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.


Do-it-yourself security setups are ideal for homeowners on a budget because they can save you a bundle on installation charges and subscription fees. Most DIY systems are easy to install and are sold as kits that you can configure to suit your specific needs. As your needs grow you can order additional sensors and other components at your convenience and pair them to the system in a matter of minutes. Your basic entry-level DIY system may only support one or two wireless protocols and usually offers a limited selection of add-on components, while more expensive DIY systems will support multiple wireless protocols and are compatible with dozens of add-on components.
Thanks to my ADT alarm system, my autistic son is thriving today… Being the parent of an autistic child is very challenging, specifically when his sleeping pattern is so off that we (the parents) are completely exhausted. I had my ADT system for a while and actually was planning on opting out of it. Because I had more “important things” to take care of. One day while at work, the person I left in charge of my child fell asleep, my 3 year old wanderer was actually about to open the door, and the alarm send me an alert as well as another to the police. I’d called home to make the sitter awarded of the situation. That alarm didn’t stop an stranger from entering, but stop my son from being harmed or taken… Thanks ADT….
I upgraded from ADT basic after 8 years to ADT Pulse and it feels like a whole new company and equipment. I went from having to enter my keycode into the panel to now being able to use the Pulse app from our phones and tablets and having live access through the cameras anytime. It cost about $15 more a month than what I was paying but we got rid of the land line and are loving it. Get what you think you might want ahead of time so you don't have to pay to upgrade later. They have good deals and promo's as well.
Yes and no. You're paying that monthly for storage but you have no monitoring setup. No guarantees and other things unique to ADT as well. Security cameras don't act as a full home security system; the two are actually usually bought and used separately. Most people add security camera systems as an added measure of security on top of their monitoring provider. You could go with the basic ADT plan for the alarm system and then add your own camera system (different brand) rather then paying the higher Pulse tier fee. This would be ideal for most people looking to both and still save money in your situation.
All of the systems we've tested feature an app that lets you use your smartphone as your command center to arm and disarm the system, create rules, add and delete components, and receive push notifications when alarms are triggered. Most apps also allow you to do things like view live and recorded video, lock and unlock doors, change thermostat settings, and silence alarms. Some apps will even use your phone's location services to automatically arm and disarm the system according to your physical location. The more expensive systems usually come with a wall-mounted panel that acts as a communications hub, with a touch-screen display that allows you to do everything the app does. The display lets you communicate with a professional monitoring service when an alarm is triggered and view video from any of the installed security cameras.
If we are counting rankings then my vote is 4/5. I just got them cause I felt I knew them best. My family had ADT growing up and so I followed suite. I didn't really compare it to other companies so can't say I know ADT is #1 or anything but the tech that installed our system did it quick and they showed us how to work it. Their pulse app took some getting used to as I don't really care for a "smart" home and I usually end up using the key remote they got me instead of my phone.
Additionally, devices that connect via Wi-Fi, such as security cameras and smart door locks, can be hacked to gain access to your home network. A skilled hacker can then use your Wi-Fi devices and other network resources to carry out Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks against larger networks. Perhaps even more disturbing is the idea of some stranger monitoring video from your indoor and outdoor security cameras.
Millions of people use ADT alarm systems to protect their homes every day. It’s by far the most popular provider in the nation. But what makes it so popular? ADT has been around longer than any other security company, with 140 years of experience. It uses locally authorized resellers to sell and install its products, which allows ADT to cover more areas of the country. It’s also got multiple monitoring centers running 24/7 to help prevent any kind of service outage. That’s not to say other companies don’t do the same thing; ADT just does it on a larger scale. Because of the local vendors, your experience with ADT will vary greatly based on your location.
Installation: Some companies offer professional installation while others send you equipment to install yourself. Both options are fine—it really comes down to personal preference. Most companies that offer professional installation don’t charge huge installation fees, and some companies that have you install equipment yourself still charge activation fees.
*$99 Customer Installation Charge. 36-Month Monitoring Agreement required at $36.99 per month ($1,331.64), 24-Month Monitoring Agreement required at $36.99 ($887.76) for California, including Quality Service Plan (QSP). Form of payment must be by credit card or electronic charge to your checking or savings account. Offer applies to homeowners only. Local permit fees may be required. Satisfactory credit history required. Certain restrictions may apply. Offer valid for new ADT Authorized Premier Provider customers only and not on purchases from ADT LLC. Other rate plans available. Cannot be combined with any other offer.

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!


Since buying this hub I am pretty happy with it. Still getting everything setup just the way I like it, but a lot less of a headache. I am having an issue with the battery being no good, but I opened a ticket for it and I am sure it's as easy as sending a new one out to replace it. It is a bit price, but I had ADT come out to give me a quote and just for the bear minimum it was about $1200. So, $400 is not too bad from that point of view and also no long-term contract. I can start and stop my monitoring at any time. I also got all of my sensors and motion detectors at 50% off during a sale so that was pretty good too.
- 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.
That said, my installation price is considerably higher than what most people will see, since ADT installed several components simply so I could make them part of my test. ADT claims typical installations in homes similar to mine would be around $1,100. A spokesperson broke down those averages across its core tiers with Tier 1 (Traditional) averaging between $49 and $500 for installation, then $28.99 per month, and Tier 2 (Remote) averaging $500 to $1,000 for installation, then $47.99 per month. Tier 3 (Control) and Tier 4 (Video, which was my tier) generally run $1,000 to $1,500 and above for installation, and then $49.99 per month for Control and $59.99 per month for Video.
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.
ADT is one of the most familiar home security companies out there and the name recognition can inspire confidence in customers and help to deter potential burglars. The company loses a few points because it uses local retailers with varying levels of customer service. ADT monitoring is also more expensive than other monitoring services, so it’s not the best option for people on a tight budget.
While some providers outsource their monitoring to third-party dispatch centers, ADT guarantees its monitoring is done in its six dedicated command centers. Keeping monitoring in-house helps control for quality and promises the dispatchers have an understanding of your security equipment. Command centers are located nationwide and employ thousands of trained dispatch operators. And, they monitor around the clock, ensuring your home remains safe 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
I am a single mother and the "security system" I have received is a necessity. I do not feel safe which is the entire reason I went with a home security system. I'm still waiting for that amazing 'peace of mind' to happen as you see advertised everywhere but I do feel better with it installed thus far. I think I will always be paranoid regardless of what I have at home but it's a step in the right direction.
This company sucks! They insisted that I needed an ugrade to my monitoring to wireless. They sent out a rep that changed my system to wireless. Well the sensor in my bedroom kept signaling that there was break in. The police came out 3 times, where I was charged for 3 false alarms. I called ADT to complain, they said that I had to pay for the false alarms and show them proof of payment to be reimbursed. They sent out their tech, that fixed the problem and I mailed them proof of payment for the false alarms. We went around and aroud with them sayig theey had to investigate the problem! What?! After 6 months of the back and forth, approximately, a supervisor tells me that they do not give... Read More
Hey Jen, the thing I have liked most about ADT is you get the most respect out of the yard sign for it. Sounds like you are in the ghetto (or bad part of town) like me and just having the sign alone gives my home the respect it needs on the block. I like the service too but the sign is the best part, also nice if you work graveyards or weird shifts like lots of us in the hood do.
The most common type of motion sensor is the infrared sensor. These sensors emit infrared light and are triggered when they detect body heat. They identify intruders by comparing the heat of inanimate objects with the heat of anything moving in its field of detection— like a human. Many motion sensors are designed with Pet Immunity to avoid false alarms being triggered by small pets in the home.
×