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Anyone have a Simpli Safe home security system?

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I have set some money aside for a system. I figure about $8-900 for hardware, then  $.93 a day for monitoring. For me the most obvious threat is the smash and grab type of burglary while I am away at work. It is not going to be someone driving around hacking the wifi and shutting it down to then do the smash and grab.  It could happen but not likely.

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I have a traditional monitored system, windows, doors, motion, that I can access through my phone, and a Canary inside and a Ring doorbell.  I put the Canary in about two weeks before we had a burglary (there had been a spate of car break ins that prompted me).  It worked like a charm.  The dweeb didn't know what it was, but saw it when he went to steal the PS4 (which is why I placed it next to the PS4).  He picked it up, looked at it, gave me a nice close 1080P HD shot, freaked out and unplugged it.  Too bad, so sad it streams to the cloud.  We posted his face on NextDoor and he was arrested same day.  His buddy came back a week later while I was there and tried to get away.  Winchester PDX meet tires, would be home invader meet Mr. Police man.  Both did time, I got high fives from the LEOs.

Edited by Wyzz Kydd
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1 hour ago, Wyzz Kydd said:

I have a traditional monitored system, windows, doors, motion, that I can access through my phone, and a Canary inside and a Ring doorbell.  I put the Canary in about two weeks before we had a burglary (there had been a spate of car break ins that prompted me).  It worked like a charm.  The dweeb didn't know what it was, but saw it when he went to steal the PS4 (which is why I placed it next to the PS4).  He picked it up, looked at it, gave me a nice close 1080P HD shot, freaked out and unplugged it.  Too bad, so sad it streams to the cloud.  We posted his face on NextDoor and he was arrested same day.  His buddy came back a week later while I was there and tried to get away.  Winchester PDX meet tires, would be home invader meet Mr. Police man.  Both did time, I got high fives from the LEOs.

So, what happened with the traditional system? Did it have an audible alarm working with it?  Canary , do not know what that is I assume an internal camera system? 

For me , it is not a question if I should get one. There is not a whole lot of valuable items in the house, but if a break in were attempted, I want the system alerting the local PD and myself. If a break in were attempted at my house, I have a fairly certain where it would come from. The Simpli Safe has all the features of a traditional wired system (contact points, motion, glass break, smoke detector, cameras, monitoring) and that is what I'm looking for., and It is expandable.

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When I moved into my last house, I bought a SimpliSafe to use while I moved in and did some renovation. I've since replaced it and gave the SimpliSafe to a friend, who is using it at his house.

Overall, I think it's pretty solid and reliable. I do have a few thoughts, and maybe-drawbacks:

1) When you put up the door sensors, don't rely on the double-stick tape. Use the tiny screws. Murphy's law says that tape will give way when you least expect it, and trigger a false alarm.

2) The external siren goes through batteries pretty quickly. While almost all the sensors and whatnot use lithium batteries, the siren uses AA batteries, and they need changing about every six months. Also, the siren can't "communicate" back to the base station and tell you when the batteries are low, like the sensors can. You only know the battery is going when it gives you the "low battery beep", which is a short blast from the siren that inevitable happens when the house is quiet late at night.

3) The keypad also uses AA batteries. I thought I'd be smart and use lithium AAs in it. Unfortunately, I guess the lithium ones, when running low, don't trigger a low battery alert like alkaline AAs do. The keypad just drops dead unexpectedly. I discovered this when I got home, found a dead keypad, and couldn't turn off the alarm, which ended up sounding.

4) Though it was totally reliable, and continues to be so at my friends house, the whole thing feels a little "cheap", kinda like dollar store plastics. Hard to express, but hopefully you get the idea. Mine, though, was a 1st generation, and I think the 2nd generation is better about that.

5) The base station connects to monitoring via the cellular network. Out of the box, it uses the TMobile system, if I recall correctly. In my area, TMobile has a poor signal, so customer service sent me a Verizon module to swap out that made it 100% reliable.

Those issues aside, it's been reliable. The web interface is excellent, the price is reasonable, and the couple times I've needed their customer service they've been helpful.

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11 hours ago, ARP said:

So, what happened with the traditional system? Did it have an audible alarm working with it?  Canary , do not know what that is I assume an internal camera system? 

For me , it is not a question if I should get one. There is not a whole lot of valuable items in the house, but if a break in were attempted, I want the system alerting the local PD and myself. If a break in were attempted at my house, I have a fairly certain where it would come from. The Simpli Safe has all the features of a traditional wired system (contact points, motion, glass break, smoke detector, cameras, monitoring) and that is what I'm looking for., and It is expandable.

When the first break in occurred we had been in the house for 13-14 years and the neighborhood had been peaceful with virtually no crime until the last 3-4 months when the car break ins started. That prompted my purchase of the Canary (yes small video camera that uses Wi-Fi and connects to your smart phone for remote monitoring and alerts). After the first break in I added the alarm system and Ring. None of that was on for the second one because I was home, much to John McClendon’s chagrin.

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5 hours ago, Wyzz Kydd said:

When the first break in occurred we had been in the house for 13-14 years and the neighborhood had been peaceful with virtually no crime until the last 3-4 months when the car break ins started. That prompted my purchase of the Canary (yes small video camera that uses Wi-Fi and connects to your smart phone for remote monitoring and alerts). After the first break in I added the alarm system and Ring. None of that was on for the second one because I was home, much to John McClendon’s chagrin.

Thanks for the explanation. I think I am going to go with the Simpli Safe system, it has a 60 day return policy. Cameras are offered with it, but there are a few details I need to uncover, range of the cameras and if they are exterior capable weather resistant. Might determine if I go with something like a canary.

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The beauty of the Canary to me is that there are no ongoing fees unless you want to upgrade so you can store more video or talk through it.  The basic package gives you limited cloud storage, but more than enough for my needs, the ability to remote view on your phone, push notifications if it senses movement while you're away, or if the WiFi goes down, HD resolution and night vision, and a siren.  You can set it to turn on at specific times, or when you leave (it's linked to your phone, so knows when you're home), or a combination.  In my case any time my wife and I are both gone it goes active, it also goes active from midnight to 6 am.

 

We used the remote ability to download video of the perp, take a screenshot, then upload to NextDoor.  Here's him trying to figure out what it is.

 

image.png.4cc530add5e1ff9f43425b8d0781f9fb.png

 

Here’s his buddy looking a little worse for wear.

C8E0531A-0DDA-44F1-81B2-07DB53B47F77.jpeg

Edited by Wyzz Kydd
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i tried it once  and kept losing signal , it says it can difference from dogs to cat to human,  but pets kept setting it off.plus  if you know what you are doing with right by the house and get code.  not scrambled at all, might be diffferent now i dunno . so we spent more money and got local alarm system  more money , more peace of mind .

buddy of mine said he had the best cheapest unit out there , so we rode byhis house and he had a ADT sign  in front yard he got off ebay for like10 bucks. roflmao

Edited by ASH

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I had a first generation SimpliSafe system at my old home, and was very satisfied with it. When we bought a new house, we left our system for the new owners and put a second generation SimpliSafe system in the new house. I really like this system. You can add and remove all different kinds of sensors any time you want. We have 2 keypads, 3 panic buttons, lots of window and door sensors, water sensors, smoke detectors, glass break sensors (in case someone breaks a window to get in). We no longer have motion detectors because they can be problematic with pets, especially cats, because they can get anywhere.

There are 2 different monitoring plans, $15 or $25/month and they do pay attention. Every time I add a sensor, I always test it, and within a few minutes I get a call asking me if I just ran a test.

If you buy a SimpliSafe system, I recommend not going for the first gen, even though it's lower initial cost. Those systems have a max of 41 devices (keypads, sensors, etc.) attached. The gen 2 system can have 100. At our old house, we were close to the limit.

Oh, and in addition to the cellular connectivity (T-Mobile default, but they'll swap it out if you don't have T-Mobile coverage), the gen 2 systems also support WiFi.

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35 minutes ago, Pistolay said:

I had a first generation SimpliSafe system at my old home, and was very satisfied with it. When we bought a new house, we left our system for the new owners and put a second generation SimpliSafe system in the new house. I really like this system. You can add and remove all different kinds of sensors any time you want. We have 2 keypads, 3 panic buttons, lots of window and door sensors, water sensors, smoke detectors, glass break sensors (in case someone breaks a window to get in). We no longer have motion detectors because they can be problematic with pets, especially cats, because they can get anywhere.

There are 2 different monitoring plans, $15 or $25/month and they do pay attention. Every time I add a sensor, I always test it, and within a few minutes I get a call asking me if I just ran a test.

If you buy a SimpliSafe system, I recommend not going for the first gen, even though it's lower initial cost. Those systems have a max of 41 devices (keypads, sensors, etc.) attached. The gen 2 system can have 100. At our old house, we were close to the limit.

Oh, and in addition to the cellular connectivity (T-Mobile default, but they'll swap it out if you don't have T-Mobile coverage), the gen 2 systems also support WiFi.

I plan on the V2.0 system...good to know about the cats. My 2 are under 1 and 3 years old and chase each other all over the house. My windows are casement you won't crank from outside, so I would go with glass break sensors. My most vulnerable portion of my house is the attached garage followed by the 3 exterior doors. So door sensors for 4 doors, glass break sensors backing those up, smokes, and maybe a few judicial placed motions. They offer a key fob type of device that allows you to arm or disarm without using the keypad, if I am understanding it correctly....just like unlocking and locking your car. May add a few cameras with it as well.

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A new question popped up while I have been thinking about getting a security system. My understanding is that these systems are dependent upon your wifi/ internet system to work properly. And let's say that in my case the coax for the internet arrives at my house via an exposed coax cable on the outside of my house. So Mr potential burglar knows this and snips my coax breaking my internet connection. What happens with the system when that connection is broken, I lose monitoring (if I decide to have monitoring) and the system still operates? That is what I think would happen , but would like to confirm.

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40 minutes ago, ARP said:

A new question popped up while I have been thinking about getting a security system. My understanding is that these systems are dependent upon your wifi/ internet system to work properly. And let's say that in my case the coax for the internet arrives at my house via an exposed coax cable on the outside of my house. So Mr potential burglar knows this and snips my coax breaking my internet connection. What happens with the system when that connection is broken, I lose monitoring (if I decide to have monitoring) and the system still operates? That is what I think would happen , but would like to confirm.

SimpliSafe doesn't rely on your wi-fi/internet, or even use them. The communication between the sensors and base station is wireless, but a proprietary system that doesn't involve wi-fi or your router at all. 

Monitoring connections, from the base station to the monitoring station are done through the cellular network, again not using your internet.

The camera based systems will typically use your internet connection. Professionally installed systems used a landline in the "old" days - now monitoring for professional systems is either entirely cellular, or via internet with cellular backup.

Edited by Presguy

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