It’s no surprise that all eyes are on home security solutions these days. With an increase of reported crime and burglaries during the pandemic, many home security companies have enhanced their technology features and tightened security responses to meet demand.
But with so many home security systems to choose from, it can be overwhelming for consumers to find the right equipment that works for their needs. Well, we’re here to eliminate the guesswork and help you decide on an affordable and streamlined home security system.
To start off, we’ll compare two reputable and easily-recognizable home security companies: ADT and CPI Security.
Pro Tip: Read our full, hands-on ADT review to learn more about America’s largest home security provider.
ADT vs. CPI Security: An Overview of Home Security Systems
Chances are, you’ve probably heard of home security companies ADT and CPI. You might have even come across their signature lawn signs, or a movie scene in which an intruder was called out by blaring security alarms from these brands.
Both ADT and CPI Security are well-known home security companies that have been trusted by businesses and homeowners for decades. With stellar ratings and reliable security response, it’s no surprise they’re two popular choices for home security.
We’ve highlighted some of the honest perks (and cons) to help you decide which company is right for you.
ADT vs CPI Security Overview:
- Wireless Systems: For flexibility and ease of use, both ADT and CPI offer wired or wireless system options
- Professional, No-Hassle Installation: If you’re not a fan of configuring and setting up complicated tech devices, you’re in luck. Both security companies provide free professional installation
- Security Camera Recording Options: If you’re looking for security cameras that can monitor the full scope of your home, both ADT and CPI Security offer indoor and outdoor cameras. Gain peace of mind knowing that your property is protected 24/7.
- Warranty Plans: If you want a generous warranty plan, CPI’s contract stands out with a solid 12-month warranty. Unfortunately, you’d have to shell out an extra fee to opt in for the ADT warranty plan. But ADT does offer a 6-month money-back guarantee.
- Cost: Depending on the package you choose, ADT offers specific equipment and affordable monthly monitoring rates. On the other hand, CPI Security requires an upfront equipment fee plus a monthly monitoring fee.
- Contracts: If you don’t like being tied down by contracts, ADT is a good option to consider. ADT’s monitoring contracts last for three years, but you can easily cancel them without racking up a penalty within the first six months. With CPI, you’re stuck with monitoring contracts for five years.
FYI: While DIY installation might seem like a money saver, having a professional handle the install is sometimes a better option. Both ADT and CPI Security offer professional installation services so you can rest assured that your security system is up and running and ready to protect your home and family.
What are the Main Differences Between ADT and CPI?
There are some stark differences when it comes to policies and the business management side of ADT and CPI. Here are some of the noticeable differences:
ADT vs. CPI Security: Main Differences
- Communication Options: Communication Options: Something to consider is that ADT offers both cellular and landline options, but CPI only offers a cellular option. We do know that cellular systems provide faster alert transmission, but if cellular signal isn't reliable where you live, consider going with a landline system from ADT.
- Money-Back Guarantee: Unlike CPI, ADT offers a six-month, money-back guarantee. This means you can try their services without any strings attached.
- Contracts: If you’re not a fan of long contracts, you’ll be pleased to know that ADT’s contract is much shorter than CPI’s contract.
- Warranty: If there’s wear and tear on your equipment or faulty errors, ADT has an impressive warranty that lasts much longer than CPI’s.
- Reputation: This is an intangible benefit, but it’s a benefit nonetheless. ADT has been around since the 1800’s, much longer than CPI Security. And as they say, with age comes experience. ADT has a solid reputation for quality products and reliable monitoring.
- Medical Alert Systems: Only ADT offers medical alert devices at this time. If you have an elderly parent, medical alert devices are an important factor to consider.
Main Similarities Between ADT and CPI Security
Overall, it’s a tight race between ADT and CPI because they share many similar features and equipment. That said, there are some important differences you’ll want to keep in mind.
ADT and CPI Similarities
- Security Systems and Equipment Features: For consumers looking for 24/7 monitoring, both ADT and CPI offer quality home security and home automation systems.
- Easy Installation: To simplify the whole installation process, ADT and CPI Security both offer professional wired or wireless installations. No more having to stress out or navigate DIY installation alone.
- Home Security Devices: Both ADT and CPI offer similar basic equipment packages to meet your home security needs.
- 24/7 Surveillance: ADT and CPI Security each have top-notch indoor and outdoor security cameras with HD resolution. Talk about deterring intruders and restoring peace of mind.
- Mobile Apps: One of the perks is that you can access your security systems remotely, wherever you are. You can access and control both ADT and CPI via mobile app when you’re out shopping or away on vacation.
- Communication Options: Both ADT and CPI offer two-way communication features so that you can stay updated on the latest upgrades.
- Installation Fees: So, the downside is that both ADT and CPI both charge installation fees on some of their packages. However, the fee comes down to the package you choose.
Did You Know: Both ADT and CPI have A+ ratings from the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Since they both offer high-quality customer service, you’ll feel confident knowing that ADT and CPI offer exceptional security systems designed to keep you and your family safe in the event of an emergency.
ADT vs. CPI: In-Depth Comparison of Home Security Systems
While ADT and CPI Security do share quite a few similarities, there are also noticeable differences that we can’t ignore. Some of the differences include mobile app access, contracts, features, pricing, equipment, and more. Let’s break it down.
A mobile app will allow you to access and manage your home security system remotely. Here are some of the main differences we’ve discovered between ADT and CPI mobile apps:
- CPI: The CPI mobile app gives you the flexibility to remotely control your security system. It also allows you to manage smart devices such as locks and plugs. However, ADT takes the slight edge when it comes to automation features.
- ADT: ADT’s app has similar features as CPI’s app. One of the downsides is that these features are only available for clients who purchase full packages. However, once you’re set up with a full system, you can customize your ADT system to your heart’s content — and all within the mobile app.
Home Security Contracts
A home security contract will typically highlight everything from costs, penalties, to warranties and contract duration. We’ve broken down some of the main discrepancies between the contracts used by ADT and CPI. Let’s dig in to see what you can expect.
ADT’s Contract Overview
If you’re sold on ADT’s services, you’ll have to sign a three-year contract. On the upside, ADT doesn’t charge penalties if you cancel the contract within the first six months. Let’s say you do cancel in that timeframe, ADT will gladly refund the remaining expenses. We like the flexibility that comes with this.
For an extra fee, ADT offers an Extended Limited Warranty and Quality Service Plan (QSP). This warranty will cover any repair or replacement costs of equipment malfunction.
CPI Security Contract Overview
Unfortunately, CPI requires you to sign a five-year contract for its monitoring services. And if you ever decide to cancel, you’ll need to provide a 60-day written notice, otherwise your contract will automatically renew for another year (ouch). So that’s something you’ll definitely want to consider before pulling out your pocketbook or purse.
But keep in mind that CPI does offer a pretty generous warranty, which we always like to see. You’ll get a little extra peace of mind with a one-year warranty on parts and 90 days on labor at no extra charge. Not bad!
Pro Tip: We recommend that you always keep a backup copy of your agreement. If you lost your contract, make sure to request another copy from your security company. This way, if you ever need to cancel, you’ll have all the fineprint at your fingertips.
ADT vs CPI Security Pricing
Wondering if a home security system fits within your budget? We’ve highlighted the price points for ADT and CPI Security below. Keep in mind that it’s standard to pay a monthly fee for professional monitoring, as well as a one-time equipment fee.
ADT’s Costs and Payment Options
While ADT’s monthly fees range from $28.99 to $53 per month, you could technically pay as little as $19.99 per month if the place you currently rent has an ADT system in place. One of the perks of hiring ADT is that you don’t have to pay any upfront fees, as the equipment price is bundled into your monthly monitoring fee. Note, however, that you might have to pay a $99-$199 installation fee. This isn’t a deal-breaker for us, especially since ADT offers reasonable sub-$50 monthly monitoring fees.
FYI: Check out our full guide to ADT plans, packages, and pricing. There you’ll find lots of great information to further narrow down your options.
CPI Security Costs and Payment Options
CPI Security charges monitoring fees that range anywhere from $39.99 to $64.99 per month. Unlike ADT, unfortunately, CPI does charge upfront fees that can set you back between $99 to $299 or more. You may also have to pay for installation with CPI, though they’ve been known to waive this pesky fee. Overall, CPI Security costs slightly more than ADT.
Home Security Equipment and Features
Quality home security equipment should be designed to help you easily manage your system without losing precious time. With this in mind, we’ve compiled some of the main equipment package differences between ADT and CPI Security.
ADT Equipment, Features, and Tech
Depending on which package you choose, ADT’s equipment packages include one or more of the following devices to enhance your security experience:
- Control Panel: This device comes as either a push button or touchscreen panel and lets you easily control your security system at home. We’re big fans of the new ADT Pulse touchscreen panel.
- Keychain FOB: With the keychain FOB feature, you can easily arm or disarm your security system as you approach your home.
- Medical Alert Accessories: ADT offers a medical alert bracelet or pendant that can alert a professional monitoring center in case of a medical emergency. It’s especially helpful for elders and those who live alone.
- Intrusion Sensors: ADT offers door/window sensors and motion sensors to protect your property from intruders. You can also get environmental protection sensors such as smart smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.
- Security Cameras: ADT has high-quality cameras for indoor or outdoor use. You can view live stream footage or record video with ADT’s HD indoor and outdoor cameras. In addition to security cameras, ADT also features a video doorbell camera so you can keep track of packages and be alerted when an intruder is at your doorstep.
- Mobile App: ADT’s mobile app allows you to customize your system using your smartphone. You can also get instant activity alerts sent straight to your mobile devices.
- 24/7 Monitoring Services: ADT provides 24/7 monitoring services and quick response times to cover you in the event of an emergency. In our experience, ADT offers one of the most comprehensive and reliable monitoring plans in the industry.
FYI: Looking for a security camera system to monitor your home inside and out? If so, we recommend reading our roundup of the best home security cameras available.
Depending on which package you choose, CPI’s equipment packages include one or more of the following devices:
- Security Sensors: CPI sells entryway sensors that mount to your windows and doors.
- Motion Detector: This device sounds the alarm and alerts you if there's an intruder inside your home.
- Control Panel: Easily manage and monitor your security system at home with CPI Security’s touchscreen control panel.
- Mobile App: You can control your security system through CPI's mobile app. You can also use the app to contact CPI's security team. And of course, you’ll get instant mobile notifications of any suspicious activity.
- Security Cameras: CPI provides both indoor and outdoor cameras for full security coverage of your property. Similar to ADT, these are HD resolution cameras with motion-based recording.
- Environmental Sensors: These sensors detect fire and carbon monoxide and keep you and your family safe from harm’s way.
- Home Automation Features: CPI offers automated door locks, thermostats, lights, and garage door controls.
- Yard Signs: Let strangers and would-be burglars know that your home is protected by displaying a yard sign with CPI Security’s signature logo.
Pro Tip: Get the most out of your security equipment by using the mobile companion app. Both ADT and CPI offer apps that enable remote control of your preferred security system. Armed with the mobile app, you can check in on your home security status from pretty much anywhere in the world.
ADT vs. CPI Security: Installation
Before choosing a security system, it is crucial to know what installation options your security company offers and if any fees apply. Here are the main differences between the installation services of both ADT and CPI:
ADT vs. CPI Installation Services
- Installation type: Both ADT and CPI offer professional installation. Likewise, neither of these companies provide DIY installation options.
- Installation fees: Depending on the package, both ADT and CPI may charge an installation fee that ranges from $0 to $299.
In the event of an emergency, you want your home security system to have your back. Here’s what to expect from ADT and CPI Security when the seconds matter most.
ADT Emergency Communication Features
To ensure you get help during an emergency, ADT offers two-way communication through voice verification. If your loved ones have a medical emergency, they can quickly send a notification through ADT's medical alert devices. Finally, to protect your home against fires or floods, ADT's security system includes environmental alert notifications. (You will need to purchase the environmental sensors separately.)
CPI Emergency Communication Features
CPI's team is always available when you need it the most. Therefore, during an emergency, you can use CPI's two-way emergency communication and quickly get the help you need. However, unlike ADT, CPI does not offer medical alert systems.
The video surveillance serves as a prevention measure against acts of vandalism, break-ins, or theft. Also, in case of home invasion, video surveillance is key to keeping you safe. Here are the main surveillance differences between ADT and CPI Security systems:
ADT Video Surveillance Features
ADT security systems include activity alerts, which will notify you if there's an intruder or suspicious activity happening inside or outside of your home (depending on the camera you purchase). Also, ADT provides monitoring security services through video surveillance.
CPI Video Surveillance Features
If you’re looking to invest in surveillance, CPI is your best bet. CPI security systems use Intelligent Video Activity Notifications (IVAN) technology that enables the system to identify people, animals, and vehicles. This is similar to what we see in modern security cameras with artificial intelligence, which is certainly a good thing. In case of an emergency, you will be notified through CPI Security’s mobile app. On top of that, you can watch live surveillance videos right in the app.
Security companies have a team of experts whose duty it is to monitor home security systems. In the event of an emergency, your security system will alert the monitoring team, and they can dispatch police if needed. Here are the main monitoring differences between ADT and CPI:
- 24/7 Monitoring: Both ADT and CPI Security offer 24/7 professional monitoring services.
- Response Times: In our experience, we’ve seen 30 second response times with ADT. And CPI is said to offer similar response times.
- TMA 5-Diamond Certified: Both brands hold the TMA 5-Diamond certification, which is the gold standard in the home security industry for fast and reliable monitoring.
Did You Know: You can find reviews from former customers of ADT and CPI in the Better Business Bureau. There you’ll find reviews about their monitoring services, equipment performance, and more.
How To Decide Which Security System Is Best for Me?
You may feel overwhelmed by looking at what each security system offers, as ADT and CPI Security systems are both so different and yet so similar.
In a nutshell, you really can’t go wrong by going with either company. However, here is one last piece of advice:
- Purchasing ADT: While it is a bit pricey, all of its features are worth the cost. ADT is definitely among the top companies that provide quality security services
- Purchasing CPI: Just like ADT Security, CPI is among the best home security companies. However, CPI security is only available for those who live in the southeastern United States.
Hopefully now you have a better idea of what each of these companies brings to the table. We give the slight edge to ADT across the board. Their 24/7 monitoring is incredibly reliable, and they offer reasonable monthly fees for complete home protection.