Smart Home Security: SimpliSafe vs. Iris vs. SmartThings

As you work to make your dumb home smarter, you’ve probably thought about home security. The most common security system in the US is a hardwired, professionally installed system monitored by ADT. ADT monitoring can cost $60+ and doesn’t include any additional services.

With the rapid growth of smart homes/home automation (the “internet of things”), home security has shifted to be consumer-powered, installed, and monitored. While many of the smart home systems outlined below offer optional professional monitoring, the systems function 100% without this add-on package.

Our Pick

SimpliSafe – We’ve tried out 3 systems, and will compare them below. Our pick, after testing all 3 options, is the SimpliSafe home security system.

SimpliSafe DIY Home Security System

Simplisafe Logo

  • Starter Pack: Around $200
  • Professional 24/7 Monitoring: $14.99/month
  • Installation: DIY, No drilling, 30 minutes
  • Website:
Available on Amazon

SimpliSafe is by far, the easiest home security system for DIY homeowners. Installation is less than 30 minutes, and the products available for SimpliSafe are nearly limitless.

While the upfront cost is higher than competitors, the ease of use and installation easily justifies the price. There are several options available, including the Command Alpha, Bravo, Delta, and Echo. See comparison of packages below:

SimpliSafe Amazon Package Comparison

Founded in 2006 by then Harvard Business School students, Chad and Eleanor Laurans, after numerous friends in Cambridge experienced burglaries, but were unable to find a security company that was designed to help renters.

Lowe’s Iris Home Security System

Iris Home Security Logo

  • Starter Pack: About $70
  • Professional 24/7 Monitoring: $14.95/month
  • Installation: DIY, No drilling, 1-2 hours
  • Website:
Available on Amazon

Lowe’s has struggled to keep the reputation of Iris Home Security high. Plagued by bad reviews and horror stories, Lowe’s has relaunched Iris (as “second generation”) and included many substantial improvements that merit a second look.

The original, first generation Iris system was intended to be a hub-for-everything; today, it is more heavily geared toward security and safety, offering both DIY and professional monitoring services on a relative budget (starting at $14.95/month).

Iris Lowes Family of Products

In a 2018, TechHive described Iris 2nd Generation as:
“…Nothing significant related to the hardware has changed since last year’s release. The Iris hub itself still looks like an oversized bar of soap, with setup requiring a hardwired ethernet line to your router. Initial setup is simple, but a bit slow, so plan to devote some time to getting things going.

Once the hub is online, it’s time to start adding sensors to the network. While Iris is designed to work with numerous devices (as any good smart home hub should be), Lowe’s unabashedly pushes Iris-branded gear the hardest—and you won’t have a choice if you’re outfitting your home with security sensors.”


  1. Could anyone tell me the best option for home security if I want to use Wifi to control it? Some students at my school say SmartThings is the best, and I think you are right. Thank you so much!


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