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ADT home security: review

You can choose from a basic package that includes 24/7 monitoring with door and window sensors and a motion detector to a complete smart package that consists of a video doorbell camera, an indoor ADT camera, remote access, and more.

The oldest home security company in the industry, ADT has provided monitoring and security services for homes for the last 145 years. As homeownership evolved, so has ADT's services. You can choose from a basic package that includes 24/7 monitoring with door and window sensors and a motion detector to a complete smart package that consists of a video doorbell camera, an indoor ADT camera, remote access and more.

ADT pros:

  • Customizable security packages
  • Six-month, money-back guarantee
  • Free service and repairs

ADT cons:

  • Cancellation fee
  • Requires a contract

ADT packages

PackagesPrice*Best forEase of  UseType of Installation
Secure Package$45.99StartersEasyProfessional
Smart Package$49.99Home automationIntermediateProfessional
Complete Package$57.99Video surveillanceAdvancedProfessional

Date effective 06/19/20

*Plus equipment financing if paying for equipment over contract term

ADT offers a variety of packages, from basic to full home automation with video surveillance. The Secure package comes with door and window sensors as well as a motion detector, which focuses solely on home intrusion. 

However, for those wanting more control over the system, the Smart and Complete packages offer access to the system via the mobile app. This feature provides remote access to the system, the ability to control lights and temperature and even unlock and lock doors through the Smart Lock.  The Complete package adds video capabilities with an indoor ADT camera and a video doorbell camera.

Who is each ADT package best for?

ADT's packages are highly customizable, but here are our recommendations for some of their most popular options.

  • Secure -- Best for the basics

For those who just want simple home security, this plan includes door and window sensors plus up to two motion detectors, along with a touchscreen security panel and 24/7 alarm monitoring.

  •  Smart -- Best for home automation

 If you like convenience, this plan includes the same as the secure plan, but adds a smart lock, remote access and customizable alerts, which you can control using the mobile app.

  •  Complete -- Best for home automation with video

 If video is a priority, this plan builds on the smart plan by incorporating an indoor ADT camera and a video doorbell camera you can access through the mobile app.

ADT equipment

For its home security packages, ADT offers several pieces of equipment that can be customized to your plan.

  • Door/window sensors
  • Motion detector
  • Touchscreen security panel
  • Wireless keychain remote
  • Smart door lock
  • Appliance module (Smart plug)
  • Indoor Pro HD Camera (1080p)
  • ADT HD Video Doorbell Camera

ADT prices

ADT security costs vary based on the plan you sign up for, but all are based on monthly charges. Plans start at $45,99 per month and usually require a multi-year contract. Additional fees may apply based on local permit fees and other costs. Early termination charges of 75 percent of the monthly service charges due for the remainder of the initial contract term may apply. In addition, equipment costs start at $599 total, which may be financed at rates as low as $9.98 per month for 60 months.

ADT maintains special offers that could provide savings on equipment and monitoring costs but may require enrollment in ADT Easy Pay, the company's automated payment service.

Ease of use

ADT offers professional installation with its security plans to start using it as soon as it's ready to go. The installer will go over how to use the system before leaving. In the event you have more questions, the ADT website's FAQ section addresses many customer questions and concerns. You can also find troubleshooting tips, system manuals and user guides on the website.

ADT types of installation

Professional installation

ADT offers professional installation with all of its security packages. A professional installer will come to your home to install and set up your security equipment. Prequalified customers — based on a soft credit inquiry — can receive free installation. Otherwise, installation costs range between $99 and $199 based on the home security package you select.

Pros:

  • Customized to your needs
  • Instructions on how to use
  • Six-month, money-back guarantee

Cons:

  • May have to wait for installation

ADT types of monitoring


Secure
SmartComplete
Cost$45.99/month$49.99/month$57.99/month
MonitoringProfessionalProfessionalProfessional
InstallationProfessionalProfessionalProfessional
Mobile App Control

ADT offers 24/7 home monitoring service with all of its home security plans. The Secure plan is the most basic, covering just home intrusion with door and window sensors and motion detectors. If you want home automation capabilities, you'll get that with both the Smart and Complete plans, while the Complete plan includes video capabilities. 

Additional Benefits

  • Depending on your security package, you can use the ADT mobile app to arm or disarm your system, receive alerts, turn lights on and off, adjust the temperature, watch live video, and lock or unlock your doors.
  • You can integrate your ADT security system with your Amazon Alexa to add voice control to your home security system. Alexa Guard also can send alerts to ADT when it detects sounds while you are away.

Additional Drawbacks

  • Unlike some other home security providers, ADT charges for its equipment, which can make the total monthly cost for home security monitoring more expensive. Unless you pay for it upfront, this equipment charge will be financed over five years, at which time your monthly charge will decrease.
  • ADT's six-month, money-back service guarantee only applies after the company has worked to resolve problems with your system within the first six months of your contract. It does not apply to satisfaction with the company or its employees.

The bottom line

Although ADT may be more expensive than other home security providers, it offers a good selection of equipment with professional installation and 24/7 monitoring. In addition, the company continually earns high marks for customer satisfaction. In J.D. Power's 2019 Home Security Satisfaction Study, ADT ranked second in highest customer satisfaction with a score of 847. 

Therefore, if you want a high-quality home security provider with professional monitoring, ADT could be the best home security choice for you.

Do I need WiFi for ADT?

No, you do not need WiFi for ADT, but you will need Internet access such as cable, DSL, U-verse or other high-speed Internet connection.

Is ADT easily hacked?

Any device connected to the Internet is vulnerable to being hacked, but the likelihood of your ADT system being hacked is small. The company employs several methods to prevent hacking including encryption, two-factor authentication and jamming detection.

How long do ADT batteries last?

Battery life depends on the type of system you have, but all ADT batteries are the rechargeable type, which extends the battery life.

Does ADT work if the power goes out?

Yes, the back-up battery will power your ADT system in the event of a power outage.

Can you use ADT without subscription?

If you have fulfilled your contract with ADT, you can cancel the company's monitoring services and monitor your system yourself. However, in the event your alarm system goes off, the police and fire departments will not be notified.

How does ADT compare to SimpliSafe?

ADT can be more expensive than SimpliSafe and requires a service contract.

How does ADT compare to Vivint?

Vivint offers lower monthly service plans but requires extensive long-term contracts.

How does ADT compare to Frontpoint?

While Frontpoint is on par with ADT regarding pricing, it does not require a contract, although a one-year contract is offered with special savings.

How does ADT compare to Ring?

Ring offers a more budget-conscious monitoring plan with no contract required. However, it does not include professional installation.