We have had an ADT monitored system for a few years now and I have no complaints whatsoever. We have intrusion monitoring as well as 24-hour fire monitoring. It gives us peace of mind when we are not home knowing that ADT is watching over our home. In addition, I would definitely suggest getting a second keypad for the bedroom, to prevent false alarms (think about waking and stumbling downstairs before your morning coffee).
I had service with ADT for a number of years. During that time, I had one minor kitchen fire and incorrectly entered my alarm code one time. I was able to put a lid over the pan to extinguish the fire, but ADT called almost before I had done that. The night I entered my security code incorrectly, I went straight into the shower and didn’t hear them calling. (Living in a condominium, I had a silent alarm.) By the time I finished my shower, the police were at my door.Fortunately, those were the only two times the alarm went off, but I was impressed with how quickly ADT responded. I had shopped around before getting the system installed, and they were also offering a very competitively priced package.
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).
To unlock video surveillance and advanced smart tech features, you’ll need its $50-per-month Ultimate plan. That’s a high price for home automation when compared to competitors like Vivint, which lets you add those features at every tier (starting at $40 per month). If you opt for a package that doesn’t include live video surveillance, consider purchasing a standalone security camera. The best home security cameras on the market range in price, but average around $200.
Bernadette, wow! We are so relieved to hear no was hurt, and on Christmas morning! That is exactly what ADT is here for. Our first priority will always be your safety. We could not be happier to hear this amazing story from you, Bernadette. You are very welcome. Our team of highly trained representatives will always be a speedy phone call away 24/7 if any disturbances takes place in your home. Thank you so much for sharing this story with us. Take care, Bernadette! Have a safe and great day! -Katie
It's also important to note here that there's no direct connection between ADT Pulse and ADT Canopy. The Pulse service provides security and automation to your home that you can access and control via the web and your Pulse mobile app. Canopy is a personal and mobile service that integrates with other smart home devices or various Samsung wearables and basically gives you threat protection and access to ADT's emergency dispatch services on the go.
All ADT plans feature 24/7 security monitoring from multiple redundant call centers nationwide (which is key for that homeowners insurance discount), on-site consultation, installation by professional technicians, and 24/7 customer service. ADT makes a big deal out of that last one, considering it a competitive differentiator. Smaller monitored security vendors, like Frontpoint, may offer 24/7 monitoring, but its customer service is unavailable after a certain point in the evening. For issues like broken monitoring equipment, faulty alarms, and similar problems, having a human available around the clock can be a very good thing.
Here’s how it works: When the Canary detects motion, you get a notification on your phone that leads to a live stream of your home so that you can assess the situation. We had complete clarity at over 30 feet in pure blackness, which was the entire length of the room we used for testing. The video stream also appears a bit more stable than other DIY systems and seems to have less latency.
The ADT Pulse system was just what I was looking for. The control and app is very fluid (meaning smooth). Camera quality is much higher than any security cameras (such as Swann or Nest) that my friends have, and then you can have one company across all your home automation platforms. Best to do it this way then having to login separate apps for your home security & cameras. Installation was quick and the tech explained everything, better than a DIY option which is becoming the trend.
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.
In 2017, ADT settled five class action lawsuits that claimed wireless sensors used between November 13, 2009 and August 15, 2016 were vulnerable to hacking. Claimants asserted that hackers could access a security system and disable it through certain wireless sensors used in ADT residential security systems. The suits were centered on ADT’s failure to disclose this potential liability. ADT has denied any liability and maintains that the claims have no merit. Rather than continuing litigation, the company agreed to settle and establish a million settlement fund in order to avoid the ongoing expense and uncertainty. February 26, 2018 was the deadline to file a claim in the settlement.
Frontpoint’s DIY installation process was surprisingly user-friendly. Because it’s a wireless security system, there’s no drilling required to run a phone line, making the process less invasive. A personalized mobile website walks you through how to get the control panel connected and online, how and where to place your door sensors, and what to do if you get stuck.
ADT may have steep early cancellation fees and long contracts, but it also offers some of the best customer guarantees.* The Theft Protection Guarantee protects you if your home is burglarized while your system is armed—ADT will pay up to $500 of your insurance deductible in that case. The company also offers a six-month money-back guarantee and a mover’s guarantee that keeps you from incurring extra equipment costs if you move after being an ADT customer for at least two years. *Certain terms and restrictions may apply. These guarantees may change at any time, so make sure you check with a representative for more details.
In the end, I wouldn’t say they are a scam, but I would say they are highly overpriced for what you get, and they seem to want to take advantage of any situation they can (single females, older people, parents who aren’t willing to have a weapon in the home). The techs didn’t seem to be the most knowledgable either. I’ve since spoken with SecureWatch who has guaranteed enough sensors for all of my doors (not just some) and several windows on the back of my house (all I really wanted) for only the $99 install fee plus taxes! Their monthly rate for the same service is also $5 less a month. The tech has already been out to check out the house and see what I need and made some very helpful suggestions about security in general. He didn’t try to upsell everything in his vehicle either.
You shouldn’t have to drain your bank account to safeguard your home. Fortress Security Store has created several wireless and wallet-friendly DIY systems that make protecting your home a cinch. Our favorite is the Fortress S02 that uses a landline or VOIP connection (think Google Voice combined with an OBi box, Vonage or a voice service from a cable TV company) to dial up to six different phone numbers when the alarm is triggered. Since the company doesn’t offer 24/7 professional monitoring, there are no monthly fees or contracts.
The Nest Learning Thermostat also requires a separate account with Nest, but unlike the Ring, you can control it with the Pulse mobile app or your web portal even though it's not directly connected to the Z-Wave control. This lets you change temperature and activate or deactivate heat or AC. You can read about the details of the thermostat in our dedicated review, but in brief, it's a slightly expensive but excellent device that not only simplifies your heating and cooling, it also learns your living patterns over time and will adjust your HVAC accordingly for peak efficiency.
With professional monitoring, a monitoring service keeps an eye on the status of your alarm system and will contact you within minutes of an alarm to confirm if it’s a true emergency. If so, they’ll dispatch the police or other services for you. If you don’t pick up, most companies will call whomever you’ve designated as your emergency contact. If there’s still no response, they’ll typically dispatch the police.
Within each of ADT’s three package options, you’ve got various ways to upgrade or modify to better match your specific needs. Also, while ADT is known for offering high-quality equipment, if you are planning to lease it or you have your own equipment and you want to just obtain the monitoring service, the plan starts at a very competitive $19.99 a month.