ADT, the most well-known home security company in the business, is a solid choice if you need the home security and monitoring basics but still want to customize your system with a variety of add-ons. However, you will want to look elsewhere if you're on a tight budget or desire extensive home automation.

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Florin Onofrei

Florin Onofrei

Home Security Systems Expert

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Updated: October 20, 2014

The Good

Customizable home security system:

While ADT does provide five different package options, they also offer the ability to add on different products to round out your home security system. This is a nice feature if you know exactly what you do and don't want to pay for in terms of additional equipment. On top of that, ADT also offers custom home services with advanced technology and monitoring devices if you're looking to spend a little more and get a little more for your home security system.

Plenty of home surveillance options and upgrades:

With ADT, you can always keep a close eye on any part of your home from any location. ADT's video surveillance options allow you to securely view video, monitor who is in your home, and check in remotely while you're away. There are also plenty of video upgrades available, so you will never feel limited in what you can do. You can upgrade your service to add a tamperproof dome camera, a digital video recorder, a quad splitter (to view four cameras at once on the same screen), and a video duplicator (to view video from four TVs or monitors).

$500 theft protection:

If the security in your home is breached while your ADT home security system is armed, ADT will pay up to $500 of your insurance deductible. This unique coverage is not offered by other top home security companies and further contributes to ADT's reputation as an industry leader.

Nationwide customer monitoring services:

ADT has one of the industry's most comprehensive security monitoring networks. With four monitoring stations in the United States and two in Canada, you can count on your home being monitored 24/7. ADT operates its own monitoring services, employing more than 2,000 emergency dispatch operators, and doesn't outsource to third-party providers. ADT will notify the appropriate authorities if there is a confirmed break-in, hazard or medical emergency in your home.

Experience and stability:

ADT is the largest home security systems provider in the United States and Canada, with 6.4 million customers and more than 100 years of security experience. A stable home security company means a stable home security system.

The Bad

Lack of home automation features:

Probably the place where ADT home security is lacking the most is in the home automation department. Many of these home automation features that the standard ADT packages could possess have been transferred to a separate ADT product called ADT Pulse®. That means that the standard versions of ADT are far behind in terms of technology. You won't be able to do things like schedule the lights in your home to come on at certain times or even have lighting control with your smartphone or laptop. The other missing component of home automation is that you can't view a history log of what took place in the house while you were away. While there may be other ways to find this information, it's still beneficial to have a log so you can view it in an efficient way. ADT has recently added the Premium Protection Plus package so you can add the features of ADT Pulse® to your ADT home security system, but it will cost you extra each month and on the initial installation.

Installation fees:

The standard installation charge for all but one of the Security Choice ADT monitored packages is $99. For the Premium Protection Plus package featuring ADT Pulse®, installation starts at $199.

Poor live chat:

Not that it affects your home security system in any way, but ADT's live chat support was nearly useless in our test. While they do offer a real person to communicate with, you'll more than likely think that it is not a real person. When asking for basic pricing and installation information, the support representative continually dodged the question until pressed for several minutes with the same question over and over again. Finally, after many attempts by the support representative to funnel us to a sales rep, she was able to provide the very simple answer to the most basic question, although that answer was still unclear.

The Details

Details
Contract Length 3 years
Equipment Manufacturer Honeywell
Monthly Monitoring Fee $36.99 - 47.99
Total Installation Cost $99 - $549

Features

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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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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Surveillance

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Learning Materials

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Support

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Pricing

Basic

Monthly Monitoring: $36.99
Standard Installation: $99
Standard Contract: 36 months

2-Way Voice

Monthly Monitoring: $42.99
Standard Installation: $99
Standard Contract: 36 months

CellGuard®

Monthly Plan: $44.99
Standard Installation: $199
Standard Contract: 36 months

2-Way Voice + CellGuard®

Monthly Plan: $47.99
Standard Installation: $199.99
Standard Contract: 36 months

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