Travis Goodreau https://www.safehome.org/security-advisors/travis-goodreau/

Learn More About SimpliSafe

Between these two security systems, our favorite is SimpliSafe.

SecureScore™: 9.3/10

When it comes to security systems, there are many options to choose from to protect your property. Choosing a security system comes down to your needs and budget. However, at the end of the day, no matter which company you choose, you need to be sure you’re home and family are protected.

We assure you that both ADT and SimpliSafe offer the home security you need. Nevertheless, these companies bring completely different equipment and monitoring to the table, not to mention installation types, pricing structure, and the list goes on. They really are quite different!

So keep reading to learn which home security company is best for you: SimpliSafe or ADT.

SimpliSafe Equipment

SimpliSafe Equipment

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

Both ADT and SimpliSafe are reliable home security companies, offering total home protection. In this comparison, we’ll take a look at the main similarities and differences between these two popular brands. Keep in mind that we’ve tested both systems in our home, so we know what to look for and what to steer clear of. Here’s our latest hands-on SimpliSafe review, and to read more about ADT, have a look at our in-depth ADT review.

Without further ado, let’s cover the overlapping features and tech between SimpliSafe and ADT.
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 – When it comes to security cameras, both SimpliSafe and ADT offer high-quality indoor cameras. ADT also has outdoor camera options, while SimpliSafe has an indoor/outdoor device called the SimpliCam (must have weatherproof sleeve to use outdoors).
  • Smart Home Automation – SimpliSafe and ADT are compatible with third-party home automation products, but ADT offers more integrations compared to SimpliSafe.
  • Monitoring Services – Both ADT and SimpliSafe offer 24/7 monitoring services. ADT’s monitoring starts at $29.95 per month, while SimpliSafe’s monitoring starts at $14.99 monthly.
  • 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 – SimpliSafe and ADT primarily use a cellular connection to communicate with the monitoring center. This is the most reliable monitoring connection you can get. Note, however, that the cameras use a Wi-Fi connection.

FYI: SimpliSafe offers affordable monitoring plans — which start at just $14.99 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

After using both systems extensively, we have to say, they really couldn’t be more different from one another. In some ways, it’s like comparing apples to oranges! Here are some of the differences we found between SimpliSafe and ADT.

  • Installation – This is the biggest difference between the companies. ADT offers professional installation — which does come with an extra fee. Meanwhile, SimpliSafe offers DIY installation , so there are no extra fees associated. Note, however, that ADT’s system is more robust and offers more layers of protection (but it’ll cost you!). If you’re interested in DIY installation, we recommend checking out our guide on the best DIY home security systems.
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.
  • Security Cameras – In contrast to SimpliSafe, ADT offers outdoor video cameras. But remember, you can use the SimpliCam outdoors as long as you have the Outdoor Kit (sold separately). Here’s our rundown of the top home security cameras available.
  • Costs & Fees – ADT doesn’t charge upfront fees for the equipment. Also, ADT includes the charges for monitoring services in their monthly fee. 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 – ADT has one of the best money-back guarantees in the business. They give you up to 6-months to return your equipment and cancel your contract (but be sure to read the fine print). On the other hand, SimpliSafe offers a 60-day guarantee, which is better than the industry average guarantee of 30-days.

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 $29.99 to $52.99. 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.

Traditional Package

ADT’s most basic package is its Traditional Package and starts at $28.99 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:

  • Security monitoring equipment
  • 24/7 professional monitoring
  • Professional installation
  • Cellular connection
  • 4-window sensors
  • 4-door sensors
  • Environmental sensors (fire, carbon monoxide, and flood)
Control Package

The Control Package starts at $36.99 per month and is an upgrade to the traditional package. This package includes:

  • 24/7 professional monitoring
  • Cellular connection
  • 4-window sensors
  • 4-door sensors
  • Environmental sensors (fire, carbon monoxide, and flood)
  • In-home and remotely controlled home automation features
  • Remote arm and disarm
  • Remote Web and mobile access
  • Email and text event-triggered notifications
  • Customizable alerts, schedules, and automation

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 Package

Starting at $52.99 monthly, the main feature of the Video 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 Package includes:

  • 24/7 professional monitoring
  • Cellular connection
  • 4-window sensors
  • 4-door sensors
  • Environmental sensors (fire, carbon monoxide, and flood)
  • In-home and remotely controlled home automation features
  • Remote arm and disarm
  • Remote Web and mobile access
  • Email and text event-triggered notifications
  • Customizable alerts, schedules, and automation
  • Security cameras
  • Live streaming via your mobile device
  • Ability to record and save video clips

SimpliSafe Costs

In contrast to ADT, with SimpliSafe you don’t rent the equipment, you own it.

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 $229, 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 $14.99 per month.

Also, if you’re purchasing your security system for the first time, SimpliSafe offers free shipping.

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 $229.

SimpliSafe Security System Packages

Below are the five available pre-packaged equipment deals that SimpliSafe offers. These are the retail prices, but keep in mind they frequently run special pricing offers. Also, to explore SimpliSafe’s packages and pricing further, check out our SimpliSafe packages and cost guide.

The Haven

The Haven package costs $489 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
The Knox

At $449, 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
The Hearth — $374

For slightly smaller homes, The Hearth package packs a pretty good punch with entryway sensors and basic environmental protections.

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

If you’re looking for something basic and affordable, the $259 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
The Foundation

With SimpliSafe’s Foundation kit, you’ll get a lean home security setup for only $229. 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

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 CA).
    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
  • 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

SimpliSafe offers DIY installation. Hence, you don’t need to pay extra fees or worry about a technician entering your home. SimpliSafe only offers wireless devices, which make DIY installation a quick and easy process. In a nutshell, all you have to do is set up the base station and place your security devices. For a closer look, have a look at this nifty SimpliSafe Installation resource we made.

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

When it comes to home security, you cannot go wrong with either SimpliSafe or ADT. However, they are really meant for two different living situations (and budgets!). Go with SimpliSafe if you want something an easy-to-use home security system that’s cheap. Go with ADT if you want total home protection and don’t mind paying a pretty penny for it.

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 $14.99 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.

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. 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.