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Can SimpliSafe Cameras Be Used Outside?

Last Updated Feb 23, 2022
simplicam mounted in the corner of a room
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In the world of home security, outdoor monitoring can be just as important as indoor security. Being at home doesn’t mean that your security system has to take a break. Given that many users already use the SimpliSafe security ecosystem, I wanted to research what they offered regarding outdoor security monitoring.

SimpliSafe does not currently offer a security camera designed for outdoor use; however, they do offer a workaround. SimpliSafe sells an Outdoor Kit, which essentially makes its SimpliCam weatherproof, with notable limitations. 

Given the option for an outdoor kit, I wanted to find out if the SimpliCam would provide the same level of security outdoors as indoors. In other words, what are the limitations, and how does it compare to similar models?

SimpliCam: Features & Specifications

Though the SimpliCam isn’t weatherproof out of the box, having an additional kit is a promising solution when considering your potential security options. To better understand if using SimpliCam as an outdoor camera is right for you, let’s take a quick look at some of the specifications and features of the device:

FeaturesSimpliSafe SimpliCam
Video Resolution720p HD
Field of Vision120°
Night VisionYes
Two-Way AudioYes
Privacy ShutterYes
Wi-Fi EnabledYes

Passive Infrared Sensor (PIR)

The SimpliSafe SimpliCam uses PIR technology as its primary method of motion detection. With this technology, the cameras will detect the movement of anything with a heat signature (like humans or pets). This is implemented to avoid “false alarms” from things like shadows or light reflections. It is worth noting that the SimpliCam may trigger false alarms from larger objects or pets (over 50 lbs.).

Privacy Shutter

In addition to the security that the SimpliCam provides, it also promotes privacy. Not only does the device have end-to-end (E2EE) 256-bit encryption, but it also has a physical stainless steel shutter that will cover the lens of the SimpliCam. With this feature, should the device be hacked, the unauthorized user would be unable to access the camera. 

Live Stream in HD

The SimpliCam can live stream video content with HD quality. Though it does not have local storage and requires the additional SimpliSafe subscription plan to record extended lengths of footage, users still can stream in real-time, with HD quality video. You can even view the footage on your smartphone, tablet, or computer, allowing for more versatility in its usage.

Now that we have a better understanding of what the SimpliCam can provide right out of the box, let’s take a closer look at what is required should you decide to use the device outdoors.

How to Equip SimpliCam for Outdoor Use

If you wish to use your SimpliCam outside, it’s worth investing in SimpliSafe’s Outdoor Kit.

The Outdoor Kit is sold as an “add-on” meant to act as a weather-resistant sleeve to protect your SimpliCam from the elements. Here is a quick look at some of the key features included with the kit:

  • Weatherize Wetsuit: The Outdoor Kit provides a waterproof rubber sleeve that goes over the camera to make it suitable for outdoor use. The wetsuit protects from rain, snow, and even dust.
  • Additional Power Cable: The kit also includes an extra-long, 25’ power cable. This allows for a variety of installation and placement options, as well as keeping your device powered 24/7 for constant monitoring.
  • Operates in Extreme Temperatures: The SimpliCam can successfully operate in extreme temperatures ranging from -4 to 114° F (-20 to 45° C) with the Outdoor Kit.

Though the Outdoor Kit provides extensive coverage and uses for the outdoors, it still has some significant hardware limitations.

Restrictions for Outdoor Use

Even with the Outdoor Kit, the SimpliCam may not be ideal for your outdoor security monitoring needs. For example, the device will need to be placed in an area close enough to Wi-Fi to maintain a consistent connection.

Many users may not have the option of placing the SimpliCam in a secure outdoor location close to their Wi-Fi (there is the option of purchasing a Wi-Fi Extender to boost the signal of your system).

Additionally, since the device is not natively designed for outdoor use, it lacks fundamental features typically expected with outdoor monitoring devices. It cannot record 24/7 and requires manual recording (with the additional subscription) rather than constant passive monitoring.

Even with these limitations, SimpliCam is a strong contender for outdoor security cameras. Knowing this, I wanted to get a better idea of some competitors and what they provide with their devices.

Outdoor Security Camera Alternatives

There are various outdoor security cameras available on the market, each with its strengths and weaknesses. Here’s a quick look at a few outdoor security camera competitors, compared to the SimpliCam:

Feature(s)SimpliCam with Outdoor KitAmazon Ring Stick Up CamEZVIZ Security Camera
Video Resolution720p HD1080p HD1080p HD
Motion Detection
Constant Recordingn/a

The Amazon Ring Stick Up Cam can be purchased here, while the EZVIZ Security Camera is available here.

In Summary

The addition of the SimpliSafe Outdoor Kit makes their SimpliCam a contender amongst outdoor security cameras. However, given that the device is not intended for outdoor use out of the box, there are some significant limitations.

If you already have a SimpliCam or SimpliSafe system and are looking for ways to use your existing setup outdoors, the SimpliCam Outdoor Kit is an excellent choice. However, if you want a camera designed for outdoor functionalities, you may want to check out some competitors.

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