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.
We have been ADT customers, since ADT took over Broadview/Brinks. Today March 27th 2014, we had our 15y old system upgraded. Our field technician and ADT employee named xxxxxxx gave us outstanding service today. He was professional and knowledgeable, patient with my questions. His answers were complete and at a level that I could understand. We have not always been as fortunate to have such a high level of service, with the company we had before ADT. It is a refreshing experience to encounter someone who is interested in good customer service and makes certain the job is completed correctly before he leaves. You need to “clone” this individual! He is an exceptional example of the type of employee that gives superior ROI to the company he works for.

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!
ADT is the face of home security, thanks to over a century’s worth of experience and millions of customers across North America. Add-on hazard sensors for floods, carbon monoxide and fires seamlessly integrate with ADT security systems and give extra peace of mind. Plus, ADT Pulse’s innovative tech make it a nice upgrade if you love home automation gadgets. With dedicated professional monitoring, advanced technology and a long legacy of protecting homes, ADT is a safe bet for a high-quality home security system.
This unit is constantly losing connectivity with its connected sensors, even if it's right next to them (I moved them all to be together for several days to test this). In addition to the complete loss of being able to know when there's O2/Fire, the hub only notifies you of a loss in connection at around 2 am the next morning, regardless of when it lost the connection. This is a super annoying series of beeps that continues until you get out of bed, put in your code, and tap through all the menus to tell the hub to "ignore the problem." No matter how many times you do this, this exercise is repeated several nights a week. You also cannot change the time or date on the device unless you have an ADT professional install it (what??). I finally sent it back and got the combination Samsung Smart Things hub and Nest solution which was way less expensive, way easier to set up, way nicer-looking and is way more reliable.
With a founding date of 1874, ADT is probably the most mature player in the smart home security market. While it's still building the home automation portion of its services portfolio, its Pulse system is both secure and sophisticated. But while the company does a great job treating its customers well on a service front, it's important to note that the Pulse system is neither DIY or cheap.
‡ADT Pulse Interactive Solutions Services, which help you manage your home environment and family lifestyle, requires the purchase and/or activation of an ADT alarm system with monitored burglary service and a compatible computer, cell phone or PDA with Internet and email access. These ADT Pulse Interactive Solutions Services do not cover the operation or maintenance of any household equipment/systems that are connected to the ADT Pulse Interactive Solutions Services/Equipment. All ADT Pulse Interactive Solutions Services are not available with the various levels of ADT Pulse Interactive Solutions Services. All ADT Pulse Interactive Solutions Services may not be available in all geographic areas. You may be required to pay additional charges to purchase equipment required to utilize the ADT Pulse Interactive Solutions Services features you desire.
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).
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.
I have had ADT security for almost 2 years now. I bought the system to help protect my family after a home invasion. After 1 year of service, we moved and chose to transfer service to our new house. We had a technician come out and perform the installation and once that was complete we started using the system. A year after transferring service to my new home, I had an issue with the keypad. I called my local ADT office to have them come out and repair it, only to be informed that they never actually transferred the service to my new address!
A few of our favorite providers allow you to DIY your alarm system installation, while others send a professional to do the task. Professional installation allows for a home security expert to evaluate your home’s security needs and educate you on how to best utilize your system. The drawback is that professional installation often involves an additional fee. When you opt to DIY, the process is typically quicker and you can avoid any appointment-scheduling acrobatics.

After doing quite a bit of research into home security systems I was referred to ADT. After speaking with a sales representative and being completely up front and honest on my end, the sales person completely lied about the equipment that would be provided, the cost of the monitoring service, AND even the offer of the referral and gifts cards with their deal.
The equipment included with ADT includes a control panel, keychain remote, three entry sensors, an infrared motion sensor, a high-decibel siren, a backup battery, and yard signs and windows decals. Customers can purchase an available system, or an agent can help customize the perfect system for your home. ADT customers can add safety accessories such as medical pendants and panic buttons that can make the elderly, disabled, or people with certain diseases or ailments feel better protected.
Other things to consider when building out your DIY system include placement of the hub and any security cameras. The main hub usually requires a wired connection to your router, although there are wireless systems out here. Either way, it should be in close proximity to your router for optimal connectivity. If you're installing a system with a touch-screen panel, make sure there's a power outlet nearby. Most indoor and outdoor security cameras run on AC power and will require access to a wall outlet. While this isn't much of an issue with indoor cameras, outdoor camera placement will largely depend on accessibility to a power supply. If you don't have a GFCI outlet nearby, you'll have to install one or be prepared to drill a hole in your house to snake a power cable through to an indoor outlet.
ADT offers unparalleled 24/7 cellular, broadband, and landline professional monitoring from six different monitoring centers located across the country. The physical equipment is provided by Protect Your Home and includes police, fire department, and medical dispatch options and their equipment comes with a 2-way intercom that allows you to contact one of their fast responders anytime you need assistance.
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.
The ADT Pulse control panel is an effort to compete with Vivint, which solely uses proprietary gear—a fact that has historically separated Vivint from the rest of the pack. While we find no problem with the standard equipment from most providers, we do like to see proprietary equipment designed with the whole system in mind, plus they look a bit more sleek. The ADT Pulse is definitely easy on the eyes compared to the standard panels, but is it any better?
ADT offers a lot beyond basic home security (like medical alert monitoring), but the company charges extra for safety essentials like smoke and carbon monoxide monitoring, which other security companies include. You also have to upgrade for an extended warranty if you select either of the Basic packages. We’d like to see ADT cut their customers a break and create some affordable package options that include smoke and CO2 alerts along with a good, solid warranty for all plans.

We have had an ADT monitored security system in our home for more than 5 years now. We live in a relatively safe area, but I like being able to know that the house is safe when I am home alone with our young son or when we are out of town for a long weekend. The system itself is easy to activate and de-activate and we love turning the chime feature on to know whenever any door in the house is open. Some of the cons of using ADT are that if there is an issue with the system (a bad battery back up or weird beeping – which happened to us after a lengthy power outage) there can be a delay in getting a service technician to the house.

Many ADT home security systems are actually sold, installed and serviced by a nationwide network of authorized dealers, which may not maintain the same professional standards or offer the same equipment and deals as ADT corporate. It’s sometimes hard to tell if you’re buying a system from corporate or a dealer. ADT corporate websites include the logo, “ADT Always There,” whereas authorized dealers, like security giant Defender, ADT’s largest dealer markets ADT under the brand “Protect Your Home”. Dealers such as Defender, Security Choice and ADS Security Inc. will display an “ADT Authorized Dealer” logo on their web site, but some consumers may not notice the difference from ADT’s corporate logo.

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We live in an area with relatively low rates of home invasions and break ins so who is to say whether or not the ADT sign and stickers really discourage potential criminals. We’ve never had a window break or excessive heat, or even needed to connect with customer service so I can’t really say how they respond, or how accurate the system is, unfortunately.
Whether you decide to go with a DIY system or opt for a professionally installed system, you'll have to pay a monthly or annual fee if you require monitoring, and in some cases, you'll be hit with a monthly fee to pay off the cost of hardware components. With most DIY systems, such as the SimpliSafe Home Security Kit, the Ring Alarm Security Kit, and the Nest Secure, you purchase the hardware outright and can avoid any monthly fees if you decide to self-monitor. If you add monitoring, fees will vary: SimpliSafe charges $14.99 per month for its no-contract monitoring service, while Nest charges $29 per month. If you commit to a three-year contract, the price of the Nest service drops to $19 per month. Ring's Protect Plus plan goes for $10 per month and doesn't require a contract.
In my initial consultation, the representative recommended only alarm hardware, but that was because I was still stunned by what I'd paid for the house, so I was trying to save money by avoiding home automation equipment. My second consultation was to review the Pulse system, which meant home automation was part of the assignment. Frankly, knowing what I know now, I would have opted for the home automation equipment even if I was just a regular customer. Yes, there's a price difference as you'll see in the next section, but for my money it's 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


ADT is one of the most well-known providers in the home security industry and it’s clear why. The company’s 24/7 professional monitoring and six dedicated command centers also help it stand out among competitors who sometimes outsource monitoring to third parties. Plus, its home automation features are a great add-on for those who want a little more control over their homes. With more than a century of expertise and millions of customers, ADT has built a reputation as an authority on home protection.
3. I understand the security reasoning about not wanting to disarm the system via routines, but you should be able to arm it via one. Case scenario I have an Inovelli scene enabled light switch by the back door. Right now, I have it programmed when we are leaving the house two presses of the switch off activates my goodbye routine which turns off all the lights, TVs, sets the thermostat to away and sets a timer for the door locks for 30 seconds. It would be nice to be able to arm the alarm to stay or away from this routine, instead of having to get the app out to arm it.

*$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.
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.
 Link Interactive is a company that has fully embraced new technologies in order to deliver its customer base the best services available, every time, without fail. While an à la carte system of purchase may at first seem daunting to new customers, ultimately, buyers are given total control of the services they receive, which allows for the best-customized care possible. Link Interactive puts customers first and keeps striving for the next big break in innovation at the highest level.

ADT is a trusted name, which is what keeps them at the top of the security game. However, there are a lot of new players that are giving ADT a run for their money. If you want home security that comes with years of experience and expertise—this company has had more than 140 years to hone its home security know-how—ADT is a solid choice. But costly packages and upgrades can put ADT out of reach for some home security shoppers.

ADT called me in February to tell me to put new batteries in. I told them that my alam system did not work and that I wanted to cancel the service. They said that if they could troubleshoot it from the telephone, would I keep the system? I said yes, but if they couldn't, I wanted to cancel. They could not troubleshoot it. They continued to bill me, I did not pay, since I had verbally cancelled. Yesterday, October, I got a call from their collection agency, Source Receivables Management. They were very rude. I called ADT today to complain. They have all the record of my calls and that I wanted to cancel, etc., but now they're telling me it had to be done in writing. They didn't tell me that then. They strongarmmed me into paying the money or were going to have it affect my credit. Very deceptive and very rude!!! DO NOT USE THEM!!!!Read More
ADT’s Traditional package is its most basic. A bit pricier than the baseline options offered by competitors, it packs a punch. A $125 upfront equipment fee provides you with wireless keypad entry, so you do not have to worry about entrance into your home. The basic package comes with a $28.99 monthly monitoring fee that includes 24/7 professional monitoring using a cellular connection. It comes with four door and window sensors (with the option to upgrade), and offers fire, carbon monoxide, and flood monitoring services. As noted, this is a significant amount of monitoring for a basic package.
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