Simplisafe vs ADT – Which Is Best For You – Forbes Advisor


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A rising star in home security takes on the seasoned veteran. In 2006, Simplisafe began offering affordable home security options for those who can’t permanently install cameras. ADT opened up shop back in 1874, connecting homes to a central office by telegraph. Both companies occupy valuable, overlapping territory in the home security market, but which one is right for you?

Simplisafe At a Glance

SimpliSafe specializes in portable wireless home security systems that are easy to install and remove. They have carved out a niche in the industry with their easy DIY systems and low-cost professional monitoring plan that starts at $14.99 per month. Customers can take advantage of five different package offerings and bundle additional features to create a personalized system.

All SimpliSafe systems include a keypad, entry sensor and motion sensor. Additional components, such as environmental sensors, and security cameras, are available to personalize any package. Systems are compatible with Amazon Echo and Google Home Assistant. The entire offering uses clutter-free Wi-Fi connectivity.

SimpliSafe was included in our roundup of Best Home Security Companies 2021, for their effective, easy-to-use systems and low costs. They offer no-contract, cancel-anytime monitoring plans, and a 60-day money-back guarantee on everything they offer. All components come with a three-year warranty.

Pricing

SimpliSafe offers five home security hardware packages ranging in price from $229 to $489. Each comes with a base unit, key pad, entry sensor and motion sensor. Their premium kit also includes additional entry and motion sensors, a key fob, a siren, panic button and environmental sensors. Choose from individually priced components to supplement one of the systems, or create a fully customized system to fit your unique needs.

Professional Monitoring

SimpliSafe offers two levels of professional monitoring, starting at $14.99 per month for the Standard Plan. At this level, you get 24/7 monitoring of all system sensors, visual alarm verification and priority police dispatch.

The Interactive Plan, at $24.99 per month, offers the same high-level monitoring service with additional communication and connectivity. It comes with mobile app access, smart home integrations, text and email alerts and secret alerts. If you’re looking for voice activation and mobile video access, this is the plan for you.

Installation

This system was developed with budget-conscious DIYers in mind. All of the wireless components are designed for tool-less installation, with easy to use peel and stick pads for any components that must be wall-mounted. Even so, they do offer professional setup for $79.

Home Automation/Smart Home Features

If you use Amazon Alexa, Google Home, or Apple Watch, SimpliSafe’s system can easily be integrated for voice activation. The optional Smart Lock feature can lock the door on a timer, notify you when anyone locks or unlocks the door, or if someone enters the wrong PIN too many times and dispatch the police in the event of a break-in.

Other Benefits

SimpliSafe’s security camera, the SimpliCam, is engineered for simplicity and clarity. It is smart enough to differentiate a human from a pet, and it allows you to record with the push of a button. It captures audio and video, including night vision, within a 120-degree field of view. It alerts you of an intrusion, sending fully encrypted video to your phone, and stores recorded video for 30 days. When you don’t want to record, a privacy shutter has you covered.

Fine Print

While SimpliSafe can be integrated with Alexa, Google, or Siri for voice control, other smart home integrations are lacking. The one notable smart application is the smart lock control.

The security camera is a one-for-all device. While it’s a good camera, it must be retrofitted with a “raincoat” for outdoor use. There is not a true outdoor camera option. Also, the SimpliCam requires AC power and Wi-Fi, which may be limited in an outdoor setting.

In the event of a service or equipment issue, live support options are limited. SimpliSafe does not offer a live chat service. They do offer phone support during business hours, which can lead to long wait times.

Finally, in order to get all of the benefits of SimpliSafe’s professional monitoring capabilities, you need to go with the Interactive Monitoring plant. The cost difference between Standard and Interactive is only $10, so the added monthly charge is probably worth it for most consumers.

Methodology

Why We Picked It:

  • Easy DIY security camera system
  • Low monthly cost
  • Free mobile app

Brief methods explanation: To determine the best outdoor security camera ranking, the Forbes Home Improvement editorial team analyzed third-party data on 17 major companies, with each product’s star rating determined by evaluating a variety of metrics, including:

  • Costs/Contracts (15%)
  • App Reviews (15%)
  • Customer Reviews (15%)
  • Customer Support (15%)
  • Features/Smart Home Integration (20%)
  • Options And Equipment (15%)
  • Warranty (5%)

ADT At a Glance

For more than 140 years, ADT has been a leader in home security. Whether you’re looking for a simple wireless system for self-monitoring or a full-service setup with round the clock support, ADT can help. They built their business on customized systems, high-quality equipment, professional installation and 24/7 monitoring services.

ADT systems are fully customizable with high-quality electronics at competitive prices. In addition to touch screen security panels, motion sensors and 720p HD cameras with 2-way audio and night vision, the offerings include an extensive list of environmental and safety monitors like smoke detectors, water leak detectors, gas sensors, panic buttons and more.

The extensive list of connectivity features includes Amazon Echo and Google Assistant compatibility, as well as smart home compatibility with ten different digital security products. In our list of Best Home Security Companies 2021, ADT earned the Best Professional Monitoring pick.

Pricing

With ADT, you’ll work with a customer service representative to design your system, which will be professionally installed. Packages start at $28.99 per month, plus a $99 fee for basic package installation. Premium packages and additional features cost more.

The average installation fee is $150. Actual monthly monitoring and equipment charges vary based on the package you choose. A 36-month contract is required for all systems, with a six-month money-back guarantee.

Professional Monitoring

All ADT packages include 24/7 professional monitoring for intrusions, fire, flood and carbon monoxide detection. Each includes a touch screen control panel and voice control compatibility with Amazon Alexa and Google Home Assistant. Premium packages also include mobile app access, smart home automation and video security with stored video clips.

Installation

ADT systems are installed professionally. All systems include a digital control panel, entryway contacts, motion detector, wireless keychain remote, yard signs and window decals and 24/7 professional monitoring. Most customers add additional sensors, cameras or other peripheral equipment as well. The tech sets up and tests the system, then walks you through how to control it, and will even get you up to speed on the mobile app.

Home Automation/Smart Home Features

ADT’s smart home offerings include door locks, smoke detectors, smart plugs and garage controllers. With the ability to remotely control the system from anywhere using the mobile app, you will receive notifications if anything is amiss.

ADT systems also integrate other smart home devices that you may have. They offer discounts on installation of systems that utilize Alexa, and offer Alexa Guard, ADT Command and an Echo Dot with free activation. They can work with you to make your whole house Google Home compatible or add security features to a SmartThings hub.

Other Benefits

ADT equipment is leased rather than purchased outright, so the upfront cost is relatively low. The monthly charge includes monitoring and equipment costs. At the end of the 36-month contract, you own the equipment.

ADT offers both landline and cellular connectivity. This can provide a more reliable connection to the monitoring center in case of downed lines or an interrupted cellular signal.

In the event of system or equipment problems, ADT offers 24/7 live customer support. You can reach them via live chat or phone.

Fine Print

ADT receives consistently low scores on customer support. Poor scores are mostly related to cancellations and service changes, such as when the client is moving mid-contract. Be sure to carefully read and understand the agreement before signing. If your living arrangements are subject to change, ADT may not be the easiest solution.

Methodology

Why We Picked It:

  • Robust smart home capability
  • 24/7 live customer support
  • Fully customizable

Brief methods explanation: To determine the best outdoor security camera ranking, the Forbes Home Improvement editorial team analyzed third-party data on 17 major companies, with each product’s star rating determined by evaluating a variety of metrics, including:

  • Costs/Contracts (15%)
  • App Reviews (15%)
  • Customer Reviews (15%)
  • Customer Support (15%)
  • Features/Smart Home Integration (20%)
  • Options And Equipment (15%)
  • Warranty (5%)

Key Differences Between SimpliSafe and ADT

SimpliSafe is portable, while ADT is more permanent. SimpliSafe equipment is purchased upfront and connects wirelessly, which is great for those in short term living situations. ADT is professionally installed, with various wired components and requires a three-year contract.

SimpliSafe is perfect for DIYers, while ADT offers services for those without the time or desire to do it themselves. The pay-as-you-go SimpliSafe system works well for those who want total control over the process. ADT, on the other hand, offers a full spectrum of devices and support for those who want professional service from start to finish.

SimpliSafe systems begin with self-monitoring and end with 24/7 monitoring, ADT begins with 24/7 monitoring and continues with robust smart home integrations.

SimpliSafe has a top-end offering that includes their suite of high-functioning devices, combined with professional monitoring services and mobile app connectivity. ADT’s system begins where the competition ends, with professional installation and monitoring included on every package and significantly more expansive capability in the smart home arena.

Key Similarities Between SimpliSafe and ADT

Both SimpliSafe and ADT offer high-quality home security system components.
The control panels, sensors, cameras and other devices within both the SimpliSafe and ADT systems offer control, sensitivity and durability. Neither company sets itself apart in this category because both have high-quality offerings.

Both companies offer excellent monitoring services. Whether you choose SimpliSafe or ADT, you can anticipate similar response times. The monitoring centers call or dispatch emergency services within seconds of receiving an alert.

SimpliSafe and ADT each provide a range of products and services for varying client needs.
With both SimpliSafe and ADT you will have a range of options to pick from, depending on your specific home security needs. These options include varieties within equipment packages, monitoring services and smart home device connectivity.

How SimpliSafe Stacks Up Against ADT

Best Security Company Overall

Depending on your specific home security needs, either SimpliSafe or ADT could be right for you. But, based on our scoring system, ADT comes out on top. ADT’s combination of equipment and service offerings, smart home capabilities, price structure and customer support system make them, more often than nore, the better choice.

Is SimpliSafe or ADT Right for You or Your Business?

SimpliSafe is a fantastic company within its niche. They offer an easy DIY solution for home security monitoring, with both 24/7 professional monitoring and self-monitoring options available. If you’re looking for an inexpensive, uncomplicated solution for protecting your home, this could be it.

ADT is the better choice for those who need more functionality. Standard professional installation, low upfront costs, reliable connectivity and a robust selection of smart home features combine to place ADT in the lead. If you are in the market for a highly customizable home security system along with full-service system maintenance and monitoring, ADT is the clear choice.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is SimpliSafe as good as ADT?

SimpliSafe and ADT monitored home security systems are both excellent choices for protecting your family and property. SimpliSafe is probably the best for DIYers, those who prefer lower monthly costs and those who need a portable security system. ADT is a better choice for those who don’t plan on moving and want a full spectrum of smart home management options.

Is SimpliSafe or ADT easily hacked?

Any security system that uses a wireless connection has a higher degree of vulnerability to cyber-attack compared to a wired system. Five actions you can take to protect your wireless system include:

  • Using secure passwords
  • Enabling encryption
  • Updating firmware
  • Double-checking security settings
  • Disabling features you don’t use

What is better than SimpliSafe?

Both SimpliSafe and ADT are highly regarded home security companies, both with A+ ratings by the Better Business Bureau. SimpliSafe packages cost more upfront, with lower monthly monitoring fees. ADT costs less upfront and includes professional installation, but the monthly charges are higher.



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