It’s easy to see why SimpliSafe is a crowd favorite—especially among renters. Its no-contract, DIY approach caters to families on a budget, and it’s endorsed by money whiz Dave Ramsey. It’s a solid home security choice, but the lack of home automation features keeps it from rising higher on our list, though it did recently add a security camera to their offerings.
The outside camera is hit or miss and has been since the system was installed. Overall, I'd say it works about 75 percent of the time. ADT has been out twice to fix it with neither visit making any difference. While it has a nice wow factor, the camera isn't really a lynchpin of the system, so I'm not overly concerned with it. Still, it is a primary component and you're paying for it, so overall it could use improvement.
The ADT video plan incorporates video surveillance with the all the features included in the other ADT alarm packages. The plan comes with free equipment installation and a Nest Learning Thermostat which is just one of the perks of paying $49.99 per month for this plan. Not only that, but this plan includes home automation features that let you control door locks, lighting, your thermostat, and your garage, remotely from the ADT Pulse interactive mobile app.
Adt has the worse customer service in the world!!!! Horrible horrible experience with them DO NOT LET THEM TAKE YOUR MONEY WHEN ITS TIME TO REFUND IT YOU WILL NEVER GET IT BACK THEY JUST KEEP ON TRANSFERRING YOU TO DIFFERENT PEOPLE AND PUT YOU ON HOLD AND EVERYTIME YOU’RE ON HOLD ANOTHER PERSON PICKS UP AND YOU HAVE TO EXPLAIN YOURSELF OVER AND OVER AGAIN I AM A CUSTOMER BUT I REGRET IT BECAUSE THEY DON’T TELL YOU THAT YOU ARE ON A 2-3 year contarct with them . The system itself it good but the CUSTOMER SERVICE IS THE WORST OF THE WORST!!!!!!!!
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.
Home security has come a long way over the years, with today’s models featuring all the bells and whistles that allow for them to be fully integrated with home networking systems and smart devices. Of course you’ll want to ensure that whatever system you purchase is compatible with any mobile device you plan to use it with, but there are a few other things to consider before purchasing a smart home security system, including:
Vivint also recently partnered with Google to offer Google Assistant voice control to customers with smart tech. Every new smart home system includes two Google Home Minis. This means that customers can adjust the smart thermostat, lock doors, and arm the system via voice commands. Using a Google Home Mini as the smart hub in your home also ensures that even non-Vivint smart devices are manageable on a single platform.
Netgear Arlo Pro 2: The video resolution and frame goes for 1080p. Field of views goes up to 130 degrees. Night vision is included and the camera uses cloud storage. The pros are excellent-quality 1080p video, weatherproof, rechargeable batteries, supports IFTTT and Alexa voice commands, pre-buffered video recording, continuous recording capabilities, and free and subscription-based cloud storage. The cons are expensive, requires hub (included), and many features are only available when plugged in.
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 really like the upgrade to their Pulse smart phone control app. It makes everything much easier. Got rid of the old crummy control panel, got a sleeker one and put it in the closet and then setup sub accounts for my kids and anyone I want to access the home security system. I don't feel ripped off by their pricing although I'm skeptical that it really costs $50 a month for monitoring. I suppose they need to make their money somewhere and this is where they do.
The rating rang true when we became Vivint customers ourselves. Our tester felt like the installation technician was a guest in his home — he even came prepared with protective shoe covers and asked to borrow the vacuum to clean up the drill debris. The Vivint tech was also upfront after he noticed that our tester had ordered more equipment than he needed. As our tester explained, “I originally asked for an outdoor surveillance camera, but after reviewing the house, the tech felt the doorbell camera was sufficient. Turns out, he was right.” That ended up lowering our tester’s expected price.
1 week ago I agreed on the price I would pay monthly for the alarm service with ADT. The installer came today and the prices of what we had talked on the phone were very, very different, but the surprise was that when the installer came to my house she began to uninstall the existing alarm system and after all that she tells me that the price was different from the one I had agreed on by phone so therefore I canceled the service and had the old alarm system reconnected
Most of our testers had positive things to say about living with their home security systems. They reported that their systems improved their overall peace of mind. If you’re prone to fretting late at night or while away on vacation, home security systems deliver on their promise of reassurance. That’s not to say there weren’t annoyances — which can become major sore points if you’re interacting with your system every time you leave the house. LiveWatch’s piercing, impossible-to-mute beeps drew complaints from one tester, as did Link Interactive’s inaccurate digital display. Others, like Vivint and ADT, were easier to incorporate unobtrusively into our daily routines.
Professional monitoring means that, if an alarm is triggered, your system will send an alert to a command center and a trained dispatcher will assess the situation, alerting local emergency professionals if needed. With DIY monitoring, there’s no command center connected to your system. Your security system will send any alerts to your smart device for you to determine if emergency professionals should be called.
Unlike ADT and Vivint, Frontpoint home security systems are do-it-yourself installation. This means the company will send you the equipment to install on your own. DIY installation is easy and Frontpoint has a personalized website that will walk you through the process. And customer service reps are available should something go wrong. Like other top home security providers, Frontpoint also offers home automation and professional monitoring. However, only one Frontpoint package comes with video surveillance. But if you’re interested in Frontpoint, you could use a third-party security camera in conjunction with your Frontpoint system.
When the tech installed my service he installed the motion detector upside down. Yes, upside down. I didn’t even know I didn’t have service for the first two months because it was scanning my ceiling. I had to go online and look at diagrams to figure it out myself that it was facing the wrong direction! Then they had to send someone back out for them to install it correctly. Then 6 months later, the electric door panel they installed craps out. I call them, and they tell me I have to call the manufacturer to send the device and then call them so they can come install it. Basically, I had to reinstall it myself (took hours) or pay to have ADT install it again.
"When we saw there was an upsurge in break-ins near our home we decided to compare some of the different home security companies, and ended up going with ADT. Choosing ADT to keep our home and family protected was the smartest choice we could have made, so now we don't worry as much as before since we know we're protected by a company that's always keeping an eye on everything 24 hours a day. Thank you ADT!"
ADT Security Services is a well-respected name in the home security market throughout the US and Canada. It’s also the largest provider in these areas. Each ADT security system is professionally installed for free and carries a 6-month money-back guarantee. Customers can bring their own equipment or lease equipment from ADT for home security as well as medical response, disaster protection and home automation.