AT&T Digital Life Home Security System

A basic home security system with 24/7 professional monitoring from AT&T

7.5 / 10 This rating is derived from our editorial team's research, hands-on product testing, and customer surveys.
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Rob Gabriele https://www.safehome.org/author/rob-gabriele/

Though AT&T has been around since the 1800s, they’ve only been in the home security game for about eight years. In that time, they’ve had an interesting evolution. First they scaled up to a portfolio of several home security systems, including some with video cameras and home automation capabilities. Then, a couple of years ago, they went in the other direction and slimmed down their offerings to what is now a single basic home security system with no video or home automation features.

It’s hard to say what the long-term plan is for AT&T Digital Life, but let’s take a look at their current security system and see what it has to offer. I especially want to outline their pricing, plans, and packages to see if AT&T Digital Life makes sense for your budget and lifestyle.

AT&T Digital Life’s Smart Security Plan

AT&T’s current home security offering is called Smart Security. (This is a bit of an awkward name choice, since the service has no smart home features.) The Smart Security plan includes a package of basic equipment and 24/7 professional monitoring for $549.99 up front and $39.99 per month, with a two-year contract.

Before going further, let’s just say it: Those prices are a bit steep. On average, basic security equipment for a typical home falls in the $350-$450 range. So AT&T is pricey compared to the industry average. They do have reasonable monthly monitoring rates, though. Many brand competitors charge $40-$50 per month for professional monitoring, so AT&T’s $39.99 isn’t bad at all.

Keep in mind, AT&T Digital Life is only available in certain areas. They’ve got a handy tool on their site for checking availability in your area. You’ll want to give that a whirl before even considering them, because it sure would be disappointing to get your heart set on a system and then realize you can’t have it. (I checked my local area in LA, and they don’t offer it here.)

Equipment in the Smart Security Package

AT&T Digital Life’s Smart Security Package Equipment

Item Quantity Included Prices
Recessed Contact Sensors (Door) 2 $19.99
Surface Contact Sensors (Window) 4 $34.99
Motion Sensor 1 $19.99
Keypad 1 $69.99
Indoor Siren 1 $49.99

Add-on equipment comes with a one-year agreement and a separate monthly service charge. Read the full terms and conditions for details.1

Features of the Smart Security Package

  • Standard professional installation: Professional installation is included in the price of the system. This is a nice perk, since most companies that offer professional installation charge in the neighborhood of $99-$199 for it.
  • 24/7 professional monitoring: Your system will be monitored 24 hours a day by AT&T Digital Life’s nationwide network of monitoring centers. If one monitoring center goes off-line, you’re still covered by a monitoring center in a different region (what we call “redundant monitoring” in the industry), so your home and family are protected at all times.
  • Rapid emergency response: In our test of AT&T Digital Life in our home, we experienced an average response time of 45 seconds, which is slightly slower than the industry average of 30-45 seconds. Still, response times of under one minute are considered strong, so AT&T is doing well here. Read our full review of AT&T Digital Life.

Did You Know: When it comes to professional home security monitoring, “response time” does not refer to police arrival time. Instead, it describes the time it takes the system to receive alerts, process information and contact authorities. Many factors can affect response time. To learn more, read our guide to the best home security company response times.

  • Instant alerts: When a sensor is triggered, you’ll receive an alert on your mobile device, and you can view or respond to it via the smartphone app. The professional monitoring center will also be notified.
  • Remote access from your smartphone, tablet, or PC: You can access AT&T Digital Life from a web browser or from the AT&T Digital Life apps for phone, tablet, and even smartwatches. This gives you the power to control your alarm system from nearly anywhere. Unfortunately, the apps don’t seem to be a big hit with users. AT&T Digital Life has a rating of 3.2 stars on the Apple App Store, and 2.7 stars on the Google Play Store. This is a definite area that needs improvement for AT&T.
  • Wireless monitoring with cellular backup: AT&T Digital Life’s equipment is 100 percent wireless, which is handy when it comes to a streamlined look with no messy cords getting in the way. However, their system uses a broadband (Wi-Fi) connection, which we’ve found to be slightly slower and less reliable than cellular monitoring. That said, AT&T’s system has a cellular backup that’ll kick in if your Wi-Fi is ever down, so you won’t lose service. (If you want to explore systems that use cellular monitoring as their primary method, check out our guide to the best cellular home security systems.)
  • 14-day, money-back guarantee: This is a handy two-week free trial period. However, there are some stipulations. A restocking fee (typically $99) will be charged if the equipment is used, or all parts are not returned, or if an AT&T authorized technician is required to remove the equipment. And let’s face it, if you’re trying the system out for two weeks, the equipment will be “used” to some extent. So expect to pay a restocking fee if you cancel within 14 days of installation. Be sure to read the full contract terms.
  • Lifetime limited warranty on equipment: The security equipment you buy from AT&T is protected for the lifetime of your subscription to AT&T Digital Life. They’ll repair or replace your equipment if it fails as a result of defects in workmanship or materials, including electrical failure caused by a power surge. A lifetime warranty is quite generous. Many top security providers only offer warranties of three years, and some as short as 90 to 120 days. Keep in mind, though, you will pay a fee of $49.99 every time a technician needs to come out to repair or replace equipment under warranty.

FYI: AT&T Digital Life’s stripped-down home security package is simple and easy to use. That said, it has stiff competition from modern DIY systems like SimpliSafe — one of the best (and most affordable) home security systems available. Read our hands-on review of SimpliSafe.

Final Thoughts on AT&T Digital Life

AT&T Digital Life has been consistently narrowing its security offerings over the last few years, and this does cause concern — especially if you’re considering signing a two-year contract. When we reviewed AT&T Digital Life in March 2021, we noted that the stripped-down version of the Smart Security package still included a touch-screen control panel (which we really loved) and the option to add on some environmental monitoring, like a CO sensor. Those features now seem to have been stripped away as well. The Smart Package currently includes a standard keypad, not a touch-screen panel. And their site no longer mentions any add-on environmental sensors.

Though the basic equipment in the Smart Security package is good, I don’t think it justifies the price, even with 24/7 professional monitoring. After all, you get award-winning 24/7 professional monitoring with ADT for only a slightly higher price (starting at $45.99), and they let you pay for your equipment over time, rather than in one lump sum up front. Plus, you get a slick touch- screen panel and the ability to include all kinds of smart home features. That’s the kind of upgrade potential that gives you value for your money. It’ll be nice if AT&T Digital Life is able to offer those kinds of advanced features in the future. If so, we’d certainly love to try them in our home again.

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Citations
SafeHome.org 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. AT&T. (2014). AT&T Digital Life Customer Agreement Summary
    https://my-digitallife.att.com/content/dam/Support/policiesandlicenses/DL_Customer_Agreement.pdf

Written By
Rob Gabriele
Home Security Expert

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

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