When it comes to security systems, ADT and SimpliSafe are on opposite ends of the spectrum. In fact, the companies are so different it’s not a matter of which is better—it’s more that each of them fills completely different needs.
ADT is huge, well-established, pricey, and full-featured. SimpliSafe is newer, smaller, cheaper, and stripped down to the basics. Both are solid security choices, but you’ll have a very different experience depending on which option you choose.
ADT vs. SimpliSafe
|Lowest monitoring cost||$27.99/mo.||$14.99/mo.|
|Installation & activation fees||$99||None|
|Contract length||36 mo.||No contract|
|Home automation rating||Standard||Minimal|
|Learn more||View plans||View plans|
Data effective 11/20/2018. Offers and availability subject to change.
Pros and cons
ADT pros and cons
- Long history in security industry
- Installation often available next day
- Higher monitoring costs than most
SimpliSafe pros and cons
- Low-priced monitoring
- No contracts required
- Limited smart home compatibility
SimpliSafe is dramatically cheaper than ADT in almost every category. In fact, SimpliSafe’s most expensive monitoring option is still cheaper than ADT’s least expensive option.
SimpliSafe is dramatically cheaper than ADT in almost every category.
- SimpliSafe packages start at $14.99 and go up to $24.99 a month.
- ADT packages start at $27.99 and go up to $59.99 a month.
ADT has a lot to offer—especially if you want to add smart home equipment to your system—but if cost is the deciding factor, SimpliSafe is the way to go.
Features and equipment
ADT has SimpliSafe beat when it comes to features and equipment. It’s got a wider selection of equipment, more home automation support, and an app that lets you control your security system and smart home add-ons all in one place.
ADT also has more industry experience and more monitoring centers than SimpliSafe. This particularly comes into play during emergencies; for example, if a natural disaster takes down one ADT monitoring center, the others are still up and running to protect your home.
Smart home compatibility
In terms of equipment, SimpliSafe covers the basics. But while ADT systems work with Z-Wave compatible equipment, SimpliSafe systems don’t. This seriously limits your options for syncing a SimpliSafe system with third-party smart home devices like lights, locks, outlets, and thermostats.
ADT and SimpliSafe also offer dramatically different installation options. ADT sends professionals to install your system and SimpliSafe mails you equipment to install on your own.
Our recommended ADT provider, Protect Your Home, can often install equipment within 24 to 48 hours of your call. That means you get your equipment much faster than if you waited for SimpliSafe to mail it out. The other benefit of having your equipment professionally installed is that there will be someone there to answer your questions about how the equipment works and give you advice about possible security risks in your home.
But DIY installation has its perks too. SimpliSafe sends your equipment preprogrammed, so it’s a simple setup. And since no one is coming to your house, you don’t have to take time off work to be home for an installation. Plus, no one will try and upsell you on equipment you don’t want.
If you need to get ahold of customer service, ADT has more availability than almost any other security company. It offers 24/7 support over the phone or through live chat. You can also get help over email.
SimpliSafe has long customer service hours—9 a.m. to midnight (EST)—but it doesn’t offer the 24/7 support larger companies like ADT provide. You can contact SimpliSafe over the phone or through email, but it doesn’t have a live chat option.
But while SimpliSafe has less customer service availability, it offers you financial flexibility that ADT doesn’t match.
But while SimpliSafe has less customer service availability, it offers you financial flexibility that ADT doesn’t match. Because SimpliSafe monitoring plans are optional, you can cancel your monitoring service any time if you need extra money for holiday presents, medical bills, or moving expenses. SimpliSafe also has no contracts, so it doesn’t charge fees for canceling your monthly plan. In contrast, ADT requires a 36-month contract. If you cancel early, you have to pay 75% of the remaining balance.
Because ADT and SimpliSafe are so different, we can’t really recommend one over the other. Instead, we suggest choosing the one that’s the best fit for your home and your budget.
If you want a full system with a huge support network, we recommend ADT. It offers tons of support, whether you need help learning how your equipment works or troubleshooting an issue in the middle of the night. Plus, you’ll have more options if you want to sync third-party devices like garage door controllers, smart lights, and automatic door locks. To learn more about ADT plans, read our full review.
If you’re on a budget and you just need the basics, SimpliSafe is a fantastic affordable choice. You can get the security equipment you need without a long-term contract. And if you decide you want professional monitoring, that option is always on the table. Read our full SimpliSafe review to learn more.