Pros / ADT's equipment return period is six months, the second longest in our review.
Cons / The company isn't very transparent with its monitoring and device pricing.
Verdict / ADT competes with the best home security systems by offering a relatively fair contract and excellent equipment, though its pricing isn't particularly transparent.
It's little surprise that ADT is a well-known name in home security; the company's been around since 1874. This kind of longevity comes from continually innovating and adapting to stay competitive. The company has fairly competitive contract terms, numerous customer support resources and excellent equipment. All of this comes together to help ADT earn our Top Ten Reviews Bronze Award for home security systems.
- Monthly Monitoring Fee
- Contract Length
- Customer Service Availability
Pricing & Services
ADT's 24/7 monitoring plans start at $28.99, which is very competitive. However, the company doesn't provide pricing for its other plans on its website, which means you need to contact the sales team to learn more. We were disappointed by this since the majority of home security systems list the prices for all of their plans online. ADT's starting costs have a similar problem. The company only lists a $25 fee, though we suspect this goes up depending on the equipment you choose.
A contract with ADT runs three years and automatically renews on a monthly basis at the end; this is typical of the home security systems we reviewed. If you cancel early, you must pay 75 percent of the balance, which is fairer than the companies that charge 100 percent, but not as good as no-fee options. ADT gives you six months to return your equipment without paying an early-termination fee, which is considerably longer than most home security companies. While the company's contract terms for its professionally installed systems aren't the absolute best in our review, they are fairer than the majority of home security systems.
Recently, ADT rolled out ADT Canopy, a monthly service that lets you monitor DIY devices using ADT's professional monitoring services. The first device to work with ADT Canopy is LG Smart Security, though other smart home companies such as Samsung SmartThings and Netgear Arlo are slated to join in the near future. This is an innovative service and we look forward to reviewing it in more detail in our next update of DIY home security systems.
Installation & Support
While many of the devices are wireless, you cannot install them yourself, which takes some of the stress out of the process. The company requires professional installation as part of the service agreement, so you'll need to arrange an appointment. ADT offers a mobile app to arm, disarm or check alerts when you're away from home, but this requires a special access fee.
You can contact ADT any time of day via social media, phone, email or live chat. Our contacts with ADT resulted in friendly, helpful customer service, although there was an emphasis on meeting with a company representative to determine security needs and costs. For more information, ADT has an online help center replete with informative articles, product documentation and more. ADT also has a lifetime warranty on equipment to complement these customer support resources.
ADT integrates home automation and interactive controls into its residential security alarm systems through a service called ADT Pulse. ADT Pulse is compatible with third-party smart home devices such as the Amazon Echo, Ring video doorbell and the Nest Learning Thermostat. You can also get security cameras and video-monitoring capabilities through Pulse to keep an eye on your house and loved ones.
Security Devices Included
Unlike most home security systems, ADT doesn't have any basic equipment packages that give you specific devices such as a control panel, entry sensors, motion detectors and key fobs. While this makes comparison shopping more difficult, it also means ADT doesn't require you to purchase equipment you might not need. Instead, ADT's sales team works with you or sends a representative to your home to find the right balance of equipment for your needs.
ADT's equipment selection is generous and lets you choose from a variety of security devices, including garage door controls, locks, smoke detectors, carbon monoxide sensors, medical pendants, thermostats, water sensors and sirens as well the cameras and smart home devices listed above.
ADT has excellent security devices, 24-hour security monitoring, convenient home automation, interactive control options and a relatively fair contract. The company's home security systems don't offer much in the way of pricing transparency, and you must contact a company representative to plan your system. However, if you believe that you cannot put a price tag on your family's safety, ADT is worth examining.