As a homeowner, purchasing a smart home security system for peace of mind should be at the top of your list. But there are many options out there. Today we'll be taking a look at two options and their respective monitoring services to help you decide which is best for your home.
AT&T is a company that we've all heard of - they're a massive phone service provider. But few know that they offer home security packages alongside professional installation and monitoring.
SimpliSafe is a home security company covering millions of homes in America; it is known for being a flexible, easy system to set up and has only a nominal start-up cost. SimpliSafe is perfect for the DIY crowd, as professional installation is optional. SimpliSafe does not require Wi-Fi or landline to operate.
SimpliSafe and AT&T - What do they have in common?
- Mobile App: SimpliSafe and AT&T offer a comprehensive, easy-to-use mobile app. You can manage your home security system with just a few clicks. Both apps will allow you to monitor your security cameras and arm/disarm your alarm system.
- Voice Control: Both companies offer compatibility with Amazons' Alexa, which will enable you to use voice control to manage your home security system.
- Installation: Both SimpliSafe and AT&T offer straightforward, easy installation. Though SimpliSafe does not require professional installation.
SimpliSafe and AT&T - What are the differences?
- Contracts: AT&T will lock you into a pricey contract - SimpliSafe offers far more flexibility.
- Professional monitoring: With AT&T, you need to have professional monitoring. But, SimpliSafe will allow you to self-monitor, which is an excellent option for DIYers who want to save some money.
- Lifetime warranty: Though SimpliSafe offers a 2-year warranty, this doesn't come close to AT&T's lifetime warranty.
- Customer Services: Although some customers complained about the SimpliSafe customer service, we didn't experience any issues getting through and speaking to them. However, this wasn't reflected in our experience with AT&T's customer support team.
SimpliSafe - What You Need to Know
SimpliSafe makes home security incredibly accessible and affordable without compromising quality. Before purchasing your system, you should consider SimpliSafe's cost, installation, and home automation options.
SimpliSafe offers five equipment packages with fixed upfront costs that range from the low 200s to the high 400s. However, SimpliSafe also provides frequent discounts to the preconfigured packages, or you can customize your own from the available safety devices, including:
- Motion sensors
- Window sensors.
- Carbon monoxide sensor/smoke detector
- Door Sensors
- HD security camera
- Wireless Keypad
- Motion Detectors
- Panic button
With the option to customize your package, you get the option to DIY your home security system for what you need and what your home requires meaning you don't waste money buying any unnecessary add-ons. Overall, you can purchase a smart security system for under $500.
No professional installation is required for this security system. Similar to the customization aspect of SimpliSafe, you can complete a DIY installation too. Go online to place your order, receive your system in the mail, and set them up in the spots you want. There's no wiring or electrical work needed that would require professionals to visit your home. You can install the mobile app to configure and manage the system to activate the system. However, the app will not send you push notifications unless you sign up for SimpliSafe's interactive plan because it comes with 24/7 professional monitoring.
Smart Home Capabilities
If your home is set up with smart home capabilities, you won't have an issue integrating SimpliSafe into the existing equipment. SimpliSafe is compatible with Amazon Alexa, Google Home and Google Assistant, August Locks, Nest, Apple Watch, and other smart home devices.
With these devices synced to your SimpliSafe, you can verbally instruct the system to meet your needs, arm/disarm the device, and connect the control panel to other smart home devices.
- Affordability: Rolling payment plans make this system affordable.
- Flexible: The customization option lets you choose security features you will use and that make sense with your lifestyle and home.
- Home Automation: SimpliSafe's smart home capabilities and DIY installation make the system easy to use, even for first-time security system users.
- Push Notifications: No notifications are offered outside of the interactive plan.
- Indoor only Cameras: No outdoor cameras.
AT&T Digital Life: What You Need to Know
Now we've seen what SimpliSafe has to offer; let's take a look at what AT&T digital life offers, too.
Like SimpliSafe, AT&T Digital Life provides customers with an easy and hassle-free installation process. All the home security plans include free installation by a home security specialist. Also, before you sign up for a plan, the expert will schedule a consultation at your home.
During the consultation, the technician will review the weaknesses in the current security you have in place and talk to you about what package is suitable for your needs. SimpliSafe does not offer this service.
AT&T offers extremely tech-advanced equipment. All the home security equipment offered by AT&T Digital Life comes to you, ready to install and operate problem-free with any existing automation equipment you have installed.
The company is well known for the technological advancement of its equipment. An appealing factor of this equipment is its long life.
Smart Home Integrations
Home automation integration options are superior to AT&T Digital Life. All equipment comes stocked with the ability to work with your existing automation system.
These capabilities provide you with superior options when building a smart home system with the smart home devices that best suit your needs.
- Pricing/Options: Compared to other home security companies, AT&T provides superior home security services. While this is true, the pricing is slightly higher than others in the category. Also, they do not offer as many payment options.
- Well Known Company: This isn't a random unknown company that will take your money and run. Everyone has heard of AT&T.
- Free Professional Install: Professional installation is offered for free.
- Unclear availability: AT&T Digital Life requires you to check the service availability in your area before you can purchase. When asked where the service is available, support said nationwide but could not provide additional information.
- Confusing Website: The AT&T digital life website displays various great products; however, finding and purchasing them is more of a challenge. Our Nerd was able to find out that AT&T does sell indoor and outdoor cameras. However, we couldn't get any information on making a purchase.
- Poor Customer Support: Our SecurityNerd placed repeated calls to AT&T Digital Life support over a series of days. The phone system hung up each time before a live person got on the call to answer any questions. The site offers a live chat option, but the stilted answers and poor grammar make it clear you are talking to a bot rather than a natural person.
SimpliSafe or AT&T?
The big difference between these options comes down to installation.
If you're ok doing a DIY install, SimpliSafe is the hands-down choice. If you need someone to come and manage the set-up for you, AT&T might be a good option. Though - we'd recommend you look at another large provider, ADT. They have the same strengths as AT&T, but with better customer service.
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.