Home & Office
Why you can trust ZDNET : ZDNET independently tests and researches products to bring you our best recommendations and advice. When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission. Our process

'ZDNET Recommends': What exactly does it mean?

ZDNET's recommendations are based on many hours of testing, research, and comparison shopping. We gather data from the best available sources, including vendor and retailer listings as well as other relevant and independent reviews sites. And we pore over customer reviews to find out what matters to real people who already own and use the products and services we’re assessing.

When you click through from our site to a retailer and buy a product or service, we may earn affiliate commissions. This helps support our work, but does not affect what we cover or how, and it does not affect the price you pay. Neither ZDNET nor the author are compensated for these independent reviews. Indeed, we follow strict guidelines that ensure our editorial content is never influenced by advertisers.

ZDNET's editorial team writes on behalf of you, our reader. Our goal is to deliver the most accurate information and the most knowledgeable advice possible in order to help you make smarter buying decisions on tech gear and a wide array of products and services. Our editors thoroughly review and fact-check every article to ensure that our content meets the highest standards. If we have made an error or published misleading information, we will correct or clarify the article. If you see inaccuracies in our content, please report the mistake via this form.


SimpliSafe vs. ADT: Security companies compared

SimpliSafe and ADT stand out as two highly rated, experienced companies that provide competitive pricing paired with intuitive security systems.
Written by Reviews.com Staff, Contributor on

With so many home security companies flooding today's market, choosing the right plan for you can be incredibly daunting. The big players like ADT focus on heightened innovation and efficiency, while the smaller, home-grown companies spotlight exceptional customer service and ease of use. Competitors battle to tote the best pricing, contracts, installation, add-ons, monitoring, and smart home automation to please today's tech-savvy customers.

Among the multitude of options, SimpliSafe and ADT stand out as two highly rated, experienced companies that provide competitive pricing paired with intuitive security systems. Below, we'll discuss the primary differences between the two companies to help you choose which would be best for you.

SimpliSafe vs ADT overview

Cost of the basic plan$15 / month$36.99 / month
24/7 professional monitoringYesYes
TermsNo contract36-month contract
Theft protectionNoRefund up to $500
Money-back guarantee60-day6-month


There are two types of home security systems to choose from: DIY and professional. With a DIY home security system, you decide whether or not it's necessary to call the police. With professional monitoring, a monitoring center is alerted by the alarm devices in your home and calls the police on your behalf. While DIY is more cost-effective, professional monitoring is often provided 24/7 and incredibly timely, especially if you don't have your phone on you at all times. SimpliSafe and ADT both offer professional monitoring at competitive prices with 24/7 professional monitoring and at least six monitoring locations across the country. SimpliSafe, whose professional monitoring is supplied by C.O.P.S., also provides a DIY monitoring option for those who want it.


If you're looking for a reliable home security company that doesn't require a contract, SimpliSafe may be the better option for you. SimpliSafe takes a "no-nonsense" approach to security, so all you need to do is buy the equipment upfront and decide whether you want professional or DIY monitoring. ADT requires at least a 36-month contract, but with that, ADT customers get more than a century's worth of dedicated experience.

Home automation

Today's top home security systems give you the ability to connect your security system to your most loved smart home devices. With ADT Pulse, you can pair your security system with popular devices like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. This tool sends real-time alerts to your smartphone and lets you remotely arm and disarm, lock and unlock, watch live video feeds and more. SimpliSafe recently revamped their entire security equipment offering to be compatible with Nest Thermostat systems, Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and even your Apple Watch.


While SimpliSafe defaults to DIY installation (which is free) for customers who want it, they also offer professional installation upon request. ADT's professional installation ranges from $99 to $199, depending on the package.

So which is right for me?

If you…Then you should go with:Here's why:
Want theft protection guaranteeADTADT guarantees up to $500 toward your insurance deductible if a burglary occurs when your system is armed.
Want a no-fuss, simple security systemSimpliSafeSimpliSafe's no-contract DIY options cut down on confusion.
Want professional installationADTAlthough ADT charges between $99 and $199 for installation, you may want to consider a pro if you don't have time to install a system yourself or if you want the chance to ask questions in person.
No contractsSimpliSafeThere are no monthly contracts or fees with SimpliSafe, making this an ideal provider for DIYers looking for a no-frills experience or for people who move frequently.
Remote control over your entire home security systemADTADT Pulse gives you full control over your home security system from virtually anywhere. Remotely double-check locks, view video monitoring footage, and arm/disarm the alarm.

Points to consider


Everyone has a different budget and preferences when it comes to home security, which is why the best companies offer multiple packages of various prices and sizes. SimpliSafe offers six different packages with add-ons available. Prices range from $196 to $499. They also give you the option to build and customize your own system. ADT offers three packages ranging from $36.99 per month to $52.99 per month. All packages include a free monitoring system and offer installation starting at $99.

DIY vs professional home security

If you're looking for a DIY home security system option, SimpliSafe is the right option for you. Your devices are pre-configured right out of the box, so all you have to do is plug in the base station and place your sensors to get started.

SimpliSafe vs. ADT FAQ

What's the difference between ADT monitoring and SimpliSafe monitoring?

SimpliSafe and ADT both offer 24/7 professional monitoring with six monitoring locations across the country, but only SimpliSafe provides a DIY monitoring alternative.

Do both companies offer smart home integration?

Yes. Both companies' equipment has the ability to integrate with smart home devices like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.

Can I move with my home security system?

DIY home security systems will be able to make your move with you, as it's just a matter of removing your drill-free technology and installing it in your new home. As long as you're with a nationwide monitoring company, you should be able to move your professional home security system, so long as you don't mind paying for the technicians to uninstall and the re-rig your system. 

Relocation and termination fees may also apply, even if you're sticking with the same system in your new home.

Editorial standards