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ADT is one of the oldest and possibly the most well-known home security company. With more than 140 years of experience, ADT is a household name. But does being around so long also mean it’s the best at securing your home? We lift the hood and find out in our comprehensive review.
You’ve probably seen ADT signs in front of some pretty impressive structures — everything from stars’ homes in Hollywood to embassies and consulates. But does that mean you as a consumer will get that same level of service?
In fact, each ADT customer’s experience will vary because ADT security systems are sold through authorized resellers.*
This means the company you use to get your ADT system could be different than someone who lives in a neighboring county. Therefore, your costs and customer service will vary, even when the equipment, contracts and general installation tend to be similar.
For this reason, we’ve taken a look at user feedback from across the nation and come up with patterns and commonalities across the network of larger ADT resellers to leverage across our review.
*Our ADT links take you to SafeStreets, which is an authorized reseller for ADT.
- Has 10 monitoring stations
- 6-month guarantee
- Can be professionally installed in your home within 1-2 days after ordering in most cases
- Includes basic equipment at no additional cost
- Compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Home
- 3-year monitoring contract required
- Requires a technician to visit your home and install
- Cameras have 720p resolution, not 1080p
- Many customer service complaints for ADT including extra charges on bills, incomplete installations, high-pressure sales tactics and more
- Among the most expensive compared to its competitors
- May charge 75% of the remaining contract if you cancel early
Don’t like the score you’re seeing? Our home security experts have reviewed over a dozen home security providers, and in our best home security systems showdown, you can see our top three and category winners for this year.
- 10 monitoring stations that are interconnected, so if one goes down (e.g., due to a natural disaster), another is there as a backup.
- Landline and cellular monitoring available:
- Must upgrade to the higher-tier plans for cellular monitoring, which is more secure than landline since the connection is more reliable and less vulnerable.
- Customer service options: live chat, phone, email and help center are available.
- BBB rating: A+: and they are accredited (this is for the corporate entity (we suggest you look up your local provider for their rating)).
- Motion sensor weight adjustment – ability to set motion sensors to ignore weights up to 50 pounds so small to medium-sized pets won’t set off sensors.
- SafeWatch CellGuard uses cellular technology to connect your system to ADT monitoring centers (not included with all plans).
- ADT Pulse and Control apps let you arm and disarm your system, control smart gadgets and keep tabs on your home from anywhere.
- Z-Wave connectivity – a wireless communication protocol that lets you connect your home automation equipment to your ADT system.
- Up to $500 theft protection guarantee goes towards your insurance deductible if your home is burglarized while your ADT system is armed.
- Lifetime equipment warranty through the Quality Service Plan.
- ADT also offers a DIY option called Blue by ADT.
If the power goes out in your home, battery backup will keep your ADT system on and your home protected. ADT has a 24-hour battery backup, which is the standard in home security.
You can choose to have wireless or hardwired equipment. The equipment is professionally installed as early as 1-2 days after ordering. Here are the various pieces of equipment found in security packages:
- Digital keypad
- Door/window sensors
- Motion sensors
- Wireless keychain remote
- Indoor and outdoor cameras
- Smoke detectors
- CO detectors
- Flood detectors
- Panic button remotes
- Door locks
- Garage door sensor
- Video doorbell camera
- Switches and plugs
Equipment options and monthly prices can vary depending on the ADT reseller you choose. The equipment and pricing we’ve listed below are from an authorized reseller we recommend. If you’re interested in ADT, use this link to get a custom quote for your home.
Our link above applies discounts if available.
Honestly, a lot of these complaints at bogus and just because customers are ****** they are not getting their way. First of all, ADT is the company who has many authorized Dealers. Sometimes these dealers lie to make the sale but if you would pay attention to the Welcome Call and contract you sign then most of the time, the customer just trying to pull a fast one. I ordered my service through America’s Security, one of their reps knocked on my door and helped me protect my home. He doesn’t work for ADT, he works for America’s Security… Just to make it clear … Antoine fulfilled everything promised, his technician Humberto was excellent. I’m sure there are bad apples out there, but I am also sure that if you pay attention to what you are doing you will have a happy ending. Thank you America’s Security/ADT. – Allen L., BBB 1/3/2020
I was in need of a security system. I looked up information from Consumer Affairs and saw the high ratings and contacted ADT. They promptly answered my call. The installer came out explained every detail and took time to help me understand how to operate my new system. I feel safe already. – Clarissa, Consumer Affairs 1/19/2020
ADT, is a horrible business. Had service for my new business and had to close due to COVID19 in Mid March as per Government officials, its mid May and I’m still not allowed to reopen. Made the decision to close our business as we don’t have an open date and cant afford to stay closed with all the fees that come along with owning a new business. Called ADT to cancel service and was told we could not cancel and would be charged full amount, when I asked if there was some form of relief from COVID19 I was told NOTHING could be done. I would never recommend ADT to anyone!! I don’t know how any business can run this way. I don’t even want to give a star rating but have to give something so I will only give a 1 star!!! – Brigitte H., BBB 5/14/2020
I was unavailable when they arrived my home, they met my husband. Not sure what transpired. Before I knew they had installed their monitor. I was coerced me to signing the contract and not given time to think things through. I am trying to cancel 3 weeks into the contract and they want me to pay 75% of the total cost for 3 years. Unbelievable! Be very careful before you SIGN a contract with them. I could have given them zero star if that were an option. – Pamela, Consumer Affairs 5/14/2020
See the ADT apps in action and learn about all of its capabilities. You’ll find a video of the interface, features compared to other home security apps, pros/cons by users and more in our ADT app review.
The indoor camera can be added to your system after the initial installation of your security system if you want. It doesn’t require a professional’s help and we’ve got the installation and setup process all covered to help you get it up and running smoothly.
Lastly, the outdoor cameras can also be setup by you without the help of a professional. Everything from tech specs to installation setup and pros/cons of each outdoor camera are included in the article.
All of the cameras integrate with the ADT system, which means you’ll be able to view, record and schedule camera actions and video feeds in the app or portal.
See the key differences between ADT and other leading home security companies.
- ADT uses authorized resellers, so customer service can vary. Meanwhile, Frontpoint is known for its outstanding customer service and it’s consistent.
- Frontpoint uses cellular for all of its monitoring plans. ADT requires you to upgrade plans for cellular monitoring.
- ADT has no equipment fees for introductory systems but requires professional installation with a fee. Frontpoint charges for its equipment and has DIY installation.
- ADT offers a wider variety of equipment than SimpliSafe, including an outdoor camera.
- ADT has no equipment fees for introductory systems but requires professional installation with a fee. SimpliSafe charges for its equipment and has DIY installation.
- All of SimpliSafe’s plans use cellular monitoring, while ADT requires you to upgrade for cellular monitoring.
- Vivint’s control panel has only 4 hours of battery backup, while ADT’s has 24 hours.
- All of Vivint’s plans use cellular monitoring, while ADT requires you to upgrade for cellular monitoring.
- Vivint requires a minimum 4-year contract (ADT’s is the standard 3 years) and has higher equipment fees than ADT.
ADT has been around for more than a century, and it’s fascinating to see where it started and how much it’s evolved since it was founded.
- 1874 – American District Telegraph (ADT) founder, Edward Callahan, created the first residential security system network.
- 1890–1920 – ADT employed “Roundsmen” to make rounds each night to help prevent crime before it happened at customers’ homes.
- 1920–1940 – ADT enabled customers to link to a central monitoring center for 24/7/365 monitoring and protection.
- 1940–1989 – ADT pioneered the first automated burglar system, which allowed immediate response to fire.
- 2010 – ADT Pulse app launched, which allows customers to remotely access and control their home security and automation systems.
- 2017 – Combined with Protection 1 and services more than a combined 6 million customers.
ADT’s parent company is Apollo Global Management. More than 17,000 professionals are employed by ADT in over 200 locations within the U.S.
ADT is widely available across the United States. It offers reliable monitoring and professional installation and can be installed as quickly as 1-2 days from ordering. However, ADT can be expensive (cellular monitoring requires a plan upgrade), and it has a history of customer service complaints.
If you want a less expensive security system with better customer service, you may want to consider another company. See how ADT compares to other home security providers in our home security systems reviews. We’ve ranked the top 3 companies and reviewed over a dozen with pros, cons and user feedback for each.
Are you considering ADT for your home security needs?