LiveWatch vs SimpliSafe

LiveWatch vs SimpliSafe

Which DIY Security System is Best for You?

When comparing apples to apples with SimpliSafe and LiveWatch, they have much in common.  Both companies have 24/7 monitoring services and offer their service nationwide.  Both security systems are self setup (DIY) which takes 30-60 minutes.  The security system gets shipped to you and you peel-and-stick the sensors to the needed areas.  This is easy to do a practical unless you want a home automation system like ADT Pulse or Vivint.


However there are many ways the two companies are not alike.  SimpliSafe's equipment is out of date and horrible looking.  They cater to the older generation and put a lot of marketing efforts around their emergency pendants (similar to LifeAlert).  Security cameras are still not an option with SimpliSafe and their smart control is very buggy.

LiveWatch is much more affordable.  SimpliSafe will cost you $300-700 in startup costs minimum.  LiveWatch has only a $19.95 activation fee and then is $99-199 for the same amount of equipment as SimpliSafe.  You can purchase your system directly from their site.  They also have a 'anytime cancellation' policy which is unheard of from any other home security companies.

Head to head comparison

LiveWatch securitySimplisafe

Starting Costs:

$99 - 299

$350 - 900+


$29.95+ / mo

$19.99+ / mo

Monitoring stations:

Nationwide, 24/7

Nationwide, 24/7

C02, Fire & Police

Check Mark

Check Mark




BBB Rating:




Average, mixed customer reviews

Very basic system.
Good online and offline ratings.

Landline Option:



Available for Renters:



Control Panel:

Touchscreens available

Keypad only

Security Cameras:

Available for higher
monthly costs

Not available

Home Automation:

3 of 5 stars

1 of 5 stars

Best for:

Average users, those who want
a basic to intermediate system

Seniors, people looking for a
good security + Medical alert system


12 months

No contract

Cancellation Fee:



Read Review:

LiveWatch's Review

SimpliSafe Reviews

A quick history lesson

Both home security providers have maintained a good reputation along with a A+ BBB rating.  LiveWatch has a little rockier of a history, re-branding from 'SafeMart' recently who didn't have as positive of reviews.  Looking into the future, both companies have large marketing budgets and a big customer base so unless they sell out to bigger companies such as Frontpoint Security, they should be around for years to come.

Security system basics

Who has the better security system?  Livewatch has done a better job at keeping up with the times with home automation additions.  Both companies have tiered packages to choose from starting at basic and going to advanced.  Where Simplisafe falls behind is that their security system has been the same for the past 10 years and isn't the most visually appealing thing to put in your home.

Here are pictures of both companies starting packages:

touchscreen panel, key fob and motion sensor

(Above) LiveWatch security system with 2 door sensors, a motion detector, keyfob and smart control shown.

simplisafe package

(Above) SimpliSafe security system with 4 door/window sensors, motion detector, the base and control panel.


If you choose Simplisafe as your security provider, plan on higher startup costs upwards of $1000.  Users do get a lower monitoring rate and move-with-you service.  If you choose LiveWatch security, plan on getting better equipment and good smart device integration.  Both are good companies and services but still don't make the top home security monitoring services list.

>> Compare these 2 companies to the top 5 << 

[Total: 5    Average: 2.4/5]
About the Author

7 User Reviews
  1. Mary S.
    01/07/2018 at 18:48

    FYI -- SimpliSafe seems like the better choice if you were do to do the math. On a 2 year contract, depending on the startup costs, you'll pay an extra $240 by going with Livewatch. The determing factor is how much you'll really pay for the startup costs.

    • Johnny Keen
      04/17/2018 at 11:59

      Thanks for providing this information, Mary. If you were really going for the best bang for your buck, the math doesn't lie. $240 certainly over 2 years will add up over time. SimpliSafe has my bode of confidence in this race.

  2. Dustin Runkle
    05/30/2017 at 08:54

    After having simplisafe and then discovering the inability to update equipment (which cost a lot) and having easy hacks for people on youtube made me return the system and go with LiveWatch. The cost over 2 years is almost the same with much better equipment and monitoring service.

  3. Jobeth
    02/28/2017 at 21:41

    Thanks for spending the time to debate this, I feel strongly about home security regardless of whom you choose. For some pricing is all that matters, others the equipment and others customer service. Frontpoint seems to have all 3 covered by this other company sure comes close when comparing apples to apples.

  4. Jay Adens
    09/07/2016 at 14:15

    Simplisafe for the parents, Livewatch for the kids is my vote! I don't have either but know people on both sides that are happy with it. Not a lot of horror stories with either company regarding cancelling or getting stuck with faulty equipment and not getting it replaced until the next contract is signed. Great comparison, thanks for doing this.

    • Marco King
      10/13/2016 at 10:31

      You have it figured out. The Tech savvy individuals use LiveWatch, it home automation feature makes it a better choice to simplisafe. Nice review altogether

      • Eric Perkins
        11/09/2017 at 18:18

        Simplisafe has better branding. Livewatch has better equipment and customer service. Basically Simplisafe appears better on the outside while Livewatch IS better on the inside.

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