Simply put, home security systems consist of a group of devices that work together to protect your home against would-be intruders, environmental risks, and/or vandalism. It’s important to select the system that’s right for you, which can sometimes be stressful (and nobody needs more of that these days).
But, choosing the right security system doesn’t have to be a burden! We recently got our hands on both ADT and SafeTouch packages and decided to do a little investigating of our own. To help you with your decision, here is a comparison between these two leaders of the home security marketplace.
ADT vs. SafeTouch: Comparative Overview of Home Security Systems
For starters, both ADT and SafeTouch offer effective and reliable home security systems. We thought you’d also like to know some crucial factors about how each company operates:
- Connectivity: Both ADT and SafeTouch offer landline and cellular connectivity.
- Security Plans: ADT and SafeTouch offer multiple package options for both equipment and monitoring.
- Warranties: ADT offers a six-month warranty (with certain restrictions). Meanwhile, SafeTouch offers a lifetime warranty on all of their security systems.
- Installation: Both ADT and SafeTouch offer professional installation services.
- Devices: ADT and SafeTouch offer basic packages that include traditional security devices. These devices include motion, entry, and environmental sensors.
Main Differences Between ADT and SafeTouch
After using both systems, we were surprised at the number of discrepancies between each company (some good and some not-so-good). Here are the main differences between ADT and SafeTouch that got our attention:
- Service Area: ADT offers nationwide services. SafeTouch only serves residents in Georgia and Florida. So if you don’t live in either of those states, you’ll want to go with ADT. Here’s our latest in-depth review of ADT.
- Trial Periods: SafeTouch offers a 30-day trial period. Meanwhile, ADT offers a six-month return window. Regardless, both companies have certain restrictions for their returning policies.
- Company’s Age: ADT has been in the home security business for over 140 years! Meanwhile, SafeTouch has been providing security services for a mere 30 years by comparison (still impressive for most companies).
- BBB Rating: According to the Better Business Bureau, ADT has an “A+” rating. Meanwhile, SafeTouch has a “B” rating. In short, BBB ratings offer insight into a company’s customer service practices.
- Warranty: SafeTouch offers a lifetime warranty (nice!). In contrast, to get a warranty with ADT, you’ll need to pay an extra fee.
- Installation fees: Both companies charge installation fees ranging from $99 to $199.
FYI: Unfortunately, when it comes to pricing, SafeTouch lacks transparency. That could be the reason why SafeTouch has a “B” rating from the Better Business Bureau.
Main Similarities Between ADT and SafeTouch
After trying out each system, we discovered quite a few key similarities between the two that we think you’ll like. From contracts to features to connectivity, here are the main similarities uncovered between ADT and SafeTouch:
- Payments: Both ADT and SafeTouch offer financing options for their equipment. Also, neither of these companies require up-front payments. SafeTouch has starter packages that bundle equipment and monitoring for a monthly fee.
- Features: Overall, ADT and SafeTouch offer many of the same features. For example: mobile apps that enable remote access, home automation, and wireless home security equipment.
- Return Policies: Both ADT and SafeTouch offer trial periods for their equipment. Nevertheless, the policies differ in how long you can use the equipment before returning it. ADT offers a very generous six-month money-back guarantee.
- Installation: Neither ADT nor SafeTouch allows for DIY installation. The company’s tech team must perform the equipment installation due to system complexity. Each company offers both wireless and hardwiring installations.
- Contracts: Both SafeTouch and ADT require you to sign a contract to hire their services, and neither ADT nor SafeTouch offer month-to-month plans. That being said, Blue by ADT (formerly LifeShield) is a DIY alarm system from ADT, but sold under a different brand.
- Connectivity: Both ADT and SafeTouch offer landline and cellular connectivity services.
ADT vs. Safetouch: In-Depth Comparison of Home Security Systems
Now that we’ve gone over the basics, let’s take a deeper delve into the many similarities and differences between ADT and SafeTouch. First on the agenda: contracts.
Home security contracts, while sometimes burdensome, are important when establishing costs, penalties, warranties, and commitment periods with a company. Although we personally are not fans of long-term commitment, they are not necessarily a deal-breaker for us if the security system proves worth it. The main differences between ADT and SafeTouch contracts are:
ADT’s Contract Overview
When choosing a security system from ADT, you’ll need to sign a three-year contract. While this is a long-term commitment, ADT does offer a money-back guarantee, meaning if you decide to cancel your contract within the allowed period, there will be no penalties and you’ll get your money back. In a nutshell, the company offers extra peace of mind with your purchase, and this is a big win in our book!
Another benefit of hiring ADT is their Theft-Protection guarantee, which establishes that ADT will refund $500 if an intruder breaks into your property.
SafeTouch Contract Overview
Just like with ADT, this company does not offer monthly contracts. Depending on the security plan, you’ll need to sign an agreement of either three or five years. They also offer a money-back guarantee; however, you must cancel your services within the first 30 days.
FYI: If your SafeTouch equipment is damaged or not working as it should, you can always take advantage of SafeTouch’s lifetime warranty.
Now, on to our “favorite” part: pricing. Remember, you get what you pay for (usually) so it doesn’t always make sense to go super cheap. With that said, it’s important to still keep your budget in mind when selecting a home security setup. To better assist you, here are the main cost differences we found between ADT and SafeTouch:
ADT’s Costs and Payment Options
ADT’s monthly fees range from $29.99 to $52.99 and, if you are renting a place with an ADT system, you might even pay as little as $19.99 per month.
Downside: Since ADT does not offer DIY installation, you’ll have to pay $99 to $199 for professional installation (at least this means less work for you).
On the plus side: ADT doesn’t charge any up-front fees. Here’s our latest in-depth guide on ADT’s pricing and plans.
SafeTouch Costs and Payment Options
SafeTouch offers monitoring plans that start as low as $29.99 per month. Unfortunately, we found that SafeTouch lacks transparency in pricing so it is difficult to determine the exact costs of their security plans.
When hiring a security system from SafeTouch, you can expect to pay installation fees that start at $99 and, similar to ADT, SafeTouch does not charge any up-front fees for the equipment either. The equipment cost is instead rolled into the monthly monitoring fees.
FYI: Installation fees can be pricey; however, through professional installation, ADT and SafeTouch ensure that your system is working as it should. Also, techs will install equipment in suitable locations to ensure your devices work as effectively as possible.
Equipment and Features
The most important factor to consider when choosing a security setup is what equipment and features are offered. Let’s be real, these help to keep you safe and serve as the beating heart of a home security system. ADT and SafeTouch each have you covered, offering high-quality equipment and special features that aid in protecting your property against vandalism, intruders, and other emergencies.
ADT Equipment and Features
Depending on the plan, ADT provides the following security equipment and special features:
- Mobile App: The ADT app allows you to receive text alerts and have remote control of your security system.
- Monitoring Services: ADT provides 24/7 monitoring services that’s among the most reliable services in the industry.
- Medical Emergency Systems: The company offers medical alert units with two-way communication, perfect for seniors or others prone to medical emergencies.
- Video Surveillance: ADT offers indoor and outdoor video camera streaming and surveillance.
- Motion Sensors: These sensors can detect the presence of intruders. A glass-break sensor is also available.
- Environmental Sensors: ADT provides smoke, heat, water leak, and flood sensors. They also have a carbon monoxide detector.
- Entry Sensors: With ADT, you can get a window, door, or garage sensors. These help to keep intruders at bay.
- Keychain Fob: With this small keychain fob device, you can either arm or disarm your security system with ease.
- Control Panel: ADT’s security system includes a touch screen panel that you can use to control your system setup.
- Smart Home Features: Smart bulbs and thermostats, anyone? These are just a couple of the smart home features available through ADT.
SafeTouch Equipment and Features
Depending on the security package you choose, SafeTouch provides the following equipment and features:
- Emergency Devices: SafeTouch offers two-way communication devices that can assist you with getting help ASAP in the event of an emergency.
- Video Surveillance: SafeTouch offers surveillance cameras and 24/7 monitoring services.
- Motion Sensors: Sensors can detect suspicious activity or the presence of would-be intruders.
- Entry Sensor Devices: SafeTouch offers entry sensors to use in both windows and doors. A glass-break sensor is also available.
- Environmental Sensors: SafeTouch security systems include electronic devices that detect smoke, heat, and water leaks.
- Energy-saving Devices: You can save energy and time by including a smart thermostat in your home security system.
- Mobile App: With the app, you can remotely control your security system whenever and wherever using your smartphone.
- Cloud Storage Options: This feature is useful if you want to save surveillance videos for future use.
ADT vs. SafeTouch: Installation
As mentioned before, ADT and SafeTouch offer similar installation services. While you may have a knack for putting things together on your own, we’re afraid you’re going to have to sit this one out and watch from the sidelines. When it comes to home installation, you can expect the following:
- Installation Type: Both ADT and SafeTouch require professional installation and setup for their systems.
- Installation Fees: ADT charges from $99 to $199 for installation, whereas SafeTouch fees start at $99.
- Installation Ease: It couldn’t be easier, as a professional is doing it for you. They will also show you how to use the system once it’s installed.
During an emergency, it’s crucial that you’re able to communicate with your home security company effectively. After all, this could make or break the outcome of your predicament.
So, on that “cheerful” note, here are some similarities and differences between ADT and SafeTouch emergency connections that you should consider:
- Communication Mediums: Both ADT and SafeTouch offer two-way emergency communication. Also, both rely on cellular or landline services to communicate with their clients and stay connected. A landline option is a plus for those who live in more rural areas.
- Medical Alerts: Unlike SafeTouch, ADT offers medical alert units, which also include GPS tracking. This is called ADT Health.
Did You Know: With ADT, you can choose either Medical Alert Basic or Medical Alert Plus. The only difference is that the basic unit requires a landline connection. Meanwhile, with the plus unit, you’ll enjoy a reliable cellular connection.
Security companies don’t expect you to check the live streaming recordings regularly (we don’t have time for that). Instead, these companies have a professional monitoring team to do all the work for you. With 24/7 professional monitoring, both ADT and SafeTouch teams will contact you ASAP in case of emergency.
The only difference is that SafeTouch’s monitoring services are UL certified, meaning they meet specific, defined requirements for safety.
When it comes to response time though (ding ding ding!), ADT is the winner. With over 17,000 employees, ADT is more likely to provide a faster response in an emergency. That said, although SafeTouch is smaller than ADT, it still provides reliable security services for customers.
Did You Know: ADT is recognized in the industry for fast and reliable response. While testing their systems, we experienced 30-second response times on average, which is slightly faster than the industry average of 35 seconds.
ADT vs. SafeTouch: Which Security System Is Best for Me?
To round things out, remember that both ADT and SafeTouch are excellent home security options. So, how to decide?
It really comes down to your specific needs, budget, and (in this case) location.
If you want an extra peace of mind, ADT is definitely worth the cost. They are a reputable company that many people rely on to keep safe. While SafeTouch also provides efficient and reliable home security services, it’s important to note that they are currently only available to folks who live in Florida or Georgia.
All things considered, we recommend ADT over SafeTouch. But if you want to continue exploring your options for pro-installed home security systems, check out our full guide on the best professionally installed security options.