Security Systems

SimpliSafe vs ADT: Is ADT Better Than SimpliSafe? We Compare Cost, Quality, Installation, And More

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SimpliSafe and ADT yard signs side by side (Caption: SimpliSafe vs ADT)SimpliSafe and ADT can protect your home from intruders, but the two companies vary in their offerings. If home security is your priority, SimpliSafe can do the job at a lower cost. But if you want some added features, like home automation, you may want to pay the extra money for ADT.

Visit SimpliSafe’s Website | Visit ADT’s Website

Customer Service & Reputation

SimpliSafe has excellent customer service, while ADT’s can be more hit or miss depending on which authorized dealer you use.

Authorized Dealer vs DIY Installation

Professionally installed systems, like those provided by ADT, tend to be outsourced to local authorized dealers. This means your installation and customer service experience may vary greatly depending on whom your local ADT provider is. The same is not true of SimpliSafe, who directly sells and supports your DIY system.

The BBB (Better Business Bureau) can be a reliable indicator of how a company handles consumer complaints. How did our two companies fare?

  • SimpliSafe: A+ (accredited)
  • ADT*: A+ (accredited)

*The ADT rating is for their corporate office, who does not install your system. You’ll need to look up your local ADT reseller to see if they have a rating.

ADT Complaints

  • Extra charges on bills.
  • Incomplete installations.
  • High-pressure sales tactics.
  • Refusal to cancel service.
  • Lack of customer support when issues arise.
  • Customers being told contradictory information regarding contracts.

SimpliSafe Complaints

  • Requesting to be unsubscribed from emails and still getting emails.
  • Continuing to be billed after canceling.
  • Tech support may require multiple calls to fix an issue.

While no company has positive reviews from every single customer, ADT does seem to have more negative feedback than SimpliSafe, and the criticisms are more severe than ones we found for SimpliSafe.

SimpliSafe logo

Winner: SimpliSafe


Below is a table of the security equipment offered by each company.

SimpliSafe ADT
Additional Keypad Checkmark Checkmark
Keychain Remote Checkmark Checkmark
Door/Window Sensor Checkmark Checkmark
Motion Sensor Checkmark Checkmark
Indoor Camera Checkmark Checkmark
Outdoor Camera Checkmark
Doorbell Camera Checkmark Checkmark
Glass Break Sensor Checkmark Checkmark
Panic Button Checkmark Checkmark
Smoke Detector Checkmark Checkmark
CO Detector Checkmark Checkmark
Freeze Sensor Checkmark
Water Sensor Checkmark Checkmark
Additional Siren Checkmark Checkmark
Smart Switch Checkmark
Smart Door Lock Checkmark Checkmark
Smart Light Bulb Checkmark
Garage Door Sensor Checkmark
Compatible Smart Thermostat Checkmark

The fact that SimpliSafe doesn’t offer an outdoor camera (only indoor) is alarming since that’s a common way to catch a criminal’s mugshot and potentially deter them. We’d like to see SimpliSafe offer outdoor cameras in the near future as well as more smart gear missing in the table above.

SimpliSafe makes its own wireless equipment. ADT offers wireless and wired equipment manufactured by other companies, like Ademco, DSC, Honeywell and Interlogix.

Both company’s systems perform well. The equipment holds up and, for the most part, does what it says it will do. SimpliSafe has more complaints about its equipment staying connected than ADT does.

SimpliSafe has a 3-year warranty, while ADT offers a lifetime equipment warranty as long as you have an ADT monitoring plan and have a plan higher than its Essential plan ($27.99/month).

In the end, ADT wins this category because it offers outdoor security cameras, its equipment has fewer complaints, and it has a longer warranty.

ADT Authorized Dealer logo

Winner: ADT


Most of us want the most advanced and up-to-date equipment options. Both companies offer home automation integrations.

ADT Compatibilities

  • Z-wave equipment
  • Amazon Alexa
  • Kwikset door locks
  • ADT home automation equipment:
    • Smart bulbs
    • Smart thermostat
    • Video doorbell
    • Smart switches
    • Garage door controller

SimpliSafe Compatibilities

  • Amazon Alexa
  • Google Assistant
  • Nest thermostat
  • August door lock (SimpliSafe does not require or support Z-wave, so Z-wave compatibility is not necessary)
  • SimpliSafe’s video doorbell

Battery Backup

If you lose power (during a storm or by a burglar cutting wires), a battery backup will keep your system online for a set amount of time until power is restored. ADT and SimpliSafe both have 24-hour battery backup.

Cellular vs Landline Monitoring

Cellular monitoring is more secure than landline because there’s no concern about a burglar cutting your phone wires. All of SimpliSafe’s plans have cellular monitoring, while ADT’s starting plans have landline (phone) monitoring. You must upgrade for cellular.

App Performance & Ratings

Below are the Apple App Store and Google Play Store ratings and number of reviews to give you an idea of what readers think of each company’s respective app.

ADT has two apps ADT Pulse and ADT Control. The control panel you have will determine the app you use. ADT Command Panel is newer and is replacing older ADT Pulse panels and in exchange, replacing the ADT Pulse app with the ADT Control app.

SimpliSafe App Complaints

  • Closing on its own
  • Not updating
  • Not staying connected with the system
  • Having to pay to use it

ADT App Complaints

  • Cameras not staying connected to it
  • Status of the system being unavailable
  • Devices not responding to commands

If you want more integrations and home automation, ADT gives you more options. If you don’t plan to integrate other devices in to your system or use many smart home gadgets, you may want to go with SimpliSafe because of its automatic cellular monitoring.

ADT Authorized Dealer logo

Winner: ADT


To see how these two compare in a real world situation, let’s go over an example of a common configuration in a household with the equipment below:

  • 8 door/window sensors
  • 1 keypad
  • 1 motion sensor
  • 1 keychain remote
  • 1 siren

You’ll additionally want to know that ADT locks you into a 3-year contract, while SimpliSafe doesn’t require a commitment. For the sake of this example, we’ll say you keep the system for 3 years. Here’s an example of how much it would cost you through ADT and SimpliSafe.

ADT SimpliSafe
Equipment $0 $418.93
Installation $99 $0
Professional Monitoring $44.99/month
Total Spent After 3 Years $1,718.64 $958.57

There’s more of an upfront cost with SimpliSafe’s system since you have to pay for the equipment, but the monitoring is less than half of ADT’s. ADT has 10 monitoring stations and SimpliSafe has 6.

SimpliSafe logo

Winner: SimpliSafe

Ease Of Use

ADT SimpliSafe
Wireless Equipment Checkmark Checkmark
Wired Equipment Checkmark
Installation Professional DIY
Easily Relocate Checkmark

Both systems are easy to use after the setup process is complete. People rave about how easy it is to install SimpliSafe. Meanwhile, ADT requires a professional which means you’ll need to schedule an installation appointment. Unfortunately many ADT resellers we’ve encountered have a poor reputation for being on time or keeping their appointments.

SimpliSafe logo

Winner: SimpliSafe

What’s The Verdict?

SimpliSafe and ADT have two separate target customers. We recommend SimpliSafe if you’re comfortable with DIY installation, not concerned about advanced home automation features, don’t want a long-term contract and want a more affordable monitoring fee. Its equipment is simple, and pricing is clear.

If you want professional installation, advanced integrations for home automation equipment, more equipment options and don’t mind being locked into a 3-year commitment, then you may prefer ADT.

SimpliSafe logo

Winner: SimpliSafe

If you’d like to learn more about these companies, read our individual reviews on SimpliSafe and ADT, which include pros, cons, key features and customer testimonials. Both companies are included in our top picks for home security system too.

Which company do you trust to protect your home?

Kimberly Alt

Kimberly is our home security expert and has been writing about security and safety since 2013, covering everything from security systems and home automation to identity theft protection, home warranties, medical alert systems, and more. She has personally tested hundreds of system components and interfaced with dozens of home security companies to find out what’s happening behind the scenes. Her work has appeared in many notable brands, including The New York Times' Wirecutter, Reader's Digest, Forbes, People, Woman's World, and Huffington Post. In 2018, she had her first child, which opened up a whole new avenue of security experience with baby gear. She wanted to purchase the safest items for her family. Kimberly received her Bachelor of Arts in multimedia journalism from Simpson College. Her natural curiosity helps her research as she seeks the truth when learning about, comparing, and personally testing products and services.

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