I tested ADT Pulse (starting at $28.99 per month plus components and installation), which combines the company's alarm and security service with home automation and monitored surveillance. ADT easily rivals its top competitors, including Vivint Smart Home, in functionality, though if you opt for the top of its service tiers as I did, you might want to prep yourself for sticker shock. Even so, ADT Pulse earns our Editors' Choice for home security systems.

This particular Shield system comes with the SimpliSafe base station (which plugs into the wall), six entry sensors, two motion sensors, a keypad, and a key fob so you can easily arm the system when you leave. Like many other systems on this list, SimpliSafe doesn’t require any tools to install. Just stick the sensors to your windows and doors, pair them with the mobile app, and you’re ready to go. SimpliSafe sells additional sensors so you can expand your system as needed. It is compatible with Amazon Alexa. 
I paid premiums to ADT for seven years. When my system started beeping, it took me two sleepless nights, three days, and five phone calls to get help , I discovered I could not have used the system anyway because I did not remember my password. ADT has no security questions that they ask to verify who you are. What a waste of money! When I decided to end my service with them, I was told it would take a written letter and thirty days to stop the service-time to collect another premium. I do not recommend this company. I give them zero stars, but the review would not submit unless I gave them some stars.
I have been an ADT customer for my two businesses. Because the locations were far apart I had to make it two separate systems but I still got a good discount for having them both under my name. I got all the equipment for free, and their Pulse monitoring package for under $99 a month (keep in mind that's 2 locations). I figure that is a cheap price to pay to keep an eye on all the high expenses inside my business and I am going to do it for my home too. Cheaper then most the other home bills people pay like TV, internet and utilities and yet it actually protects the most important things, their valuables and their family members. It's a wonder why some people are too cheap to pay for this assuming they can afford a house in the first place.

Link Interactive has an à la carte equipment selection model, so you can pick the equipment that’s important to you without paying for a preselected package. Link offers a variety of monitored sensors and detectors, home automation control, and video surveillance that are all designed for easy DIY installation. Link Interactive also has a 30-day risk-free trial.

Home automation refers to anything that you can control indirectly, either by remote control, mobile app, or IFTTT automation. (“If This, Then That” is a formulaic programming approach, i.e. “if I open my garage door, then turn on my living room lights and set my thermostat to 72 degrees.”) While some of this can seem a little convoluted or overboard with custom options, most operations are simple to set up.
When your house will be empty, you can arm the system in "Away Armed" mode for maximum protection and coverage. When you're at home or sleeping, you can arm the system in "Home Armed" mode. This will keep the perimeter secure (doors and windows armed) while allowing you to get up, and move around inside the house (motion detectors disarmed). Getting a late night snack won't wake up the whole house!
To protect your privacy, Zmodo apps and Indoor/Outdoor Wireless Kit devices connect to the Zmodo servers using bank-level AES 256-bit encryption and Transport Layer Security (TLS). All video and pictures are secured with AES 256-bit symmetric-key encryption. Only the customer can decrypt and view the video through approved clients (our mobile and web apps) with their account credentials. The Zmodo Indoor/Outdoor Wireless Kit also has perfect forward secrecy, using AES 256-bit private keys for key exchange with the Zmodo servers. We also employ other security measures to protect private data, such as secure HTTP access (HTTPS) using TLS/SSL, and more.
Scout doesn’t have as many extra features as some other alarm systems, but if you currently have a Nest Learning Thermostat or a Nest Cam, you’ll love this new, modern take on home security. Scout offers the lowest monthly monitoring price we’ve seen for cellular monitoring at $9.99 a month, but keep in mind that it’s not connected to a professional monitoring center unless you upgrade to $19.99.
Reviews.com has an advertising relationship with some of the offers included on this page. However, the rankings and listings of our reviews, tools and all other content are based on objective analysis. For more information, please check out our full Advertiser Disclosure. Reviews.com strives to keep its information accurate and up to date. The information in our reviews could be different from what you find when visiting a financial institution, service provider or a specific product’s website. All products are presented without warranty.
This will depend on which option you choose. We were able to find that most, but not all, ADT packages require a landline. For an added cost, you can have the ADT Cellular Guard technology monitoring package with Remote and Video service levels. Basically, your control panel will be equipped with a cellular chip. You won’t have to choose either a landline or cellular connection—you can simply have the cellular as a backup in case something happens to your landline.
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.
I do not know who trains these sales people, but their tactics leave a lot to be desired. Yesterday my husband was outside and a Vivint salesperson approached him and told him that if he were to cut our phone line we would not have service with ADT. My husband replied that he could not just cut them as they are on the roof and the salesman said he could cut the phone lines and break into our home and my husband told him that if he did he would get shot.
Your base security system package normally includes 3 window and door sensors, but we’ve been given special permission by ADT to throw in 3 EXTRA sensors for FREE with every system we give away. The FREE1 system ($850 retail value) plus the extra sensors ($450 retail value) gives you a total value that is more than you’ll get with other security system retailers.
The story: Founded in 1874 by Edward Calahan. They started out as a messenger/alarm service but quickly added fire and local authorities. In 1909, they were purchased by AT&T (a name you surely recognize). Shortly thereafter, AT&T sold ADT again. Fast forward some years to 1969 and ADT went public. In 1984, the were renamed and ten years later passed their one-millionth customer. In 1997, Tyco International Ltd. bought them out and since then they have acquired dozens of Ma & Pa security companies as well as big ones such as Brinks and Broadview Security.
Blink is a wireless security camera system that requires AA batteries and a Wi-Fi connection to operate. The company’s three-camera package is one of our favorites because it can cover a lot of square footage (like the first floor of a house). Each device comes with easy-to-install wall-mounting hardware. Need an extra camera? You can amp up your security by purchasing add-ons for your system.
As far as home automation goes, ADT Pulse helps you automate lights, thermostats, and door locks. The ADT system integrates with Alexa and Nest. Alexa integration lets you use voice commands to arm and disarm your system, control lights, lock and unlocking doors, while Nest integration allows you to control your thermostat. You can also adjust the temperature manually using your smartphone, tablet, or computer.

On-the-Go Access: Thanks to advancements in technology, monitoring your home while you’re away for extended periods has never been easier. Logging into your account online or through an app on your smartphone, you’re able to keep tabs on the comings and goings at your property even if you’re thousands of miles away. This is a huge plus for business owners too as they can monitor employees, day-to-day operations, out-of-hours deliveries, and so on while they’re on the move.

A larger security company that continually monitors your home will have a designated station that watches thousands of homes and businesses at once. They cost more because they have to go through verification with the Underwriters Laboratories (UL), an independent, non-profit organization that specializes in testing services and products to ensure maximum reliability and safety.

The next plan up is called Basic Security + Wireless Connect. This plan offers everything in Basic Security plus Equipment Service Protection for a total cost of $48.99/month, or around $12/week. The main difference is that Basic Security + Wireless Connect doesn’t require a landline connection, making it an attractive option for customers without a landline installed. Security systems with wireless connectivity are also great for customers who don’t want to run the risk of burglars cutting their wires. Plus, alerts tend to reach monitoring stations faster with cell radio than with landlines.

Disclaimer: The information featured in this article is based on our best estimates of pricing, package details, contract stipulations, and service available at the time of writing. All information is subject to change. Pricing will vary based on various factors, including, but not limited to, the customer’s location, package chosen, added features and equipment, the purchaser’s credit score, etc. For the most accurate information, please ask your customer service representative. Clarify all fees and contract details before signing a contract or finalizing your purchase.
As a Contributing Editor for PCMag, John Delaney has been testing and reviewing monitors, TVs, PCs, networking and smart home gear, and other assorted hardware and peripherals for almost 20 years. A 13-year veteran of PC Magazine's Labs (most recently as Director of Operations), John was responsible for the recruitment, training and management of t... See Full Bio
*$99 Customer Installation Charge. 24-Month Alarm Monitoring Agreement required at $33.99 per month ($815.76). Form of payment must be made by credit card or electronic charge to your checking account 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 Dealer customers only and not on purchases from ADT LLC. Other rate plans available. Cannot be combined with any other offer. 24 month applies to California. All other states require 36 month alarm monitoring agreement ($1223.64). Offer not available in all areas.
Once you own the equipment, you can move ADT home security monitoring to just about anywhere in the US and all you’ll have to do is pay a small activation fee (which you may even be able to get waived) to get it started up again. ADT also offers discounted equipment with its “Mover’s Guarantee,” so there’s no need to worry if you want the service but don’t plan on staying in the same spot.

Well - after being an ADT customer for 5 years and really never having an issue with one exception. when we bought the newest indoor infared camera I was not excited about the fact that it doesn't work in total darkness like they say. That is usually not an issue because we have a light turn on if it senses motion. The issue came when the light bulb burned out and the camera did sense motion but all we got was a clip of total blackness. Also the 4 minute reset is definetly an issue. When will ADT fix this? I am considering a nest camera because of these issues.
I give them 3.5 stars out of 5. Their equipment is the only thing lacking to me compared to what I have seen with some of my friends but I also haven't upgraded to the new Pulse system yet so I can't really judge apples to apples. I do feel safer with ADT and had them 2 years now. Does anyone know if they offer infrared motion detectors with camera in them? I have seen these advertised but don't really know where to get them. Also, what are the add on costs for more equipment?
Remote Control: Instead of using the keypad to deactivate your alarm, some systems do come complete with a remote control. There are some disadvantages to these, however, including the inability to see if your alarm is activated (adding to the risk of you tripping the system), and if the remote is stolen, it provides thieves with an easy way of deactivating your alarm.
very happy with our system. has never failed, feel very secure when we turn it on at night. would recommend the system to anyone. i dropped a plate in the kitchen and the system came on asking if everything was alright, it sounded like glass breaking when the plate hit the floor. only problem we have is forgetting to turn it off in the morning but that is our fault.
5 years ago my next door neighbors were robbed. I’m not sure what they took but what we knew was that there house had been watched for days by this guy. None of us in the neighborhood felt safe. We got ADT right after that & haven’t regretted it since! We’ve never had a REAL incident but my uncle had come over once late after a night out. As soon as the alarm went off so did the phone. ADT was quick to respond. We all sleep better with ADT!
J comes in and starts looking around and does his ultimate security evaluation which would cover every window door and crack in my house against burglars.  $5,000 to cover all of that.  I said no and he went down the list to cover just the downstairs, then the back of the downstairs, then just the doors. This was the second issue of his high pressure sales tactics “I’m not trying to scare you, but…” That’s exactly what it felt like he was trying to do.
Their products have stayed up to date. They do a lot of product testing and data gathering before launching a new product into their lineup. Because of this careful consideration (and lack of bugs in their app) I will continue to be loyal to ADT. I have friends that go with other companies only to suffer lots of technical problems, faulty equipment and things that can only be worked out over years of testing with millions of users.
ADT’s long-standing presence on the home security scene is worthy of the accolades and recognition they’ve garnered over the years. ADT is the largest security company on the market, offering notable features like the ADT Pulse® app for mobile access and alerts, and CellGuard® wireless monitoring, which connects to the monitoring center without a landline. Combine this with Protect Your Home’s wireless system that uses radio waves to connect the sensors and cameras to the control panel, and you’re home is completely free of wires and cables. Protect Your Home, an ADT Authorized Premier Provider, only offers professional installation at this time, but can do same-day installation in most areas.
Just got the service Saturday and on Tuesday canceled,why because I got lied to.seen commercial saying camera was free but when he was at my home said it’s 300 for it,when called the supervisor told my husband,when she goes to buy a new car with bells and whistles there are hidden prices that you have to pay.that did it for us thank goodness we faxed the cancellation.1/16/18
$99 Customer Installation Charge. 36-Month Monitoring Agreement required at $27.99 per month ($1,331.64). 24-Month Monitoring Agreement required at $27.99 ($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. Termination Fee applies. 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.

Setting up your security system on your own saves you money that you’d normally spend on professional installation—but your time is valuable too, so installing your own system still needs to be easy. SimpliSafe’s equipment is easy to set up. You don’t need to connect any wires or drill holes. This means you can set it up quickly, but it also means you can pack it up and move it to a new place without much trouble, which makes SimpliSafe an excellent option for renters.
Cellguard is not a single product, but a series of components. First is the security panel. You may be able to use an existing ADT panel, or you may need a newer model with a cellular chip. Once you have a panel with a cellular chip, your system is ready to communicate with the monitoring center through a wireless cellular network. Cellular can be your sole means of communication with the monitoring center, or if you don’t want to ditch your landline, Cellguard can be used as a backup form of communication. In this case, Cellguard stays “switched off” so long as the landline is active, but if your landline is disrupted or disconnected, it automatically “switches on”.

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.


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!

You won’t find any entry sensors with Canary, so it’s not great for homes with many access points (multiple doors and ground-floor windows), though it does have the ability to sync with multiple Canary cameras to form a web of video security. If you’re living in an apartment, and primarily need security cameras for home surveillance, the tower’s 145-degree lens should cover the majority of your living space.
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.
So the salesperson told him that he would wait to talk to me, the wife, and was told that he wouldn’t. Today I was talking to a friend and she was pretty much told the same thing about the phone line and breaking in and she told him that she has a dog and he replied that he could break in and kill the dog, REALLY? This kind of sales pitch is creepy when they say what if I, instead of what if someone. It just makes Vivint’s salespeople sound like stalkers.
While many systems use wireless components that are installed using double-sided tape, some high-end systems use components that require professional installation. These soup-to-nuts systems typically cost considerably more than DIY systems and offer 24/7 professional monitoring, but you may have to enter into a multi-year contract and pay a hefty termination fee if you break it. They usually use touch-screen hubs that contain RF, Wi-Fi, Zigbee, and Z-Wave radios, allowing them to communicate with and control a multitude of components including door and window sensors, door locks, glass break detectors, indoor and outdoor cameras, light switches, motion and water detectors, smoke/CO alarms, thermostats, video doorbells, and a host of other home automation devices.
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.
Pricing on Canopy, assuming they move forward with the idea, will depend on what service you choose. In general, it’s significantly less expensive than other ADT options. Through a hands-on experience at CES 2017, I learned that their Panic Response service will be the cheapest Canopy option starting at $10 per month with burglary monitoring starting at $24.99 per month.
I’m not quite sure why so many people are complaining about ADT. It’s not ADT. We had a guy named Brian Andrew from Protect Your Home come to our house and install the alarm. At first, I was very defensive because of all the negative comments on this site, but after he explained everything to me and walked me through the details of the alarm I was at ease and later apologized for being so defensive.
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.

In my time with the system, the big winners so far are ADT's Pulse software, the IP video cameras, and some third-party add-ons, namely the Nest Thermostat and the Ring Video Doorbell. I say big winners because these are the components I use daily—the house hasn't burned, been burgled, or flooded, so I haven't much needed many of the other components, but I'm glad they're there.

Backup System: If your power goes down or your phone line is cut, this backup system will kick in. Alarm systems also come with a backup system, which can keep your alarm going for up to 72 hours by using battery power. If your home uses Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone system, backup systems are crucial because a lot of alarm systems aren’t compatible with this. Alternatively, if you provide cell phone backup, this will allow the monitoring company to get in touch with you via this.
 On average, a basic installation will cost up to $2 per square foot of your property. Monitoring charges are between $25 and $40 per month, with around $10 extra for intercom communication. For pet-friendly devices, an extra $50 to $300 may need adding on, while fire protection features tend to be $5 extra a month. For a remote control, you’ll probably have to pay a one-off fee of up to $100. Fees shouldn’t be charged to connect you with the central monitoring station – this should be included as standard.
I recently received a flyer in the mail with my change of address forms from the post office with an ad for Protect Your Home advertising a “free” alarm system with 5 wireless sensors, motion, panel, and key fob with the signing of a 3 year contract.  I thought, “Great!”  I called the next day and spoke to a very polite sales representative and his manager and was set up to get an alarm installed that very afternoon.  I specifically told him, his manager, and the scheduler that I would not be available until after 4pm.

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.
Most outdoor cameras, like our current top pick, the Netgear Arlo Pro 2, offer motion detection with push and email notifications, night vision, and cloud storage for event-triggered video, and some, like the Ring Floodlight Cam, pull double duty as floodlights or porch lights. Some models can even tell the difference between a passing car, an animal, and a person. Look for an outdoor camera that will integrate with other smart home devices such as garage door openers, external sirens, and smart switches.
The Omni LTe is a scaled down version The Omni LTe is a scaled down version of the popular OmniPro II and Omni IIe security and automation systems. The Omni LTe supports the following protocols and products: X-10 UPB Omni-Bus ZigBee Vizia RF Z-Wave Clipsal C-Bus Dynalite Coolmaster KNX HAI Hi-Fi and HAI Hi-Fi 2. In addition to ...  More + Product Details Close
I have the ADT Premier Pulse system.  I got a good price on the install and the system worked.  Enjoy the automation.  I have added over a dozen of my own modules using the installer code.  Recently I wanted to expand the system with wired camera’s.  To do this requires an IP server/decoder called the NV412A-ADT.  This unit costs about 75 dollars with an ADT analog camera at 250.00  installing one unit can be pretty pricey.  I had analog ADT cameras from another source (ebay) much cheaper.  My local ADT sales person seemed unable or unwilling to purchase the NV412’s for me.  I posted on their facebook page and got a quick response.  They made me advise them of the camera model numbers before they would sell me the product.  My local sales person eventually just stopped trying to help.  I was shocked by that.  Bottom line, they wanted to do the install.  I don’t need them to.  Since they were not going to make any money on the deal they didn’t seem to worried about moving quickly on this issue.  Very frustrating.  I do love the system.
I work for a company that uses ADT in our office for security. We had trouble with a couple sensors for which an ADT tech came to fix. Whatever he did completely messed up the system. We were without an alarm system for over a week because they didn’t have any techs that could come till then. Why do they not treat this as a necessity much like someone that is on 24/7 to fix your furnace if it goes out in the winter. They didn’t care that the office was with out security for over a week. As far as I’m concerned a security company that doesn’t care if you don’t have security is useless. ADT is useless. I’m looking in to Frontpoint to replace ADT in our company. My warning to those seeking ADT for your home. If they don’t care about a business they aren’t going to care about your home.

I have been an ADT customer for my two businesses. Because the locations were far apart I had to make it two separate systems but I still got a good discount for having them both under my name. I got all the equipment for free, and their Pulse monitoring package for under $99 a month (keep in mind that's 2 locations). I figure that is a cheap price to pay to keep an eye on all the high expenses inside my business and I am going to do it for my home too. Cheaper then most the other home bills people pay like TV, internet and utilities and yet it actually protects the most important things, their valuables and their family members. It's a wonder why some people are too cheap to pay for this assuming they can afford a house in the first place.
ADT made some changes to the Pulse app in early 2018. While the UI seems to have gotten a little friendlier, which is always welcome, it temporarily removed one important feature that I missed: cloud storage for my camera view. The camera doesn't have a great track record of performance (see below), but when it worked, I liked having the 30-second clips of whatever video it took available for viewing through the Pulse app. That's been moved to an easily-missed "Clips" button, so be careful to examine the UI closely as new features come out or get deprecated. What you miss might not actually be gone.
ADT uses security equipment by Honeywell, GE, and ITI. Warranty only comes if you buy a Quality Service Plan (QSP). With QSP, there is no extra charge to replace or fix faulty equipment in the first 90 days after the installation. After that, you receive free replacement parts and repairs only if you continue to pay for the QSP. Plus, any service trip costs about $25 depending on your location.
Licenses: AL-17-1104, AZ-ROC217517, AR-2008-0014, CA-ACO6320, CT-ELC.0193944-L5, DE-07-212, FL-EC13003427, DC-602513000006, GA-LVA205395, ID-ELE-SC-39312, IL-127.001042, IN-City of Indianapolis: LAC-000156, IA-AC-0036, KY-City of Louisville: 483, LA-F1082, LA-F1914, LA-F1915, ME-LM50017382, MD-107-1626, MA-1355C, MI-3601205773, MN-TS01807, MS-15007958, MO-City of St. Louis: CC354, St. Louis County: 84959, MT-247, NE-14451, NV-68518, City of Las Vegas: 3000002944, NJ-34BF00021800, NM-353366, NY-Licensed by the N.Y.S. Dept. of State UID#12000317691, #12000286451, NC-1622-CSA, OH-53891446, City of Cincinnati: AC86, OK-1048, OR-170997, Pennsylvania Home Improvement Contractor Registration Number: PA022999, RI-3582, SC-BAC5630, SD-1025-7001-ET, TN-1520, TX-B13734, ACR-3492, UT-6422596-6501, VT-ES-2382, VA-115120, WA-602588694/PROTEYH934RS, WV-042433, WI-City of Milwaukee: PAS-0002790, WY-LV-G-21499.
×