ADT Alarm System Review – Beware the stuff isn’t all that it is cracked up to be!

The ADT Alarm System is one of those companies that seems to be a bit off.  What I mean by that is they do a lot of that come on stuff “AWESOME ALARM SYSTEM JUST $59/Month” and then you find out well there are all these hidden fees… which leaves a bad taste in my mouth.  It gets worse though… the equipment they install in your home is lightweight cheapo depot stuff that can be unreliable.  For $1000 install fee you get the following:

  1. ADT 24/7 Burglary & Theft Monitoring – Ok, this is useless all they do is let you know that something happened at your house and call the police.  They don’t go out there and do anything.  This is a useless thing, most alarms you buy will let your phone know via text of phone call automatically and you can call the police just as fast as they can.  So this falls into the “Useless, lets put it on the list because it’s a reason to buy and sounds expensive list”.
  2. Remote Web & Mobile Access – ALMOST ALL modern alarms you would get for your house have this feature without a monthly fee.  Give me a break.
  3. Lighting & Thermostat Control – Ok nifty, and umm… home automation stuff is sold at Walmart (and it’s almost the same stuff ADT sells and installs). This stuff is easy to install yourself, but even if you hire someone to do it, the price will be significantly lower than having ADT do it.
  4. Email & text Alert Notification – BUCK ROGERS TECHNOLOGY!! Wait!! Every other alarm made after 2000 does that too!
  5. Quality Service Plan – For real?  You want to pay extra monthly fees for that?  You can buy the home automation stuff at walmart for $10-30 bucks, and your alarm will come with a warranty… I’m sorry no value here in my opinion.
  6. Fire & Smoke Monitoring – Again, a feature you can get with a camera/dvr/motion detection system, add on? Yes but still cheap enough to install.
  7. Small Appliance Control – Is that even important?  Ok, if it is, again the home automation stuff is everywhere and cheap.  It doesn’t really “Control” it, it just turns the power off to the appliance.. this is brain dead easy to install it’s usually just a dongle that goes between the plug and the outlet.
  8. Remote Real-Time Video – Another feature that almost EVERY video/dvr/motion detection system has.  ADT’s offer comes with 2 cheap $20 dollar-ish cameras that they mark up.  You can have a 4 camera system w/dvr for $199 and still have a tone of money left to buy lighting/thermostat/fire/smoke/appliance control.  The cameras handle the motion sensing now so you don’t even need to have motion detection separately anymore.
  9. Remote Arm/Disarm – Again, something anyone who has a modern system has (modern defined as anything in the last 5-10 yrs depending on model).
  10. 1 home Control touchscreen – The give you a cheap $75 tablet to control your system at home.  Why bother, you can integrate your iphone/android phone/or tablet to do the same thing, it’s better and your gear is likely a lot faster/fun to use.

ADT Alarm System ReviewWhat you get in the “box” of the ADT Alarm System for $1000:

  • Cheap Tablet that controls the touchscreen
  • 1 cheap thermostat
  • 1 cheap on/off “appliance” module.
  • 1 Cheap “light Control” (again they make it sound like you are going to be turning off everything in your house, but the reality is they give you one gadget that works on one thing, same with appliance module, motion detector etc..)
  • 2 Cheap indoor video cams (they look like baby monitor cams)
  • 2 Door/Window Sensors – Yes that’s right, you can have one on both your doors or one door and one window.  Are you securing an outhouse?  Seriously?  For the $2 these things cost you would think they’d throw in enough to do all your windows and doors.
  • 1 Motion Detector – huh? Why bother? Your cat or dog is going to set it off anyway.

Harry Hamlin from LA Law was on the Today Show a few years ago and he had a few choice words about ADT and their system.  His store got robbed while he was on live TV and he had ADT.  http://www.today.com/id/39517415/ns/today-entertainment/t/lisa-rinna-harry-hamlin-react-live-tv-burglary/#.UY_bSxwo5zk

If you want to throw your money away on ADT gear and their awful monthly fee then you should.  Me personally? I’d go out and get some gear at the store, install it myself, or pay a local handyman $15 an hour to do it for me.  I might even spend $1000-$1500 and go all out… but I would save a lot of money every month avoiding their monthly service, and I’d have all my windows and doors secured, at least 4 cameras (probably 8) (indoor and outdoor so I can get video of the robbers, their vehicles, and any vandals).  Most of the new systems will stream video right to your phone (and record it to your phone for evidence), you can have them stream the video to dropbox as well, so your whole house could be cleaned out and you will still have the evidence on your dropbox account.

Sorry ADT Alarm System - you just don’t have what it takes. I give them a 1 out of 5 stars.  It is just that bad.

Reviewboard Magazine

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