ADT vs Protection One Home Security

Nowadays, a home security system can be considered essential. Picking the right security company is a challenging task. It's no surprise that you've come across ADT and Protection 1.

ADT is one of the oldest security providers in the world, with almost 150 years in the business. Key offerings include professional installation, home automation, and multiple monitoring centers to cover their comprehensive monitoring services.

Protection 1 operated independently as a home security company for over 25 years before a merger with ADT in 2016. It's operated primarily as part of the ADT brand since then, serving millions of customers across North America. ADT is considered an industry leader for offering a wide variety of home security and automation products for commercial and domestic premises.

ADT vs Protection 1: What do they have in common?

  • Mobile app: ADT and Protection 1 use the same ADT pulse mobile app. You can receive push notifications and remotely arm/disarm your alarm system for peace of mind.
  • Smart home automation: ADT and Protection 1 have identical smart home offerings, including Z-wave compatibility and dedicated smart home products.
  • Professional monitoring: You'll receive 24/7 professional monitoring from each provider.
  • Professional installation: You can't DIY install with either provider; you'll need a pro install.
  • Equipment quality: Our SecurityNerd rates the hardware very well.
  • Long-term contracts: You'll need to take out a 3-year contract regardless of your choice.
  • Activation fee: Some companies charge an activation fee, but ADT and Protection 1 doesn't.

ADT vs Protection 1: What are the differences?

  • Equipment variety: Protection 1 offers more equipment than ADT does, including image capture motion sensors.
  • Satisfaction guarantee: Protection 1 doesn't seem to offer a guarantee, but ADT offers a six-month satisfaction guarantee.
  • Customer feedback: Protection 1 seems to have better feedback online and fewer complaints on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website.
  • Geo-fencing: Protection 1 offers geo-fencing.

Protection 1 Home Security - What you need to know

Protection 1 is a home security provider known for reliable, quality hardware and enjoys the protection of ADT's reputation. They can be costly, but they are worth the price; many commercial businesses rely on Protection 1 for security equipment.


Like ADT, a professional will visit you to complete the installation. The installation fee starts at $99 and is more expensive if the installation is more complex. You won't be able to install your system by yourself. Customer feedback states that the technicians are diligent and experienced. It's worth the price to have the convenience of professional help.


Protection 1 offers several products, including:

  • Door sensors
  • Window sensors
  • Keychain remote
  • Decals
  • Yard sign
  • Mobile and web control
  • Image motion sensors
  • Integrated camera motion detectors
  • Smoke alarms
  • Video doorbell
  • Glass-break detectors
  • Carbon monoxide sensors
  • Smart locks
  • Freeze sensors

Protection 1's quality hardware comes with a lifetime warranty.

Home automation

Your new Protection 1 system can be integrated with purpose-built products and Alexa, Google Home, and other Z-wave products, including:

  • Door locks
  • Smart lighting
  • Thermostat
  • Garage door control
  • Smart video doorbell
  • Smart switches and plugs


If you decide to purchase a Protection 1 system, you'll need to consider the following:

  • Equipment costs: With Protection 1, you don't pay upfront. You'll pay for everything on a monthly basis. Pricing for add-ons isn't available until a technician visits your home to give a bespoke quote.
  • Installation costs: Depending on the complexity of the installation and your package, you'll pay $99-$199.
  • Monthly fees: Protection 1 will cost $34.99 to $59.99 per month. The security plan is the cheapest and only includes landline access.
  • Activation fee: Many security providers charge an activation fee; Protection 1 doesn't.

Nerd pros

  • Customer service: Protection 1 has an excellent A-plus BBB rating, offering 24/7 support and fast responses. Our SecurityNerd found the representatives to be helpful, knowledgable, and friendly.
  • Reliability: Protection 1 offers more than 20 years of experience and an iron-clad reputation. They have various monitoring centers in the USA, guaranteeing your security even if disaster strikes.

Nerd cons

  • Confusing pricing: If you want add-ons, pricing can be confusing. They aren't known for transparency; you'll need a professional to come to your home and offer you a customized quote. Protection 1 won't release pricing information over the phone.
  • Long-term contracts: In all states except California, you'll need to take out a 3-year contract. In California, you'll need a 2-year contract. If you cancel your services before your contract runs out, you'll be liable for a hefty penalty.

ADT: What you need to know

ADT's familiar blue and yellow logo brings peace of mind worldwide, with over 7 million customers and a global presence.

ADT offers multiple-monitoring centers, professional installation, and 24/7 monitoring across the USA.


As with Protection 1, you won't be able to self-install this system. But don't worry - an ADT representative will visit you, discuss your needs and arrange an installation date. You'll be walked through your new system. The cost of the installation starts at $99.


ADT offers a great range of equipment, with the core system consisting of:

  • Motion sensors
  • Window sensors
  • Door sensors
  • Key fob
  • Window decals
  • Yard signs
  • Keypad

You can also buy individual add-ons on an a la carte basis.

  • Control panel
  • Outdoor security cameras
  • Smart locks
  • Garage control
  • Light control
  • Smart thermostats
  • Automated plugs
  • Carbon monoxide and smoke detectors
  • Flood sensors
  • Glass break sensors

Home automation

ADT offers Z-wave integration with products such as Amazon's Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple TV, and Nest thermostat, but there is also a dedicated range of smart home products such as garage door controls, smart plugs, locks, and lights.


If you decide to buy an ADT system, you'll have several expenses to consider, starting with:

  • Equipment costs: With ADT, you don't technically pay for the equipment. You'll pay an upfront fee for installation and a monthly fee, but you won't separately pay for your equipment upfront.
  • Installation costs: Depending on the package you choose, installation costs vary from $99 upwards.
  • Monthly costs: Monthly monitoring fees range from $35.99 to $57.99 per month.

Nerd pros:

  • Reputation: ADT is one of the biggest security companies in the world; you always know where you stand with ADT.
  • Easy installation: You won't have any installation concerns; a professional will do everything for you. You'll have a home consultation to help you understand your security needs, followed by a professional installation.

Nerd cons:

  • Customer service inconsistencies: ADT is known for excellent customer service, but ADT outsources to third-party companies, causing varying experiences for customers.
  • Add-on extras: The base packages for ADT are affordable, but extras can mount up quickly.
  • Mobile app issues: The app glitches sometimes, so it's not the best. A company of this size should have a better app.

ADT or Protection 1?

Homeowners choosing between ADT home security and Protection 1 should consider that Protection 1 has been merging into the ADT brand since 2016. There isn't much difference between the two, and the home security packages and monitoring plans have significant overlap. If you're going to choose one, you should look straight to ADT.

This article has been reviewed and approved by Officer Banta.

Officer James 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.