Simplisafe 'All New' Generation 3 Tested

By: Brian Rhodes, Published on Feb 08, 2018

Feared by the traditional alarm industry, Simplisafe has launched its 'all new' Generation 3 platform that they declare is "Stronger. Faster. Safer.":

doubling-down on SimpliSafe’s core mission from day one: to make the best home protection possible available at a price that is radically fair. There is nothing else like it.

Undoubtedly, Simplisafe has become a significant factor in the market and, as a leading financial advisor declared Simplisafe is 'Blowing The Doors Off' financially.

But how good is Generation 3? Simplisafe technology has come under attack for its quality relative to traditional platforms, from traditional players.

To find out, we bought and tested Simplisafe's newest Generation 3 platform to see how it compares to the previous generation of Simplisafe, commercial brands like 2Gig, Honeywell, and even other DIY systems like Nest Secure.

Inside, our test results explain:

  • Key Tested Positives & Negatives 
  • The Biggest Difference Between Gen 3 and Previous Releases
  • The Redesigned Keypad & Sensors
  • Simplisafe's App Controls
  • System Pricing Compared To Incumbents
  • UL Listing Issues Impact
  • Whether Simplisafe Gen 3 is Disruptive

****** ** *** *********** alarm ********, ********** *********** *** '*** ***' Generation * ************ **** ******* ** "Stronger. ******. *****.":

********-**** ** **********’* **** mission **** *** ***: to **** *** **** home ********** ******** ********* at * ***** **** is ********* ****. ***** is ******* **** **** it.

***********, ********** *** ****** a *********** ****** ** the ****** ***, ** a ******* ********* ******* declared ********** ** '******* *** Doors ***' ***********.

*** *** **** ** Generation *? ********** ********** has **** ***** ****** for *** ******* ******** to *********** *********, **** traditional *******.

** **** ***, ** bought *** ****** **********'* ****** ********** * platform ** *** *** ** compares ** *********** ********** ** **********, ********** ****** ********,*********, *** **** ***** DIY ******* ******** ******.

******, *** **** ******* explain:

  • *** ****** ********* & Negatives 
  • *** ******* ********** ******* Gen * *** ******** Releases
  • *** ********** ****** & Sensors
  • **********'* *** ********
  • ****** ******* ******** ** Incumbents
  • ** ******* ****** ******
  • ******* ********** *** * is **********

[***************]

*** *******

*** ********* ** * summary ** *** ******* (and ****** **** ****** the ****) ******* *** generations.  *****, *** * improvements:

  • ****** **********
  • ******* *******
  • ********** *********** **********
  • ********* ****** *****, ** to ***' *******
  • ****** ****** ******* ******
  • **** **** ************* (***** WiFi)
  • ********** ****** ***** 
  • ********** ****** **** **** lines ** **** *** larger *******
  • ****** ***** ***********

*******, **** ********** ********* the **** ******* ***********:

  • ********* *************
  • *** ********** ***
  • ****** *** ******* *******
  • "***** **** ****' ***********

Negatives ********

*****, *** *********:

  • ** ******: **** ******** ******* ************ ******* ** *** Gen * ******, *** is ***** ** ***** for those **** ******** ***** dwellings, ************, ** ***** homes. * ********** ******, regardless ** ***** ****** ** *******, comprises *** ****. ****** traditional *******, ***** ********** zones *** ********** ** groups ** *******, ******* where ** * ****** a ****** ** ******** is *** ********. ** the ***** **** ** opened, *** ****** **** messages * ******* ********* than ** ***** ****** is ********, *** **** not ******* *****/***** **** sensor ** *******.
  • ******* ******* ****** ******: ****** ** ********* ****** that *** *** ******** of ********* ****** *****, Simplisafe's ******* *** ******* to *** ***** ****** option *** ***** *** motion ********, ***** ******** types *** ***** ********* and ****** *** ******* designs ********* ********* ****** or ****/****** *****.
  • ********** *** ************: ***** ******* ********** control ** *********, *** app *** ****** ******** connecting ** *** ****** remotely, *********** ********** ***** response ** ************ ** events ** ******** *****.
  • ******* ****, ******* ***********: ********** ** ****** a ****** ******, *** the *** ******* ** integrate ** **** ****** Alexa ** **** *** not *** ******** ** only ********* ***********, *** require *** *******-****** ********* subscription **** ** ***.
  • ******* ********** ******: **** **********, ***** ** **** one ******** ******* ******* **** can ******* *** ****** and **** ** **** regardless ** *********** ** future **** *********. ***** incumbent ******* *** ***** central ********** *** ****** ** unlocked ** *** ** monitored ** ******** *********.
  • ** ******* ****: *** * ******* and ******* *** *** compatible **** ***** ********, and **** *****. ******** Simplisafe ***** **** **** to *** *** *** replace ***** ******** ******* to *******.

Positives ********

***** ***** '****' *** marked ******* ********* *********, Simplisafe's ****** ******* **** clear *********, ** ****:

  • ********* ********:*** ******* ********** ****** the *** ******* ** introducing ********* ********, ***** the ******* ****** ********* the '***********' ******* **** of ******** ******** *** many **********.
  • **** *************:*** * **** ******* communication ****, ****, * feature **** ****** ********** over ******** ********-**** ******. Our **** ***** **** also ** ** ********* in ******* ****** *******.
  • **** *******: *** * ** ******* to ******* ** ******** systems, *** ** ********* an ****** ***** ***** of ******* ** ***** 30 *******. **** ******* in, *** **** ******* and ****** ******** ******** prompts ** ********** ************ steps *** *** *******-********** system.
  • ********* ****** ********: *** * ********* ** Gen *'* ** ****** capacity ** ***, ***** is **** **** ******** for **** ***** *****.
  • *** ****** (*** * Price): *** **** ****** ***** the ********** *** ***** remote *** ****. *******, the ******* ** **** possible **** ********* **** the '***********' ******* **** costs $** *** *****. The *** ** *** available ** *** **** costly ***** ******* ******* packages, *** ****** ***** a **** '****** ***********' option *** **** ******** utility ** *********.
  • ****** *********: *** **** *** *** choice ** ***** *** keypad, *******, ***, ** ****** ** ***/****** *** ******. The **** ***** ******** and *********** ** **** in *** **********, *** learning *** ******* **** applies ** **********.

Biggest ******: ********** ********** ******** ******* ****

********** *** *'* ******* claimed *********** ** ************* supervision *** ********** ** sensors, * ******* ******* in ******* ********.

*** **** *** ********* as * '************* ******* vulnerability' ** ******** **** Forbes' "***,*** ******** ***** **** To ***** ** '*********' SimpliSafe *****".  *** **** ****** applies ** **** ***** of *******, ** ** detailed ** *** *** ** **** ** ADT ***** ****** ****. *******, *** ******** problem *** ********** ****** for ********** **** ****** a ******* **** **** titled '*** ********** ** **** Security' ****** *** *****, citing *** **** *** 'sophisticated *** ****** ********.'

******* ********** *** **** may ** *** *** be, *** *** ****** be ****** **** * software ****** *** ******** new ********, ********** *** motivation ****** '*** *'.  Simplisafe ******* ** **** IPVM ******** ******* ***** the ********** ******, ****** 'protected **********', ******* ******* reps ********* *** **** between *** **** ******* *** sensors ** *********, *** so ** *** **** and WiFi *********** **** ** the ************* ***** ******* base ******* *** ********** center.

*** **** ********* **** bidirectional, ********** ******** ******* are ** ***** ** checking *** '*******' ************* if ****** ********* **** removed. ******, *** ******** supervision ******** ****** ***** time ** ****** ** at ********* ****** ** different ****** ** *******. Sensor ********** ******* **********, but ***** *** ***** of ******** *** ******* verified ******** **** ***********, our **** **** ** immediate ******** ** ***** the *****.

Other ************

** ******** ** **********, *** generation ********** ******* **** restyled ******* *** **** station ********. *** ***** familiar **** *** ******** system, ****** ** *** ********** ****** ******, ***** ***** ******* are ******* *** ******* things **** ******* *****, adding ********* ************* *****, battery ****, *** ******* aesthetics.

*** *******, *** *** gen *********** ** ***** on *** ****, **** to *** ****** *** gen *****. *** *** basestation ** ********* ** colors ***** **** **** white (** ****** *****), and *** ********** ***** and ***** *********** ** louder, ********* ** ** dBs **** ** ***. However, *** ******** ** volume ** ******, *** unless ********** ******** ****** are **** ** ******** floors ** ** ***** houses, *** ***** ************ may ***** ** *** muted ** ******* *********. 

*** *** **** ******* also **** * **** communication ****, ** ******** to *** ******** ********** cellular ****.  ** *** testing, **** ***** ****** reliably *** ******* ********, and *********** **** ** optional *** ********* *** can ****** ** **** use ****.  *******, *** 'over *** ***' ******** updates *** ****** ***** WiFi ****, *** ** only ******** ** ****, system ******* ****** *****. While * ***** ***** for **** *****, *** future ************ ** ***** features ****** ******** ** WiFi ******* ** *** available.

****** ******* ****** ** longer ******** '** ** hours', * *********** ***** we ********* **** *** system ******* *** **+ hours ****** *****. *** extended ***** ******** ** a **** ****** **** the ******** ****** ******** of ~** ***** ** the ***** ******.

'Smashsafe' ********* ***** ***** *************

*** *** **** ******* also ****** ********** '***** & ****' ********** **** a ******* ****** '*********', ********:

"** ******** *** ****** the ****** ** *** **** Station. *****’* ******. ** ***** alert *** ******. *****, bad ****."

**** ******* ******** *** monitoring ******* ******* ** queues ** ***** ** a **** **** **** immediately **** * ****** is *******, *** **** not ******** **** *** alert ** *** ****** is ******** ****** * short ********, ******* ******** users ** ***** * keypad ** ****** * phone ***.

*** *** *** '*********' feature ************* ***** *** alert ** **** ******* with ** ****** ******, a ******** ****** ** the ****** ** ******** with ** ** *** base ******* ** ********** destroyed.  **** ******** ******* is *********** **********'* ****** to * ******* ************* *** *********** *********.  *******, ******* ********** neither **** * ********* keypad *** ****** ***, the ****** ** *** compatible **** *** ******** the **** **** ******* as ***** *********** ***** The *********** **********.

Redesigned ******

****** ******* *** **** redesigned ** ** ******** smaller *** *******, *** with ****** ******* *** a *****-**** **** *******, rather **** *** ***** LCD-style ****** **** ** previous ********. 

*****, *** * ****** is **** *** ***** keypad ** ** *** right:

******* ********** **** *** keypads *** *** ************* different **** ******, ******** commands ****** **** ** cleared **** *** ****** were ****** **** **** done *** ********** ***.

App ********* ********

*** *** ****** **** Gen * ** *** closely ********** **** *** extra **** ********** *** to ***. ***** *** system *** ** **** entirely **** * **-********** cost ******, *** ********** subscription ***** ***** '******' accessibility ** *** ****** via *** ***.

***** *** ******* ****** of *** ***, ** has **** ************* ********** and *** ******** *** primary, *********** ********* ***/****** button:

*** **** ***** *** most ********, *** ****** and *** ****** ** what **** **** *** to ******* *** ******. However, ** ****** ************* or *** ***** ******** is ******, *** *** displays ***** ** ****:

** *** ***** ****, the *** *** *** basic ****** ********* ****, but *** ****** *** 3 ******** ** ******* integrated **** **, *** every ****** ***** *** be *******, ******** *******, and ****** ***** ********** from *** ***.  ***** were ** '****** ****' features ** *********** ****** testing, *** *** *** itself *** ****** ************* more ******, ******** ********** the '******** *******' ****** of ****** ********** * monthly *** ** *** it.

App ************ *** ***% ********

** ******* ********* ****** our ****, ~*% - 3% ** *** ********, the *** ******* *** with * ******* ******* shown *****:

** *** *****, ***** errors *** *** ***** major ********* ** ****** use, *** ** *** cases ****** ** *****.

*******, ***** *** **** sensitivity ******** ** ****** commands, ***** ************ ****** could ***** ** ** more **** * *********** to **** *****, *** could ** * **** usability ******* ** *** system ****** ******* **** remote ******* ****.

** ************ ****** **** noted ***** *** ******, but ******** ***** *% - *% ** *** time ** *** ****** 7, ***** ********* *****.

Sensor ***********

** ****, *** * sensors *** ******* *** claim ****** ******* **** and ***** **** ******** models. ** ******* *** 800'+ ***** ***** ** about ***' ****** ******** brick ***** *** *********** no ******* - * circumstance **** ***** ********* extreme ********* *** **** homes.

*** ******* **** ** appealing *** *** ****** detector *******. ****** **** the *** * ****** at *** **** ** the ********:

**********'* *** ****** ****** 'pet ********' ** *******, and ** *********** ** false ****** ** ****** alarms ****** *** ****, although *** *********** *** not ********* *** *** monitored *********** ************* ****** in ******** ** **** homes.

***** ** ** ***** of ****** ******** ****/****** contacts.  ****** ***** *** small **** ** *** Gen * ****** ** far **** ******** ** the ***** *****:

 

**** *** ********* ** the ****** ******** ******, all ******* ********* ** Gen * *** ********* now *** *** * systems. *******, ** ********** noted, ******* *** *** cross-generation ********** *** **** system **** ***** **** it's ******** ******** *******. 

System *******

******* *** *** ****** in ******, ********** ****** they **** **** ******* unchanged. *** ******* ******:

"** ***’* ** ******** the **** *** ****** prices *** *** ******** systems *** ********."

**** ***** *** ******* hardware-only ***** *** ******* homes **** ***** *******~$***-~$***, **** ******* ********** based ** ***** ****** of ******* *********. ********** monthly ********** ** *** required, ******** ***** *** want ****** ************* ** central ******* ********** **** need ** *** * $25/month ************ **** ******** no ******* ******** ******.

** ******** **** ***** consumer, *********** ********, ******** alarm ******* **** ****, ** *****.*** **. ********* ***** Connect ******* *******, ********** ** less ********* **** ********* outright ******** ******** *****, although * ******-********* *** monitored ****** *** **** less ** *** ***** upfront **** ******* ********* contract ******* *******.

Simplicam *******

***** *** ********, ******* are ********* ** *** 3 *******, *** ****** the ***** ****** *****, indoor-only ********** *** ********** with ****** *** * or *** * *******. We ******** ****** *********** in *** ********** ****** ****** ******.

** *******, ** ***** performance ** ** *******, **** some *** ***********, ************:

  • **** *** ***** ***** quality: ***** *** **** ***** image ******* *** ***** or ******* ** ***** competitors, *** ********** ****** performed ****** ** *** light, **** **** ******* noise *** ***********.
  • ******* ********* ****/******** *********: **** ***** **** ******* and **** ********/******** *** supported. ***** ****** ******** such ** ******* ****, snapshot, **** *******/******, **** audio, ***., *** *** available.

*******, *** ****** ** equipped **** * ******** privacy ******* **** ****** the **** ******* **** triggered ** *** *** or ** ********, *** common ** ***** *******. The ********** ****** ***** for $** ***.

Integration **** **** ******* *************

**** ** ***** ** integrations **** ****** *****, Nest, ** ****** **** automation, *** * ********** only ******** **** **** the ******* ~$**/***** ******* plan ** *********.

*** **** ****, **** integrations *** *******.  *** example, *** **** *********** does *** ******* **** **** *** **** ******** *** thermostat ********, ******** ***** alarms, *** ********* ******, and ********** ************ ** door ***** ** ******.

******, **** ** *** 'integration **** **********' ******** have *** *** **** fully ********, ** ******** at ***.  ********* ******* for ** ********** ***** system **** **** ** look *** ******* ***** than **********.

Still *** ** ******, *** *** * *********** *** ****

*** ****** *** * Simplisafe **** *** *** alarm ****** *********** *************** from **, * *********** source ** ********* **** the ********* ****** ********.

** * ****** *********,******** **** **** ***** noted ********** ***** '**** Certification'(********** ********* ******* ***) from **. ******, **** commercial ***** *******, *** even ***** *** ******* like **** ****** *****'*****' ************** **** ** 1023**** ********** *** * does ***.

*******, *********** ********** ** strictly * ***-**** ******* (while ****** **** **** ******* ** ****** weak '***' ***************), *** ******* ********** and *** ******** ******* does *** ***** *** these *** *******. ***** that ********** ******* *** not ****** ** ********** installers, *** *********** *********** mechanism *** ********* ** performance **** *** *****. Moreover, ******** '** **** Conformance' *** * *** system ****** ********** * mostly ***********-**** ***** ** the ******* *** ** not ********* **** ******* systems ******* ******* **.

********* ******* *******, ** uncaring, ***** **** ************** helps ******* **********'* ******** indifference ** ******* ****. Indicative ** ****, *** missing ************** ** *** cause**********'* ************* **-********* ********** facility**** ******** ********** ******** differently **** ***** ********* systems.  ***********, ****** *** using ********** ** *** hindered ** ********* ********** the ***, *** *** 'missing' ************** *** *** likely * ******* ** most *****.

New ******* *******, ********* ******

********** ********* ***** *** ******* will ** ********* '** weeks, *** ******', ********** of * ***** *******-***** camera:

*** * ***** ********.  Operation *** ************* ** those ******* **** ******* premium *** ************* *** will *** ** ********* by ****** *******.

**** ***** ** ******* were ***** ** *** Simplisafe **** ***** ** the ********** *** ****. ***** ******* ** not *** *********, *** although *** ******* ***** us ***** ******* ** imminent, ** **** ****** five ***** ** ******* the ********** ****** ***** ***** *********. ***** the ******** ****** ** both ** ********** ******** and ******* ******, ** will ****** **** ******** and ******** * **** based ** ****** ********.

A ********* ******

*** ******* ******** ** Simplisafe ** ********* ***** disruptor ** ********* *** likely ************ **** *** Gen * *******, ******* the **** ** ********* planning *** ******* *** existing *********.

********** *** ******** *********** brand *********** ** *** 'DIY ***** ******', *** with *** ********** ** easy ******* *** ** mandatory **********, *** ******* retains ****** *** ********* dwellers *** ***** ******* for * ***** *********** alarm ****** ******* ********** it **** ** ********* company.

*** *********** **** **** *** **** *** *** alarm ******* *** ***** some ********* *****, *** given **********'* ***** **** start, ****-****** *********** *******, and ********* *******, *** wholesale *** * ****** update **** *** ****** weaken *** ******'* ****** to ***** **** ** traditional ***** *********.

Comments (6)

Did you do your testing in a suit and monogrammed shirt to make the results more authentic?

Unhelpful yet funny all at the same time.... 

Great article and great review of the new version.  Sounds like I will wait until version 4 to try this at my house!

I just switched after 20+ years with ADT to Simplisafe Gen 3. Great product, fantastic out of box experience and a simple, painless, un-intrusive web-based buying experience. 

To quote IPVM's Ari Erenthal:

The alarm industry breeds contempt with mandatory contracts and dealer code lockouts. Millennials, with their low home ownership rates and DIY attitudes, are already inclined to be mistrustful of the alarm industry's patronizing attitudes and insistence on multi year contracts.

RMR? You are as locked in with Simplisafe, practically speaking, after paying them $500+ for the technology, as with any traditional alarm service, but without a gun to the head.

Compare web sites and you see the the future and the past in contrast: buying a Simplisafe system is a quick, comfortable, friction-free experience. With ADT the goal is initiating a sales call. It's not only Millennials that allergic to the hard sell.

 

 

 

One aspect of the new system that seems especially challenging for Simplisafe:

They now have a sizable install base, easily 500,000+ homes. Yet the new system's sensors will not work with the older system. 

So this forces Simplisafe into the spot where they must continue to produce/stock/support the old sensors in addition to the new platform.

Simplisafe has said they will support Gen 2 products and sell new Gen 2 sensors, without publishing an 'end-of-life' date so far.

Credit to them for that, but it cannot be easy or operationally efficient to support both platforms at the same time indefinitely.

 

I would be willing to bet it costs them less than $4 per door sensor. Keeping this up for a few years wouldn’t be terribly expensive. 

Listing by a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL) such as Underwriters Laboratories, Inc. is not for marketing, it is to help ensure reliability. NFPA 70 of the National Electrical Code (NEC) requires that all products be listed for their intended purpose. It is important to remember that this product is sold to consumers for security and life safety purposes so listing of same is mission critical. The same holds true for smoke and CO detectors. In other words, I do not think anyone would ever knowingly buy any life safety smoke or CO detector if it was not listed by UL or another NRTL. 

Reliability is mission critical to any security and life safety system and to sell any product in the stream of commerce that is not listed is dangerous.

Consumers and authorities having jurisdiction (AHJ) need to know. 

No electronic security system and life safety system should be sold and installed to the public that is not listed as defined by the NEC.

Jeffrey D. Zwirn, CPP[1] CFPS,[2] CFE,[3] SET[4]FASI&T,[5] MBAT,[6] CHPA-IV[7]President, IDS Research and Development, Inc. 

[1] Certified Protection Professional, Board Certified In Security Management, American Society for Industrial

[2] Certified Fire Protection Specialist – National Fire Protection Association International (NFPA)

[3] Certified Fraud Examiner-National Association of Certified Fraud Examiners

[4]   NICET Level IV Certified, Senior Engineering Technician, Fire Protection Engineering Technology/Fire Alarm Systems-National Institute For Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET)

[5] NICET Level I and II Certified Engineering Technician, Fire Protection Engineering Technology/Inspection and Testing of Fire Alarm Systems-National Institute For Certification In Engineering Technologies (NICET).

[6] Master Burglar Technician.

[7] Homeland Protection Associate Level IV Certification From the National Sheriffs' Association (NSA) In Conjunction With The Global Society For Homeland and National Security Professionals.

 

 

 

NOTICE: This comment has been moved to its own discussion: No Electronic Security System And Life Safety System Should Be Sold And Installed To The Public That Is Not Listed As Defined By The NEC.

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