ads security

Unlike companies that focus on a narrow range of services, ADS makes their mark by offering a wide assortment of features – all of them fully integrated and remotely accessible by smartphone. Their price points are high compared to competitors, but ADS has gambled that customer service and a broad range of innovative products and services are worth it – and over 75,000 customers seem to agree. ADS earns high satisfaction ratings from their client base, both for their services and their customer care.

Price: $42.95 (basic service)

Installation fee: $199 - $249

Security Equipment

ADS is the largest independent dealer of Honeywell security systems in the Southeastern United States, and their entire product line and control center equipment are made by Honeywell. This allows ADS more flexibility in integrating components into individual packages, making it easier for them to custom design unique systems for every client. Their entire network is now 3G-ready, in time for the phaseout of AT&T’s 2TG network in January, 2017.

  • Wireless security cameras (easily movable about the house)
  • Smoke, motion, water, heat, and carbon monoxide detectors (motion detectors are programmable to allow for pets)
  • Window and door sensors
  • Wireless door locks
  • Touchscreen keypad

Home automation

ADS was one of the first security companies to recognize the value of remote access through smartphones, and has been a pioneer in automation from the beginning. Their emphasis on giving the customer complete access and the ability to program all aspects of their systems makes their entire product line more versatile and robust, and allows the client to tailor every system to their individual needs.

Complete custom programming of your entire system, and instant overrides or adjustments from your smartphone, tablet, or computer

Complete integration of entire system with your smartphone, including text and e-mail alerts for any emergencies or non-emergency notifications

Adjust thermostats and lights, turn water on and off, remotely unlock doors for contractors or family members

Company history

ADS Security Systems was founded as a small electronic security company in Nashville, TN, in 1990. Co-founder and CEO Mel Mahler had no experience with the security industry, but 20 years as an executive with Xerox taught him how to build a business and recognize a good idea when he saw it. Through a combination of innovations and acquisitions, they have grown into the 23rd largest security firm in the country, serving 75,000 business and residential customers in 8 southeastern states.

ADS was one of the first companies to recognize and exploit the advantage of integrating cell phone and internet technology with their security systems. The firm was awarded the industry's Five Diamond Certification by the CSAA in 2003, and maintains an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.

The good

  • Broad range of services to choose from
  • Complete remote access and control through cell phone
  • Smoke and carbon monoxide detection
  • Pet protection package available
  • Fully integrated network of security cameras
  • Wellness monitoring for the sick or elderly
  • Five diamond certification

ADS offers one of the most diversified and comprehensive service packages of any company in their market. The wide assortment of services makes it easy to pick and choose the features that best suit your particular needs, and the company has integrated the features in a user-friendly format that even technologically unsophisticated customers are comfortable using.

All of the features can be monitored and controlled remotely through their smart phone interface, including remote viewing of all security cameras. All ADS monitoring staff are thoroughly trained in all aspects of the software, and can provide immediate assistance for customers who are away from home and unable to access the user manual – an important factor, when you consider that most customers don’t dig deeply into all of their system's features until there's an emergency.

ADS has one of the more versatile smartphone apps in the industry, which is a particularly valuable feature for pet owners. A client can not only passively monitor their pet in real time by remotely accessing the camera system, but also rely on ADS to send them immediate e-mail or text alerts if the smoke or carbon monoxide detectors are tripped.

Clients can also receive alerts in the event of a water emergency, such as a burst pipe or other flooding, and remotely shut off the master water valve. If there is an elderly or disabled family member home alone, the ADS Wellness Solutions feature allows for instant notification if any monitors are triggered, or if the family member trips the assistance button.

In addition, ADS customers can monitor and control the lighting and climate control systems of their homes, and receive alerts if the furnace or air conditioner shut off. These features are supported by a staff that is thoroughly trained in both the installation and the monitoring of their systems. All ADS employees are trained and certified to meet the standards of the industry's Five Diamond Certification Program.

In the event of an emergency, the ADS monitoring center keeps complete profiles of all pets and vulnerable family members, and can immediately communicate directly with emergency responders to ensure they have all the information they need . In non-emergency situations, the Wellness Solutions technology (known as eCare) provides fall detection and medication reminder services for sick or elderly family members.

The bad

  • More expensive than most competitors
  • Restrictive contract
  • Small service area

ADS has a lot to offer, but it doesn't come cheaply. Their installation fee runs from $199 to $249, and while that price gets you around $300 of free equipment, the monthly fee of $42.95 for the basic service (as much as double that of some competitors) will eat away at that pretty quickly.

Once you sign on that line, you're locked in for 5 years – 2 years longer than most of their competitors. And as far as ADS is concerned, a deal is a deal – if you decide to break it, you'll pay 75% of the remaining contract. Since ADS only operates in 8 states, customers who move don't always have the option of staying under the ADS umbrella. With a total contract cost of over $2500 for even the basic package, it's a good idea to be sure you're not going to be moving anytime soon.

The bottom line

ADS is a solid choice for the customer who is willing to pay top dollar, and not in a job that might require them to transfer. They're easy to use, customer friendly, and have something to offer for almost any need. If you're in their area, and are serious about a comprehensive home security service, they're worth a call.