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      January 25, 2020

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ADT vs Alarm Force

Best Alarm Systems

To help you find the Best Alarm Systems, TopConsumerReviews.com provides you with an in-depth comparison of ADT and Alarm Force.

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Increasing the security of your home is essential to protect yourself, your belongings, and your family. According to the experts, high unemployment rates and other economic woes in the nation are a factor in rising crime rates. With more than 2 million burglaries each year in the United States alone, and an average loss of over $2,000 per incident, it is well worth the investment to make sure your home is properly protected.

High-quality deadbolts and well-placed lighting on the exterior of your home can reduce the risk of becoming a victim. However, experience shows that skilled burglars can pick a lock, even a deadbolt, in a minute or less. On the other hand, crime data also demonstrates that criminals tend to avoid homes with an alarm system, to improve their chances of not getting caught.

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Best Reviews

2020

Alarm Systems Reviews

4 stars
ADT

ADT

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Features:

$99+ customer installation charge

$36.99+/month for monitoring

Customer information: 1-866-238-9934

ADT has been protecting homes and businesses for many years, making them one of the most recognized names in alarm systems. ADT has four main alarm system plans to meet your needs, with options for both landlines and cellular users, fire detection, or basic intruder protection. With ADT, you should expect to spend some money on start-up costs for installation and/or equipment that other providers include at no extra charge, particularly for the landline-based alarm systems.

Another difference you'll see with ADT is that they'll send an associate to evaluate your home's alarm system needs prior to installation. Most of the systems are wireless but some in-person coding is necessary with certain add-on equipment.

ADT's entry-level alarm system package is $99 for installation, plus an additional monitoring fee of $36.99 per month. The equipment in this package includes:

  • A wireless touchpad
  • 3 entry point sensors
  • 1 Wireless Motion Sensor (Pet-Immune)
  • Window decals and yard signs

This package does require a landline for use, and if you need more than three entry point sensors for your larger home, expect to pay more for your equipment.

ADT also has three wireless (no landline required) alarm system packages:

  • Basic Wireless - for $48.99/month, you get the features of the entry-level plan, plus 1 Key Fob remote
  • ADT Pulse - for $52.99/month, you receive all of the features of the Basic Wireless plan, plus mobile access and alerts
  • ADT Pulse + Video - for $58.99/month, you get the features of the Pulse plan as well as the capability for video surveillance

ADT does not tell you upfront what the equipment costs will be for those three wireless packages, or for additional sensors. But, at the time of our review, they were advertising free equipment on all four monitoring packages with the required installation charge. The fine print at the bottom of the page indicated that installation charges can be as high as $399 (or more!), depending on the system chosen, and that the free equipment offer is only valid for customers who sign a 3-year contract. This is quite steep compared with alarm systems in our review that take a more do-it-yourself approach to installation.

In short, ADT (1-866-238-9934) is a great choice for customers who need dependable alarm systems with all the bells and whistles and who are willing to pay extra for reputability and professional installation.

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2 stars
Alarm Force

ALARM FORCE

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Features:

Professional installation

Award-winning 24/7 monitoring

AlarmForce boasts more than two decades of experience in the alarm systems industry. Begun primarily with traditional wire-based systems, AlarmForce has kept up with market trends by incorporating newer technologies in their alarm system packages.

Before considering AlarmForce, you should be aware that their service area is extremely limited, and we might not even have realized it if we hadn't seen the "Service Locations" link at the bottom of the page, under the heading labeled "Support". According to that page, the only areas served by AlarmForce at the time of our review were Canada and selected metro areas in Ohio and North Carolina. Regrettably, even with the most competitive pricing and service, they wouldn't be able to offer the protection of an alarm system to most customers in the United States.

If you do happen to live in AlarmForce's coverage area, their services include the following:

  • Secure: for $29.99/month, you get a touchscreen control panel, 1 motion detector, and 2 door contacts with 24/7 monitoring
  • Connect: for $39.99/month, you get a touchscreen control panel, 2 motion detectors, and 3 door contacts; access via mobile app, and real-time notifications
  • Control: for $44.99/month, you get a touchscreen control panel, 1 motion detector, 3 door contacts, 1 image sensor, 1 smoke/heat/freeze detector, Z-Wave control for home automation for add-on features like indoor/outdoor/doorbell cameras, smart thermostats, smart door locks and light bulbs, and garage door controllers

We also spotted a promotion to get the first three months of monitoring coverage for free, but no further information was provided to tell customers how to qualify for that special pricing.

A positive aspect of AlarmForce's alarm systems is the free lifetime warranty, with zero fees for labor, replacement parts, or equipment. Many of their competitors charge, at the very least, a service call fee even for equipment covered under warranty, so this does give AlarmForce an edge in the few markets they serve.

Additionally, their monitoring service has won a five-diamond rating for providing excellent attention to customers: one of only two providers of alarm systems in our review to have earned that award.

In short, if your home is in Canada or one of AlarmForce's regions of coverage in North Carolina or Ohio, they might meet your home protection needs quite well; but, because their service area is so drastically limited, we can only give AlarmForce a lower rating at this time.

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Continued from above

Alarm Systems have a wide variety of features, coverage, and price points. Some Alarm Systems charge hundreds of dollars for installation in addition to their monitoring services, while others offer free equipment and/or installation along with a monthly monitoring contract. The best Alarm Systems provide customers with flexible options with respect to installation and home phone line requirements.

As you consider which Alarm System will best meet your protection needs, it is wise to have a grasp of several common features offered by home security companies. These include:

  • Monitoring Service. Does the company provide live, round-the-clock home monitoring with live representatives who will respond quickly to contact authorities in the event of a burglary or other incident?
  • Equipment and Installation Costs. Is there a charge for the initial equipment package, or is it included with the monitoring service? How many sensors are included in that package, and how much will it cost to get the number of sensors your home needs? Will you be charged separately for installation?
  • Guarantee. Are you protected by a satisfaction guarantee and/or a warranty on your Alarm System equipment?

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best Alarm Systems available today. We hope these reviews help you find the right alarm system to protect yourself, your property, and your loved ones for years to come!

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