ADT Pulse Review: Your Best Bet For Home Security & Automation?

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ADT Sign (caption: ADT Pulse Review)ADT Pulse combines the well-known company’s alarm system with home automation and monitored video surveillance. But what equipment and features does ADT Pulse have to offer? And is it worth the higher-than-average price tag? We answer these questions and more to help you determine if ADT Pulse is the best fit for your home security and automation needs.

If you don’t have ADT service yet, you can sign up here with one of our recommended providers.

We think it’s important for you to know that each ADT customer’s experience will vary because ADT security systems are sold through authorized resellers*. Therefore, costs and customer service can vary, even when the equipment, contracts and general installation tend to be similar.

*Our ADT links take you to SafeStreets, which is an authorized reseller for ADT.

Article Overview

How Does ADT Pulse Work?

With ADT Pulse, you can choose between two pricing plans: one with just video monitoring and the higher plan for whole-home automation. ADT Pulse uses your cellular and internet connections to sync your alarm system with your home automation set up.

You can download an app for your smartphone or tablet, or you can use the web portal on a computer to control all of your devices. All of your devices communicate with each other via Z-Wave and WiFi.



  • Excellent smart home integration
  • Compatible with thousands of smart devices
  • Solid mobile and web apps
  • Expensive
  • Requires a 3-year contract with high early termination fees

ADT Pulse App Features

ADT Pulse App Screenshots

Android App | iOS App

  • Remotely arm your ADT security system and lock and unlock doors
  • Turn on your lights from anywhere
  • Ensure you’ve turned off small appliances after you leave home
  • Receive real-time alerts and view your video feed
  • Adjust or schedule your thermostat
  • Open and close your garage door
  • Set up custom schedules and automate all of your smart devices
  • View event history
  • Voice control with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant

How Does The App Work?

Check out this 4-minute tutorial to see how the ADT Pulse mobile app works.

ADT Pulse Equipment Options

To use ADT Pulse’s video monitoring or complete home automation plans, you must have an ADT security system in your home. You can choose to have wireless or hardwired equipment. The equipment is professionally installed as early as 1-2 days after ordering. Here are some of ADT’s equipment options:

Security System Equipment

Examples of ADT Pulse equipment: keypad, sensors, doorbell camera, indoor camera, smoke detector, smartphone app, and keychain remote.
Examples of ADT Pulse equipment: keypad, sensors, doorbell camera, indoor camera, smoke detector, smartphone app, and keychain remote.
  • Digital keypad
  • Door/window sensors
  • Motion sensors
  • Wireless keychain remote
  • Smoke detectors
  • Carbon monoxide detectors
  • Flood detectors
  • Sirens
  • Panic button remotes

Visit our home security equipment guide

Home Automation Equipment

Visit our home automation equipment guide

Compatible Smart Home Devices

One of the best features of ADT Pulse is that it works with 5,000+ non-ADT smart home devices because it’s compatible with Z-Wave.

In addition to Z-Wave devices, ADT Pulse supports many popular third-party smart home devices, like the Nest thermostat, the Ring video doorbell, August smart locks and Kwikset smart locks. And the ADT security hub (your system’s control panel) is compatible with the Samsung SmartThings home automation hub.


Equipment options and monthly prices can vary depending on the ADT reseller you choose. The equipment and pricing we list below are from an authorized reseller we recommend. If you’re interested in ADT Pulse, use this link to get a custom quote for your home.

 ADT Pulse Monitoring + VideoADT Pulse Monitoring + Smart Home Connect
Price Per Month$58.99$59.99
Control PanelCheckmarkCheckmark
Door/Window & Motion Sensors CapableCheckmarkCheckmark
Wireless Keychain RemoteCheckmarkCheckmark
Equipment Service ProtectionCheckmarkCheckmark
Safety Detection Device CapableCheckmarkCheckmark
Cellular MonitoringCheckmarkCheckmark
Remote Control w/ Cell PhoneCheckmarkCheckmark
Indoor Camera CapableCheckmarkCheckmark
Smart Home CapableCheckmark


Use this link to get the best deal we can offer from ADT.

What Do People Think Of The ADT Pulse App?

Positive Reviews

Have used ADT Pulse for the past three years. The app is easy to use and gives us peace of mind for remote activation and monitoring when we leave home. Very highly recommended. – Sid E., Google Play 1/17/2020

I have been an ADT customer since they installed my original over 20 years ago. The technician came in, and in a short time brought me into the 21st. century. He put sensors on my windows, indoor camera, and hooked me up to WiFi. As an older person, this is really convenient. No more rushing to get out, no more rushing to the panel to shut off the alarm when coming in. I simply use the remote after I close and lock the door. This has saved me a bunch of rushing around, and that’s great. The system is so reliable that I can set it with my iPhone or iPad well away from home. So I love my upgraded system, wish I had done it sooner. – Crazed Golfer, Apple App Store 1/12/2020

Negative Reviews

Takes forever for the app to connect to system. When it does connect and try to disarm the system, it disconnects. Hardly ever supplies warnings in case of unwanted activity detection. The one time we got a warning of front door breach, we called ADT who did nothing other than tell us of what we already knew. We had to call out neighbors to find out what was going on. We are getting rid of ADT as soon as our contract is up. – Alex T., Google Play 12/21/2019

This app is one of the slowest I’ve ever used. It takes far too long to connect to the alarm itself to justify using it while away from my home. We have update the app every time a new version comes out and have tried 2 different internet providers. Aside from that, the app is not accurate in terms of the true status of the alarm. Half of the time the app says the alarm is disarmed when it really is armed. That defeats the purpose of having a mobile app to set the alarm as needed if you never really know what the true status of it is. After having this app for over two years, I am still disappointed. – Colorado 17, Apple App Store 7/24/2019

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The ADT Pulse Gateway?

The ADT Pulse gateway is an electronic device that links the security panel and your ADT Pulse devices to your broadband router/modem so the information can be transmitted and received over the internet.

How Do I Connect ADT Pulse To WiFi?

ADT technicians will connect your ADT Pulse to WiFi when they set up your system. But if you get the “Status Unavailable” message, follow these steps to reconnect:

  1. Make sure your internet connection is working.
  2. Check the gateway to make sure it’s receiving power. You should see the LEDs lit on the front panel.
  3. Check the ethernet cable. Make sure it’s securely connected to the “Broadband” port on the back of the gateway and an available port on your internet router. Make sure that the ethernet LEDs are on (green/amber lights).
  4. If your status is still unavailable, disconnect the power to both the gateway and router for a few minutes. Then plug your router back in. Once your internet comes back online, plug the gateway hub back into the router. Wait a few minutes and check your Pulse app to see if you’re connected.
  5. Contact your ADT rep if you’re still not connected.

How Do I Add Additional Devices To ADT Pulse?

In the ADT Pulse web portal or the mobile app, follow these steps:

  1. Click on the “System” tab
  2. Select “Manage Devices”
  3. On-screen instructions will guide you through the installation process. (Each device has unique steps that you’ll need to follow.)
  4. For Z-Wave devices, press the “Sync” button on the device itself to connect it to the system.

Is ADT Pulse Worth It?

Visit ADT Website | 833-276-1428

ADT Pulse is cost-prohibitive if you’re on a strict budget. But if your ultimate goal for your house is to have an easy way to sync your security system and home automation equipment, their service is certainly worth consideration. The Z-Wave compatibility and solid ADT Pulse app are big plusses.

However, if you’re not sure ADT Pulse is the best security and home automation combination for your needs, read our reviews of the best home security providers. We recommend some other big players in this arena that can satisfy both of those needs.

What features are you looking for in a combined home security and automation service?

About The Author:

While attending the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s graduate school for journalism and public relations, Sally began a long career researching and writing about hard-to-understand topics, such as insurance and finance.

Her additional experience in marketing, fundraising, public relations and financial planning at various foundations and nonprofit organizations over the years has given her the practical tools to inform consumers about making the smartest business and personal financial decisions.

Speaking of smart living — growing up in the (at-the-time) per-capita murder capital of the U.S. (Richmond, VA) taught her a thing or two about the need for personal and home safety. Sally stays on top of all the latest gadgets and services to protect her and her teenage daughters from potential predators and thieves. And she brings this knowledge to every article she writes.

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