Pros and cons of ADT security
- Same day professional installation available
- $850 worth of free equipment
- 6-month money-back satisfaction guarantee
- 6 monitoring centers
- Landline options for areas without great cell coverage
- Brand recognition and loyalty
- Doesn’t offer many cameras
- Not the best for smartphone/mobile control
- Not a good option for renters
- Inconsistent customer experience
Compare ADT security plans
|ADT security plan||Basic||Basic + Wireless Connect||ADT Pulse® + Video||ADT Pulse® + Smart Home Connect|
|Smoke and CO monitoring|
|Smart home integration|
|Lifetime equipment warranty*|
|Learn more||View Plans||View Plans||View Plans||View Plans|
Data effective 6/5/2019. Offers and availability subject to change.
*Lifetime equipment warranty is valid only if you have an ADT monitoring plan.
ADT security overview
Reliability you can count on
ADT’s not our first choice for home security due to high prices, long contracts, and lots of customer service ups and downs. But its longevity and brand recognition can’t be beat.
If the reliability of a big security company is important to you, then ADT has your back. Its blue logo and lawn signs are highly recognizable deterrents, and the brand’s built its reputation on experience and customer support. Because ADT has six monitoring centers—more than any other security company—you get added protection. If one or two monitoring centers are affected by power outages or natural disasters, you’re still covered with monitoring professionals standing by 24/7. That’s not the case with smaller security companies.
Installing a security system with ADT monitoring is a hands-off experience. A professional installer will come to your home, inspect its entry points, and place your sensors for optimal performance. If this sounds like a dream come true, then ADT has you covered. Just know that ADT works with third-party dealers, and your customer experience may vary based on the dealer you work with.
Options for connection
If you live somewhere with poor cell phone coverage, ADT security has an affordable landline package for you. It starts at $27.99 a month, which is inexpensive compared to other low-tier packages that competitors offer. If you’re looking for a landline system, ADT has our hearty recommendation without hesitation.
ADT Pulse mobile app
ADT is the security system for you if you don’t want to spend time micromanaging your system through apps. Though ADT offers packages that include mobile control and smart home options in higher price tiers, the basic option is one of the best deals around. If you do want the latest bells and whistles in tech, ADT probably isn’t your strongest option.
Standout theft protection
ADT monitoring and security offers some added perks that stand out in the industry. ADT is one of the only security companies to include a $500 theft protection guarantee that helps cover the insurance deductible if your home is burglarized. When you sign up, you also get $850 of free equipment to get you started. And ADT offers a six-month money-back guarantee, which is more than what competitors offer. (Of course, specific stipulations apply.)
ADT security plans
A basic ADT security plan is your best bet if you need a wired security system without all the bells and whistles. Perfect if you’re looking for the most economical security option or if you’re located somewhere with spotty cellular coverage.
Basic + Wireless Connect
We’re just going to come out and say it: we wouldn’t recommend this package. You’ll get more bang for your buck if you opt for a lower-tier or higher-tier package. This package includes a basic security system with wireless technology, but it doesn’t include some of the handiest wireless perks, such as being able to remotely access your system, video monitoring, or home automation. Either opt for the basic, wired package or pay a few more dollars every month to enjoy the real perks of a wireless security system.
ADT Pulse + Video
If you’re interested in video security cameras or a video doorbell, ADT Pulse + Video has you covered. With ADT Pulse, you can access your security system through your mobile device to get alerts, arm or disarm your system, manage your system in the Pulse app, and watch live video remotely.
ADT Pulse + Smarthome Connect
With the ADT Pulse + Smarthome Connect, you get everything in the Pulse + Video package plus sophisticated home automation. Remotely lock and unlock your door, see who’s ringing your doorbell when you’re not there, and control lights and small appliances from your Pulse app.
ADT security prices
ADT works with a network of third-party dealers and installers to provide security systems all over the country. This means your equipment options and monthly prices could vary slightly from one dealer to the next. We recommend Protect Your Home, an ADT authorized premier provider with 20 years of experience.
Pricing for ADT monitoring
ADT monitoring will run you anywhere from $27.99 to $59.99 per month. We don’t think those prices are unreasonable—especially when you look at all the features that come with the top-tier packages—but ADT’s prices are certainly on the higher end for the security industry, with the exception of their lowest-tier package. You also have to sign a contract, so you’ll be paying higher prices for a while.
The best deal is getting the low-tier package with a landline (wired connection) which would be a great fit if you’re in a remote location or if you don’t have great cell coverage where you live. When you choose ADT security, you’re paying more for the name recognition, the reputable customer service, and the reliable monitoring centers with six locations.
Installation fees and details
Professional installation starts at $99 and may vary depending on the equipment and security monitoring package you choose. This is right on par with other security companies, but it’s important to note that there’s no DIY installation available. If you’re looking for DIY installation options, but aren’t convinced they’ll stack up to ADT, you can decide what’s best for your home on our posts comparing ADT vs. SimpliSafe or ADT vs. Frontpoint.
Going with ADT security means you’re paying a little more for a premium experience where you don’t need to touch a thing during setup. A professional installer will assess your home and set you up for the best possible effectiveness of your home security system. They’ll even let you know if they see something on your property—like a bush offering a hiding spot next to a ground-floor window—that makes you more vulnerable to break-ins.
How does ADT monitoring work?
- An emergency is detected
- Silent alarm or siren is triggered
- ADT monitoring receives an alert
- ADT monitoring contacts you
- ADT confirms emergency or false alarm
- ADT contacts police, fire fighters, or other responders
ADT is the largest and most well-established home security company in the United States and Canada, and that has real benefits.
ADT has six independent monitoring stations scattered across the country, which means if a power outage or emergency shuts down one monitoring center, your home will still be protected by other monitoring stations. That’s a pretty big benefit considering you’re relying on the effectiveness of monitoring centers to notify emergency services in an emergency such as a break-in, fire, or flood.
With the ADT Pulse and Smart Home Connect package, you can control all your security and smart home features in one place. Use your doorbell camera to see who’s at your door—whether you’re at home and don’t want to get off the couch or you’re at work. With smart locks, you can let your kids in after school or let people in to feed your pets while you’re on vacation without giving anyone a key.
Easy mobile app
Lots of security systems sync with third-party devices, but in many cases, you still have to open half a dozen apps to use all those devices. ADT’s Pulse app controls your system and smart devices in one place so you can lock your doors, turn off your lights, arm your system, and make sure your windows are shut—all within the same app, whether you’re home or away.
Arm your ADT security system right from the mobile app.
Check in on your home in real time, and take advantage of in-app “record” and “screenshot” features.
Wired and wireless options
Not many security companies offer both wired and wireless home security options. For many people, this doesn’t matter much. Most people nowadays prefer wireless security systems. A wireless security system works through cellular networks and means you don’t need a landline for the security system to contact the monitoring center. It also means that an intruder can’t simply cut your landline to disable your security system.
Wired security systems are great options if you want to save money or if you live in a remote area with poor cell phone coverage. (Think near the ocean, in the mountains, or near a canyon.) A wired security system requires a landline phone to contact the monitoring center in case of emergency. With it, you have the peace of mind knowing that your security system will still work even if a cell phone tower goes down.
ADT offers security cameras for a variety of needs. Indoor, wireless security cameras can help bolster your security or help you keep an eye on your pets while you’re away. A doorbell camera can also be handy for enjoying extra protection and screening visitors at your door. It will send you mobile alerts when it detects motion and you can check out live video footage through your mobile app.
Protect Your Home offers most of the security equipment you’d expect including entryway sensors, smoke and CO alarms, glass break sensors, indoor cameras, a doorbell camera, and motion sensors.
Free security equipment
When you purchase an ADT monitored security system through Protect Your Home (authorized retailer), you get $850 worth of free equipment in the Essentials Kit.
The Essentials Kit includes the following:
- Keypad (1)
- Backup battery (1)
- Siren (1)
- Motion detector (1)
- Door/window sensors (number varies depending on available promotions)
ADT equipment available from Protect Your Home
- Digital keypad
- Backup battery
- Motion sensor
- Door/window sensor
- Wireless door/window sensor
- Video doorbell
- Smart lock
- Home security camera
- Carbon monoxide detector
- Flood detector
- Heat sensing smoke detector
- Garage door sensor
- Wireless remote keychain fob
- Panic button fob
- High decibel alarm siren
Professional installation is your only option with ADT monitored security. You can usually get your equipment installed within 24 to 48 hours of your call. Depending on the size of your home and how many pieces of equipment you get, the installation process can take between one and four hours.
Your ADT installation will include:
- A discussion of your home and where you want equipment installed
- A personalized risk assessment with custom security recommendations
- A chance to select the equipment you want in your home
- Choosing your monthly monitoring plan
- Installation of the equipment you pick
- Instruction on how to use your security system
There’s nothing particularly flashy or eye-catching about ADT equipment, but since the equipment is inconspicuous, the simple, white sensors won’t clash with your home décor.
Most ADT monitoring packages include a Quality Service Plan. This plan includes a lifetime equipment warranty as long as you’re paying for professional monitoring. It also usually eliminates fees if you need someone to come to your home and service equipment.
Important note: The cheapest monitoring plan does not include the extended warranty.
Six-month money-back guarantee
ADT offers a money-back guarantee that blows away competitors. If you’re not fully satisfied with your security system within the first six months of service, ADT will give you a refund of monitoring and installation charges. Granted, this applies only if ADT has been notified of any grievances and has been given the chance to correct any errors or mishaps, and other restrictions may apply. Still, that beats offers from competitors that, at most, offer a 30-day money-back guarantee.
When it comes to customer service, ADT stands out by offering more availability than most competitors. Instead of limiting you to business hours, ADT’s customer support team is available 24/7. Plus, since ADT offers both chat and email support, there are even options if you hate talking on the phone or listening to cheesy hold music.
When it comes to customer service, ADT stands out by offering more availability than most competitors.
Contracts and cancellation policies
ADT monitoring contracts are 36 months—right around average for the security industry. Once your contract is up, it defaults to a month-to-month plan.
And while you shouldn’t sign a contract if you think you’ll have to cancel before it’s up, we should point out that ADT’s cancellation policy is more lenient than most. If you cancel, you’ll be responsible for paying 75% of your remaining contract. Other companies require 80% to 100%.
Theft protection guarantee
ADT plans include up to $500 of theft protection insurance to pay for your home insurance deductible if a burglary takes place while your ADT system is armed. While a home security system should hopefully prevent any burglaries, we think it’s cool that ADT has your back if something happens. Most other security companies don’t include theft protection.
ADT customer reviews
Customer reviews of ADT are extremely mixed.* Positive reviews often tell stories about a time their system prevented a burglary or helped them catch a fire before anyone was injured. A lot of people also mention getting help quickly when they had trouble with equipment. ADT customers are also happy with the mobile app and like being able to control the system with their phones.
Negative reviews focus mostly on the sales process and miscommunication about monthly costs. A lot of customers expected to get security monitoring for $27.99 per month and only later realized that the base package didn’t include what they needed.
*Based on reviews from Consumer Affairs.
ADT is a great choice if you want the brand-name recognition and stability of a security company with decades of experience and a huge customer support network. It’s a fantastic option if you care about premium, fast professional installation or if you live somewhere with spotty cell coverage and need a wired system. It’s not the best choice for the latest technological developments, but it does offer packages with mobile control, security cameras, and doorbell cameras.
>>Ready to make a decision? View ADT plans here.
Still exploring your options? Check out our post comparing the best home security systems.
Contributing author: Brianna Jensen