SimpliSafe & Blue Iris (A Match made in Heaven)

Discussion in 'Alarm & Security Systems' started by Tiger_Claw, Aug 23, 2014.

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  1. Tiger_Claw

    Tiger_Claw Getting the hang of it

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    If anyone inside this forum can't get enough of Blue Iris, then also consider installing a SimpliSafe Home alarm/monitoring system as an additional fix (Smiles).

    The SimpliSafe home alarm system is absolutely AMAZING. I've been using it for just over one year now. I'm running 33 alarm devices, (2) 150 Disciple exterior sirens and an iOS app as well. Monthly pricing is fixed and not dependent on how many devices you install. No BS contracts and the best monthly service only cost $25 bones.

    Do yourself a favor, check out this system. It really is the BI equivalent in simplicity, cost and effectiveness.

    http://simplisafe.com/

    Tiger
     
  2. bp2008

    bp2008 Staff Member

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    The prices I like, but cellular coverage is terrible where I live so the monitoring plans probably wouldn't even work. Can you connect the system to your LAN at all?
     
  3. mycoma

    mycoma BIT Beta Team

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  4. Tiger_Claw

    Tiger_Claw Getting the hang of it

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    Hi bp2008,

    That's one thing about cellular networks that sucks.:mad-new:

    mycoma's post seems to have indicated that SimpliSafe does provide such a connection. Have you tried calling and/or emailing SS? It would interesting to understand if they use the same base station to achieve this. If "indeed" they offer this and you go with SS or a competitor, do your best to protect your exterior cables from intruders.

    My cables are pretty high and would require a ladder or access onto my roof to reach them. Running your cables through metal conduit is probably your 2nd best way to protect them as long as you mount the conduit just underneath your roofs eve. Keep the cable entry point into the house as high as possible.

    It's always been my belief to make things more awkward/difficult for any cocksucker looking for an easy ride.:cool:

    Tiger
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 25, 2014
  5. mycoma

    mycoma BIT Beta Team

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    I am a Simplisafe customer. I use the cellular interface card, tmobile I believe. One day I lost the signal and called Simplisafe and they said they could send me a grand stream device to connect my wired internet connection to the alarm. I believe they also have a Verizon cellular card. I ended up moving the cellular unit around and received the signal again so I never had to use the LAN connection. They are really good about sending replacement cellular modules, replacement parts etc. I give them an overall thumbs up and would reccomend to friends and family! I wish they could have integrated video cameras in there system, maybe a future enhancement?
     
  6. Tiger_Claw

    Tiger_Claw Getting the hang of it

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    Thanks for the info mycoma :).

    It's really cool that they offer options such as those you mentioned above. It's been awhile since I've spoke to anyone at SS, but the last time I did, SS mentioned that Glass Break detectors as well as video was something they were considering. Not too long after that conversations they added GB detectors. Perhaps a video options will soon follow :rolleyes:.

    Tiger
     
  7. louman

    louman n3wb

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    Doesn't look like Simplisafe have camera option, correct?
     
  8. SyconsciousAu

    SyconsciousAu Pulling my weight

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    150 disciples worth of siren is nice but do they have the wrath of god siren available as an upgrade?
     
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  9. Tiger_Claw

    Tiger_Claw Getting the hang of it

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    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 3, 2016
  10. Tiger_Claw

    Tiger_Claw Getting the hang of it

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    The 150 db Siren's are seriously loud. I added two to my home and now the entire block knows my house is alarmed (LOL).

    TC
     
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  11. CamFan

    CamFan Getting the hang of it

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    http://www.wired.com/2014/07/hacking-home-alarms

    I don't trust wireless for security. Lots of copper here, harder to jam the signal.

    Simplisafe does detect the jamming, but with a cell phone jammer, would who would know? I would recommend getting the Ethernet interface with it and make sure your internet connection is secure (dsl, cable, etc) and not easy to cut.
     
  12. Tiger_Claw

    Tiger_Claw Getting the hang of it

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    It's all to easy for a would be burglar to also locate both phone/cable wires leading into most homes. You can try to hide these wires and/or make them harder to gain access to, but in most cases it only delays the inevitable wire snip.

    I'm pretty confidant that the vast majority of burglars know how to cut wires, but don't have the smarts to defeat a good cellular based wireless system, not to mention the expensive devices needed. It's a trial and error approach for the burglar. I like those odds.

    This is why its important to established two lines of defense and utilize two different forms of technology.

    Never place all your eggs in one basket. SimpliSafe is one of the best (IMHO) and can't be taken out by cutting wires or killing the power.

    The bottom-line is this...

    Tech savvy people (including myself) often over-think systems. Most anything can be defeated if you advertise what's in place. Here is a tip for readers... DONT ADVERTISE. Put generic signs up if you must.

    Also install audible sirens to your home system. Mount them outside and high enough to require a ladder or roof access to reach them.

    When you install your camera system be sure to install enough cameras where each camera has view of the next closes camera. If done properly it would be challenging for a thief to disable all your cameras without 1st being detected by another camera.

    Also consider adding an external and standalone siren/horn/bell to your arsenal. Connect this device to your power and turn it on/off via a smart switch like a WeMo device and use their phone application. This gives you the control/option of activating this alarm manually if you detect suspicious activity on your cameras.

    TC
     
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  13. CamFan

    CamFan Getting the hang of it

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    Good points. Simplisafe's 2 day battery life on power outage is really nice feature. A cheap UPS could easily add to that.

    Certainly, I understand all my attack surfaces here. No wires here to snip without me knowing about it. Can't say the same thing for some dude in a vehicle parked down the street, monitoring my RF with a SDR. How likely will that happen? Probably very slim. But I'm paranoid like that, and wires help me sleep at night.
     
  14. smiticans

    smiticans Getting the hang of it

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    SimpliSafe is definitely not one of the best systems out there. SimpliSafe is good for a DIYer who wants a very basic security system. Personally, I would never trust SimpliSafe to protect my property. The system itself is very basic and has little room for customization, on top of that, they only have a small variety of sensors that will work with the system. For example, they don't offer Dual Tech motion detectors, Heat detectors, 135 or 195 degree (heat detectors should be placed in the garage, kitchen, attic,boiler room etc. Smoke detectors SHOULD NOT be placed in any of those locations). They only offer a motion detector that is pet immune up to 50lbs. They don't offer one that is immune to larger pets or one designed for higher security where pets won't be present. On top of this, there has been a discovery that the communication from the keypad to the base station is NOT encrypted and therefore can be intercepted by an intruder using a special tool. The intruder can use this tool to intercept the information needed to disarm your system before breaking into your house.

    Personally, I prefer the Honeywell Vista line of security systems. The vista line can use both hardwired and wireless sensors, Honeywell also has a huge selection of wireless sensors that can be paired with their system. This system can also communicate with the central station using a phone line (if you still have one), IP communications and/or GSM. This system is also compatible with interactive services, text/email notification, remote arms and disarms, smart phone apps etc.
     
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  15. blake

    blake Getting the hang of it

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    I'm with Smiticans on this one. Here is my issue with Simplisafe, you can only use their equipment. Their gear doesn't work with anyone else which makes it totally useless. It's a sole proprietary system.
     
  16. CamFan

    CamFan Getting the hang of it

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    I agree. The more I think about it, the more I dislike proprietary systems. Especially ones that become crippled if the manufacturer decides to stop offering service. Look at Revolv, google decided to shut it down and folks had a lifetime of free service.

    Stick with open systems or ones that follow a standard. And try to avoid the use of devices with an OTP (one time programmable) IC that can never be updated.
     
  17. blake

    blake Getting the hang of it

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    Personally, as an installer and even for myself I use 2GIG or Honeywell Vista 20P hybrid. Either one is a great system with endless possibilities. With 2GIG, lets say there is a previous wireless or hardwired system in the residence or building. All I have to do is purchase a translator and I am good to go using existing contacts, motions and whatever else! Try that with Simplisafe. Not gonna happen.
     
  18. Tiger_Claw

    Tiger_Claw Getting the hang of it

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    I still hold my ground on the awesomeness of SimpliSafe.

    Yes, their equipment is proprietary, but it’s very affordable,easy to install and works great. Even better is their online alarm configuration tool. Very easy to understand, navigate and setup all your devices.


    It’s been two years now since I installed my system and I’m now running in excess of over 40 devices. In that time not one failed. Even better is the battery life for each device. If memory serves me correctly all devices except the siren and keypad are rated at 3 years with good lithium batteries installed.


    Its simplicity at its finest with hardware that is solid, a good mobile app and an excellent monitoring service.


    If there are any concerns regarding the communication between the keypad and base station that’s easy to avoid. Simply use your mobile app to disarm and eliminate the entry delay as well. This is what I do, but not because of a highly debatable signal hack.


    I suppose if Tom Cruise from Mission impossible were present I would be hosed. Thankfully most burglars would rather toss a rock through awindow or break down a door.


    Let’s not lose site of the importance of surveillance cameras and using them as your first line of defense before the break-in even occurs.


    From my perspective my home alarm (SimpliSafe) is my last line of defense. Strategically placed cameras around the perimeter are my primary. This is why I created this thread. To share with others two system’s (SimpliSafe & Blue Iris) and to also offer a 3
    [SUP]rd[/SUP] line of defense. An alarm bell connected to a smart switch that you can activate manually (via a mobile device).


    This is where Blue Iris really shines. The mobile app is amazing and the camera configuration options are far and above most standard NVR apps.


    Not too long ago I had the opportunity to put my system to the test. I received alerts from BI on my phone while I was away. I quickly checked the video and discovered a highly suspicious individual standing on my front porch and peering into my kitchen through the window. I immediately opened up my smart switch app (WeMo) and activated my (manual) alarm bell.


    To great success the device worked flawlessly and on further review of my cameras via BI the individual was recorded running away from my house.


    I’ll never know if he was planning on breaking into my home, but even if he did, the sirens connected to the home alarm would have scared the crap out of him.


    I guess the moral of this story is this…

    I considered myself an average individual that appreciates being able to relay on systems I can easily afford and install without a PHD in technology. If I can do it, then so can many others.


    What’s important is being aware and using a system or system(s) you’re comfortable with.


    SimpliSafe has grown in popularity and will soon be releasing a new system. I don’t have any details accept that camera’s will become part of it.


    Be safe and be aware.



    Tiger
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 18, 2016
  19. tangent

    tangent Known around here

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    Most alarms don't encrypt their wireless communication.

    DSC's Neo uses 128 bit encryption for all devices
    Elk uses encryption without too many specifics other than FHSS
    The honeywell lyric is their first product to fully encrypt all communication, but all the sensors use the horribly congested 2.4ghz wifi band.
    the encryption on their other products for wireless keypads/fobs products is more like the rolling code your car alarm uses.

    Also, most alarms don't encrypt their keybus (if they did it would be much harder to use things like EyezOn). Even high end commercial systems. So if somebody could attach something to the keybus in advance they could capture a few user codes easily. As only ADT could, I've actually seen keypad wiring run outside a building once (they must have been a cable installer in a past life). This was unusual, I mean usually ADT just wraps the security wires around 120v wires enough times to generate false alarms (somewhere I've got a photo of an 'adt inductor').
     
  20. smiticans

    smiticans Getting the hang of it

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    Yeah, the sensors may not be encrypted, but those alarms don't transmit your personal pass code over the air unencrypted. That's the issue I have with the system.

    On top of that, the system is too basic when it comes to functionality and sensor choices. Simplisafe could never meet my needs for Burglary/Fire detection (no heat detectors 135 or 194 degree, no Dual tech motion detectors, no shock detectors, and the list could go on).

    Simplisafe is good if you're looking for a very basic intrusion system, otherwise, I would recommend Honeywell due to the variety of systems and large selection of sensors.

    ADT would be one of the last companies I let touch my alarm.
     
  21. blake

    blake Getting the hang of it

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    I only use 2GIG or Honeywell systems.
     
  22. Tiger_Claw

    Tiger_Claw Getting the hang of it

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    Simple and effective with no contracts.

    Nuff said.


    Tiger
     
  23. blake

    blake Getting the hang of it

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    To each there own. I would never own or sell an item that is one dimensional.
     
  24. blake

    blake Getting the hang of it

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    I offer 2GIG and Honeywell alarm systems with no monitoring contracts also, so that's no biggie.
     
  25. smiticans

    smiticans Getting the hang of it

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    My Honeywell Vista 21ip system is monitored for $30.00 a month with no contract. Includes IP primary and Cell backup, email/text notifications for alarms, disarms, customize-able sensor open/close notifications and ability for remote access to control system functions. On top of that, I get the reliability of my system since it was installed with quality sensors, and the appropriate sensors were installed accordingly (100lb immunity dual tech motion for large dog, Outdoor sensors to monitor generator, combination of glassbreak and shock detectors to cover perimeter, 194° heat in attic, 135° heat in garage, utility rooms and kitchens', CO detectors installed in appropriate locations, combination of voice siren and horn/strobes for proper notification of each type of alarm etc. etc).

    SimpliSafe is great if you want to know if your front/backdoor door is open. It's a one size fits all system, and that just won't work properly in most houses.

    If you're a homeowner, and want to properly protect your house from burglary/fire, stay away from SimpliSafe, and get a real alarm such as Honeywell, DSC, GE etc.
     
  26. blake

    blake Getting the hang of it

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    Exactly my point. Simplisafe system is just that. If you want to feel Simply Safe, buy their crap. If you want a come te customized system, choose Honeywell Ademco Vista Series or 2GIG.
     
  27. Tiger_Claw

    Tiger_Claw Getting the hang of it

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    Popcorn.... I need popcorn. :laugh:


    Tiger
     
  28. fbnoise

    fbnoise Getting the hang of it

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    They must have some really sophisticated heroin addicts where they're from. The ones around here don't sit down the road in the suburbs monitoring RF or doing smash and grabs with cell jammers. 99% of them knock on the door first to see if you're home and then go around to the back.
     
  29. smiticans

    smiticans Getting the hang of it

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    You're missing the point. The purpose of the security system is to detect the intruder before they enter the protected premises as reliably as possible without causing false alarms. This is where Simplisafe lacks. Simplisafe has one type of sensor to detect glass breakage, one type of sensor to detect openings of doors, windows, garage doors, and one type of sensor to detect motion. The system has absolutely no selection of sensors to fit the variety of environments in a residential/commercial installation. For example, the homeowner wants to install the door/window sensor on their doublehung window, using one sensor to detect both the top and bottom of the window opening, however, the standard SimpliSafe sensor may be too big to fit on their window. With SimpliSafe, they're SOL, however, with Honeywell, you have at least 5 different types of door/windows sensors in different shapes and sizes that may fit that particular window properly.

    Example 2- A homeowner wants to protect a window in a room that is hostile to acoustic glassbreak detectors (May have pet birds or another variable that will cause a glassbreak to false alarm). Well with SimpliSafe, there's only one option to detect glass-breakage, looks like you're SOL again. With Honeywell, you can use their wireless shock detectors, or can use a 3rd party shock detector, and make it wireless using Honeywell's wireless shock processor.

    Example 3- A homeowner wants to install a motion detector in their hallway, however, they have a 80lb dog. With SimpliSafe, they're SOL again. SimpiSafe only offers a motion detector immune up to 50lbs. Honeywell offers multiple variety of motion detectors up to 100lbs pet immunity.

    Example 4- A homeowner doesn't have any pets and wants a motion detector that doesn't have reduced sensitivity due to pet immunity. SOL again lol

    Example 5- A homeowner wants install a motion detector in a hostile environment where a standard PIR sensor would false alarm. Looks like you're SOL again. Honeywell offers Dual tech motion detectors. Dual tech motion detectors use both PIR and Microwave technologies to detect motion. Both the PIR and Microwave sensor must trip before an alarm will occur. This will greatly reduce the chance of a false alarm in certain environments (I only use Dual Tech motions).

    Example 6- The homeowner wants to have proper fire detection on their system. SOL again, SimpliSafe only offers a wireless smoke detector. Smoke detectors can't be installed in kitchens, attics, boiler rooms, laundry rooms, garages, etc. you need a variety of 194 and 132 degree heat detectors to protect those areas. On top of that, SimpliSafe doesn't even offer a smoke detector with built in heat detection. Honeywell's 5808W3 smokes include a 135 degree heat detector for an extra layer of protection.

    Example 7- The homeowner wants an alpha keypad or graphic touchscreen so they can read in plain English the status of their system without having to login to their phone or computer. SOL again.

    Example 8- The homeowner who installed a Honeywell, GE, 2GIG system decides they aren't happy with the service being provided to them by the central station. They can simply cancel the service and find another alarm company. SimpliSafe users are stuck with Simpisafe, the system cannot be monitored by anyone else.

    Example 9- SimpiSafe goes out of business, everyone who has SimpliSafe are stuck with hundreds of dollars worth of paperweights. Anyone who has a real alarm system can simply switch to a different alarm provider.


    These are just a few examples as to why SimpliSafe is not an adequate security system. If I haven't gotten the point across by now, then so be it, I'm not going to sit here and write a paper on the topic lol. In the end, its your house and you're entitled to install whatever kind of alarm system you want.

    However, I believe before a DIYer installs a security system, the system should be researched and some knowledge should be gained on how alarm systems function before sensors are just slapped on doors, and walls etc. Remember, when that system activates, you're going to be generating a police/fire response and may be taking resources away from another emergency. False alarms can be greatly reduced by using quality sensors, and installing them in their proper environments (not putting a smoke detector in a garage etc).
     
  30. Tiger_Claw

    Tiger_Claw Getting the hang of it

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    That's the general approach. Break a window and climb through vs opening a door or sliding open a window and triggering an alarm contact. This is why Glass Breaks and Motion Detectors inside are very important. If you have cats/dogs inside Glass Breaks are your best option for areas where the animals freely roam.

    I myself limit these areas when I'm away and close all interior doors. This allows me to place the highly sensitive Motion Detectors inside the closed rooms. Each room is also protected by the basic alarm contacts on Windows and doors as well as a Glass Break covering the Windows.

    Another very important thing to consider is the location where you place the alarm Base Station. Locate it in a secured room protected like that mentioned above.

    Worse case a burglar gets into your house without triggering an alarm contact and/or Glass Break. Ok, not a problem... Just remember this... Place alarm contacts on both sides of all interior doors that you close. At some point the burglar will open these doors setting off the alarm. The beauty is that they can only see the contacts on the door from the side they gained access to. It means more contact points, but it's worth it in the long run.

    Major worse case.... Tom Cruise is on your roof and has all the electronic countermeasures known to man.

    Be aware and be safe.


    Tiger