When shopping for a new home security setup, you need to find one that both offers the latest innovative features and still remains within your household budget. ADT and Honeywell are two of the industry’s best-known brands for reliability and advanced features, but each share a variety of similar and differing characteristics.
We recently got our hands on ADT and Honeywell Home packages and decided to do some digging. Here are the ins and outs of each system to better help you choose the right option for you.
Similarities Between ADT and Honeywell Home
After testing each system, we were surprised to find that ADT and Honeywell match up well as far as features go. They each offer the latest technological advancements, such as entry sensors and motion detectors, and the mobile apps for both companies give you the power to control their systems remotely. Honeywell and ADT also offer at least partial home automation, which is a plus in our book!
To top things off, each company sells their systems through authorized dealers and provides the option for professional installation.
Did You Know? Both ADT and Honeywell offer security services to businesses as well. Companies even receive almost all of the same features and benefits as homeowners do.
Differences Between ADT and Honeywell
Although both are excellent systems, we found that there are key differences between Honeywell and ADT that could be a deciding factor for you. Each company provides services to customers who sometimes have pretty different demands for what they need, making it difficult to compare the two at times. But, that’s what we’re here for!
ADT vs. Honeywell — Pricing
First off, ADT is more expensive than Honeywell overall. The lowest package starts at $29 per month for the essentials, and you have to pay a $99 installation fee up front. Their priciest package, with all the bells and whistles, costs $60 per month.
Honeywell packages, on the other hand, range between $200 and $500 for the equipment. At first glance, it would appear that they are more expensive than ADT, but once you pay for your system, there are no more additional costs aside from what you’d pay a third-party monitoring service provider.
When it comes to contracts, all ADT customers must sign a three-year contract for their services. We aren’t particularly fond of long-term contracts so it’s refreshing to see that, with Honeywell, no contract is required. However, you may need to sign an agreement with the monitoring service provider you end up choosing.
That said, ADT does have a generous six-month money-back guarantee. So there’s always an out (at least in the first year). To learn more about ADT’s terms, head over to our guide on ADT Contracts.
On the other hand, with Honeywell Home, you can find dealers who don't require contracts. Most do, though, and they're usually up to three years long. But if you're determined to avoid contracts, you'll likely find a dealer that can provide Honeywell products to you contract-free.
24/7 Professional Monitoring
ADT offers professional monitoring services to alert the authorities if there is an emergency. By contrast, Honeywell does not provide any professional monitoring, which is typically essential to have a truly reliable home security setup. This doesn’t mean you're out of luck and left in a lurch! You just need to sign up for monitoring services with a third-party provider and you’ll be good to go.
All ADT systems must be professionally installed and, unfortunately, you’ll be charged a one-time $99 installation fee for this service. Honeywell, on the other hand, does not install any of its own systems. Instead, their authorized dealers will offer you professional installation at a price point they determine is fitting. Luckily, you might have the option to install the system completely on your own, depending on the equipment involved and the dealer’s requirements (a relief for you DIYers).
Did You Know? ADT owns and runs six monitoring centers for your convenience. These monitoring centers are complete mirrors of each other, so that in case one is unable to operate, the others can take over. This is called redundancy, and we find this pretty impressive as Honeywell does not have any of their own monitoring stations. To receive monitoring services through Honeywell, you must go instead through a third-party provider.
Top Features and Tech of ADT and Honeywell
If you’re anything like us, you get excited about the latest innovations and tech developments, especially as it relates to the realm of home security. Both ADT and Honeywell offer some of the newest and coolest features in the industry, and we think you may be surprised to learn about some of the top benefits you can expect from each system.
ADT Features and Tech
By far, ADT is the industry leader when it comes to home security. They offer not only equipment sales and installation, but also service packages (six total) from a QuickConnect option to a Family one.
Each security system package through ADT consists of a control panel, an indoor alert system, and a single touchpad that controls features throughout the home.
ADT systems also include:
- High-Quality Equipment: As a leader in the home security industry, you can count on ADT to use the most modern and innovative equipment available to create your system.
- Motion Detectors: State-of-the-art motion detectors will alert you when there is any type of unusual activity happening outside your home.
- Indoor/Outdoor Cameras: Enjoy 24/7 surveillance in all areas of your home and property with indoor and outdoor cameras that are weather resistant.
- Integration of Devices From Other Brands: Do you want to add a doorbell video camera by Ring or a Google Nest thermostat? With ADT, integrating devices from other brands is easy.
- Window and Door Entry Sensors: Be alerted immediately if a door or window is opened in your home unexpectedly.
- Touchscreen Keypad: The simple and easy-to-use touchscreen keypad makes controlling your home security system less of a chore and more of a modern convenience.
FYI: Remember, ADT offers a six-month money-back guarantee on all its security systems. That makes it refreshing when testing out a new device if you decide it’s not right for you.
ADT offers high-quality equipment, and their packages are customizable to suit your home’s specific needs. Most packages include a touchscreen control panel, key fob, entry sensors, motion sensors, and environmental detectors. The company provides indoor and outdoor cameras, video doorbell viewers with two-way communication, and other devices for an extra cost.
Other safety equipment, such as a panic button and carbon monoxide (CO) detector, can also be added. Personal note: We feel both of these are worthy investments, especially when it comes to CO. It’s hard to detect this odorless gas without a sensor, which is why it can be so dangerous for you and your loved ones. It becomes even more valuable with the addition of professional monitoring that can dispatch the proper authorities on your behalf in times of distress.
Did You Know? With ADT’s home security systems, the professional monitoring center will be alerted if the system is triggered. They will notify emergency responders, and additional notifications can be sent to the user contact list.
To learn more about ADT, take a look at our hands-on ADT review.
Honeywell Home Features and Tech
Honeywell is another well-known provider in the home security industry. The company manufactures its own systems, but does not monitor or install them directly. Although this might come across as an inconvenience, Honeywell makes up for it by offering you long-term savings on their security systems. They also include many benefits that make it a fierce competitor for ADT.
Here are some benefits of Honeywell’s equipment:
- Camera Base Compatible with Alexa: Now, you can use your Alexa devices in your home to help control your home security system and easily change settings.
- Z-Wave Technology: The innovative Z-Wave technology allows you to control your lighting, thermostat, and other compatible devices or appliances in your home.
- Entry Sensors: Find out if your windows or doors are open with sensors that can detect movement.
- 60-Day Recording Capabilities: Go back and review activity inside or outside your home over the past 60 days with your Honeywell system.
- High-Quality Equipment: Similar to ADT, Honeywell is known for making high-quality devices made with the best materials available.
FYI: Honeywell offers a one-year warranty on their home security systems, which is a plus as you never really know when equipment might decide to suddenly give out.
Honeywell systems feature the innovative Lyric panel that includes a glass break and siren detector. Additional equipment consists of a base unit, touchscreen keypad, entry sensors, motion detectors, a Wi-Fi module, and a Z-Wave module for smart home automation. You’ll also have the option to add on equipment such as indoor/outdoor cameras à la carte.
ADT vs. Honeywell: Cost and Fees
Whether we like it or not, price is usually the determining factor for most when purchasing a home security system. Luckily, both companies offer reasonable base plans that will (at minimum) serve to keep your home safe.
ADT is pretty straightforward and offers four basic packages:
- The Basic plan costs $28 per month.
- The Basic + Wireless Connect plan costs $49 per month.
- The ADT Pulse + Video plan costs $59 per month.
- The ADT Pulse + Smart Home Connect plan is $60 per month.
Note that you do not have to pay for ADT equipment up front. Rather, the equipment price is rolled into your monthly fee.
FYI: ADT requires a three-year contract and charges a $99 installation fee up front. But honestly, this isn’t a deal breaker for us. To learn more about ADT’s offerings, check out our roundup of ADT’s pricing, packages, and plans.
Honeywell, on the other hand, has equipment packages that range between $250 to $500. The prices vary depending on the dealer you purchase from and, keep in mind, you’ll also have to pay separate fees for third-party professional monitoring. Honeywell’s systems may cost more out of the gate, but you’ll save money over time because there are no monthly fees involved.
Honeywell also does not require customers to sign a contract because they do not offer professional monitoring services. On that note, if you subscribe to a third-party service, you might have to sign a contract with that specific company. Contracts, while sometimes annoying, are not a big deal for us so long as the monitoring is fast and reliable. This is why we appreciate a money-back guarantee that allows us to test out the systems first!
Which Is Better: ADT or Honeywell?
ADT and Honeywell are both excellent options for your home security setup; however, the one you choose highly depends on how much you are willing to pay and which features you genuinely desire for your home’s system.
ADT is a popular choice because most folks are familiar with the brand (and the front lawn signs). They have gained a strong reputation over the years for being a reliable and dependable home security provider, offering a range of packages. Their systems include many of today’s top features, from touchscreen panels and entry sensors to indoor and outdoor cameras.
FYI: ADT is also the best system if you’re looking for a dependable, well-rounded option that offers both professional installation and monitoring services. The company can provide you and your family with valuable peace of mind while you are home or away.
Honeywell is also an excellent money-saving option for your home security needs. The company is well-known in the industry for its innovative Z-Wave technology — among other features — and is a good option if you’re hoping to save money over time.
When all is said and done, if you’re looking for a reliable system that will be professionally installed and includes monitoring services with their monthly plan, we think ADT is your best bet. But suppose you’d prefer to shop around to find a more affordable monitoring service provider, avoid long-term contracts, and have the opportunity to install your system on your own? In this case, you may want to consider a Honeywell security system instead.
Overall, both are well known and respected companies in the world of home security and, truthfully, you won’t go wrong with either option.