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ADT Pro Install home security reviews

ADT brand
Staff rating
4.0
Installation: ProMonitoring: $45.99–$59.99/mo.Equipment: $480+Contract: 36–60 months
staff review
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Headshot of Eric Paulsen
Researched by
Eric PaulsenContent Manager
Headshot of Vilja Johnson
Reviewed by
Vilja JohnsonEditor-in-Chief
Updated 6/24/24

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ADT Pro Install is well known and well respected, but be prepared for a premium price

ADT has a strong track record as a home security leader, but you’ll pay a lot to have its name on your yard sign. DIYers and renters will want to look elsewhere, but for the homeowner who wants the ADT reputation and doesn’t mind the price, it’s a very solid choice.

ADT Self Setup

While known for its professionally installed systems, ADT does have a self-installed offering, called ADT Self Setup. This DIY sibling has many similarities—including seamless integration with Google Nest products—but unlike ADT Pro Install, you’ll install your system yourself, and you won’t sign a contract. For this review, we’ll be focusing only on the ADT Pro Install offering.



What we like

  • Excellent smart home compatibility
  • Intuitive controls and customization
  • Impressive professional monitoring
What we dislike

  • High upfront and monthly costs
  • Sometimes clunky equipment
  • Long installation times

ADT control panel and indoor cameras
ADT home security devices, including control panels, indoor cameras, smoke/CO monitor, motion sensors, glass break sensor, and keyfob
ADT control panel
ADT environmental sensors
ADT door/window sensor installed to door and frame

Methodology

We had ADT professionally installed and tested its equipment and monitoring service. To write the most comprehensive and helpful review, we also hands-on tested some of ADT’s biggest competitors to draw accurate comparisons and identify pros and cons. As we continue to use and build on our system, we’ll revisit this review to provide updated, experience-driven guidance.

  • We spent 6 hours speaking with ADT’s sales representatives and documenting the installation process
  • We tested 10 ADT devices, including the control panel, motion detector, door and window sensors, indoor cameras, and environmental sensors
  • We contacted customer support on 2 channels and dug through ADT’s knowledge base
Savings tip: Providers often have
sign-up promotions
for first-time customers.
Check ADT Pro Install's website
for current deals and discounts.
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Our expert assessment

Equipment and customization
4.4
Great control panel, but otherwise lacking the “wow” factor

ADT has long been at the forefront of the home security industry, and as such, offers nearly every piece of equipment you could want to protect your home. From stalwart devices like motion detectors and security cameras to more modern ones like doorbell cameras and smart home devices, you’ll have little issue tailoring your system to your home.

To order your ADT system, you can either call and speak with a sales agent or place an order online (you might save some cash that way, too). Whichever route you take, you’ll need some basic information, such as how many doors and ground-level windows you have. You’ll also want to think about your preferences, like types of cameras, environmental sensors, and smart home systems.

You’ll also need to consider whether you want devices from Google (which partners with ADT), or ADT-branded ones. ADT’s devices are white-labeled, meaning they’re made by a third-party manufacturer, but it also means greater compatibility with other systems and devices. We opted for the ADT Command Panel, but many may opt for the Google Nest Hub (2nd gen) or Google Nest Hub Max. ADT may throw in free devices with your order too, like the Google Nest Doorbell (battery) with certain packages.

ADT has three packages available, which you can easily customize with add-ons:

  • The Build Your Own package includes the basics like the control panel, door and window sensors, and motion detectors
  • The Smart package includes the basics plus a smart door lock
  • The Video & Smart Home package includes all of the above, plus camera options

ADT has native compatibility with Google via its direct partnership, so you’ll find that you can pair Google Nest cameras, thermostats, control panels, and a bevy of other Google devices directly to your home security system with little trouble. And it connects easily to other smart home systems too, using IFTTT (If This Then That) integration. So, the vast majority of your smart devices (Alexa, Samsung, etc.) will also connect seamlessly.

Smart home automation

Voice assistantsCompatible with ADT?
Amazon AlexaYes
Google AssistantYes
Apple SiriNo
Samsung BrixbyYes
Microsoft CortanaNo
Climate controlGoogle Nest, Samsung SmartThings, IFTTT
Lighting controlIFTTT
Door locksKwikset

Once you know exactly how you want to build your system out, you’ll schedule an installation time. When our technician arrived, they carefully walked us through every device we ordered (and some we didn’t, too).

We were immediately impressed by the look and functionality of the control panel, which stands out by its sleek design and appears to be able to stand the test of time. And there are some features of the panel that we really like. First, it connects to ADT’s monitoring centers via radio signal. Some competitors, like Cove and Alder, connect via SIM card to cellular networks—both of which gave us headaches when we tested those systems. The other features we really liked were that the panel’s camera snaps a photo of whomever arms or disarms the system (otherwise, it doesn’t run continuously), and it has a “clean screen” function that lets you wipe off fingerprints without accidentally setting off your alarm.

After that, unpackaging the other devices felt a little anticlimactic. They looked and felt overly simple and didn’t project the “wow” factor that the control panel did. Of course, that didn’t matter for some of the devices—such as the door, window, and motion sensors—for which less is probably more. But others, like the combination heat, smoke, and carbon monoxide detector, were bulky and a little cheap-looking and wouldn’t do most ceilings any favors.

If the control panel and environmental sensors represent both ends of the spectrum, the cameras rest somewhere in the middle. The ADT cameras are simple and fairly nondescript. We’ve seen better-looking cameras out there, such as Vivint’s, but overall we’re very happy with our ADT ones. They have strong bases that aren’t susceptible to tipping over (which is the problem with Vivint’s more aesthetically pleasing cameras), experience little lag time on the video feed, and have a really high-quality 1080p HD picture. They also have a decent field of view at 145 degrees (practically speaking, that’s about the same as a typical line of sight). And remember, you can always opt for an indoor Google Nest Cam (wired) if you prefer.

Up front, we weren’t sure what to expect with our equipment. On the one hand, ADT is extremely customizable and carries a wide selection of devices. On the other, we had no idea what that equipment was like until we called. We also expected every device to blow us away with its looks and quality. The control panel definitely met our expectations. The rest? Time will tell.

Customization is key to the right home security system. Visit
ADT Pro Install's website
to find the right offering.
View packages
Value
2.9
“What you pay is what you get” doesn’t necessarily apply here

ADT Pro Install relies on its name and track record to attract customers—and you’re going to pay for it. As a professional installation company with high equipment and monitoring costs, its value will vary from person to person.

A couple of the ways we evaluate value is by looking at your upfront price and what you pay on a monthly basis.

ADT Pro Install offers three distinct packages, all with varying price points. Its base bundle, Build Your Own, starts at around $480 plus around $45 per month for monitoring. If you don’t want to pay for your equipment up front, you can finance it for 60 months and adjust your monthly bill accordingly. The same applies to the Smart Home package (starting at around $700 plus $50 per month for monitoring) and the Video & Smart Home package (starting at around $900 and about $60 per month for monitoring). You may also come across discounts and free add-ons, like a Google Nest Doorbell (battery).

These costs are comparable to Vivint, ADT’s closest competitor from a price and recognition standpoint. Both represent the high end of the price spectrum, which might be prohibitive for many. Nearly all DIY brands, such as Ring, SimpliSafe, Frontpoint, and others, cost far less than ADT Pro Install for similar products, protection, and number of devices in their respective bundles. And those brands offer other value-driving perks: they usually don’t require a contract, they can be removed and moved as needed (which is particularly appealing to renters), and they provide a level of autonomy and control that many people find attractive.

ADT, on the other hand, has an air of permanence that we feel detracts from its overall value. For the professionally installed ADT systems, customers are locked into a contract for 36 months—or more—and will pay higher monthly fees than most competitors (although it’s worth noting that ADT Self Setup does not require contracts). If you move, you’ll need to contact ADT to have a new system installed at your new home, rather than being able to install your existing system yourself. Furthermore, we’ve tested numerous DIY brands and have found their equipment to be just as good—if not better, in some cases—as ADT.

But at the same time, ADT has been around a LONG time—since 1874 (that’s not a typo). Because it basically wrote the book on home security, it’s earned the right to charge higher prices. It’s also trusted by countless people to protect their homes in spite of the price tag.

Ultimately, if you’re looking for a quality, comprehensive home security system that you don’t need to install yourself, ADT is a very solid choice, despite the upfront and long-term investments. The company has high prices, yes, but also has the track record to back it up.

Prices vary by product, package, and type of installation. You'll want to
check with ADT Pro Install
directly for current pricing and discounts.
Go to provider
Ease of use
4.4
Easy-to-use system with some really nice features—but installation will take a while and isn’t without hiccups

Because ADT is professionally installed, getting your system up and running is about as easy as it gets (for you, anyway). Your installation tech might be either an ADT employee or a subcontractor, but they receive the same training and can answer any and all questions you may have. When our technician arrived, they spent roughly 30 minutes walking through our space with us and making suggestions about where our panel, cameras, and sensors should go. We had a rough idea of where we might like those ahead of time, but it was reaffirming to hear it from a pro.

If there’s one thing we can’t stand, it’s ugly and lengthy wires taking up valuable real estate, so it was nice to get those hidden behind the walls for the control panel and mounted camera. We did keep one free-standing camera on our table, but our technician cut the wire to the right length and neatly stapled it to the wall, where it’s barely noticeable. (Although it’s important to note that only ADT-branded camera wires can be cut to length; Google Nest ones cannot.)

We did run into a couple of hiccups during installation. For one, our cameras had a very hard time connecting. Our technician had to reset both indoor cameras several times, which required us to re-type in our Wi-Fi password. For a brand as renowned as ADT, we wished syncing those cameras would be a bit more intuitive. The second problem we faced was with the control panel’s power plug, which is very bulky and can block more than one outlet if you don’t ask the technician to trim it down (which led us to wonder why it’s so big in the first place!).

Installation took roughly four hours (including the time we took asking about a thousand questions—don’t worry, our tech didn’t seem to mind), and then we spent around an hour familiarizing ourselves with the control panel, app, and desktop portal.

We particularly liked the control panel’s home screen, which allows you to arm and disarm easily. With some other brands we’ve tested, such as Abode, the control panel isn’t nearly as intuitive. It’s straightforward enough to add users with various authority codes (e.g., setting a “guest” code for a dogwalker), as well as set custom rules. We also liked an emergency feature that contacts emergency dispatch directly, rather than funneling the call through ADT’s monitoring center.

Our biggest issue with the control panel—which was otherwise easy to navigate and configure—was the massive amount of settings, including ones that will usually only apply to the installation. Unfortunately, there’s no way to filter out the settings we’ll never actually use.

The ADT app and desktop portal are easy to navigate and control. The app immediately displays your system status and has a carousel function that allows you to swipe through each of your video feeds. You can easily access your activity by clicking on the top right of the screen, or manage your account and devices and set custom rules on the left. The only thing we wish was easier was arming and disarming from the app. Whereas some competitors, such as Vivint, allow you to simply swipe to arm or disarm, ADT requires you to press at least two buttons to do so (three if you want to set Night Arming or Force Bypass).

Overall, we think using ADT Pro Install would be easy enough for just about anyone. Installation will take a while, but its technicians make it easy and stress free. And once you get over a few possible speedbumps, you’ll get familiarized with your system in no time.

ADT technician installing control panel
ADT technician installing door sensor
ADT indoor camera mounted to wall
Monitoring
4.9
Higher monitoring costs than most competitors, but for a good reason

ADT Pro Install requires professional monitoring, regardless of which equipment package you choose. But, the monitoring service does change slightly based on your system. The Build Your Own package offers 24/7 professional monitoring, including police and fire dispatch, but doesn’t include smart home or video controls. For those, you’ll need to either have the Smart package or the Video & Smart Home package, respectively.

In the event your alarm is triggered, ADT’s monitoring centers will contact you via the control panel, mobile notification, and phone call—which we certainly appreciate. We also like how robust ADT’s monitoring network is: the company has nine monitoring centers nationwide and touts itself as having a 95% dispatch rate within 60 seconds of an emergency. For comparison, Vivint has the second-most company-owned monitoring centers, with two.

Suppose you’re facing an emergency at your home. In that case, you can also push a panic button on your control panel, mobile app, or keyfob to bypass ADT’s monitoring center and contact emergency services directly. This is an extremely nice function that ADT seems to feature more prominently than other brands.

For ADT’s professional monitoring, you’re facing a minimum of around $45 per month, which is higher than many competitors. But, for as robust as its monitoring services appear to be, it’s probably worth the extra few bucks.

ADT Pro Install's monitoring options
and pricing may vary depending on your home security package.
View packages
Customer service
3.9
Really nice knowledge base and phone support, but chat doesn’t stack up

ADT has two channels to contact customer support: phone at (800)716-3640, or online chat, and we used both to get answers to our questions about police dispatch time and smart home compatibility.

Having a chat option is nice, but we found phone to be a far better experience. Our online experience started with a chatbot, which seemed to be well-made. But, when we asked to chat with an agent, the bot sent us to a human consultant, who then sent us to tech support…and then sales. Ultimately, we spent 30 minutes on a chat (including wait times) and stated our question to three humans and a robot before we got it answered.

On the other hand, phone support was great. After a hold time of less than a minute, we spoke with a friendly agent who clearly and quickly answered our questions.

We were also impressed with ADT’s knowledge base, which was easy to navigate by filtering by your system type or need to find the right answer. But if you’re seeking more in-depth support, or don’t want to scour the website for answers, ditch the chat and pick up the phone.

Data privacy
3.4
Solid security measures with a concerning customer data history

Generally speaking, ADT hasn’t been the victim of any major external data breaches, and it employs industry-standard data privacy practices. It’s not uncommon for home security companies to share your information with third parties, for example. And to ADT’s credit, it makes it easy to opt out of interest-based marketing, which not every brand can say.

When it comes to your specific system, you’ll find that it makes good use of two-factor authentication (meaning a unique code is sent to one of your devices to verify your identity) before you can access administrative settings.

But peeling back the onion reveals some less-than-desirable policies. For one, ADT logs GPS and device data, alongside your IP address, with all of your recorded video footage. We feel this introduces unnecessary risk should someone hack ADT’s servers.

ADT also experienced a disturbing internal breach in 2020, when an ADT technician in Texas was discovered to have accessed customers’ live and recorded video footage. (1) ADT has since reformed its model to bar technicians from having access to customers’ usernames and passcodes, but it’s a nasty mark on its track record nonetheless.

We always encourage our readers to study brands’ privacy policies before making any purchase (see ADT’s here), and ask plenty of questions to ensure you’re making the right decisions for your home and family.

Visit
ADT Pro Install's website
to see the privacy policy, terms amd conditions, and more.
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