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Between these two security systems, our favorite is ADT.

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A good home security setup can give you peace of mind while at home or away and help keep you and yours safe from harm against would-be intruders, fire, and unseen dangers. But finding the right system to fit your specific needs and budget is no easy feat. There are certain things that can make a particular system better for you overall; it all comes down to what you need.

This is where we come in! We like to dive into each setup and test them out for ourselves to find crucial differences that set them apart. Below, we’ll be comparing ADT and Guardian security systems to get an idea about which one might be the better fit for you and your home. We’ll check out some similarities that the systems share, as well as the key differences, features, and the general pricing you can expect. Let’s dive right in!

ADT and Guardian Similarities

After testing out each system firsthand, we were surprised at the amount of similarities uncovered when it came to features and tech. Both have a lot of home automation options, which allow you to monitor and control your system and other smart-home features, such as lights and thermostats. We (being the techies that we are) appreciate these details as they allow you to remotely and conveniently control home appliances and security systems from pretty much anywhere.

Both systems also have wireless options, such as cellular service connectivity, and you can also purchase 24/7 monitoring services with either ADT or Guardian.

Tip: Monitoring services allow your security system to receive professional surveillance at all times. As a result, you won’t have to constantly watch or monitor your home security system by yourself. Professionals have the training and the experience to quickly see and react to any potential dangers that might be imminent.

In addition to offering mobile apps for convenience, both ADT and Guardian provide indoor and outdoor video surveillance cameras.

FYI: You should always ensure that you purchase indoor cameras for indoor use and outdoor cameras for outdoor use. Outdoor cameras’ design and materials allow them to withstand heat, cold, and moisture. Indoor cameras are different. Using an indoor camera outdoors can lead to equipment malfunction and result in a costly mistake.

Last but not least, both ADT and Guardian require professional installation. Although we tend to prefer DIY setups ourselves, it’s nice to know that professionals are on hand to ensure your system works correctly and provides maximum security for your home. You can just sit back, relax, and watch as others do the heavy lifting.

Did You Know: When a home security company provides professional installation within their packages, they are unlikely to charge up-front fees. Instead, companies expect clients to pay for the installation over monthly payments. Depending on the company, you may have to pay monthly fees for additional services, such as professional monitoring.

ADT and Guardian Differences

So what exactly makes each system distinct from the other? Well, the foremost thing to consider is that ADT’s coverage is nationwide, whereas Guardian’s protection coverage is only available in 16 of the 50 states. Relocating might be a little bit difficult if you have a Guardian system at home, especially if you end up moving out of their service area.

Another key difference involves contracts. Guardian offers both three- and six-year contract terms, while ADT keeps it to three (two years if residing in California). Also, ADT provides a six-month money-back guarantee which is definitely a plus.

Tip: Before signing a contract, you should always know what you’re getting into. Be sure that you understand the terms and conditions of your contractual agreement. You will need to make sure that you can afford the monthly payments and that the system of your choice satisfies your needs. Otherwise, if you want to return the system before your contract ends, you might be forced to pay early termination fees (which are never fun).

Features

Both ADT and Guardian offer features galore, all of which are important to consider when making that final decision.

Not only does ADT offer home automation options for both safety and convenience, they also offer a number of environmental sensors that will alert you to imminent dangers like smoke and carbon monoxide (CO).

Did You Know: Environmental sensors can alert you in case of freezing temperatures, the presence of CO, and other signs of a natural disaster. People often forget that intrusion is not the only threat their home might face while they’re away.

You’ll also receive both indoor and outdoor video surveillance that includes two-way voice recognition through ADT. And to top things off, you’ll get medical alert pendants, pet-friendly motion sensors, and the option of either landline or cellular connectivity.

Now how does Guardian compare? As with ADT, smart home options and video surveillance cameras are on hand, along with a large selection of sensors. Guardian works reliably with cellular service, and a free mobile app is included with their service. You’ll also have the option of receiving weather alerts in real time.

One feature we found really interesting was Guardian’s geoservices: A location-based “geofence” that uses your smartphone location to send mobile reminders. For example, did you arm your security system or forget to turn off the lights? After crossing that virtual “geofence” barrier, you’ll immediately be notified of your mistake (which can be a lifesaver on those hectic mornings).

Pricing

A home security system is an investment, so it’s crucial that you keep a close eye on unexpected costs and hidden fees when considering your total budget. We like to be candid and up front when it comes to price so that you’re able to avoid such unwelcome surprises down the road.

First up, ADT charges an initial cost of about $125, regardless of the package you decide to purchase. The most basic package does include 24/7 monitoring and costs roughly $30 a month, while the mid-range package costs about $37 per month. The most extensive package (which includes video capabilities) will cost you about $56 per month. Although this might seem rather pricey, remember “you get what you pay for.”

Guardian, on the other hand, is generally more affordable than ADT, charging only $100
up front. Their most basic package will cost you about $35 per month, while their most expensive package will cost around $65. Like ADT, these prices are slightly higher than average. But, keep in mind that with both companies you’re paying for state-of-the-art, high-quality equipment that is usually worth the investment.

Deciding Factors

If you’ve read through all this and are still having a hard time figuring out which route to go, we don’t blame you. But, don’t worry: we might have one more trick to help you out! It may sound silly, but we highly encourage you to make a checklist. Sometimes seeing things on paper can make all the difference.

For example, it may help to identify the must-have features you need in a home security setup: Do you need a video doorbell? Is home automation essential? What is your maximum budget? These kinds of questions can help narrow your options. Remember, if your budget is tight, some features can also be added later.

After doing this, you should then check the brands you’re considering purchasing against your list. Be sure to thoroughly read through each system's features so that you’ll know precisely what each one provides.

Tip: You can do this with your budget too! Start by writing down how much money you are willing to spend on up-front costs and monthly fees. Afterward, check the home security systems against your budget to make sure that you can afford your favorite.

The safety of your home is essential, and the right home security system can make all the difference, providing you with peace of mind and protection both while you’re away, as well as at home asleep in your bed.