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Last updated on Apr 03, 2020

ADT Home Security Systems Review

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ADT

  • America’s #1 Choice for Home Security Monitoring
  • 24/7 Professional Monitoring
  • Theft Protection Guarantee
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How We Reviewed ADT

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3 Monitoring Plans

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3 Outstanding Guarantees

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1 Top Provider

ADT Home Security Systems Review

ADT has been in the home security business for over 140 years. Its sheer recognizability even makes the ADT yard sign effective protection. ADT offers traditional home security system: professionally installed by ADT technicians and professionally monitored from their six national command centers. That plus its standard three-year contract make ADT the old guard of home security as compared to new-wave, DIY contenders like SimpliSafe and Ring. Still, the company backs up their reputation and century-plus of experience with continued innovations, like the ADT Pulse app and the new Blue by ADT DIY system. If you are in the market for 24/7 professional monitoring as well as home automation features, ADT allows you to combine time-tested protection from a legacy company with modern smart home capabilities.

Pros

✔ America’s #1 Choice for Home Security Monitoring
✔ 24/7 Professional Monitoring
✔ Theft Protection Guarantee

Cons

✘ Long Contract
✘ Cheapest Plans Require Landline
✘ Spendy Home Automation

ADT Packages and Prices

Packages
Monitoring price
Equipment starts at
Type of installation
Best for
Traditional
$35.99/mo
$99
Professional
Landline households
Control
$47.99/mo
$129
Professional
Remote control
Video
$57.99/mo
$129
Professional
Smart homes

Date effective 02/05/2020

You can get ADT’s reliable monitoring for the best price if you have a landline phone. With Traditional, your hard-wired system uses the landline to call the monitoring center in the event of an alarm, then you, then the police (if necessary.) Step up to Control to remotely arm and disarm your system and access smart home perks. But for $10 more per month, you can add video capabilities, like live streaming and stored video clips. If you don’t have a landline and are interested in smart home features, the Video package is the best.

Who is each ADT plan best for?

  • Traditional – Best for landline households looking for traditional home security without extra control or customization.
  • Control – Best for remote control of system for households that value convenience, but aren’t ready to pay for video perks.
  • Video – Best for smart homes with security cameras.

What about Blue by ADT?

If ADT’s three plans don’t appeal to you, the tried-and-true provider has another option. Blue by ADT is the contract-free, DIY option you won’t find within ADT proper. A rebranding of ADT’s former offshoot Lifeshield, Blue by ADT still bears Lifeshield’s web address. But the similarities stop there. Blue by ADT offers easy-to-install gadgets that you can opt to self-monitor for free, or have professionally monitored for $20 per month — well under the monitoring rate for ADT’s in-house plans. There’s always more to the story than cost, and we look forward to evaluating Blue by ADT in the near future to see how it stacks up against other DIY home security providers.

ADT Prices

ADT prices are on the higher end for home security. You will often see the cost of its cheapest tier advertised, but as landline phones are swiftly going the way of the dinosaur, the Traditional plan is viable for fewer and fewer homeowners. Still, for professional installation and professional monitoring, ADT’s prices are within the normal range if not exactly competitive. That said, upfront equipment costs (starting at under $200) can be lower with ADT than they are with tech-centric companies, like Vivint or Google Nest (starting well above $200).

ADT Ease of Use

With professional monitoring and an installation guarantee, ADT has user-friendliness built in. One of the biggest perks of having a technician visit to install the system is that he or she can walk you through the controls in person until you feel comfortable. While the company may be well over a century old, the devices are current in look and function. Many users will feel immediately at ease with app control, the de facto command center of the upper two tiers.

ADT Types of Installations

Professional Packages

Professional installation is your only option with ADT. Most systems are installed for $99, but if you purchased an extensive number of devices including security cameras, that fee may be bumped up to $199.

DIY Packages

ADT does not support DIY installation with its traditional packages. If you want to save some money going it alone, consider one of the younger home security companies focused on control and convenience. Or, check out the new Blue by ADT system. With DIY installation and the option for free self monitoring, it’s ADT for millennials.

ADT Types of Monitoring

Professional Packages

Professional monitoring is the name of ADT’s game. Aside from the recently announced Blue by ADT, there are no DIY options from this established provider — from the lowest tier to the highest, you will pay a monthly rate for their professional, 24/7 attention.

DIY Packages

DIY monitoring, with its reduced rates and improved control, has taken over a sizable chunk of the home security market. If you are interested in going the DIY route, but are still interested in ADT, check out Blue by ADT. Otherwise, explore our top picks for DIY Home Security.

Additional Benefits:

1. Broad compatibility – ADT plays nicely with the major voice assistants and both Z-Wave and Zigbee devices.

2. Highly rated app – The non-landline tiers come with smartphone control. ADT’s app outscores that of young tech companies like Ring and Google Nest.

3. Save on insurance – Monitored home security could mean homeowners insurance discounts.

Additional Drawbacks:

4. One contract – ADT’s traditional plans don’t offer different contract options to suit different customers. With ADT, the standard for everyone is three years. (Save Californians, who are entitled by law to two years.)

5. Fewer opportunities to save – While ADT’s call-for-a-quote practice means that you can haggle with salespeople for deals, ADT’s professional-only practice means that you will have to spend on all of your home security system’s financial extras. A middle of the road monthly rate and a $100 installation fee are givens.

Compare Home Security Providers

ADT
Vivint
Frontpoint
SimpliSafe
Types of Installation
Professional
Professional
DIY
DIY
Professional
Starting Price
$36/mo
$39/mo
$45/mo
$15/mo
# Package Options
3
2
3
2
Contract Length
36 Months
Month-to-month
42 Months
60 Months
12 Months
36 Months
Month-to-month
Details
View Plans
View Plans
View Plans
View Plans

Who is each home security provider best for?

  • ADT – The smart-home-curious who value company reputation.
  • Vivint – Techno-enthusiasts who want a pre-built smart home security system.
  • Frontpoint – Those who will pay more for customer experience.
  • SimpliSafe – Budget-minded homeowners looking for sleek, flexible systems.

About the Authors

Anne Dennon

Anne Dennon Writer

Anne has covered a variety of topics for Reviews.com over the past two years. She's passionate about research and surfacing the truth for readers.