SimpliSafe vs ADT

SimpliSafe and ADT are considered among the top brands in the home security market. ADT uses independent representatives to sell and install their products. SimpliSafe sells Do-It-Yourself sensors only. SimpliSafe packages, containing a set amount of equipment, can be bought through their website or online retailers like Amazon. Extra equipment can only be purchased from their website.

SimpliSafe vs ADT

ADT’s primarily Honeywell technology has a sleeker, more modern look than the equipment SimpliSafe has manufactured and branded abroad. The SimpliSafe have an older, larger look to them. The user satisfaction ratings for both types, however, are high, and the quality of sensors provided by ADT and SimpliSafe universally admired.

You can see some of the differences on their respective websites though much information is left out. For example, ADT has a very aggressive sales force and emphasizes that the homeowner does not need to do anything, just call and signup. SimpliSafe does everything through its website, Amazon and a few more online retailers and promotes DIY.

However, each approaches costing, contracts and other things differently.

We have done the research for you. Below we compare ADT and SimpliSafe monitoring contracts, cost differences, user ratings, warranties, and more to help you make an informed decision. Overall, we prefer SimpliSafe for any homeowner requiring basic home security service. However, SimpliSafe systems have certain limitations. ADT does not have these restrictions.


  • Cellular transmission
  • Smartphone apps are available free of charge


  • SimpliSafe has month-to-month contracts. ADT requires three-year contracts
  • ADT uses Honeywell sensors and SimpliSafe outsources the manufacturing and brands them with their name
  • SimpliSafe requires you to purchase all equipment upfront. ADT essentially leases the equipment in the packages to you for the duration of your contract
  • SimpliSafe monthly monitoring fees are lower than ADT’s charges
  • SimpliSafe has a sixty-day, and ADT a two week, full refund policy
  • SimpliSafe systems cannot manage Z-Wave smart home appliances
  • SimpliSafe does not offer video monitoring

Comparison Overview Chart of Basic Packages

Package NameEssentialsStarter
Monthly Monitoring Fee*$36.99$24.99
Equipment Costnonenone
Activation and/or Installation Fee$199.00none
Contract Length3 years1-3 years
Equipment ManufacturerHoneywellProprietary
Number of Door/Window Sensor31
Motion Sensor Included11
BBB RatingA+A+

*Fee can vary depending on local dealer and online specials or coupons

Comparison Overview Chart of Top Packages Offered

Package NamePulse SelectSmart Complete
Monthly Monitoring Fee$49.99$24.99
Equipment Costnone$539.85
Activation and/or Installation Fee$199.00none
Contract Length3 yearsmonth to month
Equipment ManufacturerHoneywellProprietary
Smartphone and Remote Access ManagementYesYes
Z-Wave ControlYesNo
Video AvailabilityYesNo
Door/Window Sensor Included34
Motion Sensor12
Money Back Guarantee14 days30 days
Panic ButtonNoYes
Extra SirenNoYes
Smoke DetectorNoYes
Carbon Monoxide DetectorNoYes
Water DetectorNoYes
Freeze SensorNoYes
Keychain Remote12
Touchscreen ConsoleYesYes
iTunes App Rating2.5 stars2.5 stars
Android App Rating3.5 stars4 stars
Blackberry App Rating4 stars3.5 stars

*Fee can vary depending on local dealer and online specials or coupons

Comparison Overview
If you are looking for aesthetically pleasing sensors and detectors, ADT is the best choice. The SimpliSafe design is bulkier and generally larger. However, the quality of the SimpliSafe sensors compares very favorably with the ADT/Honeywell sensors. Users give both companies high marks for the reliability of components.

ADT requires professional installation. They charge also have an activation and installation fee. SimpliSafe is all Do-It-Yourself, and everything comes preprogrammed.

One major difference is how each company handles monitoring. SimpliSafe requires no contracts. You can sign up for monitoring and cancel at any time.

SimpliSafe has very reasonable monthly monitoring costs that are lower than most competitors charge, including ADT’s price.

Most complaints about home security companies relate to strict, and long-term, contracts. The month-to-month contract offered by SimpliSafe makes their system very attractive to many homeowners.

ADT offers several camera choices and includes video monitoring as part of their service. SimpliSafe does not yet have video as part of any of their packages.

ADT also can manage smart home appliances connected by Z-Wave technology. SimpliSafe control panels do not have Z-Wave compatibility.

Winner and Loser Categories

Company Reputation

Winner: SimpliSafe

ADT suffers from an aggressive sales force reputation. The contract termination fees and misunderstandings due to exaggerated or inaccurate representation of the terms results in lower rankings from users.

Both companies, however, have good service reputations. ADT maintains all their equipment. SimpliSafe provides excellent DIY support through their chat, video and phone lines.


Winner: SimpliSafe

The SimpliSafe monthly contract pricing is considerably lower than ADT’s price for all packages. If you do not need Z-Wave or video, SimpliSafe has a better deal.

You will, however, be required to buy your equipment upfront from SimpliSafe whereas ADT essentially leases the components to you. SimpliSafe and ADT charge approximately the same price for individual sensors and detectors.


Winner: SimpliSafe

The one and three year ADT contracts lock consumers in and result in substantial penalties for early termination.

The month to month contracts for SimpliSafe monitoring are more attractive to most homeowners.

Packages and Contents

Winner: SimpliSafe

SimpliSafe provides much more equipment with their advanced packages than ADT. If you bought all the equipment offered by SimpliSafe for your ADT system, your out-of-pocket would be at least as much or more than the package cost for SimpliSafe.

Ease of Installation

Winner: ADT

ADT wins since homeowners do not have to do anything. ADT technicians install, service and remove their systems. SimpliSafe is DIY.

Equipment Quality and Technology

Winner: Tie

The pricing and quality of Honeywell and SimpliSafe products are about the same.


Winner: SimpliSafe

ADT advertises a six-month return policy, but only on installation. SimpliSafe has a sixty-day, full refund policy on all or any of the equipment and a three-year product warranty.


Winner: ADT

ADT will fix your system for free for any non-user related problem.

SimpliSafe will assist homeowners with problem-solving but if you are unable to repair it after using their support service, you must find and pay a local company to service the system.

Comparison Summary

SimpliSafe and ADT both have sound systems. SimpliSafe provides homeowners with quality sensors, despite their bulkiness, at the same or better price as ADT. The month-to-month contracts are a better deal too.

However, if you need video, want to use your home security system to manage your Z-Wave appliances, or want a sleeker, more modern look to your sensors and detectors, then ADT is a better choice.  To learn more visit our ADT review and SimpliSafe review.



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