We all want a home security system that’s easy to use and integrates seamlessly into our lives. After all, if home security isn’t convenient, we’re less likely to use it, which means it’s less likely to keep us safe. “Convenient” can mean different things to different people, but generally speaking, the more ways you have to control your security system, the easier it is to use. For example, it would be great to have an interactive touch-screen panel in the house, plus a smartphone app for when you’re on the go, plus the ability to control your system with voice commands. With ADT’s Pulse or Control systems, you get all of these capabilities and more.
Before going further, I should explain one thing: ADT is currently transitioning its ADT Pulse system to ADT Control. Pulse is the security and home automation system ADT has been using for about eight years. It includes a web portal and an app. Though ADT Pulse is still fully functional and supported by ADT, it’s not being issued to new customers. Instead, if you’re a new customer, you’ll get ADT Control. Launched in 2019, Control is the company’s latest generation system (including a web portal, app, and in-home touch-screen panel). Both systems have tons of great features, and we’ll talk more about those here.
ADT Pulse and ADT Control come as part of an equipment and monitoring package — specifically, one that supports home automation capabilities. There are two ADT monitoring plans that do that: Smart and Complete. The Smart plan starts at $65.31 per month for monitoring and basic equipment, and the Complete plan starts at $77.81 per month for monitoring and basic equipment. If you’re looking to include video surveillance, you’ll want to go with the Complete plan. It not only includes an indoor HD camera, but also a free video doorbell.
These prices are a bit steep compared to industry competitors, but keep in mind they include payments for equipment rental (rather than paying in full up front), as well as ADT’s award-winning 24/7 professional monitoring. If you’re likely to use remote control features and home automation capabilities, then you’ll get your money’s worth from ADT’s Smart or Complete plans. If you’re not that interested in whole-home automation, though, consider some lower-cost DIY security systems that offer strong performance, like SimpliSafe or Frontpoint. Get a feel for those systems by reading our in-depth review of SimpliSafe or our latest analysis of Frontpoint.
FYI: In our in-home trial of ADT, we found that the somewhat steep price for ADT Pulse/Control plans was well worth it for the added convenience and peace of mind we got with home automation and remote controls.
ADT Pulse and ADT Control have the same core set of home automation capabilities and home security controls. There are some additional features to ADT Control, which we’ll go over in a bit, but first let’s look at the cool stuff they both do.
Pro Tip: Cut your energy bill by automating your lights, thermostats, and other smart devices. And keep an eye on your electrical devices on-the-fly with the ADT Pulse/Control app, so you never waste energy when no one is home.
FYI: ADT’s Pulse and Control apps are both highly rated. ADT Pulse earns 4.8 stars in the Apple App Store and 4.5 stars in the Google Play Store. ADT Control earns a strong 4.8 stars on both platforms.
Though ADT Control has many of the same features as ADT Pulse, it does have a handful of really nice extras. These improvements probably aren’t reason to upgrade if you’re already on the Pulse system, but for those ordering new service, keep an eye out for these added features you’ll get with the Control system.
Did You Know: ADT runs on the Z-Wave platform, which means their systems are compatible with hundreds of different smart products. Read our guide to ADT’s home automation capabilities.
ADT Pulse and ADT Control are both strong security and home automation systems. In fact, ADT made our list of best home automation security systems when ADT Pulse was the name of the game. Now that Command and Control are here, ADT’s home automation capabilities are even greater, and the whole system is more intuitive.
The Command touch-screen panel acts like a smart tablet, giving you control of all of your home devices on a single interactive screen. And built-in Alexa, plus geo-fencing capabilities, are valuable perks that you just don’t find in the average security system.
All this adds up to ADT being a leader in home automation. If you want to have a truly smart home — and you can afford a little more than average for quality equipment and 24/7 professional monitoring — ADT is the way to go. However, if you’re only interested in a few select home automation features, the ADT price tag may not be worth it.
It wouldn’t hurt to do some comparison shopping with other top contenders. A good place to start is our guide to this year’s best home security systems. (You’ll notice ADT is right there near the top.) But if you think ADT has what it takes to protect you and to transform your house into a smart home, then head on over to our full review of ADT to learn more about our experience using the system.
Rob is a professional writer and editor with an expertise in all things home security and home automation. Rob currently resides in the Reno/Tahoe area, however, he has spent thousands of hours researching and testing home security systems in a variety of environments and geographies, giving him the unique perspective that there is no “one size fits all” solution in technology. Rob holds a Master’s of Science and is a former Producer in the USAToday network in NY. When he’s not demystifying the latest home security and smart home tech, you’ll find Rob playing chess or hanging with his family. Learn more about Rob here