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Arlo vs. SimpliSafe: Which Home Security System Should You Buy?

Arlo and SimpliSafe both offer robust home security systems—but most customers will find one to be more compelling than the other.
Arlo vs. SimpliSafe

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Arlo and SimpliSafe have established themselves as two of the best home security companies in the industry. Both offer compelling products, reasonable prices, and have a history of excellent customer service. The two share a lot of similarities, which can make it challenging for users to decide which one is best for their home.

Regardless of which of the two systems they choose, most households will be well protected, as a home security system is usually worth it. But anyone looking to get the best possible protection for their property will want to understand a few key differences when comparing Arlo vs. SimpliSafe.

How We Compared Home Security Systems

Arlo vs. SimpliSafe
Photo: istockphoto.com

When comparing Arlo and SimpliSafe, we used several key parameters. These categories encapsulate everything a customer will want to consider when looking for a security system, such as available products, monthly fees, and installation options. It’s also crucial for customers to look at warranties, contracts, and any factors that may increase the costs of owning a security system.

  • Reputation: If a company has a reputation for low-quality products and poor customer service, there’s no need to give it consideration. Conversely, companies with a long history of success will likely be at the top of shoppers’ lists.
  • Equipment options and quality: Most home security companies offer many of the same products, but there can often be gaps in their catalogs. Aside from equipment availability, it’s important for shoppers to search for high-quality gear that’s earning praise from current customers.
  • Packages and plans: A brand that offer a wide range of plans is easier to recommend than a brand with a limited selection. A company that offers several different packages or customization options is preferred over one with a limited portfolio.
  • Pricing and fees: Shoppers will need to keep in mind not only the cost of equipment but also installation and ongoing monthly fees. If a company offers great gear but its prices are exorbitant, customers might be better served looking elsewhere.
  • Installation: Some types of equipment need to be professionally installed, while other types can be purchased and used as a DIY security system. These options aren’t always available for all products or at all companies.
  • Monitoring: Many companies offer professional monitoring, which has an employee keeping tabs on any unexpected alerts. This is a crucial feature of any home security system.
  • App user experience: Most security systems are now powered by smartphones, though some use in-home gadgets. Both are acceptable, but some systems are more intuitive than others.
  • Contracts and trial period: Trial periods allow users to test a service before making a commitment. Meanwhile, contracts typically lock customers into payment for a set length of time, forcing them to pay a fee if they want to end the agreement early.
  • Warranty: Regardless of how great a company is, nothing is guaranteed to be perfect. If equipment breaks, having a good warranty for the customer to fall back on is key.
  • Home automation and device compatibility: Smart homes are increasingly popular, and many home security systems can interact with existing setups. Anyone interested in syncing their motion detectors and cameras with their smart display or smart lights will want to make sure the home security system they choose accommodates these auxiliary options.

1. Arlo vs. SimpliSafe: Reputation and Customer Reviews

Having been accredited by the Better Business Bureau since 2013, SimpliSafe has been around longer than Arlo (which was accredited in 2019). Not only has it been in business longer, but SimpliSafe carries an A+ rating. Arlo, meanwhile, is yet to receive a rating from the Better Business Bureau.

Generally speaking, customer satisfaction is noticeably higher for SimpliSafe than for Arlo. With over 16,000 SimpliSafe reviews on Trustpilot, SimpliSafe has a 3.7 out of 5 rating. Arlo has less than 1,000 reviews on Trustpilot and is sitting with 1.2 out of 5. Many complaints are in regard to Arlo customer service and product quality.

It’s important for shoppers to remember that customers with bad experiences tend to be more vocal online than users who are happy with their product. Despite the lackluster reviews, Arlo had 2 million subscribers as of March 2023; the company is clearly doing something right to earn such a dedicated following. As for SimpliSafe, it far surpasses those numbers with over 4 million users.

Verdict: SimpliSafe is generally considered to be one of the best DIY security systems on the market today—and for good reason: it’s a high-quality, relatively affordable system that’s easy to set up. SimpliSafe’s reputation as a reliable home security company is bolstered by the numerous positive customer reviews on Trustpilot. Arlo has less name recognition than SimpliSafe, and its customer reviews tend to skew more negatively.

Winner: SimpliSafe

2. Arlo vs. SimpliSafe: Equipment Options and Quality

Arlo is widely known for offering several types of security cameras, including the popular Arlo Pro 4. Aside from its roster of indoor and outdoor cameras, Arlo offers a handful of video doorbells, floodlights, motion sensors, and an outdoor siren. Products can be purchased as part of a customizable bundle or as stand-alone products.

Despite some customer complaints, most users typically find Arlo products to be of high quality. Arlo cameras are often considered to be some of the best outdoor security cameras or indoor cameras on the market. Arlo’s catalog also includes an All-in-One Sensor to monitor for water leaks, smoke, freezing, and light, as well as unexpected motion.

SimpliSafe offers all the same types of products as Arlo and then some. Additional products available at SimpliSafe that can’t be found at Arlo include a panic button, a glass-break sensor, and a smoke detector. SimpliSafe’s comprehensive selection of equipment means it’s frequently featured in roundups of the best home security systems. There are also fewer complaints about faulty SimpliSafe products than there are about faulty Arlo products.

Like all smart-home companies, SimpliSafe and Arlo churn out new products at a regular cadence. This gives users the option to upgrade their system and ensures they’re using the most cutting-edge technology available.

Verdict: Both Arlo and SimpliSafe offer the same basic home security equipment, including entry sensors, motion detectors, and environmental sensors. SimpliSafe’s offerings also include equipment that can make a security system more complete, such as a glass-break sensor, panic button, and smoke detector—which are pieces of equipment not offered by Arlo. 

Winner: SimpliSafe

Arlo vs. SimpliSafe
Photo: istockphoto.com

3. Arlo vs. SimpliSafe: Packages and Plans

SimpliSafe allows customers to build their own security system or select from prebuilt packages. While there are countless ways to create a DIY system, anyone interested in picking a prebuilt option can choose from seven different bundles—all of which are powered by an included base station and keypad. A more expensive bundle will typically include a SimpliSafe outdoor camera, which is ideal for most homes.

  • The Foundation is the most affordable bundle, offering just a motion sensor and entry sensor, along with the base station and keypad, which are found in all packages.
  • The Essentials builds upon the Foundation package and includes two motion sensors and one entry sensor.
  • The Hearth includes everything from the Essentials bundle, adding two additional entry sensors, a smoke detector, a key fob, and a 105-decibel siren.
  • The Knox is designed for large homes and provides customers with two motion sensors, six entry sensors, a smoke detector, a key fob, and a siren.
  • The Haven is ideal for capturing environmental hazards, as it includes a water sensor, smoke detector, and temperature sensor. It also comes with two motion sensors, a panic button, a key fob, four entry sensors, and a siren.
  • The Lighthouse includes a wireless outdoor security camera, a motion sensor, and three entry sensors.
  • The Beacon comes with two wireless outdoor security cameras, two motion sensors, and four entry sensors.

Arlo does things a bit differently than SimpliSafe. Much of its catalog is built around customization, so shoppers won’t find a wide variety of bundles. Instead, they have just one core offering.

  • The Home Security System is the main bundle offered by Arlo. It includes two all-in-one sensors and a keypad sensor hub. It can be upgraded to include five sensors and a yard sign (which may help deter crime).

Users will also find a selection of 17 security bundles, each offering a different number of Arlo security cameras. These bundles aren’t quite as unique as SimpliSafe’s offerings and typically focus on cameras instead of motion sensors or different types of window alarm sensors or door sensors.

The big draw of Arlo is its stand-alone products, which allow customers to slowly build a system piece by piece or perfectly customize their setup for their specific household. However, this can be a bit daunting—if users don’t know where to start, SimpliSafe makes it easier to choose a prebuilt package that fits a variety of homes and add on from there. SimpliSafe also offers several bundles with multiple sensors and cameras, allowing shoppers to place security cameras in key locations around their property.

Verdict: Both SimpliSafe and Arlo allow customers to build custom security systems to fit their unique needs. However, SimpliSafe also provides customers with the choice of seven prebuilt packages that are specifically designed to meet varying home security needs. 

Winner: SimpliSafe

4. Arlo vs. SimpliSafe: Pricing and Fees

SimpliSafe is largely designed for DIY installation, meaning users can expect overall prices to be much cheaper than those for professionally installed systems. Professional assistance is offered—but it’s not required. But how much do SimpliSafe packages cost? Each bundle has a slightly different starting price, and customers will want to note that SimpliSafe often has promotions that decrease the costs of its equipment packages.

Equipment PackageTotal Cost
The Foundation$249.96
The Essentials$279.95
The Hearth$399.91
The Lighthouse$469.93
The Knox$479.87
The Haven$519.86
The Beacon$709.90

Three SimpliSafe monitoring plans are available, two of which offer 24/7 emergency dispatch (Self Monitoring with Camera Recordings is the only plan without it). Subscribers will not be charged hidden fees (like early cancellation penalties) that they might with other security systems. When choosing a system, customers will want to review SimpliSafe monthly costs for all three SimpliSafe plans.

Monitoring PlanDaily CostAverage Monthly Cost
Fast Protect Professional Monitoring$0.99$30
Standard Monitoring$0.66$20
Self Monitoring with Camera Recordings$0.33$10

Arlo’s lone package, the Home Security System, costs $199.99. That cost puts it well below the price of SimpliSafe’s cheapest package—though it doesn’t offer many products. In fact, SimpliSafe’s packages tend to pose the better value, as they bundle together more equipment at a lower price.

For example, the Home Security System offered by Arlo only includes two all-in-one sensors. Preconfigured packages by SimpliSafe can include everything from entry sensors and motion sensors to smoke detectors and security cameras.

Arlo’s monthly plans start at a lower price point than SimpliSafe’s, but they limit professional monitoring to just a single plan—Safe & Secure Pro. For users who don’t need the service, however, the basic Secure plan is highly affordable.

How much is an Arlo subscription? Arlo has three monitoring plans, all with different price points.

Monitoring PlanMonthly Cost
Secure$4.99 for one camera ($12.99 for unlimited cameras)
Secure Plus$17.99 for unlimited cameras
Safe & Secure Pro$24.99 for unlimited cameras

Plans can be used with a single security camera or a property-wide network of cameras, entry sensors, and video doorbells. The Safe & Secure Pro plan is all but a necessity for the Home Security Package, as without it customers will be missing out on professional monitoring.

Customers pay more for professional monitoring with Arlo than with SimpliSafe, which locks it behind the $24.99 per month Safe & Secure Pro plan, compared to $19.99 per month for the Standard Monitoring Plan with SimpliSafe.

Like SimpliSafe, Arlo doesn’t lock members into a contract, allowing them to leave without any pesky penalties.

Verdict: SimpliSafe and Arlo both offer relatively low-cost home security equipment, and neither have hidden fees. However, SimpliSafe’s packages offer more equipment at an overall lower price, and professional monitoring costs less than Arlo’s monitoring plans.

Winner: SimpliSafe

Arlo vs. SimpliSafe
Photo: istockphoto.com

5. Arlo vs. SimpliSafe: Installation

As noted earlier, Arlo and SimpliSafe products are designed for DIY installation. Users enter their SimpliSafe login details into the smartphone app, which then guides them through the entire installation process. The company also provides access to live expert assistance to help with any trouble users may encounter during installation.

SimpliSafe also offers the option for professional installation for those who aren’t sure where to place security cameras in their home. This service starts at $124.99—though depending on how the bundle is customized and how much equipment is involved, customers may be charged higher security camera installation costs. Customers pay for equipment up front, but payment for installation won’t occur until after the installation is complete.

In other words, SimpliSafe works as both a DIY system or as a professionally installed system.

Arlo doesn’t offer the option for a professional install, though it has partnered with HelloTech in the United States to help users find a reliable expert in their area. Arlo recommends users contact a local electrician or professional if they are unable to find their device listed on HelloTech’s website.

DIY setup is typically hassle-free with Arlo, as the company uses a smartphone app to help users learn how to install security cameras (similar to SimpliSafe). Customers use their Arlo login credentials with the app, which allows them to walk through the setup process for all their products.

Wireless equipment is typically the easiest to install, and this class of products is offered by Arlo and SimpliSafe. Customers who are concerned about a tricky setup process will want to opt for these instead of their wired counterparts, which often require more technical skills.

Verdict: Arlo and SimpliSafe are both DIY security systems designed to be easy for customers to install with no tech installation experience or skills. SimpliSafe goes the extra mile by also offering professional setup, which would be beneficial for customers who don’t want the responsibility of setting up their home security system.

Winner: SimpliSafe

6. Arlo vs. SimpliSafe: Monitoring

Arlo has three different monitoring plans, though only one offers professional monitoring. While users aren’t required to subscribe to a plan, those who don’t will not have access to video history in the Arlo Smart Cloud, nor will they have 24/7 emergency response capability or customizable motion alerts, among other limitations.

Arlo has three monitoring plans.

  • The Arlo Secure Plan offers up to 4K video recording, 30 days of cloud storage, smart notifications, theft replacement, and additional discounts when customers shop through Arlo’s official online store.
  • The Arlo Secure Plus Plan includes everything from the Secure Plan, plus 24/7 emergency response and critical alerts.
  • The Arlo Safe & Secure Pro Plan includes everything from the Secure Plan, plus 24/7 professional monitoring and access to unique features in the Arlo Safe App, such as sending alerts to emergency contacts.

SimpliSafe offers three monitoring plans.

  • The Self Monitoring with Camera Recordings plan does not offer 24/7 monitoring, but it does include unlimited camera recordings and 30-day camera storage. It also gives access to the mobile app to arm and disarm the security system remotely.
  • The Standard Monitoring plan includes 24/7 emergency dispatch and HD live view on all camera feeds.
  • The Fast Protect Professional Monitoring plan includes 24/7 monitoring; alerts for flooding and extreme temps; intruder deterrence with live, two-way agent audio; and cellular backup for power outages.

It’s worth noting SimpliSafe will extend equipment warranties with its plans. The Fast Protect plan grants an extended warranty for the duration of the subscription, while the Standard and Self Monitoring plans grant an extended warranty for up to 3 years.

Users are not locked into a monitoring contract with Arlo or SimpliSafe, allowing them to drop their subscription without any penalties.

Verdict: Arlo and SimpliSafe each offer three monitoring plans with self-monitoring and professional monitoring options. However, SimpliSafe’s monitoring plans are slightly more comprehensive, offering added tools and capabilities such as intruder deterrence with live, two-way agent audio and video threat verification that can speed up emergency response.

Winner: SimpliSafe

7. Arlo vs. SimpliSafe: App User Experience

Arlo and SimpliSafe make it easy for users to access and control their security systems through companion smartphone apps. For Arlo, the Arlo Secure: Home Security app will be the primary way customers interact with their system. This app has earned impressive reviews on the App Store and is currently sitting with a 4.1 out of 5 after nearly 200,000 reviews.

The app is intuitive to use, offering different tabs to access video history, video settings, and even a section to set up schedules and automations. Members of the Safe & Secure Pro plan will also get the Arlo Safe app, which allows them to access emergency alerts while away from home. It doesn’t have nearly as many reviews as the Arlo Secure: Home Security app, but it has an impressive 4.8 out of 5 review on the App Store.

SimpliSafe members will use the SimpliSafe Home Security App, which has a 4.8 out of 5 on the App Store with over 322,000 reviews. Like the Arlo app, this app is designed to be intuitive and easy to understand—providing access to live feeds, arming and disarming of the system, and customizable settings.

SimpliSafe also offers a companion app for the Apple Watch, giving customers access to basic features such as arming and disarming the system or checking alerts. It’s not designed to be a replacement for the official smartphone app, but it’s a nice addition for anyone with an Apple Watch. SimpliSafe does not currently offer an app for Android smartwatches such as the Galaxy Watch6 or or Pixel Watch 2.

Verdict: Both Arlo and SimpliSafe have highly rated apps that allow customers to control their home security system remotely. However, Arlo customers who opt for the Safe & Secure Pro plan will get access to a second app, called Arlo Safe, which provides customers with the ability to get emergency assistance while on the go.

Winner: Arlo

Arlo vs. SimpliSafe
Photo: istockphoto.com

8. Arlo vs. SimpliSafe: Contracts and Trial Period

Unlike many security system providers, neither Arlo nor SimpliSafe lock members into contracts. This allows users to cancel without a penalty or jump from one plan to the next as they see fit.

Both brands also offer free trials. These give prospective users a chance to test out a system before signing up for a paying membership. The Arlo Secure trial includes 30-day cloud recording; advanced motion detection to discern between animals, people, packages, and vehicles; smoke and CO (carbon monoxide) alarm detection; and emergency response services.

Arlo offers a 30-day return policy for its products, but shipping costs aren’t refundable.

SimpliSafe does things a bit differently, offering a 60-day return policy for its equipment. The company notes that customers can return any items if they are not 100 percent satisfied with their performance. SimpliSafe will also pay for return shipping.

Because Arlo’s trial is for the monitoring subscription and SimpliSafe’s trial is for equipment, it’s up to the customer to decide which works best for them. Users will want to keep in mind that they will need to purchase Arlo equipment to access the free monitoring trial, while they’ll need to purchase a SimpliSafe subscription to make the most of the equipment.

In other words, customers will have to purchase something (either a monitoring plan or equipment) to make the most out of these free trials. In either case, equipment can be returned within the stated return period.

Verdict: Neither Arlo nor SimpliSafe requires customers to sign a contract, which means they can cancel at any time without a penalty. Both also offer a trial period, though the two differ slightly; Arlo customers get a 30-day trial of the Arlo Secure monitoring plan, while SimpliSafe offers a generous 60-day trial period on equipment.

Winner: SimpliSafe

9. Arlo vs. SimpliSafe: Warranty

Warranties make it easy for customers to get a piece of equipment repaired or replaced should it start acting up. Generous warranties are offered by both Arlo and SimpliSafe, with the majority of their products subject to a limited 1-year warranty. Arlo notes that certain components such as batteries and power supplies may be subject to different warranties, though the vast majority of its catalog is subject to its standard 1-year guarantee.

SimpliSafe goes a bit further than Arlo to put customers’ minds at ease with the option to extend their warranty by signing up for a subscription plan. Customers who join the Standard Monitoring plan or Self Monitoring with Camera Recordings plan before the original warranty expires can get a 2-year extension on their equipment for a total 3-year warranty. Owners who sign up for the Fast Protect Professional Monitoring service will get a limited lifetime warranty for the duration of their membership. That’s an impressive perk, and one that makes the membership more than worth the investment.

Verdict: Arlo and SimpliSafe both include a 1-year limited hardware warranty on their equipment. However, SimpliSafe customers can extend their warranty up to the lifetime of their subscription if they opt for a monitoring plan.

Winner: SimpliSafe

10. Arlo vs. SimpliSafe: Home Automation and Device Compatibility

Customers looking to sync their home security system with the rest of their smart home have plenty of options with SimpliSafe. Not only do SimpliSafe products support Amazon Alexa and Google Home, but its catalog offers a few other products that can be linked together, such as smart locks.

Arlo doesn’t offer any smart locks for customers to bundle, meaning they’ll need to look elsewhere to round out their smart home. This could be frustrating for shoppers seeking a one-stop destination for all their home security needs, but because Arlo plays nicely with Amazon Alexa and Google Home, it shouldn’t be difficult to find a third-party lock to integrate into the setup.

Third-party products typically can’t be controlled through either the Arlo app or the SimpliSafe app. Instead, a second app from the product’s manufacturer will need to be used. This makes SimpliSafe more enticing for home automation and device compatibility, as its catalog is more comprehensive and covers more parts of the smart home than Arlo.

Verdict: Arlo and SimpliSafe systems are both compatible with smart-home assistants such as Amazon Alexa and Google Home. SimpliSafe also offers a smart lock that can be locked and unlocked remotely to help customers further secure their entry doors, while Arlo doesn’t have any smart-home devices in its lineup.

Winner: SimpliSafe

Verdict: While Arlo and SimpliSafe are both top choices for home security systems, SimpliSafe wins thanks to its robust equipment lineup, relatively low cost, and extended warranty option. However, customers looking for a similarly low-cost home security system that offers additional personal safety features away from home may want to consider Arlo.

Arlo and SimpliSafe are two of the most popular home security brands—and for good reason. Both offer great products, a variety of bundles, and don’t lock customers into pricey contracts. SimpliSafe has been in business longer than Arlo and has established itself as a trusted source, whereas Arlo still has some growing to do. SimpliSafe is considered one of the best DIY security systems in the industry, which can give customers additional peace of mind about their choice.

Arlo has plenty to offer customers, and anyone seeking a home security bundle that uses a powerful app and gives additional perks while on the road will want to give it a closer look. But when it comes to protecting homes, SimpliSafe is a better option for most shoppers. Customers may also want to consider SimpliSafe vs. Ring for their home security needs if Arlo isn’t a good match for them.