Andrew Garcia https://www.safehome.org/author/andrew-garcia/

Learn More About ADT & SimpliSafe

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SecureScore™: 9.2/10
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Comparing ADT and SimpliSafe is a bit like looking at apples and oranges. They’re both excellent options for home security, but the two providers take entirely different approaches.

No two security systems are exactly alike. Some are so different, in fact, that comparing them is like comparing apples to oranges. That’s the case with SimpliSafe and ADT. They share the same goal of protecting homes and keeping burglars at bay, but their security systems are nothing alike.

SimpliSafe is a self-monitored DIY security system with a couple of professional monitoring options. That means you can use SimpliSafe without ever paying a monthly fee. And if you choose to pay for monitoring, you won’t be tied to a contract.

In contrast, ADT offers professionally installed and monitored security systems. You’ll pay a monthly monitoring fee for a minimum of three years – enforced by a contract you’ll sign – plus you’ll also need to pay for professional installation of the equipment.

It’s clear that SimpliSafe and ADT are on opposing sides of the home security fence, but both are excellent security systems. So if you’re trying to decide which one is better-suited for you and your home, use our personal experience below to make an informed choice.

SimpliSafe Equipment

SimpliSafe Equipment

SimpliSafe vs ADT: An Overview of Two Top Home Security Systems

Both ADT and SimpliSafe offer features and equipment we love. They’re both outstanding home security providers, but they do take different paths that, in our estimation, edges one out over the other. We’ll get to that in just a bit, but first, we want to clue you into our reasoning.

With ADT, you get a home consultation to assess your security needs, with no purchase required. Plus they offer a six-month money-back guarantee if you’re not happy with the system. They also really stand by their product by covering up to $500 of your insurance deductible if your property is burglarized while your ADT system is activated.

SimpliSafe, on the other hand, offers multiple different security packages to choose from, allowing you to customize your system to your needs — no need to talk to a sales person. They also offer top-notch integration with AppleWatch, Google Assistant, Alexa, and August Locks, among others. Also keep in mind that you can build out your own fully customized system by selecting individual pieces of equipment, but that’ll require you taking inventory of your own security needs.

For more targeted information on each brand, here’s our latest hands-on SimpliSafe review, which includes a look at their newest equipment, and to read more about ADT, have a look at our in-depth ADT review.

However, before we get any deeper into the distinguishing features of each company, let’s take a look at their similarities.

Without further ado, the overlapping features and tech between SimpliSafe and ADT are straight ahead.

Main Similarities Between ADT and SimpliSafe

To help you make a wise buying decision, here are the key similarities between ADT and SimpliSafe.

  • Equipment and Hardware – First off, both ADT and SimpliSafe offer wireless home security equipment. However, ADT also offers wired home security devices.
  • Security Cameras – ADT and SimpliSafe both have you covered in indoor and outdoor video monitoring. Both brands offer high-quality indoor, outdoor, and doorbell cameras. ADT’s are from the premiere brand Google Nest, while SimpliSafe’s are made and developed in-house.
  • Smart Home Automation – SimpliSafe and ADT are compatible with third-party home automation products, but ADT offers more integrations compared to SimpliSafe.
  • Monitoring Services – ADT and SimpliSafe both offer round-the-clock monitoring services, though with SimpliSafe it’s an optional add-on. You can skip that option and self-monitor to keep your costs down.
  • Smartphone Controls – These companies each have a mobile app that allows you to access and manage your system remotely using your smartphone. But we have to give the nod to ADT for functionality here; their app offers more custom capabilities. That said, SimpliSafe’s app is well-designed and easy to use.
ADT App Controls

ADT App Controls

  • Environmental Protection – Both brands offer environmental protection features such as fire and smoke detection, and water/flood monitoring.
  • Cellular Monitoring – ADT and SimpliSafe offer cellular backup, which is essential in making their security systems more reliable. While primarily connected to the internet via Wi-Fi, both systems can use cellular signals to send alerts in case the internet connection doesn’t work.

FYI: SimpliSafe offers affordable monitoring plans —   which start at just $20 per month. Compared to the industry average of $29-$39 per month, we think SimpliSafe offers great value for the price.

Main Differences Between ADT and SimpliSafe

We’ve put both of these systems through extensive tests, and we have to say that comparing the two is a bit of an apples-and-oranges exercise. They’re both great systems in their own rights, but at the end of the day they’re very different from each other. We’ve listed some of the biggest differences between SimpliSafe and ADT below:

  • Installation – This is the most notable difference between the companies. ADT requires professional installation for a fee – and rightly so because the system is robust and offers multiple layers of protection, thus, it’s quite complex. Meanwhile, SimpliSafe is a DIY system. You’ll do it yourself, but on the plus side, there are no extra fees. It really comes down to your preference, but if you prefer a DIY security system with ADT equipment, there’s another option called ADT Self Setup.
SimpliSafe Packaging

SimpliSafe Packaging

  • Contracts – ADT requires a three-year contract for equipment, financing, and monitoring. In contrast, SimpliSafe doesn’t require you to sign a contract at all. With SimpliSafe, you just pay for your equipment, and pay month-to-month for monitoring.
  • Equipment – SimpliSafe manufactures its own equipment. In contrast, ADT uses equipment that is manufactured by top-rated companies like GE. We found ADT’s equipment to be better made. But SimpliSafe’s equipment is affordable and reliable.
  • Costs & Fees – ADT doesn’t charge upfront fees for the equipment. Also, ADT includes the charges for monitoring services in their monthly fee, however it begins at $45.99 per month. Meanwhile, SimpliSafe charges upfront fees for the equipment. With that said, SimpliSafe is a fraction of the cost of ADT over the long run. So if you’re on a budget, we definitely recommend SimpliSafe.
  • Money-Back Guarantee – Simply put, ADT has one of the best money-back guarantees in the industry. They give you up to six months to return your equipment and cancel your contract, risk free — just make sure you read all of the fine print. That said, SimpliSafe also offers a pretty good guarantee — 60 days — which is double the industry average of 30 days. And it’s worth remembering that ADT requires you to sign a minimum three-year contract. Under those conditions, a six-month guarantee only makes sense.

Did You Know? ADT requires long-term contracts, which helps to spread the cost over years. SimpliSafe requires that you purchase the equipment upfront, which means you own it and don’t have to worry about contracts or ongoing charges. Both brands do charge for monthly monitoring.

SimpliSafe vs ADT: In-Depth Comparison of Home Security Systems

Are you still struggling to decide between ADT and SimpliSafe? Here we dive into what you can expect from SimpliSafe and ADT.

Equipment and Pricing

We’ll go right out and say it — SimpliSafe is more affordable. But… ADT doesn’t require a steep upfront payment, which is nice. Here we put SimpliSafe and ADT side-by-side to look at prices and fees.

ADT’s Costs

ADT’s monthly monitoring fee ranges from $45.99 to $59.99. These prices cover the fees for monitoring services and the rental of the equipment. Also, ADT charges an installation fee of about $99 to $199. Remember, you’ll be paying for monthly monitoring for 36 months, so be sure you have it in your budget. To learn more, read our in-depth ADT pricing guide.

Secure Home Package

ADT’s most basic package is its Secure Home Package and starts at $45.99 per month. In comparison to other security companies, the package is pricey, but we think it’s worth it. Here is what you get with this package:

  • 24/7 professional monitoring
  • Professional installation
  • Cellular connection
  • Touchscreen control panel
  • 3 window/door sensors
  • 1 motion detector
  • Voice control
  • Fire, CO and flood monitoring
Smart Home Package

The Smart Home Package starts at $49.99 per month and is an upgrade to the Secure Home package. This package includes:

  • 24/7 professional monitoring
  • Cellular connection
  • Professional installation
  • Touchscreen control panel
  • 3 window/door sensors
  • 1 motion detector
  • 1 smart door lock
  • Remote arm/disarm with mobile app
  • Voice control
  • Fire, CO and flood monitoring

Did You Know? If you rent a place that already has an ADT system, you could pay as little as $19.99 per month.

Video and Smart Home Package

Starting at $59.99 monthly, the main feature of the Video and Smart Home Package is the Remote Secure Video upgrade. This feature is perfect if you like being able to access, monitor, and control your home remotely. Here is what the Video and Smart Home Package includes:

  • 24/7 professional monitoring
  • Cellular connection
  • Professional installation
  • 4-window sensors
  • 4-door sensors
  • 1 digital touchscreen panel
  • 1 outdoor Google Nest camera
  • 3 door/window sensors
  • 1 motion detector
  • 1 smart door lock
  • Remote arm/disarm with mobile app
  • Voice control
  • Fire, CO, and flood monitoring
  • Ability to record and save video clips

SimpliSafe Costs

In contrast to ADT, with SimpliSafe you don’t rent the equipment, you own it. That’s good news if you ever want to move — which is why they’re our top choice for the best security systems for renters in 2024.

SimpliSafe offers a number of equipment options. You can build your own package or use one of their pre-packaged deals. SimpliSafe’s cost of pre-packaged security systems starts at $250, which is incredibly affordable compared to the industry average of $400+. Also, while you can self-monitor (unlike ADT!), SimpliSafe offers professional monitoring services — which start at just $30 per month.

Pro Tip: SimpliSafe is always running deals on their home security equipment packages — particularly around the holidays. Right now all of the packages below are marked down by a whopping 60 percent. As a bonus, you also get a free outdoor camera. If you miss this sale, though, don’t worry. We’re sure the next one is right around the corner. Be sure to bookmark our guide to SimpliSafe’s deals for more up-to-date information.

There are other cost benefits of going with a SimpliSafe system, too. The primary one is that there’s no required monthly fee. Their Fast Protect Monitoring is impressive, and at $29.99 per month it’s a lot cheaper than ADT, but it’s not necessary for the system to function — remember, self-monitoring is an option.

SimpliSafe SimpliCam Indoor

SimpliSafe SimpliCam Indoor

FYI: SimpliSafe manufactures its own equipment so you can avoid high-markups and any middleman fees. Home security packages start at only $250.

SimpliSafe Security System Packages

Below are the seven available pre-packaged equipment deals that SimpliSafe offers. These are the retail prices, but keep in mind they frequently run special pricing offers. For example, at the time of this writing, SimpliSafe was offering 40 percent off all packages that included professional monitoring plus a free indoor camera. To explore SimpliSafe’s packages and pricing further, check out our SimpliSafe packages and cost guide.

The Beacon

Costing $709.90 (sale priced at $283.96), The Beacon is the granddaddy of SimpliSafe’s security systems. It is for people who want the fullest protection, both inside and out.

  • 1-base station
  • 1-keypad
  • 4-door sensors
  • 2-motion detectors
  • 2-outdoor security cameras
  • 1-free outdoor
The Lighthouse

The Lighthouse has a smaller footprint than The Beacon, so it is suitable for someone with a smaller home or who desires relatively less protection at the lower price point of $469.93 (sale-priced at $187.97).

  • 1-base station
  • 1-keypad
  • 3-door sensors
  • 1-motion detector
  • 1-outdoor security camera
  • 1-free outdoor
The Haven

The Haven package costs $519.86 (sale-priced at $207.94) and is great for people who want total home security with environmental protection.

  • 1-base station
  • 1-keypad
  • 1-key fob
  • 4-door sensors
  • 2-motion detectors
  • 1-alarm siren
  • 1-freeze sensor
  • 1-water sensor
  • 1-panic button
  • 1-smoke detector
  • 1-free indoor camera with professional monitoring
The Knox

At $479.87 (sale-priced at $191.95), The Knox is a step down from the Haven, but it still offers whole home protection with some environmental monitoring.

  • 1-base station
  • 1-keypad
  • 1-key fob
  • 6-door sensors
  • 2-motion detectors
  • 1-alarm siren
  • 1-smoke detector
  • 1-free outdoor camera
The Hearth

For slightly smaller homes, The Hearth package packs a pretty good punch with entryway sensors and basic environmental protections for just $399.91 (sale-priced for $159.96).

  • 1-base station
  • 1-keypad
  • 1-key fob
  • 3-door sensors
  • 1-motion detector
  • 1- alarm siren
  • 1-smoke detector
  • 1-free outdoor camera
The Essentials

If you’re looking for something basic and affordable, the $279.95 (sale-priced at $111.98) Essentials package is a no-brainer. It’s ideal for very small homes and apartments.

  • 1-base station
  • 1-keypad
  • 3-door sensors
  • 1-motion detector
  • 1-free indoor camera with professional monitoring
The Foundation

With SimpliSafe’s Foundation kit, you’ll get a lean home security setup for only $249.96 (sale-priced at $99.98). Just note that you’ll probably need to buy a couple of extra entry sensors a la carte.

  • 1-base station
  • 1-keypad
  • 1-door sensor
  • 1-motion detector
  • 1-free outdoor camera

Contracts & Warranties

ADT’s Policies and Contracts

  • Contract – With ADT, you’ll need to sign a 36-month agreement (24 months if you live in California).
    Theft Protection Guarantee – If an intruder breaks-in or robs your home, ADT refunds you $500 of your insurance deductible.
  • Warranty – For an extra fee, ADT offers its Extended Limited Warranty/Quality Service Plan (QSP). The warranty covers repair or replacement costs of equipment malfunction.
  • Money-Back Service Guarantee – There are no penalties if you cancel your ADT contract within the first six months. Also, ADT will refund you the remaining monitoring expenses.

SimpliSafe’s Contracts and Policies

  • Contract – SimpliSafe does not require any contracts or credit checks. However, their Fast Protect Monitoring costs $29.99 per month.
  • Warranty – SimpliSafe offers a 3-year warranty from the date of purchase. The warranty covers defective material and workmanship under normal use.
  • Money-Back Guarantee – SimpliSafe has a pretty generous 60-day money-back guarantee.

Main Features & Tech

If you want to really get down to brass tacks, here are the different features offered by SimpliSafe and ADT. Note that ADT is more advanced, but it’s also much more expensive.

ADT Wireless Video Camera

ADT Wireless Video Camera

ADT Features

The features you get with an ADT home security system will depend on the package you choose. ADT offers the following features:

  • Home automation available
  • Custom alerts
  • Z-Wave technology
  • Smartphone access & control
  • Video monitoring with live footage
  • Recorded video clips
  • Indoor and outdoor cameras available
  • Environmental protection sensors
  • 24/7 monitoring
  • 6-month guarantee
  • Professional installation
  • Theft protection guarantee

SimpliSafe Features

SimpliSafe Wireless Keypad

SimpliSafe Wireless Keypad

The SimpliSafe features you get will depend on which monitoring package you choose. SimpliSafe offers features like:

  • Visually confirmed mobile alerts
  • 24/7 monitoring
  • Wireless equipment
  • Surveillance cameras
  • DIY installation
  • Environmental disaster protection
  • Remote control (using the mobile app)
  • Backup battery
  • Touch-to-wake keypad
  • Open window alerts
  • Heartbeats (built-in diagnostic equipment checks)

Installation

When it comes to installation services, ADT and SimpliSafe are very different. Keep in mind that SimpliSafe is a DIY home security system, while ADT requires professional installation.

Installation for ADT Security Systems

ADT requires professional installation and setup for their wired and wireless systems. You’ll have to pay around $99 to $199 for an installation fee.

By all means, a professional tech is highly recommended if you choose ADT’s wired security system. With a company tech, ADT assures that your system is working properly from day one.

Installation for SimpliSafe Security Systems

When you go with a SimpliSafe system, you’re going to be installing it yourself. That means you don’t have to worry about scheduling a time for a tech to visit or worry about any extra fees. The bad news? You have to install it yourself. Jokes aside, SimpliSafe’s wireless equipment makes it super simple to do — all you have to do is set up your base station and place your equipment where you need it. Just make sure to read our guide to SimpliSafe Installation to make the process as seamless as possible.

How Do I Know Which Security System Is Best for Me?

When it comes to keeping your home safe from intruders, it’s tough to go wrong with either system. However, these two manufacturers really do target different living situations and budgets. If you’re looking for something easy-to-use, highly customizable, and affordable, go with SimpliSafe. If you’re looking for total home protection that you won’t have to lift a finger for (and don’t mind shelling out cash for), ADT is probably more your speed.

Pro Tip: Want to see how celebrities protect their homes? These celebrity home security systems will blow you away.

Why Choose SimpliSafe?

In the long run, you can save a lot of money with SimpliSafe. First, with SimpliSafe you are not obligated to pay for professional monitoring fees. However, if you want the monitoring services, SimpliSafe offers extremely affordable fees (starting at $17.99 per month). Also, with SimpliSafe, you don’t have to worry about installation fees and cancellation fees. On a last note, SimpliSafe manufactures its own equipment, which also helps you save money on the equipment because there are no middlemen to jack up the prices.

SimpliSafe Base Station at Night

SimpliSafe Base Station at Night

Why Choose ADT?

Rather than purchasing your security equipment upfront, you can pay monthly fees with ADT. However, keep in mind that with ADT you are renting the equipment, you don’t own it. Also, take into consideration that with ADT you are committing to a 3-year contract. And while you’re under contract, canceling your ADT monitoring will result in hefty early cancellation penalties. With that said, ADT does offer stellar home protection with entry sensors, cameras, home automation features, and the list goes on. One final note here: we only recommend ADT to homeowners who plan on staying put for a few years.


Our Pick
Our pick is ADT
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SecureScore™: 9.2 / 10 This rating is derived from our editorial team's research, hands-on product testing, and customer surveys.
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