Operating the SimpliSafe home security system from a smartphone or your computer requires you to purchase their Interactive Plan, the most expensive, for $24.99 per month.
The Alert Plan has limited remote functionality and costs $19.99.
The Basic plan, at $14.99, or no monitoring does not provide any smartphone or computer operation of the system.
The Alert Plan will alert you through an SMS text message whenever the system alarm goes off. You will not be able to view the status of the system online or on your app, nor can you control the basic functions of the system.
If you opt for no plan or self-monitoring, you must be present in the house to view or control the sensors and detectors.
With the Interactive Plan, you can access your system through the SimpliSafe web portal or by using the smartphone app.
Online, you can do perform a variety functions:
- Name or Rename Components
- Add Users or Change User Codes
- Change System Delay Settings
- Activate or Deactivate Sensors
- Review Your Alarm History
- Change or Input SMS or Text Alert Settings
Unlike some competitor’s online sites, you cannot access every function that you can if you use the keypad. As with the equipment, the portal is functional but not particularly high-tech. You can accomplish most things but has nothing that can be considered cutting-edge in terms of ability to do things remotely.
It is, however, simple to access and operate. The screen layout makes finding and managing whatever operation you want quick and easy.
SimpliSafe Smartphone App
SimpliSafe has a free smartphone app for the iPhone, Android or Microsoft Windows phones. You can perform basic functions using the app but cannot manage the system or make any changes as you can using the online portal.
Many competitor’s apps allow you to do much more, just as they allow you to do a lot more through their online portals.
If you set up any alerts online, you can view them but you cannot create new alerts using the app. For example, the “secret warnings” or “alert only” settings for entry sensors or motion detectors can be accessed through the app.
You can arm or disarm your system using the app. You can also view the status of each sensor and review the sensor logs.
The layout of the app, as with the portal is simplistic and allows you to navigate without too much trouble.
The online portals and apps match the brand image of the rest of the SimpliSafe products: simple and functional home security. The portal lets you manage all the essential components and system settings but nothing beyond that. The app has even less functionality but again enables you to do what most people most likely would use the app for, such as arming and disarming or reading alerts.
SimpliSafe could provide a more functional app, but for whatever reason choose not to do so. You can always access the online portal on your smartphone, by using the browser function, but you cannot manage anything.
Given the way smartphones have become so central to most people’s lives, it is a mystery why SimpliSafe does not develop an app to allow full management of the system.
Finally, while SimpliSafe does not lock you into long-term term contracts, if you want to use your smartphone or manage the system online, you must purchase their most expensive monitoring contract. Learn more about SimpliSafe in our full SimpliSafe review.