ADT offers its customers professional installation and it has one of the greatest money-back guarantees on the market. We really like the variety that ADT offers, and its affordable rates. All of the technology, equipment, and even the mobile app is easy to use. ADT offers services for both companies and homes, including alarm monitoring and exceptional security. Customers can choose hardwired or wireless equipment, too, but keep in mind that you have to enter into a contract.

What Makes ADT Special

ADT was founded in 1874, and it is one of the oldest home security companies out there. This makes it an industry leader, and ADT-Monitored Home Security Services is the oldest company that we review. It has been more than 140 years since the company was founded, as the American District Telegraph, which sent security messages by using Morse Code.

Professional Monitoring Plans

You can get an ADT package starting at only $27.99 per month, which means you can have protection for less than $1 each day. The most extensive package available is $59.99 per month. These prices are not unreasonable at all, especially when you look at the features that are available with some of the packages. Keep in mind, however, that though the prices are comparable to other security packages, ADT’s prices are still on the high end of that. Plus, you have to sign a contract, so these prices will continue long term even after the contract expires should you choose to continue monitoring.

Again, these prices do come with some definite perks, such as the great reliability that ADT is known for. Even the iconic blue and white signage and stickers that ADT customers place on their lawn, windows and doors are deterrents to thieves, and the company has built a reputation on excellent proactive security, customer service and experience.

Since ADT has six different centers for monitoring, more than any other security company out there, you get extra protection. For instance, if a monitoring center is affected by a natural disaster or power outage, there are other centers open and operating 24 hours a day. You just don’t get that with smaller security companies.

Fun Features

When you choose the ADT Pulse and Smart Home Connect package, you can easily control all of your package features from two places; their mobile app or your computers web browser. You can see who is at your door with the doorbell camera, for example, and you can do this from anywhere. You can also control the smart locks, which allows you to keep your key to yourself and still let people come in and out of your home.

Pros

  • More than 140 years of security expertise for the home
  • Smart options
  • Six-month guarantee
  • Both landline and cell connections
  • Loyalty and brand recognition
  • Customer service 24/7
  • Professional installation – Same day available
  • Indoor and outdoor cameras
  • Home automation
  • Free equipment – up to an $850 value
  • Take $500 off of your insurance deductible
  • Many package options
  • Six monitoring centers – more than any other security company
  • Monthly price is competitive with other companies
  • Hardwired or wireless connection
  • Devices work away and at home

Cons

  • Pay for installation
  • Technician must enter your home
  • Upgrades and add-ons can be expensive
  • Customer experience for some is inconsistent
  • Must sign a long-term contract
  • Not good for renters

Equipment & Component Packages

The average loss for a homeowner after a burglary is about $2,400. If you choose the most expensive plan from ADT, after three years, you would only spend $2,100. On top of this, ADT will pay up to $500 of your deductible if someone breaks in and you have an ADT system. There are also some perks that you get from ADT including $850 worth of free equipment and a six-month guarantee, or you get some of your money back.

Specialty Cameras

ADT has security cameras for any number of needs. Wireless security camera for interior spaces can help to boost security or even allow you to watch your pets when you are gone. There is also a doorbell camera available, which is ideal for screening who is coming to your door and gives you even more protection. This camera also send you alerts via your mobile device when it detects movement, and you can also get a live shot through the app.

Bundled Security Systems

Security plans from ADT include:

ADT Basic

The basic plan from ADT is a good option if you are looking for a wired security system that doesn’t have any extras. This is perfect if you want something more affordable or if you live in an area where cellular coverage isn’t always available.

Includes:

  • $99 Installation
  • Monitoring 27.99 mo
  • Requires landline
  • Wireless control panel
  • 3 Wireless door and window sensors
  • 1 Wireless pet friendly motion sensor
  • ADT blue and white signage and stickers

ADT Basic + Wireless Connect

You will get more value for your dollar if you choose a lower or higher package, but this package is also an option. It includes a basic system that is outfitted with wireless technology. However, it doesn’t include added perks such as the ability to access your system remotely, home automation, or video monitoring. Since this isn’t the best value, it might be best to choose the basic, wired package or upgrade to one that offers more bells and whistles.

Includes:

  • Monitoring 48.99 mo
  • Wireless control panel
  • 3 Wireless door and window sensors
  • 1 Wireless pet friendly motion sensor
  • ADT blue and white signage and stickers
  • Wireless keychain
  • Cellular connection

ADT Pulse

With ADT Pulse, you can easily access your system by using your mobile device. You will also get alerts, you can arm and disarm your system remotely, or use the Pulse app to manage the system online too.

Includes:

  • Monitoring 52.99 mo
  • ADT Pulse App and alerts
  • Wireless control panel
  • 3 Wireless door and window sensors
  • 1 Wireless pet friendly motion sensor
  • ADT blue and white signage and stickers
  • Wireless keychain
  • Cellular connection

ADT Pulse + Video

Do you want a video doorbell or video security cameras? If so, the ADT Pulse + Video package could be right for you. With ADT Pulse, you can easily access your system by using your mobile device. You will also get alerts, you can arm and disarm your system remotely, or use the Pulse app to manage the system online too. Additionally, you can watch a live video stream from your cameras.

Includes:

  • Monitoring 58.99 mo
  • Video monitoring
  • ADT Pulse App and alerts
  • Wireless control panel
  • 3 Wireless door and window sensors
  • 1 Wireless pet friendly motion sensor
  • ADT blue and white signage and stickers
  • Wireless keychain
  • Cellular connection

ADT Pulse + Smarthome Connect

If you choose the ADT Pulse + Smarthome Connect, you get the same things that the Pulse + Video package offers, plus you get home automation. You can lock and unlock the doors, see who is at your doorstep, and even control small appliances and lights from your Pulse app.

Includes:

  • Call ADT for pricing
  • Home automation with Google Assistant
  • ADT Pulse App and alerts
  • Wireless control panel
  • 3 Wireless door and window sensors
  • 1 Wireless pet friendly motion sensor
  • ADT blue and white signage and stickers
  • Wireless keychain
  • Cellular connection

Special Features of ADT Smart Home

If you want to have a smart ADT system, you should choose one of the Pulse systems, but they are a bit more expensive.

ADT utilizes Z-Wave technology in all of its smart equipment. This means that your system from ADT Pulse can easily integrate with other smart home devices. For instance, if you have a Nest thermostat, you will find that Nest and ADT are compatible.

ADT also is compatible with Amazon Alexa. So, you can use your voice to both arm and disarm the system, including lighting controls and opening and closing door locks.

Available Components

  • ADT keypad
  • ADT control panel
  • Touchscreen digital keypad
  • Backup battery standard
  • Motion sensors
  • Wireless door/window sensors
  • Glass break sensors
  • Video doorbell
  • Smart locks
  • Google Assistant
  • Wired/wireless security cameras
  • Carbon monoxide detector
  • Flood/water detectors
  • Heat/fire sensing smoke detectors
  • Garage door open/close sensor
  • Wireless remote keychain
  • Panic button
  • High decibel screeching alarm
  • Yard signs and window decals
  • There is a large range of security devices for the home that ADT installs and monitors.

These include:

Cellular and Landline Options

These days, many home security companies only offer cellular options for their monitoring services. Though it is true that cellular can more reliable due to landlines can be cut, there are many areas where it is not available. You might also want to have a backup option, and ADT is only one of few companies in the industry that offer both landline and cellular options.

Motion Sensors that are Pet-Friendly

Monitored systems from ADT offer indoor motion detection that work by having infrared motion sensing capabilities. These sensors can be set to ignore motion that comes from people…or pets…that weigh 50-ish pounds and under.

Fire, Flood, and Leak Detection

You can also add things like fire, flood, or leak detection when you choose ADT monitoring. It can detect water, carbon monoxide, smoke, and high temperatures.

Surveillance by Video

You can also get video cameras that offer surveillance indoors. When you choose ADT Pulse + Video, which is one of the most popular options, you can stream video to your mobile device.

Automation for the Home

ADT pulse also offers wireless security systems that allow you to save money on your energy bills by using automated thermostats and lights. Additionally, this offers more convenience and security with automatic door locks. This is automatically included in the ADT Pulse + Home Automation package.

Mobile App and Web Dashboard

Mobile App: ADT Pulse

ADT is a great option whether you want or don’t want to pay close attention to your system. It just works. With ADT Pulse you can control all of your smart devices, and your security system, all from one place. It allows you to make sure your doors and windows are closed and locked, turn the lights off, or even arm your system, even when you are not home.

Installation & Activation

You don’t have any other option than to have professional installation with ADT. This is NOT a DIY. Generally, you can get your equipment installed within a day or two of your initial call. Depending on the size of the home and how much equipment you have, in general, it takes between one and 8 hours to fully install. But it can take 2 days if you go whole hog and have a big house.

The typical ADT installation includes:

  • A conversation about the home and where equipment should be installed
  • A risk assessment for your home with recommendations for custom options
  • The ability to select the equipment you want in your home
  • Choosing the best monitoring plan
  • Installation of the chosen equipment
  • Training on how to use the new system

You don’t have to worry about where to place things like window sensors, the control panel or other equipment when you choose ADT. On the flipside, though, you have to invite a stranger into your home and schedule time for them to come, which could mean a half day off of work. Also, there is the installation fee to consider, which starts at $99, and it has to be paid before the installation occurs.

Keep in mind that this is a high-end security system that will protect your family and your home. When you consider the chances that you could be the victim of a crime, the choice of a pro installation could certainly be reasonable.

Many customers also find that it is worth it to get a full risk assessment of their home. All of the installers from ADT are also expert security advisors, and they will go through your entire home to identify what security options are right for you.

These installers can evaluate the interior and exterior of the home, so they can address any vulnerabilities that your home security might have. They also won’t recommend any devices that you don’t actually need, which allows you to make informed decisions.

Contracts and Cancellation

Depending on where you live, you must either sign a full 24- or 36-month contract. ADT does, however, offer a money back guarantee for six months. If, during that time, ADT is not able to fix your concerns, with stipulations, the company will refund the price of installation and any monitoring fees.

Though you probably shouldn’t sign a contract if you believe you will cancel it, consider that ADT’s cancellation policy is a bit better than others. If you do cancel, you only pay 75% of your remaining contract, while other companies force you to pay 100%.

Since you can only choose from a 24- or 36-month contract, ADT usually isn’t a good choice for those who rent, or for people who anticipate moving in the next couple of years.

Customer Service

When it comes to customer satisfaction and service, like any big company, ADT gets mixed reviews as you definitely cannot satisfy everyone. It’s important to mention that the company has a good reputation overall, and it does tend to put customers first, but that does not always happen when working with ADT authorized retailers. This makes customer service a bit shaky, depending on who you deal with.

When considering customer service, ADT offers more than its competitors. For example, the customer service department is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The company also offers email and chat support if you don’t want to talk to someone on the phone.

There is really no denying that more than 140 years of experience, along with 6 million customers, is what sets ADT apart from other home monitoring systems. But even the best equipment and monitoring service can be marred by the actions of third-party retailers.

You can, however, count on ADT customer service to do the following:

  • Quickly answer calls
  • 24/7 support
  • Short time on hold
  • Next-day installation available in some areas

Warranties

Most of the packages offered by ADT include a Quality Service Plan, which is essential because electronic devices break and replacing them can be labor expensive. This includes a lifetime warranty on equipment as long as you continue to pay for professional monitoring. This also usually ensures that fees are eliminated if you have to invite someone to your home to service the equipment. Just keep in mind that the basic plan does not include this warranty.

ADT vs. Other Home Security Systems

When you begin to compare other home security companies to ADT, what should really be obvious is the price, flexibility, and ease of use. This is why ADT is still one of the best in the industry and is a top choice for those seeking out a security system for the home.

ADT FAQs

Is ADT less/more affordable than other home security options?

As with most companies in the home security industry, there are several ADT monitoring packages to choose from. There are the monthly monitoring costs to consider, but you also need to add in extra expenses including installation, equipment cost, activation, and upgrades. Since ADT has so many options and upgrades available, it can be easy to create an ADT package that is customized for you, but, by choice, more costly than competitors.

Make sure that you add up your costs as you work with your ADT security expert, as you don’t want to have any surprises. Also, if you have a budget to consider, make sure the installer knows how much you can really afford.

Is it worth it to pay the higher cost of ADT?

It can be very worth it to pay a little more if you consider ADT’s reputation and experience. ADT is probably a home security brand that is a bit higher class, but that isn’t what everyone wants. For instance, if you are on a budget or thinking of moving in the next few years, the cost might not be worth it.

Does the number of monitoring centers really matter?

There is definitely a benefit to choosing a company like ADT that has more than one or monitoring center. Multiple monitoring centers means ADT is being proactive and thinking of contingency plans should things go wrong with power outages and Mother Nature wreaking havoc. This means that if one center is unable to operate, perhaps due to a power outage, the other centers can take over the job of monitoring, so no home gets lost in the shuffle. A company that only has one or two monitoring centers cannot do this.

What would happen if a contract is cancelled early?

ADT requires its customers to sign either a 24- or 36-month contract, depending on location. If you cancel the contract, you will have to pay early termination fees. Additionally, if you drop your contract, you are responsible to pay 75% of the balance of your account to finish out your contract.

Do you own your ADT equipment?

ADT leases equipment to its customers, but you don’t have to return the equipment when the contract is over. The price of the equipment is part of the money you pay each month. However, ADT occasionally offers deals that can eliminate the cost of equipment when you sign a contract. Take some time to talk to the ADT representative to find out if there are any special deals before you sign up.

Can renters consider ADT?

ADT does offer wireless home security options that make it easy for renters to choose from as there is generally no reason to drill into any walls. Just remember that you will have to sign a two- or three-year contract for ADT if you choose this route, so make sure you will rent for that long.

Total cost of ownership

OK, below is a bit of a cheat sheet to help you decide what’s best for you based on “where you are” in your life and how much money you want to invest and can then pay monthly for peace of mind.

You’re a single apartment-dweller

If you are single or on a serious tight budget, living in an apartment and move around a bit, then consider ADTs Basic and live happily ever after. It provides a motion sensor and window/door sensors for the main entry points. Monitoring, which will cost 335.88 a year or $1679.00 over 5 years, which adds up.

  • 1 year monitoring = 335.88
  • 3 year monitoring = $1007.68
  • 5 year monitoring = $1679.00
  • 10 year monitoring = $3358.80

You’re double-income, no kids with a dog

That’s DINK WAD! If you two love birds are in a 3 bed 2 bath and might grow your family, then go for the ADT Pulse and add on cameras later. At a price of $52.99 a month with options to upgrade and add components. This system will cost $635.90 a year or $ over 5 years..

  • 1 year monitoring = $635.99
  • 3 year monitoring = $1907.64
  • 5 year monitoring = $3179.95
  • 10 year monitoring = $6359.90

You’re a tech early adopter who’s married with kids and a house

All ADT systems provide great security but none provide the level of security including video as the ADT Pulse + Video. This system has all the bells plus the whistles so you are always on top of not just security, you can monitor your houses interior or exterior when you prefer. Monitoring for this system is $707.88 a year. Five years of monitoring is $3539.40 and well worth it.

  • 1 year monitoring = $707.88
  • 3 year monitoring = $2123.64
  • 5 year monitoring = $3539.40
  • 10 year monitoring = $7078.80

Final Thoughts

ADT does a good job at meeting the security needs of its customers. The company offers both hardwired and wireless equipment, which it monitors for you. The highlights of these packages include video surveillance, home automation, and fire & flood monitoring. It’s best to always read reviews before you sign a contract, though, as customer service might very from one ADT dealer to another.

This is THE system for homeowners who want full service security professionals to recommend, install and maintain their equipment. If that’s you, buy this system. If you prefer cheaper, DIY, no contracts, then stay away. That said, I’m a DIY’r myself, but I had my security system professionally installed and I have a maintenance plan. I’m very satisfied.

See how ADT compares in our ranking of the Best Home Security Systems of 2020zfbzcuyqsybrvyararsyawfcfawwursr.