“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
Frontpoint offers three monitoring plans: Protection, Interactive, and Ultimate. Our tester opted for the Interactive plan but ended up dissatisfied with its lack of live video surveillance. When she received an alarm notification while on vacation, she had no way of gauging whether her home had been broken into or if her cat had managed to trip the sensor. It turned out to be a false alarm — one she paid the local authorities $150 for.
ADT uses security equipment by Honeywell, GE, and ITI. Warranty only comes if you buy a Quality Service Plan (QSP). With QSP, there is no extra charge to replace or fix faulty equipment in the first 90 days after the installation. After that, you receive free replacement parts and repairs only if you continue to pay for the QSP. Plus, any service trip costs about $25 depending on your location.
To protect your privacy, Zmodo apps and 720p Wireless IP Camera devices connect to the Zmodo servers using bank-level AES 256-bit encryption and Transport Layer Security (TLS). All video and pictures are secured with AES 256-bit symmetric-key encryption. Only the customer can decrypt and view the video through approved clients (our mobile and web apps) with their account credentials. The Zmodo 720p Wireless IP Camera also has perfect forward secrecy, using AES 256-bit private keys for key exchange with the Zmodo servers. We also employ other security measures to protect private data, such as secure HTTP access (HTTPS) using TLS/SSL, and more.
Any smart security system worth its salt offers components that work together in a seamless environment and can be manipulated using customized rules. For example, you can create rules to have the lights turn on when motion is detected, have your doors unlock when a smoke alarm goes off, and have a camera begin recording when a sensor is triggered. Some systems store recorded video locally on an SD card or a solid state drive, while others offer cloud storage. Locally stored video is a good choice for do-it-yourselfers on a budget, but you have to be careful not to overwrite video that you may need later. Cloud storage makes it easy to store and access recorded video, but it can cost hundreds of dollars per year depending on your subscription. Some systems offer both cloud storage and local storage, and some provide a dedicated storage drive that gives you DVR capabilities with time-lapse recording, which makes it easy to find a video event that took place at a specific point in time.
I do not know who trains these sales people, but their tactics leave a lot to be desired. Yesterday my husband was outside and a Vivint salesperson approached him and told him that if he were to cut our phone line we would not have service with ADT. My husband replied that he could not just cut them as they are on the roof and the salesman said he could cut the phone lines and break into our home and my husband told him that if he did he would get shot.
Some DIY systems are self-monitored, which means you'll receive alerts when devices are triggered, but it's up to you to contact the local authorities if there's a break-in or a fire. However, DIY vendors are increasingly offering professional monitoring services; some require a contract and some allow you to pay as you go so you're only being monitored when you need it, such as when you're away on vacation.
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?
When your house will be empty, you can arm the system in "Away Armed" mode for maximum protection and coverage. When you're at home or sleeping, you can arm the system in "Home Armed" mode. This will keep the perimeter secure (doors and windows armed) while allowing you to get up, and move around inside the house (motion detectors disarmed). Getting a late night snack won't wake up the whole house!
I have been an ADT customer for my two businesses. Because the locations were far apart I had to make it two separate systems but I still got a good discount for having them both under my name. I got all the equipment for free, and their Pulse monitoring package for under $99 a month (keep in mind that's 2 locations). I figure that is a cheap price to pay to keep an eye on all the high expenses inside my business and I am going to do it for my home too. Cheaper then most the other home bills people pay like TV, internet and utilities and yet it actually protects the most important things, their valuables and their family members. It's a wonder why some people are too cheap to pay for this assuming they can afford a house in the first place.
Finally, ADT’s Video Package combines everything from the Control level with its Remote Secure Video upgrade, which is ideal for those who prefer greater control over their home system from afar. While the upfront costs are still $125, your monthly monitoring fee jumps to $52.99 for live monitoring of your home, allowing you to tap into the video feed from your home’s cameras no matter where you are.