Travis Goodreau

Learn More About ADT

Between these two security systems, our favorite is ADT.

SecureScore™: 8.7/10

ADT is at the opposite end of the spectrum when it comes to comparing it to other “do-it-yourself” home security systems. While both may be effective at preventing intruders from gaining access into your home, ADT offers the convenience of comprehensive, professional service on all levels.

Overview: ADT vs DIY Home Security Systems

ADT and most DIY home security systems offer the same types of equipment and service, with the exception of professional installation and monitoring. Many DIY home security systems do offer 24/7 monitoring, but they also offer a self-monitoring option for homeowners and renters who don't want the monthly fees or contract.

  • ADT requires professional installation
  • ADT offers 24/7 monitoring to DIY home security systems if they have the capability
  • DIY offers home security without a lengthy contract or high monthly fees
  • DIY home security systems are easy to monitor and can be accessed through mobile apps
  • Both ADT and DIY systems can be used by renters

Similarities: DIY Home Security Systems vs ADT

ADT and most DIY home security systems offer state of the art equipment that includes easy to use features like home automation and indoor/outdoor video surveillance. Professional monitoring is standard for ADT and customers, but an available option for those who choose to use a DIY system.

  • Both offer a wide variety of features
  • State of the art equipment
  • Money back guarantees (Will vary from company to company)
  • Cellular and landline connectivity options
  • Wireless equipment
  • Remote Access

Differences: DIY Home Security Systems vs ADT

The main difference between ADT and DIY home security systems is the professional service. ADT offers professional installation, professional 24/7 monitoring, and professional repair or replacement of defective or broken devices.

  • DIY allows you to choose the equipment you want to include in your system
  • ADT offers nationwide service that allows customers to move almost anywhere and maintain their service
  • ADT requires a 3-year contract
  • DIY home security systems offer self-monitoring options
  • ADT offers 24/7 monitoring to DIY systems


ADT offers a variety of features to its customers. Medical alert pendants, environmental sensors, home automation, indoor/outdoor video surveillance, and motion sensors that are pet-friendly are included in many of ADT's packages. ADT also offers both cellular and landline connectivity.

Most DIY companies offer many of the same features that are included in the more expensive home security packages. This includes indoor/outdoor surveillance, home automation, cellular or Wi-Fi connectivity, motion sensors, and environmental detectors.


ADT requires a lengthy, 3-year contract, but does offer a six-month money back guarantee if the customer isn't satisfied. The customer will get a complete refund if they return all of the equipment to ADT within the original six-month time frame.

The majority of DIY home security systems do not require a contract. Frontpoint is one of the few that does, but they offer 12- and 36-month options. DIY systems offer purchase options for their equipment and 24/7 monitoring options, but these are only options and not requirements.


ADT's packages range in price from $29 to $53 per month. Each package requires a $125 startup cost that must be paid before the equipment can be installed. ADT will also monitor other home security systems (professional or DIY) for approximately $20 per month.

DIY systems range in price depending on the number of features and devices that are included. Systems are purchased outright without a contract or lease agreement in place. Upfront costs can range from $100 to $500. If 24/7 monitoring is chosen, the prices can range from $10 to $50 per month, depending on the number of devices connected to the system.


ADT offers a comprehensive list of equipment that can be included in several of their packages. This includes a keychain remote, medical alert pendant, indoor/outdoor cameras, video doorbell with two-way voice communication, environmental sensors, motion detectors, entry sensors, and signage.

DIY home security systems can include thermostats, entry sensors, electric locks, indoor/outdoor cameras, medical alert pendants, mobile apps for mobile connectivity, hubs, keychain remotes, motion sensors, environmental sensors, and different types of sirens.


ADT requires professional installation.

DIY home security systems do not require any type of professional installation and can be removed and relocated as needed by the consumer.

Emergency Connections

ADT offers both landline and cellular connectivity. This provides text or email notifications to the customer and contact with emergency services as it is needed.

While most DIY security systems are capable of third-party monitoring that would take care of notifying the authorities, others are self-monitored. When a system is self-monitored, it is up to the consumer to contact the authorities.

Summary: ADT vs DIY Home Security Systems

ADT is a great option for homeowners who are looking for a professionally installed security system that is monitored by an off-site service. While this type of service can be expensive, it offers a level of convenience that many are willing to pay a higher price for.

DIY home security systems are a good choice for homeowners or renters who don't want to deal with a third party. They like the convenience of being able to install and monitor the system on their own. They also like the flexibility of using only the devices they are interested in.

See our full review of ADT