ADT Home Security Review | Fast Installation and Superior Monitoring

Most Experienced
Plans starting at $27.99/mo.
Pro Bullet Same day professional installation available
Pro Bullet Free ADT-monitored system through SafeStreets
Con Bullet Doesn’t offer many cameras
Con Bullet Not a good option for renters
The bottom line

We recommend ADT with its 140 years of experience, six monitoring centers, and six-month money-back guarantee. It also offers security cameras and home automation integration, though it comes at a hefty monthly price.

We updated plans, pricing, and the details around our ADT recommendation.
We checked the prices and added ADT's outdoor security camera to the list of available products.
View all updates
Icon Caret Down  Dark
Icon Caret Up  Dark

Pros and cons of ADT security

Pros
  • Pro BulletSame-day professional installation available
  • Pro BulletFree equipment worth $1,300*
  • Pro Bullet6-month money-back satisfaction guarantee**
  • Pro Bullet6 monitoring centers
  • Pro BulletLandline options for areas without great cell coverage
  • Pro BulletBrand recognition and loyalty
Cons
  • Con BulletDoesn’t offer many cameras
  • Con BulletNot the best for smartphone/mobile control
  • Con BulletNot a good option for renters
  • Con BulletInconsistent customer experience
*With $99 installation charge and new monitoring agreement. Early termination fee applies. See SafeStreets.com for full offer details, terms, and conditions.
**Certain restrictions apply.

Compare ADT security plans

Data effective 08/13/2020. Offers and availability subject to change.

*Lifetime equipment warranty is valid only if you have an ADT Quality Service Plan. This isn't included in the base-level ADT plan.


ADT security overview

Why we recommend ADT Security Alarm Systems

ADT's not our first choice for home security. Sometimes it seems like the brand’s resting on its laurels, complacent with its huge chunk of the security market.

This is teeth-gnashing-inducing, because ADT’s offerings just aren’t as competitive as they should be. The brand has high prices, long contracts, and lots of customer service ups and downs.

Many of its competitors are cheaper and more innovative with shorter contracts and better customer service.

ADT blue yard sign

We still highly recommend ADT, though, because 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 they’ve built their reputation  on experience and customer support. But if you don’t want to deal with ADT’s cons, we have a bunch of other security system recommendations for you to choose from.

Reliability you can count on

Because ADT has six monitoring centers—more than any other security company—you get added protection. If one or two monitoring centers is 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.

Professional installation

Installing a security system with ADT monitoring from SafeStreets 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.

If you’d prefer a DIY installation experience or if you want to place sensors around your home yourself, check out companies like Frontpoint or SimpliSafe.

Options for connection

If you live somewhere with poor cell phone coverage, ADT security has a landline package for you. It starts at $27.99 a month, which is a so-so price compared to other low-tier packages that competitors offer. But between ADT and Protect America (our other recommended brand that offers landlines), we generally would pick ADT.

ADT Control mobile app

Good news: ADT gives you remote access to your system through a highly-rated app. You can turn your system on and off and check your cameras from afar.

Bad news: you gotta cough up $52.99 a month for your monitoring package to get the privilege. That’s way too much for something several competitors offer for free.

Standout theft protection

ADT does have some perks that stand out in the industry. When you sign up, you also get $1,300 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, certain restrictions apply.)

*With $99 installation charge and new monitoring agreement. Early termination fee applies. See SafeStreets.com for full offer details, terms, and conditions.

ADT security plans

Essentials Plan

This landline package is the cheapest option. For $27.99, you can enjoy landline-based service. Unfortunately, this plan doesn't include ADT's lifetime equipment warranty.

At this tier, you can’t access your system remotely. But if the cell coverage in your home is so bad that landline’s your best option, the remote access might not work anyway. In the words of Bruce Banner, we see that as an absolute win.

Complete Monitoring Bundle

This landline package costs $36.99 a month and is identical to the Essentials Plan in practically every aspect. The main difference it that it includes ADT's lifetime equipment warranty, which is a major bonus.

Premium Bundle II+ Cellguard

This isn’t our favorite package. You get a cellularly monitored system for $44.99 a month, but you don’t get remote access to it. Still, it’s a handy-dandy option if you don’t have a landline and also don’t care much about remote monitoring.

ADT Command Tier I Remote Access

At this tier, you finally get remote access at $52.99 per month. You also get text and email alerts when something goes wrong. We’d recommend this package to most shoppers because of its useful features and midlevel (for ADT) price.

ADT Command Tier II Video Security

This tier adds video monitoring to the system features. It also adds $6 to the price, for a sum total of $58.99 each month.

ADT Command Tier III Video Security + Home Automation

If you’re looking for a smart home setup, you can get it for the not-so-low price of $62.99. We think that if you’re looking at the Tier II package, you should bite the bullet and just go with the Tier III. If you’re already spending $58.99 on security, you might as well spend an extra $4 to get that sweet, sweet home automation.


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 SafeStreets, an ADT authorized provider.

Pricing for ADT monitoring

As you can see, ADT monitoring runs anywhere from $27.99 to $62.99 per month. We don’t think those prices are 100% unreasonable, but ADT’s prices are certainly higher than what a lot of competitors charge. Basically, when you choose ADT security, you’re paying more for the name recognition and the reliable monitoring centers with six locations.

The low-tier packages with a landline (wired connection) are the best deal, especially if you’re in a remote location or if you don’t have great cell coverage where you live. If you don’t want a landline connection, we like the Tier I package with its remote access.

Installation fees and details

Professional installation starts at $99 and goes up to $199 for the Tier III package. This’s right on par with other professionally installed security companies.

With an ADT monitored plan through SafeStreets, 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.

Just remember, there’s no DIY installation available with ADT through SafeStreets. 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.

There’s no DIY installation available with ADT.

How does ADT monitoring work?

  1. An emergency is detected
  2. Silent alarm or siren is triggered
  3. ADT monitoring receives an alert
  4. ADT monitoring contacts you
  5. ADT confirms emergency or false alarm
  6. ADT contacts police, fire fighters, or other responders

Industry-leading monitoring

ADT is the largest and most well-established home security company in the United States and Canada, and that has real benefits.

ADT’s six independent monitoring stations are scattered across the country. 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.


ADT features

Home automation

With the ADT Command Tier III Video Security + Home Automation 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 Control app manages your system and smart devices in one place. 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.

ADT Control app

Arm your ADT security system right from the mobile app.

ADT Control app video

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. There’s a reason for that; most people nowadays prefer wireless security systems. A wireless security system works through cellular networks, eliminating the need for a landline so 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.

But 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 a landline, your security system will still work even if a cell phone tower goes down.

Security cameras

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.


ADT equipment

ADT equipment bundle 2 with doorbell camera and Amazon Echo dot

Image from SafeStreets and is property of SafeStreets.

SafeStreets 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 detectors.

Free security equipment

When you purchase an ADT monitored security system through SafeStreets (authorized retailer), you get $1,300 worth of free equipment.*

The equipment includes the following:

  • Control panel (1)
  • Motion detector (1)
  • Door/window sensors (6)
  • Remote key fob (1)
  • Yard sign (1)
  • Window stickers (number unclear)

*With $99 installation charge and new monitoring agreement. Early termination fee applies. See SafeStreets.com for full offer details, terms, and conditions.

ADT equipment available from SafeStreets

  • Control panel
  • Keypad
  • Motion detector
  • Door/window sensor
  • Remote key fob
  • Backup battery
  • Video doorbell
  • Indoor security camera
  • Outdoor security camera
  • Smart lock
  • Smoke detector
  • Carbon monoxide detector
  • Carbon monoxide/smoke detector combo
  • Shock sensor
  • Glass break sensor
  • Garage door control
  • Remote thermostat
  • Remote light module

Installation

Professional installation is your only option with ADT monitored security from SafeStreets. 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.

ADT installer with family

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

Aesthetics

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.

Warranties

ADT monitoring packages (except the Essentials Plan) 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.


Customer service

Six-month money-back guarantee

One thing we can say about ADT: it 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 (certain restrictions apply).

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.

Availability

When it comes to customer service, ADT offers more availability than most competitors.

When it comes to customer service, ADT offers 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.

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, ADT’s cancellation policy is more lenient than most. If you cancel, you’ll pay 75% of your remaining contract. Other companies require 80% to 100%.

 

ADT customer reviews

Many recent customer reviews of ADT are less than stellar.* Customers usually have a difficult time canceling, don’t like parts of the customer service, and feel the brand’s not always up front about fees. Users who leave positive reviews say that their systems work well and that they had a positive experience with a rep.

*Based on reviews from Consumer Affairs.


Our recommendation

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 also a fantastic option if you want professional installation or if you live somewhere with spotty cell coverage and need a wired system.

But if you want something that’s not too expensive or that offers mobile access and smart home integration at a lower tier, ADT’s not right for you.

>>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