ADT and SimpliSafe are consistently regarded as two of the top home security systems. It stands to reason that both are constantly compared, from customer service and devices to quality and interchangeability. Both are nearly opposites when it comes to their business model and approach to customers, and both are entirely different in both setup and operation. So what does that mean when it comes to equipment compatibility?

While there are a few exceptions with third-party hardware, SimpliSafe and ADT devices are not compatible. ADT Command (Pulse) uses a Z-wave, mesh-network dependent on a hub connected to your home internet service. In contrast, SimpliSafe relies on a cellular network and is designed for simplicity.

There are currently a few smart home devices that are compatible with both ADT and SimpliSafe and would be interchangeable. These are third-party devices, however, not from SimpliSafe or ADT. While neither security system is wholly dependent on Wi-Fi, SimpliSafe is optional, and ADT can use it to communicate with your ADT Command App—they both rely on entirely different networks.

Why is SimpliSafe Not Compatible with ADT?

With the popularity and ease-of-use between Z-wave devices, you might wonder why SimpliSafe chose to go in such a different direction.

SimpliSafe’s approach to home security is straightforward and simple by design. While Z-wave is convenient when it comes to choice, SimpliSafe’s system is self-contained.

SimpliSafe offers five separate packages that are purchased up-front, without the necessity of binding, long-term contracts. The Foundation, Essentials, Hearth, Knox, and Haven packages contain all of the devices necessary for complete home security and rely on a simple network that’s not dependent on Wi-Fi.

SimpliSafe does utilize the Google Home and Amazon Alexa smart-home hubs. While intending to keep things simple, smart-homes are a growing part of everyday lives and necessitates some level of operability with all home security systems. 

SimpliSafe Uses Cellular and Wi-Fi

Verizon and T-Mobile provide the cellular network through which SimpliSafe’s security system operates. Wi-Fi is an optional setup, as well as a landline connection in case cellular coverage is lost. It is designed to be simple, without having to integrate third-party devices. SimpliSafe is essentially its own, self-contained security system that is primarily a DIY design.

Of course, not everyone lives in strong cellular coverage areas, so Wi-Fi setup is an additional option. For those without Wi-Fi, landlines can also be connected to SimpliSafe’s hub to ensure the system can be effectively monitored.

Adding devices that don’t belong to the SimpliSafe family is generally not applicable. However, SimpliSafe works with some smart-home hubs, allowing it to be added to your smart-home network.

ADT Equipment Uses Z-Wave

ADT uses Z-wave, which will interoperate with many different devices from outside of the ADT spectrum. Z-wave is a low-frequency radio wave that ADT devices use to communicate with each other and additional third-party products.

An ADT security system can use Wi-Fi, but primarily as a means to communicate with your ADT Command app. Z-wave operates on a far lower frequency than Wi-Fi and is subject to less interference from other wireless devices. Like SimpliSafe, ADT’s home security system is not dependent on Wi-Fi, though it remains useful for convenience and remote home security applications.

While ADT offers an extensive lineup of home security products in several packages, Z-wave devices allow subscribers to customize their security and smart-home setups with a growing selection of third-party devices.

Unfortunately, it can sometimes become confusing, especially as businesses alter their structure and marketing. When Google invested $450 million in ADT, it opened up its smart-home hubs for ADT support. But, who is to say that might not change in the future?

Compatible Third-Party Devices for ADT and SimpliSafe

There are a few devices that are compatible with both ADT and SimpliSafe. These are all entirely different products, however, and not made or distributed by either company. There are many more smart-home devices compatible with ADT, but these three are the only ones that are interchangeable between SimpliSafe and ADT:

Note: According to SimpliSafe, Google Nest is supported, and the Nest thermostat operates with the security system based on disarm and armed status. However, according to recent upgrades from Google, Nest integration may not always work.

Like ADT, SimpliSafe has an app designed for controlling your smart home remotely. The app is available on both Google Play Store and iOS App Store. With the addition of the Apple Watch, both ADT and SimpliSafe allow you to control your home security system through smartphones and watches.

Final Thoughts

Because of SimpliSafe’s approach to DIY home security, ADT—along with the vast majority of third-party, Z-wave devices—are not supported. This isn’t likely to change anytime soon, as SimpliSafe has become a very successful company in its own right.

Is ADT compatible with other home security devices, like Google Nest cameras? Find out in this article!