Arlo vs. SimpliSafe

Both Arlo and SimpliSafe are dependable home security options that are an ideal fit for the DIY crowd. Arlo is best known for its high-quality camera models with crystal clear video quality and two-way communication and it’s perfect for people looking for a surveillance system instead of a full-service security company with professional monitoring. SimpliSafe, on the other hand, is a more complete security solution, with professional monitoring complete with cameras and window and door sensors.

We took a look at what Arlo and SimpliSafe have in common, as well as how they differ. Understanding what each company excels at and what each one lacks is the first step in figuring out which one is the best pick for you and your home.

Overall3.5 out of 54 out of 5
Monthly Monitoring CostNo professional monitoring$14.99-$24.99 per month
Upfront Cost$199 and up$229 and up
MoneyBack Guarantee10 days if equipment is faulty60 days
Contract Lengthnonenone
Basic equipment$199 and up$229 and up

Our pick: SimpliSafe

When deciding between Arlo and SimpliSafe, it’s important to think about your specific security needs. SecurityNerd chooses SimpliSafe over Arlo because it has a more complete security system package to offer customers. While both companies provide solid options, SimpliSafe edges out Arlo thanks to a variety of added benefits, including professional monitoring and entry sensors.

SimpliSafe Security vs. Arlo: What do they have in common?

Arlo and SimpliSafe both provide quality security camera options at a nice price point. Other similarities include:

  • Simple setup and installation: Both companies offer cameras and other security options that are so simple to install, you won’t need to hire a professional. Both companies say you can get a camera up and running in minutes.
  • Smart home integration: Both Arlo and SimpliSafe allow for smart home integration options, including Alexa and Google Assistant, among others.
  • Wireless systems: Both companies offer wireless camera options, which are perfect for renters or people who don’t want to bother with drilling holes for wires or deal with any messy and complicated installations.
  • No contracts: Arlo and SimpliSafe don’t require anyone to sign a contract when purchasing subscription plans or equipment.
  • Mobile apps: Both options provide you with apps that can live stream video and allow you to control your security cameras from within the app.
  • Two-way communication options: Arlo and SimpiSafe give you the option of hearing what’s happening through your camera stream and also communicating with whoever is on the other end.
  • Smart detection technology: Both companies offer equipment that can tell the difference between a pet and a human, so you won’t be receiving unwanted motion alerts on your phone. Arlo’s camera does edge out SimpliSafe here, where it can even spot a package delivered to your house and send an alert.

Check out our picks for the best wireless security systems.

Arlo vs SimpliSafe: What are the differences?

While both companies offer cameras with some impressive features, there are major differences between the two systems.

  • Professional vs. DIY monitoring: SimpliSafe gives users the option to upgrade to professional monitoring, which means if your home is broken into, SimpliSafe will automatically call authorities. Arlo only offers self-monitoring, which means you have to be comfortable keeping an eye on your home yourself and contacting authorities if needed.
  • Free video storage vs. subscription plan: Arlo offers 7 days of video storage without paying anything. SimpliSafe requires a subscription plan if you’d like to record or save any video.
  • Outdoor vs. indoor video: Arlo offers an outdoor, weatherproof option while SimpliSafe is focused on indoor cameras only.
  • Environmental monitoring vs. no environmental monitoring: SimpliSafe offers equipment that can alert you to smoke as well as frozen pipes, thanks to temperature monitoring. Arlo Baby does offer environmental monitoring, but that is the only camera in Arlo’s arsenal that offers that feature.
  • Money back guarantee vs. warranty: SimpliSafe has a generous 60-day money back guarantee that allows customers to send their systems back if they aren’t pleased, no questions asked. Arlo has a limited one-year limited warranty on equipment.

SimpliSafe: What you need to know

SimpliSafe offers a complete security solution for your home with options ranging from indoor cameras to environmental sensors. There are some pros and cons you should know before purchasing.

Nerd Pros

  • Flexibility: SimpliSafe users have the ability to customize their systems from the point of purchase. That means you can buy exactly what your home needs, without having to overspend on equipment you’ll never use. SimpliSafe even allows customers to suspend and pick up monthly monitoring whenever they feel like it, so you’re never locked into anything.
  • Cost: It’s hard to beat SimpliSafe in the affordability department. The highest tier bundle costs under $500.
  • Smart home integration: SimpliSafe is compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant, so you can set up your smart home and use voice control to arm and disarm your system. It also works with third party companies like August for electronic door locks, and Nest for temperature control.
  • Satisfaction guarantee: SimpliSafe’s 60-day money back promise means there is essentially no risk when trying SimpliSafe. If you don’t like it, the company takes back your equipment.

Nerd Cons

  • No outdoor camera: SimpliSafe only offers cameras for inside of your house. If you’re worried about who is outside your home or out and about in your neighborhood, SimpliSafe might not be your first choice.
  • Compatibility issues: If you are already a SimpliSafe owner and decide to upgrade to newer equipment, you’ll have to upgrade everything. Users say that SimpliSafe’s newer equipment is not compatible with older equipment.
  • Upfront expenses: With no contracts, come a higher upfront cost. Because you can’t spread out payments over months, you have to invest more money upfront, which some customers may not be comfortable with.

Arlo: What you need to know

You can’t go wrong when it comes to Arlo’s line of powerful home security cameras. There are some pros and cons you should know about before making the investment.

Nerd Pros

  • Video quality: Arlo’s camera quality is unparalleled in the home security game. All camera options have HD quality, but the Ultra has 4k resolution, which is tough to find in a home security system.
  • Advanced object detection: Arlo’s cameras are more than just crisp picture quality; they’re smart, too. Arlo can tell the difference between a person, pet, and even a package thanks to its AI technology.
  • No contracts: You don’t have to worry about long term commitments when purchasing any Arlo equipment.

Nerd Cons

  • Larger upfront cost: Although there are more expensive traditional home security systems, Arlo can have some pretty pricey options when compared with other DIY cameras.
  • No professional monitoring: You’ll have to keep an eye on your home yourself, because you don’t have the option of professional monitoring with Arlo. Although it’s important to point out Arlo has released plans for its own security system sometime in 2019.
  • Mediocre battery life: Arlo’s cameras rely on batteries because most models are 100% wireless. Users report the battery life could be better.

Arlo or SimpliSafe?

While both companies provide a way for you to keep your home safe, SecurityNerd picked SimpliSafe over Arlo due to SimpliSafe’s professional monitoring and extended home security options. When deciding on SimpliSafe vs. Arlo, SimpliSafe is more likely to help in case of a home break-in due to monitoring and window and door motion sensors. SecurityNerd also thinks SimpliSafe’s environmental monitoring options will help keep your home safer, where Arlo only offers temperature monitoring with Arlo Baby.

However, Arlo cameras beat out SimpliSafe without a doubt. In addition to sharpness and advanced object detection, Arlo offers outdoor cameras, which could be better for customers who are only looking for cameras for their home. You can’t go wrong with either company when it comes to DIY home security at a great value.

This article has been reviewed and approved by Officer Banta.

Officer James Banta

Officer Banta is the official SecurityNerd home security and safety expert. A member of the Biloxi Police Department for over 24 years, Officer Banta reviews all articles before lending his stamp of approval. Click here for more information on Officer Banta and the rest of our team.