SimpliSafe vs. ADT : Home Security Comparison

Among the many companies, solutions and approaches to home security, no two companies better represent opposite ends of the spectrum than SimpliSafe and ADT Security.

Both are well known with strong brand presence and recognition among those seeking ways to protect, secure and monitor their homes and families.  ADT is the oldest and largest home alarm company in the U.S. with a history of service spanning over 100 years. And a presence in virtually every part of the country. Their white vans emblazoned with the blue octagon brand on the side are a familiar sight in just about every neighborhood.

For many, ADT’s iconic brand represents the traditional approach to home security. SimpliSafe, in the marketplace for only a few short years and still a relative newcomer, has quickly built a brand and identity as a modern security solution provider.

ADT Home Security 

History, tradition, stability. A tried-and-true, long-standing provider of home security solutions that relies on a national network of dealers and trained technicians to sell, install and service their systems and equipment.

SimpliSafe Security

The new face of home security, offering not only a modern approach to the idea of home security systems and equipment but to the very way the business of home security is done. Relying on wireless technology, SimpliSafe home security provides a system that can be setup by the homeowner quickly and easily – eliminating the need for a professional technician. Equipment is purchased up-front by the homeowner – and professional monitoring, while available, is optional- meaning no-contract home security.

Very different approaches to the same goal: reliable security and safety to protect home and family. Both have their merits and drawbacks, strengths and weaknesses. But when we put them next to one another, squared up in a direct, head-to-head comparison, who comes out on top? Does ADT still have what it takes to stay on top or has the SimpliSafe home security approach simply outmaneuvered the old giant by changing the way the game is played?

There’s only one way to find out, so let’s dig into the details and stand these two side by side to find out who wins when we compare SimpliSafe versus ADT Home Security.


  • Overall Rating
    9.0
  • BBB Rating
    A+
  • Support Rating
    8.7
  • Contract Length
    36/mo
  • Trial Period
    3 days
  • Warranty
    Lifetime
  • Install. Type
    Pro
  • (888) 241-8320
  • Overall Rating
    8.0
  • BBB Rating
    A+
  • Support Rating
    8.0
  • Contract Length
    n/a
  • Trial Period
    60 days
  • Warranty
    3 Year
  • Install. Type
    Self
  • (888) 957-4675

Overall Winner: ADT

The oldest provider in the home security industry maintains its leadership position with a nationwide presence of trained professionals and expansion and integration into the realm of home automation and IoT.

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Key Differences: ADT vs SimpliSafe

As we discussed above, SimpliSafe and ADT home security have drastically different philosophies and approaches when it comes to home security that many of their key and fundamental differences are readily apparent to even the most casual observer.

Let’s take a look at some of the most common concerns of homeowners when considering an alarm system and see how these two top providers stack up.

Contracts

There’s very little nuance here, and probably not much surprise either. ADT home security requires a standard 36-month contract for their home security system. If you want that “Protected By” blue octagon sign clearly displayed on your front lawn and the professionally-installed security system that goes along with it, you will need to sign a service contract agreeing to pay a monthly monitoring fee for a full three years. ADT requires a long-term service contract to cover the initial cost of the security equipment installed in your home as well as the ongoing costs of monitoring your system from one of their six certified central monitoring stations located throughout the country.

For many years, this has been a standard practice in the home security industry – similar to cell phone offers today, providers offer steep discounts on their technology and equipment to their customers and use long-term service contracts to recoup their costs. SimpliSafe home security approach took on that business practice directly when they entered the market by eliminating the requirement of a service contract. Of course, that comes with a price, too. Even though SimpliSafe home security doesn’t require a service contract, you will still have to pay a monthly fee for professional monitoring. And you’ll have to pay the entire price of your equipment upfront. For many, that is a significant out-of-pocket expense.

Installation

Similar to their approach to contracts, ADT Security and SimpliSafe have drastically different approaches to the installation process. With SimpliSafe home security, the homeowner is responsible for setting up their wireless security system. ADT Security charges their customers a fee of $99 – $199 to have their security system installed by a professional technician. DIY systems offer the convenience of simple, peel-n-stick setup and don’t require setting an appointment for the installer. With ADT, homeowners have the added comfort and peace of mind of a security professional physically reviewing their home prior to the installation to ensure the system and components used provided the most complete protection possible.

Monitoring

ADT Security still offers traditional landline monitoring connections – which most security providers and security experts recognize as a less secure method of communication with the monitoring center. Customers do have the option to upgrade to cellular monitoring – a worthwhile option, but one that will increase your costs.

ADT home security’s basic monitoring is only $36.99/mo while cellular monitoring is available with their CellGuard upgrade for $48.99/mo or with their ADT Pulse system which costs $52.99/mo.

SimpliSafe home security monitoring is cellular-based – and optional. And while it may seem attractive to some homeowners to have the ability to have a security system that doesn’t require any monthly fee at all, we’re hard-pressed to find the real value in having a security system that isn’t connected 24/7 to a professional monitoring center staffed by trained professionals with the singular focus of responding when you have a home emergency.

If a customer opts in, SimpliSafe’s monitoring comes in two different flavors:

Standard ($14.99/mo.)
24/7 monitoring through a cellular connection with the central monitoring station.

Interactive ($24.99/mo)
24/7 cellular communication to the monitoring station and interactive services like remote system control and text/email alerts.

While both providers offer sensors to cover a host of intrusion as well as environmental threat monitoring, SimpliSafe home security still does not have automation or camera options despite announcements in 2015 of a pending camera release.


Package & Feature Comparison

  • Monitoring Level
    Pulse Remote
  • Monitoring Cost
    $49.99
  • Upfront Cost
    $99
  • 24/7 Professional Monitoring of:
    Intrusion
    Fire
    Medical
    Environmental
  • Remote Access
  • Remote Control
  • Email / Text Alerts
  • Geo Services
  • Home Automation
  • (888) 241-8320
  • Monitoring Level
    Interactive
  • Monitoring Cost
    $24.99
  • Upfront Cost
    $259-$539
  • 24/7 Professional Monitoring of:
    Intrusion
    Fire
    Medical
    Environmental
  • Remote Access
  • Remote Control
  • Email / Text Alerts
  • Geo Services
  • Home Automation
  • (888) 957-4675

Comparison Break Down

Company Reputation

Winner: ADT

While both companies are accredited with the BBB and maintain A+ ratings, ADT security has been a leader in the home security space since the beginning. So while new entrant’s challenge the status quo and may cause ‘shifts’ in the market, ADT’s size and desire to maintain their position as a leader mean they will continue to evolve their products, services and attention to customer needs. With the recent acquisition of ADT by Apollo, we hope the organization continues to focus on product development and customer experience.

Pricing

Winner: SimpliSafe

On cost alone and despite requiring payment upfront for equipment, SimpliSafe home security is significantly less expensive than ADT. If price is ultimately the deciding factor in the security of your home, SimpliSafe may offer the best option, especially considering their no-contract position. However, if you are looking at your home security system as a long-term investment, ADT home security’s higher price also comes with significantly more system capabilities which add convenience and may even increase your homes market value. Learn more about how Home Security Can Increase Market Value of your home.

Service

Winner: ADT

With a nationwide network of trained security professionals, ADT security wins categorically. While SimpliSafe may offer a product warranty, knowing that a professional is readily available to come to your home to replace, repair or service your system is a significant component to peace of mind for homeowners looking for a security system the company stands behind and face-to-face with their customers.

Ease of Installation

Winner: ADT

Yes, SimpliSafe home security system is wireless and thus, easy to install for most homeowners. But you can’t really make a security system any easier to install than having a professional do it. And with nationwide coverage and a mover’s program, that means ADT home security has you covered throughout the life of your security – even if you move to a new home.

Equipment & Technology

Winner: ADT

We commend SimpliSafe for making cellular communication their primary form of connection between the security system and monitoring center, but overall, ADT security leads at length when it comes to their equipment and technology – especially as they continue to evolve new wireless products and IoT integration platforms that will allow homeowners to automate and monitor using smart devices from other IoT providers like Nest and others. Consider also that SimpliSafe home security still doesn’t include a video camera solution despite numerous announcements and ADT home security walks away with this win without breaking a sweat.

Warranty

Winner: ADT

Three years versus lifetime. ADT home security wins this one hands down. (Although it is worth noting that their lifetime warranty is only available if ADT’s Quality Service Plan (QSP) is part of your overall package it is included in select monitoring packages but can be added as an additional monthly fee to any package.

Support & Resources

Winner: ADT

With 24/7 phone and email support available, a complete online resource center and service technicians only an appointment away, ADT security is hard to beat in terms of their ability to assist their customers by just about any means necessary.

SimpliSafe also offers an online resource and support center as well as a troubleshooting section and user forum to help source solutions from other customers, but for many homeowners, knowing that an actual person can be sent to the home to help out when something goes wrong makes a world of difference and clearly puts ADT ahead in this category.


The Overall Winner: ADT

ADT security has remained the largest home security provider in the country for a reason and despite the impressive impact SimpliSafe home security has had on the industry and market as a whole, they simply fall short in too many crucial areas for us to even call it a close call. If you’ve researched all the available security options and come down to these two as your final options, we recommend the right solution for you is ADT home security.

ADT Advantages

  • 6 certified monitoring stations across the U.S.
  • 24/7 phone and email support for customers
  • Professional on-site installation and security assessment
  • Same Day Installation (based on availability)
  • New innovations and IoT integrations through their Canopy service
  • Full range of security & automation sensors and control options
FREE Camera Install.
$36.99 Monitoring
$99.00 Upfront cost
(888) 241-8320

Monitoring
Landline

User Rating
4.5/5

Installation
PRO
More Information
Oldest & largest home security company. Fast installation. Reliable Equipment. 6 Monitoring Stations.
60 Day Money Back
Lifetime Warranty w/ QSP
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