Today we're going to take a look at two popular security options - Vector Security, and Simplisafe.
Ideal for the DIY crowd, SimpliSafe is a low-cost option known for flexibility. In contrast, SimpliSafe is a Boston-based home security company known for flexibility, simple setup, and low start-up costs. In this comparison, we'll explore what they both offer.
Vector Security is a safe bet in the home security industry, with around five decades and a wide range of options concentrated in the eastern US. Once customers have checked if their home is covered in a service area, they can choose from three packages and enter a three-year contract.
SimpliSafe vs. Vector - What do they have in common?
- Mobile App: An easy-to-use, well-rated app is offered for your convenience. You can arm/disarm your system, receive push notifications and monitor your live feeds on the go.
- Smart Home Automation: There is a significant overlap in this area, with both offering compatibility with Amazon's Alexa, the Nest thermostat, and Google Home.
- Professional monitoring: You can choose to be professionally monitored with SimpliSafe, though all Vector home security systems include professional monitoring as standard.
- Customizable systems: Both providers allow you to choose your system contents and customize them to your liking, avoiding unnecessary purchasing equipment you don't want or need.
SimpliSafe vs. Vector - What are the differences?
- Flexibility: SimpliSafe is perhaps best known for flexibility; Vector is almost the opposite in this respect. Vector requires a long-term contract and will credit check you, whereas SimpliSafe offers easy setup and no need for credit checks or contracts.
- Professional Installation: SimpliSafe is a DIY company with flexibility in mind; however, more of a traditional home security provider, so you'll have professional installation if you go with Vector
- Monitoring: Monitoring services are available with SimpliSafe for a monthly fee. However, self-monitoring is also an option. With Vector, you cannot self-monitor and must choose a monitoring plan.
SimpliSafe - What you need to know
DIY installation of your SimpliSafe system is simple and takes just a few minutes to set up; however, if you need more assistance, SimpliSafe hasn't been the fastest at answering the phone or arranging callbacks. Some customer reviews mention new customers being left days without a callback or working equipment. With that said, Our Security Nerd experienced the opposite, with it taking less than 5 minutes to connect to a friendly customer support agent. You could also leave a message and wait for a callback if you don't have time to hold.
SimpliSafe offers a good combination of new, sleek security equipment with easy setup and a fair price. You can pick and choose your equipment based on the size of your home and level of desired security; motion sensors are popular as it stops false alarms caused by innocuous things (such as house pets). In addition to the usual basic system, you can purchase these on an a la carte basis:
- Security Cameras
- Control Panel
- Window sensors
- Glass break sensors
- Panic button
- Freeze sensor
- Water sensor
- Smoke detector
SimpliSafe could do better in terms of smart home integration; though it does have a select range of home automation products, it's nowhere near as comprehensive as Vector.
Here are some smart home options that are compatible with SimpliSafe products:
- Google Assistant
- August Door Lock
- Nest Thermostat
Part of SimpliSafe's compatibility issue was remedied when they created their new video doorbell. Still, it's worth mentioning that if you have a doorbell camera in place, you won't be able to integrate it with your SimpliSafe equipment.
SimpliSafe is known for flexibility, offering 15 different packages in different price ranges at your convenience. SimpliSafe is much cheaper than Vector, and you can buy a fully functioning security system for under $150 without any monthly fees (not including professional monitoring). Even SimpliSafe's most advanced packages with optional extras are unlikely to set you back more than $500, and since you can choose not to subscribe to a monthly monitoring plan, you can save money there, too.
- Costs: Even the top bells and whistles security bundle come in at under $500, making this an attractive option for those looking to save money without compromising on their home tech. You have several monitoring options, including self-monitoring.
- Satisfaction Guarantee: SimpliSafe offers a 60-day money-back guarantee that'll allow you to return the system for a full refund if you don't like it - they'll even cover shipping.
- Flexibility: You don't need to sign up for any long-term contracts, and you can customize your system with optional add ons, and you don't need to have any professional monitoring if you don't want to. This is a company that caters to your exact requirements.
- 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.
- Higher Upfront Cost: Since you don't need to pay monthly or get locked into a contract, upfront costs can be higher than other companies. Vector offers at least two systems with no upfront costs, but this isn't going to be an option for SimpliSafe, though longer-term cost savings balance it.
Vector - What you need to know
Installation is easy, as Vectors professional installers will handle everything for you. You don't have to worry about anything - the pros will handle it.
Vector has a decent array of equipment available. The basic system comprises:
- Wireless control panel
- (3) Door/Window sensors
- Motion detector
- Security Care Plus plan
- Yard sign and window decals
However, you can also add additional equipment on an a la carte basis. Unfortunately, pricing can be a bit unclear and varies somewhat based on your location, so you'll want to speak to a sales rep before making your final choice.
- Indoor camera
- Yard sign and window decals
- Smart thermostat
- Smart lock
- Indoor camera
- Yard sign and window decal
- Stream video recorder
- Video doorbell
- Outdoor camera
- Smart lights
- Smart outlet
- Garage control
- Smoke detector
- Medical alert pendant
- Wellness button
Home automation is one point where Vector excels, but it's another casualty of unclear pricing. Some of these products may bump up your monthly fees, so you'll want to clarify this with Vector directly before purchasing.
Customers can access smart devices like smoke detectors, door locks, outlets, carbon monoxide detectors, Smart thermostats, and more, including voice control with Alexa, Google Home, and Siri.
When purchasing a Vector Security system, here are the costs to consider:
- Equipment costs: You won't have to pay any upfront cost for some packages. However, with the two higher-tier packages, you'll need a down payment of $99 or $149 in addition to monthly fees.
- Monthly costs: The three standard packages are $44,95/month, $59.95 per month (with a $99 down payment), or $69.95 per month (with a $149 down payment). However, it's important to remember that additional equipment can bump the price up considerably.
- Extra equipment: If you want anything that isn't in one of the three Vector plans, your monthly payments will increase. Ensure that you get a thorough price breakdown from your Vector specialist.
- 24/7 Monitoring: One of the significant benefits of Vector is that it is a traditional security system with reliable 24/7 monitoring, which somewhat justifies the expense involved.
- Home automation: Vector has everything you need for a comprehensive smart home system, from smart plugs to smart locks and Alexa compatibility.
- Mobile App: Vector has a well-rated (4-star and above) mobile app that is feature-packed and useful for monitoring your home system.
- Pricing: Pricing is quite confusing, you can't access any pricing information without searching by zip code, and even that isn't necessarily accurate. It's a good idea to talk to your local Vector specialist to see what they can do for you.
- Credit checks: You need to pass a credit check before you can sign a contract for a Vector security system. It's possible that a worse credit score can result in higher fees, too.
- Lengthy contracts: The contracts are long (starting with a 36-month contract) and have an auto-renewal policy. You need to provide handwritten notice to your local Vector office to cancel. Otherwise, they could renew your contract without your express consent.
- Limited service area: Vector's service area is limited and unclear; sometimes, different areas within the same state aren't covered, meaning you could end up in hot water (needing to pay a cancellation fee) if you find yourself needing to move house to a town that Vector doesn't cover.
SimpliSafe or Vector Security?
If you're looking for an excellent, Wi-fi-based security solution without monitoring fees, SimpliSafe is a popular DIY home security system that is sure to meet your needs. All needs are catered to, and flexibility is their main selling point, without the need for long-term contracts or a high monthly monitoring price. However, if you're looking for a more traditional system with a 24/7 monitoring center that can dispatch an emergency response in seconds thanks to ASAP technology (Automated Secure Alarm Protocol), live in the Eastern part of the USA, and don't mind signing up for a long term contract, Vector could be the best home security system for you.
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.