Ask the average person on the street to name a security company, and most likely they’ll say ADT. That’s because it’s been around the longest— literally. With over 140 years in business, it’s no surprise that ADT feels so ubiquitous. A long history doesn’t equate to quality necessarily, though. What is the brand like in 2021? Here, our experts give you the most important background information on ADT, from its package options to its monitoring prices.
Note that this page is about ADT’s Command and Control systems and pricing, not Blue by ADT, which is the company’s rebranding of the Lifeshield security system.
|Monitoring plan information||ADT|
|Monthly cost||$40 to $60|
|Contract length||3 years|
|Money-back guarantee length||6 months|
What We Like About ADT
- Smart home integration: ADT works with Alexa along with connected devices from Kwikset, and Liftmaster.
- Professional installation: This makes ADT a great option for someone older or anyone who’s just less comfortable with technology in general.
- User-friendly app: The ADT Pulse app makes it easy to monitor and control your home’s security remotely.
Packages & Monitoring
ADT offers three different packages1: Secure, Smart, and Complete.
ADT Packages and Monitoring Analysis
|Learn more||View package||View package||View package|
|24/7 Professional monitoring||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Remote arming and disarming||No||Yes||Yes|
|Customizable alerts, schedules and automations||No||Yes||Yes|
|Livestreaming from mobile devices||No||No||Yes|
|Record and save clips||No||No||Yes|
|Entryway contact sensors||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Smart light bulb||No||Yes||Yes|
All of ADT’s systems include 24/7 professional monitoring, an ADT requirement. And no matter which plan you choose, ADT comes with cellular backup through Safewatch Cellguard. However, only the Smart and Complete packages let you arm and disarm your system remotely, as well as receive alerts and create schedules and automation. Finally, if you want live streaming and cloud storage, you’ll need to buy the Complete package.
While some alternatives to ADT, like abode security, offer home security with no monthly fees, you will have to sign up for a long-term with ADT (three years, to be exact). Of course, if you don’t mind being in it for the long haul with ADT, this means that you’ll keep the same rate. In contrast, companies with monthly contracts often increase their rates as time goes by. Read our answers to common questions about ADT and our ADT system review to see what our experts think of it.
ADT Pricing vs The Competition
|Security system||Professional monitoring cost per month|
Being a more traditional security company, ADT has more traditional pricing, especially when it comes to monthly fees. By traditional, we mean more expensive. Some newer companies charge as little as $5 a month for professional monitoring and cellular backup. ADT charges somewhere between $40 and $60 for the same service, and those prices aren’t set in stone. They can be higher depending on what equipment you buy and what monitoring options you sign up for. ADT’s equipment is on the more expensive side as well, and if you add pieces to your packages, you can wind up paying a bundle. Those that are good at negotiating, though, will appreciate the fact that the company works through local vendors who welcome price haggling.
Like we said before, ADT works with Alexa2, the most popular voice assistant from Amazon. You can have Alexa arm or disarm your system as well as control smart lights, locks, and thermostats. For those of us who’ve ever wished we could turn the downstairs lights off without getting out of bed, this is a godsend.
ADT works just as well with Google Home, so you can use “Hey, Google” to arm your system as well. In fact, the two companies recently announced a partnership to create new products and services for the home security market.
Unfortunately, ADT doesn’t work with Siri, so it may not be the best choice for users already in the Apple smart home ecosystem. If that’s you, check out our list of best security systems for Apple.
FYI: ADT works well if you’re already in the Amazon ecosystem, one reason it makes our list of the best Alexa security systems. Now that the company has partnered with Google, it works great in that ecosystem as well.
Aside from Alexa, the ADT security system also works with home automation devices from Kwikset, Liftmaster, Sonos, and anything with Z-Wave connectivity. Here are just a few of ADT’s add-on equipment options:
- Smart light bulbs: ADT’s smart light bulbs let you control their lights remotely and even dim them via either the app or a voice command. You can create custom scenes, groups of lights set to specific brightness levels that can be turned on and off together. In addition, you can set up schedules so that the lights turn on and off at specific times. There’s even an away mode that mimics the typical light patterns you use when you’re home. Using this mode can make it seem like you’re home, even when you’re not.
- Smart thermostats: One way to reduce heating and cooling costs is to use a smart thermostat that can be set onto schedules. ADT’s version lets you control your home’s climate from anywhere and set schedules to save on energy. We liked that the system alerted us if the house got over 75 degrees. We loved making scenes connecting the thermostat to the lights. For example, we had our lights turn off as soon as the thermostat was set to 60 degrees since that’s the temperature we use when we aren’t home. Combining these two IoT devices made our lives more convenient and saved us money on bills, a win-win! ADT’s smart thermostat works with most HVAC systems as well as heat pumps, but you can find out from your expert installer if your system or heat pumps are compatible.
- Garage door gadgets: Next, ADT offers a garage door opener that sends you an alert if you leave the door open. Then, you can use the handy built-in controls to close it. This device connects to the ADT app so you can control the door remotely and receive notifications about its activity.
- Smart plugs: Finally, ADT offers one of our favorite smart home devices, smart plugs. Smart plugs can turn off lights along with small appliances remotely. We found it easy to set up the plugs with our non-IoT devices turning them into smart devices. We were able to use the plugs to dim lights, even on lamps that lacked dimmer switches. These plugs are useful for everything from lighting to coffee makers to flat irons. Users can also set their plugs on schedules and connect them with Alexa allowing for voice commands.
In fact, ADT offers many of these Internet of Things products, like smart locks and smart plugs, on its website.
Although ADT is the oldest security company in the United States, they can compete with the best of them in terms of smart home integrations. And that’s great news, as smart home technology is only becoming more and more popular.
It’s no secret how ADT has remained in business for so long. With reliable 24/7 monitoring, quality devices, and professional installation through Dish, we felt confident our home was protected at all times with ADT. Although ADT isn’t the most affordable home security system around, given how long the company has been in business, it’s trustworthy, definitely. That’s true particularly when it comes to 24/7 professional monitoring and cellular backup. That being said, ADT has made a ton of changes throughout the years, modernizing to include integration with Alexa and Google as well as an easy-to-use app for remote control. So while there are definitely cheaper options available, ADT still offers its customers a ton of value. And if you’re looking for ADT-level service with less expensive pieces of equipment, check out our review of the Blue by ADT system.
That’s not all there is to know about ADT’s pricing. The lightning round starts now!
Does ADT have a monthly fee?
ADT does have a monthly fee. All of its systems require full 24/7 professional monitoring. Monitoring prices vary greatly depending on what specific components you purchase with your system, but they start at $45.99 per month. In addition, ADT has financing options for its equipment, up to 60 months. If you purchase equipment this way, you’ll have an additional monthly charge.
Is ADT worth the cost?
We think that ADT is worth the cost. With over 140 years in business, it’s one of the most trustworthy security companies around. In addition, it includes professional monitoring and professional installation through Dish with every system.
How much does ADT charge for cameras?
ADT doesn’t list its camera prices on its websites. Instead, you must negotiate prices with a salesperson.
How long are ADT contracts?
ADT’s shortest contract is 36 months (24 months in California). If you’re worried about making a long commitment, though, the company does offer a six-month money-back guarantee.