All in all, I'd have to say that this is a decent setup. It's a basic security system that is easy to install and that my wife can easily operate. There are a few quirks that I'm not clear as to whether they are solvable or not, but these don't appear to impact functionality. It performs the basic tasks that it's supposed to perform in an apparently reliable manner, so far.
Some DIY systems are self-monitored, which means you'll receive alerts when devices are triggered, but it's up to you to contact the local authorities if there's a break-in or a fire. However, DIY vendors are increasingly offering professional monitoring services; some require a contract and some allow you to pay as you go so you're only being monitored when you need it, such as when you're away on vacation.
ADT Security Systems offers great introductory packages to help you get started with securing your home. The Video package is a little more expensive than the Traditional but it comes with free installation, tons of home automation features, and a 6-month money back guarantee. However, if you decide to go with ADT Security Systems, you must sign a 36-month contract, and you run the risk of dealing with its poor customer service, high cancellation fees, and costly service visits.
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.
We had ADT come to give us a quote on their equipment for home security. We already have a different system installed in our home. The salesman told us he had to connect ADT's keypad to see if we had enough juice to operate their system. He proceeded to take our existing keypad off the way and put his on. When all was done we decided not to go with the ADT system because it was too expensive for us.
The only major downside to Pulse is price and its three-year service contract. When compared with other players, like Vivint or Frontpoint, the pricing structure is similar in that there's an upfront installation cost you can pay all at once or spread across the first three months, and then a monthly cost for maintenance and monitoring. If you compare only prices published on the web, then ADT Pulse looks very competitive. But in practice, if you opt for the higher end of the tiering scale and a modified system with a bunch of devices that aren't included in a basic tier package (and ADT will steer you that way), your price will quickly balloon. In my case, I wound up with an excellent all-around solution, but an eyebrow-arching upfront cost of $3,276.79 and a monthly charge of $63.89, which makes Pulse the most expensive solution we've tested to date.
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.
With over 140 years of experience, ADT is one of the most popular and dependable security providers in the nation, covering both homes and businesses in the United States and Canada with reliable monitoring and top-notch home automation options. Its plans range from $36.99 to $58.99 with a $99 activation fee, and they require a 36-month minimum contract with applicable early cancellation fees.
When my contract with ADT expired, I contacted the company to disconnect my service, which they did, but they continued taking the monthly payment from my checking account. When I contacted the company, they advised that they owed me $424.23, and that they would reimburse. That was EIGHT years ago, and I haven’t gotten a cent. I’ve contacted the company numerous times, and they give me different stories each time. They’ll tell me that they sent the money to Illinois unclaimed funds- which they hadn’t, I checked. Recently, I spoke with a representative of ADT, followed up by a manager. The rep stated that she has numerous notes showing my attempts to get MY money back. The manager basically said that I was owed the money, and after a brief hold, advised that they owed me nothing. It’s been 8 years!! I think I’ve been more than accommodating. I’ve also kept notes, recording dates, times, names, and the info discussed. ADT you’re the theif that I need protection from.
I know that ADT is one of the best companies out there but I swear it has gone to their heads. I had used their service in the late 90's before losing my first home. Years later, I come back to them after being a customer with them for 9 years and they treated me like crap. The man I spoke to on the phone kept cutting me off when I was trying to ask questions, and long story short I over paid for something I didn't even want because the rep failed to listen to me. Could just be a rep issue??
When relocating with ADT make sure you call them ahead of time and let them know the situation. You don't want to end up with 2 monitoring homes or contracts in place. I forgot too and then at my new house it was a headache getting things straightened out but luckily I didn't end up paying anything extra. So if you move, call them and see if they want you to keep some of the equipment or if they will put a new one in your new location (which is most common).
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.
Hello Kai-We apologize for any issues that you encountered with the ADT authorized dealer. When you installed your services in CO, you would have signed and been provided with a copy of your residential services agreement, that clearly spells out the term of the agreement, 36 months. Should you have any further concerns, please feel free to email ADT at AlwaysThere@adt.com. Thank you. -Gabe
ADT supports a range of other security cameras including indoor cameras should you want one, so you can talk to your technician about different options if the base cam doesn't suit you. Overall, it's been fine for my needs and I'm considering installing another external one at the rear of the house. This is something that'll require a call to ADT and an installation and service charge, but after that, the cam will be fully integrated into the Pulse system. You can even install your own hardware, if you like, though your mileage will vary as to how deeply you'll integrate with ADT's software without help from a company technician.
That being said, if you opt for ADT Monitored home security solutions remember to read the contract thoroughly before you commit. The equipment for these services is provided by Protect Your Home. Overall, the combination is reasonably priced and offers a wide range of dependable products and services that clients can customize to meet their needs.
Worst business i have ever dealt with. From the start, i was lied to by the installation guy who said there is a grace period of a month to cancel the contact without a termination fee. When i called in a week later to cancel, ADT advised it was an incorrrect information which was given by an outsourced contractor so they can not be responsible for it. So i was stuck with them for two years. When i called to cancel the account after the two year contract was over, ADT required 30days cancelltaion period which meant they will simply collect a payment for an extra month for just wanting to cancel their ridiculous service which i want no part of ever again. From start to finish, this company is a borderline fraud.
Amazing breakdown! I have been looking all over at different companies and they never tell you who does what better because they all want your business. I am sold on this company and am giving them a call now. To me, from what I read about other companies, they are my best option as I am on a budget and don't need massive protection (my home is small!!). Thanks for this information!
Unlike our other top picks, Canary doesn’t have a backup cellular connection. Instead, it will give you a notification if it goes offline. The well-designed app does an effective job alerting you — just keep in mind that after letting you know of the situation, you will be powerless to do anything but return home. You’ll still be flying blind if the Wifi goes out in your house.
So I have a ADT Alarm System in my house that was already here when I moved in and recently today the power randomly went out and came back on which I guess rebooted the system. I decided to step outside to see if everything was okay and when I opened my door the alarm went off and was extremely loud.. I held my hand over the speaker to kill most of the sound and decided to call ADT because I didn't know what to do I never had this happen to me before. When I called ADT the guy told me someone can come out tomorrow to take a look at it and stop it from making noise but I had to pay $100. This is for a security system I didn't set up, so I just had my husband unplug everything for now. Going to have the ADT rep still come out and see how much it would be for a new system to be put in. Most people probably don't fall into this situation but hope it helps nonetheless.
What this service contract, termination clause, and pricing structure really tell me is that ADT isn't for apartment dwellers. If you're operating on a lease and your lifestyle means you'll be hopping residences for the foreseeable future, I don't think ADT is your best bet. I'd use Vivint or SimpliSafe, or one of the better DIY security kits, like iSmartAlarm Premium. But if you own your home and your professional life is stable enough to keep you where you are, then the termination clause really isn't an issue, and it's more about service quality as well as security and automation functionality, which are areas where ADT excels.
The company’s long history in the industry and 24/7 customer support are a great incentive to customers looking for a reliable home security system. Additionally, ADT’s six monitoring centers ensure that in the event that a center goes offline for any reason, the call for help is automatically routed to the next available center. Thus, your family will always be protected.
Then he tells me I get two free sensors with my package and must purchase each additional sensor. Ordinarily, I would understand this, but when I spoke with the sales rep, he promised 7 sensors with my package at no additional cost. There’s my third issue. The sensors are $150 each but you can buy them online for only $30 to $50 and are exactly the same but you have to “learn” them into your panel, which the installers will not do (understandable, sure).
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.
While Pulse is certainly much more expensive than a DIY system, like iSmartAlarm Premium or Abode, it offers capabilities those systems simply can't, including 24/7 monitoring and customer support. It's the most complete, full-featured home security system we've tested, and doubles as an automation platform for your other smart home devices. If you can swing the price, ADT definitely lives up to its reputation, and earns our Editors' Choice.
This particular system comes with the Arlo Pro 2 hub (equipped with a Smart Siren) and two HD wireless security cameras. The cameras are suitable for both indoor and outdoor use and have an automatic night vision mode, so you receive crisp video quality no matter the weather or time of day. Receive activity alerts, monitor the live stream, or view recordings from the last seven days using Netgear’s free Arlo Basic subscription plan on your mobile device. Other Arlo Pro 2 systems and accessories are available that include lights and camera mounts.
I installed all of the included hardware and monitoring devices, which includes two window or door detectors and a motion detector. After a week of receiving motion alerts in my home, I disabled and removed motion detector from my account. I have a couple of security cameras in my house, both of which also alert me on my phone to any motion, so I wasn't afraid of missing anything related to movement.
I went with ADT because they were a trusted name in the industry with businesses such as banks and other companies that need reliable monitored service. That was the most important thing to me and they have never let me down. I have been with them for over 15 years and the equipment has operated well. If I wanted to have them add additional services over the years, I know that there is an installation cost but it is well below that of a general contractor. And I am sure existing customers can self install if they know how. I have worked with customer service to do alarms tests and inquire about other things and have never had a problem. I have read many of the complaints on this site and many are a result of the home owner not doing their research or expecting free services. These companies have contracts to recoup the equipment costs. They need to pay an employee to do a truck roll for installations…every time. They are not a charity service. And I should note that in over 15 years my monthly fee has only gone up once. Not bad compared to some of the others. So again, I would rather use a company that the banking industry relies on because the most important thing to me is reliability in the event of a crisis. ADT has always been there 24/7.
Several days later a beep began to sound again – similar to the one previous. A call to ADT’s service centre assured us that it was not the panel or anything to do with the system. It was suggested that the beep may be coming from a smoke or carbon monoxide detector. Those devices ‘pip’ not ‘beep’. In any case, we replaced them because they were due. Still, we heard the beep. We even went as far as replacing the batteries in every device in the home that required them. Still, we heard the beep. The beep appeared to come from the panel area but without the low battery warning on the panel we continued our search/detection just in case we were mistaken and ADT was correct.
ADT offers customer support via phone and email. If the system begins to malfunction, customers are urged to call and set an appointment with a company technician, but it will cost you. If you don’t want to pay for support, there is a handbook that shows you how to test the system, but the process can be tedious. ADT security reviews online indicate most customers avoid the trouble of DIY support and opt to pay the monthly maintenance fee.
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.
Some of the more expensive cameras are equipped with humidity and temperature sensors and will interact with other connected home devices such as thermostats and smart lighting systems. If you want to save some money, look for a camera with an SD card slot that allows you to record video when motion or sound is detected, but remember to save your recordings every so often before they are overwritten. Alternately, look for a camera that offers a cloud storage plan.
ADT leases its equipment, but the company doesn’t require customers to return equipment at the end of a contract. The price of equipment is included in your monthly payment; however, ADT is known to offer special deals that may eliminate the equipment cost when you sign a monitoring contract. Talk to a representative to find out what deals are available when you set up your ADT security system.
The Canopy Mobile Panic service will work differently with different products. If you pair the service with a Ring Doorbell, you will still be responsible for monitoring the device, but will have ADT’s support. For example, let’s say someone rings your Ring. You check out the event, you don’t like what you see, you press the panic button, and ADT will call the police on your behalf. If you connect the Panic Response Service to your Samsung Gear S Smartwatch, you can use the watch app to press a panic button at any time to be connected to the ADT monitoring center.
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.
Terrible sales, installation, and service, especially for someone providing such critical installation and monitoring. They're great at acting nice, then following up with nothing or (at best) a bait-and-switch with extra charges, going back on their word, and requiring that you pay more money to get what was sold on the front end. I read the promotion fine print, read the contract, discussed with the technician and branch manager to clarify all the pieces. Then got passed through no less than two disjointed and loosely affiliated call centers which continued to require additional forms, contracts, and payments in order to get the original payment terms and rebates that drove the initial sale. You should pay more for service from a different company, because ADT will end up costing you more before the dust settles.
Vivint Flex Pay gives you the option to purchase your equipment up front with no added monthly cost—and no contract—or to finance the equipment interest-free over a 42- or 60-month contract. We think it’s awesome that Vivint gives you multiple options, but you should know that even though choosing a contract means you pay less upfront, you’ll have to pay 100% of the remaining contract if you cancel early.
ADT Pulse Video – Installation starts at $399. 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 $58.99 per month, ($2,123.64), 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.