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      January 18, 2019

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  1. Protect America
  2. ADT
  3. Get Safe
  4. Live Watch
  5. Vivint
  6. Simplisafe
  7. Guardian
  8. Alarm Force

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ADT vs Live Watch

Best Wireless Security Systems

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

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Now more than ever, homeowners are looking for ways to protect themselves and their property. With more than 2 million burglaries each year - and an average loss of $2,000 per incident - wireless security systems are at the forefront of safeguarding against intruders.

It is true that there are other ways to make your home safer from burglary and invasion. For example, a well-lit exterior can discourage criminals from approaching your property, and high-quality deadbolts make it more difficult to enter your home. Unfortunately, even these measures will not prevent a determined criminal from picking the lock, smashing a window or slider door, and entering your home to steal your belongings or worse.

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Best Reviews

2019

Wireless Security System Reviews

4 stars
ADT

ADT Visit Site

Features:

FREE Equipment on many plans, with 3-year contract

$99 customer installation charge

Monitoring plans start at $48.99

Customer Information: 1-866-305-4104

With the longest history in the protection business, dating all the way back to 1870 in New York City, ADT (short for American District Telegraph) is one of the most well-known names in the wireless security systems market. While they do still offer traditional home security systems that require the use of landlines and regular wiring, ADT has kept up with the times by focusing on the development of newer wireless packages.

We noticed right away that ADT has an installation fee of $99 for most packages. Although many of ADT's competitors offer do-it-yourself installation, ADT still requires customers to meet in person with a security advisor, who will help customize a wireless security system for the needs of the home and then install it (same-day installation is available in some of ADT's service areas). In-person sales representatives have a reputation for being pushy and pressuring customers to accept packages that go well beyond what they were looking for in terms of features and budget, which drops ADT somewhat in our rankings.

ADT also charges more for monthly monitoring than many of the providers we reviewed. There are three main packages offered by ADT:

  • Basic Wireless: Starting at $48.99/month, this plan includes a wireless control panel, 3 wireless door/window sensors, 1 wireless motion detector (pet-immune), window decals and yard signs, 1 key fob, and CellGuard (ADT's wireless connection to their monitoring systems)
  • ADT Pulse: Starting at $52.99/month, this plan includes all the features of Basic Wireless, and adds mobile access and alerts to the coverage.
  • ADT Pulse + Video: Starting at $58.99/month, this plan includes all of the features of Basic and Pulse, along with video surveillance and an additional wireless keypad.

The most popular package is the Pulse, primarily because of the ability to use any smartphone, tablet, or computer to monitor and adjust the system. We weren't overly impressed by ADT's extra charge to include those features, as many other providers of wireless security systems include that capability at no extra cost to customers.

On a positive note, ADT includes a free Personal Emergency Response System with the purchase of any security monitoring package. This consists of a waterproof pendant that can be worn as a necklace, on a wristband, or clipped to a belt. When the rescue alert button is pressed, a notification is sent to an ADT monitoring representative who will then either contact you by phone or using the two-way voice system provided in some ADT wireless security system packages. If needed, the representative will contact local emergency services.

We recommend that prospective customers check out the Special Offers page (accessed by following the link at the bottom of the site under the "Learn" heading). While the wording on the page made it unclear whether the offers listed there are for a limited time or always available, it would be worth your time to ask prior to making a commitment. At the time of our review, those offers included:

  • Free security system with a 3-year contract and $99 customer installation charge
  • Same-day installation
  • 3 additional sensors for free
  • 6-month money-back guarantee
  • $500 theft protection: if your home is burglarized while under ADT coverage, ADT will pay up to $500 of your insurance deductible

With more than six million total customers throughout its history spanning more than 100 years, ADT clearly does many things right when it comes to protecting people and property.

Visit Site

3.5 stars
Live Watch

LIVE WATCH Visit Site

Features:

Equipment costs starting at $99

Activation fee of $19.95

1-year contract, then month-to-month

24/7 monitoring starting at $34.95/month

LiveWatch was created by a Kansas paramedic who wanted to create a cutting-edge home security system that would provide fast communication and response times during an emergency. In the last 10+ years, LiveWatch has gained more than 200,000 customers, and the company aims to treat each one of them like family.

Three plans of service are offered by LiveWatch. Every plan includes 24/7 monitoring, remote arm and disarm, LiveVoice Assist (which allows you to talk directly to the control panel in an emergency), and the ASAPer alert system that can be used to resolve alarms from a smartphone or computer. These include the following:

  • Mobile Pro: basic coverage for $34.95/month
  • Total Home: all the basics of the Mobile Pro, and additional features that include smartphone controls, home automation, and smart image capture, for $39.95/month
  • Total Home + Video: as the name suggests, all the features of the Total Home package, with the add-on of live video streaming and an included security camera, for $49.95/month

In order to start coverage, you'll need to choose an equipment purchase. There are two primary options: the Plug&Protect Basic ($99) and the Plug&Protect IQ ($299). The lower-priced package includes a somewhat retro GE Keypad Alarm Panel, 2 wireless door sensors, 1 wireless motion detector, a siren, 2 yard signs, 6 window stickers, and a keychain remote.

The IQ set includes everything in the Basic package, but the GE Keypad is replaced by a 7" Android touchscreen panel with dual-band connectivity and a built-in camera. Additional products are available for an extra cost, such as door sensors ($29 each), motion sensors ($78 each), and keychain remotes ($30 each). The monthly monitoring covers as many devices as you would like to add, all for the same monthly price.

Unlike most of the companies in our review, LiveWatch doesn't have a multi-year commitment to access their protection plans. Customers sign a 1-year contract, after which the service switches to a month-to-month plan. Also, LiveWatch has an excellent money-back guarantee: if you cancel within that first year, you can get a full refund when you return the equipment, with no restocking or cancellation fees.

Where LiveWatch left us confused was in the disconnect between the services listed as included in the Total Home packages and the products available during the checkout process. When we entered the highest level of equipment (IQ) and coverage (Total Home + Video), there was no option to add products one would expect, such as smartphone-controlled thermostats.

When we clicked on the live chat (which had popped up as soon as we went to the site, offering to answer any questions and offering discounts on the $99 starter kit), the representative said that the site was under construction and gave us a link to an external site with home automation products. We also saw that the IQ system was only $99 in our cart, despite being listed as $299 elsewhere - a good "problem" to have, but also indicative of inconsistencies with the site. Similarly, we were excited to see a 4.6/5-star rating as a Google seller, but the link took us to a page that said rating details were not available for this seller.

However, the customer service representative was very helpful with answering all of the questions we had and helping us put together a package that would meet our needs, so it may be that the site itself is going through some growing pains that will be resolved in the near future. We found many positive customer comments regarding the actual service provided by LiveWatch, so it could be worth your time to give them a look if you're shopping for a wireless security system.

Visit Site

Continued from above

For that reason, experts in home protection strongly recommend that you invest in a wireless security system, particularly those that have round-the-clock monitoring, to give you the greatest possible peace of mind. Most criminals will bypass homes that have a monitoring system, simply because it puts them at greater risk of being caught in the act.

Compared with traditional home security systems, wireless versions allow you to install them on your own and can easily be moved from one location to another - a convenient advantage for those who move frequently, such as students living in dorms or those who move around the country for work reasons.

Having a wireless security system can also save you money. Many homeowners insurance policies will give you a discount on your annual premium - as much as 20% - with an installed home protection package.

Wireless security systems can vary widely with respect to the protection they offer, the equipment provided, and the overall cost. Also, some offer 24-hour live monitoring of your system, while others leave that responsibility to you.

What should you look for in a wireless security system? Be sure to consider the following aspects:

  • Equipment Costs. What is included with your wireless security system compared to the number of sensors you need? How much does it cost to add extra sensors or other equipment that may be appropriate for your living situation?
  • Monitoring Service. Does the company monitor your system around-the-clock? Are the fees reasonable? Will the company contact local authorities in the event of a break-in or other emergency?
  • Guarantee. Does the company offer a satisfaction guarantee or a refund if there are any issues with the service or the equipment?

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best wireless security systems available today. We hope these reviews will help you find the ideal wireless security system to protect your home and your loved ones! 

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