CNET First Look
The best DIY security around? SimpliSafe Home SecurityThis deceptively well-designed home security system won our Editors' Choice Award -- find out why.
Hey, I'm Ry Crist from CNET. And today, we're taking a look at SimpliSafe, winner of our Editor's Choice. SimpliSafe is a home security option with no contract that you install yourself. You'd get the components in the mail, you plug in the base tower here, and then, you'll stick up the rest of the components using the sticky tabs on the back. All of the devices communicate wirelessly to one another, so it's very nice to track this system. You won't have to drill into your walls, you won't have to wire anything special into your house. The only thing you'll have to plug in is the base station. And even the base station has a power backup. So, if your power goes out-- like now-- the base station will still stay powered. SimpliSafe also protects you with a cellular backup. So, this tower here has got a sim card inside of it. And just like your phone, it's gonna be able to call for help if you have any trouble at home. Now, packages of SimpliSafe start at about $229 and they go all the way up to over $500. They've got multiple options, and they've also got different options on the fee you'll pay per month. Fees start at $14.99 a month, and there's also a $19.99 and $24.99 option. Depending on which package you go with, you'll get a different assortment of sensors. And you can add additional sensors a la carte if you want to cover additional doors and windows or have an extra motion sensor. You've got contact sensors here, motion sensors, you've got the keypad alarm where you can type in your code and activate the system or deactivate it. You've got the panic siren that's quite loud, you've got a smoke detector you can add that's-- we like that a lot. And they also have a carbon monoxide detector, leak detectors, freeze detectors, a lot of really cool gadgets you can integrate into this system for comprehensive security. Now, in terms of aesthetic, the design of SimpliSafe might be a little bit underwhelming. But I had to say, the design of the system itself is brilliant. There are a lot of really, really thoughtful touches. For the keypad for instance, you can program a code and additional codes for house guests that won't be able to access your settings. But then, you can also program a duress code. And what this is is a code that will deactivate the system but still silently call the police. So, if someone's forcing you to turn the system off, you can punch that code in, they'll think it's off but the police will be on the way. You can control SimpliSafe from a smartphone app or from their website, and both of those I thought were very well-designed and offered you everything that you'll need to control the system with ease. It is very easy to use. It's very, very simple to set up. If you want a comprehensive security system that's going to do the job well, but you don't wanna dish out long contracts from ADT or big expensive monthly fees. I think 25 bucks per month for this system is actually a very fair price-- one that I feel comfortable paying. For CNET, I'm Ry Crist.