adt logo

You might not know it, but ADT began life over 140 years ago as a telegraph company (hence the acronym, which stands for American District Telegraph). Over the years the company added watchman and other security services, eventually evolving into a burglar and fire alarm provider.

Despite all of the world events and various company shifts in its long history, ADT has remained true to its core mission and purpose of providing services that offer customers peace of mind. Rather than diverting into areas like cable or phone services, they have stuck with focusing on superior security services.

While the long company history and highly recognizable name are definite attributes, there are some downfalls as well. Here are some of the main pros and cons of ADT Home Security:

Quick Look At The Pros and Cons of ADT Security​


  • Company has been in business for over 100 years
  • No cost to transfer service in case you move.
  • Professional, Same-Day Installation
  • Customizable add-ons to your plan that allow you to pick and choose exactly what you need.


  • Difficulty obtaining a quote without a visit from a home sales rep
  • Prices that quickly rise when adding services that are included in some competitors' main packages.
  • Does not offer free installation

How Much Does ADT Cost?

One of the major drawbacks of ADT is that it is virtually impossible to get a true picture of the plans they offer and potential costs of each one without scheduling an in-home assessment. Below you’ll find a basic rundown of the available services and a rough estimate of what each one will cost for installation and monthly monitoring fees.

 ADT BasicCellGuardADT Pulse
3 Window/Door SensorsYesYesYes
Wireless Control PanelYesYesYes
Motion DetectorYesYesYes
Yard Sign and Window DecalYesYesYes
Back-up BatteryYesYesYes
Wireless Keychain RemoteYesYesYes
Cellular MonitoringOptionalYesYes
2-Way Voice CommunicationYesYes
Remote Arm/DisarmYes
Remote Door LocksYes
Video CameraYes
Lighting ControlYes
Thermostat ControlYes
Monitoring Fee:$36.99$47.99$52.99
Activation FeeFreeFreeFree

Overview of the ADT Pulse Package

adt pulse

Touted as their most popular option, the new ADT Pulse is the company’s entry into the smart home market. This service allows you to remotely control your door locks, lights, and thermostat, as well as monitor your surveillance cameras. There are three levels of service available for Pulse – Remote Arm, Control, and Live Video.

Features included:

  • 24 Hour Monitoring - 24/7 burglary, fire and carbon monoxide monitoring.
  • Remote Arm/Disarm From Your Mobile Device
  • Remote Lock/Unlock Doors
  • Remove Video Monitoring
  • Lighting and Thermostat Control
  • Instant Security Alerts

Upgrading to the Control package adds remote door lock and unlock capability, as well as light and thermostat control. The Live Video Level features all of the above, plus remote secure video. ADT Pulse packages begin around $53/month for monitoring, with installation running as high as $850 (although discounted or free installation promotions are sometimes available).

Security Equipment Overview​

​All authorized dealers for ADT carry Honeywell or GE brands for their security equipment. 

Your equipment will, of course, vary with the services and package you select. Some of the most common security equipment includes:

  • Control Panel
  • Entryway sensors – plain white, fairly low profile
  • Interior motion sensor – allows protection of a specific interior area
  • Keypad - Remotely arm/disarm your security system.
  • ADT Pulse touchscreen – high-tech interface that resembles a tablet device and allows simple touch control of the Pulse package features.
  • Wireless security cameras – sleeker, more modern look than the base equipment, can be used freestanding or mounted on the wall and feature wireless encryption for maximum security

Is ADT Right For You?

ADT is a solid choice for those who don’t want to take a chance on a newer, less experienced company, even if they offer more comprehensive features and lower prices. However, once you schedule your in-home visit, be prepared to stick to your guns as far as which plan and equipment you want because the sales method is well known as one of the most aggressive in the industry.

The reputation and history behind the company are advantages, as is the newly integrated ability to control your Nest thermostat within the ADT mobile interface. On the other hand, the company’s app gets pretty dismal reviews, and widespread reports of response times over 45 seconds and call-back times around three minutes are very concerning.

When it comes time to sign on the dotted line, the three-year contract requirement may seem excessive, but it’s actually fairly standard in the industry. Just be absolutely sure that the features, pricing, and equipment are suitable to your wants and needs. Installation can be the biggest hit – particularly on the higher-end packages – but if you’re patient and wait it out you’re likely to find an online promotion that significantly reduces your setup costs. Lastly, get everything in writing.

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