ADT Security System Review

ADT Security System ReviewThe ADT Corporation is the biggest home security provider in the world. Primarily using Honeywell/Ademco or DTC technology, ADT currently claims over 6.4 million active customers and reported 3.4 billion in revenue last year. Their core business revolves around the home security industry. The company provides monitored home and commercial services throughout the United States, Canada and in 33 other countries around the world. ADT also offers home intrusion detection services, medical alert, and home detector monitoring.

Products provided by ADT include intrusion detection, medical alert devices, fire and carbon monoxide detectors, indoor and outdoor cameras and smart home automation products.

ADT is sold through authorized dealers, with six, 24/7 monitoring centers around the country. The ADT wireless systems use cellular, radio and broadband Internet to communicate among devices and with the monitoring stations. According to ADT statistics, the company successfully resolves over 19 million alarm signals annually.

ADT Pros

ADT, with their close ties to their former parent company Tyco/Honeywell and public recognition, has successfully leveraged this in a number of ways:

  • Award Winning Industry Leader
  • Wide-range of Quality Technology Offerings
  • Professional Installation and Servicing
  • Touchscreen Consoles
  • IOS and Android Smartphone App

ADT Complaints

  • High Installation and Activation Fees That Vary with Each Package
  • Costs for Extra Equipment Add up Fast
  • Three-year Contracts
  • High Early Termination Fees (Up to 80% of the costs Left on the Contract)
  • Limited Warranties and Company Liability
  • Mobile App and Camera Monitoring only Available with Pulse Select Package

ADT SecurityPackage Overview and Charges

ADT offers five home and small business security packages:

PackagesEssentialsEssentials PlusTotal ProtectionTotal Protection PlusPulse Select
Price$36.99/month$42.99/month$44.99/month$47.99/month$49.99/month
24-Hour Alarm Monitoringxxxxx
Digital Keypadxxxxx
Door/Window Sensorsx3333
Infrared Motion Detectorxxxxx
High-Decibel Alarm Sirenxxxxx
Wireless Keychain Remotexxxxx
Backup Batteryxxxxx
Yard Sign and Decalxxxxx
Two-Way Voicexx
Safewatch Cellguardxxx
ADT PULSE® Interactive Solutionsx

ADT security systems are wireless and digital. They are sold through approximately 60 authorized dealers nationwide, and all require a monitoring contract. The equipment is not proprietary but comes primarily from only two, highly-rated sources: Honeywell/Ademco or GE/ITI (DSC).

ADT recommends only using “approved” devices through the company’s retail establishments stock and sell different grades of equipment that, while not officially sanctioned, are compatible with ADT.

The ADT system allows you to control your system remotely. You can disarm or arm the system, change access codes, and send out alerts based on occurrences at the residence or office. If you elect to have any extra equipment, such as electronic door locks, you can also control these remotely.

History Log You can view recorded history of events that have taken place over a specified time period.

Home Alerts You can automatically receive alerts from your security system to keep you aware of what is happening in your house when you are not around.

Related: all reviewed security systems

Exactly what comes with what package may seem simple on the surface but there are a lot of fine-print items that a user should review prior to entering into a contract. Many things cost extra, and while wireless; unless you purchase the most expensive Pulse Select Package, you cannot use the smartphone app to access all the functionality.

Here are some of the ADT policies and procedures:

  • Three Year Contract Term
  • Terminating Contracts Costs up to 80% of the Remaining Monthly Fees
  • Only a Minimum Number of Sensors Provided with Each Package
  • Installation and Activation Fees Vary Depending on the Package and Number of Extra Sensors or Detectors.
  • Limited System Warranty
  • Extended Warranty Is Available for an Extra Fee
  • Camera Monitoring Only with Pulse Select

The detectors, smart home appliance products, indoor and outdoor cameras, and specialty sensors cost extra to purchase and install. Depending on the size of your home and the additional features bought, installation can run from $99 for the basic packages to over $1000 if cameras or other items are added.

The physical components that each package provides are:

  • Digital Keypad
  • Door/Window and Motion Sensors
  • Wireless Keychain Remote
  • Yard Sign and Window Decals

ADT provides various other products at an extra cost that are compatible with their home and small business security systems. There are four categories of products: sensors, detectors, cameras and home automation units. Whether or not the equipment is manufactured by DSC or Honeywell, it functions similarly, and the technology is considered some of the best available for the price.

Sensors

  • Flood Sensor and Temperature
  • Glass Break
  • Recessed Door
  • Recessed Window
  • Panic or Medical Alert

Detectors

  • Smoke and Heat
  • Carbon Monoxide

Cameras

  • Indoor (various)
  • Outdoor (various)

Home Automation

  • Smart Thermostats
  • Appliance Control
  • Lighting Control
  • Electronic Door Locks

Honeywell and DSC manufacture a variety of types of all the equipment under each category. Price points for each will depend on the make and model the user chooses.

Digital Keypad

The digital keypads most often used are the UTC IS-TS-0700- B or NETGEAR HS101ADT-AADNAS 7″ touchscreens. Both are specially manufactured for the Pulse Select Package and are ADT approved. If a user wants extra keypads, non-touchscreen pads cost less and are available through Honeywell and DSC.

Door/Window and Motion Sensors

The three wireless door/window sensors that come with all packages consists of a small magnet, a sensor housed in a white plastic case and a lithium battery. The motion detector has a 35-45 foot, 90-degree sensing area. It is considered “pet safe” for pets weighing up to 80 pounds.

There are also ultra-thin door and window sensors available for additional cost.

Wireless Keychain Remote

The keychain remote has four buttons: disarm, arm (away), arm (home), and a panic button.

Flood and Temperature

The Honeywell flood and temperature sensors work within a set temperature ranges depending on exact use. For example, the sensor can be employed in a refrigerator, and if the temperature goes above 42°F for more than 30 minutes, an alarm will sound. There is a probe for sensing flood or water levels of more than ¼ inch lasting three minutes or more.

Glass Break

Most glass break sensors offered for ADT sense breaking glass from about 25 feet away. They can be mounted on the wall or ceiling.

Recessed Door

The recessed door sensors come in several different varieties depending on need. These can be mounted inside the door jamb so that they are not visible when the door is closed and difficult to see when open.

Recessed Window

The recessed window sensors work the same way as the recessed door sensors. You can drill a hole and mount them in a window so that they are not visible from the outside.

Panic or Medical Alert

The panic or medical alert device can be carried or worn in several different ways. It comes with a necklace option, wristband and has a belt clip. There are two styles: one button or two buttons.

Smoke and Heat Detector

Certain wireless smoke and heat detectors are designed by Honeywell and GE to work with ADT systems. There are several models available. Each activates an audible alarm and sends a signal to the console panel after five seconds if smoke is detected or the temperature rises above about 135°F.

Carbon Monoxide Detector

This wireless detector has a chemical sensing unit that connects with the ADT system to alert the monitoring center as well as having an audible alarm. The sensor has a standard 0-100 ppm (parts per million) sensing range.

Indoor Cameras and Outdoor Cameras

All cameras used with the ADT systems can only be monitored by the monitoring station if you purchase the Pulse Select Package. There are two wireless indoor and one wireless outdoor camera manufactured specifically for Pulse Solution. Most authorized ADT dealers stock the Sercomm wireless bookshelf cameras; model RC8021-ADT and the ICAMERA-1000-ADT. The Sercomm model OC810-ADT is produced for ADT outdoor use.

As with the sensors and other products, most other Honeywell or DSC wireless cameras will work with ADT. Prices can range from under $100 to over $1000 depending on make, model, and type.

Smart Thermostats

Various wireless smart thermostats will work with the ADT systems. Two specially made for ADT use are the AC powered RCS TZ45 and the battery powered RCS TBZ48A. Each is wireless.

Appliance Control

The Jasco brand appliance control devices allow the users to plug in most any small device and control it through the ADT system. There are several models available that use Honeywell technology.

Lighting Control

Jasco also sells under their brand name several ADT compatible lighting products. There are some wall switches that will allow you to control an entire section of the home. The user can then program the system to turn on or off the lights at a certain time each day. There are even dimmer switches that can be installed and then connected to the system so you can dim the lights at certain times or on command remotely.

Electronic Door Locks

Kwikset electronic lock systems are compatible with ADT. The Kwikset 9100 series all work with the system.

Installation

Installation and connection of ADT equipment must be done by ADT technicians. The charges can vary and can be substantial depending upon what other items are added to the basic packages.

Company History

ADT has a long history of involvement in the home alarm business, stretching back to 1870. The first system connected neighbors together and would alert a central station by telegraph.

By the 1960s, ADT had a virtual monopoly on fire and burglary alarm system. The U.S. Justice Department forced ADT to set a uniform national service and price listings. ADT was eventually acquired by Tyco in a reverse merger in 1997.

The home security market began to grow starting in the early 2000s. In 2010, ADT bought out their chief competitor, Broadview Security for over $2 billion dollars. One year later, Tyco split into three independent companies, and Tyco once again became an independent public company listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

Today, ADT is the largest supplier of home security systems in the world. They employee 16,000 people, service millions of customers in 35 countries, and are extremely profitable.

ADT Reviews

Please share your experiences with ADT. We would welcome any suggestions that might make this discussion more meaningful and useful. Let us know if you have any questions we can answer for you.

Recommendations

ADT has a stable and dependable system. They are well entrenched in the market and use the best Honeywell or GE technology. Their packages do not have many of the features that other companies provide at the same or lower cost. In order to ensure you are getting value for your dollar, users should be careful in any extra features he or she might want to add to their system.

Overall, if you want a system whereby everything is taken care of for you and don’t need any frills, ADT is one of the best home security companies on the market. They have an A+ BBB rating, provide dependable and reliable service support and keep up with the latest technological advances in the home security industry as well as any other company.

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