SimpliSafe Doorbell Camera Review

SimpliSafe has become somewhat of a gold standard in the DIY home security business. Covering more than 3 million homes in America, the Boston-based company offers feature-packed security options at an affordable price. Customers love the flexibility of SimpliSafe because you can choose a professionally-monitored system, or just keep an eye on the house yourself.

The SimpliSafe video doorbell is everything you would want in a smart doorbell. It has a clear picture, solid motion detection and two-way audio. It’s simple to set up, and the SimpliSafe video doorbell doesn’t require you to purchase a subscription. The best customers for this product is current SimpliSafe customers or those looking to go all-in on the company’s home security system as it works seamlessly with the SimpliSafe products, but not so well with third-party companies.

Nerd Pros

  • Smart sensors: One of the biggest complaints with smart video doorbells is false alarms or too many notifications. You won’t have to worry as much about getting an alert when a random car drives by thanks to SimpliSafe doorbell’s smart sensors. It uses both heat and motion sensors to detect people instead of objects.
  • No monthly subscription required: If you decide to get a SimpliSafe video doorbell, you aren’t required to pay a monthly fee to use it. Once you purchase the doorbell and install it, it’s yours to use as you please.
  • Simple setup: Just like its other equipment, the SimpliSafe doorbell is easy to set up. The company tells customers all you need is a screwdriver, and they’ll help you take care of the rest.

Nerd Cons

  • Must pay for video recording: While the subscription fee is not required, if you want to take advantage of video recording with the SimpliSafe video doorbell, you’ll have to pay a monthly fee.
  • Requires existing doorbell: In order for the SimpliSafe video doorbell to work, you’ll need a current doorbell and its wiring. If you don’t have a doorbell already, this is not the ideal product for you to purchase.
  • No third-party integration: While the SimpliSafe video doorbell works seamlessly with SimpliSafe equipment, you’re out of luck when it comes to third party integration. The SimpliSafe doorbell doesn’t work with Alexa, IFTTT, Google Assistant or any other company.

SimpliSafe video doorbell features

  • HD video: You don’t have to worry about grainy video with this doorbell camera. You’ll be able to see exactly what’s going on at your front door and in your yard thanks to the crisp picture.
  • Two-way audio: Whether you’re running an errand or sitting on the couch, you’ll be able to communicate with whoever is at your door thanks to two-way audio in the SimpliSafe video doorbell. They can hear you and you can see and hear visitors.
  • Smart sensor: The SimpliSafe doorbell has a dual-sensor setup, which makes it easier to detect people, not just objects or motion like cars driving by. If you’re afraid of false alarms due to movement in your yard, this is a great answer.
  • Pan and zoom function: Need a closer look at what’s going on in your yard? Do you think you see something just out of view? The pan and zoom function will help keep an eye on your property with ease.
  • Simple setup: SimpliSafe is well known for easy, DIY installation, and this product lives up to the hype. Installation is quick and only requires a screw driver.
  • Night vision: While break-ins do occur in the daytime, the bad guys often like to strike at night when they’re less noticeable. But the SimpliSafe video doorbell will be able to catch unwelcome visitors thanks to its night vision feature.
  • Wide field of view: With a 162-degree view, you’ll get a wide look at what’s happening on your property and beyond.
  • Door chime: It may be a new-age doorbell, but you still may want to hear a chime when people come to the door. SimpliSafe doorbell has one of those, too.
  • Full SimpliSafe integration: The SimpliSafe video doorbell works seamlessly with all other SimpliSafe products. When one sensor goes off, all the cameras record, if you choose to have that feature. This is the cherry on top of the SimpliSafe home system.

SimpliSafe doorbell installation

Before we get into the nitty gritty, it’s important to remember you must have an existing (non-digital) doorbell in order to use this on your home. You’ll also need a Wi-Fi connection and a Phillips head screwdriver. Most DIY installation for the SimpliSafe video doorbell takes from about 20 minutes to a half an hour, depending on your DIY savviness.

The process is simple, and SimpliSafe walks you through it. After removing your current doorbell, take the existing doorbell’s wires and put them through the provided mounting bracket. There’s also a wedge SimpliSafe provides if you’re looking to install on brick, but that will also require a power drill. SimpliSafe takes you through a step-by-step process to get the doorbell up and running with your Wi-Fi. If you run into problems, their customer service representatives are very helpful. There’s also a pretty decent database of troubleshooting articles if needed.

SimpliSafe doorbell pricing

If you want to purchase the SimpliSafe video doorbell as a standalone item, you can. But it’s really more designed to work with the entire SimpliSafe home security system. That said, SimpliSafe doorbell pricing is as follows:

The doorbell itself is $169, and you’ll be able to use it as a standalone item and receive motion alerts and every feature except for video recording without paying anything additional. If you want to add video recording, you’ll pay $4.99 per month for the SimpliSafe doorbell camera.

If you’re already using SimpliSafe’s entire home security system and you choose the Interactive Plan, video recording is already included on each camera you have. That costs about $25 a month, so it just depends on what works better for your home setup.

SimpliSafe Doorbell - Compatible with SimpliSafe Home Security System (New Gen) (VPD301)
  • Package? Delivered. Dog? Walked. Front yard? All clear. Bad guys? Not here. Watch over it all—without leaving your seat—with the...
  • Unlike other doorbell cameras, Video Doorbell Pro uses two different sensors - one sensor identifies the heat signature of people, another...
  • We custom built how our doorbell uses power, so it can work with almost any type of home or doorbell setup.
  • With a super wide field of view, you can see everything happening out front in the bright light of day or dark of night—in perfectly crisp...
  • Compatible with your SimpliSafe home security system. (New generation)

Home automation options

While SimpliSafe has some decent home automation options including Google, Alexa and IFTTT compatibility, unfortunately that doesn’t extend to the SimpliSafe video doorbell. You won’t be able to arm and disarm it using Alexa or create rules within your smart home ecosystem relating to the video doorbell itself.

It’s important to note though that SimpliSafe makes its own smart home equipment like a lock and carbon monoxide detectors. All of the features are controlled through SimpliSafe’s app, so even though it technically doesn’t work through the doorbell, you can still have those smart home options if you choose SimpliSafe.

SimpliSafe security plan

If you choose the SimpliSafe video doorbell, you aren’t required to purchase a security plan in order for the doorbell to work. However, if you’re in the market for professional monitoring, you have that option with SimpliSafe. Here are their monitoring plan choices:

  • Standard plan: $14.99/month- This plan will professionally monitor your home for $14.99 per month. If your system alarm goes off, including environmental monitors, SimpliSafe will dispatch authorities to your home.
  • Interactive plan: $24.99/month- This is the plan you’ll need if you plan to use any video in your home security system with SimpliSafe. You’ll get professional monitoring along with video recording with this plan for an unlimited number of cameras.

What you need to know

The SimpliSafe video doorbell is a great tool to keep an eye on your front yard and to keep intruders away. Because SimpliSafe itself does not offer outdoor cameras, this is the closest you’ll get to having a view of what’s going on outside your home. With its HD video, two-way communication and smart sensor technology, it’s an ideal product to add to your existing SimpliSafe system.

While it can be used as a standalone product, it doesn’t have any smart home integration, so you’d be best off using it along with other SimpliSafe products to get the most out of it. There are no contracts or required monthly fees with the SimpliSafe video doorbell, however you must pay a $4.99 a month fee in order to be able to record video from the doorbell itself.

The SimpliSafe doorbell is easy to set up and affordable as far as video doorbells go. But this option is definitely best for people who plan to utilize the SimpliSafe security system as a whole, rather than just using the SimpliSafe doorbell alone.

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.

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