The popular DIY home security pick is now available across the pond, with professional monitoring starting at £13 per month.
Ry CristSenior Editor / Reviews - Labs
Originally hailing from Troy, Ohio, Ry Crist is a writer, a text-based adventure connoisseur, a lover of terrible movies and an enthusiastic yet mediocre cook. A CNET editor since 2013, Ry's beats include smart home tech, lighting, appliances, broadband and home networking.
ExpertiseSmart home technology and wireless connectivityCredentials
10 years product testing experience with the CNET Home team
A 10-year-old startup based out of Boston, SimpliSafe offers a variety of customizable home security kits. Each uses wireless sensors that you stick up around your home to monitor for things like motion, door openings or the sound of glass breaking, along with optional accessories like smart locks, video doorbells and cloud-connected cameras. Once everything's in place, you'll arm and disarm the system using a keypad, a keychain fob, app controls or by using voice commands via Alexa or Google Assistant.
Now, with kits ranging from £279 to £504 currently up for sale on SimpliSafe's UK website, that pitch has made it across the pond. The system requires no contracts and offers 24/7 professional monitoring starting at £13 per month. Make that £20 per month if you want to add in the full suite of features, including app and voice controls, text alerts, cloud storage of your camera footage and video verification of alarms.
Watch this: SimpliSafe's DIY home security system looks better than ever
SimpliSafe sees opportunity with the move, citing rising burglary rates in the region and calling itself the first company to sell "wireless, self-install technology with the complete protection of professional monitoring" in the UK.
That's not to say that SimpliSafe won't face competition. Professionally installed home security providers such as ADT and Verisure already have millions of customers in the UK. Meanwhile, a number of DIY systems from names like Yale, SmartThings and Hive are available, too -- though none of those that I've seen offer an option for professional monitoring.
Still, the field won't be quite as crowded as it is in the States -- for now, anyway. One key competitor that's missing in the UK: The Google-owned Nest Secure DIY system. Nest didn't have anything to share when I asked about the possibility of expanding to the UK -- that echoes what the company told its users in January when it wrote, "We do not have anything to announce regarding plans to bring the Nest Secure anywhere outside of the US."
You're using your security system wrong: Tricks for a safer smart home (pictures)
On the Amazon front, the company teamed with Travelers Insurance last year to offer Echo Dot-centric home security packages in the US. I asked if Amazon had any plans to introduce something similar in the UK, but a spokesperson told me that they couldn't comment on the roadmap.
As for Amazon-owned Ring, the company already sells video doorbells and cameras in the UK, but its professionally monitored Ring Alarm security system is still a US-only offering. That stands to change, though, with a Ring spokesperson telling me that Ring Alarm "will be available for the UK later this year."
Meanwhile, the team at Abode, makers of one of our top-rated SimpliSafe alternatives, tells CNET that it, too, is working to bring professionally monitored DIY security kits to the UK and to other markets outside of the US by the end of 2019.
Whether or not that adds up to enough of a head start to give SimpliSafe the lead it's looking for remains to be seen, but it's shaping up to be the same fascinating fight for customers that we've seen in the US. Per a recent SimpliSafe survey, just 13 percent of UK households already have a professionally monitored security system -- which leaves about 23.7 million households up for grabs.
Originally published April 2 at 4 a.m. PT. Update, 6:55 a.m. PT: Now includes updated comment from Ring on UK availability of the Ring Alarm security system.