Before we go about comparing these two home security providers, it is worth mentioning that Protection 1 and ADT Home Security have merged in 2017. Under the terms of the merger transaction, Protection 1 is now operating under the ADT umbrella.
While the two companies are no longer competitors, they still have different offerings and there are still points of comparison between them. Now, which one should you pick?
Protection 1 offers home security and home automation services. You can get intrusion and fire protection, with 24/7 professional monitoring. You can also get remote access and control of your home security system, as well as integration with smart appliances such as door locks and thermostat.
What you should know
Protection 1 has a great reputation in the home security market, with an A+ Better Business Bureau rating and a 97 percent customer satisfaction score. It has comprehensive home security and home automation plans to suit your security needs and your budget. Protection 1’s packages leverage ADT’s security hardware and their very own services to give you high-quality protection.
The basic equipment package is similar across all of Protection 1’s plan tiers.
Intrusion Protection Keypad
This touchscreen panel gives you centralized control over your home security and automation devices. With higher-tier plans, you also get mobile control over these devices. This panel supports Wi-Fi, cellular, and Z-Wave connectivity, and coordinates communication between all of the devices in your system.
3 Door and Window Sensors
These are wireless sensors that alert you if someone opens a window or a door when the system is armed.
This sensor keeps a close eye on a certain area of your home and alerts you when it detects something moving when the system is armed. This motion detector is pet-friendly, which means that you don’t have to worry about any false alarms caused by dogs or cats under 40 lbs.
This monitored alarm helps you get the help you need when it detects smoke.
Carbon Monoxide Alarm
This alarm detects the deadly gas in case there is a leak.
This device gives you an early warning about water leaks and flooding. This helps you prevent serious issues later on.
In case of a medical or household-related emergency and you don’t have time to get to the phone, you can use this panic button to alert the monitoring professionals. They will be the one to get you the help you need as quickly as possible.
You can use this remote to control if you want to do away with entering a passcode on the central panel to access your home security and automation system.
The Smart Control and Video packages, meanwhile, include an image motion sensor, which captures photos whenever it is triggered. The Video plan also includes an indoor night vision camera that monitors your home 24/7.
You can also choose to add more equipment and smart devices within your contract. Add-on equipment and devices include video cameras, remote lighting, remote thermostat, remote door lock, video doorbell, smart garage door lock, and fire and carbon monoxide detectors.
All of Protection 1’s plans fall under a 36-month contract and the cost of equipment is included in the cost of the contract. You will need to pay extra for any add-on device and equipment you want to incorporate in your system. All tiers include 24/7 professional monitoring.
You will also need to pay an extra $99 for professional installation for these plans. The company has highly trained technicians to set up your security and automation system for you.
However, if you want to set up your system yourself, Protection 1 does offer a DIY installation option.
These are the plans offered by Protection 1:
This is Protection 1’s basic home security plan and it covers most bases. This plan gives you 24/7 monitoring for intrusions, fire and carbon monoxide, flooding, leaks, extreme temperatures, and medical alerts. It also includes all of the equipment that you need for these protections. You also have the option to add more for a custom plan.
The Secure+ offers an upgrade to the Secure plan with an additional two-way voice functionality to allow you to talk to people over your home security hardware. It also adds a cellular backup if your network is down.
Smart Control: $49.99/month
Smart Control gives you all the features of the Secure+ option. It is the first tier plan that adds home automation features to your system. You will be able to control the devices in your system through your computer or your smartphone, as well as get a camera-integrated motion detector that sends you photo alerts whenever the alarm is triggered.
The Video plan is a top-tier plan that gives you a comprehensive home security and automation system. It includes everything in the lower-tier plans and adds video surveillance into the mix. You also get an indoor night vision camera to the equipment load out.
Warranties and plan cancellation
Protection 1’s plans include a limited warranty for their included equipment. They will repair or replace non-functional equipment free of charge within the first three months of the contract. Costs may apply if equipment repair or replacement is done after this period.
The company also has a safety net warranty that covers up to $1,000 of losses in case of a burglary. You will get reimbursed for your homeowner’s insurance deductible payment. This coverage also extends to losses caused by house fire if you have smoke alarms or heat sensors installed by the company.
If you choose to cancel your Protection 1 service before the end of your contract, you will get charged for the remainder of your term.
What you would like about Protection 1
There are a lot of things you would love about having a Protection 1 home security and automation system. One is the automated alerts, wherein you get to configure the types of alerts that get forwarded to your phone or that warrant a quick response from the monitoring team.
Protection 1 also boasts the Geo-Services feature for packages with home automation. This feature allows your system to track the location of your smartphone and uses this information to adjust the devices. For instance, if you are at the office, the lights are turned off, the thermostat is turned down, and the security system is armed.
The company also uses wireless technology for everything, so you wouldn’t need a landline to get your home security system running.
Another great home security feature is the built-in severe weather warnings. In case of severe weather, the system gets a notification from the National Weather Service and it will alert you so you can prepare.
There’s also the full remote control that allows you to check the security system, and make sure that everything is armed, even when you are away from home.
What’s more, you would love the medical alerts functionality offered by the panic button. This allows you to conveniently ask the monitoring team for quick assistance in the event of a medical emergency. The team will be the one to contact medical responders to come to you as quickly as possible. This means that even if you can’t get to your telephone, you can still get help from medical responders as quickly as possible.
Another thing to love about Protection 1 is its SecureMove Program, which is great for those who do not intend to stay in their current home for the entire duration of the three-year contract. Under the program, Protection 1 will give a credit of $150 towards activating a home security system alongside a residential monitoring contract.
What can be better
While Protection 1 is pretty clear about the pricing for its packages and installation, there is a lack of transparency when it comes to the price of any add-on equipment. You also may have additional fees associated with a cellular backup option.
While there are people who love the company’s wide array of equipment options, there are those who may find it overwhelming to navigate. This is the reason why the DIY installation option is a rather bad idea. If you want things to be hassle-free, you have no other choice but to leave everything to the company’s trained technicians and pay additional cost for professional installation.
The company’s high early termination fee is also something that would make you think twice about going for their services.
ADT Home Security
ADT has a well-established reputation in the home security and automation industry. With over 140 years of experience and a great track record, it is one of the most trusted security providers. It helps protect your home or business with its top-notch security systems, coupled with superior professional installation and monitoring.
What you should know
ADT offers multiple home security plans, as well as designs custom solutions. The systems that ADT monitors use hardwired and wireless equipment to detect intrusions and to automate homes for convenience and for energy-saving goals.
The company uses independent third-party retailers to provide and install security equipment. Its premier provider is Protect Your Home.
Each ADT-monitored home security system includes these basic equipment: a control panel, a motion sensor, wireless sensors, a wireless remote, a backup battery, and a yard sign and window decals.
Advanced packages get additional features. Protect Your Home supports the following types of controls, sensors, cameras, and home automation features: touchscreen control panel, keychain remote control, door entry sensor, garage door sensor, window entry sensor, glass break sensor, motion detector, carbon monoxide and smoke detector, water leak or flood sensor, indoor cameras, and keypad door locks.
ADT also has the ADT Pulse, a smart home security product that uses Z-wave technology to communicate wirelessly with various smart devices in your home. The ADT Pulse system can integrate with many third-party smart home devices, like Nest thermostat. ADT also works with Amazon Alexa to access ADT Pulse app, which means that you can just use your voice to arm and disarm your system, to make sure that your garage door is locked, or to control the lights.
Just like many other home security and alarm companies, ADT ties you up for a minimum of 36 months.
Currently, ADT has several home security system packages to choose from. These packages already include the equipment and the professional monitoring costs.
The monthly fee under your contract does not include the professional installation cost of $99, which you need to pay upfront.
The packages under ADT Protect Your Home are:
Basic Security: $27.99/month
This entry-level package gives you a digital keypad, three door and window sensors, a wireless keychain remote, an infrared motion detector, and a loud alarm siren. This plan also gives you round-the-clock professional monitoring, but it does not include smart home features.
Another thing you should know about this package is that it is landline-based. That means the system needs to be connected to a phone socket. It also has no cellular backup, so if there is anything wrong with your phone line and the alarm is triggered, there is no way for ADT to know about it. The alarm will still sound, though. And in the event of a power outage, there is backup battery to keep the system active up to eight hours.
Basic Security + Wireless Connect: $48.99/month
This plan gives you everything from the ADT Basic package, but adds the Safewatch Cellguard, or the cellular safeguard.
ADT Pulse Select: $52.99/month
Protect Your Home’s ADT Pulse Select gives you everything from the lower-tier plans with added home automation. You can use the ADT Pulse app to connect to and access your home security system from anywhere at any time. You can also arm and disarm your system and receive notifications and real-time updates while you are away from home.
ADT Pulse + Video: $58.99/month
This plan includes everything in the ADT Pulse Select but has added video surveillance. With an indoor surveillance camera, you can monitor your home via live stream directly through the ADT Pulse app.
ADT Pulse + Home Automation and ADT Pulse + Video & Home Automation plans
These two Protect Your Home plans are the top security plans, offering full home automation for those who want to build a complete smart home with a security system. The cost of the plan would depend on the cost of the equipment you need.
Other plans with other partners
Since ADT has other third-party suppliers and partners, the packages and plans, as well as their respective prices, may vary. It is important to ask around.
Warranties and plan cancellation
ADT offers homeowners a 90-day limited warranty for the security equipment. Considering that the contract runs for at least 36 months, this warranty period is actually not long enough. This is why ADT also gives you the option to avail of an extended limited warranty, called the Quality Service Plan (QSP).
Some packages have this QSP bundled in. If you select any of the Basic packages, you will have to upgrade for the QSP, which adds up to your monthly bill. The QSP generally costs $7 a month.
With the warranty in effect, if something goes wrong with your ADT home security system, you only have to pay $25 to get it fixed by an engineer.
If you decide to terminate your home security contract before the 36 months are up, you will be required to pay 75 percent of your outstanding balance.
What you would like about ADT
The best thing about ADT’s professional installation is the comprehensive risk assessment. The company’s installment professionals are highly trained security advisers and they always perform an entire-home risk assessment every installation. Through this, they are able to identify your home’s security vulnerabilities and potential risks and make recommendations for the best security solutions.
If you are a pet lover, you would love how ADT’s motion sensors are not triggered by big pets. With most other security service provides, pets up to around 40 pounds won’t trigger an alarm. But ADT’s system works with pets up to 95 pounds.
You would also like ADT’s response center, which will respond to a raised alarm quickly. A monitoring professional will attempt to contact you first using the two-way voice feature of the control panel, or through your phone. You will be asked for a password to verify your identity as the homeowner. The responder will then guide and help you identify which of the sensors triggered the alarm. However, if you do not respond to the monitoring professional, ADT will assume that there is an emergency and will call for help.
Other things you would love about ADT is the six-month money-back guarantee, the low-cost contract-free option, and good customer service.
What can be better
ADT uses independent third-party retailers to provide and install equipment. And while this is good because it can mean same-day installation in certain areas, the bad thing is that you will never know exactly what your equipment would look like until the installer comes.
Unlike other providers, ADT is not fully transparent when it comes to costs. For instance, you would have to call to get a quotation and these calls can last up to an hour because they will try to sell you more products than you actually need.
Other areas where ADT needs to improve on include the long-term contract and the high costs for moving, and the inconsistent customer service.
Comparing Protection 1 and ADT Home Security
Both Protection 1 and ADT offer quality home security and alarm systems, and both companies have an excellent customer service record. The two also offer protection against environmental threats.
Both ADT and Protection 1 use independent equipment providers. Whether you get ADT or Protection 1, you don’t pay for equipment cost. You just need to get into long-term contracts. Their contracts both run for three years. And while package costs slightly vary, both companies have the same $99 professional installation fee.
While Protection 1 has no refund policy advertised, ADT has a six-month money-back guarantee.
Protection 1 is entirely wireless, whereas ADT offers a hardwired option. ADT needs a landline connection for its lowest-tier plan.
Moreover, with ADT, its cameras only take video footages and not still images.
And if you decide to terminate your ADT home security contract before the 36 months are up, you will be required to pay 75 percent of your outstanding balance. This is a little more generous than Protection 1 and other providers.
Which one is the better choice?
Protection 1’s and ADT’s plans are great for homeowners as their equipment is typically installed by professionals, you get 24/7 monitoring, and you are bound to a 36-month contract. So, if you are renting or if you anticipate moving houses within the next three years, you will be better off with a security system that has a more DIY approach. However, if you need to pick between the two, ADT’s cancellation terms are more generous.
ADT’s contract also guarantees that you receive the best protection possible.
If you are the type of person who hates hidden fees, go for Protection 1. ADT customers do complain a lot about a seeming lack of transparency when it comes to costs.
You may also want Protection 1’s Geo-Services with your smart home features.
So, yes, each company has its own share of strengths and weaknesses. It all just boils down to your priorities and preferences as a homeowner.