When outfitting your home with devices that survey, record, and respond, you're faced with a number of initial -- and far-reaching -- decisions. What network or platform will you use? Which hub or voice assistant? And will you prioritize automation (heating, cooling, lighting) or safety (sensors and alarms)? LifeShield, an ADT company, offers a uniquely well-balanced answer to that final choice.
That ADT affiliation probably tips you off to the fact that LifeShield emphasizes security over automation, but only insofar as it provides all the must-have security devices controlled by a uniquely usable app. LifeShield's easy integration with popular home automation protocols and devices make home automation an effortless level-up, after you get the security basics nailed down.
Easy, DIY home security for ultimate peace of mind.
Is it true?
Yes. Getting LifeShield protection up and running in your home is easy, and as DIY as you want it to be. You can set up the system yourself, or you can have it installed by a technician. You can monitor your security devices yourself, or you can pay a reasonable $25 per month for professional monitoring from LifeShield's three communication centers.
Those looking to establish a smart home with professionally monitored security as its base.
Those with Samsung- or Zigbee-dominant home technology systems or those who want their security devices to come from specific brands.
|Price||Professional monitoring starts at $25/ month|
|Standout features||One-year warranty|
30-day money-back guarantee
No contract, month-to-month plan
Control entire house
The LifeShield app serves as the control center for all your home automation devices. And since LifeShield is compatible with Works with Amazon Alexa, Works with Google Assistant, Z-Wave, and IFTTT, there's a very good chance that both the technology you already have and the technology you want to add will all play nice. Sonos, Hue, and iRobot products, for example, all rely on IFTTT communication.
Good for larger homes
LifeShield's device line-up includes a unique "Repeater" -- a slim piece of equipment that lays flat like a router -- that extends your systems communication signals. If you have a big house that makes it hard for devices to talk to one another, a strategically placed Repeater acts can act as the middle man or messenger.
Impressive back-up system
Home security companies are aware that there are less subtle threats to security systems than hacking. Landline-based systems rely on cords, and cords can be cut. Hubs or control centers can be broken. Most companies have troubleshot these threats with backup power and automatic emergency calls, respectively, but LifeShield doesn't stop at just a second layer of protection. The system offers the typical "Smash and Crash" protection for its keypad, but the proprietary LifeShield Base boasts multiple failsafes: The system relies on high-speed internet, then cellular signal, then cellular text, then landline phone (if you have one) and finally on 24-hour battery backup, so you are ensured a functioning system no matter what.
A breakdown of LifeShield Home Security plans
|Systems||LifeShield Base and Entry Keypad||Door/ window sensors||Motion sensor||Fire safety sensor||Camera|
|Doorbell camera||✓||x2||✓||✗||Video doorbell|
|Build Your Own||✓||a la carte||a la carte||a la carte||a la carte|
General wisdom dictates that you want as few inquiries into your credit report as possible. While an inquiry here or there shouldn't make a noticeable reduction in your credit score, they can put a larger ding in it if they come in quick succession, if you have a short credit history, or if you don't have many open accounts. If any of the above hold true for you, know that LifeShield requires a credit check for new customers. And if your credit score is less than satisfactory, you may be charged an Activation or Pre-Configuration Fee.
LifeShield was founded by a techie inventor, and the device lineup is true to LifeShield's independent origins, with proprietary hubs, sensors, and cameras. All of the above are visually and functionally analogous to other, bigger name devices on the market (the video doorbell, for example, could be a Ring dupe). That said, if you were hoping to amass top-of-the-line devices from established tech brands, a LifeShield package won't include them. You can still add virtually any devices you choose to your LifeShield system.
|Install||Professional or DIY||Professional||Professional or DIY|
|App Store rating||4/5||4.7/5||4.5/5|
|Contract length||Month-to-month||36 months||Month-to-month|
|In business since||2004||1890||2006|
|Warranty||1 year||90 days||3 years|
|Trial period||30 days||30 days||60 days|
LifeShield Home Security vs. ADT
LifeShield, according to Security Systems News, was "the first to bring a wireless DIY home security offering to the residential market" -- a technological doppelgänger to other new-era home security systems like SimpliSafe. ADT snapped up LifeShield in 2019, marrying their legacy company's breadth and professional monitoring services to LifeShield's home automation and video capabilities. If you're deciding between the original and the modern spin-off, consider your priorities: ADT is more traditional, for better and for worse. You get the instantly recognizable name -- the ADT sign is a proven deterrent to burglars -- but also higher monthly costs and long contracts. For most, LifeShield is a cheaper, more up-to-date means of getting ADT's stellar protection.
LifeShield Home Security vs. SimpliSafe
LifeShield is ADT's answer to SimpliSafe. Both are self-install home security systems that emphasize sleek, automation-friendly devices and low monthly prices, free from contracts. SimpliSafe bests LifeShield in terms of product warranty duration and potentially monthly fees, so long as you go with SimpliSafe's smallest kit. But between the basic kits of the two companies, LifeShield's is more extensive. And while both companies are strongly associated with DIY home security, only LifeShield offers true self-monitoring. SimpliSafe functions as a simple siren unless you plump for a professionally monitored plan. You actually have to go with the most expensive SimpliSafe plan in order to get smartphone control.
Currently advertised professional monitoring costs with LifeShield stand at $25 per month, no matter which device package you go with. However, all the divergent pricing information from competitor websites, consumer reviews, and LifeShield's own legal literature, suggest that rates may change fairly frequently. LifeShield also prominently advertises "Get a Quote" links, which tends to mean that price is up for debate. Call and ask for promotional rates to find the best deal you can get.
You can cancel your LifeShield service at any time. The month-to-month contract agreement means that you won't be charged any cancellation fees or otherwise penalized for ending service. Just give them 15 days advance notice to avoid being charged for the upcoming month. If you are tired of paying the monthly bill but still want the functionality of your devices, consider downgrading from professional monitoring to DIY monitoring. You can either pay a small monthly fee for video storage, or go with free 24 hour storage.
Because LifeShield is designed for DIY installation, it's easy to take your system with you when you move. And LifeShield, thanks to ADT's coast-to-coast monitoring, is available in all 50 states, so chances are you are within LifeShield's service area no matter where you roam. While you can take your system on the road, and switch back and forth between DIY and professional monitoring, LifeShield's flexibility draws the line at functioning with another monitoring service. The LifeShield devices won't function with any other professional monitoring provider.
The bottom line
LifeShield is a great home security system for people who want options -- DIY or professional installation, DIY or professional monitoring, plus extensive capabilities for building out a smart home controllable by the LifeShield app. If you want to hand-select your devices from the beginning, or if you aren't keen on prioritizing your home security over your home automation by going through the LifeShield app, you may want to hunt around for other security options. But if you like a little legacy assurance (like ADT credentials and monitoring) along with affordable, fleshed-out starter kits, LifeShield is a great, low-commitment option.