Trustworthy and reliable brand name
Monthly equipment warranty fee
You’ve heard of them. They are the most well-known and longest-standing brand. ADT is probably the “safest” choice for skittish homeowners just starting out with security systems.
There are a lot of things that made them the biggest. They are literally over 100 years old (almost 150) and offer 24/7 customer support. Not to be confused with monitoring. All security companies monitor 24/7/365.
As far as offering access to customer service all day and night—ADT stands alone here.
You are paying for the name, though. Monthly plans are some of the highest in the industry and this provider has a rigid 36-month contract.
Their network is powerful. Things like same-day installation and multiple monitoring centers are products of their age and experience.
Like we said, they’re the “safe” play when it comes to monitoring. If you want the best known, it’ll cost you more. ADT is a good monitoring company, but they aren’t our favorite.
Other options are cheaper and offer the exact same quality of service.
Even though they are one of the oldest companies in the world, they still have a few unique features to go along with the standard stuff you’d expect.
The plans are pretty normal, but here’s the quick version:
- Traditional: Free equipment with the lengthy 36-month contract, but that comes with motion sensor, door/window sensors, and a base level control panel. It’s just monitoring, no extras.
- Remote: ADT is really behind and doesn’t offer wireless as standard communication. They offer it here along with cellular as an option. This level also gets you environmental monitoring (fire, flood, carbon monoxide) and email/text notifications.
- Video: This plan obviously gets you access to video surveillance, but will also allow you to venture into home automation with door locks, garage door openers, and lighting/thermostat control.
Side Note: The higher plans often do come with both an installation fee and an equipment charge. Something to keep in mind.
There isn’t a whole lot of flexibility in the plans and equipment. You pick a plan and the gear is already chosen for you. To some this will be a help, but others who want a more custom feel will feel cheated.
Some of the equipment is really up-to-date, like the “Ring” doorbell camera.
This camera records every instance of someone walking up to your door. If they ring, you can even speak to them from half the world away (with a good internet connection).
It’s not as advanced as Vivint’s doorbell system, but it’s really close.
It doesn’t seem like ADT has a fancy touch screen control panel, but they do have a fairly comprehensive app. It’s intuitive and allows you to manipulate all aspects about your home automation from your smartphone.
Close garage doors, adjust the thermostat, turn off/on lights, arm your system, even lock/unlock the doors.
Not just from home, but anywhere you have cell service.
There aren’t many integrations mentioned for home automation. Nest thermostats are part of the network, but every other aspect (lights, locks, etc.) seems to be ADT-specific equipment.
If you plan on moving soon, but still want to get security where you’re at, ADT has a really cool feature called “Movers Guarantee”.
The equipment is typically hardwired into your home. Some companies will let you move the equipment on your own, but some don’t allow it at all. ADT is the best of both worlds. You can move your service and if it’s hard to move, they’ll send you new comparable equipment.
It’s the only service of it’s type we’ve found.
If you’ve been broken into or have heard of criminal activity in your neighborhood, it can be hard to wait a few weeks for an install. ADT is the only company (in select areas and conditions) that offers same-day installation through their area dealers.
A major negative is the equipment warranty. Most monitoring companies have at least two year warranties on equipment. Some have three and a couple have lifetime coverage. All included in the price.
ADT makes you pay for this coverage and it’s an additional monthly fee. Yikes.
ADT offers 24/7 customer support through phone, email, and their online knowledgebase. They have an extensive and searchable help center to help answer questions ranging from billing to system manuals.
Current ADT customers even have a “We’ll Call You” option.
All you have to do is click the tab and fill out a small form with your name, number, email, and zipcode. Then instead of waiting on hold to speak with a representative, one will call you.
ADT has one of the largest monitoring networks. They have six company owned centers across the U.S.
These centers provide 24/7 monitoring. Their in home equipment has back up batteries so you’ll be covered in case of a power outage.
ADT’s Traditional system require a landline. Their Remote and Video plans give you the option to use a cellular connection as well.
Fire, Smoke, and Carbon Monoxide monitoring are only offered with the Remote and Video plans.