SimpliSafe vs. ADT

SimpliSafe and ADT are both well-known home security companies with good quality hardware, a mobile app and solid smart home features. SimpliSafe is a DIY-installed security system with a low price tag and easy setup. ADT is a professionally installed system that can cost more, but also comes with a long standing reputation (140+ years) and more smart home bells and whistles.

Both SimpliSafe and ADT are good choices — the right one for you will depend on exactly what you’re looking for in a home security system. In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know to make the ultimate decision, including the similarities and differences between these two companies and the important things everyone should know about each before they buy. This will make it a bit easier to pick your own personal winner in the showdown between SimpliSafe vs. ADT.

Ratings & Info
Ratings & Info
Customer Service43
Mobile App54
Smart Home Capabilities34.5
Monthly Monitoring Cost$0 - $24.99 depending on plan$35.99 - $57.99 depending on plan
Up Front Cost$229 and up$99 and up
MoneyBack Guarentee60 days6 months
Contract LengthNone3 years
InstallationDIY or ProPro
Basic Equipment$229 and up$99 and up

SimpliSafe and ADT: What do they have in common?

SimpliSafe and ADT actually have a lot in common. Such as:

  • High quality equipment. Our Security Nerd gives both companies good marks for their equipment. Both offer tech-forward options that are reliable and sturdy.
  • Around-the-clock monitoring. Both SimpliSafe and ADT offer 24/7 security monitoring for their systems. This means, when your alarm is triggered, a pro will be on the line ASAP to verify everything’s okay and/or call emergency services for you.
  • Good reputation. SimpliSafe and ADT both have well-known names in the industry but are notable for different things. ADT has a long standing reputation for being a reliable and secure option. SimpliSafe is more of a disrupter to the industry, but it’s built a name for itself in recent years as being a good DIY alternative to more traditional systems. Either way, going with a reputable company may give you extra peace of mind.
  • Mobile app. Both companies offer an easy-to-use mobile app to control their systems while you’re away (or just in another room) and have the same ratings in the app stores (4.1 in Google Play and 4.8 in Apple).

SimpliSafe and ADT: What are the differences?

While there are some similarities, there are some pretty big differences between these security companies that will likely be important to your decision.

  • Professional vs. DIY installation. If you go with ADT, a pro will come to your home and install your system for you. SimpliSafe, on the other hand, is a DIY system, so you’ll be sent all the equipment and instructions for easy setup. For this reason, an ADT package may cost more, but you might feel the extra cost is worth it if you don’t want to set it up yourself. This is really the main thing you need to make a decision on if you are considering these two companies.
  • Pricing. Like we mentioned, prices for ADT can be higher, especially if you want a system that works on a cellular line and can be controlled with a smartphone app. To know for sure, you’ll have to get a personalized, in-home estimate for the equipment and service you need from ADT. Sometimes there are offers and promotions that could save you some money. To know SimpliSafe pricing, build your system on the website and see what your total comes to. Then, you can really compare pricing for exactly what you want in your home security system.
  • Upfront equipment costs vs. monthly payments. Know that the SimpliSafe payment structure is completely different from ADT’s. SimpliSafe’s equipment is paid for upfront, while ADT’s equipment is paid for as part of the monthly fee, so you may have three years—the life of your contract—to pay it off.
  • Smart home options. As of now, SimpliSafe doesn’t offer much in the way of proprietary smart home products. However, SimpliSafe is compatible with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, August Door Locks and Nest Thermostat, so you should be able to cobble together the features you want using different brands. ADT, on the other hand, gives you the ability to add on a doorbell camera, keyless door locks, light control, garage door control, smart thermostats and automated switches and lights—all through ADT Home Automation. You can integrate ADT with Alexa as well. If you want a company that will supply all the smart home products for you, ADT is a good bet. If you are a tech-savvy homeowner who already has smart home products, SimpliSafe can probably integrate with most of them.

SimpliSafe: What you need to know

SimpliSafe is an excellent choice if you’re looking for value, quality and customization. There are a few pros and cons you should know about before you commit:

Nerd Pros:

  • Flexibility. For equipment, you can choose a package deal or buy everything a la carte, allowing you to easily choose (and pay for) exactly what you need and nothing you don’t. Plus, you don’t have to sign a contract, so it’s not a huge commitment.
  • Cost. You’ll pay less than $500 for a SimpliSafe system, even if you want the highest-level bundle. You have the option of going unmonitored for free or choosing Standard Monitoring, which is only $14.99 per month. But to get mobile app access, camera recording and smart home integration, you do have to pay for Interactive Monitoring, which is $24.99 per month.
  • Voice control. Got Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant? If you connect it with your SimpliSafe security system, you can use your voice to control your alarm system. You can also integrate with August smart locks and Nest smart thermostat.
  • Satisfaction guarantee. You can try SimpliSafe for 60 days risk-free. If you don’t love the system, you can return it for a full refund. Even the shipping is paid for, so there’s very little for you to worry about if you want to try them out.

Nerd Cons:

  • No outdoor camera: SimpliSafe offers indoor cameras but doesn’t yet have outdoor ones. That could be a deal breaker if you want to keep an eye on the goings on in your yard, porch or stoop.
  • Incompatibility with older equipment: Older SimpliSafe equipment isn’t compatible with the newer stuff, so if you need to upgrade, you have to buy a whole new system. Take note though, that there’s a possibility this may change with future generations.

ADT: What you need to know

ADT is a safe choice for home security, but you should understand its pros and cons before you sign on.

Nerd Pros:

  • Established brand: ADT’s long-standing reputation for quality home security means you aren’t taking a big risk by going with the company.
  • Professional installation: Don’t want to DIY? ADT’s professional installers handle all of the legwork for getting your system up and running.
  • Smart home capabilities: It’s easy to add smart home features onto a basic ADT package. Offerings include a smart thermostat, garage door control, remote lights and locks and a pretty sweet new smart doorbell.

Nerd Cons:

  • Varying customer service: ADT uses third-party contractors to install and service its equipment, so while some people have great experiences, others don’t. It’s hard to predict the quality of customer service you’ll receive for this reason.
  • Price for extras: Sure, ADT offers a lot of great security and smart home equipment options, but you’ll be adding their price onto a package that’s probably already pricey. In other words, extras will cost you.
  • Long contract: When you sign on to ADT, you sign a three-year contract. That may be more of a commitment than some customers are looking for.

SimpliSafe or ADT?

We picked SimpliSafe because of its relatively low cost, ability to customize and easy DIY installation. But know that both SimpliSafe and ADT are excellent choices for different reasons. If you’d prefer professional installation, more smart home options and/or an outdoor camera—and you’re willing to pay a little extra—you may want to go with ADT instead. Like with any home security decision, it’s a personal choice. Here, both are good companies, so you can’t really go wrong.

This article has been reviewed and approved by Officer Banta.

Officer James Banta

Officer Banta is the official SecurityNerd home security and safety expert. A member of the Biloxi Police Department for over 24 years, Officer Banta reviews all articles before lending his stamp of approval. Click here for more information on Officer Banta and the rest of our team.