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ADT Pulse® Review

With ADT Pulse®, the top home security company in America brings something new to the table for those interested in technology and complete home automation. However, ADT Pulse® does fall short in terms of video surveillance and you won't have access to every sensor and detector available.

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Florin Onofrei

Florin Onofrei

Home Security Systems Expert

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Updated: October 20, 2014

The Good

Every home automation feature:

Looking purely at home automation, ADT Pulse® is right at the top of the industry. The place where the standard ADT home security system falls short is the exact spot where ADT Pulse® excels. ADT Pulse® has every home automation feature available, including the ability to adjust the temperature remotely, control small appliances from other locations, and schedule certain automation, like having the lights turn on at a specific time. It's very clear that Pulse® is a much more high-tech option than the regular ADT system.

Well-organized online portal:

On the ADT Pulse® Web portal, you can check out your home and monitor or manage your home security at any time. One neat feature is that you can view and send video or pictures to and from your house. Besides that, you can adjust just about anything in your home. It also helps that the navigation is clean and simple. There's a summary tab that shows a quick overview of everything in your home, and then you can dig deeper by looking at other tabs, like history, alerts, automations, and schedules.

Interactive touch screen:

With ADT Pulse®, you get to manage your home security with a touch-screen device that basically has access to anything you would need to control your home. The touch screen will allow you to send an emergency alarm, arm your system, view live camera feeds, control the lights, read the news, view photos, check out traffic, and much more. However, a touch screen isn't available with all plans, so you will have to check to make sure the plan you get is compatible if you want to use this device.

Stable and recognizable company:

By taking your business to ADT, you can rest assured that you're with a solid and stable company, which would hopefully translate to similar features in your home security system. ADT started as a telegraph company in 1874 and has been around ever since. ADT has the largest market share in the United States and continues to have a strong presence overseas as well.

The Bad

Missing some key sensors and detectors:

ADT Pulse® doesn't include some key features in their plans that some might consider vital to home security. None of the home security plans have glass break sensors, which send a signal that a window has been broken. There are also no recessed door sensors, although you can get motion-detecting sensors with all packages. Lastly, ADT Pulse® also doesn't include any garage door tilt sensors, which many companies offer.

Lack of video surveillance options:

Another area where ADT Pulse® falls short is in video surveillance equipment, as Pulse® is missing both pan-and-tilt and outdoor cameras. Pan-and-tilt cameras are a nice feature, as they can be controlled remotely and allow you to look around a room. For those interested in monitoring your doorstep or backyard, outdoor cameras can also be a great asset. Although ADT does provide access to outdoor cameras, they do not come standard with the Pulse® system. You could have ADT outdoor cameras installed, but they would be stand-alone cameras, and would not be connected to the Pulse® system. Having both of these camera options is not standard in the industry, but several security companies do offer both, or at a minimum, one or the other.

Highest package doesn't include all features:

Looking specifically at the highest available package, called Premier, many of the features that normally come standard in a home security system, especially one with this high of a price tag, are optional. Some of the more basic features listed as optional are remote lock/unlock, carbon monoxide detection, and flood monitoring. In addition, the lowest grade ADT Pulse® package, called Select, includes cellular connection, while all of the other packages have it listed as optional. The overall structure of the pricing and packages is generally very confusing.

Higher installation fee:

The installation charge for Security Choice's ADT Pulse® packages starts at $199, as compared to the $99 standard installation fee for non-Pulse® packages.

The Details

Contract Length 3 years
Equipment Manufacturer Honeywell
Monthly Monitoring Fee $49.99
Total Installation Cost $99 - $999


Home Automation

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  • Adjust Temperature - You can adjust the temperature of your house remotely.
  • Appliance Control - You can remotely turn small appliances on or off using a smartphone or Internet connection.
  • Arm/Disarm - You can arm and disarm the security system remotely.
  • Change Access Codes - You can change system access codes for different people who may have to enter your home.
  • Electronic Door Locks - The company offers electronic door locks that can communicate wirelessly so you are able to lock and unlock your doors from anywhere.
  • Event-Triggered Automation - You can set your lights to react to alarm sensors or other events.
  • History Log - You can view a logged history of events that have taken place over a specified time period.
  • Home Alerts - You can automatically receive alerts from your security system to keep you aware of what is happening in your house when you are not around.
  • Lighting Control - You can turn lights on or off using your laptop or smartphone.
  • Scheduled Automation - You can set a schedule for lights to be on at specific times of each day.

Monitoring Services

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Sensors and Detectors

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Control Equipment

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Installation and Setup

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Mobile Access

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Learning Materials

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ADT Pulse®

Monthly Monitoring: $49.99
Installation Fee: $199
Standard Contract: 3 years

ADT Pulse® offers additional packages and pricing directly through their website that is not listed above.

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