Everything you need to know about ADT home security systems

A home security system can provide peace of mind for you and your family, but choosing one can be a confusing process. If you’re curious about the ins-and-outs of ADT home security, you’re in the right place. We’re here to help you wade through the technical jargon and filter out the vital information.

An ADT home security system comes with brand recognition, but you need to know what devices and services you need to protect your home before you sign up. Read on to learn about the pros and cons of the company’s offerings, as well as a breakdown of ADT home security costs and customer reviews. Even though ADT has been around for many years, make sure you read up on all you need to know before entering a contract.

What is ADT home security?

ADT (American District Telegraph) formed 145 years ago following a nighttime break-in. The founders used a telegraph “call-box” to connect more than 50 homes to a residential security system. Today, ADT home security has over six million customers throughout the U.S. In early 2019, ADT acquired the security company LifeShield, which allowed ADT to expand into the DIY home security market.

ADT home security systems come in three standard packages that can include various primary and smart security services. When it comes to ADT home security costs, the standard options are some of the more expensive security systems in the market and often require professional installation. On the other hand, Blue by ADT is a newer contract-free solution for customers looking for DIY and ‘build-your-own‘ security systems.

ADT home security notable features

  • ADT offers a number of add-on smart home accessories, from smart locks to smart light bulbs. Smart home accessories work with Amazon Alexa, Kwikset, and Z-Wave.
  • Home security features connect to a mobile app for easy control. This app offers 24/7 emergency services at the push of a button.
  • The digital panel has a modern design that you can program with the touch of a finger.

ADT packages and prices

ADT home security systems come in three standard tiers, plus the more affordable Blue by ADT. Before choosing a package, note what each package includes, as well as the cost of each. To access detailed plans and pricing, you will have to contact ADT for a free quote. To give you an idea of the ADT home security costs, here are four basic offerings to choose from: 

ADT Essentials

ADT Total Protection

ADT Premium Protection

Blue by ADT

  • Equipment price: Depends on which kit you choose
  • Monitoring costs: $19.99/mo.
  • No contract
  • Includes professional monitoring? It can, depending on your plan.

*Information as of 2/19/2020. Information sourced by SafeStreets, an authorized ADT provider, and Blue by ADT. 

Understanding ADT pricing

Standard ADT is more expensive than many other home security systems. According to Consumer Reports, the average monitored home security system costs $40/mo. ADT’s monitored systems begin at $36.99/mo. — and that’s for its most affordable plan. So ADT will cost you more than some other home security systems. However, ADT uses authorized dealers for its day-to-day sales, so you may be able to find a more affordable option through them. Note that some prices may vary based on the service dealer. 

Not included in these monthly fees are taxes and additional charges. ADT may charge for activation, early termination, guard response service, local permits, and security deposits.

However, if you choose Blue by ADT, you have a much more flexible home security plan. First, you choose the equipment, with costs ranging from $199.15 to $346.34, and build the security system you need. Then, you choose whether or not you want to self-monitor or choose a professional monitoring service, which you can get for $19.99/mo. If you’re worried about the cost of traditional ADT security packages, it’s worth checking out Blue by ADT.

ADT equipment

With any ADT home security plan, you can get an array of digital and smart home equipment. The digital panel is the touch-screen center of your security system, and you can get a wireless key fob that allows you to disengage the security system remotely. Motion detectors can go on your windows and doors, and you can register contacts in the system, so it knows who is allowed in and out of your home. The doorbell, outdoor cameras, and indoor cameras all connect to the ADT app for easy checking. However, ADT equipment remains company property.

ADT home security systems also can include smart home devices that use Z-Wave technology. For example, you can install a smart door lock or smart light bulbs that make your day-to-day easier. ADT also sells smart garage controllers — in case you can’t remember whether you closed the door when you left — and smart thermostats to program your home to the perfect temperature.

ADT home security system installation

Installation costs of an ADT home security system range from $99 to $199, and it depends on which package and service you select. ADT sometimes offers a DIY option for people who prefer to install the system themselves, but this isn’t always the case. 

On the other hand, Blue by ADT is all DIY. Everything this package offers runs on a wireless platform, so there are no wires for you to install. That way, you don’t pay for installation.

ADT reviews

It’s essential to look at ADT home security reviews. ADT has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, but customer reviews aren’t quite as brilliant. Reviews range from one to 3.5 stars. According to customers, the prices and the strict contract seem to be the most off putting parts of the service overall. The lower scores appear to stem from poor customer service experiences and a lack of flexibility in the contracts. However, reviews of ADT home security systems are better than or on par with the competition.

Pros and cons of ADT

Advantages of using ADT

  • Offers smart home devices
  • Well-known brand
  • Can go DIY and contract-free with Blue by ADT

Disadvantages of using ADT

  • Contract penalties
  • Traditional plans are on the more expensive end
  • Low customer service ratings

Frequently asked questions

  1. How much does ADT cost? Monitored plans range from about $37 to $53 a month. All plans come with a 36-month contract.
  2. Can you get professional monitoring with ADT? Yes, all traditional ADT systems come with professional 24/7 monitoring. If you go with Blue by ADT, you can decide if you want to self-monitor or pay for professional monitoring for $19.99/mo.
  3. How much does professional monitoring with ADT cost? ADT includes professional monitoring in all its traditional packages, and the price of the package depends on which one you select.
  4. Do I have to have to pay for installation? Yes, unless you go with a Blue by ADT package where you can set it up yourself, you’ll have to pay between $99 and $199.
  5. Can I get out of a contract with ADT? Always read the fine print before you sign any contract. ADT requires you to sign a 36-month contract before you can get service, so take a look at the cancellation policy carefully before signing.