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Sunday, June 26th
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:
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.
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.
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!
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:
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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