Unlike our other top picks, Canary doesn’t have a backup cellular connection. Instead, it will give you a notification if it goes offline. The well-designed app does an effective job alerting you — just keep in mind that after letting you know of the situation, you will be powerless to do anything but return home. You’ll still be flying blind if the Wifi goes out in your house.
If part of the appeal to DIY is the ability to cut corners and keep costs down, then Abode’s luxury may feel like a step in the wrong direction. At nearly triple the cost of Frontpoint, it’s basically the Bentley of DIY home security systems. That said, our exceptional experiences with the system made us fall in love with it, high price tag and all.
Abode sells a lot of its own devices (which are competitively priced), but it also supports a slew of third-party Z-Wave and ZigBee devices, including all the home automation basics: smart lights, deadbolts, outlets, wall switches. Whether you want to deck out your smart home with convenient automation or fortify it with access sensors and flood detectors, a third-party compatible security system gives you freedom to customize.
Even though they tend to be more expensive than unmonitored systems, they do give you peace of mind. That’s because when your system is tripped, a signal will be sent to the company via your phone line, alerting them that there’s an intruder in your house. Within approximately 10 seconds you’ll receive a phone call from the security company (via the intercom system or your telephone), where you’ll be asked to verify who you are by using an authorization code. If you’re unable to do this, the police will be sent straight to your home.

ADT’s sales number routes you to a receptionist who will ask for your address before transferring you to a sales consultant. The consultant will typically look to sell you ADT’s standard security package or schedule an appointment for an in-home assessment of your security needs. During our secret shopper call, we did not provide a street address (information we didn’t have to provide other companies so immediately) and the receptionist promptly ended our call.


By registering you become a member of the CBS Interactive family of sites and you have read and agree to the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Video Services Policy. You agree to receive updates, alerts and promotions from CBS and that CBS may share information about you with our marketing partners so that they may contact you by email or otherwise about their products or services. You will also receive a complimentary subscription to the ZDNet's Tech Update Today and ZDNet Announcement newsletters. You may unsubscribe from these newsletters at any time.
ADT monitoring has yet to let me down even with my little kids around the home. I only got a basic security system so I can't really compare or say it's better than "X" company but definitely works for a mother of 4 who wants some added peace to her life! My husband is gone a lot and he likes being able to check what's going on in and outside of the home thru the Pulse monitoring app. This is how I got him to buy the system for us in the first place ;).
The Blink cameras are equipped with built-in sensors that are triggered by motion. When they detect an intruder's movement, the alarm goes off, an alert is sent to your smartphone, and a short video clip of the alarm event uploads to Blink’s cloud storage so you can see what set it off. The best part: You get all this security goodness for no monthly fee.
$99 Customer Installation Charge. 36-Month Monitoring Agreement required at $27.99 per month ($1,331.64). 24-Month Monitoring Agreement required at $27.99 ($887.76) for California, including Quality Service Plan (QSP). Form of payment must be by credit card or electronic charge to your checking or savings account. Offer applies to homeowners only. Local permit fees may be required. Satisfactory credit history required. Termination Fee applies. Certain restrictions may apply. Offer valid for new ADT Authorized Premier Provider customers only and not on purchases from ADT LLC. Other rate plans available. Cannot be combined with any other offer.
5 years ago my next door neighbors were robbed. I’m not sure what they took but what we knew was that there house had been watched for days by this guy. None of us in the neighborhood felt safe. We got ADT right after that & haven’t regretted it since! We’ve never had a REAL incident but my uncle had come over once late after a night out. As soon as the alarm went off so did the phone. ADT was quick to respond. We all sleep better with ADT!
We had ADT at the house we used to live in. I loved having the safe and secure feeling knowing we were monitored and able to reach help if it was needed. We had a chime on the doors so if they opened we knew someone was coming in. We had all the windows and doors covered too. We rarely had a false alarm, in the approx. 10 years we had them maybe this happened twice. The false alarms were due to battery problems and ADT quickly sent a person to repair. One of my favorite features was the secret alarm code you could enter when you got home that really meant send help. Being a mom at the time of younger children it helped me feel less vulnerable. Any time I was in contact with ADT I always had a pleasant experience and never had a problem dealing with their people. I also felt a sense of peace knowing when we all went to bed we had the alarm set and felt secure and safe.
The signal range depends on a few factors, including your home’s building materials, other wireless devices in the area, and any walls or objects through which the signal has to pass. Standard drywall and glass windows may not impact the strength of the camera’s wireless signal, but brick and concrete will. If there are brick walls, concrete floors, and large trees in between the camera and receiver, your signal strength will likely weaken.

Licenses: AZ ROC-260776(dba:ADS Security); CA ACO6051; GA LVA004409; TX B-16117; CA Home Security Alarm Company operators are licensed and regulated by the Bureau of Security & Investigative Services Dept of Consumer Affairs. Certain content is the property of ADT and used under license. The ADT and ADT Authorized Dealer logos are registered trademarks of ADT LLC. and are used under license.


“I accidentally touched button on my emergency base unit. Response time was excellent. I know if it was a genuine emergency for me your staff would respond immediately with efficiency and professionalism. I feel very secure with this system. I will definitely recommend this unit to my friends and associates. We do have an ADT Security System and we are happy and satisfied with this as well.” – Ellen, Oct 7, 2017, Consumer Affairs


Worst business i have ever dealt with. From the start, i was lied to by the installation guy who said there is a grace period of a month to cancel the contact without a termination fee. When i called in a week later to cancel, ADT advised it was an incorrrect information which was given by an outsourced contractor so they can not be responsible for it. So i was stuck with them for two years. When i called to cancel the account after the two year contract was over, ADT required 30days cancelltaion period which meant they will simply collect a payment for an extra month for just wanting to cancel their ridiculous service which i want no part of ever again. From start to finish, this company is a borderline fraud.
City-wide power failure Christmas morning 2015. Power went out while my daughter was preparing our traditional shrimp and grits. Soon after, we hastily left to grandparents' home for early dinner. Before the meal was over, we got a call from ADT. My daughter forgot to turn off the burner under the shrimp. We arrived to a yard full of firemen. Lots of smoke, but praise God, no fire. ADT contacted me and notified fire dept asap. This could have been a real disaster! System worked perfectly!!! Like a TV commercial. Thanks ADT!!!
In February 2017, I had three cameras installed, in which one camera simply sat on my kitchen sink because the technician didn’t want to hassle with figuring out an electrical connection to set the camera up to view my swimming pool area. The front outside camera was supposed to have night vision, but it didn’t. The night vision function finally popped in surprisingly during the summer of 2018. The camera system is down almost as much as it works.
For over two years, I paid ADT monthly for my alarm system, only to find out that they were not actually receiving signals from my home (so, in fact, the alarm system did not work). In compensation, they offered me 6 months at $15/month. Need to test your system more often people and make sure the monitoring company is calling you when the alarm gets set off regardless of what company you have; this should be done!

- I can't, for the life of me, figure out how to display the local time on the touchscreen. The time shown is technically correct, but appears to be shown as UTC time. I'd like to get it display as CST/CDT, but haven't seen any option to change that display feature either within the iOS app, via the SmartThings web portal, or on the touch screen itself.


Many ADT home security systems are actually sold, installed and serviced by a nationwide network of authorized dealers, which may not maintain the same professional standards or offer the same equipment and deals as ADT corporate. It’s sometimes hard to tell if you’re buying a system from corporate or a dealer. ADT corporate websites include the logo, “ADT Always There,” whereas authorized dealers, like security giant Defender, ADT’s largest dealer markets ADT under the brand “Protect Your Home”. Dealers such as Defender, Security Choice and ADS Security Inc. will display an “ADT Authorized Dealer” logo on their web site, but some consumers may not notice the difference from ADT’s corporate logo.

ADT Pulse Installation starts at $199. Burglary, Fire, Carbon Monoxide and Medical Alert monitoring requires purchase and/or activation of an ADT security system with monitored Burglary, Fire, Carbon Monoxide and Medical Alert devices. Fire, Carbon Monoxide and Medical Alert services are an additional charge. Quality Service Plan (QSP) is ADT's Extended Limited Warranty. 36-month monitoring contract required from $52.99 per month, ($1,907.64), including Quality Service Plan (QSP). Additional charges may apply in areas that require guard response service for municipal alarm verification. Prices subject to change. Prices may vary by market. Some insurance companies offer discounts on Homeowner's Insurance. Please consult your insurance company. Local permit fees may be required. Satisfactory credit history required. Additional monitoring fees required for some services. Photos are for illustrative purposes only and may not reflect the exact product/service actually provided.
×