Ask the average person on the street to name a security company, and most likely they’ll say ADT. That’s because they’ve been around the longest— literally. With over 140 years in business, it’s no surprise that ADT feels so ubiquitous, but what is the brand like in 2020? 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.
What We Like About ADT
- Alexa 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 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 Connected.
ADT Packages and Monitoring Analysis
|Learn More||View Package||View Package||View Package|
|24/7 Professional Monitoring||✓||✓||✓|
|Remote Arming and Disarming||x||✓||✓|
|Customizable Alerts, Schedules and Automations||x||✓||✓|
|Livestreaming from Mobile Devices||x||x||✓|
|Record and Save Clips||x||x||✓|
|Entryway Contact Sensors||✓||✓||✓|
|Smart Light Bulb||x||✓||✓|
All of the systems include 24/7 professional monitoring, a requirement of ADT. 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. For livestreaming and cloud storage, you’ll need to buy the Complete package. No matter what you choose, ADT comes with cellular backup through Safewatch Cellguard, not requiring any additional contract. Now in terms of contracts, you will have to sign up for a long-term with ADT (three years, to be exact). If you know you’re in it for the long haul with ADT, this means that you’ll have the same rate, whereas, with monthly contracts, the rate would increase as time goes by. Read our full ADT system review to see what our experts think of it.
ADT Pricing vs The Competition
Being a more traditional security company, ADT has more traditional pricing, especially when it comes to monthly fees. With newer companies charging as little as $9 a month for professional monitoring and cellular backup, ADT charges somewhere between $40 and $60 for the same service, and prices aren’t set in stone. Their equipment is also on the more expensive side; however, those that are good at negotiating will appreciate the chance to haggle the company down to the lowest prices possible. Get your negotiating hat on!
Like we said previously, 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 even offers all of these Internet of Things products on their website.
ADT doesn’t work with Google Assistant or Siri, so it may not be the best choice for users already in the Google or Apple smart home ecosystems.
FYI: ADT works great if you’re already in the Amazon ecosystem.
Aside from Alexa, the ADT security system also works with connected devices from Kwikset, Liftmaster, which makes garage door openers, Sonos, a manufacturer of smart speakers, as well as anything with Z-Wave connectivity. Here are just a few of ADT’s add-on equipment options:
- Smart light bulbs: ADT’s smart bulb lets users control their lights remotely and even dim it via either the app or a voice command through Alexa. Users can also create custom scenes, groups of lights set to specific brightness levels that can be turned on and off easily, or schedules so that the lights turn on and off at specific times. There’s also an away mode that’ll mimic the lights when a user is home, a simple way to make it seem like people are home when the house is empty.
- 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 users control their home’s climate from anywhere and set schedules to save on energy. We enjoyed getting alerted if the house was over 75 degrees, as well as making scenes with the thermostat and the lights. For example, we had our lights turn off as soon as the thermostat was set to 60 degrees, meaning we’re not home. Combining these two IoT devices made our lives more convenient and saved us on bills, a win-win! ADT’s smart thermostat should work with most HVAC systems as well as heat pumps, but users can leave that to their expert installer.
- Garage door gadgets: Next, ADT offers a garage door opener that allows for remote control and alerts if it’s less unopened. Compatible with the majority of garage door openers, this device basically connects the opener to the ADT app so that the user can control it remotely and receive notifications.
- Smart plugs: Finally, ADT offers smart plugs that can turn off lights along with small appliances remotely. We found it easy to set up the plugs with our IoT devices and could even use the plug 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.
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, with smart speaker ownership increasing by 40% in 2018 alone3!
It’s no secret how ADT has remained in business for so long. With reliable 24/7 monitoring, quality devices and professional installation, with ADT, we felt confident our home was protected at all times. Although ADT certainly isn’t the most affordable home security system around, given how long the company has been in business, it’s definitely trustworthy, especially 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 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.
ADT. (2020). Compare our home security systems. adt.com/compare
Amazon. (2020). ADT Pulse App. amazon.com/ADT-LLC-Pulse/dp/B01NARHJWE
VoiceBot.ai. (2019). Smart Speaker Consumer Adoption Report. voicebot.ai/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/smart_speaker_consumer_adoption_report_2019.pdf