The Fortress S03 WiFi Alarm System offers some of the most advanced technology in the Fortress lineup. This panel can use either WiFi and an Internet connection, or a landline telephone connection to alert you of an alarm event. When used with the My Fortress app the system becomes a powerhouse of security and control features. With application control available on Android and Apple devices and optional Monitoring, this system takes security to a whole new level!
As a Contributing Editor for PCMag, John Delaney has been testing and reviewing monitors, TVs, PCs, networking and smart home gear, and other assorted hardware and peripherals for almost 20 years. A 13-year veteran of PC Magazine's Labs (most recently as Director of Operations), John was responsible for the recruitment, training and management of t... See Full Bio
You shouldn’t have to drain your bank account to safeguard your home. Fortress Security Store has created several wireless and wallet-friendly DIY systems that make protecting your home a cinch. Our favorite is the Fortress S02 that uses a landline or VOIP connection (think Google Voice combined with an OBi box, Vonage or a voice service from a cable TV company) to dial up to six different phone numbers when the alarm is triggered. Since the company doesn’t offer 24/7 professional monitoring, there are no monthly fees or contracts.
Review Last updated: August 1, 2018. Before home security systems existed, ADT hired guards that securely transferred money for banks and businesses. Fast forward 130 years and they are now the largest home security company with over 7 million active customers. What do we like? ADT reviews have stayed true to their core business of home security while several others ventured off into the internet, solar or TV space.
One of the biggest features for any home security system is the ability to sync it with your other smart home devices. With ADT Pulse, you can pair your system with gadgets like smart locks, smart thermostats and video cameras. The biggest benefit is that you can control all of these devices right from your smartphone with ADT Pulse’s app. You won’t stress about whether or not you forgot to lock the front door before heading out — you can lock it on the go with the push of a button.
One of the best ways to determine whether a company is going to be right for you or not is to speak to previous clients. Ask for some references and speak to these people about their experiences with the company – was everything completed on time and to a high standard? Are the police contacted straight away if there’s an intrusion? Have they come across any problems during their time with the company? You might also be able to find out this information (unbiased) through online reviews.
So I have a ADT Alarm System in my house that was already here when I moved in and recently today the power randomly went out and came back on which I guess rebooted the system. I decided to step outside to see if everything was okay and when I opened my door the alarm went off and was extremely loud.. I held my hand over the speaker to kill most of the sound and decided to call ADT because I didn't know what to do I never had this happen to me before. When I called ADT the guy told me someone can come out tomorrow to take a look at it and stop it from making noise but I had to pay $100. This is for a security system I didn't set up, so I just had my husband unplug everything for now. Going to have the ADT rep still come out and see how much it would be for a new system to be put in. Most people probably don't fall into this situation but hope it helps nonetheless.
My upfront costs were high compared with the competition, and even if they'd come in at ADT's more average price of $1,100 to $1,500, I still would have choked a bit. But as you'll see below, mine is a fairly decked out example of an ADT installation. While I wasn't thrilled about the very expensive startup charge, the monthly dues seem reasonable considering what was installed. And while my addition of the Quality Service Plan cost me another $11 per month, I felt that was worth it since it covers parts and labor on any devices that need fixing; and besides, I received a $7 and change monthly discount because I'm a State Farm customer, a discount that'll apply to you, too, if you use not just State Farm, but also USAA, MetLife, Chubb, and several other insurance providers. That brought me down to just under $64 per month, which I feel is worth it.
I went with ADT because they were a trusted name in the industry with businesses such as banks and other companies that need reliable monitored service. That was the most important thing to me and they have never let me down. I have been with them for over 15 years and the equipment has operated well. If I wanted to have them add additional services over the years, I know that there is an installation cost but it is well below that of a general contractor. And I am sure existing customers can self install if they know how. I have worked with customer service to do alarms tests and inquire about other things and have never had a problem. I have read many of the complaints on this site and many are a result of the home owner not doing their research or expecting free services. These companies have contracts to recoup the equipment costs. They need to pay an employee to do a truck roll for installations…every time. They are not a charity service. And I should note that in over 15 years my monthly fee has only gone up once. Not bad compared to some of the others. So again, I would rather use a company that the banking industry relies on because the most important thing to me is reliability in the event of a crisis. ADT has always been there 24/7.
When I lived at home with my mother we had the ADT system and never had a problem, no break-ins, and no potential break-ins either. Unfortunately, I did not follow suit and get the system when I moved out on my own and my apartment was burglarized this past year. I feel like if I would have had the system there is NO WAY my apartment would have been broken in to. These systems really do thwart robbers from entering.
If you don’t buy the equipment outright, Vivint requires either a four- or five-year contract — a long time to commit, especially given that you only have three days from the date of install to cancel. Afterwards, you’ll have to pay out the remainder of your contract. If you may be moving in the near future, it’ll cost you $99 to take the system with you. You could alternatively renew your contract, but then you’d be locked in for even longer.
ADT has four monitored security packages to choose from: basic, basic wireless, ADT Pulse, and ADT Pulse + Video. Their monthly fees are on the high side, from $36.99 to $58.99. They require a 36-month minimum contract. Additionally, in the event of early contract termination, ADT may ask the client to pay 70% of the monthly charges due for the balance of the first 36-months. They do offer a 6-month money back guarantee and a 90-day limited warranty for their products, but all in all a rather stringent pricing and contract policy.
I have had ADT since 2002 and as of today I'm canceling the service! After a recent move, they tried charging me more money for less equipment, sent me a bill for over $400 because of "early cancellation" although I had an appointment scheduled for a new installation, and removed a payment from my bank account after the service had been discontinued. They gave us a huge hassle for stopping service at a house we no longer lived in! Anything (equipment changes, moves, etc.) starts a new three year contract. In the amount of time I have had ADT services, I could have bought and paid for multiple, more cost effective services, not to mention the level of customer service. I am done!
The technician explained that ADT’s broadband systems have trouble connecting to Suddenlink routers, which our tester had, so he tried a different kind of command hub. After he left, our tester noticed he was charged $190 more than his original quote. The new equipment was significantly more expensive because it worked on cellular signals instead of Wi-Fi. We wish we had known about that extra charge upfront.
The ADT Traditional tier offers only theft and burglary protection hardware, while the Remote tier builds on that to include fire, smoke, and CO2 detection. The Remote tier includes the ability to arm and disarm your alarm via the web, receive email and text alerts, and adds the use of CellGuard backup, which provides a cell-based data and communications link in case your primary internet fails. The Control tier takes everything from the previous tiers and adds the basics of home automation, including climate control, lighting and appliance control, an upgraded touch-screen keypad, and remote (smart) door locks. Finally, the Video tier adds real-time video security and other optional extras like additional keypads if needed.
Your base security system package normally includes 3 window and door sensors, but we’ve been given special permission by ADT to throw in 3 EXTRA sensors for FREE with every system we give away. The FREE1 system ($850 retail value) plus the extra sensors ($450 retail value) gives you a total value that is more than you’ll get with other security system retailers.
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.
Depending on your needs you can go with a system that you monitor yourself, or pay a subscription fee to have your home surveilled 24/7 by professionals who will contact your local fire and police departments when alarms are triggered. You can even take advantage of on-demand monitoring services for when you're away on vacation. Of course, the more coverage you have, the more you can expect to pay.
That's a very valid argument in ADT's favor. Moving on to different states or cities is sometimes inevitable for many, which means if your security company doesn't have a nation-wide reach, then there can be some really unnecessary hassles involved with your moving. A lot of bad blood can be avoided by going with old guys like ADT, which covers the entire nation in its length and breadth. Good points!
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