Founded in Boston, Massachusetts in 2006 by Chad and Eleanor Laurans, SimpliSafe is an American home security company that specializes in self-installed wireless security systems for commercial use.
The concept was developed by the pair when they were still students at Harvard Business School, when a series of break-ins at their Charleston campus, and a lack of security firms who specifically aimed at renters, led them to find a gap in the market.
After three years of home testing and work, SimpliSafe officially launched in 2009 with the help of outside funding, after which it continued to grow exponentially over the course of next decade, rising to 800 employees in 2020, and the announcement of a second business center in Richmond, Virginia.
What SimpliSafe Can Offer
The most important things to take away from SimpliSafe are: price, ease, and detail.
With an affordable price tag that remains modest even in such a competitive market, what SimpliSafe offers is really incredible.
This is even true of the monitoring plans, which can be catered to most people’s budgets, something which is becoming increasingly important in a world of rising costs of living.
Similarly, people like to be catered to, and this is something SimpliSafe offers by the truckload, taking every worry or concern into account to curate the best package for your situation.
And the last thing is ease, something that can be a huge selling point for many people.
SimpliSafe takes the often stressful problem of personal security, and divides it into easy, consumable options that are suited to everyone, regardless of skill level or understanding.
Voted the best “do it yourself” home security system in 2020 and 2021, SimpliSafe offers a range of products and services all designed to be simple to use, easy to install, and offering maximum effectiveness.
Offering easy installation (without the need for a technician), a low price tag (often beating competing consumer brands), and with wireless technology that uses lithium batteries (making them immune to black outs, power outages, or sabotage), their range of home security products couldn’t be more convenient, regardless of your technological understanding.
With the primary system consisting of a base unit and a keypad, and with countless wireless accessories to choose from (depending on your security needs), SimpliSafe has got you covered.
Accessories include video doorbell cameras, smart locks, door sensors, motion detectors, smoke detectors, glass break sensors, and temperature monitors, as well as SimpliCam security cameras, and Video Doorbell Pro.
The SimpliSafe systems support up to four SimpliCa security cameras on any one base unit, but the cameras also have the ability to be stand alone devices.
With human detection software, night vision, and a 120 degree field of view, these cameras are incredibly effective either for indoor or outdoor use.
The Video Doorbell Pro meanwhile offers HD filming, built-in two way microphones, and heat sensors to make them more sensitive and effective.
All their products are also compatible with Android and IOS products.
When combined with the SimpliSafe Motion Sensor, you can achieve maximum effectiveness regardless of your security needs.
With the ability to tell the difference between pets/small animals and intruders, a 30 feet detection range, and a 90 degree field of view, this really does provide the benefits and expertise of industrial security software for an affordable price.
As part of their home security packages, they also offer a monitoring system, paid for as part of a monthly subscription fee, which for a modest price assigns members of their team to your property, monitoring suspicious alerts and activity, and adding an extra level of security.
The basic package costs around $15 dollars, and gives those who need it the added security and peace of mind of six different centers monitoring the data provided by the security system.
Whilst not appropriate for everyone’s needs, and perhaps even alarming or concerning to some, this kind of package is perfect for people with vulnerable family members, at-risk property or possessions, or for people who take long periods of absence (either for business, work, or vacation).
The monitors will take note of any alerts or activity during these allotted times, and contact the appropriate authorities if the situation requires it.
More premium packages (of around $25 and $35 respectively) offer more in depth monitoring and protection, offering interactivity with the professionals, who are more than happy and equipped to provide footage or information regarding breaches or potential threats.
Also, for the highest plan (the “pro superior”), the homeowner will receive an emergency fob button that will alert authorities or emergency services at the first signs of a medical or security emergency.
However, such compatibility across devices was not always the case.
When the company first officially launched their products in 2009, you could not connect to smart devices or phones, and there were no personal, virtual assistants, such as Siri (launched in 2010) or Alexa (purchased and deployed by Amazon in 2013), at that time.
As such, the company has very much had to grow and develop as supporting personal technology did, something that undoubtedly was key to the company’s continued success.
Nowadays it seems like a no-brainer that home security systems would have vocal recognition and remote control, especially seeing as most people use them for security purposes when they are not in their own homes, and wish to see who has entered their property.
If a delivery person has brought a package and you are not home, it is important to be able to interact with the system over long distances, be it to communicate as to where you would like your package leaving, or simply to see who is at your door when a notification is triggered by the device.
Similarly, it is important to be alerted immediately if someone is attempting to break into your home or business, so that you can alert the appropriate authorities.
This is of course unique to this particular style of security, as they do not automatically alert the police (like industrial business security models), so more interactivity is a necessity.
Using SimpliSafe With Alexa
Nowadays, the security software is indeed compatible with Alexa, as well as other virtual assistants, and the task of connecting them couldn’t be simpler.
This gives SimpliSafe security systems an edge over similar software and equipment that does not allow device pairing or virtual assistant integration.
First and foremost, you will require the SimpliSafe app on your phone or computer, so you can begin the installation.
This is also where you will be able to access the recorded video clips at a later date, access the live view through the camera, or access and respond to notifications regarding motion detection.
Once the system is connected and the devices are linked, it is important to establish voice commands with Alexa, so as to streamline the whole process and make the system work best for you and your home.
When establishing voice commands, it is very important to keep them simple, to the point, and uncomplicated.
When they hear the words “artificial intelligence” people might think of Alexa as something from science fiction that can adapt and learn with every word spoken.
This is not the case, and most modern virtual assistants rely on key information, so that the algorithm can properly scour the internet (or intranet) to either find and collate the appropriate information, or activate the correct system.
These commands can be used to arm the security system, check the status of your equipment (in terms of status, battery life etc), as well as to disable certain pieces of technology when they are not presently needed.
With SimpliSafe, there are three states of being – home mode, away mode, and off. Whilst home and away are both armed and working, they represent specific pieces of technology and functions that apply to each situation.
Home Mode won’t require internal motion sensors or temperature monitoring, as the people in the house are supposed to be there, and changes in temperature occur all the time in an occupied house.
This is more suited to nighttime, when the homeowners are sleeping, so as to avoid any unwanted intruders who might seek to break in.
Away Mode is when the system is fully armed, and any changes in temperature, motion, or indeed intruders caught by the door camera, can be dealt with accordingly – either via alarms, or contacting the appropriate authorities.
Off Mode is the most obvious, referring to when the system is completely turned off. This is most useful during the day, when the house is full of people and everyone is awake and going about their business.
The risk of intruders is very low, and so the need for motion detectors is moot.
Nevertheless, here are 8 Alexa commands to control your SimpliSafe system.
Commands For “Away” Mode
This category relates to any command given to alert Alexa and the system that you are leaving the house, and that it will be vacant until you return.
This is especially important for vacations, business trips, or even extended hours outside the house, and will ensure that the system is fully armed and ready to detect any potential intruders.
- “Alexa, arm SimpliSafe in Away Mode” – this is straight to the point, and is perhaps a more official, formal way of setting up the command. One benefit is that it is to the point, thus avoiding confusion or miscommunication.
- “Alexa, tell SimpliSafe I’m leaving now” – this is more conversational and informal, but communicates the information that the system requires.
- “Alexa, tell SimpliSafe to Turn On” – This is perhaps the most effective and simple way of arming the system on your way out of the house. It is clear, to the point, and avoids confusion.
Commands For “Home” Mode
When there is someone in the house (someone is supposed to be there of course), it is important to disarm the system so that it isn’t recording or reporting unnecessarily.
When you are home, you do not necessarily need the added security of the alarm system, so you might wish to power it down for a more relaxed home experience.
- “Alexa, arm SimpliSafe Home Mode” – this is formal yet quite wordy, and most people might prefer a command that is more concise and conversational, especially in their own home when they have to say it every day.
- “Alexa, tell SimpliSafe I’m home” – this is much more informal, yet is concise and to the point. People may also wish to add regional words or terms, depending on their preferences.
- “Alexa, tell SimpliSafe Goodnight” – this directly refers to when you are going to sleep, so that the system is armed for the eventuality of nocturnal intruders. It is also informal and concise, communicating the necessary information to Alexa.
Commands For “Status Checks”
These might seem like boring maintenance features, but they are important to ensure the continued functionality of your security system.
The importance of making sure the system is working correctly should be a weekly check (or even more) and should not be isolated to when there is a noticeable issue.
These checks are also vital when taking extended periods of leave, such as vacations or business trips, when the house will remain unoccupied for longer than usual.
- “Alexa, ask SimpliSafe if I am secure” – this is informal but well executed, much more concise and to the point, whilst getting the key information across.
- “Alexa, ask SimpliSafe for my current status” – this is the most important, as it will give the homeowner the information regarding the security system at the time of asking, and will alert them to any potential problems or connectivity issues that may be present.
And there we have it, our run down of the 8 best commands when pairing your Alexa personal assistant with SimpliSafe home security products.
Regardless of whether your needs are purely for low risk day to day security, or for more specific lifestyle-based scenarios, SimpliSafe has got a package that can best suit your unique needs and desires.