Regardless of if you choose a month-to-month professional monitoring plan or opt to self-monitor your home, SimpliSafe requires you to purchase its equipment upfront. Though it’s less expensive than our other picks, packages start at a couple hundred dollars and go up from there. On the plus side, purchasing your equipment upfront does give you the flexibility to move or cancel your system at any time.
Abode sells a lot of its own devices (which are competitively priced), but it also supports a slew of third-party Z-Wave and ZigBee devices, including all the home automation basics: smart lights, deadbolts, outlets, wall switches. Whether you want to deck out your smart home with convenient automation or fortify it with access sensors and flood detectors, a third-party compatible security system gives you freedom to customize.
I purchased an ADT home security plan through a door to door salesman. The setup and service were quick. Beside the home security update, I also get the camera doorbell and a motion sensor camera for my backyard. They both worked as expected until the last couple of months until I started to notice that the backyard camera no longer recorded and saved on the motion in the radius that is supposed to like it used to. It only saved when there is a bad (windy, storm, etc.) weather and "hit" the camera. A month or 2 later, the camera doorbell also stopped working even after I tried to reset it a few times. They quickly scheduled a tech guy to come out and tried to fix the issues. The doorbell working properly again, however, he wasn't able to fix the backyard motion sensor and wasn't sure on what could cause the issue.
For over two years, I paid ADT monthly for my alarm system, only to find out that they were not actually receiving signals from my home (so, in fact, the alarm system did not work). In compensation, they offered me 6 months at $15/month. Need to test your system more often people and make sure the monitoring company is calling you when the alarm gets set off regardless of what company you have; this should be done!
The morning of 3/15 i noticed my ADT app and camera were not working, later after I had gotten home from work I called ADT customer service. After spending 55 minutes troubleshooting with customer service they decided to send a tech out to fix. 3 minutes after i hung up the phone someone kicked in my front door. Yes they did call me and call the police but the camera was no working and I was unable to see what was going on through my phone. The camera would have gotten a video of the criminal. I called ADT and told them what happened they expedited someone to come out and fix the issue. The tech came on 3/16 and after about two hours was unable to fix the issue. I have it on recording where the tech admitted the hardware had failed. It has only been 15 months and the hardware failed. I had to take off today 3/20 for the tech to come back out and fix it, the tech was able to fix it but now my key fob does not work and they have to send a tech out again and i have to take another day off from work. I called the company multiple times and complained that their equipment failed me when i needed them and i wanted to cancel my contract, they told me i would have to pay all termination fees. I should not have to pay fees because they did not hold up their end of the contract i pay extra for the app and camera and it failed me. I do not want money or anything i just want out of my contract. I have to get a lawyer now and get the BBB involved.
Although we always recommend choosing a professionally monitored home security system, we understand that isn’t the right choice for everyone. If you’d rather handle the installation and monitoring on your own, consider one of these DIY alarm systems. And for more ideas about how you can protect your home yourself, check out our article with DIY home security tips.
I agree with Jan. Security systems are not like a cell phone that you need the 'latest new gadget' every 2 or 3 years. If you get a quality system it can last 10+ years, just make sure you adapt to any big changes. There have really only been a few large leaps in alarm technology. 1) When it went from wired to wireless in later 90's. 2) When it went from land line to cellular towers in 00's. 3) Automation which really is a separate market and niche although closely related. Hope that helps in your decision making!
Like all home security companies, ADT offers a number of different packages to choose from. In addition to monthly monitoring costs, you also need to consider equipment costs, activation fees, installation costs, and the extra expense of any upgrades you select. Because ADT offers so many options and upgrades, it’s easy to end up with a customized ADT package that is more expensive than its competitors. Just be sure to keep a tally as you work with an ADT security pro to put together the right package for your home. If budget constraints are a factor, let your representative know up-front how much you can afford.
I have experienced ADT security at several different places I have lived. The customer service reps are very professional and helpful. We experienced one bad experience where the alarm was going off for some technical reason but we received the phone call and the alarm sent the police to our house. It was a big mess but the only time that ever happened and considering the rest of the time our customer service was exceptional so we kind of over looked the one bad experience.
There are several types of motion sensors out there, the most common being PIR (passive infrared) sensors that detect body heat. These sensors are ideal for home security use as they are cost effective and work well indoors in any lighting environment. Active motion sensors emit microwaves to detect movement and are better suited to harsh environments, including outdoor use, but are prone to false alerts due to wind-blown debris. A dual motion sensor combines both active and passive technology to reduce false alerts and provide an extra measure of reliability.
Like any product that connects to the internet and uses wireless technology, smart home security systems are vulnerable to hacking, particularly systems that lack encryption. Hackers can sit outside your home and use a laptop and software to intercept wireless signals coming from your system that allow them to suppress alarms and disable sensors. Other devices allow hackers to generate radio noise that can jam communications between the sensors and the hub.
“They are always there when you need them which is what I like the most. Highly recommend ADT to all my family and friends. Even when you call with stupid questions they are there for you. The system is that sensitive that it realized something was wrong regarding the heating and a/c and sensed the burnt out panel long before we would have. Thanks.” – David, October 6, 2017, Consumer Affairs
After spending 1.5 hours on the phone and speaking to SEVEN operators, I STILL wasn't able to cancel my service. (I want to bundle with Xfinity.) While I was on hold, I was contemplating whether to keep ADT service so that I wouldn't have to pay the $480 penalty fee to break my contract. But, after that experience, I'd happily pay that amount so that I won't ever have to deal with ADT or Safe Street ever again!
Since announcing their relationship in August 2014, IFTTT and ADT have been working on creating a channel that connects an ADT Pulse-enabled home with more than 100 existing IFTTT channels that can adjust thermostats during a snowstorm or disarm the system when GPS data indicates you’re getting close to home. Additionally ADT has announced partnerships with Samsung on SmartThings/ Smart Watch integration and LG on a standalone security device. Soon with ADT Canopy, a monitoring service focused on these partnerships will allow users to add monitoring services to their smart devices.
Chances are if you’re thinking of a friend or neighbor’s home security system, they probably have an ADT sign out front. ADT has been considered the industry standard for home security, and although some of their stuff might not be as flashy, the equipment is solid and the monitoring aspect receives good reviews with customers (although sales and installation customer service could use some love). Plus, you can always expand your system with home automation options.
Smart guy Dallin! So many people think a gun is enough but we hear so many stories of home invasions happening when the gun wasn't close enough to get or the burglar getting in at night and the residents sleeping through it until it's too late. At least with any alarm system in place you get a good 30 second warning to get things ready in case of a face to face conflict.
My rating is 8.5/10. I have been with them for over 5 years and just renewed my contract to get a couple of their security cameras. They've always called me each time my alarm goes off which is good for me as I am both a Mother and work a full time job. I'm loving these new mobile controls and being able to see what's going on in my home from work within the Pulse app.
Look for a model that offers a high resolution (1080p), a wide angle lens (140 to 180 degrees), a night vision range up to 25 feet, and affordable cloud storage for recorded video. Sometimes it's helpful to be able to see what happened just before or after a visitor approaches your door. For that, you'll need a doorbell that uses pre-buffering to record the action taking place before motion is detected or the doorbell is pressed.
One day, I burned some food on the stove and set the fire alarm off. The phone rang immediately. I mean, I didn’t need any help or anything, but the speed of their response was impressive. The one time I did need this alarm was when I got robbed. Some kids apparently walked out of my house with my most valued posession in broad daylight on a weekday. Unfortunately, like I said, I hadn’t been setting the panel anymore. So I had to make an insurance claim. I’ve had no problems with the product or the monitoring service. The only thing I would warn people about is in making the habit of using it. I’m now considering adding video cameras, which has brought me here so I wanted to leave my 2 cents behind. Thanks.
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.
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.
Current ADT customers.. If you are making changes to your home that will effect the security system like putting in new windows expect to pay for a tech to come out and fix or install the new equipment needed. Tech rates will be like what you should expect when you take your car in and have no idea whats wrong with it. You’ll see a up front rate plus an hourly rate. Equipment cost is a whole other issue.
My upfront costs were high compared with the competition, and even if they'd come in at ADT's more average price of $1,100 to $1,500, I still would have choked a bit. But as you'll see below, mine is a fairly decked out example of an ADT installation. While I wasn't thrilled about the very expensive startup charge, the monthly dues seem reasonable considering what was installed. And while my addition of the Quality Service Plan cost me another $11 per month, I felt that was worth it since it covers parts and labor on any devices that need fixing; and besides, I received a $7 and change monthly discount because I'm a State Farm customer, a discount that'll apply to you, too, if you use not just State Farm, but also USAA, MetLife, Chubb, and several other insurance providers. That brought me down to just under $64 per month, which I feel is worth it.
Alex Colon is the managing editor of PCMag's consumer electronics team. He previously covered mobile technology for PCMag and Gigaom. Though he does the majority of his reading and writing on various digital displays, Alex still loves to sit down with a good, old-fashioned, paper and ink book in his free time. (Not that there's anything wrong wit... See Full Bio
GetSafe’s no-contract option offers all of the security with none of the commitment at the same monitoring price as its contract plans. Going with its month-to-month option instead of its one- or three-year contracts doesn’t mean skimping on service, either. You still get helpful features like push and email notifications, system updates, and a homeowners insurance discount. (Note: If you choose a no-contract plan, you’ll have to buy your equipment outright. GetSafe’s one- and three-year plans come with a starter kit and a hardware credit for additional equipment.)
SimpliSafe doesn’t require contracts, which tells us that it is confident in the service it provides and doesn’t need to lock you down. SimpliSafe offers low-cost cellular monitoring starting at $15 to $25 per month depending on whether you want mobile access. The only company with a similarly low monitoring cost is Scout, but it doesn’t offer the same range of equipment that you can get with SimpliSafe.
I talked with a representative about a home security system. As we talked she asked me questions regarding number of windows/doors etc. She told me we would get window/doors sensors (never actually told me how many my mistake for not asking), also told me it wasn't a problem to include an extra key fob and the really great news was we were going to have all this "free" money to purchase anything else we wanted off the service truck. Salesman and installer arrive and we find out that extra key fob was coming out of our "free" money the representative never ever mentioned this fact.
We have been with ADT for 5 years now, we called today to let them we are moving and would need our service transferred. They said there would be an installation charge, ok fine, but offered us less equipment at a higher monthly charge!!! They said that cost is based on service not equipment, we want the same service we have now, no add ones. BS and if we want to cancel that will cost us $500!!! Why just because we want to move which by the way is in the same area, will cost us more and we have to get less equipment.
Ranging from $9/week* to $14/week*, find an ADT alarm monitoring solution that fits your lifestyle and security needs. Call to speak to a monitoring professional who will help you find exactly what you’re looking for, whether you prefer easy-to-use equipment or advanced remote monitoring. And if you order today, you’ll get a $100 Visa® Reward Card. **