ADT: Home Security System Review

When it comes to home security, ADT is arguably the best-known service provider in the entire industry. Over the past 140 years, the company has made a name for itself by helping customers protect what’s important to them — their homes, their businesses, and most importantly, their loved ones. While the company boasts more than 8 million customers and started out sending security alerts via morse code, whether an ADT Pulse home security system is right for you and your family will depend on several factors. Let’s find out.

In this review, we will focus on the three categories we addressed in our guide, “How to Find the Best Home Security System Online” — price, features, and customer service.

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To accurately calculate the cost of a home security system, you should include both monthly fees and upfront costs — equipment, installation, and activation. Overall, ADT’s pricing is not the least expensive on the market, but it is competitive for a monitored system with professional installation. Read on for the specifics of what you can expect to pay.

Equipment Cost

Because ADT utilizes a network of dealers to sell their products and services, equipment prices can vary. However, this means that there is room for negotiation on the consumer end. In fact, some dealers may offer your equipment free of charge if you sign a 36-month contract.

To get exact pricing, you’ll need to schedule an in-home consultation, but the following chart details approximately what you should expect to pay for each piece of equipment.

Equipment Price
Keypad $200
Touchscreen Keypad $299
Sensor (Door/Window) $60
Key Fob $60
Outdoor Camera (Night/HD) $250 – $399
Indoor Camera (HD) $199 – $299
ADT Video Doorbell $199
Ring Doorbell $199
Kwikset Lock $175 – $299
Yale Touchscreen Lock $299
ADT Pulse Dimmable Bulb $59
Wall Light Dimmer $69 – $79
Appliance Module $60

Installation Fees

ADT requires professional installation for all equipment. For a basic system, prices start at $99. However, depending on the size and scope of your system and components, installation can cost $1,500 or more. Customers report an extensive installation time of between four and eight hours. If you are installing home automation components, you may require the services of additional installers, like a locksmith. You will be charged an additional fee for this work.

Activation Charges

Expect to pay $25 to activate your ADT home security system.

Monthly Fees

According to the ADT website, clients may choose from four monitoring packages at four separate price points. After you sign up, ADT reserves the right to increase your pricing on an annual basis. Unlike other providers, ADT includes environmental monitoring — fire, flood, and carbon monoxide — in every package. Again, prices may vary depending on your home, system, and dealer. The prices below are meant to be a guideline.

  • Basic – For $28.99 per month, clients with a landline receive 24/7 monitoring for home invasions and environmental disasters. This plan is not advertised on the ADT website.
  • Traditional – For $48.99 per month, clients without a landline receive 24/7 monitoring for home invasions and environmental disasters using their cellular connection.
  • Control – For $52.99 per month, clients can add remote control, smart home, and customization features.
  • Video – For $58.99 per month, you get video surveillance capabilities, including live streaming, recording, and saving video clips.


Personal preferences and use patterns, along with the size and layout of your home, will determine what features and functionality you look for in your home security system. ADT dealers customize every system to meet your specific needs. Every system includes the following components:

  • control panel
  • base system
  • motion sensor
  • wireless sensors
  • wireless remote
  • backup battery
  • yard sign and window decals

Read on for more information about these features and others.

Control Panel

The ADT control panel is not the most modern version on the market, but users say it functions well. Simply enter your four-digit security code, and you can use the touchscreen panel to arm or disarm the system and check the weather, traffic, and news.

Clients may also use a key fob with buttons or a sensor that you may simply hold up to the panel to arm and disarm the system.


In addition to basic door and window alarms that sound in the event of a breach, you can manually alert the monitoring center of a medical or other emergency by pressing a button on the control panel.


Indoor and outdoor cameras monitor and record in high definition (HD). These feeds can be accessed via the Pulse mobile app, but video requires the top tier service plan.


ADT offers all the standard sensors, including those used to detect water, heat, smoke, and carbon monoxide. Interior, infrared motion sensors are designed to avoid false alarms by pets, and can be set to disregard weights up to 50 pounds.

Personal Security Devices

ADT offers a separate medical alert system. Available components include a two-way intercom, pendant, and wristband.

Remote Access

Users may access and control their home security system using the ADT Pulse app. In addition to arming and disarming the system and changing its settings, users with video surveillance can access live feeds and recorded clips from their cameras. You can also use the app to control smart home devices, like locks, thermostats, and lights.  

Monitoring Type

ADT is one of only a few providers to offer both landline and cellular monitoring, making it available to a wide variety of homeowners in both urban and rural areas.


The company offers both proprietary and third-party home automation products and connectivity. You can use your ADT system with your Nest thermostat, Ring doorbell, and Kwikset locks, or you can choose one of their private-labeled options.


Though the company maintains an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), customer reviews consistently call out ADT for poor service. Installation and billing issues, like missed appointments, failed cancellations, and changes in price, have many online reviewers up in arms. Of course, with more than 8 million customers, the number of customer complaints is bound to exceed that of smaller companies.

As far as monitoring is concerned, ADT operates six monitoring centers across the United States. Unlike those of smaller, newer companies, ADT centers are open 24 hours per day, 365 days per year. Furthermore, ADT offers several different guarantees to keep their customers happy.

    • Six-Month Money Back Guarantee – If you’re unhappy with your system, you can get a full refund on installation and monitoring within the first six months of service. Certain restrictions apply, and the refund doesn’t include equipment costs.  
    • Theft Protection Guarantee – If a burglary occurs while your system is armed, the company will reimburse you up to $500 of your insurance deductible.
  • Mover’s Package Guarantee – Unlike other home security providers, ADT does not offer free relocation services. However, they do offer discounts on installation and equipment for homeowners whose accounts are in good standing and who meet minimum requirements for contract length.


Final Thoughts

When it comes to home security systems, ADT is not the most expensive, nor is it the cheapest. The company is not the quickest to adopt the sleekest, most advanced technology, but their components still boast all of the most desirable features. Their customer service isn’t praised as the best, either, but they have more customers than any other system out there. In short, what you get with ADT is experience and reliability. Their system and service packages get the job done, and that’s why so many people choose them over and over again.

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