Review: SimpliSafe vs. Nest Secure – Forbes

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With the summer heat coming on fast, you’re looking to escape to someplace cooler. But is your house protected while you’re away? Is leaving your number with your neighbors really the most reliable way to protect your home? It’s time to get smart.

Traditionally, if you wanted to get a home security system, you were stuck having to call a company and navigate through a complicated (and ultimately costly) sales pitch. Then you had to deal with installation (which always seemed to introduce some wrinkle that cost you more).

Those days are over. You can install modern security systems yourself and monitor your home from your smartphone. The best systems give you extra value, letting you keep an eye on who’s outside your door, even when you’re home.

But with so many options, it can be hard to choose. Here’s a closer look at two of the top contenders.


SimpliSafe Knox package


SimpliSafe is the odd duck in the security market, not because it offers something unusual, but because it’s actually pioneered the idea of the DIY alarm system.

SimpliSafe offers a very familiar hardware package—a monitoring base that’s the brains of the system, a keypad activator, motion detector, entry/window sensors, add-ons like smoke and flood detectors, as well as smart cameras like the SimpliCam and Video Doorbell.

Everything is battery-powered, so it sets up in minutes—meaning no wiring or plugs. And it’s a solid, easy-to-use system. The only issue is that you have to sign up for professional monitoring (with a 30-day free trial) at around $25 per month. Without the monitoring, you can’t access your system through the app or view your camera feed. But at $25 per month, can you really put a price on home security?

You can grab their Essentials package on Amazon with Prime shipping, but I recommend getting the Knox package for around $30 more to add smoke detection, more sensors, a secondary siren, and a key fob.

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Nest Secure

Nest Secure base system


The Nest Secure system is different. Rather than a box full of door and window sensors, motion detectors, repeaters and dome alarms, the Nest sends you a simple package. It includes a base station, two cylindrical sensors and a couple of key fobs.

The Nest Guard is the heart of the system and combines a motion sensor, alarm and base station, all with Google Assistant built in. You can operate it with a key code, like a traditional system, use your voice, or with the Nest app (which you can use without a monitoring contract). You can also use the handy Nest Tag key fob, which can activate or deactivate the system with a tap.

Those little cylinders are the Nest Detect sensors. Not only do they act as magnetic entry sensors for your doors and windows, but they’re also motion detectors and path lights. You can even interact directly with the sensor to temporarily disable it (to exit without disarming). The only problem is that the base Nest Secure package only includes two detect sensors.

What’s nice about Nest Secure is that you’re not locked into the traditional “activate the system and run out the door while it beeps at you” routine. You set your system to wait up to five minutes before arming. It gives you a gentle voice reminder when it’s almost time—a blissfully low-stress option.

Nest Secure works with Google’s other home hardware, including the Home Hub, Nest Cam, and Nest Hello doorbell cam (and, yes, the original Nest and Nest Protect). Professional monitoring is available at $29 per month with contract discounts.

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