ADT Home Security Review

ADT Home Security Review

170 Reviews

ADT’s blue signs dot the yards and windows of over 6 million residents across the United States. ADT is one of the oldest and largest networks for professionally installed home security systems with over 200 service locations. The vast network and extensive experience have placed ADT at the top of several home security satisfaction studies. Let’s take a deep dive into what ADT has to offer to see if they might be the right fit for your home security needs. 

Overall Rating: 4.1

*The rating is determined by the editorial team and takes into account the benefits and drawbacks of the system including accessibility, plans, pricing, fees and contracts. The editorial team is concerned with providing as transparent of a review as possible with the consumer in mind.

ADT Home Security Systems At A Glance 

ADT home security systems are best for those who want an established company with a large client base and plenty of options for security integration. Since ADT has been around for such a long time, they have built a sense of trust as a brand.


ADT Pros: 

  • 145 years of experience 
  • Solid reputation 
  • Technical integrations (for specified plans) 
  • Accessible app (for specified plans)
  • Monitoring options 
  • Quick installation 


ADT Cons: 

  • Overall non-transparent pricing 
  • Long contracts so you are locked into a plan 
  • Extensive fees, including an installation fee
  • Penalties for early termination of contracts 

As a note, ADT does offer a DIY home security system that operates as a separate entity under Blue by ADT. This is a self monitoring system of cameras and apps that can be purchased for a monthly fee. However, for the purposes of this review we are focusing solely on the residential professional home security systems offered by ADT.

How Does ADT Home Security System Work?

ADT is a professional home security monitoring system. This means the system will also need to be professionally installed in your home. Installation costs range from $99-$199 dollars. 


ADT is known for having swift customer service and getting a technician to your home within a few days for installation. 


After installation the technician will go over how to use all components of the system so you can feel at ease protecting your home. You can also request a home monitoring certificate which can be sent to your home insurance company for a potential discount.  Plus, if you are a victim of theft, ADT will pay up to $500 of your insurance deductible for qualified residential cases.

Equipment and Installation

The components of your home security system will vary depending on the package and plan you choose. That said, the essential equipment for every plan includes the window and door sensors, key panel, and motion sensors. The mobile app, security cameras and smart home integrations are some of the additions you can access when opting for specific package upgrades. 


ADT components are not made by ADT, but instead a third party like Honeywell or GD, and are then outfitted for ADT services. While it has been stated that they can potentially be used for another system down the road if reconfigured, you are leasing the equipment from ADT with the professional service and if you discontinue your contract they will need to obtain the equipment.


ADT is known for operating efficient 24/7 monitoring centers. There are a total of 9 centers across the United States. ADT states on their website, “When you call us, we’ll answer quickly – in most cases within a few rings, no matter the time of day. And a real person will answer and stay with you until they’ve helped you resolve your issue.”


While each system may vary slightly based on the package you purchase, in general this is how the alarm panel works: 

  • You can arm your system for ‘Away’ or ‘Stay’ mode
  • Once your system is turned on it will monitor your home based on the sensors placed throughout. 
  • If it senses a ‘violation’ i.e. a sensor being crossed or door being opened, then the alarm system will send an alert to ADT monitoring centers. 
  • Before ADT takes any action you have 30seconds to 3 minutes to deactivate the alarm 
  • If you enter your code and disarm the system, it will end the process. If you do not ADT will then take action and check in with you. 

In addition to this, on each panel there is a panic button or emergency alert button. When this is pressed it transmits the signal to the monitoring centers and emergency services are sent immediately. This kind of notification can’t be cancelled. 


Note, if you lose power, your alarm system will still work and pull from its back up battery.

How Much Does ADT Cost? 

ADT does not provide pricing for plans on their website. Instead you will need to call or submit a form in order to get a quote for your home and area.


The three general plans on the website are as follows: 

  • Secure Plan which includes:
    • Instruction detection 
    • Fire, CO, and Flood Monitoring 
    • Touchscreen control panel 
    • Voice control integration 


$599 to $899 upfront + $45.99/month; or

$55.97 to $60.97/month


  • Smart Plan
    • Instruction detection 
    • Fire, CO, and Flood Monitoring 
    • Touchscreen control panel 
    • Voice control integration 
    • Remote access mobile app 
    • Smart home automation 


$919 to $1219 upfront + $49.99/month; or

$65.31 to $70.31/month


  • Complete Plan
    • Instruction detection 
    • Fire, CO, and Flood Monitoring 
    • Touchscreen control panel 
    • Voice control integration 
    • Remote access mobile app 
    • Smart home automation 
    • Video surveillance 
    • Video clip storage 


$1,049 to $1,449 upfront + $57.99/month; or

$75.47 to $82.14/month

*The rates listed in this section are published on the ADT website under home security cost per month as of 04/22/21. These may not reflect the current rates or special offers for your initial sign up. Terms and conditions for residential systems can be found here.


ADT requires a 36 month contract except in California where customers can obtain a 24-month contract with a minimum purchase amount of $449 and/or enrolling in EasyPay. 


These contracts are not easy to get out of. It’s true that ADT provides a 6-month money back guarantee, however the fine print reads as follows: Money-back guarantee only applies after ADT has made attempts to resolve a system-related issue and has not been able to resolve that issue within the first six (6) months of your contract. Equipment must be fully removed before a refund will be processed. Conditions preventing normal system operation cannot be caused by the customer.


The only way you would get your money back is with a failed system, not with customer dissatisfaction. 


If you wish to terminate your contract early ADT can charge 75% of total service charges due for the remaining contract term. With such a high penalty for early termination, it doesn’t make too much financial sense to break the contract early and still pay for ¾ of the services. 


The fees for ADT services vary, however you will pay an installation fee of $99-$199. On top of this you will also pay for the equipment with the plan as you are leasing it from ADT, not purchasing it. This cost will most likely be wrapped up in your monthly payments, although there is an option to pay for this upfront. 


If your system is having issues, the cost for fixing it will vary based on your system and warranty.  In general, if you have the warranty, also known as a Quality Service Plan (QSP) attached to your plan you can call ADT and have the system looked at for a trip charge of $25-$50. If you are no longer under a QSP or did not pay for one, then you may need to pay ADT per hour for the service call. Customers have reported about $125- $150 per half hour. 

If you move, ADT does have a moving transfer service called ‘Safe Move’. You can qualify for a movers offer, which will save you some money if you have an existing plan.

ADT Home Security Reputation in The Market 

After 145 years of service, ADT is trusted as a home security provider with an A+ rating on the Better Business Bureau and a 4 star rating for customer satisfaction from ConsumerAffairs


Below is a satisfied customer who experienced something other than a break in, which points to the complete home protection ADT offers. 


“Within minutes, every carbon monoxide detector on every floor of the house was going off and ADT called me immediately. Thank goodness ADT called me after three of my alarms kept warning me to evacuate and insisted that I do so.” – Lynn McNelly 

Source: ADT


Despite the trust in ADT, the company is seeing some tough competition in the home security industry. In the JD Power 2020 Home Security Satisfaction StudySM ADT ranked #5 on the list of professionally installed systems with a score of 834. The study measures customer satisfaction with home security systems based billing and payment, customer service, price,professional monitoring, purchase and installation, and quality of home security system. ADT sat under AT&T Digital Life (878), Vivint Smart Home (847), Brinks Home Security (842) and Segment Average (840). 


While ADT is still in the top 5, this simply means you, as the consumer, have options when it comes to home security systems. It’s important to shop around for a plan that you feel comfortable with – both in terms of safety and budget.

Frequently Asked Questions About ADT 

Below are a few of frequently asked questions about ADT. 

Can you negotiate with ADT?

Absolutely. ADT is in the monthly subscription business, and just like cable you can try to negotiate with your ADT service provider. This is not a guarantee that negotiating will help your rate or costs, but it is worth a shot. 

How much does ADT charge for a service call?

The specific price for a service call depends on your area and specific needs. However, if you have a QSP, which is ADT’s extended limited warranty plan, then labor and parts are covered for ADT installed equipment only. The monthly fee for QSP to be added to your plan is based on your equipment total. It’s important to note the QSP does not cover damage from intrusions or customer misuse/damage. If you do not opt for QSP, then you will need to pay for a service call in most cases when equipment is having issues.

Recap: Is ADT Home Security System Worth It? 

A home security system can help deter break-ins and keep your family safe. Is ADT a good security system? Absolutely. Will it be an investment and require a commitment? Definitely. That is the major trade off when it comes to ADT home security systems, but if you can foot the bill and want to work with an established and trusted home security company, then ADT is a top contender. 

ADT is a leading provider of security, automation, and smart home solutions serving consumer and business customers through more than 300 locations, 9 monitoring centers, and the largest network of security professionals in the United States. The company offers many ways to help protect customers by delivering lifestyle-driven solutions via professionally installed, do-it-yourself, mobile, and digital-based offerings for residential, small business, and larger commercial customers. ADT is located in Boca Raton, Florida. For this review, we will be focusing exclusively on ADT’s professionally installed residential home security systems.