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 necessarily equate to quality, though, so we tested ADT to see what the brand is like in 2022. One recent development we’d like to call out is the addition of SMART Monitoring, which aims to reduce false alarms. 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 voice assistants Alexa and Google Assistant along with connected devices from Kwikset, and Liftmaster.
- Professional installation: You can rest assured that your system works post-installation, as professional technicians will take care of the whole process.
- User-friendly app: The ADT Control 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
|Package name||Secure Home||Smart Home||Video and Smart Home|
|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|
Professional monitoring is a requirement of every ADT system. ADT’s tiered subscription approach lets customers choose the level of protection they want. At the very least, every plan includes 24/7 professional monitoring and cellular backup through Safewatch Cellguard. In addition, ADT implements SMART Monitoring, which stands for System Monitoring and Response Technology for every plan. This is a text-based communication system that users receive when their system is triggered, allowing them to cancel false alarms without having to talk to a monitoring agent.
With the higher-tier plans Smart Home and Video, ADT customers get the added benefits of remote arming and disarming, smartphone notification alerts, and home automation. With the highest plan, Video and Smart Home, users also receive access to security camera live streaming and cloud storage.
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 contract with ADT (three years, to be exact, or two years in the state of California). 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. This has happened recently to SimpliSafe’s plans and Cove’s plans. Their starting monthly rates for professional monitoring both jumped to $17.99 per month from $14.99.
ADT Pricing vs The Competition
|Security system||Professional monitoring cost per month|
When it comes to monthly fees, ADT is a bit on the higher end, but that has always been the case with the company. It’s a traditional security company, after all, and by that, we mean they have a more established monitoring network than some of the newer alarm companies that offer monitoring for as low as $10 per month.
With ADT, you’re paying for the quality of the product and service, as well as the assurance that you’re being protected by a reliable alarm company. One thing that stands out about ADT’s monitoring is that it has six monitoring centers across the country. Each is fully equipped with backup measures such as backup generators and servers so they can operate continuously. And in the rare case that one center isn’t able to operate, the other five can take over.
Of course, if you’re looking for ways to keep costs down, make sure to check out all the ADT deals. ADT’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals in the past have included $100 prepaid gift cards and free system installation, which usually costs about $100.
Like we said before, ADT works with Alexa2, the 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 Assistant — Google’s version of Alexa — 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.