Security camera service with ADT requires Pulse Video Service monitoring, which is a premium-level plan, so you'll have to pay one of the top prices to get a camera. The outdoor camera has a night-vision range of 25 feet, which is one of the lowest in our review. We could find no mention of pan-and-tilt cameras or image sensors in the ADT marketing literature. These are some of the best home monitoring camera options, because you can control pan-and-tilt cameras remotely to get better viewing angles, and image sensors take photos when they detect movement.
- 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.
Anything connected to the Z-Wave hub can be controlled via the mobile app. Lights can be turned on and off, smart locks can be activated or unlocked, and thermostats can be set on the fly. You can give as many people as you want access to your Pulse app, each with their own access code, though there will be only one primary user who has total access to all functionality via the Pulse web portal. You can also give different users varying levels of access to which systems they can control and even when they can get into your home.
The next plan up is called Basic Security + Wireless Connect. This plan offers everything in Basic Security plus Equipment Service Protection for a total cost of $48.99/month, or around $12/week. The main difference is that Basic Security + Wireless Connect doesn’t require a landline connection, making it an attractive option for customers without a landline installed. Security systems with wireless connectivity are also great for customers who don’t want to run the risk of burglars cutting their wires. Plus, alerts tend to reach monitoring stations faster with cell radio than with landlines.
First off, they will charge you an up front $99 to install, plus charge tax on that, even before you get a technician to conduct the review to set up the system. Then, the promise of equipment – they promise “pre-wired” door and window sensors, however this only actually applies if you have an existing security system and all sensors are wireless anyway, so really they offer 7 wireless sensors ($129 per additional sensor). They will bait you on by saying “a manager is on and will work with you to approve this” – don’t believe it, as you’ll never hear from that manager ever again, even when you have his/her manager id number.
Even if we didn't get a military discount (I'm in services) I still would have gone for ADT. Almost all of my fellow comrades are using ADT in their houses and they don't have any complaints yet. Though obviously military discount is always sweet. It goes on to show how caring and patriotic a company is towards their nation. No home security company I know of does that I think.
I was renting a house in the countryside in North Carolina. The landlord contacted ADT to install a new alarm system in the house. The previous system was no longer covered by anyone. The install was quick and complete. The only problem being the hall motion detector which they said shouldn’t pick up the movement of a 30# elderly dog, but routinely did. They disabled that sensor and didn’t have any more issues. Whenever there was an issue, they were quick to respond via phone and on one occasion had the police meet me at the house when a true alarm came in.
During our tests, we strongly considered home automation options, which allow you to remotely control features of your home, such as lights and door locks. Vivint really impressed us with its seamless automation integration. We loved being able to see who was at the front door directly from the app. But we wanted to figure out what these differences meant on a day-to-day basis: Which features were necessary for improved peace of mind? Which would be easiest to integrate into our daily routines?
Once your service rep has designed a system for you and you've signed off, you'll get your second visit from ADT installation technicians. Installation is a four- to eight-hour affair. In my case, technicians arrived at 8:00 in the morning and left by 3:30 in the afternoon. My sales rep was there to walk me through what was happening, as well as two ADT technicians who did most of the work, but also, at separate intervals, an independent locksmith came to handle the smart lock and an electrician to handle the thermostat controls and other components like cabling for the Z-Wave hub ADT uses for its home automation equipment. Pulse is touted as a wireless system, but various central components, like the hub and the CellGuard backup box require the techs to run some cable and also require one physical port on your home Internet router (lower service tiers with less advanced equipment can make do with a landline or even just a cell connection).
A word about wireless protocols: In a perfect world, all home security components would use the same wireless standard to communicate with the main hub, but factors such as power requirements, signal range, price, and size make it virtually impossible to settle on just one. For example, smaller components such as door/window sensors typically use Z-Wave or Zigbee technology because they don't require a lot of power and can be powered by smaller batteries. They also operate in a mesh topology and can help extend the range of networked devices. However, neither protocol provides the bandwidth that you get with Wi-Fi, which is why it is usually used in security cameras to provide smooth video streaming, and in other devices that require a fat pipe. Moreover, Z-Wave and Zigbee devices are connected and controlled using a hub, while Wi-Fi devices can be connected directly to your home network and controlled with an app. Finally, Z-Wave and Zigbee devices use AES 128 encryption, and since they operate in a closed system with a dedicated hub, they offer more security than Wi-Fi devices.
Just like smart plugs and keyless deadbolts may not be for everyone, neither is self-monitoring. If you opt to DIY your system’s monitoring, it’s up to you to take action on reported activity. If you can handle fielding alerts (for both false alarms and real break-ins), just be sure that you keep your phone’s volume on and the battery charged. But if you suspect you may want the undivided attention of professional monitoring in the future, go with a company whose professional monitoring practices and prices align with your needs.
Protect your family quickly and easily with Samsung SmartThings ADT Home Security Starter Kit. With optional, no-contract ADT professional monitoring available at low month-to-month rates of less than $1/day, you can rest easy knowing your family is safe and secure. Mobile alerts keep you in the know; whether you’re at the grocery store or on vacation, you can always be sure your home is secure.
There were some break-ins in my area so I got the alarm system from ADT. The rep (who installed the system) disucced my concerns with me and (in addition to their system), he suggested I get a dog.I got a very large and vicious looking german sheppard (who is actually a sweetheart…) and the combination of both the alarm and wolf have given me a sense of safety. It works!
Use to have the system at my other house. A few times I forgot the code or put it in wrong and I received a phone call. If you give them a secret code then they will call off the police for you. May be they should have 2 secret codes one for when you are in danger (like maybe if there is a person standing beside you with a gun forcing you give the correct code) and one for when you are not in danger.
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.
I contacted ADT twice. The first time simply as a customer, since I'd just moved into a new house and wanted a full home security system. ADT sales recommended its Remote tier, and I agreed, though there are other tiers to be had (see below). I also investigated SimpliSafe, but had a not-great experience with its customer service, and was heading back to ADT when the opportunity arose to review the Pulse system for PCMag.
I like that my rate hasn't risen in the past 5 years I have been with ADT. I just called in to upgrade to Pulse and it took alittle bit of figuring out with the customer support but I got it and I only have to pay another 1 time fee for the technician to come and replace my panel and add some new equipment. I'm really excited for it and their cameras are top notch from the research and comparison I have done.
The customer rep offered me to re-schedule another appointment and I said I don’t think so, do you want to reschedule another time to waste my entire morning and get upset. I have never had a problem so far with our alarm system, but dealing with this kind of poor business, especially for a new or additional business from a customer did not seem to be their priority.
Home automation: This comes with the higher cost monitoring package but still very affordable. ADT pulse allows one to do things with a home that was once only available to the rich and the famous. Their free mobile app is available for iOS or Android. It controls everything from an arm and disarming the alarm to controlling the security camera. When testing the ADT Pulse app, we found some cool additional alerts you can set up based upon your area.
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.