SimpliSafe vs. Nest (2020)

Security System Sign in front yard Courtesy SimpliSafe

SimpliSafe and Nest Secure are alarm systems used by millions of homeowners in the U.S. Find out which one is right for you by reading our SimpliSafe vs. Nest comparison.

SimpliSafe and Nest Secure are two popular home security systems used by U.S. homeowners. In this SimpliSafe vs. Nest breakdown, the This Old House Reviews team examines the monitoring plans, security equipment, and pricing for these alarm systems in order to help you decide which one is the best fit for your home.

Our Take

SimpliSafe is less expensive, has a longer trial period, and is fully compatible with Amazon Alexa. However, Nest Secure can be remotely controlled without purchasing a professional monitoring plan, and it integrates more naturally with Google Assistant.

Simplisafe Home Security

Founded in 2006, SimpliSafe was the first home security company to offer professional monitoring plans with no long-term contracts. SimpliSafe now protects over three million people in the U.S. In 2019, SimpliSafe started selling its security devices in the United Kingdom.

Best Features:

  • Simple DIY installation
  • Inexpensive pricing
  • Fully compatible with Amazon Alexa

Nest Home Security

Released in 2017 by Google, Nest Secure is a home security system compatible with a wide range of Google Home and Google Assistant features. Nest Secure’s keypad and door/window sensors are unique in that they are also able to detect motion.

Best Features:

  • Smooth integration with Google Assistant and Google Home products
  • Advanced video monitoring capabilities
  • Keypad and door/window sensors capable of detecting motion

What Do SimpliSafe and Nest Have in Common?

SimpliSafe and Nest Secure are fairly similar in their target market. Here are the most significant commonalities:

  • Smart home integration—Both SimpliSafe and Nest work with smart home devices. For example, both home security systems can be integrated with Google Assistant.
  • No contracts—Neither SimpliSafe nor Nest requires a long-term contract for professional monitoring. This is a significant benefit for homeowners hoping to test a home security system without a burdensome commitment.
  • Easy DIY Installation—Both SimpliSafe and Nest are designed for easy setup by homeowners.
  • Lengthy trial period—SimpliSafe and Nest allow homeowners to test their home security systems for at least 30 days.
  • Two monitoring plans—Two monthly monitoring plans are offered by both companies.
  • Doorbell cameras—Doorbell cameras are sold by both companies.

How Are SimpliSafe and Nest Different?

Here are a few points of contrast between the two home security systems:

  • Trial period—SimpliSafe has a longer trial period than Nest.
  • Smart home devices—Nest offers more smart home devices than SimpliSafe, such as smart thermostats.
  • Outdoor cameras—Only Nest sells a non-doorbell, outdoor camera.
  • Smart home compatibility—Only SimpliSafe is fully compatible with Amazon Alexa.
  • Access to mobile application—SimpliSafe requires homeowners to purchase a professional monitoring plan to remotely control their security system and connected smart devices.

SimpliSafe Home Security Overview

SimpliSafe offers five different packages that include basic home security equipment: The Foundation, The Essentials, The Hearth, The Knox, and The Haven. Most of the company’s hardware can also be purchased on an a la carte basis:

SimpliSafe also offers the following equipment:

  • SimpliCam indoor security camera
  • Glass break sensors
  • Extra motion sensors and entry sensors
  • Smart locks

SimpliSafe Pricing

There are two elements of SimpliSafe’s cost: The cost of professional monitoring services and the cost of the company’s equipment. Here are the details you need to know:

Professional Monitoring

SimpliSafe offers two different monitoring plans: a Standard Plan and an Interactive Plan. The Standard Plan simply connects the base station to a monitoring center, while the Interactive Plan gives you access to alert notifications and the company’s mobile application. The Standard Plan costs $14.99 per month, and the Interactive Plan costs $24.99 per month.

Equipment Cost

SimpliSafe offers a 20% discount on its equipment for homeowners who have signed up for professional monitoring, as seen in the table below.

How Does SimpliSafe Work?

SimpliSafe installation only takes a few minutes and does not require tools. Homeowners simply place the wireless sensors around their home or apartment and plug in their Base Station. When the sensors are triggered, they will sound a siren and will contact SimpliSafe’s monitoring center for those who purchased professional monitoring.

Nest Home Security Overview

Unlike SimpliSafe, Google does not offer pre-built packages with Nest. Instead, it offers the Nest Secure Alarm System along with two key fobs and motion detector sensors. Homeowners can customize their system as needed with additional smart devices and cameras.

The Nest Secure Alarm System includes:

  • One Nest Guard—The Nest Guard is the command center device and comes with a keypad, motion sensor, and an alarm.
  • Two Nest key fobs—These key fobs are used to arm and disarm the system.
  • Two Nest detector sensors—The detector sensors are combined motion and entry sensors that can be placed on doors and windows.

Nest offers the following add-ons with its alarm system:

  • Nest Protect carbon monoxide and smoke detector
  • Nest X Yale lock, which can be used to lock and unlock your front door
  • Nest Hello doorbell camera
  • Additional motion sensors
  • Indoor and outdoor cameras

Nest Pricing

The Nest Secure Alarm System is priced at $399. This is fairly expensive, costing more than all of SimpliSafe’s discounted packages. Professional monitoring is performed by Brinks Home Security and costs $29.99 per month.

Note: The professional monitoring cost can be reduced to $19.99 per month for homeowners who choose to purchase a three-year contract.

How Does Nest Work?

Like SimpliSafe, Nest is easy to install. Simply plug in the Nest Guard hub and set it up using the mobile application. If you’ve chosen to self-monitor your system, your mobile device will be contacted with any alerts. Professionally monitored homes have their alarms sent to the Brinks Homes Security dispatch center.

Our Conclusion

SimpliSafe and Nest Secure are both reputable home security systems with no long-term contracts and DIY installation options. Our Reviews team named SimpliSafe among the top home security companies in the industry because of its easy installation.

We recommend SimpliSafe for homeowners who use an Amazon Alexa or are looking for a good bargain on a security system. Homeowners who are already planning on self-monitoring or use Google Assistant are better suited for Nest Secure.

If you’d like to get a free quote or obtain more information about SimpliSafe or Nest, use the tool below:

If you’re not sure whether SimpliSafe or Nest is right for you, compare them to other top-rated security providers in the industry below.

Our Rating Methodology

The This Old House Reviews team is committed to providing comprehensive and unbiased reviews to our readers. This means earning your trust through transparent reviews and having the data to back up our ratings and recommendations. Our rating system for home security providers is on a 100-point scale based on 10 factors:

  • Number of systems (5)
  • Special features (10)
  • Installation options (5)
  • Connectivity and smart home automation (15)
  • Pricing (15)
  • Contract period (5)
  • Warranty (15)
  • Trial period (15)
  • Usability (5)
  • Trustworthiness (10)

Our team reviewed 32 companies and spent 744 hours researching and testing out products to help us compare home security systems on key factors such as package options, cost, reliability, and ease of use. Read more on our methodology here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does SimpliSafe work with Nest?

SimpliSafe is compatible with Nest’s Learning Thermostat device. When you arm SimpliSafe to leave, SimpliSafe tells your Nest Thermostat, so Nest lowers its energy use. When you come home and disarm your SimpliSafe system, the Nest Thermostat will return your temperature to your desired level.

Which is better: Nest or SimpliSafe?

Nest and SimpliSafe are both quality security systems, and the right option for you will depend on your specific needs. We recommend SimpliSafe for homeowners who are looking for an inexpensive home security system or use an Amazon Alexa. We recommend Nest for homeowners who plan to self-monitor or use a Google Assistant.

Is SimpliSafe as good as ADT?

SimpliSafe and ADT have very different security system offerings. ADT comes with professional installation and requires a 36-month contract, while SimpliSafe is designed for DIY installation and requires no long-term contract. You can learn more about these companies and their respective security systems in our review of the best home security companies.

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