Livewatch vs SimpliSafe : Home Security Comparison

Thanks to new technologies and innovative companies, homeowners now have more options to choose from than ever before when it comes to protecting their homes. Especially for those who want a simple security system to keep their home and family safe that is inexpensive, can be setup and moved without requiring a technician and comes without a long term commitment.

Two companies that have helped shape this new market segment of affordable security systems with flexible terms are LiveWatch Security and SimpliSafe Home Security.

LiveWatch

Founded in 2002 by a Kansas paramedic, LiveWatch was created to put cutting-edge home security in reach of more homes and families. Knowing how critical time is during an emergency, the company developed the ASAPer communication platform. With ASAPer, LiveWatch claims their security system offers the fastest response time possible. Over 200,000 customers across the U.S are using LiveWatch’s inexpensive Plug & Protect wireless security systems and ASAPer communication platform.

LiveWatch’s hybrid solution includes using wireless equipment from well-known manufacturers like QolSys integrated with Alarm.com’s software and the ASAPer communication system to deliver a fast, reliable and inexpensive wireless home security systems.

SimpliSafe

Started only a few years later by a Harvard Business School student, SimpliSafe came to be in an effort to provide an alternative to traditional security solutions. By eliminating the long-term contracts and making the system completely wireless and easy enough to setup without a professional installer.
SimpliSafe developed their own equipment and proprietary technology to create a product they believed would meet the expectations of modern consumers looking for a security solution.

Both companies have grown significantly according to the number of customers they state they serve, with LiveWatch servicing over 200,000 customers and SimpliSafe boasting over half a million systems sold. But beyond those numbers, put head-to-head, which of these DIY security solution providers comes out on top? We took a look at the details to see who you should choose for your home security needs if it came down to one of these two innovative companies.


  • Overall Rating
    8.8
  • BBB Rating
    A+
  • Support Rating
    8.0
  • Contract Length
    12/mo
  • Trial Period
    12 months
  • Warranty
    3 Year
  • Install. Type
    Self
  • (888) 990-5589
  • Overall Rating
    8.0
  • BBB Rating
    A+
  • Support Rating
    8.0
  • Contract Length
    n/a
  • Trial Period
    60 days
  • Warranty
    3 Year
  • Install. Type
    Self
  • (888) 957-4675

Overall Winner: LiveWatch

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SimpliSafe vs Livewatch Key Differences

Contracts

Both companies acknowledge and look to address the issue of long-term service contracts, common pain point for home security customers. Most alarm providers require customers to accept a multi-year agreement, typically for three years and sometimes for as many as five. SimpliSafe home security eliminates the issue by requiring customers to pay up-front for their security system with professional monitoring available on a month-by-month basis. This option is attractive to some but without the monitoring plan, the system only functions as an in-home alarm. It is not a self-monitoring system and has no interactive or remote service capabilities without the monitoring service.

LiveWatch Security approaches the issue of without impacting their system’s functionality. Asking for only a one year commitment, LiveWatch is able to reduce the upfront cost of their equipment to help homeowners with budget constraints while still addressing concerns about a long-term commitment. Along with a 70% shorter agreement term than most provider, LiveWatch further distinguishes their offer by giving customers a full 1-year return policy. This model gives LiveWatch customers the peace of mind of a reliable, fully monitoring security system with the confidence of being able to return the system anytime within the first year of service.

Trial Period

SimpliSafe Home Security has a pretty liberal 60-day return policy which is significantly longer than the trial period offered by some other self-setup home security system providers. And while two months is a substantial amount of time to trial a security system, LiveWatch takes things to a completely new level. As we mentioned above, LiveWatch Security customers are able to return their LiveWatch system at any time during the first year of service by offering a full one-year return policy for their customers. That’s six times SimpliSafe’s home security trial period and gives homeowners the sense of protection they need while keeping any doubts about committing to a security system at bay with the knowledge the company stands by both their product and service to the level they’re willing to accept returns for up to twelve months.

Technology & Platform

We discussed this in the introduction, but it’s worth mentioning again to detail how the different approaches these companies have taken impacts their product, service and customers in the long run.

SimpliSafe took on the task of developing their own platform and equipment. As a result, customers are limited in their equipment options as the company has not yet been able to release support for cameras or other 3rd party smart home devices. Worse still is the recent announcement of a flaw in the wireless communication which allows tech-savvy criminals to hack the SimpliSafe home security system and disable it. The company is unable to fix this in the existing hardware used by over 500,000 of their customers.

On the other side, LiveWatch Security uses equipment from well-regarded equipment manufacturers like QolSys and others which allows them to offer customers a complete and comprehensive line of home security and automation components. In addition, with their partnership with Alarm.com to handle the software platform, LiveWatch can ensure their customers have a system that can integrate and is compatible with current such as AppleTV and Amazon Echo and as-yet-to-be-named 3rd party smart home devices that will come in the future.


Package & Feature Comparison

  • Monitoring Level
    Total Home
  • Monitoring Cost
    $39.95
  • Upfront Cost
    $99
  • 24/7 Professional Monitoring of:
    Intrusion
    Fire
    Medical
    Environmental
  • Remote Access
  • Remote Control
  • Email / Text Alerts
  • Geo Services
  • Home Automation
  • (888) 990-5589
  • Monitoring Level
    Interactive
  • Monitoring Cost
    $24.95
  • Upfront Cost
    $259-539
  • 24/7 Professional Monitoring of:
    Intrusion
    Fire (available)
    Medical
    Environmental
  • Remote Access
  • Remote Control
  • Email / Text Alerts
  • Geo Services
  • Home Automation
  • (800) 372-9259

Livewatch vs SimpliSafe Comparison Break Down

Company Reputation

Winner: Draw

Livewatch Security and SimpliSafe Home Security are on equal footing when it comes to the Better Business Bureau. Both are accredited and maintain A+ ratings with only a handful of complaints over the past three years listed. Across the Web, customer reviews and testimonials seem to be more positive for LiveWatch than SimpliSafe. If we had to pick one of these providers, we would go give the category to LiveWatch as their system has not been exposed as having an unfixable security flaw.

Pricing

Winner: SimpliSafe

Ignoring everything else and judged on price alone, SimpliSafe the winner in this category. And for some consumers, if the only criteria is cost, SimpliSafe may be the solution despite the more costly up-front expenditure. For the majority of homeowners looking for a more sustainable and long-term security solution, LiveWatch Security remains one of the least expensive options available.

Service

Winner: LiveWatch

Both companies designed their products and services to provide consumers with low-cost, low-commitment alternatives to traditional home security providers. LiveWatch’s short commitment length and one-year return policy addresses consumer cost concerns while still delivering a higher level of service for the customer. SimpliSafe home security functions more as a one stop equipment retailer, which can impact overall customer experience if the company focuses more on moving units than helping homeowners.

Ease of Installation

Winner: Draw

Both companies offer simple to setup wireless security systems. If we had to give the edge to either, it would be LiveWatch as they also lead when it comes to customer service and support and offer customers a platform that can easily incorporate compatible third-party smart home devices and video surveillance equipment, something SimpliSafe can’t offer at this time.

Equipment & Technology

Winner: LiveWatch

This category highlights the difference between the two approaches these companies have in serving the home security market. While both offer inexpensive wireless security solutions, LiveWatch’s use of trusted equipment manufacturers gives them a significant advantage over SimpliSafe Home Security and their closed ecosystem. With a much broader equipment lineup which includes smart home devices like automated door locks and lighting controls as well as 3rd party integrations through the alarm.com software service, LiveWatch Security is clear and away the winner in this category.

It’s worth noting again that SimpliSafe is still working to release a video solution and is dealing with negative press related to an unfixable security flaw.


Warranty

Winner: SimpliSafe

SimpliSafe Home Security wins this category by a third, offering a full three-year warrany on their equipment compared to LiveWatch’s two year warranty. While a number of customer complaints center around faulty equipment, it’s good to see SimpliSafe offer a reasonably long replacement warranty. Although a system with repeated failings can more than inconvenience a customer, as a malfunctioning security system can leave a home vulnerable to criminals. It’s also worth noting that while LiveWatch Security may only run their warranty period for two years, it covers more types of equipment than SimpliSafe.

The Overall Winner: LiveWatch Home Security

We appreciate SimpliSafe’s effort to bring an inexpensive, no-strings-attached security solution to consumer. Unfortunately, that approach negatively impacted their customers with security flaws and limited equipment options. Overall, LiveWatch Security offers a more customer-centric solution, using their partnerships with high quality equipment makers, Alarm.com’s industry leading software platform and their own ASAPer communication technology to deliver an inexpensive, no-worry home security solution that boasts some of the fastest response times available.

  • A+ Rating with BBB
  • Simple Setup and Multiple Support Options
  • Alarm.com Interactive Services
  • Z-wave Technology supports system expansion
  • 12 month return policy
  • Easy to understand pricing with no hidden fees
  • Free Shipping
  • Moving Kits and Assistance
FREE Shipping
39.95 Monitoring
99.00 Upfront cost
(888) 990-5589

Monitoring
Cellular

User Rating
5/5

Installation
DIY
More Information
Affordable Professional Monitoring. Award Winning Home Security Equipment.
1 Year Trial Period
2 Year Equipment Warranty
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