Blue by ADT Review

Blue by ADT knocks it out of the park with affordable, no-contract monitoring from ADT itself.
Best optional-monitoring system
Blue by ADT
Blue by ADT
3.8 out of 5 stars
3.75
Monitoring costs
$19.99
/mo
  • pro
    Trusted name
  • pro
    No contract
  • pro
    Affordable

Info current as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Rebecca Edwards
Security Expert, Safety & Tech Reporter
August 26, 2022

Blue by ADT offers a rare combo of free home security self-monitoring with total app access and 24-hour video storage. And if you decide you want the pros to keep an eye on your system for a while, you get to hand the reins to ADT's monitoring centers without signing a contract.

But Blue's equipment selection falls short. If you want smart home automation features or environmental sensors, you'll have to find a compatible third-party brand.

We've got the full scoop on what else you can expect with Blue by ADT.

Deal Alert!

Right now you get 30 days to try out professional monitoring without dropping an extra cent. After the 30 days, you can either lose the perks of the plan (and opt for self-monitoring) or keep it at the $19.99 per month price.

pro
Pros
pro Trusted name
pro DIY installation
pro No contracts
pro Self-monitoring option
pro Affordable price point
pro Stand-alone security cameras
con
Cons
con Clunky equipment
con Pricey smart camera add-ons
con Glitchy mobile app

How much does Blue by ADT cost?

When it comes to professional monitoring, it doesn’t get much simpler than Blue by ADT. There’s only one plan, and it’s a straightforward $19.99 per month. Here’s a look at what that $20 gets you.

Compare Blue by ADT plans

Plan
Monthly price
24/7 pro monitoring
Type of monitoring
Mobile app access
Two-way audio
Video storage
Learn more
Icon Yes  LightYes
Cellular,
Wi-Fi
Icon Yes  LightYes
Icon Yes  LightYes
60 days
Icon No  LightNo
Wi-Fi
Icon Yes  LightYes
Icon Yes  LightYes
24 hours

Info current as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Our favorite thing about Blue by ADT’s professional monitoring plan is that you can get it on a month-to-month basis. This is a big game changer for ADT.

Up until now, your only option with any ADT home security system was a three-year commitment that required you to pay 75% of the total contract no matter what. That means you’d still end up paying for the service—even if you cancelled ADT.

We’re glad to see ADT giving consumers another option that provides the reassurance of a well-known security brand without tying you to a long, expensive contract.

To dig into the differences between these two offerings, check out our ADT vs. Blue by ADT review.

Video: How ADT's DIY Security Brand Stacks Up

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Is Blue by ADT right for you?

If you're looking for something ultra simple and affordable but backed by a trustworthy and stable monitoring company, Blue by ADT's an excellent option.

Compare Blue by ADT to other home security brands

Brand
Best for
Monthly costIcon Tooltip  Dark
Starter equipment price
Contract required
Smart home compatibilityIcon Tooltip  Dark
Learn more
Read review
Best overall$599.00
Icon Yes  LightNo *
Amazon,
Google,
Z-Wave
Budget pick$245.00
Icon Yes  LightNo
Amazon,
Google
Quality DIY pick$129.00
Icon Yes  LightNo
Amazon,
Google,
Z-Wave
Most experienced$0.00
Icon No  LightYes
Amazon,
Google,
Z-Wave
Best DIY automation$279.00
Icon Yes  LightNo
Amazon, Apple, Google, Z-Wave, Zigbee
Best outdoor cameras$199.99
Icon Yes  LightNo
Amazon,
Google,
Z-Wave
Best optional monitoring$199.15
Icon Yes  LightNo
Amazon,
Google,
Z-Wave
Most gadgets$85.98
Icon Yes  LightNo
Amazon,
Google
Best customer experienceQuote required
Icon Yes  LightNo *
Amazon,
Google

Amazon.com price as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change. Read full disclaimer.
Full ADT disclaimer

Blue by ADT vs. the competition

Blue by ADT doesn't tend to rank highly in our best-of lists compared to brands like Vivint, SimpliSafe, or Frontpoint. The difference comes down to a lack of features and equipment on Blue's part. "Bare bones" is the best way to describe this system and the monitoring perks, but its price reflects that. 

Blue's professional monitoring price (about $20/mo.) is one of the most affordable in the industry—especially now that other brands have increased their prices. We've seen incremental price increases from SimpliSafe, Frontpoint, Cove, Ring Alarm, Abode, and Wyze Home Monitoring over the last year or two, but Blue's remained steady. 

Blue vs. ADT

Blue by ADT is the exact opposite of ADT in every way except the monitoring professionals—they're the same experienced folks who monitor traditional ADT security systems. 

  • Whereas ADT requires professional hardwired installation, Blue is DIY and wireless.
  • ADT requires contracts, but Blue customers pay month-to-month with no cancellation fees.
  • ADT stipulates that you must own your home—Blue is renter-friendly. 
  • ADT equipment is virtually useless without a monitoring contract, but Blue's equipment can be self-monitored.

Another significant difference is Blue offers less equipment than a traditional ADT system or most of its competitors. For example, there's no smart lock, garage door controller, extra siren, glass break sensor, CO detector, or smart home devices like smart thermostats or smart plugs. But thanks to Blue's Z-Wave and IFTTT compatibility, you can purchase third-party products that integrate with the system. It's just a little more of a hassle and a gamble versus getting everything from the same company.

Video: ADT vs. Blue by ADT: What's the difference?

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Blue by ADT tech and equipment

Blue by ADT doesn’t offer anything too fancy when it comes to equipment, but we like the multiple camera options and the fact that everyone gets full access to the Blue by ADT app—whether you opt for the monitoring plan or not.

The wireless DIY setup also makes ADT a useful home security system option for renters or others who may move before the end of a 36-month contract.

Compare Blue by ADT equipment packages

All Blue by ADT security system packages come with a base station, an ADT yard sign, four window stickers, and full access to the Blue by ADT mobile app.

System package
Price
Door and window sensors
Motion sensor
Keypad
Learn more
Add-onAdd-onAdd-on
2NoneNone
4 2None
6 2 1

Info current as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Here’s what you get in a Blue by ADT system

Take a look at the Blue by ADT equipment that’s included in most system packages. 

Blue by ADT hub

Base station

The base station is the brains of your security system. It connects all the sensors and links you to the monitoring center if you choose pro monitoring.

Entry keypad

The entry keypad offers another way to arm and disarm your system without having to access the app or dart inside the house to use the base station's keypad.

door sensor from blue by adt

Door sensor

This battery-operated contact sensor alerts you whenever a door is opened or closed.

window sensor for blue by adt

Window sensor

The window sensor lets you know if a window has been opened or closed. If a room has two or more windows, Blue by ADT suggests using a motion sensor instead.

Blue by ADT motion sensor

Motion sensor

Smoke detector

This smoke alarm triggers the base station's alarm and sends notifications to the Blue by ADT mobile app. 

Flood and temperature sensor

It's not much to look at, but this flood and temperature sensor can alert you to water leaks and almost-freezing conditions before too much damage occurs.

You can also buy some Google Nest products at the same time, like the Nest Mini or the Nest Hub. Because Blue by ADT allows you to disarm your system with a voice command and PIN code, it's one of our favorite Google-compatible home security systems.

Blue by ADT security cameras

One of the coolest things that Blue offers is the option to buy its security cameras without a full security system.

I especially love this option because, depending on the size of your home or your primary security concerns, one solid security camera may be all you need to feel safe.

My tiny apartment doesn’t need more than an indoor security camera to keep an eye on everything that matters to me. And a lone camera is perfect to greet the kids when they get home from school or chat with the delivery folks when they drop off a package.

If you like the idea of extra security but don’t think you need a full-blown system, Blue by ADT’s stand-alone camera options are an ideal solution. But first, a warning: Blue’s cameras aren’t the cheapest ones out there (or the cutest), but they do come with the added heft of ADT’s name and reputation.

Compare security cameras

Info current as of post date Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Outdoor security camera
outdoor camera kit with chime extender from blue by adt
Blue Outdoor Camera Kit
$449.97
pro 2 Blue Outdoor Cams
pro Blue Extender and Chime

The Blue Outdoor Camera Kit keeps you on top of what’s happening around your property. Whether it’s an escape-artist pooch or pesky porch pirates, these cameras add the extra eyes you need to keep everyone (and everything) safe.

The only drawback is that you can’t add ADT monitoring without a full Blue or LifeShield security system. If monitoring isn’t a deal breaker for you, here’s what you get in the camera kit.

  • Two-way talk
  • Facial recognition
  • Blue by ADT mobile app

The Blue by ADT app

Get full control over your Blue by ADT security system and cameras with this free mobile app that’s available to every ADT Blue customer. The Blue by ADT app is where you can add and remove smart home devices and control your connected gadgets.

Other security systems (including ADT’s professionally installed systems) force you to upgrade if you want remote access to your system via an app. We were delighted to see Blue by ADT throw out that practice.

Whether or not you add 24/7 monitoring to your Blue security system, you can take full advantage of everything the mobile app has to offer.

  • Remote arm and disarm
  • Live video watching
  • Saved media archive
  • Push notifications
  • Two-way talk (with compatible equipment)
  • Smart home controls
  • Area crime map

But, as with any new venture, users have reported a slew of glitches and bugs in the app.

Some folks keep getting logged out of the app, so every time they want to check in on their house or get an alert, they’re required to log in. Those few seconds can make a difference when you’re talking about the security of your home.

Other issues include lots of freezing and a buggy user interface that covers up the buttons you need to use the app. An update was released on April 6 that aims to address a lot of these issues.

We definitely like the claims about what you can do in the app. The next step will be more positive reports that those features actually work consistently.

Smart home features and compatibility

Blue by ADT is fully IFTTT compatible and works with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.

Until now, smart home limitations have been a consistent disappointment with ADT’s professionally installed security systems. To get home automation, you had to upgrade to the more expensive ADT Pulse plan.

We’re happy to see a new ADT option with built-in smart home compatibility at an entry-level price.

Thanks to Z-Wave Plus and IFTTT compatibility, you can connect your Blue security system to everything from the porch light to the smart thermostat. That’s especially convenient if you’ve been controlling your smart home gadgets in a number of different apps.

Having one place for home automation to live makes it easier to set up routines and maximize your household (and lifestyle) convenience and efficiency. The only caveat is waiting for Blue’s app to be more reliable.

Smart home brands that work with Blue by ADT

In addition to IFTTT and Z-Wave Plus compatibility, Blue by ADT is compatible with many home automation brands.

  • Amazon Alexa
  • Google Assistant and Nest
  • Philips Hue
  • Lutron
  • Sonos
  • iRobot

Blue reports that Apple HomeKit compatibility is in the works for Blue security cameras.

Customer service

Because we haven’t finished our in-home test of Blue by ADT, we don’t have a full report about how Blue is performing when it comes to taking care of customers. But here are a few important things we’ve discovered so far.

Easy online shopping

To get Blue by ADT, all you have to do is pick the equipment you want, add it to your cart, and click "Buy Now." This is a stark contrast from ADT’s traditional sales process that requires both a phone call and an in-home security consultation.

If you like to shop with as little human interaction as possible (I feel you), now you can—no need to make a new best friend in the process (woot!).

Robust online support

Blue by ADT has an impressive collection of help articles and videos that walk you through installation, troubleshooting, and commonly asked questions. In addition, there’s a separate support portal that offers even more options for help.

Email and phone support

If the online resources just don’t cut it for you, you can contact Blue by ADT for personal assistance:

There's even an online chat option in the Blue by ADT Support Center. We like the option to do a quick chat with a tech or customer service representative (instead of waiting on an email or getting involved in a phone call).

Final word

Blue by ADT is a breath of fresh air from security stalwart ADT. If you’ve wanted ADT home security but the long contracts and expensive monitoring made you gunshy, Blue is your solution. Here’s a recap of our favorite perks:

  • No contracts
  • Self-monitoring option
  • Stand-alone security cameras
  • ADT Monitoring for just $19.99 per month
  • Free mobile app
  • Human-free purchase process

Here’s where we’d like to see Blue continue to improve:

  • Address mobile app bugs
  • Work on smart camera pricing
  • Implement Apple HomeKit compatibility

Blue by ADT FAQ

If you don't see your question below, check out our full Blue by ADT FAQ page.

Yes. When ADT and LifeShield merged to form Blue by ADT, ADT continued to support existing LifeShield customers. If you have a LifeShield security system, you will continue to get the same support and monitoring services.

Yes. You can add to your current LifeShield security system with Blue by ADT devices and cameras.

Yes. Blue security systems are totally customizable. You can start out with as much or as little equipment as you want, and add to it over time.

No. Right now, you need either a LifeShield or Blue by ADT security system to add professional monitoring to your cameras.

Your cameras come with 24 hours of free cloud storage through the Blue by ADT app. If you want more, there is an option (through the app) to add 60 days of storage for around $3 per month.

 

How we reviewed Blue by ADT

On top of online research and conversations with ADT representatives, we got to check out Blue by ADT at CES in Las Vegas. We lined up what we know about this DIY offering from ADT against all the other systems we’ve tested to give you a comprehensive overview.

The key factors we compared include:

  • Price
  • Overall value
  • Reputation
  • Smart home compatibility
  • Quality
  • Features

Related articles on SafeWise


Disclaimers

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Certain content that appears on this site comes from Amazon. This content is provided "as is" and is subject to change or removal at any time.

†Google, Google Nest, Google Assistant, and other related marks are trademarks of Google LLC.

Rebecca Edwards
Written by
Rebecca Edwards
Rebecca is the lead safety reporter and in-house expert for SafeWise.com. She has been a journalist and blogger for over 25 years, with a focus on home and community safety for the past eight. Rebecca spends dozens of hours every month poring over crime reports and spotting trends. Her safety expertise is sought after by publications, broadcast journalists, non-profit organizations, podcasts, and more. You can find her expert advice and analysis in places like TechCrunch, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, The Miami Herald, NPR, HGTV, MSN, Reader's Digest, Real Simple, and an ever-growing library of radio and TV clips.

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