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ByLidia Davis Contributor

Lidia is a former writer for Reviews.com. She’s researched and written extensively about home security, home automation, online privacy, and many other subjects.

You won’t find Ackerman Security on our roundup of the best home security systems because its residential systems are only offered in select regions across the country, like the Atlanta, GA., Philadelphia, PA, and Washington metro areas. But this doesn’t mean Ackerman isn’t worth considering in your search for a system, especially if you’re looking to secure your business (Ackerman offers commercial security outfitting in all 50 states).
We spent 10 hours weeding through fine print, analyzing Ackerman’s systems, contacting customer service and representatives to suss what Ackerman believes makes them a sound choice. Then we pitted these findings against three other industry leaders in the home security space to see how well it stacked up.

The Claim

Ackerman Security touts customizable, robust home security and places a heavy emphasis on its customer service. It also claims it’s the “only security company in North America that pays you if you’re burglarized.”

Is it true?

Ackerman’s claims might be true for some people, especially when it comes to customizing a system for your needs. Customer service is generally easy to reach and provides quick, informative answers to your inquiries. But if you want upfront pricing and greater detail on packaging before reaching out to anyone, Ackerman might not be right for you.

In terms of being the only home security company in the nation to pay customers if they’re burglarized, from what we’ve seen, this is pretty accurate. Most other companies, like ADT and Protection 1, offer some form of insurance deductible reimbursement, but not the 200% reimbursement on your deductible Ackerman offers.

Ackerman also lets customers convert preexisting (compatible) home security equipment to an Ackerman system at no cost. “With our company, as long as your equipment is in good use and you’re not wanting to add anything additional, we can take that preexisting equipment and convert it over to us, so that we can start monitoring you with no out of pocket expense,” said Krystal Latouche, customer loyalty manager at Ackerman Security.

Ackerman’s security systems are designed to be tailored to individuals.

Ackerman is less forthcoming when it comes to pricing, packaging, and contract terms on its website. Instead, you’ll have to schedule a consultation for more specific details. Latouche told us that contracts typically last one to three years if a customer purchases equipment, and “likely” five years if a customer leases equipment. While some may be wary of a lack of information, this could be an opportunity to receive more personalized details and better pricing accuracy for the system you’re looking for. Ackerman wants to bring consultants into the home to assess the potential customer’s unique situation.

Ackerman boasts decent third-party ratings, but after reading some reviews on the Better Business Bureau and Trustpilot, we noticed several complaints regarding cancellation and billing. We suggest reaching out to customer service with questions and coming as prepared as possible for consultations.

Product Overview

Best for

Those who want a trusted name in home security (who also live in range for residential service) and want one of the most robust no-theft guarantees on the market.

Not for

Those looking for transparency on pricing and contract terms right out of the gate, or those interested in self-monitoring.

Features

Price Starting at $19.95/mo
Standout features No-theft guarantee
convert existing equipment at no cost
Response time guarantee (45 seconds or less)
24/7
Five-star rated UL- certified call center
Locations served 50 states (for commercial protection)
Ratings 7.7/10 TrustScore on Trustpilot, A on BBB
Terms 1, 3, or 5-year contract, depending on whether equipment is leased or owned.
Services Home automation
professional monitoring
security products
Equipment Honeywell

Bold guarantees

Ackerman is unique in the home security space in that it offers to not only pay your insurance deductible, but it’ll also give you the same amount in cash in the event your home is burglarized under its monitoring system. There are a few companies that offer theft protection guarantees, like ADT and Protection 1, but none are quite as robust as Ackerman’s. Ackerman also guarantees a response time of 45 seconds — which is pretty fast compared to what we’ve tested in the past (which, in some cases, could reach up to two minutes).

Customer service and third-party ratings

Ackerman has been in business since 1967, and it’s garnered a pretty solid reputation since, especially on the east coast for residential home security. Granted, there are a ton of negative reviews regarding billing and customer service on the Better Business Bureau’s site, but this isn’t anything out of the ordinary for traditional home security systems. ADT, for example, also has a slew of similar complaints on its page — and when we tested the service, we found unforeseen charges slapped on our account, too. Trustpilot, on the other hand, gives Ackerman Security a 7.6 out of 10 TrustScore out of over 1,100 reviews. The majority of these reviews lie in the “excellent” category.

Options for home automation

Aside from offering the basics — like environmental sensors, medical alert devices, and wireless alarm monitoring, Ackerman caters to those who want to automate everyday, mundane tasks in conjunction with their security system. You’ll be able to use Yale smart locks, control your system with voice commands through Amazon Alexa, automate lighting and temperature, and even open your garage door remotely. Ackerman will also help you string these disparate devices together, so that you can operate them directly from your smartphone.

Possible Drawbacks

Little outright transparency

You won’t find much information on how to customize your system — or how much you’ll be paying — by looking at the website. Latouche says this keeps Ackerman from overpromising or overwhelming, as Ackerman’s security systems are designed to be tailored to individuals. “We really try to push to have security consultants in the home to meet with the customer, again, because our systems are not a one-stop-shop — we want to customize something that’s catered specifically to that family.” But prior knowledge of a service might help alleviate some confusion after purchasing — and transparency in general is a boon for long-term customer loyalty (and ROI).

Limited availability

You won’t be able to access Ackerman Security for residential spaces in most parts of the country.

According to Latouche, Ackerman looks to expand its residential service coverage in the coming years. Here are the areas/states in which Ackerman offers residential services:

  • Metro Atlanta area
  • Washington metro area (Maryland, D.C., Virginia)
  • Philadelphia, PA
  • New Jersey
  • Texas
  • Arizona
  • Utah
  • California
  • Nevada
  • Louisiana
  • Mississippi
  • Alabama

The Competition

Ackerman Security
SimpliSafe
ADT
Price
Starting at $19.95
$15/month
$36.99/month
Professional installation
Professional monitoring
Contract length
Varies (1-, 3-, and 5-year
N/A
36-month
Money-back guarantee
3-day (penalty-free return)
6-month
Home automation
Anti-theft guarantee
x

Ackerman vs. SimpliSafe

Ackerman and SimpliSafe are fundamentally different companies. If you’re looking for a flexible, contract-free system and are interested in placing the onus on yourself to customize a system, SimpliSafe might be the ticket for you in this case. Although it’s mainly branded as a DIY system, SimpliSafe does offer professional installation, which adds an extra element of ease for those who aren’t as comfortable installing on their own.

Ackerman is purely professional installation and monitoring-based. It also comes with contracts, moving fees, and other terms (that you won’t find until you schedule a consultation). But if you want the peace of mind in knowing your security company will foot the bill and pay you the same amount of your insurance deductible if you’re burglarized, Ackerman is the way to go. SimpliSafe doesn’t offer a no-theft guarantee.

Ackerman vs. ADT

Ackerman and ADT are relatively similar, as both offer business and commercial services, require (around) three-year contracts, and offer insurance deductible reimbursement for theft under their watch. ADT is one of the most recognizable names in home security, with almost 8 million customers around the country. This being said, it has some of the most extensive coverage in the U.S., so you shouldn’t run into any issues should you need to move states (although ADT will charge you for relocating your system). ADT is also slightly more upfront with its packages, and gives you six months to decide if you want their services, whereas Ackerman leaves more to the imagination until you schedule a consultation.

A typical pattern with companies like ADT, Protection 1, Frontpoint, and Vivint, is that home automation features are saved for higher price tiers. It’s safe to assume the same is true for Ackerman, but you won’t know until you speak with a representative.

Ackerman Security FAQ

What type of equipment does Ackerman Security offer?

Ackerman offers indoor, outdoor, and video doorbell cameras that allow you to live stream, record, and store certain events. You can also opt for an automation package and choose from a pool of devices like smart locks, lights, and automated garage door openers. Fire, burglary, gas and CO levels can also be monitored with an Ackerman system, along with medical emergencies via its medical alert system.

How can I get more information about Ackerman Security?

You can call Ackerman at 800-552-111 or text a representative. We had to wait a few hours for responses when using the text feature, especially if we were inquiring about general product information and not looking to schedule a consultation. You can also schedule a preliminary appointment prior to having a professional come and install all of the equipment for you. Ackerman says the entire installation process takes around two to four hours, and that the technicians will identify vulnerabilities in your home and tell you where to place your surveillance camera for optimal coverage.

Can you use Ackerman Security without a landline?

Yes. Ackerman offers both a wireless and IP alarm monitoring options. Using a wireless connection means that even if your landline or internet goes out, you’ll still be connected to your security system.

The Bottom Line

If you live in the Atlanta area, or any of the states listed above, Ackerman is worth a look as part of your search. This is especially true if you like direct communication and assistance on device and monitoring use. But in order to fully compare what you’ll be getting with an Ackerman system as opposed to another, you’ll have to talk to customer service reps and schedule a consultation to get any concrete details concerning what’s available for you and your unique security needs.

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