ADT Home Security System Review

Upgrade from Basic

Single Family House


As I had mentioned in the About Me page, I have an ADT Home Security System at my house and the monthly monitoring costs have been going up. I'm paying now $54.99/month. So I thought to check out a few reviews that would help me to decide how to lower the monthly monitoring cost and/or get some of my equipment upgraded. There is lots of information out there on the internet, but most of it are inconsistent, meaning that the monitoring and equipment costs are different in different reviews.

That's why I decided to review the alarm systems myself and help you by sharing the reviews with you. Since I have ADT now, it was more than obvious to do an ADT home security system review first. In my case, I wanted to look at details of what needs to be done to upgrade my current system. Therefore, I grabbed my phone and dialed the ADT toll-free phone number. Here is what I found out:

The ADT Customer Service Call

What to upgrade to?

Surprisingly, I was transferred right away to an agent. Off to a good start. After going through the process of determining that I am a current customer, we got right to it. My options to upgrade were the following:

  • ADT Pulse + Video Camera
  • ADT Pulse + Video Camera +  Additional Equipment
  • ADT Pulse + Additional Equipment (no video camera)
  • CellGuard/Basic wireless


An inventory of my ADT equipment  

Key fob
Key fob

  • 1 Control Panel
  • 8 window sensors (6 on the first floor - 2 on the second floor above the patio roof)
  • 2 door sensors
  • 1 motion detector
  • 1 alarm (very loud)
  • 2 key fobs (remotely arm or disarm the alarm system, like from the garage)
  • 1 equipment box with system boards and backup battery
 ADT Pulse + Video Camera

I decided to get some details on the big option 'ADT Pulse + Video' first since this is probably the highest in price. This option is basically to remotely access the security system utilizing a smartphone, plus it does have an indoor security camera. The camera is mounted at a location that you decide on with a wireless connection to the control panel. For all of this to work, one needs to have an internet connection in the house.

Security Camera

All my current sensors for the windows and the doors will be replaced, as well as the motion detector. My old control panel, as well as the key fobs, are compatible with the new package, so they stay but need to be re-programmed by an ADT technician.

A wireless router, called the I-Hub, needs to be installed and connected to the internet. I asked if that would interfere with my current wireless system, and I was told that it will not. Knowing a bit about computers, I can imagine that it will take out some of the bandwidths that I am using for regular internet usage. They could not tell me how much bandwidth that router will use.

The price tag:
  • I-Hub - $99.99
  • Activation fee - $25.00
  • Total installation cost (I-Hub + Activation fee) - $124.99
  • Monthly monitoring cost - $57.99
  • 36 months monitoring contract


ADT Pulse + Video Camera + Additional Equipment

I then asked what additional equipment can be added and how much would the additions cost. I was told the additional equipment is:

  • Light source (this light source will be connected to an outlet in your house with a wireless connection to the control panel)
  • smoke detector
Light Source

This light source, like a lamp, will be connected to an outlet in your house with a wireless connection to the control panel.

Smoke Detector

Smoke Detector smallThe smoke detector will also be connected to an outlet in the house to your choosing with a wireless connection to the control panel.

Accessing extra equipment

Of course, Light Source, Smoke Detector, and a video camera can be accessed via cell phone. Regarding cell phones. The monitoring can be done on more than one cell phone. ADT Technicians would program the cell phones.


Equipment warranty

This is great! ADT actually gives you an equipment warranty as long as you are a customer with the company.

The price tag:

Now that came as a surprise! The agent found yet another great discount package that actually lowered the cost of the ADT Pulse + Video Camera package.

  • Total installation cost (includes I-Hub and Activation fee) $110.00
  • Monthly monitoring cost - $52.99
  • 36 months monitoring contract
ADT Pulse + Additional Equipment (No Video Camera) 

Since I wanted to have the additional equipment, I opted to get information on this option. It has all the features described under ADT Pulse + Video Camera and ADT Pulse + Video Camera + Additional Equipment, except it does not have a video camera.

The price tag:
  • Total installation cost (I-Hub + Activation fee) - $252.52  - What an increase! 
  • Monthly monitoring cost - $49.99
  • 36 months monitoring contract


CellGuard/Basic Wireless
What is CellGuard?

Monitoring CenterCurrently, I have a landline which is used to monitor my security system. There are certain drawbacks to landlines. Natural disasters like floods and thunderstorms may knock out your phone line and your home protection is jeopardized. CellGuard is basically getting rid of the landline and the monitoring is going wireless. This is not archived by using your cellular phone, but rather by sending a radio signal to an ADT Monitoring center. This will not use your home's internet connection.

My control panel needs to be upgraded so it can work sending the radio signal via a wireless cellular network. Since CellGuard uses the same equipment box that I already have, the backup battery is certainly a plus in case of a power outage.

So I'm told there is an additional charge to this.

The price tag:
  • Installation fees $99.00
  • No new contract


The agent just found another discount, because I have been a long time customer:

  • FREE
  • No New Contract

How about that!


Mover’s Security Guarantee

Since I am a long time ADT customer, I qualify for this special. If I move to another house, Mover’s Security Guarantee provides me with a free system and 25% discounts on ADT parts like sensors and more. That's a pretty good deal.


In Summary


The call to ADT certainly gave me a better understanding of my options if I want to upgrade my ADT home security system. Looking at all the options, I would most likely opt for the ADT Pulse + Video Camera + Additional Equipment. 

This would lower my monthly monitoring cost by a couple of dollars, gives me a nice upgrade of all my equipment, and adds a remote secure video camera to it. I can now watch via cell phone that all is fine in the house, will be alerted to any possible fire hazards, and can turn on a light when coming back during night time. The installation fee of $110.00 is not too bad.

I hope this ADT Home Security System Review will help you to upgrade your security system if you are an ADT customer with aging equipment. If you have any comments and/or information that may help others, please fill out the comment section below. I will make that information available to others.


What is Next?


Since I'm already looking at ADT, my next review will be for ADT 'New Customers'. Please check in regularly to see when that review is available. Talk to you soon and thanks for checking in.



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