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SimpliSafe vs. ADT

Do-it-yourself or professional installation?

Profile picture of Jessica Render
by Jessica Render ConsumerAffairs Research Team
woman setting up home alarm

Both Simplisafe and ADT are highly-rated and well-known home security companies. Though both provide comprehensive security options, there are a few differences between the two companies. Customers can install Simplisafe themselves and browse pre-designed package prices online, while ADT offers professional installation and free in-home quotes.

What is the difference between Simplisafe and ADT?

Simplisafe offers a few more ready-made equipment packages than ADT, but ADT offers the option of integrated home automation. Both companies allow you to create custom systems. One of the biggest differentiators of note is SimpliSafe’s no-contract business model, which is atypical for the industry. In contrast, ADT’s average contract length is three years.

 simplisafeadt
Monitoring price range$14.99-$24.99/month$36.99-$52.99/month
Available plans/systems2 monitoring plans, pre-designed security systems, plus cameras and customized plans3 monitoring plans, plus video surveillance, home automation, life safety and customized plans
Contract requirementsNo contracts requiredTypically 36-month contracts
Professional installationFree (DIY); installation available for $79$99
Monitoring available24/724/7
Remote System ControlIncluded with Interactive monitoring planIncluded with Control and Video plans
Customer satisfactionRead reviewsRead reviews
 Starting monitoring costAvailable plans/systemsContract requirementsProfessional installationMonitoring availableRemote System ControlCustomer satisfaction
simplisafe$14.99-$24.99/month2 monitoring plans, pre-designed security systems, plus cameras and customized plansNo contracts requiredFree (DIY); installation available for $7924/7Included with Interactive monitoring planRead reviews
adt$36.99-$52.99/month3 monitoring plans, plus video surveillance, home automation, life safety and customized plansTypically 36-month contracts$9924/7Included with Control and Video plansRead reviews

SimpliSafe

SimpliSafe was established in 2006 as a no-contract security monitoring company. They have a wide variety of options to meet different needs and offer a 60-day money-back guarantee. They offer enhanced safety features in their products, such as damage-resistant keypads, reinforced connections and power outage protection.

How does SimpliSafe security work?
Choose from specific packages or create your own custom system, beginning with a base station and wireless keypad. The systems protect your home using sensors and wireless cellular technology. You can install a SimpliSafe system, yourself or you can also get assistance from a professional for a $79 installation fee. Once a system is installed, you’ll pay a monthly fee for monitoring.

SimpliSafe pricing
Your total cost will depend on the security system and level of monitoring you choose. You’ll pay a one-time fee for the cost of your system and then a monthly fee for monitoring. System costs range from $184 to $510, and SimpliSafe offers two monthly monitoring plans starting at $14.99/month.

SimpliSafe monitoring plans

  • Standard ($14.99/month): SimpliSafe’s standard plan includes 24/7 live monitoring, cellular connection and environmental monitoring, which includes fire detection, leak detection and temperature monitoring to protect your home against frozen pipes. 
  • Interactive ($24.99/month): The interactive plan includes all the benefits of the standard plan, plus the ability to arm your system anywhere right from your phone, get real-time text alerts, use unlimited camera recording and integrate smart home features.

ADT

ADT is a security company that has a long history of 140 years in business, which sets them apart from their competitors. They offer a six-month guarantee and a choice of either three pre-designed security systems or the ability to customize your equipment. Their systems all include security monitoring components such as a digital keypad, entryway sensors, a motion detector, a high-decibel alarm and a backup battery. In addition. They also offer additional video surveillance, home automation and life safety products you can purchase.

How does ADT security work?
ADT security equipment ties into either a landline or wireless cellular connection. Once the system is activated, an alarm will sound and a signal will transmit to the ADT monitoring centers.

ADT pricing
ADT packages start as low as $24.99. Pricing varies depends on the specific options and monitoring plans you choose. ADT does not give set prices; instead, they offer customized quotes based on the equipment options and monitoring needs for your specific residence.

ADT monitoring plans
ADT requires contracts for their monitoring services (typically 36-month contracts), but the home automation integrations are billed as a month-to-month contract. They offer free in-home consultations to provide quotes and give recommendations based on your specific security needs.

Compare security system equipment packages

SimpliSafe security system packages

SimpliSafe provides twelve pre-designed security system equipment packages to choose from, or you can completely customize your system and create your own.

  • Foundation Package
    The Foundation security system from SimpliSafe costs $229 and includes four pieces of equipment: a base station, wireless keypad, entry sensor and motion sensor. It’s a good option for small homes and apartments.
  • Essentials Package
    The Essentials security system from SimpliSafe costs $259 and includes everything the Foundation Package includes, plus two additional entry sensors. It’s a good option for anyone looking for a whole home security system at a great price point.
  • Hearth Package
    The Hearth security system from SimpliSafe costs $374 and includes everything from the Essentials Package, plus a siren and smoke detector. It’s a good option for anyone looking for their home security system to do a little extra.
  • Knox Package
    The Knox security system from SimpliSafe costs $449 and includes everything from the Hearth Package, with six entry sensors and two motion sensors. It’s a good option for larger homes and includes double the sensor protection of the Essentials Package.

Pre-designed packages also include SimpliSafe’s four “Original” options, Starter, Standard, Elite and Beacon, which range in cost from approximately $244 to $334 and are marketed as “solid, no frills” systems. Refurbished systems are also available for varying costs, but typical savings are 25 to 30 percent off completely new systems. The remainder of SimpliSafe’s pre-designed systems range from about $250 to $500.

ADT security system packages

ADT packages can be customized, but their three main packages include the Traditional, Control and Video plans. Each ADT package includes a digital keypad, entryway contacts, wireless keychain remote, motion detector, high-decibel alarm and backup battery.

  • The Traditional Package
    Includes security essentials like a cellular monitoring connection, sensors, digital keypad and window and yard signs for extra protection.
  • The Control System
    Includes the Traditional features, plus the ability to control your system with a device such as a smartphone or tablet and get email and text alerts.
  • The Video Package
    Includes all components of the Traditional and Control packages, as well as the ability to view remote, secure indoor and outdoor video footage.

Compare monitoring plans

SimpliSafe’s entry-level “Standard” plan and ADT’s “Essentials” provide similar coverage but at different price points. While SimpliSafe pricing starts at $14.99 for monitoring, it will have added fees if you choose to rent the equipment instead of buying it outright. Compare the two basic plans using the chart below.

 SimpliSafe StandardADT Essentials
Monthly price$14.99$36.99
Installation costFree (DIY)$99
Contract lengthNo contract36 months
24/7 monitoring
Video monitoring
Live alerts
Fire detection
Leak detection
Frozen pipe detection
CO2 detection
LabelCompany nameLogoContactSummary
Best DIY installation Visit website
LabelCompany nameLogoContactSummary
Best professional installation(800) 799-7113 Visit website

Bottom line: Simplisafe or ADT?

Both ADT and Simplisafe are solid options for home security and have a range of features and customization options.

Simplisafe is the best option for anyone looking for an easy-to-install, DIY system that gives them plenty of options for their home’s size and the specific security needs. Simplisafe is also a top choice for those who don’t want to be tied to long-term contracts.

ADT is the best option for those who are looking for a traditional security system with a strong history and who prefer professional quotes and installation. It’s also the best bet for those looking to combine home automation features with security.

>>MORE: SimpliSafe vs. FrontPoint

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Profile picture of Jessica Render
by Jessica Render ConsumerAffairs Research Team

As a member of the ConsumerAffairs research team, Jessica Render is dedicated to providing well-researched, valuable content designed to help consumers make informed purchase decisions they can feel confident making. She holds a degree in journalism from Oral Roberts University.