Overall, I'm very happy with the ADT Pulse system. I definitely experienced some sticker shock at the initial setup cost, but considering the level of service and all the equipment installed, the price is justified, and on a monthly basis, not that much higher than most of the competition. The three-year service contract definitely lags behind our other Editors' Choice winner, Vivint, but it's not a big heartache if you know you're not going to leave your current residence and completely opt out of the ADT service inside of three years.
ADT is one of the most trusted home security companies in the U.S., with over 140 years of experience. Its home security systems can be monitored via the app, and are fully customizable, featuring a variety of different options besides burglary protection, such as flood detection, and smoke and heat sensors. ADT Monitored systems can be controlled remotely via the ADT Pulse (R) app.
There are several steps you can take to make sure your home security system is safe from malicious cyber intruders. For starters, replace the system's default password with a unique one that contains a mix of letters, numbers, and symbols. If possible, change your password from time to time. Additionally, make sure your home network is secure. Check the security settings on your wireless router, and consider models that add an extra layer of software protection, like the Bitdefender Box 2.
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.
With ADT Pulse you can control things like lights, door locks, garage doors, and your thermostat all from your smartphone—though it is one of ADT’s more expensive monthly plans ($52.99 per month). ADT is also one of the highest-rated companies for security performance because it uses technology and equipment from Honeywell (the same company that manufactures many high-end commercial security products).

This is what I was wondering myself Andy. Thanks for sharing. I run a small apartment complex and wanted to get a reliable protection service and it looks like ADT is the only one that offers the ability to allow me to make separate logins and new pass codes. The apartments I run are 3 month leases so they are for people in between housing or moving, ect.
I use ADT in all of my tenants homes and they like it. I have a influx of new tenants constantly so each time that happens I change the alarm code and make them a new user login on the ADT pulse app. I realize most people won't need to do all of this extra work when it is just them using it. If it can hold up in rentals it is definitely a worth-while security system!
After your questions are answered about ADT equipment costs and savings, the ADT monitoring rate is the other part of the home security system equation. Alarm monitoring with ADT's monitoring center network is unparalleled in the industry. No other company offers you 6 monitoring centers located across North America. You might be concerned that the best monitoring won't have the best price tag. Rest assured, it's all very competitively priced.
The Pulse app is downloadable via the Google Play Store for Android devices and iTunes for iPhones and iPads. The app can be used to view your system’s status, arm/disarm the system, check motion sensors, turn off lights, and lock doors. It displays a status alert when the alarm system is tripped, and a message is sent to the monitoring center who notifies the police if needed. Those with a Pulse system can also use the app to view surveillance footage of their home in real-time. There is also an ADT Pulse® Voice app. With this app, you can control your home’s smart devices with your voice.
I feel safer both at home and when I’m away. It took no time at all to get used to the system and set up additional codes for those special people who needed them. So far, I’ve only set the alarm off by accident once, when I tossed open a downstairs window one morning before turning off the alarm. Fortunately, I was close enough to the keypad to stop it almost as quickly as it started. It was a great reminder that the alarm is immediate and LOUD!

Heads up -- if you use ADT monitoring services through your landline, if your landline is cut or goes down they are no longer able to monitor it. Use wireless / cell phone towers when you sign up!! I learned this the hardway, after a storm cut out our landline I thought I was still secure but I wasn't and lost a lot of belongings. I suppose it's time to upgrade from landlines anyways by now but I was still paying a cheaper monthly fee for it so I hadn't upgraded.
ADT Pulse + Video. Installation starts at $399. 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 $58.99 per month, ($2,123.64), 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.
I had ADT come in and have their system put in my home I had just purchased. It took 3 hours to install. They had a promotion going on with a free ring camera. But keep in mind. The home when I bought it had a security system already hard-wired into the home. Which was working. I just needed to have a security company come in and take over the system. The salesman told me they would piggy back my system. They did exactly what they said. 45 minutes after the installation was done. I tried to arm the system. It came up with multiple error codes. I called ADT and the salesman who set this up. He said the tech who installed it will call me back in 30 mins. This was a Saturday. Well no call.
The ADT outdoor IP video camera over the garage works well, supports night vision, and is activated automatically via a motion sensor, though you can also log into your Pulse web portal or mobile app and get a live view at any time. However, I experienced several instances where the Pulse software refused to connect to the camera. A technician's visit didn't cure the problem, though he did install a weatherproof sleeve that was overlooked during the initial installation and seemed to reduce the problem somewhat. The ADT Pulse mobile software was updated during my first three months with the system, and since that's happened I've only experienced one outage that was cured by my logging out and back in again.
Because ADT uses individual retailers to sell its equipment and services, you never know exactly what your control panel (and other equipment) is going to look like until the installer knocks on your door. That means that if you like the ADT system at your brother’s house, there’s no guarantee that yours will look the same. This doesn’t impact how well an ADT security system protects your home, but it can be a bummer if you were expecting a particular panel and got something different.
Security Camera Surveillance: You can choose to add a video camera and monitor to your system so you can catch thieves in the act if they do choose to break into your home. Or, you may want to up the ante by installing a complex closed circuit television (CCTV) which features digital recorders, multiple operators, and several cameras. Some systems will also alert you by text if they detect anything, allowing you to log in on your smartphone to view the footage.
I had ADT come in and have their system put in my home I had just purchased. It took 3 hours to install. They had a promotion going on with a free ring camera. But keep in mind. The home when I bought it had a security system already hard-wired into the home. Which was working. I just needed to have a security company come in and take over the system. The salesman told me they would piggy back my system. They did exactly what they said. 45 minutes after the installation was done. I tried to arm the system. It came up with multiple error codes. I called ADT and the salesman who set this up. He said the tech who installed it will call me back in 30 mins. This was a Saturday. Well no call.
As mentioned above, wireless security cameras are easier to install than the wired alternative. Wired cameras must connect to your home’s electrical system, so you’ll need to hire a professional for the installation. Wireless cameras rely on Wi-Fi or other networks. Follow the instructions, and you can set up and connect most cameras in less than thirty minutes.
On the service side, however, ADT has been highly responsive. Support will attempt to fix your problem over the phone, including having you march through the house looking for panels and sensors to tweak, but if they can't help you resolve it within 15 minutes or so, they tend to default to sending someone out. All the technicians they've sent to my house since installation (three of them) have been prompt, courteous, and seemed to know what they were talking about.
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).
Want to save on your next order from ADT Security? Here are a few hot tips: first, check Groupon Coupons for the latest deals! Then, while you're shopping with ADT Security, sign up for emails if you can. This is an easy way to get alerts about promotions without having to hunt them down. And lastly, don’t forget to check the sale and clearance sections. Sort items by price from low to high to find the best bargains!
I have had ADT security for almost 2 years now. I bought the system to help protect my family after a home invasion. After 1 year of service, we moved and chose to transfer service to our new house. We had a technician come out and perform the installation and once that was complete we started using the system. A year after transferring service to my new home, I had an issue with the keypad. I called my local ADT office to have them come out and repair it, only to be informed that they never actually transferred the service to my new address!
The Internet of Things has made it easier than ever to set up a smart home in which you can remotely control your door locks, lights, thermostats, vacuums, lawn mowers, and even pet feeders, using your smartphone and an app. It's also made it simple (and relatively affordable) to monitor your home from pretty much anywhere. Smart security systems are highly customizable and available as do-it-yourself kits or as full-blown setups that include professional installation and monitoring.

This is what I was wondering myself Andy. Thanks for sharing. I run a small apartment complex and wanted to get a reliable protection service and it looks like ADT is the only one that offers the ability to allow me to make separate logins and new pass codes. The apartments I run are 3 month leases so they are for people in between housing or moving, ect.


In the beginning I didn’t think I needed a home security system, my dog was enough. But events happened that made me reconsider. ADT has been a great company for our home. They are professional and are available any time I have a question. The system has been easy to use. I feel much better about working nights knowing my home and loved ones are now protected.
A few of our favorite providers allow you to DIY your alarm system installation, while others send a professional to do the task. Professional installation allows for a home security expert to evaluate your home’s security needs and educate you on how to best utilize your system. The drawback is that professional installation often involves an additional fee. When you opt to DIY, the process is typically quicker and you can avoid any appointment-scheduling acrobatics.
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.

A smart lock is typically part of a robust smart home security setup, but you don't have to invest in a full-blown system to use one. If you're using a home automation hub to control things like lighting and thermostats, you can add a Z-Wave or Zigbee smart lock to the system without much effort. Alternately, if you don't have a home automation hub, look for a Wi-Fi or Bluetooth lock that comes with its own mobile app. Smart locks use standard pre-drilled holes and are fairly easy to install. Some models use your existing keyed cylinder and deadbolt hardware and attach to the inside of your door, while others require that you remove your existing interior and exterior escutcheons and replace the deadbolt and strike hardware.
If you have a wired home security system, your control panel is hardwired into your home and connected to a landline. If a burglar cuts the telephone line, your system may not be able to connect to the monitoring station. A wireless security system is generally considered safer, since they can’t be physically cut by potential burglars. Wireless connections aren’t always foolproof, but many systems have algorithms built in to alert you and the monitoring center of any wireless signal interference.

Horrendous!  I would give ZERO stars if I could.  ADT failed to do the one thing they were supposed to do!!!  ADT sold me on safety and piece of mind yet ADT failed to properly setup the automation and alert settings on my ADT pulse.  Today we were burglarized and because of ADT's egregious FAILURE, our cameras did not record the incident and we could not show any footage to the police officer.  The burglar just walked away completely off the hook, even with us having 3 cameras plus a RING doorbell/cam.  ADT YOU FAILED TO PROTECT OUR HOME!!!!

With six co-located, fully redundant monitoring centers in different regions of the country, the ability to overtake monitoring almost every other security system and with all the industry accolades and accreditations possible, ADT continues to be a great option for many. It’s important to make sure you fully understand the system you are getting and who you are working with. Whether it’s ADT corporate, or Protect Your Home, their largest and most successful and widely recommended authorized dealer, be sure you understand exactly what you are getting, what you will be paying, and what the terms of your agreement mean.
** Information used for home security alarm system comparisons was obtained November 2016 through telephone and online research. ADT prices: based on total out-of-pocket expense to obtain services; installation based on fees for similar home security equipment packages; "Monitoring" price listed includes the additional "warranty" or "extended service plan".
Thanks to advances in wireless connectivity and camera sensors, interior security cameras are more and more affordable for those with a small budget. Better still, many budget cameras have a small form factor to keep them out of the way from prying, unwanted eyes that may enter into your home. The EZVIZ Mini O combines a quality 720p with two-way talk feature all for a very low price.
So glad I read your review because I have been going back and forth what cameras should I get. Really didn’t want an adt camera because my contract start all over again locked in for 36 months again and what if I didn’t like the cameras then I just stuck with it or pay a very high break contract fee. I think I will try some stand alone security cameras for now.

They show up the next day, and I ask a perfectly valid question about after my contract ends, and I stop being monitored by ADT, can I add additional sensors?  The answer? Sure! At $150 a piece plus the install cost for what was monitored equipment, but no longer will be.  I argued with them for a minute and they got defensive and condescending.  Fifth problem I dropped it, but they continued to beat a dead horse.  Finally, I asked them to leave and take their equipment with them.  They looked at me like I was crazy.  Maybe so, but I had had enough of them taking 6-7 hours to install a few plastic pieces around my house and answering personal phone calls and trying to get my dog to like them.  The last two are sort of petty, I know, but they were the icing on the cake for me.


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 $49.99 per month, ($1,799.64), 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.
×