SimpliSafe vs. LiveWatch

Note: SimpliSafe now offers self-monitoring, although you’ll only get notifications with the Interactive Plan. They also added a Google Assistant integration, and cloud storage is available separately from monitoring. They’ve also added a professional installation option for $79. 

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.

LiveWatch has three North American proprietary monitoring centers owned and operated by LiveWatch to service their customers. SimpliSafe provides monitoring through vendors.

LiveWatch vs SimpliSafe

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.

Get Best Offer
SimpliSafe Security System
SimpliSafe Security System
SimpliSafe Security System

SimpliSafe has easy DIY installation, great customer support, and flexible monthly contracting. 

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
  • DIY
  • 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
Equipment Cost$299.00$229.96
Activation and/or Installation Fee$19.95None
DIY OptionNoYes
Contract Length1 yearMonth-to-month
Equipment ManufacturerGEProprietary
Outsourced or Proprietary Monitoring Centersproprietaryoutsourced
Number of Door/Window Sensor21
Motion Sensor Included11
BBB RatingA+A+

Comparison Overview Chart of Top Packages Offered

Package NameTotal Home + VideoSmart Complete
Monthly Monitoring Fee$49.95$24.99
Equipment Cost$299.00$539.85
Activation and/or Installation Fee$19.95none
Contract Length1 yearmonth to month
Equipment ManufacturerGEProprietary
Smartphone and Remote Access ManagementYesYes
Z-Wave ControlYesNo
Video AvailabilityYesNo
Door/Window Sensor Included24
Motion Sensor12
Panic ButtonNoYes
Extra SirenNoYes
Smoke DetectorNoYes
Carbon Monoxide DetectorNoYes
Water DetectorNoYes
Freeze SensorNoYes
Keychain Remote12
Touchscreen ConsoleYesYes
iTunes App Rating4 stars2.5 stars
Android App Rating4.5 stars4 stars
Blackberry App Rating4 stars3.5 stars

Comparison Overview
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

Company Reputation

Winner: Tie

Both companies have excellent service and sales reputations. LiveWatch and SimpliSafe provide excellent DIY support through their chat, video and phone lines.


Winner: SimpliSafe

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.


Winner: SimpliSafe

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

Winner: SimpliSafe

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

Winner: Tie

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

Winner: Tie

The pricing and quality of GE and SimpliSafe products are about the same.


Winner: LiveWatch

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.


Winner: Tie

SimpliSafe and LiveWatch offer online, video and telephonic service assistance.

Comparison Summary

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.

Get Best Offer
SimpliSafe Security System
SimpliSafe Security System
SimpliSafe Security System

SimpliSafe has easy DIY installation, great customer support, and flexible monthly contracting. 

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.

Livewatch is now owned by Brinks. Check out our review of the Brinks home security system.

Related: The Best Security Systems of 2019

Gabe Turner

Gabe Turner

Gabe Turner is an attorney and journalist with a passion for home tech and secure, efficient living. Since graduating from NYU Law, he has maintained a paradoxical existence of trying to live life adventurously while remaining staunchly risk-averse. He is torn by the dual desires of wanting to only be in Brooklyn writing about housing policy and smart home tech and aspiring to visit his friends scattered across the globe. Gabe believes that stable, safe communities are the cornerstone to a vibrant and healthy society, and it is this passion that brought him to contribute to Security Baron.

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