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ADT Review

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PROS / ADT offers a plentiful selection of security devices.

CONS / You must meet with a sales person to learn pricing details.

 VERDICT / ADT delivers high-quality security systems paired with a recognizable brand name to provide professional protection for your home.

Editor's note: On May 2, 2016, ADT announced the completion of a merger with Protection 1. Although the two companies currently operate independently, both will eventually operate exclusively under the ADT brand. When ADT and Protection 1 complete this brand integration, we will update our home security reviews to reflect that information.

ADT is a well-known name in home security. While its monthly monitoring fees are not as steep as many other services we reviewed, all of ADT's services require professional installation, and these fees can hit your wallet hard. In addition, the website offers little pricing information, so you must meet with an ADT representative to determine what security devices you need and how much it will cost to get the best home security system for you.

  1. This is the monthly monitoring fee for a service.
    Lower is Better.
  2. 6 ADT
    $28.99
  3. $29.95
  4. $44.95
  5. $44.99
  6. Category Average
    $40.18

A contract with ADT runs three years. If you cancel early, you must pay 75 percent of the balance. ADT gives you six months to decide if you like their system or want to return the equipment, which is a considerably longer trial period than most home security companies.

ADT offers many relocation options, but these often require you to renew or extend your service contract.

Security systems from ADT offer 24-hour protection against home intruders, carbon monoxide, fire, freeze damage and flooding. The company does not offer an alert that notifies you of a natural gas leak.

ADT integrates home automation and interactive controls into its residential security alarm systems through a service called ADT Pulse. You can install cameras and video-monitoring capabilities through Pulse to keep an eye on your house and loved ones.

You have a generous selection of equipment to choose from, ranging from motion sensors to door and window sensors and much more. You also can select medical pendants, panic buttons and sirens. ADT equipment carries a lifetime warranty.

Extra security options provide two-way communication that turns your control panel into an intercom. In an emergency, an ADT representative will speak to you through your control panel, which is helpful if you cannot reach your phone or need to cancel a false alarm.

While many of the devices are wireless, which are generally easier to install than their wired counterparts are, you cannot install ADT's emergency systems yourself. The company requires professional installation as part of the service agreement. 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 via 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.

Summary

ADT boasts excellent security devices, 24-hour security monitoring, convenient home automation and interactive control options. The company's home security systems may not be the most cost-effective, depending on your needs, and you must meet with a company representative to learn about equipment and costs. However, if you believe that you cannot put a price tag on your family's safety, ADT is worth examining.