When it comes to staying safe at home, a home security system makes good sense. Seniors can especially benefit from monitored home security systems, whereby any alarm triggers a call to a professional security center. From there, trained staff can assess the situation and send emergency services as needed.
Home security systems these days are about so much more than door sensors or motion detectors (though those still matter, of course.) Modern security systems play well with smart home technology and are easy to control remotely using an app or even a smartwatch.
For caregivers, a good security system means they can relax a bit, knowing mom or dad is covered should the need for help arise.
ADT has been in the home security business for a while. To that end, let’s start with a look at their offerings.
Who Is ADT?
ADT is the largest home security company in the United States, currently serving over 8 million customers. ADT started back in 1874 when several district telegraph delivery companies affiliated to form American District Telegraph. Since those days ADT has branched out into home and business security. ADT is currently headquartered in Boca Raton, Florida.
How Does ADT Home Security Work?
ADT is a modern security system in that it’s very connected with smart home technology and can easily be remotely controlled, but it’s traditional in the sense that it’s wired into your home electrical wiring.
To get started with ADT, you’ll need to request a quote. After you get your quote, you can proceed to make an installation appointment. These aren’t do-it-yourself systems – you’ll need a professional installer.
How Much Does ADT Cost?
ADT costs vary depending on the exact system you choose. ADT doesn’t list prices on its site, but we’ve seen several reviews citing costs between $1000 – $2000 per system.
Monthly monitoring for ADT begins at $35.99, and we’ve seen reviews claiming monthly fees of $50 – $65.
Benefits Of ADT
ADT offers several useful features:
Installation and setup
- Each system is customized to your needs, so you can get a basic system or one with all the bells and whistles.
- Both landline and cellular connectivity, so even if you don’t have a landline you can still get a system.
- Works with smart home technology so you can control your home and your security easily.
- ADT app makes remote control a cinch.
- Integrate with Amazon Alexa so you can control your system by voice.
- Use ADT Pulse to control your system directly from your smartwatch.
- Remote control so you can give trusted friends or family access to your home, even if you’re away.
- Add fire and carbon monoxide detectors to keep your home protected from more than break-ins.
- ADT video security means you can keep an eye on your home and pets even when you’re on the road or out running errands.
Monitoring and account
- 24/7 monitoring so you can get help any time you need it.
- ADT app offers a single-press panic alarm so you can silently alert the control center if something’s wrong.
- Real-time GPS location and alerts available to family members – a great idea for caregivers.
- Six-month money-back guarantee, so if you’re not happy with your system you can cancel your service and get a refund (terms, conditions, and fees may apply.)
- Get an alarm monitoring certificate to pass to your insurer – in some cases insurers will give you a discount if you have valid home security.
- Up to $500 of your insurance deductible is covered should a burglary occur while the system is armed (subject to terms and conditions.)
- Savings on a new package and sensors if you move home.
What Kind Of Home Security System Can I Buy From ADT?
ADT systems are customized to your needs, so you can start with one of their core systems and build from there.
Every ADT system includes:
- A digital control panel
- Door and window sensors
- A wireless keychain remote so you can disarm easily
- Motion detectors (some packages include setting up motion detectors to automatically trigger security lights and camera recording)
- Yard signs and window decals
- 24/7 monitoring
On top of the basics, they offer three main packages:
Traditional has all your security basics, plus monitored flood, fire, and carbon monoxide detection.
Control contains everything in the Traditional package, as well as remote arm and disarm, smart home controls, and customizable alerts and automations.
Video contains everything in the Control package, as well as security cameras, live streaming from mobile devices, and the ability to record and save video clips.
We took a look online to find out what consumers are staying about ADT.
What people loved: We saw several reports of the initial installation going smoothly, with knowledgeable customer service reps on hand to help. The systems also seem to be quite easy to use.
What people weren’t so keen on: This is where reviews about ADT get concerning. One leading consumer review website gives them less than two stars out of five based on 510 reviews, while Yelp reviewers give them one star out of five based on 325 reviews. The main complaints are about people getting locked into long term contracts and being unable to cancel them without paying large fees. It seems that in some cases ADT goes as far as to be deliberately obstructive about the process, making it hard to cancel even if all terms and conditions are met. We also noticed several reviews mentioning brusque customer service – not great for anyone, but particularly not for potentially vulnerable seniors. We also found several reviews from customers who had to wait for ages to get problems fixed, only for the equipment to still fail.
The verdict: Based on the sheer volume of negative reviews regarding contracts and account management, we recommend reading the fine print carefully (as you should with any home security system) and making sure you understand the terms and conditions before signing on the dotted line.