SimpliSafe and LiveWatch are two of the largest Do-It-Yourself (DIY) in the homes security business. SimpliSafe has their sensors manufactured for them and brands them with their name. LiveWatch uses GE sensors and detectors.
The two companies sell their equipment through online retailers or on their businesses’ websites. They do not have any local dealerships or outlets that sell or service. Servicing for both is done by phone, chat or online videos.
LiveWatch sensors have a more modern, sleek look, but the clunky, slightly over-sized SimpliSafe models work just as well.
We have done the research for you. Below we compare LiveWatch vs SimpliSafe monitoring contracts, cost differences, user ratings, warranties, and more to help you make an informed decision. Overall, we have a slight preference for SimpliSafe. For the average homeowner, SimpliSafe offers a good, usable system.
However, LiveWatch systems have certain attractive elements that might make some decide that LiveWatch is the better option.
- Cellular transmission
- Smartphone apps are available free of charge
- 100% wireless
- SimpliSafe has month-to-month contracts. LiveWatch requires one-year contracts
- LiveWatch uses GE sensors, and SimpliSafe outsources the manufacturing and brands them with their name
- SimpliSafe has a sixty-day, and LiveWatch a one-year, full refund policy
- SimpliSafe systems cannot manage Z-Wave smart home appliances
- SimpliSafe does not offer video monitoring
Comparison Overview Chart of Basic Packages
|Monthly Monitoring Fee||$19.95||$24.99|
|Activation and/or Installation Fee||$19.95||None|
|Contract Length||1 year||Month-to-month|
|Outsourced or Proprietary Monitoring Centers||proprietary||outsourced|
|Number of Door/Window Sensor||2||1|
|Motion Sensor Included||1||1|
Comparison Overview Chart of Top Packages Offered
|Package Name||Total Home + Video||Smart Complete|
|Monthly Monitoring Fee||$49.95||$24.99|
|Activation and/or Installation Fee||$19.95||none|
|Contract Length||1 year||month to month|
|Smartphone and Remote Access Management||Yes||Yes|
|Door/Window Sensor Included||2||4|
|Carbon Monoxide Detector||No||Yes|
|iTunes App Rating||4 stars||2.5 stars|
|Android App Rating||4.5 stars||4 stars|
|Blackberry App Rating||4 stars||3.5 stars|
LiveWatch and SimpliSafe each provide their customers with quality sensors and detectors. LiveWatch uses GE components, however, and many people prefer the sleeker and more aesthetic GE look. Users on various websites give high marks to both sets of sensors.
Each company only offers Do-It-Yourself (DIY) and sells through their websites or other online retailers. The individual component prices are approximately the same. LiveWatch has one set package of sensors they provide with any of their monitoring packages. SimpliSafe has a deluxe package with a variety of different numbers and types of components. Both companies require you to purchase all parts outright.
SimpliSafe has no activation fee for their service, however, and LiveWatch charges $19.95.
The industry standard for monitoring contracts runs, on average, three years. SimpliSafe and LiveWatch have much shorter contracts. SimpliSafe has month-to-month and LiveWatch one-year terms.
Contract complaints associated with SimpliSafe and LiveWatch are relatively low compared to competitors. This relates to the contract lengths and subsequent lower cancelation fees. There are no high-pressure salesmen since consumers purchase equipment from the web. Hence, there is less opportunity for misunderstanding.
A significant difference in the two systems concerns smart home appliances and video. Neither of these services are offered by SimpliSafe. LiveWatch systems connect any Z-Wave smart device. The LiveWatch Total Home + Video provide you with video monitoring, and the package includes one camera.
Winner and Loser Categories
Both companies have excellent service and sales reputations. LiveWatch and SimpliSafe provide excellent DIY support through their chat, video and phone lines.
The SimpliSafe monthly contract pricing for the top-of-the-line monitoring service is $25/month cheaper than LiveWatch.
If you do not need video or smart home appliance management, SimpliSafe costs much less per year to operate.
Even though SimpliSafe’s equipment package is more, if you add up the total cost of the components and bought them as additional items for a LiveWatch system, you would spend more overall.
The month to month contracts for SimpliSafe monitoring are more attractive to most homeowners even though the LiveWatch contracts are for a much shorter period of time than those offered by the majority of home security companies.
Packages and Contents
SimpliSafe provides much more equipment with their advanced packages than LiveWatch.
If you bought all the equipment offered by SimpliSafe for your LiveWatch system, your out-of-pocket would, however, be about the same.
Ease of Installation
SimpliSafe and LiveWatch have simple, DIY components. Both companies format all sensors and detectors so that they are “plug and play.”
Equipment Quality and Technology
The pricing and quality of GE and SimpliSafe products are about the same.
LiveWatch has a one year, full-refund return policy on all equipment. SimpliSafe has a sixty-day, full refund policy.
SimpliSafe has three-year product warranty. LiveWatch guarantees their equipment for two years.
SimpliSafe and LiveWatch offer online, video and telephonic service assistance.
SimpliSafe and LiveWatch both have excellent, quality systems. The shorter length of contracts provided by both companies can be very attractive given the strict contract enforcement terms of all home security monitoring contracts. However when it comes to SimpliSafe vs LiveWatch, it’s pretty easy to make a decision after comparing the two systems.
If you want a simple, usable system, then for your money SimpliSafe has the edge. However, if you need video or want to manage your HVAC, lights or other smart home appliances through one home security panel, then LiveWatch is the system for you. Read our SimpliSafe review and LiveWatch review for more information on each security system.