ADT home security ratings

Editor's Rating

ADT Security Services is the largest home security provider in the US and Canada. Compared with most other home security companies, ADT offers a wider range of services. Customers choose from wireless or hardwired systems with free installation, plus they can connect security systems from other alarm companies to ADT monitoring centers for about $20/month. Some special ADT security features are video cameras, home automation with voice recognition, and medical bracelets with GPS tracking.
customer service
3
value
4
equipment
4
features & technology
4
ease of use
5
4.0 overall score
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PROS

Free Installation
Competitive Monthly Rate
Wireless or Hardwired
Cellular and Landline Connections
Optional Indoor/Outdoor Cameras
Medical Devices Work at Home and Away
Environmental Disaster Prevention
Home Automation with Voice Recognition
Six-Month Money-Back Guarantee

CONS

Long-Term Contract
Technician Visits Your Home
Customer Service Varies


Overview

ADT Security Services is the longest-established security company on our review site. It dates back about 150 years to when American District Telegraph pioneered in sending security alerts by Morse code. Today ADT serves homes with average and higher budgets for security, and they also have security systems for business. Systems monitored by ADT use hardwired and wireless equipment to detect invasions, guard against environmental damage and automate homes for energy-saving and convenience.

The ADT website advertises multiple home security plans, plus their sales agents can design custom solutions. The main options are: basic home protection; basic home protection plus mobile control; and camera-enhanced protection plus mobile control.

Customers who already own security systems get especially low monthly prices (less than $1/day). They pay ADT just for monitoring, not for equipment. ADT customers sign three-year contracts and get six-month trials.

Specifics of ADT security equipment vary by dealer. The brands Honeywell, General Electric and ITI are all options. In any case the standard features are pushbutton or touchscreen control panels, entry sensors, interior motion detectors and wireless keychain remotes. With ADT Pulse wireless security systems, you get the options of video security cameras and remote control over lighting, temperature and door locks.

ADT security systems can send emergency alerts by cell radio, which is typically the speediest solution. Landlines can also be used as primary or secondary emergency connections. ADT emergency monitoring centers are set up across the US.

Customer Service

ADT headquarters in Florida provide excellent customer service and maintain an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). However, when reading ADT security reviews remember that the company authorizes independent dealers. Therefore customer service experiences may vary. For the best odds of stellar customer service, deal directly with ADT or choose an ADT dealer with the BBB seal.

Value

ADT offers five main security packages that combine equipment and monitoring. Hardwired and wireless alarm systems are available, all with free installation. ADT prices range from approximately $9 to $14 per week, or $37 to $53 per month. Additionally ADT will monitor already-installed security systems for as little as $19.99/month. Here are details about each plan:

The cheapest ADT security plans are called Essentials and Essentials Plus. They cost $36.99 and $42.99 per month, respectively. These plans provide “essential” protection with burglar alarm systems. The equipment protects entryways, detects indoor motion and automatically calls emergency operators. Essentials Plus includes hands-free voice technology for communication with emergency operators. A potential drawback is that these ADT packages only use landlines to send alerts. Cell radio tends to be faster and more reliable.

The next step up is called Total Protection. This mid-level ADT security plan costs $44.99/month. It adds a cellular radio connection to the Essentials plan and can use a landline as backup. Cellular monitoring is more secure than landline monitoring because criminals cannot simply cut a wire to defeat emergency communication. Studies have shown that cell calls reach monitoring stations more quickly as well. Unlike the Essentials Plus, the Total Protection plan does not feature two-way voice.

ADT’s fourth plan is Total Protection Plus. For $47.99/month it provides all the features in the Total Protection plan, plus customers get two-way voice communication through their alarm system control panels.

The best ADT security plan is named Premium Protection with ADT Pulse. Priced at $52.99/month, it supports cameras and other types of equipment to establish extra layers of security. All equipment can be monitored and controlled remotely with a mobile app. The best ADT security plan also supports home automation: Users can get centralized control over door locks, lighting, thermostats and other home features.

Contract

For all ADT security monitoring agreements customers sign three-year contracts. The company accepts cancellations without penalty for six months. Within that timeframe customers can return ADT equipment and be refunded for all monitoring expenses.

Equipment

Each ADT home security system includes, at minimum, the equipment listed below.

  • A control panel
  • A keychain remote
  • Three entry sensors
  • One infrared motion sensor
  • A high-decibel siren
  • A backup battery
  • A yard sign and window decals

Advanced packages get additional features. ADT supports the following types of controls, sensors, cameras and home automation features:

Controls

  • Pushbutton Control Panel
  • Touchscreen Control Panel
  • Keychain Remote Control
  • Medical Alert Bracelet
  • Medical Alert Pendant

Sensors

  • Door Entry Sensors
  • Window Entry Sensors
  • Garage Door Sensors
  • Glass Break Sensors
  • Motion Detectors
  • Carbon Monoxide Detectors
  • Smoke and Heat Sensors
  • Water Leak/Flood Sensors

Video Cameras and Home Automation

  • Indoor Cameras
  • Outdoor Cameras
  • Keypad Door Locks
  • Remote Control Lights
  • Remote Control Thermostat

Features & Technology

ADT installs and monitors an especially wide range of home security devices. Here are several highlights.

Landline or Cellular
Many new home alarm system companies only offer cellular connections for emergency monitoring. While cellular is generally the most reliable, it isn’t available in some areas. You might also like to have backup. ADT is one of the few industry leaders to monitor through landlines and cell radio alike.

Pet-Friendly Motion Sensor
ADT systems detect indoor motion with infrared motion sensors. To help avoid false alarms triggered by pets, these sensors can be set to ignore weights up to 40 pounds or 80 pounds.

Medical Alert Pendant with GPS
ADT medical alert pendants have an important advantage over those from competitors: With GPS tracking, they go anywhere! Other alert pendants only operate within a few hundred feet of an alarm system base station.

Environmental Sensors
For all-around home safety ADT can monitor devices that detect water leaks, excessive heat, smoke and carbon monoxide.

Video Surveillance
ADT sells and monitors video cameras for indoor and outdoor surveillance. With ADT Pulse (he company’s top monitoring plan) video can be livestreamed to a mobile device.

Home Automation
ADT Pulse wireless security systems help users cut energy costs by automating lights and thermostats. They also add security and convenience with automated door locks for the home.

Ease of Use

Security systems from ADT are easy to use. The company handles installation and provides a choice of pushbutton and touchscreen control panels from industry leaders such as Honeywell and General Electric. Each ADT alarm system includes a keychain remote as well.

Customers with questions about the technology can get answers through ADT’s Twitter and Facebook accounts, by phone and at the ADT website.

Summary

ADT meets diverse customers’ security needs. The company can installing and/or monitor various brands of hardwired and wireless security equipment. Highlights of the premium ADT home security package are video surveillance, environmental monitoring and home automation. We recommend reading local ADT reviews before signing an agreement, as customer service varies from dealer to dealer.


ADT Home Security

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