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ADT Home Security Review (2021)

Home security systems give homeowners peace of mind knowing that their home is protected. In this ADT review, we go over details about the company and what it offers to help you determine if it’s right for you.

ADT Security System ADT

Disclaimer: This Old House’s Review Team is committed to delivering honest, objective, and independent reviews on home products and services. To support this business model, This Old House may be compensated if you purchase through the links on our website.

With over 145 years of experience and millions of customers worldwide, ADT has been helping to protect homes longer than any other security company. ADT offers home security systems tailored specifically to your home and budget. It offers 24/7 professional monitoring service and six-month money back guarantee.

Read on to learn more about the customized packages offered by ADT and determine if this is the best home security system for you.


Our Take on ADT

We rated ADT Home Security a 9.1 out of 10 and named it the best overall home security system. It operates the largest national network of professional monitoring centers and offers a six-month, money-back guarantee to customers (certain restrictions apply).


Pros & Cons

✔ Offers a six-month money back guarantee and a 30-day trial period
✔ Operates the largest national network of professional monitoring centers with more than 12 centers
✔ Gives customers access to a range of smart-home devices, with some packages offering mobile app remote control

✘ Minimum 36-month contract required for professionally-installed systems (24 months in CA)
✘ ADT does not professionally install standalone devices; pro-installation requires full system purchase


ADT Packages & Equipment

ADT uses high-quality equipment in their home security packages. Compare ADT Home Security equipment and packages below to help you determine which one is right for you and your home.

Note: The following packages and prices are for professionally installed systems only. For DIY installation information, get a quote by filling out this online form.

ADT Package Comparison

Feature Secure Smart Complete
Feature Secure Smart Complete
24/7 Professional Monitoring
Intrusion Detection
24/7 Fire, Flood, & Carbon Monoxide Monitoring
ADT Go Mobile App
Touchscreen Panel
Alexa Guard / Voice Control Integration (with Amazon Alexa)
ADT Mobile App and Remote Access
Video Surveillance (Motion activated + alerts)
Stored Video Clips (Up to 8 cameras)
Smart-Home Automation

ADT offers comprehensive package options paired with excellent security monitoring services. Whether you choose a starter alarm system in ADT’s Basic package, or video and surveillance options in the Complete package, ADT offers plenty of options for every homeowner’s security needs.

The company features a smartphone app which allows you to remotely arm and disarm your system. The app also lets you integrate with smart-home devices, such as Amazon Alexa and Google Home. The Video and Complete packages allow you to view a live video feed and record motion-activated clips.

Note: A 36-month monitoring agreement is required for customers (24 months for California residents).

ADT Equipment

When becoming an ADT customer, the essential equipment to get you started include a control panel, key fob, window sensors, and motion sensors. With a package upgrade, you can add on indoor and outdoor cameras and smart-home devices. Here’s an overview of different security equipment offered.


An ADT security pad and ADT indoor security camera on a kitchen counter inside of a home. Courtesy ADT
  • Keypad Panel: This LED control panel allows you to control your entire home security system. It gives you the ability to arm and disarm alarms from one centralized location.
  • Motion Sensor: This sensor is designed to detect human movements instead of pets, preventing false alarms.
  • Door and Window Sensors: These sensors let you know if someone is entering or leaving your home.
  • Key fob: All security systems come with a key fob to disarm and arm your home while you’re on the go.
  • Smart Plugs: Smart plugs and switches allow you to control lights and switch them on and off remotely. Plug the smart plug into an outlet and connect it to your lamp or small appliance.
  • Smart Lock: You can lock and unlock your door remotely with this smart lock. You can set individual PINs for family members or anyone that needs access to your home. You can also receive text or email alerts of people who have entered your home.
  • ADT Video Doorbell: This doorbell from ADT provides motion-triggered HD video and 2-way audio to help you monitor front door activity.
  • ADT Security Cameras: With the choice of a video doorbell, outdoor, or indoor camera, ADT security cameras allow you to check in with your home virtually from any location. You can also receive access to features like HD video, motion-activated recordings, and two-way audio.
  • Garage Door Security: This sensor is installed on your garage door’s interior to let you monitor when your garage door moves, as well as integrate your garage door for smart home automation.
  • Smoke Detector: This device detects rapidly rising temperatures and sends alerts to you and an ADT monitoring center about the presence of smoke in your home. They can also be enhanced to avoid false alarms from cooking smoke.
  • Flood Detector: This device can detect leaks in your basement, near your dishwasher, or anywhere else a leak may occur. They also integrate with the ADT app and are completely wireless.
  • ADT Mobile App: Access to the app is available with all packages except The Essentials package. This mobile app gives you remote access to view live video feed from security cameras and allows you to arm and disarm your security system and control smart devices.

ADT Pricing

The cost of any home security plan may include a few different elements: equipment, monitoring (unless you choose to self-monitor), installation, and activation.

Professional monitoring with ADT costs $28.99–$59.99 per month. This does not include the equipment cost, which can be paid up-front or through monthly financing. The installation fees will vary based on the system, package, and equipment.

Note: Professionally installed packages require a 36-month ADT monitoring contract. Early term and installation fees apply. Taxes addt’l. For full terms and pricing visit www.adt.com/legal.

Package Pricing

Pricing Secure Smart Complete
Pricing Secure Smart Complete
Up front $599–$899 $919–$1,219 $1,049–$1,449
Monthly for 60 months $55.97–$60.97 $65.31–$70.31 $75.47–$82.14

Here are the costs for ADT’s monthly monitoring plans:

  • Secure: $45.99
  • Smart: $49.99
  • Complete: $59.99

ADT Installation

ADT offers DIY or professional installation for your security system. The cost of professional installation will ultimately depend on the package and equipment you choose. The installation process usually takes over an hour to complete.

ADT’s installation process includes:

  1. A certified Security Advisor will arrive at your home to discuss security options, complete a risk assessment of your space, and customize a home security system that fits your needs.
  2. ADT technicians will verify the placement of the security equipment and install your security system’s components and keep you updated throughout the process.
  3. Once the installation is complete, the Security Advisor will offer an in-home tutorial of how your system works. They will also help you set up your mobile app and answer any questions you may have about your system.

ADT Smart-Home Automation

ADT offers smart-home functionality with both its Smart package and Complete packages. ADT includes a smart lock and smart plug with both of these home security systems. To compare packages and get a free quote, fill out this simple online form.


ADT Warranties

If ADT is unable to resolve any system-related issue during the six months following installation, you may receive a refund. The refund amount will include the installation price and all monitoring fees you paid within the first six months.*

ADT also offers a Theft Protection Guarantee—if your home is burglarized while your ADT system is armed, ADT will pay up to $500 of your insurance deductible.*

*Certain restrictions apply.


ADT Reviews

ADT is accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and has an A+ rating. This high rating comes from the BBB’s opinion of how ADT is likely to interact with its customers. It’s based on information the BBB is able to obtain about the business, including public complaints.

Here’s a sampling of ADT reviews:

Your employee installed an alarm system in my home, and he was refreshingly courteous, professional, and informative. I have had a lot of work done in my home and he definitely stands out above the rest. I could not have been more satisfied with his work ethics, performance, and attitude.—Hardin from Aurora, CO

Your installer was excellent. He even went above the call of duty by training my kids and other kids in the neighborhood on fire safety.—Jennifer from Joliet, IL


Our Conclusion

The This Old House Reviews Team rated ADT Home Security a 9.1 out of 10. ADT is a great option for homeowners looking for a professionally installed and monitored home security system. It’s also a great option if you want to use an Amazon Alexa to arm or disarm your security system.

ADT might not be right for you if you don’t want to commit to a three-year contract. Additionally, it might not be the best option for those looking for a DIY security system.

For more information, view the company's plans or contact a representative at 888-285-6952. If you're still unsure which package is right for you, compare the different packages below.


ADT vs. Competitors

Options ADT Vivint Abode SimpliSafe
Options ADT Vivint Abode SimpliSafe
Get a Free Quote Visit Site Visit Site Visit Site Visit Site
Equipment Cost Varies $599+ $342+ $229+
Monthly Monitoring Cost $28.99+ $40+ $6–$20 $15–$25/month
Contract Length 36 months No contract required No contract required No contract required
Trial Period Six months Three days Seven days 60 days
Installation DIY or Professional Professional DIY or Professional Professional ($79)
24/7 Monitoring
Motion Detectors
Video Surveillance
BBB Rating* A+ F A+ A+
Learn More ADT Review Vivint Review Abode Review SimpliSafe Review

* Better Business Bureau (BBB) ratings accurate as of June 2021.


ADT Home Security: FAQ

How do ADT’s monitoring centers work?

As long as you have professional monitoring with ADT, whenever a break-in occurs or your alarm system goes off, the system will notify one of the company’s 12 monitoring centers. A representative from the monitoring center will attempt to get in contact with you. If the representative cannot get in contact with you or you confirm an emergency is happening, the representative will dispatch the proper authorities for the emergency.

Does ADT offer a warranty?

Yes. ADT has its Quality Service Plan that can be added at the time of purchase to any package for $7 per month. This includes service and repairs at no additional cost if your system’s devices need repairs. ADT also includes a six-month, money-back guarantee if you are not satisfied with your system.

What home automation options does ADT have?

ADT Pulse is the company’s platform that allows you to integrate home automation features with your security system. Customers use the ADT app and their ADT Command and Control touchscreen panel to monitor their home remotely and manage automation devices such as Lutron window shades and Kwikset door locks.

ADT’s system can support more than 150 devices, and it offers popular smart-home options like smart thermostats, carbon monoxide detectors, and smart lighting.

ADT can also work with popular smart-home platforms like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. ADT Command and Control is capable of having automatic alerts to trigger events, and it can send reminders for important tasks like arming your system and locking smart locks when you leave your home.

Is a landline system or a cellular system better?

This depends on a few different factors. If you already have a landline connection, live in a rural area, or are just looking for a simple, basic security system, then a landline system is a good choice. If you are more interested in smart-home automation and a faster system, then you may want to consider a cellular connection.

Is ADT a good choice for renters?

If you are renting, then ADT might not be the best option for you. We encourage you to look into home security systems for renters, including Blue by ADT.

How do I cancel my ADT contract?

You can cancel your ADT contract by calling the company’s 24/7 customer service line at 800-238-2727. The number of months remaining on your contract may impact the cancellation fees you have to pay.

With the company’s money-back guarantee, you are able to cancel during the first six months with no penalties. After six months, you can cancel your contract by paying 75% of your remaining balance.

How do I order ADT yard signs and decals?

You can order new ADT yard signs and window decals through your MyADT account online. You are limited to two yard signs and two decal sets per year. The yard signs and decals will arrive in approximately seven to 10 business days.

Can I move my ADT system with me if I change homes?

ADT can assist in relocating your system, if needed. You should first contact customer support, who will arrange for one of ADT’s trusted security experts to help you transition to your new location. Customer service will also discuss any special moving offers that may be available to you at that time.


Our Rating Methodology

The This Old House Reviews Team is committed to providing comprehensive and unbiased reviews to our readers. This means earning your trust through transparent reviews and having the data to back up our ratings and recommendations. Our rating system for home security providers is on a 100-point scale based on 10 factors:

  • Number of systems (5)
  • Special features (10)
  • Installation options (5)
  • Connectivity and smart-home automation (15)
  • Pricing (15)
  • Contract period (5)
  • Warranty (15)
  • Trial period (15)
  • Usability (5)
  • Trustworthiness (10)

Our team reviewed 32 companies and spent 744 hours researching and testing products to help us compare home security systems on key factors such as package options, cost, reliability, and ease of use. Read more on our methodology here.


To share feedback or ask a question about this article, send a note to our Reviews Team at reviews@thisoldhousereviews.com.