If you're looking for a new home security system, it's no surprise you've come across ADT. First known as American District Telegraph, they've been around for 140 years, and the blue ADT logo is a familiar sight to those who've never had an alarm system. But not as many have heard of Abode - a company launched in 2014 by an ex-ADT executive. Abode's selling point is DIY home security systems at a reasonable price; ADT is a giant security company with over 7 million customers throughout North America. Let's take a look at Abode and ADT side-by-side to see what they both offer.
ADT vs. Abode Home Security: What are the similarities?
- Smart home automation: Despite a significant price difference, we rated Abode and ADT similarly for smart home options. You'll receive everything you need to start your own smart home security system, such as compatibility with Amazon Alexa. Abode does offer a little more in this area, though.
- Environmental sensors: Environmental sensors can save you thousands of dollars if there's an emergency such as a flood or leak if you're not home.
- Mobile apps: The apps offer similar functionalities, including push notifications to help you keep an eye on everything and the ability to monitor, arm, and disarm your alarm system remotely.
- Smart door locks: You can use smart door locks - never lock yourself out ever again! You can also pre-program your door to unlock or lock, which is a handy feature.
- Video doorbell: Doorbell cameras are a popular feature that can help you communicate with delivery people or a friend who's dropped by. You can give the impression that you're home - even if you're not.
ADT vs. Abode Home Security: What are the differences?
- Price: ADT is a premium provider that makes no apologies for its price - which is why it's often considered one of the most expensive providers in the market. Professional installation can cost over $200, and monthly costs can be upwards of $60.
- Customer service: ADT has an A+ rating with a Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating. However, Abode has nothing but complaints with the BBB. They have a long way to go before competing with ADT in this area.
- Reputation: Abode is very much the new kid on the block, but everyone has heard of ADT.
- Contracts: ADT requires long-term contracts; Abode doesn't require any contracts.
- Loss guarantee: ADT provides a warranty against losses; Abode doesn't.
Abode: What you need to know
Whether you're a renter or homeowner, Abode is a good choice. It is a flexible option that provides you with an array of smart home options such as Z-Wave, Alexa, and Nest. In addition, Abode offers flexibility with hardware and professional monitoring, a feature shared with the best DIY companies.
Abode has a couple of easy-to-understand packages, but you can also purchase equipment on an a la carte basis. Available equipment includes:
- Gateway control panel (or iota control panel for an extra $30)
- Window/door sensors
- Motion sensors
- Key fob
- Glass break sensors
- Indoor and outdoor sirens
- Water leak detector
- Power switch
- Occupancy sensor
- Temperature/light sensor
- Smoke alarm
- Wide-angle motion camera
- Abode indoor camera
Abode manufactures a few of its own smart home products. Still, the best part is that Abode is compatible with other integrations such as the Apple Homekit, Alexa, Nest, and Google Home.
Abode earns points for a simple installation and quick setup, but professional installation is also offered.
- Equipment cost: You'll need to purchase a starter kit, but they're reasonably priced. The Abode Iota is popular as an all-in-one security kit. You have to buy one of the two starter kits, but both aren't too expensive.
- Monthly costs: If you self-monitor, you'll only pay a fee for cellular backup ($8 per month) or professional monitoring ($20 a month).
- Flexibility: When you're looking at your Abode system, you can choose pretty much whatever you want - whether that's self-monitoring, professional monitoring, etc., it is up to you.
- Price: This is an ideal choice for consumers on a budget, with competitive equipment prices, low upfront costs, and low commitment.
- Customer service: Abode has room to grow in this area; online reviews report long wait times.
- No outdoor camera: Outdoor cameras are a significant deterrence; while Abode lists its new outdoor camera as "coming soon," it is not yet available to purchase.
ADT: What You Need to Know
ADT is an international household name, providing services globally. ADT rates well for home automation, equipment quality, and more. ADT home security is one of the best home security systems with multiple monitoring centers across the USA - but it comes at a price. Let's take an in-depth look at what ADT has to offer.
You can't install on a DIY basis - installation is included in your package cost. An ADT representative will come to your home to discuss installation with you, then walk you through your new security system to ensure you get the best of it.
The equipment you'll have varies; the basic traditional security system comprises:
- Push-button keypad (monitoring through landline)
- Window/door sensors
- Motion detector
- Key fob
- Yard signs and window decals
However, you can purchase add-ons such as security cameras on an a la carte basis.
- Touchscreen command system (monitoring through cellular service)
- Outdoor camera
- Keyless door lock
- Light control
- Garage control
- Window sensors
- Smart thermostats
- Automated switches and plugs
- Indoor camera
- Doorbell camera
- Carbon monoxide and smoke detectors
- Flood sensors
- Glass break sensors
ADT offers a small range of home automation and compatibility with some smart home devices, including smart locks, thermostats, garage door control, smart lights, and Alexa integration (which allows you to access voice control).
When you purchase a security system, there are quite a few costs to consider. ADT is no exception, and you should focus on:
- Equipment costs: With ADT, the equipment costs are included in the upfront/installation costs.
- Installation costs: Depending on the package you choose, installation costs vary from $99-$229.
- Monthly costs: Monthly monitoring fees range from $35.99 to $57.99 per month.
- Reputation: ADT is one of the biggest security companies in the world, meaning you don't have to leap into the unknown when you're signing up for a system with them.
- Easy installation: You won't have any installation worries. A professional can do it for you. They'll give you an at-home consultation to help you understand exactly what you need.
- Customer service inconsistencies: ADT is known for excellent customer service, but third-party companies operate under the ADT name in some places, causing varying experiences for customers.
- Add-on extras: The base packages for ADT are affordable, but extras can mount up quickly.
- Mobile app issues: Customers have reported losing connectivity or seeing delays with the app from time to time, which can become an annoying issue.
ADT or Abode?
If you're looking for a well-known company with the best professional monitoring service, response time, and security equipment, you should consider ADT. But it will be pricey. Suppose you're looking to save some money and prefer lower-tech security services with better smart home integration and DIY installation? In that case, you could look at an Abode system as a good alternative.
This article has been reviewed and approved by Officer Banta.
Officer Banta is the official SecurityNerd home security and safety expert. A member of the Biloxi Police Department for over 24 years, Officer Banta reviews all articles before lending his stamp of approval. Click here for more information on Officer Banta and the rest of our team.