ADT Home Security Review

Top-notch professional installation and one of the most reliable home security setups available

SecureScore™: 9.3 / 10 This rating is derived from our editorial team's research, hands-on product testing, and customer surveys.
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Rob Gabriele
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Features & Technology
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Latest ADT Deal: Latest ADT Deal: Right now ADT is offering free installation on doorbell cameras and a $100 ADT Visa® Reward Card.* This deal is worth looking into if you find that ADT is right for you.

*Requires a 36-month monitoring contract with ADT Video or Complete. Early termination and installation fees apply. Taxes additional. New customers only. For full terms and pricing visit

ADT is one of the top brands in the home security industry. We like their competitive rates and product variety. Also, their user-friendly equipment, smart technology, and mobile app all have top-notch functionality.

We recently signed up for a complete ADT home security system and tested it extensively in our home. It wasn’t the perfect system. And truth be told, there are a couple of things to consider before purchasing ADT. But overall, this home security company impressed us big time.

We’re sharing with you today the results of our extensive research and testing of ADT. We think you’ll like what ADT has in store. So let’s jump right in!

Secured by ADT Decal

Secured by ADT Decal

  • Intuitive, easy-to-use app
  • 24/7 professional monitoring
  • Cellular backup
  • 145+ years of history in the security business
  • Partnership with Google Home

  • 3-year minimum subscription
  • No DIY installation
  • No self-monitoring options
  • Maximum resolution options of 1080p HD

Getting to Know ADT

Before we jump into sharing our hands-on experience with ADT home security, here’s a quick glimpse into their past. ADT is easily the most established security company around. Way back in 1874, American District Telegraph (ADT) was pioneering home security by sending alerts via Morse code.1 Fast forward 145 years to today, and they’re still providing quality security systems for homes and businesses, with improved technology, of course. ADT systems use hardwired and wireless equipment to scare away intruders and to better protect your home. They also integrate with home automation equipment for energy savings and convenience.

ADT News: ADT’s 2022 first-quarter report shows a growth of around 18-percent in revenue compared to the first quarter of 2021, proving that ADT is still one of the leading home security companies.

Our experts have been researching and testing ADT for close to a decade now. One of the best things about ADT is that they can customize a home security solution to meet your specific needs, and their sales agents are immensely helpful in this regard. If you go with a package plan, your four main options include Basic, Secure, Smart, Video, and Complete.

ADT Control Panel

ADT Control Panel

Our Experience with ADT

ADT packages start at $28.99 per month, which gave us around-the-clock professional monitoring for less than $1 per day. While this might sound cheap, it’s actually the going rate for basic home security. However, we found a handful of companies that offer the same or similar service for $10-$20 per month. So if you’re on a tight budget, ADT is probably not your best option.

To push ADT to its limits, though, we upgraded from the base package to try ADT’s higher-tier plans. We go into further detail on these plans in our “Which Plan is the Best?” section below. For now, note that ADT offers options for smart home automation through the ADT Smart Home package, as well as video monitoring under the ADT Video and Smart Home package. Below is a quick overview of ADT’s monitoring plans.

ADT Monitoring Packages Price
Basic $28.99 per month
Secure $45.99 per month
Smart $49.99 per month
Video $56.99 per month
Complete $59.99 per month

Besides the equipment and monitoring, ADT requires professional installation. This part of the service requires a visit from a technician, and a service fee that starts at $99. For the higher-tier packages, the fee might go over $99 to cover the installation cost of more pieces of equipment, as well as more complicated ones such as video doorbells.

You’ll get your money’s worth, though, because from our experience, ADT’s techs are knowledgeable, efficient, and professional. They even showed us the ropes after installing our new system. Take note, however, that if you’re the DIY-type and you want to install your own system, ADT has a DIY system under the Blue by ADT brand.

FYI: Professional installation typically costs money, but it’s an excellent option for seniors and those who are not tech-savvy.

Our latest testing revealed slight improvements in ADT’s equipment and feature set. Standard features now include push-button control panels, entryway sensors, interior motion detectors, and wireless keychain remotes. We’ve always liked the feel of the high-quality construction of ADT devices. Their products are made by manufacturing giants such as GE and Honeywell. But remember, a premium product often comes at a steep price.2 So expect to pay higher rates than the industry average for upgrades and add-ons.

ADT Entryway Sensors

ADT Entryway Sensors

For most people, reliability and fast response times matter, and they matter to us, too.3 ADT security systems can send emergency alerts by cell radio, which typically results in the quickest response times. Landlines can also be used as primary or secondary emergency connections. If you’re curious, we went with the cellular option, which our experts much prefer over landline connections. Our tests revealed relatively fast response times, but nothing that we haven’t seen from other brands. ADT just makes the mark here.

Finally, ADT monitoring centers are located across the U.S. in what we call a “redundant network” in the industry. Don’t worry, redundant is good in this context. It simply means that if one monitoring center goes offline, another location will ensure you don’t lose protection.

Expert Examined
From Travis Goodreau, Retired Burglary Detective
“One thing to keep in mind with landline service, I’ve investigated cases where burglars have pulled security panels directly out of the wall and severed the hardwire connection to the alarm company. When this happens, professional monitoring centers never receive the burglary alarm signal. I much prefer a wireless connection option when it’s available.”

Learn more about Travis and our methodology →

Our Customer Service Experience

ADT is known for their great customer service. But it can be hit or miss depending on the location. Although we spoke with a helpful agent on the phone, we’ve heard stories of people getting poor service. Thankfully, we found mostly positive reviews during our in-depth research of the company. ADT also gets a B+ rating from the BBB, which is a commendable score.4 So you can expect dependable customer service from this provider. Just don’t be too surprised if your experience fails to be outstanding.

ADT Customer Survey & Reviews

Our staff is great at researching and testing systems and comparing it to similar security options, but we wanted to see what ADT customers have to say about the product and the service they receive over time. As of May 2020, we’ve surveyed 184 ADT customers and asked them to rate ADT in 10 different areas, including an overall rating. Below is a summary of their ratings.

Customer Service & Support:
3.8 out of 5
4.4 out of 5
Installation Process:
4.0 out of 5
4.0 out of 5
Equipment & Technology:
3.9 out of 5
Home Automation:
4.1 out of 5
4.2 out of 5
Mobile App:
4.0 out of 5
Ease of Use:
4.1 out of 5
Overall Rating:
3.9 out of 5

Which ADT Plan Is the Best?

We researched all of ADT’s plans, and we personally tested their most basic plan, as well as their most advanced plan. Here’s a quick rundown. ADT offers five main security packages that combine equipment and ADT monitoring. Prices range from $28 to $59 per month, which is reasonable.

  1. ADT Basic ($28.99 per month)
  2. ADT Secure ($45.99 per month)
  3. ADT Smart ($49.99 per month)
  4. ADT Video ($56.99 per month)
  5. ADT Complete ($59.99 per month)

ADT Basic Security
The best value plan we found offered by ADT is called Basic Security. This plan set us back $28.99 per month but gave us a base security system with a control panel, motion sensor, wireless sensors, and a wireless remote. Unfortunately, this plan requires a landline connection, so customers without a landline installed will need to upgrade their plan to about $45 per month. Overall, the Secure Home plan certainly better protected our home with 24-7 monitoring, but it lacked features we’ve come to expect. For instance, there was no mobile app allowing us to control our system with a smartphone.

ADT App Camera View’s ADT App Camera View

ADT Video
The next ADT plan tier is called ADT Video. This one costs $58.99 per month or around $13 per week. As the name suggests, this plan offers everything in the basic plan, plus video monitoring and a true mobile experience. That is, you can use the ADT App to stay connected to your home security system from virtually anywhere, any time. Arm and disarm your system, monitor your surveillance cameras, and receive real-time updates and notifications while away from home. We really like this feature set, but it is more expensive compared to other leading brands we’ve tested.

ADT Complete
Now for ADT’s best plan – ADT Complete. We thoroughly tested this plan, and we connected multiple automation devices to our system. It included everything in the ADT Video, plus home automation features galore. In fact, it arrived on our doorstep with a smart indoor surveillance camera that allowed us to view the live stream video directly from our ADT App. At $58.99 per month, this plan gave us everything we typically look for in a high-end, complete home security system. But be advised, getting into home automation can get quite expensive with high equipment costs.

Overall, ADT’s top security plans are ADT Video and ADT Complete. Our in-depth research and testing revealed these plans offer us the most value for our dollar. However, be ready to pay a pretty penny to get these premium services. If you’re looking for basic home security, ADT offers that too. But at $28-$50 per month, we recommend going with a different provider for a basic system. You’ll save money and enjoy better features, such as mobile app controls.

Did You Know: ADT offers an attractive moving deal. If you happen to be relocating, just reach out to ADT 30-days prior to the big move, and they’ll set you up for free in your new home. To learn more, read our guide to moving with an ADT security system.

ADT Contract & Guarantee

ADT is best suited for folks who plan to stay put in their home for a few years. You’ll have to sign either a 24- or 36-month contract depending on your location. To help alleviate this contractual burden, ADT offers a generous 6-month, money-back guarantee. In all of our research and testing, this is the best guarantee we’ve seen. If ADT is unable to resolve any installation- or service-related problems within the first six months, they will refund the installation price and all monitoring fees paid over those first six months. According to ADT’s Terms and Conditions, “Equipment must be fully removed before a refund will be processed.”5 Still, not bad at all.

The Goods

During our research, we found that the ADT home security system includes, at minimum, the equipment listed below.

  • Control Panel
  • One Motion Sensor
  • Entryway Sensors
  • Wireless Remote
  • Backup Battery
  • Yard Sign and Window Decals

Of course, ADT’s more advanced packages come with additional features. can support the following controls, sensors, cameras, and home automation features:


  • Touchscreen Control Panel (additional $299 fee)
  • Keychain Remote Control
  • Mobile Companion App


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

Video Cameras and Home Automation

  • Indoor Cameras
  • Automated Lighting
  • Remote Thermostat Control
  • Keyless Entry
  • And More!

Equipment and Features Overview

ADT Equipment & Features Basic Secure Smart Video Complete
Pricing $28.99 per Month $45.99 per Month $49.99 per Month $56.99 per Month $59.99 per Month
Panel Included Included Included Included Included
Motion Sensor Included Included Included Included Included
Wireless Remote Included Included Included Included Included
Wireless Sensors Included Included Included Included Included
Indoor Camera Not Included Not Included Not Included Included Included
Landline Required Yes Yes Yes No No
Quality Service Plan Not Included Included Included Included Included
ADT Outdoor Camera Mounted

ADT Outdoor Camera Mounted

The Lineup of Features and Tech

We discovered a wide range of home security devices that can be installed and monitored by ADT. Here are several, but not all, of their equipment options, features, and technology.

Landline or Cellular
Many new home alarm companies only offer cellular connections for emergency monitoring. While cellular is typically the most reliable, it simply isn’t available in some remote areas. So if you live in the country, ADT is one of the few industry leaders to monitor through landlines and cell radio alike. Our experts prefer cellular, but we do like that ADT gives you a choice.

Pet-Friendly Motion Sensor
ADT security systems can detect intruders with infrared motion sensors. To help avoid false alarms triggered by pets, your installer can set these sensors to ignore moving objects up to 50 pounds in weight.

Flood, Fire and Leak Detection
For all-around home safety, ADT monitoring devices can detect water leaks, excessive heat, smoke, and carbon monoxide. We’ve tested several of these environmental monitoring devices. They gave us greater peace of mind – especially while we were out of town. These upgrades can pay for themselves a thousand times over.

Pro Tip: Check to see if you can get a discount on your homeowner’s insurance with environmental monitoring devices installed in your home.6

Video Surveillance
ADT sells security cameras that provide indoor and outdoor surveillance. With Video (ADT’s most popular offer), video can be live-streamed to your mobile device. We’ve found studies that show having a security camera installed is often enough to deter would-be burglars.7 And if your home is targeted, security cameras can give you hard evidence to catch criminals. We always recommend home surveillance.

Expert Examined
From Travis Goodreau, Retired Burglary Detective
“I always encourage residents to invest in a security system that allows them to stream and monitor their home from virtually anywhere. ADT’s Video package is a good option for this. The ability to check in on your home anytime is not only a peace of mind, but it lets you be the first to check on alerts and motion triggers. This cuts out a lot of those false alarm responses from law enforcement.”

Home Automation
According to our research and testing, ADT Smart security systems can also help to cut energy costs by automating lights, thermostats, and other things. You can add an extra layer of security and a touch of convenience with automated door locks for your home. Home automation is included in the ADT Complete package. But again, expect to pay a steep price to access this next-level convenience.

ADT Smart Home Options Primary Benefit Type Technology
ADT App Convenience Basic App
Smart Door Locks Worry-free Control Advanced Automation
Smart Lights Convenience Intermediate Automation
Smart Thermostat Convenience & Energy Saver Intermediate Automation
Video Doorbell Camera Advanced Detection Basic Camera
Smart Switches & Plugs Convenience & Energy Saver Basic Automation

Is It Easy to Use?

Yes, even though the equipment is high-tech, these systems are all-around easy to use. The company handled our installation from start to finish, and our technician stuck around to teach us how the system worked. Of course, our experts know home security systems inside and out, but it was nice to get this personalized attention for once.

As far as everyday security management goes, the basic system only has a few commands, controlled via the panel or keychain remote device. The more advanced plans offer mobile app control, putting home security controls at your fingertips.

While ADT systems are not the most user-friendly systems out there, overall they’re quite easy to use and manage. If you run into any problems, you can always seek help online or directly through ADT’s customer support line.

FYI: ADT just announced a partnership with Realty-titan Redfin for agent-free home tours. Using an ADT smart lock and other equipment, homebuyers can enter and leave a home at their leisure. The idea is that more homes will be toured more often, which will benefit both the buyer and the seller. We really like to see innovative partnerships like this.

ADT Monitored Home Security Video

The Last Word

We always put ourselves in the shoes of the average consumer. And we found that ADT offers plenty of home security options for a diverse customer base. In other words, they offer something for everyone. Our research and testing revealed that ADT professionally installs hardwired and wireless security equipment that’s robust and reliable.

Highlights of the premium ADT security packages are video surveillance, fire & flood monitoring, and home automation. However, we recommend digging into ADT reviews before signing an agreement. All in all, the premium plans offer an impressive feature set. But if you’re looking for basic home security features, you might want to look into Ring or SimpliSafe. ADT’s basic plans are a little overpriced from what we’ve seen, and we’ve seen a lot!

Citations only uses high-quality sources to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. ADT. (2020). Our History.

  2. Sullivan, P. (2010, April 30). Weighing the Value of a Home Security System. New York Times.

  3. ADT. (2019). The Evolution of ADT in the 2010s.

  4. ADT Security Services: Better Business Bureau® Profile. (2020, March 2). BBB.

  5. ADT. (2020). Residential Security – Terms and Conditions.

  6. Fitzpatrick, M. (2019, September 5). Are Smart Device Home Insurance Discounts Worth It? ValuePenguin.

  7. Blevins, K. R., Kuhns, J. B., & Lee, S. (2012, December). Understanding Decisions to Burglarize from the Offender's Perspective.

Written By
Rob Gabriele
Managing Editor & Home Security Expert

As Managing Editor for, Rob Gabriele has written and edited over 1,000 articles in home security. His expertise is in smart home automation and home protection with thousands of hours of testing and research under his belt. Formerly a reporter and producer for the USAToday network, Rob has been a writer and editor for over 10 years. He holds a Master’s of Science with an emphasis on writing from the University of Montana, and he currently lives in the Reno/Tahoe area of Nevada.

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