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ADT Review

Saturday, December 3rd

2022 Alarm System Company Reviews

ADT Review 3 Star Rating


3 Star Rating
  • "A+" rated and accredited by the BBB
  • Multi-year contract required
  • Professional installation required
  • 6-month money-back guarantee
  • Most experienced alarm system company in the industry

Among all of the most recognized names in alarm systems, ADT is likely the biggest. The company regularly wins awards from Forbes, PCMag, Newsweek and more for being among the best home alarm system businesses around - as you would hope and expect from a provider that has been in operation for nearly 150 years, with over six million residential customers in the United States alone.

Extensive monitoring coverage

One of the big selling points of ADT is their 24/7 monitoring. The service is backed by not one or two but nine different monitoring/customer service centers. That's some pretty impressive redundancy and makes it more likely that you'll reach someone exactly when you need help.

3 equipment packages

You'll start your alarm system shopping by choosing one of three base ADT equipment packages:

  • Secure Home: Just the basics, this package includes intrusion detection, fire/CO/flood monitoring, voice control and a touchscreen control panel.
  • Smart Home: The middle-tier package adds a remote access mobile app and smart home automation features to your alarm system.
  • Video & Smart Home: This package is the one you want if you need video security and stored video clips.

Customized quote through ADT reps

When you work with an ADT rep (or request a free quote via the ADT website), you'll describe your home and your alarm system needs, resulting in an alarm system that has all of the components required to keep you safe - and with any fun home automation features you'd enjoy. Keep in mind that much of your customer experience will depend on the authorized retailer you're paired with in your area, from the quality of the installation experience to technician follow-ups after you're an established customer.

Get ready to spend a lot

ADT alarm systems are some of the most expensive around, especially when you consider the required contracts. Your equipment packages are automatically priced with a 60-month repayment term; you can pay more each month to get it repaid more quickly, but you still have to sign up for three years of monitoring. That monitoring starts at $45.99 and will usually be higher if you choose one of the more advanced equipment packages (specifically with remote video viewing and recording). Plus, ADT may have the most costly installation fees we've seen: again, it depends on what's in place at the time you get your alarm system set up, but in some of the fine print on the ADT site we found reference to fees of a whopping $599 - and that's just the install, not the monitoring or the equipment.

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Terms and conditions apply to money-back guarantee

We appreciate that ADT has a 6-month money-back guarantee, but you should be aware that it has some stipulations: you can't just decide you don't like your alarm system and send it back. To qualify for a refund, you have to experience a system-related issue that ADT can't resolve within the first six months of your contract; your refund will be processed only once the equipment is fully removed.

Disappointing feedback for such an established business

When you have millions of customers, it stands to reason that you might get a higher-than-average number of complaints. That's absolutely true for ADT. Even though they have an "A+" rating and accreditation from the BBB - which indicates that they're doing a satisfactory job of responding to customer problems - they still garner thousands upon thousands of negative reviews. Yes, it's more common for someone to go online to file a complaint than a compliment, but that doesn't explain why some of ADT's rivals have numerous five-star reviews... while out of nearly 2,000 independently-verified scores 85% of ADT's are the worst possible one-star rating.

So what are the problems?

Equipment issues and challenges with getting them rectified are what we see time and time again. Remember that ADT relies a lot on their area partners for installation and service, so these issues are heavily dependent on the ADT partner in your area. We very strongly suggest that if you are thinking of going with ADT, you find out who your authorized retailer will be and take the extra step to look up their reputation as well.

Good but not great

Does the old maxim "you get what you pay for" apply with ADT? Yes and no. It's great to have extensive monitoring coverage and a longstanding reputation, but we're not sure it's worth the extremely costly installation fees, lengthy contracts, and much higher-than-average monthly service price. Unless you need the peace of mind that comes from choosing an alarm system from a well-established company like ADT, you're probably going to find similar protection for much less with another provider.

Which Company Offers the Best Alarm Systems?

There are so many options today, from well-known providers that have been around for fifty years or more to brand-new companies selling DIY-installed, wallet-friendly home alarm systems and automation all in one.

You've got plenty of reasons to use an alarm system, whichever route you choose. Not only can they protect you against break-ins while you're away, but they can also give you extra peace of mind if you're one of the millions of Americans who find themselves working from home on a regular basis. Need to know who's at your door before you open it? Many systems will send live video right to your smartphone, letting you decide if you should interrupt that conference call with your team!

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Alarm System Company FAQ

As many as 21 million households in the US use a security alarm system to protect themselves from burglary, home invasions and other crimes. With almost four million burglaries each year, it's important to have round-the-clock monitoring and an immediate emergency response if someone tries to break in.
It doesn't have to be. There are two costs associated with all alarm systems: the equipment and the monitoring service itself. Some companies give you the equipment at no charge as part of your plan, but the monthly fees are often higher to account for the free gear. Other services may require you to pay for your equipment upfront, but your monthly charge will be lower than the competition. Most alarm systems have monthly fees ranging from the low $30s to the upper $50s.
In the past, alarm systems were 100% wired - and yes, they had to be installed by a professional. While there are still a handful of companies that use these types of systems (including a landline to monitor them), most services today use totally wireless technology. In fact, many alarm systems have equipment that you can install yourself in just a few minutes.
The most basic systems include a few door contact sensors and that's about it. Depending on your circumstances, you may want to include wireless motion sensors for the interior or exterior of your home, fire and carbon monoxide detectors, flood sensors or even a panic pendant. The most advanced alarm systems give you options for video recording as well.
You might. If you got your equipment at no cost, chances are you'll be signing a contract of at least three years (ouch). If that doesn't appeal to you, consider an alarm system company where you purchase your equipment outright: they're less likely to require you to sign a contract to use their monitoring service.
You can rest assured that your alarm system provider wants to keep your business, and they'll make it as easy as possible if you move. Whether that includes setting up monitoring at your new address or even doing a full install, they will help you get it done. The easiest systems to move are the ones with do-it-yourself installation: move the equipment when you go, and don't forget to update the alarm company with your location.
Almost certainly. Savings typically range from 2-10%, depending on the type of alarm system you have and your insurer.
Many of today's popular alarm systems come with a 30-day risk-free trial. However, some companies have hefty fees for cancelling a contract prior to the end date, so you'll want to read all of the fine print before you commit to a provider.
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Continued from above...

What are the basics of an alarm system? Most packages come with a few window/door sensors and some kind of control panel. You can still find traditional equipment that includes a wall-installed panel, but most of today's systems have a portable tablet used to arm and disarm it. From there, the options are nearly limitless and can include indoor/outdoor cameras, video doorbells, smoke/fire and carbon monoxide detectors, and many other features to keep you feeling secure.

Beyond safety, alarm systems now give you plenty of choices for home automation. What might have seemed like space-age tech just ten years ago is commonplace: use your smartphone to turn down the thermostat before you get home from work, arm your system with a voice command even when you're already in bed for the evening, or sign into your system from your computer at work to make sure you really did remember to lock the front door (and take care of it if you didn't!).

With so many options, it can feel overwhelming to choose an alarm system. There are several things to keep in mind that can help make the decision clearer and lead you to the package that will meet your needs:

  • Features. What are the most essential components your alarm system needs to have? For most people, that will be the right number of window and door sensors to cover all easily-accessible entry points (such as the first-floor), and a control panel that works best for all occupants. Is there any nice-to-have equipment on your wishlist? That could include indoor video recording/storage, lots of home automation capabilities, and so on. Use your must-have and nice-to-have lists to determine if a provider has what you need.
  • Cost. There are several costs associated with an alarm system. This usually includes the price of the equipment (either upfront or monthly with a contract), monthly monitoring fees, and possibly installation. The company may tell you straight out what you can expect to pay, or you might have to reach out for a quote. Make sure to carefully read all of the terms and conditions before you commit, especially if your home alarm systems provider requires you to sign a contract of a year or more.
  • Service Area. Most home alarm systems companies service all 50 states, but some have limited coverage areas. Before you get too far into your research, check to see if you're eligible to be a customer and, if so, which authorized retailer might be responsible for your installation and service.
  • Reputation. What do clients say about their alarm systems? Is it worth the money? Have they been able to get prompt, professional support when equipment doesn't work properly? It's not uncommon for the larger companies to have thousands of complaints, but that's not cause for concern if they're responding appropriately each time.

TopConsumerReviews.com has evaluated and ranked the best alarm systems available today. We're confident that this information will help you get the right protection to keep you, your loved ones, and your property safe and sound!

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