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.
Our family chose ADT as our Security Provider many years ago. We would occasionally travel, and ADT was the company that we trusted with our families safety while we were at home, and our personal possessions while we were away. ADT provided peace of mind that we would not have had otherwise. We owe ADT a great debt of gratitude for assisting in keeping our loved ones safe.
A word about wireless protocols: In a perfect world, all home security components would use the same wireless standard to communicate with the main hub, but factors such as power requirements, signal range, price, and size make it virtually impossible to settle on just one. For example, smaller components such as door/window sensors typically use Z-Wave or Zigbee technology because they don't require a lot of power and can be powered by smaller batteries. They also operate in a mesh topology and can help extend the range of networked devices. However, neither protocol provides the bandwidth that you get with Wi-Fi, which is why it is usually used in security cameras to provide smooth video streaming, and in other devices that require a fat pipe. Moreover, Z-Wave and Zigbee devices are connected and controlled using a hub, while Wi-Fi devices can be connected directly to your home network and controlled with an app. Finally, Z-Wave and Zigbee devices use AES 128 encryption, and since they operate in a closed system with a dedicated hub, they offer more security than Wi-Fi devices.
We originally used ADT in a former home, and eventually switched to a different provider after a false alarm occurred while we were out of the country. Upon our return, ADT technicians were never able to determine the root cause of the issue. The new provider that we used wasn’t perfect either, but I felt that their customer service and the technology were far better than our collective experience with ADT.
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”.
There are several types of motion sensors out there, the most common being PIR (passive infrared) sensors that detect body heat. These sensors are ideal for home security use as they are cost effective and work well indoors in any lighting environment. Active motion sensors emit microwaves to detect movement and are better suited to harsh environments, including outdoor use, but are prone to false alerts due to wind-blown debris. A dual motion sensor combines both active and passive technology to reduce false alerts and provide an extra measure of reliability.
Vivint outranked every other home security system in J.D. Power’s customer satisfaction evaluation; it was the only company to earn five out of five Power Circles. According to the report, “Vivint Smart Home performs well in high-importance attributes: effectiveness of securing my home; ease of using the system; timeliness of resolving problem, question or request; and clarity of information provided for customer service.”
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!
ADT formed in the 1800s as American District Telegraph, the world’s first telegraph-based alert system. Now America’s largest provider of hardwired and wireless home security equipment and monitoring, it’s one of the oldest security companies in the country and has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. With highly customizable packages and monitoring plans, it’s easy to make upgrades or keep your system simple.