ADT has been around since the 1870s. So it should not come as a surprise that the company is the most popular home security system provider. With ADT, you can protect your home from just about anything. What’s more, ADT combines home security with home automation.
However, people are not impressed by ADT’s alleged lack of good customer service. Many have observed that ADT masks the prices of its equipment and service fees. In addition, there are unexpected fees that you should be wary about.
If you are not sold on ADT, or if you are still trying to decide which home security system to get, then read on as we give you the best ADT alternatives out there.
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Vivint Smart Home
If you have a smart home, or if you are planning to have connected devices, considering getting a Vivint Smart Home security system. Not only does it protect your home, it also allows you to control different devices in three ways:
- The Vivint Sky mobile app.
- Voice commands using Amazon Echo or Google Home.
- SkyControl Panel.
Some of the devices you can control using your Vivint Home Security include thermostats such as Nest and Element, smart lights like Philips Hue, security cameras, Ring Video Doorbell, smart locks, and garage doors.
With the mobile app, you can arm or disarm the security system, view your camera’s footage, and get notifications from your sensors. It also allows you to control your connected devices.
However, Vivint does not slack off when it comes to home security. Vivint offers protection against burglaries, fire, flooding, and carbon monoxide.
Some of the sensors it offers include smoke detectors, entry sensors, glass break detector, motion sensors, tilt sensor, flood and freeze sensor, and carbon monoxide detector.
Vivint needs to be professionally installed. When you get a Vivint home security system, a company representative will visit you to help you customize your system. Once you agree to everything that is going to be set up, you can schedule a professional installation with them.
Vivint locks you in for a very long time, and we are talking about four or five years. There is an option to buy the equipment you use up front if you do not like the long lock in period. If you have opted for the lock-in period and would need to move houses, you need to pay $99 and take the Vivint system with you.
Another problem with Vivint is that their customer service is not always helpful when you are still trying to decide. Questions are rushed and not always answered properly. They push you to schedule a visit in order to get a quote, as they do not advertise their sensors’ prices, as well as estimates of installation costs and their professional monitoring service on their website.
If Vivint’s less-than-stellar customer service and long lock-in periods are a big turnoff, or if you simply do not like the idea of strangers going around your home, then you should consider Frontpoint Security.
Frontpoint’s biggest draw is their painless customer service. It is clear that their sales representatives are highly trained and well-equipped to assist you in determining what to protect, what devices to purchase, and how to install everything. Frontpoint’s customer service agents seem more intent in helping you make the right choice than in making a sale. With Frontpoint, you do not get masked prices and aggressive salespeople on the other end of the line. All prices for their equipment and add-ons are there. No need for them to visit you at home just for a quote, and you can give specifications for your customized system online.
What’s more, Frontpoint allows you to install everything yourself. All devices are very user-friendly, and you get access to a website that is customized to your needs. You get step-by-step instructions on how to install the sensors and control panel, where to place and how to connect everything, and even how to get online.
The website knows it when you get stuck. If you spend a long time on a particular step than necessary, a pop-up window would appear and give you a phone number that you can call for help.
The entire installation process, from unboxing to activating your system, should take you only half an hour.
Frontpoint’s equipment falls into three categories:
- Home control.
- Home security.
- Home awareness.
All of these devices are tied to a control panel, which has a touch display. If you are more comfortable with traditional alarm systems or if you do not have smart home devices, then you can just purchase the standard control panel.
Aside from the control panel, you can also operate your security system using the Frontpoint mobile app.
What can you protect and monitor with Frontpoint? They offer a wide range of sensors that can detect glass break, unauthorized entry, flooding, smoke, carbon monoxide, and changes in temperature. You can also connect video doorbells and wireless cameras.
Frontpoint’s security system is very portable, you can take it with you when you move out without having to pay for anything. In addition, they do not tie you down with long contracts; you can choose lock-in periods of 12 months or 36 months.
What could be better
If you want to include security cameras in your security system, you might be disappointed to find out that you can only get live video streaming when you avail of Frontpoint’s most expensive plan, the Ultimate plan, which costs $50 a month.
True to its name, Simplisafe keeps things simple. You only need to buy any one of the packages that they offer and add the sensors you need. After you receive the package, you just place the sensors, the keypad and the base station where you want them.
Every device in the Simplisafe system is ready to work with one another out of the box, so there is no need for you to pair each device with the others.
Not only that, but the entire system is wireless, so you do not have to worry about laying out cables and drilling holes.
Simplisafe packages start with the Foundation at $229, where you get the base station, the keypad, an entry sensor, and a motion sensor. The most expensive package is the Haven, which costs $489 and comes with a freeze sensor, a water sensor, four entry sensors, a siren, a panic button, a key fob, a smoke detector, and two motion sensors.
Simplisafe has just recently revamped their entire line of sensors, base station, and accessories. While you have a better system with the newly redesigned Simplisafe, you can also purchase the original system for a more affordable price.
Even the professional monitoring is easy and cheap. You can get 24/7 professional monitoring and cellular backup for $15 a month. If you need email and SMS alerts, secret alerts, and remote arming and disarming functionality, you can pay $25 monthly for the Interactive plan.
If you need another reason to choose Simplisafe, then you should know that it comes with a battery backup. And yet another reason: Simplisafe allows you to monitor your home security system yourself, helping you save on outside monitoring fees.
Probably in a bid to keep things simple, Simplisafe does not have a wide range of compatible connected devices. Simplisafe works with Nest, but that’s it. When it comes to home automation, Simplisafe simply sucks. It does offer security cameras, but you can only connect one indoor surveillance camera to Simplisafe. Forget about monitoring your yard. What’s more, Simplisafe’s camera only offers the most basic features: night vision, HD streaming video, and a month’s worth of clips. You cannot pan or tilt the camera and there is no way to take snapshots.
Simplisafe does not lock you down and you can cancel anytime. However, this also means that you would need to pay for the entire system up front.
If you are looking for a home security system that allows you to get all the functionalities you want without tying you down with a contract, then you should consider GetSafe.
GetSafe has a no contract option wherein you pay $35 a month to get cellular backup, push notifications, e-mail alerts, support, and home insurance deals. The only problem is that you would need to pay for the starter kit upfront.
They offer a one-year contract for the same price of $35 per month, but you get the starter kit free with the contract. All features remain the same.
Furthermore, they offer a three-year contract for the same price and features set, a free starter kit, AND $250 worth of hardware.
GetSafe offers pretty much the same kind of sensors as Simplisafe, except for those that detect fires. However, unlike Simplisafe, GetSafe works with thermostats, garage door openers, smart bulbs, Z-wave devices, and indoor and outdoor cameras. It also works with IFTTT recipes.
What could be better
GetSafe trumps Simplisafe when it comes to automation, but pairing your connected products to GetSafe’s smart hub can be quite a pain. The company, however, has several video tutorials that can help you. In addition, their customer service is very able and competent in both explaining the system to you and troubleshooting anything that may go wrong.
Which one to get?
Looking for an alternative service provider to ADT? These are your four best bets.
If you have a smart home and looking to control your connected devices together with your security system, then get Vivint. If you do not like masked pricing and prefer to work with a company with superior customer service and no hidden charges, then get Frontpoint Security. If you do not want the hassle of laying down wires and pairing, and you do not have connected devices at home, get Simplisafe. Furthermore, if you want all the bells and whistles without being locked into a contract or without paying more monthly for the same set of features, get GetSafe.
Best ADT security alternatives to consider: Side by side comparison
|Monitoring plans start at||$39.99||$34.99||$14.99||$35.00|
Patrick Sinclair is a geek; make no mistake about that. He runs All Home Robotics in his spare time so he doesn’t have to think about his depressing cubicle and it gives him an excuse to buy expensive gadgets to review!