If you're looking for a new home security system, you have a number of security companies you could choose from. Two such companies are ADT and Ackerman Security. Ackerman Security was started by George Ackerman in Atlanta, Georgia, more than 50 years ago when he was injured in a home invasion and realized that home security services were only for the wealthy, so he sought to start his own security provider to remedy that. ADT has an even longer running history with more than 140 years in the business and 7 million customers across North America. Few companies can claim such extensive histories, but we'll take an in-depth look at them both to see which is best for you.
ADT vs. Ackerman Security: What are the similarities?
- Years of experience: Almost no other security providers can claim the decades of experience that ADT and Ackerman can.
- Hardware: Our SecurityNerd rated ADT and Ackerman similarly for their hardware. The security equipment offered is high-tech and easy to use. There is some crossover as both are authorized dealers of Honeywell equipment.
- Professional installation: You’ll need pro installation irrespective of which security provider you choose. You can’t install your system on a DIY basis.
- Professional monitoring: Professional monitoring with speedy emergency response is available.
- Push notifications: Via their respective mobile apps, you can receive push notifications to help you monitor your security system most effectively. You can also arm/disarm your system remotely.
- Commercial cover: With either provider, you can purchase a security system for your business (or home).
- Long-term commitment: They’re not especially flexible - you’ll need a long-term contract.
ADT vs. Ackerman Security: What are the differences?
- Pricing: ADT is typically very upfront and transparent about pricing; Ackerman isn't. It can be hard to know exactly what you're paying with Ackerman until you're ready to purchase a system.
- Payment guarantee: Ackerman's warranty will cover you in the event of a break-in, theft, or loss of up to $25,000. ADT will cover you, too, but the no-theft guarantee only applies to values up to $500.
- Service area: ADT covers all of North America (and beyond) but Ackerman only covers a few states in the USA. Georgia, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, and Pennsylvania.
- Smart home integration: Ackerman isn't compatible with Z-wave or 'If This Then That' (IFTTT) technologies.
Ackerman Security - What you need to know
Ackerman Security is a medium-sized security provider based in Atlanta, Georgia. They have a great anti-theft guarantee but there are some areas of concern such as a lack of quality smart home options and poor customer reviews.
You won't get away with DIY installation here - you'll need professional installation. As with many alarm companies, you'll need to pay upfront for your installation and there'll also be a $99 activation fee.
Ackerman doesn't give out many details, but here are some of the equipment variations that you could potentially include in your unique Ackerman system, as per the company's website.
- Carbon monoxide detectors
- Smoke detectors
- Control panel
- Smart thermostat
- Smart video camera
- Doorbell camera
- Garage door control
Ackerman has several customizable smart home products, too. But you'll need to buy them alongside your security package. Ackerman isn't great at integrating with third-party home automation products and doesn't use IFTTT.
Costs are difficult to define with Ackerman, they'll only share pricing information once you enter into negotiations with them. Online reviews indicate that pricing begins at around $20 for monthly monitoring services and a $99 service fee is required for activation.
- No theft guarantee: The no-theft moneyback guarantee is great peace of mind.
- Professional installation: You can sit back and let the pros handle it - you won't have any worries of DIY installation to contend with.
- Reliable connection: You won't have to worry about the reliability of your connection. Ackerman can run via your landline but also benefits from cellular backup. Your alarm will always be online and you'll be watched carefully by the monitoring center. You won't need to worry about your wires being cut deliberately or a power outage, either as their cellular backup can protect you from this.
- Long-term commitment: You'll need to purchase a 3-year contract to have an Ackerman security system.
- Customer service: Ackerman Security receive customer support complaints - it appears that they outsource some of their customer services, which results in customers having issues contacting support, but there are also some complaints regarding issues canceling and installation issues.
ADT: What you need to know
ADT provides services globally and is an international household name. The familiar blue logo is a common sight around the world. With multiple monitoring centers around the USA and more than 7 million customers, you know it's a name you can trust.
As with Ackerman, you won't be able to install it on a DIY basis. An ADT representative will come to your home to complete the installation for you before walking you through your new system to ensure you get the most out of it.
The basic security system is made up of:
- A push-button keypad with landline monitoring
- Door/window sensors
- Motion sensors
- Key fob
- Yard signs
- Window decals
Regardless, you can buy add-ons such as security cameras on an a la carte basis.
- Touchscreen control system (monitoring through cellular service)
- Outdoor camera
- Smart door locks
- Light control
- Garage control
- Window sensors
- Smart thermostats
- Automated switches and plugs
- Indoor camera
- Doorbell camera
- Carbon monoxide and smoke sensors
- Flood detectors
- Glass break sensors
ADT offers a small range of home automation, but unlike Ackerman, you can also use ADT with Z-wave and IFTTT tools such as Nest thermostat, smart locks, Amazon's Alexa, and Google Assistant.
ADT has a range of costs for you to consider:
- Equipment costs: If you buy an ADT system, the equipment costs are incorporated into the upfront/installation costs.
- Installation costs: Depending on the package you select, installation costs vary from $99-$229.
- Monthly costs: Monthly monitoring costs range from $35.99 to $57.99 per month.
- Reputation: ADT is one of the largest security companies in the world, meaning you know you can trust 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 has previously been known for great customer service, but this experience varies as third-party companies operate under the ADT brand sometimes.
- Add-on extras: The base packages for ADT are affordable, but extras can add 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 Ackerman Security?
Homeowners on the lookout for security solutions may have a hard time choosing between ADT and Ackerman - we can see why. If you're looking for a long-running company with a large service area, you should consider ADT. They're reliable, you know what you're getting, and you can trust the brand. But if you're looking for a company that services Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Georgia, or Pennsylvania and has the best money-back guarantee, you should take a chance with Ackerman Security.
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.