Ackerman Security is a home security company primarily servicing the state of Georgia. It dated back more than half a century and began after its founder, Charles Ackerman, was the victim of a gunshot wound during a home invasion. Ackerman, formerly a commercial real estate developer, aimed to start a home security company focused on customer service when home security systems were primarily for the wealthy.
Ackerman is based in Atlanta, Georgia, and services Georgia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, and Maryland. Still, you'll want to contact them directly to see if your area is covered.
Based out of Boston, SimpliSafe is a home security company covering over 3 million homes in America. It's known for its flexibility, simple setup, and low startup cost. Perfect for the DIY crowd, SimpliSafe is a high-tech/low-cost option that does not require a landline or Wi-Fi as the system communicates utilizing a built-in cellular connection.
Today, we'll be looking at both side-by-side to compare what they offer and help you understand which provides the best services for you.
Simplisafe Vs. Ackerman Security - What do they have in common?
- Home Automation: Ackerman has a line of smart products you can add on, from smart locks to voice control devices like the Amazon Echo Dot. SimpliSafe is compatible with the most popular smart home devices, including Amazon Alexa, Nest thermostat, and Google Home.
- Mobile App: Both SimpliSafe and Ackerman offer an easy-to-use mobile app that allows you to do several things like manage push notifications, arm and disarm your alarm system remotely, monitor video doorbells, and more.
- Helpful Sales Teams: Both sales teams were helpful and enthusiastic, willing to help arrange an appointment at our convenience (Ackerman) or walk through to determine the best security system (SimpliSafe).
SimpliSafe Vs. Ackerman - What are the differences?
- Contracts and Self-monitoring: Ackerman Security requires that you sign a long-term (3 years) contract when you purchase one of their security plans. SimpliSafe is much more flexible with its monitoring services, which are also optional and not required in order to make use of their security system.
- Pricing: Ackermans' pricing lacks transparency, whereas SimpliSafe's (comparatively much more affordable) pricing is very transparent. You won't be able to access Ackermans' pricing information until the contract negotiation phase.
- Installation: SimpliSafe is known as being one of the most convenient DIY systems available; this is in contrast to Ackerman. Ackerman always requires professional installation.
SimpliSafe - What you need to know
Since installation is DIY, it is a simple setup, but in cases where assistance is required, users report long wait times. Some reviewers even reported not getting a callback for days with equipment that wasn't working. However, when we called the IT line for assistance, support staff answered the call in less than 5 minutes. You do have the option of leaving a message and waiting for a callback if you don't have time to wait on hold.
With SimpliSafe, you are getting sleek equipment with a simple setup at a fair price. The best part is, you can pick and choose which equipment you want to use based on the size of your home and desired security. Motion sensors are a selling point since it stops false alarms caused by innocuous things like house pets. In addition to the usual basic system, some of the available equipment includes:
- Security Cameras
- Control Panel
- Window sensors
- Glass break sensors
- Panic button
- Freeze sensor
- Water sensor
- Smoke detector
SimpliSafe has a select range of Home Automation products.
Here are some smart home options compatible with SimpliSafe products:
- Google Assistant
- August Door Lock
- Nest Thermostat
SimpliSafe has remedied part of their lack of compatibility by coming out with their doorbell camera. But this won't work for those who already have a doorbell camera in place. If you already have a doorbell camera from another brand, it's unlikely that you'd be able to integrate it into the SimpliSafe plans.
You purchase equipment upfront either from a pre-determined package deal or à la carte. There are over 15 different packages in different price ranges to choose from. The costs for purchasing a system are meager compared to Ackerman Security. You could buy an entire security system for under $150 with no monthly fees (if you choose a self-monitoring option).
- Costs: Even the highest-level security bundle comes in under $500, making this an attractive option for homeowners who aren't looking for expensive home security. Home monitoring is an optional addition.
- Satisfaction Guarantee: SimpliSafe offers a 60-day money-back promise that you can return it if you don't like the system. They'll even cover shipping.
- Flexibility: You can begin customizing your system as soon as you buy it by buying as much or as little as you want. You can choose whether or not to have a monitored system; DIY is an option for those looking to save money. You can design the system to your tastes.
- Equipment Incompatibility: If you purchase security with SimpliSafe and decide to upgrade in the future, new equipment is likely not compatible with older equipment, necessitating much more significant upgrades if you want to upgrade even a tiny part of your system.
Ackerman Security - What you need to know
Professional Installation is necessary for this system - you cannot install an Ackerman security system yourself. You will need to pay upfront for equipment and installation, and you will need to pay a $99 fee to activate your services.
You cannot install an Ackerman security system yourself. You will need to pay upfront for equipment and installation and will need to pay a $99 upfront activation fee to get your service started.
Here are some of the different types of equipment that you could potentially include in your customizable Ackerman system, according to the company's website:
- CO2 and smoke detectors
- Smart locks
- Smart thermostats
- Smart video cameras
- Video doorbells
- Garage door control
Ackerman has its own customizable home automation products. Still, you will need to buy them with your security package if you want to control them all within your Ackerman app and ensure they interact seamlessly with your security system.
Ackerman doesn't interact with as many third-party home automation products as some competitor systems do and does not use tools such as If This Then That (IFTTT), allowing you to set different applications to take specific automated steps in response triggers.
Ackerman will discuss pricing only with customers negotiating a contract. This makes it difficult to compare it with Simplisafe; however, online reviews and testimonials indicate pricing starts at $19.95 for monthly monitoring, and a $99 activation fee is required to begin service.
- No Theft Guarantee: Knowing that the company will cover your financial losses should you be burglarized is some pretty solid peace of mind.
- Reliable Connection: You don't have to worry about your system getting disconnected during a power outage or even if wires are cut. Ackerman can run via your landline and benefits from cellular backup, so your alarm will always be online, and monitors will always be watching.
- Pro Installation Required: Unlike SimpliSafe, professional installation is required.
- Long Term Commitment: A 3-year contract is required when you purchase an Ackerman security system.
- Customer Service: Ackerman Security has received some customer support complaints, including customers reporting problems canceling service, connectivity and reliability issues, and installation issues.
SimpliSafe vs. Ackerman Security?
These are two great companies, quickly offering some of the best home security systems on the market. Simplisafe is likely to be the best for you if you're looking for a no-contract monitoring plan or a self-monitoring option with no monitoring fees.
However, Ackerman is a wise choice if you'd prefer professional monitoring services with a no theft guarantee.
This article has been reviewed and approved by Officer 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.