SimpliSafe vs. ADT Self Setup

We researched and tried both SimpliSafe and ADT Self Setup and found SimpliSafe had more security options.
4.3 out of 5 stars
Starts at
  • pro
    Low monthly cost
  • pro
    Pro install and easy DIY install
  • con
    Basic cameras
Runner up
ADT Shield
ADT Self Setup
3.8 out of 5 stars
Starts at
  • pro
    Low monthly cost
  • pro
    Easy DIY install
  • con
    Expensive cameras

Info current as of publish date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

SafeWise experts have years of firsthand experience testing the products we recommend. Learn how we test and review

When you compare ADT Self Setup vs. SimpliSafe, SimpliSafe takes the prize. While we found both home security systems easy to use and affordable, SimpliSafe offered, well, more. It features a bevy of helpful security equipment options, the versatility of pro or DIY installation, and a better return policy than ADT.

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This week's SimpliSafe deal

🔥 SimpliSafe is offering 40% off  with Fast Protect™ monitoring!

Info current as of publish date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change. 

In the UK? Check out our SimpliSafe UK Review.

Here’s how everything shook out after we tested and compared these two systems.

SimpliSafe vs. ADT Self Setup at a glance

SimpliSafe pros and cons

pro No contract required
pro Low monthly cost
pro Large device selection
pro Affordable equipment
pro 60-day money-back guarantee
con Not compatible with Z-Wave
con Basic cameras

SimpliSafe is best for people who want great connectivity

If you need a bunch of devices that all work well together, SimpliSafe is a good choice. It has a device for just about everything. From smoke detection to intruder detection, SimpliSafe has you covered.

And its security cameras are affordable, so you can get multiple cameras for your home. This can be particularly helpful if you have a large yard or home that needs a bunch of cameras for full coverage.

ADT Self Setup pros and cons

pro No contract required
pro Low monthly cost
pro Compatible with Z-Wave
pro Highly trusted company
pro 60-day money-back guarantee
con Expensive cameras
con No professional installation

ADT Self Setup is best for those that need a trusted name

ADT Self Setup is for people who want a little extra reassurance that everything is going to work. It’s a highly trusted company with decades of experience. ADT has been around for more than 140 years.

Though the DIY version of ADT has only been around a few years, it’s still backed by ADT and its six monitoring centers. These centers have generators and redundancy plans to ensure its customers never go without service. 

Plus, ADT Self Setup has a lower entry price, making it easier to get started if you’re on a budget.

(If you're not sure how ADT Self Setup from traditional ADT, check out our comparison of ADT vs. ADT Self Setup.)

SimpliSafe and ADT Self Setup top features

Lowest monitoring price
Mobile app included w/ base plan
Smart home compatibility
Equipment options
Learn more
Icon Yes  LightYes
Alexa, Google, August Smart Lock
Icon Yes  LightYes
Alexa, Google, IFTTT, Z-Wave

Info current as of publish date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.


We love that both of these companies seem to look out for the customer. Both have no contract and offer inexpensive packages and monitoring.

No contract

Unlike some other big names in the industry, neither SimpliSafe nor ADT Self Setup make you sign a contract. While this means that you need to pay for your equipment up front, you won’t be locked into an agreement or pay a penalty if you decide to try a different security system company.

Compare SimpliSafe and ADT Self Setup equipment

Base kit price
Highest kit price
Build your own
Number of kits
Base kit includes
Learn more
5Base station, Keypad, Entry sensor, Motion sensor
3Hub with built-in keypad, Door/window sensors (2), Yard sign, Window stickers

Info current as of publish date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Cost: Tie

There isn’t much difference in price. ADT Self Setup is slightly cheaper, but SimpliSafe offers more packages to choose from.

SimpliSafe has five home security system packages that range from about $245 to $500 You can DIY yourself a customized package too. Customized packages start around $200.

ADT Self Setup has three packages that range from about $180 to $450. Custom packages start around $180.


While ADT has more pricey professional monitoring, it has the edge overall. SimpliSafe provides the knockout in the equipment, installation, and return policy categories, though.

Professional monitoring: ADT Self Setup wins

Both SimpliSafe and ADT offer low monthly monitoring-plan fees. What you get for the price is where the brands differ. Let’s take a look at SimpliSafe’s most affordable package and ADT’s only Self Setup package. As you can see, you get what you pay for.

Compare SimpliSafe and ADT Self Setup monitoring

Mobile app access
Video storage
Smart home integration
Learn more
Icon Yes  LightYes
Icon No  LightNo
Icon No  LightNo
Icon Yes  LightYes
Icon Yes  LightYes
Icon Yes  LightYes

Info current as of publish date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

To get all of the features that the ADT Self Setup plan offers, you’ll need to upgrade to SimpliSafe’s Fast Protect™ plan for $29.99 per month. Since the premium package is just $10 more, SimpliSafe and ADT are on even footing. We just want to make sure you don’t get fooled into thinking SimpliSafe is a bargain by looking at its lowest monthly package rate.

Both also allow you to go without a monitoring package, which we don’t recommend. Without monitoring, you lose too many features that make a security system useful.

You can learn more in our SimpliSafe monitoring packages guide.

Equipment: SimpliSafe wins

When it comes to equipment, SimpliSafe is the clear winner. SimpliSafe security systems offer you more ways to keep your home safe by offering a wider range of devices. ADT Self Setup doesn’t have glass-break sensors, carbon monoxide detectors, smoke detectors, panic buttons, or key fobs. ADT Self Setup doesn’t have a smart lock like SimpliSafe does.

SimpliSafe equipment

SimpliSafe base station, SimpliCam, key fob, entry sensor, keypad, and motion detector. Image: SafeWise

SimpliSafe equipment

  • Base station
  • Keypad
  • Entry sensor
  • Motion sensor
  • Water sensor
  • Glass-break sensor
  • Panic button
  • Smoke detector
  • Carbon monoxide sensor
  • Temperature sensor
  • Indoor camera
  • Outdoor camera
  • Key fob
  • Extra siren
  • Video doorbell
  • Smartlock

Learn more about SimpliSafe’s equipment and compatibility here, and learn how to connect SimpliSafe with Alexa if you want voice control.

image of products that come in the ADT self setup system, including window stickers, video doorbell, keypad, sensors, etc.

ADT Self Setup equipment options. Image: ADT

ADT Self Setup equipment

  • Smart Home Hub
  • Keypad
  • Window sensor
  • Door sensor
  • Motion sensor
  • Flood and temperature sensor
  • Doorbell camera
  • Indoor camera
  • Outdoor camera
  • Google Nest Mini
  • Extender and chime
  • Wireless outdoor camera extra battery pack

Learn more about ADT’s equipment and compatibility here.


SimpliSafe and ADT Self Setup are more evenly matched now that SimpliSafe added an outdoor camera to its lineup. But we're happier with ADT's camera quality.

SimpliSafe has three cameras: the SimpliCam indoor camera, SimpliSafe outdoor camera, and the SimpliSafe Doorbell Pro

ADT Self Setup also has three security camera options, including an outdoor camera, an indoor camera, and a doorbell camera. Each offers 1080p video quality, which is the industry standard.

We've found SimpliSafe's cameras to be fairly basic. They'll get the job done, but ADT’s cameras inch above in our rankings with features like two-way talk and a slightly wider field of view.

Okay, so we’ve really talked up the ADT Self Setup cameras, but they have one big problem. The price. Both the ADT Outdoor Wireless Camera and the ADT Indoor Camera cost $199.99, while SimpliSafe's outdoor cam costs $30 less. And the indoor SimpliCam comes in at just $99 versus the twice-as-expensive ADT Self Setup indoor camera. 

So how do the doorbell cameras stack up? They’re a little closer in price. The SimpliSafe Doorbell Pro is $169 and the ADT Self Setup Doorbell Camera is $199.99. The features are similar too. Both have 1080p video, a wide field of view, two-way talk, and motion detection.


While both ADT Self Setup (it's in the name) and Simplisafe offer DIY installation, only SimpliSafe also offers professional installation. We like companies that give their customers choices. Some people like to dive in and install everything themselves, and others like to let someone with more experience tackle installing their home security system. 

SimpliSafe’s installation fee starts at $99.99, which may make you want to try and install the system yourself. Installation is simple with both home security systems, so we don’t think you’ll have a problem. This guide to installing SimpliSafe will get you up and running in no time.

Thumbs Up
SimpliSafe Fast Protect™ monitoring perks

Fast Protect™ monitoring customers get a lifetime hardware warranty and a 10% discount on all equipment. We think that's a pretty good deal.

Money-back guarantee: SimpliSafe has a 60-day window

What happens if you choose your new home security system and find out you don’t like it? Well, both of these systems give you a window to return your equipment and get your money back.

ADT Self Setup gives you just 30 days to get your money back on equipment and services. SimpliSafe gives you a 60-day window, which can give you more time to settle in, work out any bugs, and really get a feel for the equipment.

Winner: SimpliSafe beats ADT Self Setup

While SimpliSafe and ADT Self Setup are both great security systems, we have to give this one to SimpliSafe. It offers more ways to protect your home with a wide range of devices. Plus, you have the option to choose DIY or professional installation and have more days to return equipment. We love options.


  • DIY or professional installation
  • Wider selection of security equipment
  • More affordable cameras
  • Better return policy

ADT Self Setup:

  • Better cameras
  • One full-featured monitoring package
  • Lower price for ugraded features

Still undecided? Read our full SimpliSafe and ADT Self Setup reviews to learn more. Also, take a look at all our top security system picks, or SimpliSafe alternatives.

How we decided: ADT Self Setup vs. SimpliSafe

When choosing the best home security system in our SimpliSafe vs. ADT Self Setup review, we did hundreds of hours of research and hands-on testing. We combined that with decades of safety and security experience.

To learn more about how Safewise reviews products and services, check out our methodology page.

Alina Bradford
Written by
Alina Bradford
Alina is a safety and security expert that has contributed her insights to CNET, CBS, Digital Trends, MTV, Top Ten Reviews, and many others. Her goal is to make safety and security gadgets less mystifying one article at a time. In the early 2000s, Alina worked as a volunteer firefighter, earning her first responder certification and paving the way to her current career. Her activities aren’t nearly as dangerous today. Her hobbies include fixing up her 100-year-old house, doing artsy stuff, and going to the lake with her family.

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