Our experience with professional installation was mixed. Our tester said the technician provided solid customer service: “He dropped a few unnecessary window sensors from my bill after deciding that the motion detector was sufficient for the entire front half of my home.” However, there were some issues with connecting the command hub to our tester’s network.
Vivint offers a month-to-month contract, but you’ll need to purchase all of your equipment upfront to open up that option. Like most home security companies, Vivint’s equipment can be costly, and paying at least $600 at the time of purchase might not fit into your budget. If you can swing it, however, month-to-month service is more flexible than a long-term contract — and helps you avoid potential termination fees.
Home automation may not be something you’ve considered, but many home security providers offer it with higher-tier packages. Not everyone needs complete control over their lights, locks, and robovac, but home automation comes in handy if you travel frequently or desire complete convenience. Before choosing a home security package, think about your smart home needs and if this technology may be something you’ll want in the future.
ADT Pulse Installation starts at $199. Burglary, Fire, Carbon Monoxide and Medical Alert monitoring requires purchase and/or activation of an ADT security system with monitored Burglary, Fire, Carbon Monoxide and Medical Alert devices. Fire, Carbon Monoxide and Medical Alert services are an additional charge. Quality Service Plan (QSP) is ADT's Extended Limited Warranty. 36-month monitoring contract required from $52.99 per month, ($1,907.64), including Quality Service Plan (QSP). Additional charges may apply in areas that require guard response service for municipal alarm verification. Prices subject to change. Prices may vary by market. Some insurance companies offer discounts on Homeowner's Insurance. Please consult your insurance company. Local permit fees may be required. Satisfactory credit history required. Additional monitoring fees required for some services. Photos are for illustrative purposes only and may not reflect the exact product/service actually provided.
ADT Security Services is the largest home security provider in the US. Compared with most other home security companies, ADT offers a wider range of services. They also have six monitoring centers nationwide that are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Protect Your Home-ADT Authorized Premier Provider provides home security equipment packages that can connect to one ADT’s monitoring centers. This helps homeowners combine the monitoring expertise of ADT with the value offered by Protect Your Home.
Of all the DIY systems we looked at, Abode’s free self-monitoring plan packs the most punch. With no subscription whatsoever, you can use every feature available on the mobile app (which includes options like push notifications, a live surveillance feed, and system controls) and you get access to three days’ worth of system activity, like when a particular door was opened or a particular motion sensor was triggered. If you want to bump that history up to two weeks, the Connect plan costs $10 per month. And for $30 per month, you get a 90-day timeline plus professional monitoring.
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.
Review Last updated: August 1, 2018. Before home security systems existed, ADT hired guards that securely transferred money for banks and businesses. Fast forward 130 years and they are now the largest home security company with over 7 million active customers. What do we like? ADT reviews have stayed true to their core business of home security while several others ventured off into the internet, solar or TV space.
We required all systems have Z-Wave Support — the most universal mesh network for communicating appliance to appliance. One of the biggest draws of a DIY system is the opportunity to add in third-party equipment (like Philips Hue lights or a Nest Thermostat) at any point. A Z-Wave compatible system can connect 1,700 home security and automation products from more than 450 companies. Plus, you have flexibility in where you place various devices because Z-Wave can communicate farther distances than competitor networks.
As the largest and most well-known brand in home security, ADT has a lot to offer homeowners looking for a professionally installed security solution from a company that has been part of the industry since the beginning. They continue to innovate and improve, taking advantage of technological advances and evolving their product offering to meet the needs of modern homeowners. ADT has recently made significant strides in the connected home space as the home automation market continues to expand. ADT’s Canopy® is a new professional monitoring service designed to support their partnerships and integrations with smart home devices and ecosystems such as Samsung’s SmartThings (as well as their smart watch, the S2), Nest and LG. ADT Pulse Home security also continues to evolve with the addition of voice command capabilities and the company’s partnership with IFTTT allows ADT Pulse users even more ways to interact and control their home environment and security system.
With ADT Pulse, you have control over your security camera system. This means you can turn on lights or integrate security cameras with motion sensors so that the camera records any movement detected during specific hours. You can verify that your children are home by setting the security camera to record motion from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. on school days, for example. ADT's equipment is comprehensive, but the company does not publicly give details on its security packages.
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.
Thanks to our state-or-the-art home security systems, we are able to calibrate our equipment to better fit your needs. Specifically, our motion detectors can be adjusted to ignore weights up to 40 pounds. Therefore, pets and babies won’t trip the sensor causing a false alarms. PIR sensors avoid false alarms by being able to detect heat, temperature and waves, not just movement. During installation, our professional technicians will provide information about our home security systems to ensure you get the best equipment for your home.
Like many other entry sensors in the kits on this list, these little devices are made up of two pieces connected by a magnet. Attach the alarm to your window or door (one piece on the door, one on the frame) and when an intruder opens it, the magnetic connection separates and triggers a 100dB alarm. Reviewers love this product for its easy installation and budget-friendly price tag.
I was very impressed and pleased with the service received today, Sept. 2, 2014 by technician xxxxxxx. He was very professional and efficient in changing out/updating my control panel and demonstrating features of my system that I never before knew. xxxxxx was respectful of my alarm areas and even dusted off the top of my control box so the dust wouldn’t fall on the floor. He ended the call by making sure I had no more questions or concerns and by conducting a final check of my system. He exemplifies true customer service!
Customers must sign a 24 or 36-month contract depending on their location. However, ADT also offers a 6-month money back guarantee. If during the six months following your installation ADT can’t resolve any service or installation-related concerns, you can return your equipment and receive a refund from ADT for the installation fee and any monitoring expenses paid within six months. As always, certain restrictions apply.
Agreed, thanks for the research on this company. You guys pointed out several things I didn't know or hadn't thought of. The only reason I was maybe not going to get ADT was because it seems 'generic' but they seem to have the best equipment and their contract states they won't raise your monthly price so all around worth it. After calling a few other companies as well I feel much more comfortable with ADT's reliability.
I love all of the features with this new system. It’s great for pet owners. I do have to say that it is a little confusing how the packages are displayed online, versus what you can get from the company on the phone, or in person. I currently have the middle tier, but I’m maxed out on ‘points’ for more equipment. I can apparently buy the hardware at full price and install it for it to work, but I cannot get it for free like the rest of the equipment.This isn’t a huge drawback, since I did get free hardware and install, but it’s not stated clearly online. So far everything has been working great, and I’m excited to not worry about break-ins or fires. Wish the contract was not for 5 years. Seems a little excessive.
SimpliSafe’s new equipment also pairs with select smart home devices like the Nest Thermostat and August Locks. Additionally, it syncs with both Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, which means you can now control your SimpliSafe system via voice commands. Just as with the redesigned equipment, this home automation update puts it in league with competitors — particularly those with DIY installation. While it’s still not as robust as offerings from company’s like Vivint, this is a huge step forward.
ADT, like other security companies, will not charge you for interactions or calls. However, if you get multiple false alarms called from your residence, you may have to pay fines to the city for taking up police officers’ time. But we wouldn’t worry too much because ADT will test your system for flaws after installation, thus reducing the potential for false alarms.
ADT doesn’t have the strongest customer service reputation among the companies we considered, racking up more than 3,000 complaints on its Better Business Bureau page. While we chalked most of this up to the fact that ADT has several million more customers than its competitors, our tester began his call with low expectations. He was pleasantly surprised, saying, “My needs drove the conversation. And once I finally had the quote, he explained the purpose behind each device I was receiving and what the installation might entail. He took extra time to help me weigh whether I needed home automation or not — and I’m almost positive it wasn’t scripted.”
ADT has one advantage over every other home surveillance camera system in our review: It offers unlimited cloud video storage as part of its security camera services, whereas the industry average is less than 1GB. You can keep as much security footage as you like, for as long as you like. ADT offers four security camera options that we confirmed based on documentation in the support section of the company's website. These cameras come in indoor and outdoor options.
Sensors: Most home security systems include motion sensors and door or window sensors. We suggest getting motion sensors for areas in your home that could be dangerous for children or pets (the garage, the sewing room, the laundry room, etc.). It’s also smart to get enough window sensors and door sensors to cover every possible entrance to your home.
Emergency sensors are an added layer of security most people don't always think about. Flood sensors will help to detect and notify you of any moisture in your home caused by flooding, burst pipes, or any other water-related emergency. These sensors should be installed in leak-prone areas of the home, like behind the water heater or under sinks. Carbon monoxide detectors will help alert you when high levels of CO are detected in your home, and smoke sensors detect smoke and spikes in temperature.