monitoring security realm with eyes wide open, as I feel they could do a better job of advertising what the device limitations are on which plans ahead of time, but that's really my ONLY gripe about this system.

    I would recommend this to a friend
  • Rated 4 out of 5 stars

    Easy DIY install, but cost extra to save/DVR video

    Posted .

    Just pulling everything out of the box I was really impressed with the quality of everything. You really get a lot for your money. The kit came with 3 magnetic door or window sensors, the base station, and 2 outdoor cameras. The camera video quality is very respectable and has a nice wide field of view, and they can see pretty well in the dark also. I had my system installed and working in less than an hour, and only experienced one hicup that was easily fixed by removing the base station batteries and reinstalling them. I followed the instructions and used my cell phone and the APP to get everything working. I am able to use the app to view my cameras from anywhere I have service,, and the alarm will notify my phone whenever it detects movement or if one of the sensors is triggered. The base station is plugged in the wall, but it has a battery backup and it also has cellular abilities so it can notify even if the power is cut, or the WiFi is disabled. There are a few different packages for real time monitoring by professional security personnel, and you might be able to offset the cost by saving on your home owners insurance. Unfortunately if you do not subscribe to one of their security packages the cameras only show video when you decide to watch them as they do not record onto anything. So unless you pay the security company, the system you bought and own and installed yourself is basically just for show unless you watch the cameras on the app full time all day. If something happens they will not record it and there is no way to add your own DVR either. The equipment is nice though, and pretty high quality, so if you were planning on paying a security company to alarm your house, then I recommend at least checking Simplisafe out and seeing if it would work for you.

    I would recommend this to a friend
  • Rated 5 out of 5 stars

    Simple but functional and reliable

    Posted .

    This system tells you that anybody can have basic home security. It's super easy to set up, everything is wireless and cordless except the base station. I have my base station down in my basement and it connects to everything just fine. The door sensors stick on with tape and are self-powered. I originally installed my system 3 1/2 years ago, and they are still working and never fell off. I even have one outside in my garden shed and it's been working with no problems. The system's sensors have three states -- off, home, and away. You can configure what happens when each device is triggered, but your settings are limited to disabled, alert yourself, or alert dispatch if you subscribe to monitoring. That's it -- just 3 modes, and 3 choices for each device. You can set them to alarm immediately or with a delay. You can also choose from a few different levels of monitoring, from unmonitored for free to a $25 plan that includes 24/7 dispatch. Adding the cameras to my system was super easy, too, and the cameras work great. They alert me via the app with a popup on my phone whenever they detect motion, and I can open the app to see what it captured. You can't fine-tune the range or sensitivity of the cameras like you can with other systems, but the resolution is really good, even in the dark. This is a great system for people who want solid protection but don't want to deal with complex setup and configuration.

    I would recommend this to a friend
  • Rated 4 out of 5 stars

    Decent camera but limited without a subscription

    Posted .

    Arguably, SimpliSafe is the brand that most spurred the growth in self-installable home alarm systems at a reasonable cost. They fell a little behind but have finally caught up with their new outdoor wireless camera. The bad news is the camera requires the SimpiSafe hub (Gen 3) and will not operate as a standalone device or on older hubs. The good news is the it’s easy-peasy to add the camera and to the hub and get it up and running. And true to its name, it’s also easy to mount the camera to its base and adjust the angle. One point of frustration is the app takes a long time to connect to the camera. Maybe this is related to wi-fi strength but I don’t run into issues with other devices, for example, in my garage. The camera itself is on par with others on the market, ie, 1080p resolution. 140 degree field of view, night vision, and ruggedized for outdoor use. Given they are a little behind in releasing an outdoor camera, I was hoping the camera specs would have surpassed, not just equaled, what’s on the market. The other challenge is unless you subscribe to one of their plans, you’re limited to live viewing only. And that could be an issue because if you’re trying to grab a live view when you get a push notification, you may miss the event if you experience slowness getting the feed. Bottom line is this is a decent though not exceptional camera. If you already have SimpliSafe or are willing to buy into their system, then it’s worth getting.

    I would recommend this to a friend
  • Rated 3 out of 5 stars

    Reliable Security System; Slow to Respond Cameras

    Posted .

    The SimpliSafe - Outdoor Camera Home Security System is a well thought-out package designed to fill the needs of most homeowners, whether technically inclined or not. Installation is easy; simply follow the instructions and you will connect the cameras & door switches in no time. The cameras are designed to use minimal battery power, and they achieve that objective. The included Li-ion camera batteries last 3-6 months after each charge, and the charge only takes 5-6 hours. However, the cameras are the slowest to respond of any wireless security system I have tested. In order to achieve such long battery life, when you select Live View, the SimpliSafe system has to activate the camera, then initiate Live View. This requires 15-20 seconds. I have strong WiFi around my camera installations; if your WiFi is weak at the cameras, expect additional delay. The SimpliSafe system is a time tested, rugged system. If you choose to have it professionally monitored, it MUST be monitored exclusively by SimpliSafe. Be aware that monitoring which allows you to check security videos in the app costs $25 / month; pay less ($15 / Month) to get very basic monitoring without continuous monitoring ability; you will most likely select the $25 / month plan to monitor your home properly. This fact is not made clear in their advertising. CONCLUSION: This package is the most economical way to purchase multiple Simple-Safe cameras, the Hub & door sensors. The equipment is quality built; the cameras are water proof. Installation is the easiest of any system I have tested, However, the slow response to detect & send a motion alert render the cameras virtually useless if you are trying to catch someone stealing a package from your front porch. If that is your objective, I would look elsewhere for a different system & would expect shorter camera battery life that results from prioritizing faster response time over battery life. If you are looking for protection from a burglar breaking into your home, not a snatch & grab package thief, this is an ideal system & you will be well pleased with the peace of mind that comes from having a quality, time-tested security system.

    I would recommend this to a friend
  • Rated 5 out of 5 stars

    Really easy setup

    Posted .

    I have the 8 piece system. Base station, Key Pad, Key Fob, 3 door sensors and two cameras. Packaging was nice, tight and decorative on the box. Products have a nice design that doesn't look cheap. This was absolutely very easy to setup. You start off with the app or the key pad to setup the system. I used the app. When you start off it gives you a code to log in without your device if you need to. Then I setup my wi-fi easily even with my SSID hidden. Then you can select your monitoring from Simplisafe. They have a free 30 day trial and 3 payment plans to choose. .33 cents a day to capture 30 days of video. .50 cents a day to monitor for break-ins and dispatch authorities but will not visually verify if an alarm is real. .83 cents a day for their full coverage. Then enter your address. Next you can add up to 12 different devices to your system. Next select which device you want to add, pull the tab out of the battery and then press a button on the device. It instantly recognizes the device and adds it to your system. Give the device a name and you are done. The cameras have a magnetic base that takes two screws to mount to your desired location. The Key Pad has 4 sticky pads for mounting anywhere. The doors sensors can be mounted with the sticky pads or screws. You can have up to a two inch gap between the door sensors. I am choosing to not have monitoring right now. I armed the system which took a minute or two to let you get out of the house. I then opened one of my doors and after a minute or so the alarm went off. It sent me a message to my phone telling me which device was triggered as a notification. When I turned it off it also sent a notification that it had been disarmed. I can see in the app that the camera noticed motion but since I'm not paying for anything I cannot view the event. So you can only look at an event happening if you were to be on your phone that exact moment and look at a live view with your camera.

    I would recommend this to a friend
  • Rated 5 out of 5 stars

    Affordable DIY Security

    Posted .

    This is my review of the SimpliSafe Outdoor Camera Home Security System. The system includes the base station, two wireless outdoor security cameras, a keypad, three door entry sensors and a small key fob. The packaging of this system is very well done, everything is thoughtfully executed in the initial display. The first thing SimpliSafe asks you to do is download the app to help walk you through the installation process. It was surprisingly easy to get everything up and running in a short period of time. The only thing I needed to wait for were the batteries for the cameras to charge and that only took five hours before installing them. The app for SimpliSafe is great. It is straight forward with its features. every segment of the system is controlled from this central point. You can arm and disarm, add the security points such as door sensors and cameras, as well as configure all the controls. In my opinion the cameras are the star of this show. They are clear, bright and concise. The cameras feature a bright light that can be turned on at night and allows full color viewing at night. However, you can also turn all lights off and view black and white video in complete darkness. A nice feature that I like. Also inside the app you have control of the complete security system. The SimpliSafe system is a monitored system, however, this company gives you lots of choices. SimpliSafe gives you at least four different options from advanced monitoring to just a plain system controlled by you only. Another feature that is nice from SimpliSafe is a widget for your phone for the cameras. This little addition is a fast way to access a camera view without having to go thru the app. The SimpliSafe security system is not only a camera system its so much more. This system allows you to connect a lot of other sensors to it to make an expansive monitoring device. This system has sensors for carbon monoxide and smoke, water sensors and temperature sensors. As well as other small indoor cameras. It's easy to see why I think SimpliSafe is better than other systems; you own everything, and its a movable system not locked permanently in place. So in conclusion would I recommend this to my friends? Yes, I think it is as good as or better than any other system out there, so if you are in the market for a security system trying this one out from SimpliSafe and I think you will be pleasantly surprised like me.

    I would recommend this to a friend
  • Rated 5 out of 5 stars

    Ideal Security System With No Wires!!!

    Posted .

    This set comes with a base station, keypad, 3 entry sensors, a key fob and 2 outdoor cameras. It is a great starter kit for anyone wanting to get a security system that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg and there is no wiring required. No need to hire anyone to set this up for you. You can easily set this up yourself. It only requires WiFi and an app on your phone. If you find that you need more cameras, entry sensors, etc. you can simply purchase them and add them to the set up you have at any time. The base station is the central hub for any SimplySafe device you install. Entry sensors are to be at any door or window you feel needs to be monitored where someone could break in. The keypad is wireless and used to arm or disarm the system, as is the key fob. The key fob comes in handy when you are rushing out the door and forget to set the alarm with the keypad. The outdoor cameras have color night vision and spotlights when motion is detected. The cameras are also rechargeable and the battery and charging cable is included. If you have a security system in your home, it is best to have a monitoring service. There are three different options for monitoring and the prices are very reasonable, ranging from $9.99 to $24.99 per month. Compared to other monthly costs it is less than others and there is no contract to sign. You can stop it at any time. I like that I can choose a plan that costs less and if I go away for a week, I can choose a better plan while I am away and then switch back when I return. One thing to keep in mind is that I feel, if you do not have a monitoring plan, you are very limited as to the use of this system. I am starting with the lesser plan and taking it from there. This system works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant as long as you have the self monitoring or interactive monitoring plans. You can simply ask Alexa or Google to arm or disarm your SimpliSafe system. This system is perfect for me because it is rental friendly. In my opinion, if you rent, this is exactly what you need. I consider it one of the best of the DIY Home Security systems out there…NO WIRES!

    I would recommend this to a friend
  • Rated 5 out of 5 stars

    Simpli...Amazing! Great all in one package for you

    Posted .

    I've had quite a few different security systems over the years. They've all been the kind where they keypad is hard wired into the electrical system of the house. I had always been skeptical of security systems such as this that weren't physically integrated into the electrical system inside a wall. With these just sitting in the middle of a room I was under the misconception that all someone breaking in had to do was unplug it and throw it out a window and that was the end of the security. Wow was I wrong haha. This is far more integrated without being a wall mounted setup. Every piece is stylish. I do wish the keypad was all touch screen including the buttons where a lot of newer digital door locks have the numbers and buttons all integrated into the touchscreen so each time the screen turns on it scrambles the numbers into a different position so someone cant copy your key strokes visually by where you touch the keypad. Even the base centerpiece looks like a futuristic vase with an LED at the bottom. Set up was super simple. The key fob is great and is probably my favorite thing with its 3 quick buttons for being home, away, or disarming. I like how everything that happens there's also a audible sound. Whether it be the door opening and shutting or windows.. where you have the contact alarms. They also have different price plans depending on how much coverage and customization. But you aren't locked into a contract again unlike a lot of security systems. Overall I would definitely recommend it to others

    I would recommend this to a friend
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