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      January 26, 2020

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Xfinity vs ADT

Best Home Security Systems

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

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Where can you find the best home security system? Today's marketplace gives you more options than ever, with packages ranging from budget-friendly, basic home monitoring with equipment you install yourself, to technician-installed systems that include smoke and flood detectors.

Before you determine which home security system is right for your needs, it's important to understand why you should have one. Although crime rates have been dropping in some areas, there are still nearly 2 million break-ins nationwide every year, resulting in losses of at least $2,000 on average. And, even if a burglary doesn't lead to a big financial loss, there's no way to put a monetary value on the peace of mind that vanishes when you find out that an intruder was inside your home.

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Best Reviews

2020

Home Security Systems Reviews

3.5 stars
XFINITY

XFINITY

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Features:

Equipment costs ranging from $360 to $600Equipment costs ranging from $360 to $600

Professional installment required (fees of approx. $100)

Monthly monitoring costs of $30-$50

Customizable with most smart home brands

View cameras and more on your TV with Xfinity X1 service

No required contracts

Limited service areas

Xfinity has come a long way since our last evaluation. In the past, you were only able to use their home security systems if you were a subscriber to their X1 TV service. While it's still true that you'll get more out of your package if you have it - like being able to see your cameras and more directly on your television - you can still get a robust package of equipment and monitoring as a standalone service.

We like that Xfinity keeps their options simple. You only have to choose between two plans: the $40/month Home Security Plan or the $50/month Home Security Plus plan. Both packages give you 24/7 professional monitoring, the ability to control smart home devices (from a variety of brands, like Phillips and Yale), real-time alerts, cellular system backup, live HD video, all controllable through the Xfinity Home app. When you upgrade to the Plus package, you also get motion-activated, 24/7 recording (that can differentiate among people, vehicles and pets). (You may also find an autopay and paperless billing discount as you go through the ordering process. That brought our monthly costs down to $30 or $40/month.)

Then, choose your equipment package. Each one can either be paid for in interest-free monthly installments over two years, or as a one-time fee:

  • Base Home System: $15/month or $360. This includes 1 touchscreen controller, 3 door/window sensors, 1 pet-friendly motion sensor, battery and cellular system backup, and an Xfinity Home Security yard sign
  • Complete Home System: $20/month or $480. You'll get all of the equipment from the Base package, along with 2 extra door/window sensors, 1 wireless keypad, and 1 HD indoor/outdoor Xfinity Camera.
  • Ultimate Home System: $25/month or $600. This expands the equipment from the lower tiers by giving you 10 door/window sensors and 2 HD cameras.

Xfinity also offers an array of add-on equipment that can be monitored. For example, you can get a smoke detector ($70), an outlet controller ($50), or a Zen thermostat ($120).

The biggest drawback to the Xfinity Home Security System is the limited service area. Unless you have Xfinity available in your area, you can't subscribe to their service. For example, in one major metro area we tested, we were referred to their partner, Spectrum. Unfortunately, Spectrum doesn't offer any home security systems with their TV/Internet/Phone packages. That could eliminate a lot of prospective customers.

If you live in an area where Xfinity is available, congratulations! You've got access to an affordably-priced, contract-free home security system that has all of today's bells and whistles. If not, you'll need to check out the other providers we evaluated to find the one that's right for you.

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3 stars
ADT

ADT

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Features:

Installation fees starting at $99

Required contracts of 24 to 36 months

Monthly monitoring ranging from $27.99 to $58.99/month

Landline or wireless monitoring packages available

ADT enjoys some of the highest name recognition in the home security systems industry. It's no wonder - with more than 140 years of experience providing security of many different kinds, this company has been around for a long time.

One of the advantages of ADT's size is their 24/7 monitoring centers: with six locations throughout the US, you don't have to worry that a natural disaster or other event will disrupt your coverage. This is a huge benefit compared with smaller companies that use a single location to provide their monitoring services.

As with many products, however, brand names can equal more money from your wallet - and ADT is one of the most expensive home security systems available today. Their entry-level package, the Basic, sounds like a good deal at just $27.99/month - but you'll have to have a landline. That's great if you haven't made the switch to purely mobile for your phone usage; otherwise, you'll need to factor in the costs of installing a landline and paying for its monthly service separately from your ADT package.

There's a big price jump from the Basic to the next level of service, ADT Pulse. You won't need a landline because this package is monitored wirelessly, but you'll be paying $53.99/month for the service. And, if you want to add video surveillance to your home security setup, ADT charges a hefty $58.99/month for their highest level of coverage.

There are three main packages offered by ADT, which may be named differently depending on your part of the country and the partner provider servicing your area. In a nutshell, here's what you can expect:

  • Traditional: ADT's most economical home security system, this includes a digital panel, entryway contacts/sensors, wireless keychain remote, motion detector, yard signs and window decals, and 24/7 monitoring. While ADT doesn't specify on their site exactly how many entryway sensors are included, customer comments indicate that you should expect to receive 3 in your initial equipment package and you can add more as you need them.
  • Control: this level of coverage adds remote arm/disarm, smart home controls, and customizable alerts, schedules and automations to your home security system.
  • Video: as the top tier of service, this package increases your protection with security cameras that can be live streamed from mobile devices, and that allow you to record and save video clips.

All ADT systems require professional installation, with fees starting at $99 and increasing as you add more equipment.

Be aware that all of these prices may vary, depending on where you live. ADT doesn't publicize their rates on their main website, because the monitoring, installation and equipment charges depend on your local service area. So, take all of the amounts in this review as a ballpark figure.

ADT offers a 6-month money-back guarantee. It states that you "may receive a refund" of the installation price and any monitoring fees already paid if the company can't resolve any service- or installation-related concerns, but certain restrictions apply. Looking at the fine print, these conditions just require you to have all equipment fully removed before your refund is processed, and any system-related issues can't have been caused by you.

While ADT gives you the advantage of a long history and the comfort of brand recognition, their prices and packages are not transparent - and many customers complain about hidden fees, the lengthy contract requirements, and charges they didn't expect. Most of the home security systems ADT puts together can be found with other providers - who charge much less, with no required contracts.

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Continued from above

You may feel like your home won't be a target because you live within a gated community or you have strong deadbolts and motion-activated floodlights. While those preventative measures can make it less likely you'll be the target of a home invasion or robbery, the most determined criminals can still gain access to your house. For that reason, the experts strongly recommend that you invest in a 24/7 monitored home security system. Not only does it make it less likely that a criminal will target your house to begin with, but it also ensures that any attempts to break into your home will be detected immediately and reported to you and to local law enforcement.

When considering the many home security systems on the market today, you'll quickly see that they vary widely with respect to features, provided equipment, and service fees. Some providers give you all of the sensors and other equipment at no cost, with the understanding that you'll install the needed components on your own. Other services require you to make an appointment with a technician who will set up your home security system for you. Also, while most systems are monitored using wireless connections, some companies still use landlines - which can add to your costs if you are one of the millions of homeowners who rely solely on mobile phones and need to add a landline to use the home security system.

As you look through home security systems reviews, it's easy to get bogged down in the numerous packages, price points, and add-on features. Keep in mind the following basic criteria, to help you narrow down the options to find the right protection for your home:

  • Equipment and Installation Costs: What will you pay to get the equipment needed for the level of coverage you want? If the equipment isn't given to you free of charge, do you own it outright or do you pay monthly to rent it? If there's no charge, are there add-ons not included with the basic setup that you'll need to pay for? If a technician install is required, how much will you pay for the service?
  • Monitoring Service. Will your home security system be monitored around the clock? What do customers say about the response time of the service? Will local authorities be contacted directly and immediately, or will the company reach out to you first (e.g. false alarms)? How much does the monitoring cost per month?
  • Satisfaction Guarantee. If you're unhappy with your home security system for any reason, can you get a refund? Is there a warranty period on any provided equipment?
  • Reputation. What do current and previous customers say about their experience with the home security system? Has the provider been rated by the Better Business Bureau? Does the company deliver on its promises to keep you safe?

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best home security systems available today. We hope this information gives you all of the insight needed to identify the home security system that will protect you and your loved ones now and in the future!

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