SimpliSafe launched in the UK last year, making their self-install burglar alarm available through their website. In this article, we look at the key differences between the Boundary smart alarm and SimpliSafe’s.
For the simplest comparison, we’ve compared the Simplisafe custom package with the Boundary Small House Bundle.
|Control Hub||1 - £219||1* - Varies|
|Contact Sensors||2 - £30 ea.||2 - £14.99 ea.|
|Movement Sensors||4 - £30 ea.||4 - £29.99 ea.|
|External Siren||1 - £90||1 - £59.99|
|Key Fobs||2 - £20 for 2||1 - £24.99|
* SimpliSafe Base Stations cannot be bought separately. It must be bought as part of a bundle.
The SimpliSafe system does include a SimpliCam product (£49 when purchased separately, requires the Pro or Pro Premium plan to access) which is designed for interior use however Boundary have decided against offering a similar product due to privacy concerns. Our monitored solution does not require visual confirmation of a break-in. More on this further down…
PIR Motion Sensors
Motion sensors are the watchmen of your home. From the corners of rooms, they scan for burglars by detecting changes in infrared heat.
Both Boundary and SimpliSafe offer motion sensors which are pet-friendly, but with different specifications:
|Ignores pets up to:||35kg||23kg|
|How to make the sensors pet-friendly:||With the Boundary app||Adjust physical switch on the sensor and turn upside-down|
|Recommended installation height||2.25m||1.2m - 1.5m|
|Max. detection range||20m||9.1m|
The Boundary external siren is fully IP54 rated and will withstand harsh weather including heavy rain or snow. The siren has been independently certified to withstand SO2, salt mist, tamper, shock and impact as required by British & European standards.
We have been advised that the SimpliSafe siren meets an IP54 rating but the website advises it should be protected by an overhang, eve or porch.
With the Boundary alarm you can choose between self-installation and pro installation (for an additional fee). With our Pro plan, you also get free annual maintenance, done by a Boundary engineer.
Currently, SimpliSafe only offers self-installation.
Costs of Ownership
On average, homeowners keep their alarm system for seven years. Here we compare the Total cost of ownership* (TCO) over time, including upfront purchase costs and ongoing monthly subscriptions.
In the table below, ‘Monitored’ refers to 24/7 monitoring by an alarm receiving centre (ARC) and police dispatch if a burglary is confirmed.
|Initial Hardware Cost||£509||£494|
|Non-Monitored Monthly Fee||£9.99||£12.99|
|Monitored Monthly Fee*||£25||£19.99|
|TCO (1 year)||£629||£650|
|TCO (2 years)||£749||£806|
|TCO (3 years)||£869||£962|
|TCO (7 years)||£1,348||£1,585|
|TCO Monitored (1year)||£1,008||£738|
|TCO Monitored (2 years)||£1,308||£974|
|TCO Monitored (3 years)||£1,608||£1,214|
|TCO Monitored (7 years)||£2,808||£2,173|
|Cost for 2 extra movement sensors||£60||£60|
Although SimpliSafe, just like Boundary, offers a free subscription plan, it is limited in features and will effectively turn the system into an audible only alarm with no access from their mobile app. In the interests of fairness, we have compared our Plus plan at £8/month and the SimpliSafe Pro plan at £12.99/month as they both offer similar features and functionality at this price point.
*Does not include additional expenses, like SimpliSafe’s Guard call-out fee.
24/7 Monitoring and Police Response
If you choose Boundary's Complete plan then your alarm will be professionally installed and monitored 24/7 by an alarm receiving centre (ARC). If there's a break-in the police will be requested, with a level 1 immediate police response.
SimpliSafe offer 24/7 monitoring but the ARC cannot request a police response unless there is visual verification, even then, as the SimpliSafe system does not have a URN, no response is guaranteed. Should a response be given, it may be significantly slower.
SimpliSafe does have the ability to dispatch a private guard to your property in the event of a break-in at which point they are permitted to dial 999 from the scene of the crime, should a crime still be in progress. Private guard call-out fees may be incurred. The table below explains in more detail what happens when a break-in occurs:
|Who monitors the alarm?||An alarm receiving centre (ARC)||An alarm receiving centre (ARC)|
|When are the Police requested?||Two activated sensors e.g. front-door contact sensor and hallway motion sensor||On visual verification of the burglar with the SimpliSafe camera|
|How are they requested?||The ARC will have a direct line to the police||By calling 999. The ARC will go through an operator. There is no guarantee of response and if given, may be significantly slower|
|ARC response if the alarm is triggered but burglary is not confirmed?||The ARC will contact the homeowner and any nominated keyholder||Guard dispatched. With the SimpliSafe Pro Premium plan, this costs £75 for the first 15 minutes at the address.|
Alarm Standards and Certification
|NPCC System Type||A||B|
|URN Issued for monitored systems?||Yes||No|
|NSI/SSAIB Approved Company?||Yes - SSAIB**||No|
|NSI/SSAIB Approved Installation?||Yes - SSAIB||No|
|NSI/SSAIB Approved Monitoring?||Yes - NSI Gold||Yes - NSI Gold|
|Approved for Level 1 Police Response?||Yes||No|
|Speed of Police response||Level 1 - Highest priority||No response guaranteed, may be significantly slower if given|
* Boundary alarm is currently being tested to meet required standards but has not yet completed the testing process. Police response plans will be available shortly after launch
** SSAIB certification only applies to our professionally installed product and does not extend to DIY installs
Level 1 Police response is only available for alarm systems that conform to a “Type A” installation as detailed above. Type B systems cannot use the same “direct to Police” request from a monitoring centre or expect a Level 1 response. More information can be found on the NSI & SSAIB websites here:
There is an argument to be made that the Police are duty-bound to respond to any event that is confirmed as a break in however only Type A systems are accepted by the Police as a monitored installation within residential premises. Systems must also be supplied by a company accepted onto each Police forces compliant systems list.
The end result is that Police forces will treat Type A systems activations with a higher priority than those who do not have a URN issued.
For your alarm system to be professionally monitored and registered with your local police force it must:
- Be a system that has a minimum grade 2 rating
- Have the system installed by an NSI or SSAIB certified company
- Be monitored by an Alarm Receiving Centre that is also certified by the NSI or SSAIB
- The supplying company be registered with the local Police force on their Compliant Systems list
- Have a URN (Unique Reference Number) issued by the local Police force after installation
If your system doesn’t meet these key criteria then it won’t receive a Level 1 response from the Police in the event of a break-in. Instead, the monitoring company will confirm a break-in before contacting keyholders and calling the Police via 999. Unfortunately, this is no different from a member of the public calling the Police to report a break-in and simply will not provide a rapid response.
The Boundary system is packed with features and the table below shows a direct comparison with Simplisafe:
|Boundary Plus/Complete Plan||Simplisafe|
|Remote 'over the air' updates||✔||✔|
|Mobile App Quality||Excellent||Good|
|Cellular Backup||Optional Upgrade||
|Mains Failure Battery Backup||✔||✔|
|Neighbourhood Watch App||In development||-|
|Smart Home Integration||✔||✔|
|Occupied Home Simulation||✔||-|
|Geofencing Alarm Reminders||✔||-|
|Night Set Reminder||✔||-|
|Automated Keyholder Calling||✔||-|
|Contract Length||30 Days||30 Days|
SimpliSafe is a good albeit basic system. But as you can see, Boundary is one of the most secure and feature-packed alarm systems available. It’s been designed and built from the ground up by UK security experts and software designers to solve the problems of traditional alarm systems with leading-edge technology thinking. For protection against all known threats and a system you can control easily from your phone, there’s only one choice.
All of the data has been gathered between December 2019 to January 2020. We have tried to make sure the systems are similar to Boundary but this isn't always possible. All features and other comparisons are taken from publically available information displayed on the company website.