There are more solid home security options available than ever to help protect your home and family. Two brands you’re likely to encounter as you research your options are ADT and Alarm.com. Here we break down what each offers and why they may or may not be right for your family.
Both ADT and Alarm.com are in the home security business. That, however, is pretty much where their similarities end. They offer distinctly different products and services and are not direct competitors to one another.
ADT has been in the security business for 145 years. They sell a variety of security products for homes and businesses and provide professional monitoring services. Alarm.com was founded in 2007, but they’re not actually a security system provider. Rather, they're a “white label,” providing the technology that powers various home security systems, which are sold and monitored by other companies.
ADT vs. Alarm.com What do they have in common?
Home security. Both ADT and Alarm.com are dedicated to helping improve the security of homes and businesses.
Reputation. Both ADT and Alarm.com have A+ ratings with the Better Business Bureau and garner consistently positive online reviews.
ADT vs. Alarm.com What are the differences?
Offerings. While ADT sells their own line of home security systems and products and offers professional monitoring service, Alarm.com doesn’t sell any physical products, such as control panels, cameras or sensors, nor does it provide monitoring services. Rather, Alarm.com provides the technology that helps integrate and monitor systems sold by other companies and works with providers across the country who offer monitoring, support and sales.
Branding. ADT products and services are labeled as such, but you may be using Alarm.com technology without even knowing it, since some companies rebrand it as their own. For example, in some cases, you may be using the Alarm.com app to receive notifications and remotely control your alarm, but the app will be branded as that of another company.
Versatility. ADT products and monitoring services are proprietary, meaning they’re for use only with each other. Alarm.com, on the other hand, provides universal technology that works with security devices from an array of companies, including ADT in some cases.
ADT: What you need to know
ADT is a full-service home security provider. You can purchase all the equipment you need from them as well as professional monitoring service. They offer three primary packages for home security: Traditional, Control and Video. Each includes the equipment, 24/7 alarm monitoring, fire, flood and carbon monoxide detection and installation. The Control package allows you more control of your system, such as the ability to remotely arm and disarm the system and smart home controls. The Video packages adds security cameras and the ability to live stream footage from a mobile device.
ADT also sells add-on equipment such as outdoor cameras, video doorbell cameras and additional indoor cameras.
- Contracts. ADT requires you to sign a 36-month monitoring contract. If you cancel early, you may be charged 75 percent of the monthly fee for the life of the contract.
- Pricing. The cost of ADT equipment for each package is included in the installation cost. Prices for monitoring vary depending on the package you select, but generally range from $35.99-57.99. Additional products can be purchased a la cart.
- Installation. ADT systems require professional installation. Installation costs range from $99-229 depending on the system you choose.
Alarm.com: What you need to know
Alarm.com is in the home security business, but they don’t manufacture or sell home security systems or monitoring services to individuals. Rather they offer technology that helps integrate and monitor systems manufactured and sold by other companies, including GE, Honeywell, DSC, 2gig and, yes, even ADT in some cases. You may see “powered by Alarm.com” on various products. Alarm.com works with dealers across the country who sell and monitor systems powered by their technology. You can search by your zip code to find one near you.
- Contracts. There are no contracts to sign directly with Alarm.com since they don’t provide the services. You may, however, have to sign a contract with one of their services providers. The terms vary by provider.
- Pricing. Pricing varies depending on the system you choose from one of the Alarm.com services providers. Individuals can’t purchase anything directly from Alarm.com.
- Installation. Alarm.com doesn’t provide any installation services. Their providers offer both professional and DIY options, with varying prices.
Alarm.com vs. ADT: The bottom line
ADT and Alarm.com are both reputable companies within the home security space, but that’s where their similarities end. ADT provides home security products and monitoring services, while Alarm.com provides technology that powers other home security systems. It’s not an either/or choice between the ADT and Alarm.com, but rather a choice between ADT and other products and systems that may be powered by Alarm.com technology.
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.