ADT Home Security System Review: How Does This Trusted Brand Measure Up?

This provider offers advanced technology and add-on options for residential home protection and commercial surveillance. With ADT Home Security integrations, mobile app, and a variety of hardwired and wireless products, this 145-year-old enterprise serves millions of properties each year.

Jerry Carter

Jerry Carter - Editorial Staff

Updated: January 17, 2020

ADT Main

ADT Home Security System Review: In-Depth

This brand is recognized throughout much of North America, thanks to its sustainable systems, range of products, and its ability to compete with modern technology. The corporation’s highlights and history shows that it continues to evolve with customers’ changing needs.

Key Features

The company utilizes cutting-edge technology and a dependable team to bring secure products to clients. Automatic functions, on-call monitors, and a mix of wired and cord-free systems create reliable safety packages. Here’s a review of their highlights:

  • Automation
  • Emergency Response
  • Intrusion Protection
  • Professional Technicians
  • Reliable Hardwiring
  • Wireless Products

ADT Alarm System Review: Background Information

ADT Background Info

This American corporation was founded in 1874 and has grown to include cyber-security, fire detection, access control, and more. Its name comes from its original title of the American District Telegraph.

As the biggest security company in the United States and Canada, the ADT alarm system serves some eight million clients and holds about a quarter of the residential market share. Its customers include both homeowners and business operators.

In 2010, the business merged with Brinks, which was acquired by Tyco. ADT’s most recent acquisition involved Apollo Global Management, which bought the brand for $6.9 billion and merged it with Protection 1. As of 2020, the headquarters are in Boca Raton, Florida, although there are six primary monitoring stations throughout the U.S. Over 18,000 employees work for the enterprise.

ADT Security Features: Smart Home Highlights

Many ADT home security reviews talk about smart technology within these surveillance systems. The company takes advantage of automated functions as well as mobile access to ensure that clients feel safe no matter where they are. Here is a look at the primary features.

Landline or Cellular: Reliable Backup for Emergencies

Most people want wireless systems, but there is always the threat of a power outage. If that happens, they’ll be left with an at-risk house and dormant surveillance. To better serve its large clientele and more rural areas, the corporation offers landline and cellular hookups.

Home Automation: Set It & Forget It

While not all of the plans include this capability, it certainly adds more peace of mind for buyers. They can program their systems to turn on and off at specific times of the day or night. This works for various things such as door sensors, lights, and thermostats.

Dedicated Monitoring Centers: 24/7 Service

ADT Monitoring

Each hub is staffed with trained professionals who review video surveillance all day, every day. They can quickly dispatch local authorities such as the police or fire department. Best of all, this comes with all of the pricing plans.

Homeowner’s Insurance Certificate: Potential Savings on Policies

ADT Certificate

This document arrives once a client completes their equipment installation and activates their system. Showing this certification will help them get up to 20% off a homeowner’s insurance policy and can incentivize consumers to choose this dealer.

Flood, Fire, and Leak Detection: Protect Against Water Damage

This brand’s safety considerations take more than burglaries into account. There are also detectors and sensors for excess water and leaks. This is an awesome option for homeowners who live in areas that are prone to flooding.

Video Surveillance: Most Popular Monitoring

This is one big incentive to upgrade to an ADT Pulse + Video plan. The cameras can watch out for any unwelcome visitors and send the live feed to a mobile device. This adds a lot of peace of mind when families are on vacation or away for the entire day.

Pet-Friendly Motion Sensor: Avoid False Alarms

ADT Motion Pet Friendly

Some people might not realize that their furry friends can set off the alarms in the house. The sensors are designed to bypass any movement under 50 pounds, so it won’t go off if a cat or small dog scurries past.

Mobile App: On-the-Go Surveillance

ADT Mobile App

Being able to see what’s going on at home, even when they’re away, is very important to many consumers. People who purchase more extensive plans get access to the mobile app, which syncs with Amazon Echo and Alexa and serves as a portable control panel.

Surveillance Cameras: Indoor & Outdoor Models

ADT Cameras

Clients have a few different choices when it comes to finding their ideal surveillance option. There are indoor and outdoor models, as well as a convenient doorbell cam. They come in HD 720p video quality and can be wireless or hardwired.

Hardwired Security: A Leader in Well-Maintained Wired Systems

The business is known around the country (and beyond) for its hardwired systems. The team has experience installing millions of these kits, and customers receive professional assistance whether they’re a first-time buyer or they’re transferring service to a new location.

Medical Products: Putting Senior Safety First

ADT Medical

Elderly consumers can get emergency response bracelets and necklaces. This makes it easy for them to call for help with the push of a button. The equipment is also waterproof and GPS-compatible, so customers get rapid assistance.

Equipment & Installation: Smarter Sensors, Remote Controls, & More

ADT home security systems boast great value and don’t skimp on equipment options. Even its most basic kits come with everything a family needs to secure their property and feel much safer. Below is a detailed review of some popular items, including sensors, keypad panels, and cellular connections.

The Goods

No matter the plan a person chooses, they can count on receiving the basic package of products. Sensory equipment is great for doors and entryways, and the control hub makes it easy to program all of the tools or set them to an automatic schedule. Below are the items buyers will get:

  • Backup battery
  • Control panel
  • Motion sensor
  • Window decals
  • Wireless detection and remote
  • Yard sign

Controls

For best results, clients need a variety of ways to access their systems. A convenient remote can dangle from their car keys and help them operate their security from a distance. Unfortunately, the touchscreen option costs an extra $299, so it may be out of budget for many households.

  • Keychain remote
  • Touchscreen panel

Sensors

When it comes to these, the more, the merrier, individuals can find several sensors that can meet their particular needs, whether it’s protecting themselves from burglaries or automating the garage door to swing open when they drive up.

  • Carbon monoxide and smoke
  • Doors and windows
  • Leaks and floods
  • Garage entry
  • Glass break
  • Motion detection

Video Cameras & Home Automation

With these cams, customers can glance outside as well as inside their homes whenever they want. Plus, they can optimize their set-up by taking advantage of automatic processes. A good example of this is the keypad feature.

  • Indoor cams
  • Keypad door locks

Installation

With over 100 years of experience, it would be disappointing if this company didn’t employ expert technicians and professional installment. That being said, the enterprise is known for its reliable support staff as well as its long-lasting products.

One an individual decides on their package, they set a date for a team member to out to their house and install the control panel. They’ll also take a tour of the property to point out any areas that could benefit from some extra safety measures.

A potential downside here is that some people might not want an agent coming to their house. Compared to something like Guardian that has DIY installation, ADT can seem a bit outdated.

ADT Alarm Packages & Prices

ADT Price

ADT home security cost depends on geographic location and which type of kit a customer chooses. There are also installation fees that range from $99 to $199. Customized packages are also available, and interested individuals can call 1-800-818-3238 to receive a quote.

Comparison of Plan Pricing & Perks

INFO TRADITIONAL CONTROL VIDEO
Monthly Cost$28.95+$36.99+$52.99+
AutomationNoYesYes
Carbon Monoxide AlarmYesYesYes
Email/Text AlertsNoYesYes
Fire/Flood DetectorYesYesYes
InstallationYesYesYes
Live Video FeedNoNoYes
Mobile AppNoYesYes
24/7 MonitorsYesYesYes
# of Cameras11+1+
# of Sensors44+4+

Traditional Package

This kit comes with the essentials, and for ADT, that means it’s quite extensive. Buyers will get 24/7 ADT alarm monitoring and security equipment, as well as fire, flood, and carbon monoxide detectors. Plus, they get four sensors for doors and windows and pro installation. There are options for adding extra equipment or upgrading existing products, too.

Control Package

This plan is all about automated systems and comes with everything in the Traditional kit. Besides that, customers will get a wireless remote for arming and disarming, as smart home controls. There is also the ability to schedule alerts, auto programs, and more.

Video Package

This is the bulkiest plan and comes with everything in the Control kit. Moreover, buyers will get security cameras that link to the mobile app, where they can access the live video streams from their footage. This also comes with the ability to save recordings and clips for future reference.

Plans

Such a wide client base calls for a variety of purchasing options. Each one comes with the standard equipment, such as a digital control panel and sensors. Also, they all come with a $99 installment fee.

Comparison Table for Plan Prices and Functionality

INFO Basic Basic + Wireless Pulse + Video Pulse + Smart Home Connect
Monthly Cost$27.99$48.99$58.99$59.99
Digital KeypadYesYesYesYes
Lifetime WarrantyNoYesYesYes
Medical BraceletYesYesYesYes
Mobile AppNoNoYesYes
MonitoringLandlineCellularCellularCellular
Smart IntegrationNoNoNoNo
Smoke/CO DetectorYesYesYesYes
VideoNoNoYesYes
# of Cameras011+1+
# of Sensors112+2+

Basic

This security plan is marketed as a great value, particularly for those who want an economical option. At just $27.99 per month, it’s highly affordable and comes with all the essentials. This includes the base ADT security station and control panel, as well as wireless motion sensors and a remote. On the downside, it doesn’t come with indoor cameras.

Pros:

  • Affordability
  • Reliable coverage
  • Standard equipment

Cons:

  • No cameras

Basic + Wireless Connect

For $48.99 per month, consumers can get the standard ADT security system with wireless capability. They’ll get the digital keypad and wireless motion sensors for doors and windows, as well as the assurance of a wireless set-up. A big disadvantage is that it doesn’t come with the mobile app, which is a shame considering it has a cellular connection. Even so, buyers will still get 24/7 monitoring and free cancellation.

Pros:

  • Cellular connectiony
  • Dependable equipment
  • 24/7 monitoring

Cons:

  • No mobile app access

Pulse + Video

This package is a bit pricier at $58.99 per month. It includes all the basic features as well as an indoor camera and quality service plan. Individuals can choose from a video doorbell or a wireless security camera, and it doesn’t require a landline, so it appeals to more consumers. Furthermore, it comes with the Pulse mobile app where people can remotely arm or disarm their system.

Pros:

  • Arm & disarm remotely
  • Comes with all the basic features
  • Video surveillance options

Cons:

  • A bit expensive

Pulse + Smart Home Connect

For just a dollar more ($59.99 per month), individuals can explore the home automation offerings. Along with a cellular connection, this plan gives families all of the Pulse + Video tools. With this option, people can take advantage of the doorbell camera, indoor and outdoor sensors, and the in-depth Pulse app on their smartphone.

Pros:

  • Automated features
  • Remotely control the system
  • Video access

Cons:

  • Pricing

Ease of Use

In terms of cost, the ADT home security system comes at different price points, so most households will find it pretty easy to find a suitable option. The installment fees can be annoying, but the fact that an expert is setting it up means that there are fewer doubts about the reliability. Moreover, the monitoring is always on-call, so customers can rest assured that their property is never left unarmed. Upper-tier functions like the app and integrated automation are intuitive, too.

Customer Experience

ADT home security works with multiple third-party providers, which causes the quality of service and the price to fluctuate. Some people might find it helpful to browse the ADT website to get an idea of the costs. That way, they know whether an authorized dealer is within the same price ranges.

Terms & Guarantees

As mentioned earlier, the brand works with authorized dealers, but any third-party links are not owned or operated by ADT. The business collects Social Security numbers and complies with legal obligations regarding the intent and disclosure of this information. As for policies, there is a six-month money-back guarantee for those who don’t see improvements in their property’s security within half a year of installation. The policy includes a full refund of the equipment costs, labor, and monitoring fees. Identity theft protection is available for $9.99 per month. Finally, the company obliges customers to sign on to a contract, and this can last 24 or 36 months.

ADT Customer Service

ADT Support

Support channels can vary in terms of response time since different phone centers are operated by a wide range of partners and businesses. The general customer service number is 800-521-1734. Availability varies depending on the region, but emergency operators are on-call 24/7. The majority of reviews report satisfactory wait time as well as respectful and knowledgeable staff members.

Trust Score (Trustpilot & BBB.org)

ADT Trust Score

The corporation is accredited with the Better Business Bureau and as of 2020, has an A+ rating with them. Most clients agree that the company has responsive agents who are patient and knowledgeable. It makes for a better buyer experience on the whole, and there are many long-time customers.

Also, the brand sends out consumer resources and newsletters from time to time to keep people in the loop and educate them about home safety. The security systems are easy to use, and everything is straightforward. Once it’s all set up, there isn’t anything to worry about.

Besides that, the app is very convenient but only available on the more expensive plans. Another complaint is the basic packages don’t include the lifetime warranty. They’re more limited in terms of products and coverage, although they are marketed as more inclusive.

FAQ Section

  • What Comes With ADT Security System?

    It depends on what kind of kit a person purchases, but all of them come with the standard items. This would be the base control panel and digital keypad, as well as motion sensors for doors and windows. Higher-tiered plans come with home automation and integrated features, mobile access, and video recording.

  • Is It Worth the Cost?

    Most reviews say that yes, it is worth the price. The costs are average when compared to similar systems and networks. That being said, the lower-tiered options lack some of the usual items, such as certain detectors, while including more unique things like 24/7 monitoring.

  • Do ADT Cameras Record?

    Yes, but only for those who purchase the Pulse packages. These video programs come with automated equipment and technology that allows for live recording streams and reviews. This enables easy viewing of the property even when homeowners are away. This capability can work inside and outside, as well as in conjunction with motion-activated sensors.

  • Can I Use the Cameras Without ADT?

    It might depend on how the system is connected. A cloud-based plan, such as Pulse, might make it harder to utilize the camera without service. On the other hand, if it is hardwired, then there is the chance that a person could use the equipment even if they are no longer a customer.

  • How Much is Video Surveillance From ADT?

    It costs around $60 per month to get video surveillance access and digital recording. Individuals should also keep in mind that there are upfront costs to consider, such as the $99 to $199 installation fee. For some people, this is worth it because it syncs with the mobile app for remote viewing.

  • Do I Own the Equipment?

    Again, it depends because sometimes a person will lease the equipment instead of owning it outright. In the majority of cases, the client does own the equipment, so even after their contract is up, those items are theirs. Some choose to sell it while others hang on to it in case they sign up with the company again.

ADT Home Security Pros & Cons

The brand’s monthly rates are on par with others in this industry. The standard tools are also similar, such as motion sensors and indoor/outdoor cameras. Being able to access the system from a smartphone (even if it’s only for the higher-tiered plans) is a great modern feature. Plus, customers have the opportunity to receive discounts on homeowner’s insurance.

A few things to look out for include the authorized dealers and third-party providers. Also, keep in mind that the basic packages have some flaws, such as landline-only connections and an absence of automated services.

Pros:

  • Competitive rates
  • Indoor and outdoor capability
  • Mobile access
  • Money-back guarantee
  • Wireless & hardwired options

Cons:

  • Long contracts
  • Third-party partners

Final Thoughts on These Services & Systems

All in all, this brand and its premier providers make it easy to get reliable tech and support to customers around the country. The range of hardwired and wireless systems, as well as add-ons like surveillance cams and specialized sensors, brings all the coverage that consumers need.


Jerry Carter

Editorial Staff

Jerry Carter is an experienced writer and has a passion for content development for varied projects. Jerry had been studying law at university when he realized that only writing could satisfy his adventurist spirit and his desire for knowledge. As a person with many unusual hobbies, he is also interested in security and modern technology.


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