ADT Home Security Reviews
Pros, Cons & History of the Big Blue Giant ADT
Review Last updated: May 12, 2018. Before home security systems existed, ADT hired guards that securely transferred money for banks and businesses. Fast forward 130 years and they are now the largest home security company with over 7 million active customers. What do we like? ADT has stayed true to their core business of home security while several others ventured off into the internet, solar or TV space.
What's new for 2018? Better home automation and updates to their mobile control app. They are staying on top of home automation and continuing to innovate in this space. They have also acquired Protection One and merged those customers into one brand.
Basic package shown including touch screen control panel
Here's a quick look at the good and the bad:
- Best reputation in industry
- Move-with-you nationwide service
- Reliable monitoring with over 150 locations
- Professional installation
- Great prices & promotions
- Pulse can integrate with Ring security doorbell
- Used and tested by millions
- User friendly smart home control app
- Won't upgrade you after 3 years unless you ask
- Installation fee
- Some reports of Pulse app being buggy upon new updates
ADT Quick Facts
|Standard sensors included free|
|Key Remote (On/Off) Fob|
|C02, Fire and Flood Sensors||(+)|
|Mobile & Tablet Control|
|Cameras||Indoor, Pan & Tilt|
|Advanced Features||Pulse home automation, |
Automated Door Locks
Energy Control & more
|Installation||One time Fee|
|Smoke, C02 & Flood||Included|
|Customer Reviews||4 of 5|
|Support||4 of 5|
|Equipment||5 of 5|
It's not always about the money... Is it?
Start-up costs are average ($99-199) with ADT; depending upon the amount of equipment and level of Pulse automation wanted.
(Current promotions shown - click for more details)
Installation cost: Standard. $99.
Activation: There is no activation fee or other hidden fees. Others may offer 'free installation' but then charge an activation fee of $99+ instead.
Monitoring fee: There are 3 plans to choose from:
1. $36.99/mo. Basic plan, comes with the essential home security system.
2. $44.99/mo. Includes 2-way voice panel and cell-guard. You can use mobile control as well.
3. $47.99+/mo. Pulse home automation. More starting equipment with ability to add security cameras and other smart home features.
Equipment with an ADT-itude
All authorized dealers carry GE or Honeywell Brands. The home automation equipment is ADT Pulse.
Basic package shown. Touchscreen panel available upon request.
Pulse app control shown. Get alerts, turn on and off the alarm system and stream live video from the security cameras. Easy navigation and simple controls make for a good user experience.
ADT security camera - one of three available
Security system essentials: They have wireless door sensors and motion detectors all with backup batteries and warranties. If large pets are kept in the house then a glass break sensor may be used in place of a motion detector. Depending on location of home, some users may use their flood or carbon monoxide sensors.
Home automation: This comes with the higher cost monitoring package but still very affordable. ADT pulse allows one to do things with a home that was once only available to the rich and the famous. Their free mobile app is available for iOS or Android. It controls everything from arm and disarming the alarm to controlling the security camera. When testing the ADT pulse app, we found some cool additional alerts you can setup based upon your area.
Controlling the ADT System through their free 'Pulse' smart app shown.
Personalized service: They aren't sticklers about 'A-B-C package' comes with '1-2-3 equipment'. Let the sales rep know what is needed for your home and they will customize a security system package according to what is needed.
Time to board up the house...
They can do same or next day installation. They have licensed technicians across the nation.
1 - Schedule: Call 888-285-0760 to set a time for installation. They can come out to any home nationwide within 24 to 48 hours.
2 - Knock, knock: A certified technician arrives and sets the security system up. Expect 1-2 hours to complete.
3 - All Secured: Once setup, they show the customer how to run the ADT alarm after finishing. They will show how to use the free smartphone control app as well as set up a key-code and verbal password.
For most; $99 is worth saving the hassle of a D-I-Y installation. When doing burglar simulation tests, their monitoring always under 1 minute of the alarm going off.
What makes ADT different?
Here is what makes the Goliath of home security stand out from it's competition.
ADT pulse: Simple yet advanced. It is there interactive mobile app. Access from your phone or tablet, this is a great way to control all your needs at home. Watch the babysitter on your date. Keep an eye on the house while on vacation etc.
ADT guarantees: They offer four different guarantees:
1. Money-back guarantee (Up to six months).
2. Theft protection guarantee. If a break-in happens, they will reimburse you up to a certain amount of the value of your stolen goods assuming you had the alarm system on and monitored at the time of the burglary.
3. Relocation discount guarantee. When you move they will give you a discount to have the system installed into your new home.
4. Home owners discount. This is not special to just these guys. Any company you go with will save 2-25% off of your home owners insurance.
150+ branches nationwide: In a city near you. Hands down the best company with the most monitoring stations. No other company has as many nationwide 24/7 monitoring centers. If a monitoring stations goes out in a storm or fire you have dozens of backup stations to cover you.
Century of service: Over 100 years (yikes!) of continual growth.
Landline service: Remember the chord attached to phones? Not recommended but for the few people that still have a land line you can get a cheaper monitoring rate by connecting through it.
A long, long time ago...
ADT stands for American District Telegraph. They turn back the pages in our history books. They are the 'backbone' security company of America.
The story: Way back when... Founded in 1874 by Edward Calahan. They started out as a messenger/alarm service but quickly added fire and local authorities. In 1909, they were purchased by AT&T (a name you surely recognize). Shortly thereafter, AT&T sold ADT again. Fast forward some years to 1969 and ADT went public. In 1984, the were renamed and ten years later passed their one millionth customer. In 1997, Tyco International Ltd. bought them out and since then they have acquired dozens of Ma & Pa security companies as well as big ones such as Brinks and Broadview Security.
2018 update: Security giant Protection 1 has purchased ADT for yet another buyout. However, they will be keeping the brand name the same since it is such a big company. Protection 1 will be merging their residential customers over to ADT and use the Protection 1 brand for businesses and the ADT for residential. If you are a current customer do not worry, your monitoring fees and services are not going to change.
Headquarters: Boca Raton, FL. They maintain an A+ BBB rating.
Dozens upon dozens of Awards: Too many to name!
Partners: A few of the lucky ones:
1. Pulse™. Already mentioned, does their smart app control.
2. General Electric. The name speaks for itself. Reliable security equipment, they have been partners for decades.
3. NJPA, the National Joint Powers Alliance
120 great years in the home security industry is a huge accomplishment. They provide thousands of jobs and are an asset to America.
Our Verdict on ADT
Will you be adding an ADT sign to your yard today?
All in all, it's hard to go wrong with the trusted blue and white. Competitors still lack the brand name and good reputation that ADT has built over the past century. Being able to move anywhere in USA and not pay a cancellation fee is a big plus. Great equipment, and a company that still installs the security system, they are our top recommendation for the average of homeowner.