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ADT vs. SimpliSafe

Can’t decide between ADT and SimpliSafe? We dive deep into the features and costs for each home security provider and explain why we think SimpliSafe takes the win.

ADT and SimpliSafe are two popular home security providers that offer different experiences to their customers. While they both offer competitive security packages, professional monitoring options, environmental monitoring and home automation options, they differ in terms of installation, contract length, and expansion options. Here, we help you break down the key differences.

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How ADT and SimpliSafe Compare

How ADT and SimpliSafe Compare

ADT is perhaps the most widely recognized name in home security, with over 140 years of experience and a diverse lineup of products, services and optional add-ons, plus a 6-month money back guarantee and $500 theft protection guarantee. SimpliSafe is a newer provider, but it offers plenty of contemporary appeal: Payment plans and installation are simple but flexible, there’s a generous 60-day trial period, and its equipment is modern and sleek.

Winner: SimpliSafe

Winner: SimpliSafe

Although ADT is a heavyweight in the home security space, SimpliSafe has stepped up given their flexibility and affordability. ADT requires professional installation for its equipment, requires professional monitoring and has higher monthly fees. SimpliSafe makes professional installation and monitoring optional while providing lower monthly monitoring fees and equipment costs. Read on to see how each provider stacks up.

Similarities: ADT vs. SimpliSafe

Similarities: ADT vs. SimpliSafe

ADT and SimpliSafe share some similarities despite their differences. Here’s a closer look:

  • Access to professional monitoring – Both ADT and SimpliSafe provide access to 24/7 alarm monitoring for your home, ensuring that no alarm goes unnoticed.
  • Access to professional installation – Even SimpliSafe understands you might want a professional to take care of the installation — that’s why they give you the option. ADT has you covered with trained technicians that will help to answer any questions you may have.
  • Longer than average trial periods – Unlike the average 30 day trial periods you typically find, ADT has a 6-Month Money-Back Guarantee. This means that if you’re unhappy with their service within your first six months, you can return your system and receive a refund. SimpliSafe gives you 60 days to make sure your system is a good fit.
Differences: ADT vs. SimpliSafe

Differences: ADT vs. SimpliSafe

Here are some of the prominent differences you’ll find between the two companies:

  • Optional professional installation – Want to avoid an installation fee? SimpliSafe makes this possible with optional professional installation. ADT makes this a requirement for their traditional security systems.
  • Optional professional monitoring – While professional monitoring is available, SimpliSafe makes it optional. If you feel confident monitoring your sensors and home alarm, you can do so and skip the monthly fee. ADT requires this service with their traditional security systems.
  • Access to smart home devices – ADT has a broader range of smart home devices you can choose from, including smart locks, smart light bulbs, a smart thermostat and much more. SimpliSafe’s lineup is less extensive with only a smart lock at the time of this writing.
Compare ADT vs. SimpliSafe

Compare ADT vs. SimpliSafe

simplisafe vs adt

Industry Experience

Winner: ADT

ADT security takes the prize as the provider with the most industry experience. Serving customers for over 140 years, ADT is trusted by over 7 million customers for security services and home automation products to make their lives easier and help to protect their homes. SimpliSafe has provided home security solutions for homeowners since 2006.

Equipment Cost

Winner: SimpliSafe

SimpliSafe wins the round on equipment cost. With a suite of products geared towards the DIY customer and the ability of purchasing to own, SimpliSafe security is the better provider for customers looking for the best value. If you’re looking to rent equipment instead, ADT provides leasing and professional installation for homeowners.

Professional Monitoring Cost

Winner: SimpliSafe

Out of the two providers, SimpliSafe provides lower professional monitoring costs. SimpliSafe features 2 monthly professional monitoring plans, Standard and Interactive. Both plans include 24/7 professional monitoring, cellular connection and environmental monitoring for customers looking for security beyond intrusion features. The Standard Plan costs about $14.99/mo. while the Interactive Plan is about $24.99/mo.

Home Automation

Winner: ADT

When it comes to home automation, ADT home security is a step ahead with some of the products featuring Z-Wave technology. This technology allows those products to be used with many digital assistants to include Amazon Alexa, Google Home and more. While SimpliSafe has digital assistant compatibility, ADT security has a range of products to provide greater smart home functionality with your system.

Installation

Tie: ADT and SimpliSafe

ADT provides professional installation to take the guesswork out of self-installations, but if you’d prefer to install your system, SimpliSafe is the better option. A few perks of ADT’s professional installation is that someone will be there to answer any equipment questions you might have, as well as share security advice based on your home and equipment placement.

Environmental Monitoring

Tie: ADT and SimpliSafe

Both SimpliSafe and ADT monitored systems provide several options for environmental monitoring. With flood sensors, smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors and more, these providers work to ensure you’re safe beyond intrusion protection. Depending on the package, some of the products may come included, or you could purchase them separately.

Customer Service

Winner: SimpliSafe

While both ADT and SimpliSafe have an A+ with the BBB, customers appear to have better experiences and interactions with SimpliSafe. Currently, TrustPilot gives ADT a 1.6 star rating and SimpliSafe a 4.1 star rating. Some customers of ADT express dissatisfaction with their service as well as not being told the truth. Positive ADT reviews highlight service technicians by name and the great work they performed. For SimpliSafe, some customers complain about inconsistent customer support as well as equipment issues. Positive SimpliSafe reviews mention how easy the system was to install and good customer service. Because we found more positive reviews for SimpliSafe, they excel in this category.

Contracts

Winner: SimpliSafe

ADT requires at minimum a 12-month contract, specifically for California residents. All other U.S. residents will be required to enter into a 36-month contract. SimpliSafe doesn’t have any contracts for their service, which makes them the better pick if you want to avoid commitments. You can cancel your monthly monitoring service whenever you’re ready and won’t have to worry about penalties. With ADT, if you cancel your contract early, you may have to pay additional fees.

Warranty

Winner: ADT

ADT takes the win for this category with a lifetime warranty on their equipment. As long as you keep ADT’s monitoring service, your equipment is covered for repair and replacement. SimpliSafe provides a three-year warranty for their equipment, which is more restrictive than ADT, but still a decent length of time for repairs and replacements. Overall, ADT stands out as the better provider since their warranty lasts for as long as you use their service.

Notifications

Tie: ADT and SimpliSafe

Both ADT and SimpliSafe provide notifications for alarm events, making it easy for you to stay on top of what’s happening at home. With ADT and SimpliSafe, you can get text, email and push notifications. Even if you don’t opt for professional monitoring with SimpliSafe, you can still self-monitor your home and receive notifications.

Equipment

Winner: ADT

If you’re looking for more equipment options, ADT is the better provider. You’ll have access to a broader home automation lineup, including smart lights, smart locks, a smart thermostat and much more. SimpliSafe currently only has one smart product on the market, the SimpliSafe Smart Lock. We’d like to see additional products added to SimpliSafe’s range to make it a better contender in this space. If budget is not an issue for you, ADT has a lot more to offer product-wise than SimpliSafe. Just expect to pay more for your package and additional equipment.

Who ADT Is Best For

Who ADT Is Best For

ADT is best for settled homeowners who don’t mind paying more for home security. If you own your home and don’t plan to move anytime soon, ADT is a potential option to consider. And if you don’t mind paying more and committing to a contract, ADT can be a great option for you. You’ll have access to a greater range of products, plus their 6-Month Money-Back Guarantee if you’re not satisfied.

    Protection Plus

    Starting at $45.99/mo

    Our take

    Protection Plus is perfect if you’re looking for simple motion detection and don’t need video surveillance or smart home features.

    Package Features

    • Professional monitoring
    • Smoke, fire and carbon monoxide detection
    • Two-way communication through control panel

    Package Devices Include

    • 1 digital control panel
    • Sensors (based on your home’s needs)
    • Key fob
    • signage

    Video Lite

    Starting at $54.99/mo

    Our take

    Get video surveillance and mobile app control with the Video Lite Package.

    Package Features

    • Same features as Protection Plus
    • + Video surveillance

    Package Devices Include:

    • Same equipment as Protection Plus
    • Option of an outdoor camera or video doorbell

    Complete

    Starting at $57.99/mo

    Our take

    Get all-around protection with the Complete Package that includes motion detection, home automation, hazard monitoring,  and video surveillance.

    Package Features

    • Same features as Protection Plus
    • +Home automation capabilities

    Package Devices Include:

    • Same equipment as Protection Plus
    • Option of an outdoor camera or video doorbell
Who SimpliSafe Is Best For

Who SimpliSafe Is Best For

SimpliSafe is best for renters and frequent movers who are looking for a budget-friendly home security system. If you currently rent or tend to move around a bit, then choosing SimpliSafe will make it easier for you when it comes time to move. SimpliSafe’s equipment can either be set on a level surface or applied to surfaces, making installation and takedown easy. Also, you’ll pay less overall with SimpliSafe compared to ADT.

    The Essentials

    Starting at $14.99/mo

    Our take

    The Essentials is another great entry-level package that adds more door and window sensors to protect multiple entry points.

    Package Features

    • Basic motion detection

    Package Devices Include:

    • 1 SimpliSafe base station
    • 1 SimpliSafe keypad
    • 3 entry sensors
    • 1 motion sensor

    The Hearth

    Starting at $14.99/mo

    Our take

    The Hearth adds on an additional siren that can be placed in your home with a smoke detector for home hazard monitoring.

    Package Devices Include:

    • Basic motion detection
    • + Home hazard monitoring (emergency response with Interactive Monitoring Plan)

    Packages Devices Include:

    • 1 SimpliSafe base station
    • 1 SimpliSafe keypad
    • 3 entry sensors
    • 1 motion sensor
    • 1 key fob
    • 1 smoke detector
    • 1 siren

    The Barrington

    Starting at $14.99/mo

    Our take

    Get access to home video surveillance in addition to motion detection with The Barrington.

    Package Features:

    • Basic motion detection
    • +Video surveillance

    Package Devices Include:

    • 1 Simplisafe base station
    • 1 Simplisafe keypad
    • 2 entry sensors
    • 1 motion sensors
    • 1 key fob
    • 1 panic button
    • 1 siren
    • 1 SimpliCam indoor camera

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Guaranteed Service, Contracts required, Low upfront costs

Good for renters, No contract options, Higher upfront costs

No worries. We’ll recommend packages from both for you to compare

What home security equipment are you interested in?

Motion Sensor, Door/window Sensors, Control Panel, Alarm

Everything in Basic, Mobile App, Remote arm/disarm, Smart Home Automation, Smoke detector, Carbon monoxide detector, Flood & water detector

Everything in Extra, Video camera (indoor/outdoor), Doorbell camera, Video Streaming, Video Record

Summary: ADT vs. SimpliSafe

Summary: ADT vs. SimpliSafe

SimpliSafe Security

Learn more about
Pro. Monitoring Starts at $45.99/mo.
Contract required Yes
Trial period 6 months
BBB Rating A+
Safety Score 8.3/10
Price & Packages 6/10
Equipment 10/10
Installation 8/10
Customer Service 6/10
Standout Features 10/10
Warranty 8/10
Trial Period & Guarantee 10/10
How We Compare Home Security Providers

How We Compare Home Security Providers

When researching providers, there are a number of categories we consider, including price, equipment, installation, monitoring, features, trial period, customer service, warranty and others.

  • Price — We look for affordability and value when comparing providers based on price.
  • Equipment — We prefer providers that offer a range of equipment beyond the essentials, giving customers more ways to help protect their homes.
  • Installation — Ease of installation and flexibility are highly valued during our comparisons. Providers that offer both DIY and professional installation as options are given preference.
  • Monitoring – Flexibility and monitoring options are taken into consideration. Providers who offer both self- and professional monitoring options are given preference.
  • Features – We look for helpful and innovative features like home environmental monitoring devices and smart home devices that help customers protect their homes.
  • Trial Period – We believe that customers should have enough time to make sure that their security system fits their needs. For this reason, we give preference to providers that have a long trial period for their customers.
  • Warranty – Ensuring that customers have properly functioning equipment is critical for securing their homes. We look for provider warranties, and those with longer terms are highly preferred.
Frequently Asked Questions about ADT and SimpliSafe

Frequently Asked Questions about ADT and SimpliSafe

Do either ADT or SimpliSafe provide professional installation?

ADT provides professional installation for its security systems. SimpliSafe allows you to self-install its security systems.

Does ADT security require a long-term contract?

ADT’s systems do require a 12-month contract (a 24-month contract for California residents).

Does SimpliSafe security require a long-term contract?

No, but you do have to pay for all of your equipment up front. After that, you can pay a month-to-month subscription to SimpliSafe’s monitoring services.

What types of packages does ADT and SimpliSafe provide?

ADT offers four home security packages with the basic package including essentials like sensors and signage. SimpliSafe offers a range of packages with its basic package including essentials like an entry sensor, door sensor and signage as well.

What types of professional monitoring does ADT and SimpliSafe provide?

ADT provides several professional monitoring options that vary in price and offer you the 24/7 security your home needs. SimpliSafe has two monitoring plan options, the Standard Plan and the Interactive Plan, both of which feature around-the-clock monitoring, a cellular connection and environmental monitoring.

Is SimpliSafe or ADT better?

This will depend on your needs, the features you want and your budget. SimpliSafe is better if you’re working from a budget and mainly need the basics for home intrusion protection and video surveillance. With SimpliSafe, you can purchase a camera to monitor your home and even a smart lock if you want to remotely secure your front door. ADT is better if you have more to spend and don’t mind a contract. For home automation products and access to more security camera options,  ADT is the better pick as well.


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Safety and Security Reporter

Jalesa Campbell

Jalesa is one of Safety.com's staff experts on home security, natural disasters, public safety, and family safety. She's been featured on Today.com and elsewhere.