Simplisafe vs ADT – Reviews & Comparison

Simplisafe vs ADT – Reviews & Comparison

Blue and White Security Companies in a Head to Head Battle

So you've come across SimpliSafe and are wondering how it compares to the other blue and white company, ADT.  Maybe you heard David Ramsey or another talk show host go on and on about SimpliSafe on a radio commercial (which you can bet they themselves don't use their system.)  SimpliSafe has done a number of things right when it comes to marketing but in our mind if you are going to compare apples to apples to ADT, then you might as well say SimpliSafe has the rotten red apple while ADT is holding the shiny green one.  Let's get into why...

Comparison chart

Pricing:

SimpliSafe

ADT

Starting Costs:       

Do-it-yourself installation
$300-$539 packages

$99 installation
$0 activation

Monthly Cost:

 $24.99+

$36+

Equipment:

Proprietary.  White labeled equipment.

Pulse, GE & Honeywell

Advantages:

No contracts

No early termination fees

Positive customer reviews

Trusted and reputable company.

No large lump sum of money to get started

Move equipment for you anywhere in USA

$899 free in equipment

Expert technician

Great home automation

Disadvantages:

When you move, you have to take
down and move equipment.

You install the system yourself

Basic system, not great for automation

Very expensive starting costs

36 month agreement

BBB Rating:

A

A- and accredited

Founded:

2006

1874

Monitoring:

24/7 nationally.

24/7 USA, Canada, Mexico and other countries

History of Companies

Way back when & website comparison

How they operate and market their business is very different.  First of all, ADT uses authorized dealers who provide their own marketing and equipment.  They are required to maintain a high standard for their equipment and marketing.  By doing this plus corporate advertising (what you see on TV and internet) they cover the nation entirely.  SimpliSafe doesn't have a dealer program, they do have an affiliate program that several websites use to push their products to consumers.  We have not done this at this time due to not wanting to promote a company we believe is not a good fit for users.

When doing SimpliSafe website reviews, it felt much more like a scam when you visit their website... It is full of 'As seen on' or 'As heard by Dave Ramsey' with BRIGHT RED TEXT in areas.  ADT's website is more professional and calm, not feeling violated or worrying about fake testimonials.   

Too see what we mean, see these screenshots below:

ADT Website Screenshot

Here is SimpliSafes with the Red and news reports (anyone online can pay for a PR package to be featured on top News sites) giving it a very fake feeling:

 

SimpliSafe Website Screenshot


Simplisafe Reviews

Dave RamseyDave Ramsey loves them (or at least gets paid too) and maybe that is what got you researching Simplisafe security in the first place.  He is their primary spokesperson and anytime you tune in to his radio show you will hear him talk about this company.  Like our top picks Frontpoint and Protect America,  Simplisafe is a do it yourself installation company.  You should know that right from the beginning and if this doesn't appeal to you we suggest an ADT alarm who will install it for you.

A glance at the pros and cons of SimpliSafe Security:

Pros
  • Trusted brand
  • Good history
  • Positive customer reviews
  • Multi purpose sensors for medical pendants
  • A+ BBB rating

 

Cons
  • Very high upfront fees
  • Outdated equipment
  • No security cameras
  • Limited live support

We'll cover all the aspects of their security system below so you can decide if they are the best company for you.

SimpliSafe monitoring & security system costs 

Users pay upfront for the equipment on top of a monthly monitoring rate.

Most security companies give a complete free security system for signing up for their service.  This is really where Simplisafe sticks it to the consumer because you pay upfront for their equipment $300-600 on top of a monthly fee of $24.99.

Here are the different packages offered by SimpliSafe Security:

ultimate package

1 - Ultimate Package.  $540.  Expensive, several better deals with any of the best DIY security systems we reviewed.  Comes with a lot of home security equipment, more than the average house needs.  If purchased, you will most likely have a lot of unused equipment.

For the same amount of equipment, you can get Protect America and pay $34.99 in monitoring, saving yourself $540.

This Ultimate package comes with enough equipment to cover homes with 3-5 bedrooms and 3 doors that lead to outside.  No security cameras come with this package which is surprising since it is their most expensive one.  If you have this kind of money to spend upfront on a smart alarm we recommend you check out ADT Pulse, you can see how they compare to Simplisafe here.

simplisafe master package

2 - Master Package. $450.  Not much change from Ultimate with this package.  You don't get a smoke sensors and no emergency pendant.  Still includes 14 other sensors.

simplisafe classic package

3 - Classic Package. $350. One less motion detector from the Master package and a good all around setup for most consumers.  This will cover most homes easily without leaving you with excess equipment.

simplisafe economy package

4 - Economy Package.  $260.  If you are going to get Simplisafe, it'd be smart to start out with this Economy package.  You can always buy and add on more equipment later.  The economy package is good for middle class homes, apartments, condos or mobile trailers.

You can buy the Economy Package here


What kind of Security Equipment does SimpliSafe offer?

Most security companies distribute Honeywell and General Electric equipment.  This is one thing that stands out with SimpliSafe is their white labeled equipment.  We rate it 3.5 of 5 stars.  Each sensor has a backup battery.  The siren is loud enough to wake you up at night if a burglar enters (and most likely a few of the neighbors too).

simplisafe motion sensor

Motion Detector - These work by peel-and-place in highly trafficked areas of your home, such as hallways or a living room.  It is infrared and detects any heat wave over 45 lbs.  If you have a large guard dog inside you might want to swap these out for something else.

You can add a motion sensor for $40 anytime.  Buy it by clicking here.

SimpliSafe-security-Camera

Security Camera - Their camera is nice but is going to cost a lot of money upfront.  Users are able to connect to it through their free smart phone app.  It is an indoor camera so it shouldn't be put anywhere outside where the temperature and weather can effect it.  This is NOT a pan and tilt camera.  Meaning wherever you place it is what you will see.  Honestly this camera is not as effective for the price so if you want DIY home automation it is more economical to go with Frontpoint who will throw in a camera for free.  If you are looking for a standalone security camera, you may be interested in the Canary or Cocoon which have better technology and serve as a multipurpose sensor.

Time to be the handyman...

They claim it can be install it in under 5 minutes which is simply not true.  Expect 30-90 minutes.

Here's how it should go 

1 - You buy one of their packages
2 - You get the equipment shipped (pre-activated) to you
3 - Peel and stick the sensors to areas.  You place the door sensors on top of door etc.  It is an easy process but don't let their advertising get the best of you.  We recommend using a professional installation company.  If you are a crafty or technically-skilled person then it will be easy for you.
4 - After installation, call their support and they will finish activating the system and test it over the phone.

Note - Several things may effect how long it takes to install such as: your comfort level with technology, ability to reach high corners, ability to follow how-to guides.

Their false advertisement:

simplisafe save thousands ad

We saw this SimpliSafe ad and just have to tear it apart:

First of all, you don't save 'thousands' of dollars by doing it yourself.  Most companies charge $99 install if that!  Second, the title says 'Five-Minute installation'.  Unless you are Superman and can fly through your house that is absolutely a ridiculous claim to have.  Expect 30-90 minutes at least.

The who, what, when, where and why of SimpliSafe

Founded in 2006 in Boston, MA by Chad Laurans who had been a victim of home burglary.  With that personal experience he went to work and created what is now SimpliSafe security.  While some companies are known by offering the 'latest and greatest' these guys are known for being basic and offering what works.

They offer national monitoring service in all 50 states and have more than 150 employees.  They do lack backup monitoring stations, meaning if something bad such as a natural disaster happened to their primary monitoring station you may be left without a provider.

Alarm Reviews conclusion on SimpliSafe

Call us biased or whatever you may but if you end up forking out $300-900 (by the time you add camera and other sensors you need) for SimpliSafe, you really didn't get the best deal or security system.  If you are comfortable committing to a 36 month agreement where you can still move nationwide, any of our top 3 beat these guys.

Security Equipment

ADT VS SimpliSafe Security System Comparison

ADT was making security equipment most likely before you were born.  Their Pulse automation is a smooth experience in and out of the home along with great equipment.  You get a good amount at base price and any extra cameras etc. you need can be added on.  Simplisafe's equipment is white labeled meaning they have their own brand of equipment.  This is unique to them and only a couple of other companies.  

ADT uses GE and Honeywell's equipment and has a proprietary app for Pulse control.  You pay upfront for the equipment, between $300-700.  It is better than something you would get at Walmart or Home Depot but it is nothing to brag about like ADT Pulse's home automation may be.  Like SimpliSafe's name says, they are simple.  


Final Conclusion

We hope we helped you compare these two companies side by side to help you can make the best buying decision.  Regardless of who you choose, both companies have a great BBB rating and you do not have to worry about either one running away with your money. 

We declare ADT as the dominate winner!  Please share any stories you may have of one or the other below.

You can buy Simplisafe at the best price with Free Shipping by clicking here. 

Free Quote

20 Comments
  1. Cathy
    12/06/2015 at 19:37
    Reply

    Thanks for sharing this comparison! ADT is definitely the company I've heard more about and see signs in neighborhoods for. I do like the fact that you don't have to do the installation yourself for ADT. I like that SimpliSafe doesn't require a contract though but as long as you can move around the country within your agreement which I know you can then really 3 years isn't that big of a deal unless you don't think you'll have a house 3 years from now.

  2. Gregory
    07/16/2015 at 14:57
    Reply

    Why in the world are SimpliSafe’s starting costs so high? I guess this is to compensate for the positives as no contracts and no early termination fee, right? I have no problems in installing the system myself and the $15+ difference in monthly plans between the two is enough for me to give SimpliSafe a chance. If they don’t work out I will switch to ADT immediately. That’s why I love the "no early termination fee" feature; it gives me the chance to test them out and see for myself.

    • Dianne Saunders
      10/06/2015 at 17:21
      Reply

      Yes this is the case with anything where there is no contract. They have to charge you outright for the devices and such because they can't trust to get them back. Think of how cell phone companies are. It is not much different. I personally love the option even though I pay more.

    • Fred
      05/01/2016 at 15:54
      Reply

      Simplisafe at $20/mo for three years is $720. Plus the $650+/- for equipment brings you around $1400. I would rather get ADT who will install it professionally for $99 starting costs and after 3 years you only end up paying around $199 for a better company. You can then always switch your monitoring and have better Pulse equipment over the Simplisafe cheap security system.

  3. Brody
    06/04/2015 at 14:51
    Reply

    Great comparison. Yeah seen those over the top reviews and ads of Simplisafe everywhere. Can't blame them, they have to get those customers. I have an ADT setup at my house I don't remember since when, which will tell you the story about how satisfied I'm with them. That being said, my friend has a Simplisafe system at his house and barring few hiccups, he said the system is working good. So, it's all about individual experiences at the end of the day. Though, nothing to beat ADT... obviously.

  4. Jennifer
    05/10/2015 at 13:04
    Reply

    As I was looking for a home security system service for my new house, I contacted several companies and told them about my requirements. Calls from various companies came and I finalized between Simplisafe and ADT. As I was on a budget, I was drifting more towards Simplisafe because of the lower monthly cost. But after reading this comparison review between both, I have finally made up my mind on ADT. Thank god, I came to your site and read this review before making the final decision. In the end, I prefer peace of mind over any other thing. I will manage paying a little more to ADT but can't compromise on overall quality and comfort.

  5. Ray
    04/15/2015 at 09:17
    Reply

    Have had ADT for years but will admit, the monthly monitoring cost continues to rise. It is now @ $45.33. You would think they would give long time customers better rates but not always the case. That cost does include cellular monitoring at least, I'm on the fence about switching to Simplisafe, their start up costs are close to $500 and not sure if the hassle really pays off. Thank you for the review!

    • Chett
      11/30/2015 at 22:05
      Reply

      Thanks for the analysis of this company. So you don't think that Simplisafe is worth the upfront costs? I've been seriously considering it but I'm not too sure about the rise in cost as you said.

  6. Jamez
    03/30/2015 at 14:42
    Reply

    Had ADT in the past and then Xfinity Home most recently until I got fed up with their customer servcie which is the same reason why I left ADT. I am now using Simplisafe. I was skeptical at first but after reading reviews, I gave it a shot. I would say I really like Simplisafe because of the low monthly cost (you pay higher up front) and so far their customer service has been very helpful. Some may be turned away because it is a DIY product but it is sooo easy to install. The only negative so far for me is that their door sensors are so bulky and they do not offer cameras.

  7. Wendy Magierski
    03/27/2015 at 13:33
    Reply

    Recently, there were a few break-ins within my area and yes it made my whole family worried, but ever since installing SimpliSafe my family has no worries about security. Setup is very simple, you can do it by yourself and the phone app is properly designed and easy to navigate.

  8. Marcos
    02/23/2015 at 09:54
    Reply

    Although they (Simplisafe) try very hard to get noticed but frankly no one I know knows about them and I'm sure even if some people know about them, they won't risk spending their hard earned money on a company who has average equipment and questionable business tactics. And honestly comparing them with a beast like ADT is not fair. Great synopsis though!

    • Dan
      03/01/2015 at 12:46
      Reply

      I am one of the ones who had no idea they even were around. I think places like ADT are so far a head of companies like this that many people (including myself) would rather use a well established company over one that is basically new. I enjoyed these reviews but I have to agree with Marcos here on this one.

  9. Peter
    02/11/2015 at 23:51
    Reply

    I guess I don't understand SimpliSafe's ultimate plan in the home security niche. Do they still offer monitoring or are they a stand alone alarm product?

    • 02/17/2015 at 14:12
      Reply

      Hey Peter, Good question and easy confusion. They still are a monitoring station albeit less a month than most other companies ($14.99+). This comes with a hefty start up cost of $200+ and you rely on your own expertise to install it.

  10. Hector
    01/26/2015 at 09:19
    Reply

    This company has a lot of other critics behind it. Your review is very thorough which is nice. I think I might put them on my short list. Thanks!

  11. Mary Kress
    01/14/2015 at 12:40
    Reply

    Its amazing how much you hear about ADT due to all of the commercials and such. I have never heard of SimpliSafe before I came here to read the comparisons. I'm not sure which to give a try but it's good to learn about a new blue alternative.

  12. Rayna
    12/31/2014 at 10:50
    Reply

    Do you have information on whether Simplisafe services renters? I'm trying to figure out which companies do and this info was included in another of your great reviews. It would seem that they should because of the no contract stipulation, but I'm not finding it easily on their website. I can't use Vivint because they don't work with renters. Thanks for any info you can provide.

    • 01/03/2015 at 12:58
      Reply

      Hey Rayna., If we have done the research for you and have a guide where you can see who the best company is with renters, click on our 'Tools' tab and go to 'Help Me Choose' page.

  13. chris
    12/15/2014 at 18:36
    Reply

    I have had ADT and Simplisafe. The only thing ADT has on them is a bigger name. It does cost more to get started with Simplisafe but the monitoring is cheaper than ADT.

    • Martin
      12/19/2014 at 02:07
      Reply

      Thanks for sharing this, Chris! I’m on the edge between these two and was considering splurging on ADT but now I think I’ll go with SimpliSafe. Not having to sign a contract is a huge plus for me, I like knowing that I can cancel at any moment if I want to.

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