How Much Does ADT Cost?
There are many ADT plans and add-ons to choose from when deciding how to protect your home, its contents, and its residents. The huge range of available services and add-ons can make it hard to figure out exactly how much you’ll pay and what you’re paying for, but ADT likely has a solution for you.
- Typical Range: $19.99 to $82.14 per month
Home security is a crowded market, and homeowners and renters trying to sort out services and costs have a big job ahead of them. The advent of DIY security systems has some consumers looking at less expensive options that utilize smartphones instead of professional monitoring, but for some homeowners and renters, the professional monitoring is what makes their space feel truly secure. Many will lean toward names they recognize as long-standing members of the home security community, and with good reason: These companies have stood the test of time and promise experience and a solid track record that customers can trust. ADT has been protecting homes in the United States for 145 years, and through that time has honed its services and products to meet the demands of a changing marketplace and ever-shifting technology. But how much does it cost to secure your home—really? Different packages, levels of monitoring, contract lengths, and endless add-ons can make this picture confusing.
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To make it clearer, first you’ll need to decide what you’re looking for. ADT’s plans have two components: equipment and installations as one charge, and monthly monitoring as another. These fees are separately itemized depending on the package you choose, but they can be bundled together in a monthly charge or financed. The first step is deciding how much coverage you need to feel safe. ADT has broken its plans into three basic packages, plus a professionally monitored DIY option. Each of these offers add-on equipment and services for extra cost, but the basic packages should help most customers choose the right level to start with. If you’re a renter, ADT has a specific package intended for you as well. Next you’ll choose the level of monitoring you prefer—this will be based partly on the equipment package you’ve selected and whether or not you’ve included smart-home monitoring, and it will directly impact the cost of the installation.
When totaling the actual cost of an ADT system (ADT makes our list of the best home security systems), there are other considerations to take into account—seasonal specials, cash-back opportunities for choosing different packages, and savings on homeowners and renters insurance policies—and of course, the value of the peace of mind that comes from knowing you’re protected.
How Much Does ADT Cost Per Month?
ADT offers several options for payment. Each package has a fee for equipment, installation, and monthly monitoring. Your choice of how to pay for these three components depends on your priority: Is a smaller monthly bill the most important feature, and you’re willing to pay more up front to keep the monthly cost low? Or do you prefer to avoid a larger initial payment and are willing to spread your total charge out in monthly payments over the course of a contract? The traditional packages provide the choice of a large payment at the beginning of the 3-year contract plus a lower monthly monitoring fee, a monthly charge that includes monitoring and spreads the equipment cost over the course of your contract, or $0-down financing of the equipment for up to 60 months plus a monthly monitoring charge.
A basic DIY ADT Blue package can cost as little as $109.19 for equipment that you install yourself, and then you can decide between free self-monitoring or professional monitoring for a low $20 per month. The Secure package starts at $599 up front plus $45.99 per month for monitoring (or no up-front fee, but with $55.97 added per month), $919 up front plus $49.99 per month for monitoring (or no up-front fee plus $65.31 per month) for the Smart Package, and $1,049 up front plus $57.99 per month (or no up-front fee plus $75.47 per month). These are base prices; additional equipment that you choose to add to the basic packages will increase the equipment and installation fees and may also increase the monitoring charge.
ADT Cost: Packages to Consider
There are many variables to consider when choosing home security components. You could sit down and page through the array of sensors, cameras, smart-home devices, and monitoring options and become completely lost. ADT has created three basic packages to simplify this process. Each package includes the equipment appropriate for one level of protection along with some elements of choice so you can customize what’s important to you and add on as you need to.
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It’s important to note that these packages are a base: If you don’t see one that works for you, ADT is happy to consult with you and help you design one that better meets your needs―these aren’t set in stone, nor are they the only options. All the packages include a digital control panel with a touch screen, three door and window alarms, a motion detector, and alarm monitoring. They require professional installation.
- Basic: The basic level, called the Secure Package, provides traditional home security. You select from a five, seven, or 10-piece package option. The five-piece option starts with the digital control panel, three door and window alarms, and a motion detector, and it costs $599 (or $9.98 per month for 60 months) for equipment and installation. The seven-piece package adds two additional door and window sensors for a total of $699 up front (or $11.65 per month for 60 months), and the 10-piece package includes four additional door and window sensors plus an extra motion sensor for $899 up front (or $14.98 per month for 60 months). The monitoring charge for the Secure Package costs $45.99 per month.
There is quite a range of additional equipment that can be added to this package, including glass-break sensors, panic buttons and key fobs, indoor and outdoor sirens, and home protection devices such as monitored thermostats, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and flood sensors. This equipment will add to the package price and the monitoring fee.
- Smart home: Many people are interested in integrating smart-home controls to their home security system, enabling them to control lights, plugs, and door locks from a smartphone app and include those features in their monitoring plan. The Smart Package includes everything offered in the Secure Package (including all the optional add-ons), plus a smart door lock, a smart plug, and the ability to control your alarm system with the ADT Control App. The equipment and installation cost for this package is $919 (or $15.32 monthly for 60 months). Add two additional door and window sensors for an up front cost of $1,019 (or $16.98 per month for 60 months), or four additional door and window sensors plus an extra motion sensor for $1,219 (or $20.32 per month for 60 months). Monitoring for the Smart Home Package costs $49.99 per month.
For an additional fee, you can customize this package to fully integrate the systems of your home with your security. Smart LED light bulbs, garage door controllers, and extra smart door locks and plugs are available, and you can also link a Google Nest, Alexa device, or other existing smart devices to the ADT system so that your monitoring and smartphone control of the home is complete. These will add minimally to your monthly monitoring charge. Current customers, or new homeowners who want to connect an existing system, will use the ADT Pulse system to control their devices through a smartphone app. New customers will use the upgraded ADT Control system, which includes a touch-screen control for smart devices in addition to the mobile app.
- Video: If you’re interested in adding video security to your home, the Complete Package will round out your monitoring. Including everything available in the Smart Package, the Complete Package includes an HD indoor camera, a video doorbell camera (included for free), remote viewing of live video streams from both, and customizable alerts. Equipment and installation for this package start at $1,049 (or $17.48 per month for 60 months). Two additional door and window sensors expand the package to $1,149 (or $19.15 per month for 60 months), or you can choose four additional door and window sensors plus two additional motion sensors for $1,449 (or $24.15 per month for 60 months). The monitoring for this package starts at $57.99 per month.
Additional HD indoor cameras, video doorbell cameras, and HD outdoor cameras can be added to this package for added equipment and monitoring fees.
If you choose not to purchase a preset package, your monthly cost will be determined by the level of monitoring you select plus the cost of equipment and installation. Ranging from $36.99 per month for the Essentials plan to $42.99 per month for Total Protection Plus and $52.99 per month for Premium Protection, all of these monitoring packages include the basic starting equipment for free—an $850 value—with a 36-month monitoring contract, and you can add on as needed for additional cost. Installation of equipment costs $99, and monitoring is run through your home’s landline, unless you choose to upgrade to cellular, with the exception of the Premium Protection plan, whose cost varies based on your selected equipment and runs through cellular service. Each of these packages (again, with the exception of the Premium Protection plan) also includes a $100 Visa Rewards Card offered by SafeStreets to offset the initial cost of protecting your home.
Blue by ADT
Blue is a recent addition to the ADT line of products, and it’s aimed at customers who aren’t sure about professional monitoring but want to know that the equipment they’re purchasing is reliable; those who prefer not to have professional installation; or renters, who can’t have permanent or hardwired equipment installed. With this system, you’ll do the installation yourself and make the appropriate connections to your Wi-Fi system. You’ll choose the equipment package you prefer, then enjoy a month of free professional monitoring so that you can decide if you would like to commit to the $20 per month monitoring fee or would rather self-monitor using the mobile app. The equipment is easy to set up, and there is no long-term contract. You can choose from preset packages and add on as you need to, or you can build your system from scratch on the ADT website.
A basic system includes a base, an entry keypad, and the app, which costs $109.19. From there you’ll add the number of door and window sensors you’d like ($14.99 apiece) and motion sensors, glass break sensors, and temperature sensors ($20 to $35) for full customization. Blue doorbell cameras and indoor and outdoor cameras cost about $200 each. If you’d rather not pick and choose your own equipment, an eight-piece doorbell package costs $350, a 15-piece camera system package costs about $300, and an 11-piece basic package runs about $200. Because there is no contract required for Blue, all equipment costs must be paid up front.
ADT Cost Considerations
Part of the reason computing the total cost of an ADT security system can be complicated is that there are so many factors to consider—every home and every homeowner’s needs are unique, and ADT provides options to meet the needs, so isolating a single price per package is complicated.
Contract Length and Money-Back Guarantee
A standard contract for an ADT system is 36 months, so you’re committing to 3 years of service when you sign up, and an early termination fee applies. To offset the unease that new customers might feel about such a commitment, ADT offers a 6-month trial period. If ADT is unable to resolve problems or concerns with the system, you’ll receive a refund of your equipment and installation fees. There are a number of conditions that limit this guarantee, so you’ll want to read the fine print carefully and ask your dealer questions to clarify the policy.
If you choose to take advantage of the 60-month, 0 percent APR financing of your equipment cost instead of paying up front or choosing a 36-month period, your contract will extend to 60 months to match.
Monitoring Method and Cost
ADT offers professional monitoring with all of its traditional systems for a set monthly cost based on the equipment you’ve selected. The new Blue by ADT plan offers you a choice between professional monitoring and self-monitoring with a mobile app. The self-monitor system doesn’t have a monthly cost, while the professional monitoring does. However, professional monitoring may reduce your insurance costs, so finding a balance is important.
ADT’s traditional monitoring service is provided through landlines. As many customers have moved away from landlines in favor of cellular service, ADT has adjusted its plans accordingly—but depending on your region, you may pay more per month for cellular monitoring or be required to upgrade your plan.
All of ADT’s packages include professional installation, with the exception of Blue by ADT. If you choose to assemble an a la carte package or add significant equipment to an existing package, you’ll pay extra for that installation. However, ADT boasts an average tenure of 9 years for its installation technicians, so you can be confident that they’ll assess the best locations for the equipment and install it properly.
With Blue by ADT, you’re the installer, as it’s a DIY product, so there’s no installation charge. You’re merely responsible for the cost of the tools needed to install the security system yourself.
The best deals, by far, are the packages ADT has already assembled. Adding on to those packages allows true customization of your system and will still save you money over designing your own package. This cost can be paid up front or spread over the life of your contract. If you’d like to finance the costs, ADT will spread them over the life of your contract, and a 60-month financing option with no interest is available—but be aware that this option also extends your contract to 60 months.
The packages provide a solid base, but what if you need more? Adding a few extra sensors to the package can be done reasonably inexpensively, but once you begin adding cameras and smart devices, the costs can add up quickly—and remember that you’re paying extra for the equipment itself, the installation, and potentially an additional monthly monitoring charge, so work with an ADT agent to make sure you’re not choosing more than you need.
The ADT Control App, which allows you to arm and disarm your system from your smartphone and alerts you to problems, adds $4.00 to your monthly cost.
Installing a security system makes the assumption that you’ll stay in your home, so what happens if you unexpectedly have to move? ADT offers a series of programs for existing customers who move to a new home, including significant discounts on installation and credits to your account when you arrive in your new home. If an upgrade is required (for example, your new home doesn’t have a landline, so you need to move to a cellular-based plan and equipment), programs are available to offset the additional costs while you get settled. As ADT is a nationwide company, there’s no need to worry about service interruption, and as long as you contact ADT to make the switch to your new home, you won’t be subject to cancellation fees.
Homeowners Insurance Savings
Homeowners insurance companies love home security systems. Forced-entry burglaries are expensive: Insurance policies will have to cover the cost of stolen valuables, damage to the doors and windows of the home, and potentially costs associated with identity theft. Because they know that burglars are significantly less likely to choose homes with security systems as their targets, insurance companies may provide a discount of as much as 20 percent on your policy. ADT also offers a Theft Guarantee: If a burglar breaks into your home while your ADT system is armed, ADT will cover up to $500 of your insurance deductible, so you’re saving on your premiums and potentially on your deductible as well.
ADT Cost: Benefits of ADT
Why do most people consider home security systems? The answer is simple: They’re looking for peace of mind. They want to make sure that their home and family are safe, both when they’re there and when they’re away. While all home security companies provide an increased sense of security, ADT offers some benefits beyond what most companies provide.
First, the base layer: The equipment is installed, maintained, and serviced by professionals, and the monitoring is done by experienced professionals. Because really, while self-monitored systems are inexpensive and convenient, would you prefer a beep on your phone when the glass breaks in a window downstairs, or would you prefer that someone whose heart isn’t racing is automatically calling for help and contacting you to make sure you’re safe?
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In addition, ADT has been servicing security needs for more than 145 years but has clearly moved with the times: The company has adapted to cellular service as customers dropped landlines, and it has partnered with other companies such as Google and Amazon to integrate smart technology. As consumers shifted toward DIY systems, ADT built a system that uses ADT’s carefully vetted technology in a DIY installation format that can be linked to ADT’s standard monitoring service.
While this experience comes at a higher cost than some services, the benefits available to customers who have to move, upgrade their services, or have problems with their system indicate that ADT values its customers and intends to provide high-level customer service.
ADT Cost: Who Is ADT Good For?
ADT is ideal for customers who want a full-service home security system that will be handled almost entirely by professionals. Agents will work with customers to build a system tailored to their home and security needs, either by phone or through an in-home consultation, then install the system, teach the homeowner how to use it, and monitor it continuously. The 3-year contract means that ADT is a good choice for consumers who are fairly certain that they want a long-term security solution.
ADT is also a great option for renters: Blue by ADT provides DIY installation (which means equipment can be easily removed at the end of a lease) of high-quality equipment with the options of self- or professional monitoring with no contract. It’s a flexible option that provides extra security for renters (and most likely a discount on renters insurance) without forfeiting a security deposit because of wall damage or locking them into long contracts.
ADT Cost: How to Pick the Right ADT Package for You
Home security is a highly personal choice. The goal of home security is twofold: It should provide significant protection of the home’s structure and contents through physical signage, careful monitoring, and connections to law enforcement, but it is also tied to emotion. What kind of security is necessary for you to feel safe? For some people, basic protections such as monitored window and door sensors, glass break sensors, and a motion detector in the entryway are all they need—just enough to alert them if there’s a potential problem in their home. But others, especially those who count on tech connection and video for almost every other aspect of their lives, need more coverage to feel safe: streaming video, the ability to check from their vacation spot that the garage door is still closed, the ability to change up the pattern of lights turning on and off while they’re away, and more. ADT’s starter packages give you an idea of the range of options. Start with the level that feels best for you, then consult with an ADT agent to see how you can customize it to meet your requirements without buying more than you need.
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How to Save Money on ADT Cost
The cost of full-service home security is not insignificant. And if this level of security is important to you, it’s obviously worth it—but it’s also worth looking for opportunities to reduce the overall cost.
- Check the ADT website for their current specials. As most companies do, ADT has a running and ever-changing list of specials in a dedicated tab on its home page: free cameras with purchase, extra sensors and free installation if you choose a particular package, and other bargains.
- Check to make sure your home doesn’t already have a system in place: If previous owners installed a system, ADT can work with the existing system and upgrade it for a lower cost.
- Ask your homeowners insurance company if it can lower your rates after installation. ADT provides a Certificate of Monitoring to prove that your system is active.
- Choose your equipment carefully, and think about what you really need (you can always add more later!). Just because your neighbor has cameras on every window doesn’t mean you need that many, and while a doorbell camera on a back door may be necessary in some situations, for many people it’s not. It’s easy to get carried away, and costs increase with every additional device.
For many people, the first foray into home security systems is overwhelming. There are too many choices, too many decisions, and too many warnings they’ve heard from others about what to watch out for. These are a few of the questions we’re often asked about home security systems and their answers to put your mind at ease.
Q. Does ADT charge for equipment installation?
Costs for installation vary, but usually range between $99 and $199. If you choose an equipment and monitoring package, the installation charge is wrapped into the start-up fee. This installation fee includes maintenance and repair on the equipment, along with professional installation, so you know the equipment is properly installed and working correctly.
Blue by ADT is a new self-installation program with DIY installation, so there’s no installation charge beyond your time and energy.
Q. Can ADT be hacked easily?
All security systems can be hacked. But ADT has made it so difficult to hack that it’s not worth the effort for the vast majority of hackers. A 2016 lawsuit alleging that ADT could be hacked too easily encouraged all home security companies to carefully re-examine their protocols and upgrade their security. First, security systems that include monitoring, as ADT does, also monitor their (and your) systems for hackers and intrusions, so even if the system is hacked there will be immediate protective action taken long before the hack reaches your individual system. Second, the aftermath of the lawsuit and increase in cameras as part of the home security system have led to higher-grade security cameras with better encryption, making it much more difficult to locate them in the first place in order to hack into them. ADT’s Blue cameras are regarded as being some of the most secure on the market.
Q. Does ADT have a panic button?
Yes! ADT’s Emergency 2-Button Panic device can be added on to any of its three major packages and is designed to work with the ADT Command system. The button is wireless and can be worn on a wristband or lanyard or clipped to your clothing. To prevent accidental activation, you’ll need to press and hold both buttons simultaneously to alert an ADT agent, who will connect with you and contact the appropriate assistance immediately. Whether you’ve fallen in your home and need help or are feeling unsafe for another reason, the panic button allows you to summon help as quickly as possible.