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      January 18, 2019

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ADT vs SimpliSafe

Best Wireless Security Systems

To help you find the Best Wireless Security Systems, TopConsumerReviews.com provides you with an in-depth comparison of ADT and SimpliSafe.

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Now more than ever, homeowners are looking for ways to protect themselves and their property. With more than 2 million burglaries each year - and an average loss of $2,000 per incident - wireless security systems are at the forefront of safeguarding against intruders.

It is true that there are other ways to make your home safer from burglary and invasion. For example, a well-lit exterior can discourage criminals from approaching your property, and high-quality deadbolts make it more difficult to enter your home. Unfortunately, even these measures will not prevent a determined criminal from picking the lock, smashing a window or slider door, and entering your home to steal your belongings or worse.

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Best Reviews

2019

Wireless Security System Reviews

4 stars
ADT

ADT Visit Site

Features:

FREE Equipment on many plans, with 3-year contract

$99 customer installation charge

Monitoring plans start at $48.99

Customer Information: 1-866-305-4104

With the longest history in the protection business, dating all the way back to 1870 in New York City, ADT (short for American District Telegraph) is one of the most well-known names in the wireless security systems market. While they do still offer traditional home security systems that require the use of landlines and regular wiring, ADT has kept up with the times by focusing on the development of newer wireless packages.

We noticed right away that ADT has an installation fee of $99 for most packages. Although many of ADT's competitors offer do-it-yourself installation, ADT still requires customers to meet in person with a security advisor, who will help customize a wireless security system for the needs of the home and then install it (same-day installation is available in some of ADT's service areas). In-person sales representatives have a reputation for being pushy and pressuring customers to accept packages that go well beyond what they were looking for in terms of features and budget, which drops ADT somewhat in our rankings.

ADT also charges more for monthly monitoring than many of the providers we reviewed. There are three main packages offered by ADT:

  • Basic Wireless: Starting at $48.99/month, this plan includes a wireless control panel, 3 wireless door/window sensors, 1 wireless motion detector (pet-immune), window decals and yard signs, 1 key fob, and CellGuard (ADT's wireless connection to their monitoring systems)
  • ADT Pulse: Starting at $52.99/month, this plan includes all the features of Basic Wireless, and adds mobile access and alerts to the coverage.
  • ADT Pulse + Video: Starting at $58.99/month, this plan includes all of the features of Basic and Pulse, along with video surveillance and an additional wireless keypad.

The most popular package is the Pulse, primarily because of the ability to use any smartphone, tablet, or computer to monitor and adjust the system. We weren't overly impressed by ADT's extra charge to include those features, as many other providers of wireless security systems include that capability at no extra cost to customers.

On a positive note, ADT includes a free Personal Emergency Response System with the purchase of any security monitoring package. This consists of a waterproof pendant that can be worn as a necklace, on a wristband, or clipped to a belt. When the rescue alert button is pressed, a notification is sent to an ADT monitoring representative who will then either contact you by phone or using the two-way voice system provided in some ADT wireless security system packages. If needed, the representative will contact local emergency services.

We recommend that prospective customers check out the Special Offers page (accessed by following the link at the bottom of the site under the "Learn" heading). While the wording on the page made it unclear whether the offers listed there are for a limited time or always available, it would be worth your time to ask prior to making a commitment. At the time of our review, those offers included:

  • Free security system with a 3-year contract and $99 customer installation charge
  • Same-day installation
  • 3 additional sensors for free
  • 6-month money-back guarantee
  • $500 theft protection: if your home is burglarized while under ADT coverage, ADT will pay up to $500 of your insurance deductible

With more than six million total customers throughout its history spanning more than 100 years, ADT clearly does many things right when it comes to protecting people and property.

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3 stars
SimpliSafe

SIMPLISAFE Visit Site

Features:

$229.99 for equipment starter kit

No installation fees

No monthly contract

Monitoring plans cost $14.99-$24.99/month

Touted by celebrities like Dave Ramsey and others, SimpliSafe provides wireless security systems that can be installed easily by the average consumer and that have no contracts to sign. As with most no-contract systems, SimpliSafe requires that customers purchase equipment outright, starting at $229.99 for the starter set, but their low monthly monitoring costs - less than $25/month - definitely result in savings over time.

So, what's included in the starter package? Ideal for small homes and apartments, this set includes one base station and wireless keypad, one entry sensor, one motion sensor, and one keychain remote for $229.99. Larger packages include the Economy package, which adds two more entry sensors for a total cost of $259.99; the Classic package, which adds a smoke detector and siren to what's included in the Economy set, for a cost of $349.99; the Master package that has a total of two motion sensors and six entry sensors, along with the smoke detector and siren, for $449. 87; and, finally, the Ultimate package for $539.85, which has a total of two motion sensors, four entry sensors, the siren and smoke detector, along with a panic button, water sensor, carbon monoxide detector, and freeze sensor.

And, for additional savings, SimpliSafe is the only wireless security system we found that has refurbished equipment for sale. This could save you as much as 30% on the purchase of your wireless security system.

SimpliSafe breaks their monitoring into two easy-to-understand plans:

  • Standard, which includes round-the clock protection.
  • Interactive, which allows you to access the app to monitor your home activity and control settings directly from your laptop or smartphone. We also saw information promoting a Secret! Alerts bonus that can alert you when someone opens a private area such as a gun safe or liquor cabinet, but we couldn't find more details as to which sensors would be required or how that feature is set up.

We like that SimpliSafe offers free shipping on all products, a 3-year product warranty, and an exceptional money-back guarantee for 60 days after purchase.

On the other hand, we felt that SimpliSafe falls short in two significant ways. First, most wireless security systems are based on the concept of using technology to control everything from arming the system to changing the temperature in the home, and it seems stingy of SimpliSafe to charge extra just to be able to use their app to change the system features. SimpliSafe doesn't currently offer thermostat controls, door locks, or camera monitoring, while many of their competitors do.

Also, we were discouraged to see a considerable number of customers who said that they were awakened by false alarms on more than one occasion, and that the monitoring service took as long as five minutes to contact the homeowner. Those same customers often had difficulty in getting a timely response from SimpliSafe's customer service department when trying to resolve the issues (which often required switching the system's cellular coverage from T-Mobile to Verizon or vice-versa).

We strongly recommend that customers start with one of the smaller, less expensive equipment packages - possibly refurbished or purchased second-hand - and giving it a thorough testing in the first two months, in order to take advantage of the 60-day return policy if needed.

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Continued from above

For that reason, experts in home protection strongly recommend that you invest in a wireless security system, particularly those that have round-the-clock monitoring, to give you the greatest possible peace of mind. Most criminals will bypass homes that have a monitoring system, simply because it puts them at greater risk of being caught in the act.

Compared with traditional home security systems, wireless versions allow you to install them on your own and can easily be moved from one location to another - a convenient advantage for those who move frequently, such as students living in dorms or those who move around the country for work reasons.

Having a wireless security system can also save you money. Many homeowners insurance policies will give you a discount on your annual premium - as much as 20% - with an installed home protection package.

Wireless security systems can vary widely with respect to the protection they offer, the equipment provided, and the overall cost. Also, some offer 24-hour live monitoring of your system, while others leave that responsibility to you.

What should you look for in a wireless security system? Be sure to consider the following aspects:

  • Equipment Costs. What is included with your wireless security system compared to the number of sensors you need? How much does it cost to add extra sensors or other equipment that may be appropriate for your living situation?
  • Monitoring Service. Does the company monitor your system around-the-clock? Are the fees reasonable? Will the company contact local authorities in the event of a break-in or other emergency?
  • Guarantee. Does the company offer a satisfaction guarantee or a refund if there are any issues with the service or the equipment?

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best wireless security systems available today. We hope these reviews will help you find the ideal wireless security system to protect your home and your loved ones! 

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