Home security doesn’t mean much if the gadgets are unreliable. But ADT offers home security you can trust—and there’s a 6-month guarantee.

When it comes to choosing a specific brand, plenty of consumers prefer the oldest in any industry. That’s because their experience as made a brand’s movers and makers more aware of what consumers need over the years. Besides, a brand that doesn’t provide what customers want doesn’t last long.

In the home security industry, that long-lasting brand is ADT Home Security. The brand is so old that ADT actually stands for American District Telegraphs—they’ve been around for at least 140 years.

Their experience allows them to offer a money-back guarantee that lasts for as long as 6 months. That’s truly exceptional, when other brands only offer a 1-month guarantee. There’s also a guarantee for theft protection, which means a large chunk of your home insurance deductible can be covered.

Home Security Packages

ADT offers 3 different home security packages for homeowners:

  • Traditional. This gives you the basic package, which includes all the necessary components to make you feel safe in your home (and also when you’re away). It includes a digital panel and a cellular connection. You have entryway sensors with a loud alarm in case of intruders, while you also have window and yard signs to discourage burglars.
  • Control. You get the components in the Traditional package, along with the ADT mobile app. This lets you use your smartphone or table to control and adjust the security system. It connects to your smart devices, and you’ll get text and email alerts as well.
  • Video. You get what’s in the Control Package, along with remote secure video. The package includes indoor and outdoor cameras. Videos can be recorded when triggered by certain events, and you can watch a live stream as well.

Components and Features

Here’s a look at what you may find in your ADT package:

Keypad

This gadget controls the whole system, and you mount this on an accessible wall. This allows you to arm or disarm the system, adjust the settings, and call for help.

It uses real buttons, and you can more easily find the buttons in the dark as they’re backlit. You also have reminder tones when you arm or disarm the system.

Key Fob

It can be annoying to keep entering the number codes on the control panel every time you leave or arrive at your home, especially when you’re in a hurry. The key fob offers an instantaneous way to arm and disarm the system, along with a panic button that alerts the monitoring center.

The lithium batteries here last for about 5 years, and you get an alert when the batteries need to be replaced.

Entry Sensors

These sensors tell you when your doors and windows are opened or closed. So if you lock your doors and somehow someone opens it, you’re notified with an alert sent to your smartphone.

Glass Break Sensors

You’ll still find burglars who simply break the glass doors or windows to try to get into a home. These sensors detect the sound of glass breaking, and you can adjust the sensitivity of the sensors by picking from 4 settings. The sensors also have a range of 25 feet, so you don’t have to mount them right on the windows themselves.

When it detects the sound of breaking glass, an alert is sent to your smartphone and to the monitoring center.

Motion Sensors

The ADT motion sensor is sensitive enough to detect any movement within an area of 45 by 35 feet. Its sensitivity can be adjusted, so that you can differentiate between the movement of people and pets.

When these sensors detect movement, you’ll be sent an alert as well as a video of the trigger event. You can also connect your lights to these sensors, so that you can have your lights turn on whenever movement is detected.

Electronic Deadbolt

These come in several finishes: satin nickel (light gray), Venetian bronze (dark gray), or polished brass (gold). The lock is activated or deactivated by the control panel or with your mobile app. Alerts can be sent whenever your door is locked or unlocked.

Security Cameras

ADT offers indoor and outdoor cameras, as well as a video doorbell camera. The indoor and outdoor cameras offer 720p images. They’re motion-activated, and they send video clips when something’s moving around the motion sensors. The indoor cameras can offer live feeds while the outdoor camera has a weatherproof design. These cameras have a 90-degree view.

ADT also offers the Skybell Video Doorbell, which is more advanced. It offers 1080p HD images, along with 180-degree view. You have night vision as well, along with 5x zoom. You should be able to recognize who’s at your door at any time of the day.

If someone’s there, the built-in motion sensors detect the movement and then send you an alert. The video doorbell has 2-way audio, and you can use the app on your smartphone to talk to your visitor in real time.

Video Storage

You have 30 days of cloud video storage for free. However, there’s no option for local storage.

Environmental Sensors

ADT also offers smoke and carbon monoxide sensors, and these can be wired or wireless. You can also get a flood sensor, which is wireless so they can work in places where it can be drenched in water.

The ADT Pulse App

This lets you disarm or arm the security system and also control the connected devices. You can use the app to watch a live stream from the cameras, and to also get push notifications.

It’s informative and easy to use, without any kinks to annoy you.

Installation

The various components are all preprogrammed, which makes installation much simpler. You get an ADT installation guide to help you through each step, and it can take about an hour. The cameras and the deadbolt installation can be a bit confusing. It’s a good thing there’s an option for professional installation.

Professional 24/7 Monitoring

A 3-year contract is required, and the cost of the monitoring service depends on the equipment you have and the services you ask for. Aside from monitoring for intruders, there are extra charges for the camera videos and for monitoring the smoke and CO sensors. 

Customer Support

You can call the customer support people on the phone, or use live chat to communicate. Even FaceTime is an option. However, you should check out the online help center which may contain the answers to your particular questions.

Pros

Here are some advantages to the ADT system

  • The 2-way talk capability for even the outdoor and indoor cameras is great. It can discourage burglars, and prevent any miscommunications with people who are visiting.
  • You get video notifications when the motion sensors are activated. This keeps you from having to watch videos in which nothing is happening.
  • The glass break sensors are adjustable, which is great. It can be annoying if these sensors constantly send an alert just because of sounds that are similar to breaking glass. It can be rather infuriating when you watch movies that involve lots of glass breaking!
  • Free cloud storage for 30 days. That’s enough time for you to decide on what to use the videos if you need evidence for a case.
  • The mobile app is easy to use, and very helpful and reliable.
  • The 6-month money-back guarantee is terrific, especially in light of the long monitoring contract.

Cons

Is it perfect? No, it’s not.

  • The security cameras are probably the most notable drawbacks. Not that they’re bad, but it’s just that other cameras as so much better. These cameras are 720p instead of 1080p, so the images aren’t as clear. There’s no zoom option so you can’t peer at an image to recognize a face. The field of view is limited to just 90 degrees instead of 180 degrees.
  • There’s no local storage of the videos, so you better get done with the videos within 30 days. That may not be enough time, especially with how slow the wheels of justice can move.
  • The 3-year binding contracts are absolutely irritating, although to be fair ADT isn’t alone in the industry in requiring professional monitoring contracts to last this long. But if you’re a constant apartment mover, it’s a pain.
  • The customer support isn’t as good as it should be. You’ll find plenty of online complaints regarding how much time and effort it takes to get the info you want. You may need to talk to more than one person to deal with a malfunctioning piece of equipment. The lack of transparency over the billing doesn’t help matters either.

Conclusion

It’s a very basic setup to be sure, and it’s notable for how reliable everything is. Each gadget here works as described, so you can be very sure your home is safe.

What you won’t be sure of is how much you’ll be paying for the privilege. The long contract doesn’t help either. But despite these drawbacks most people think they get their money’s worth, and you’ll probably feel so too.