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ADT Cameras Guide: Indoor vs. Outdoor vs. Video Doorbell Cameras

Written by | Updated August 13, 2020
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Last Updated: Less than 6 months
Coming soon: ADT and Google are partnering up in a major deal to bring Google Nest smart home products, like Nest cameras, to ADT customers. While the deal isn't yet finalized, ADT said in an August statement that the companies anticipated rolling out products as part of professional installs to ADT customers later this year.

What You Didn’t Know About ADT Home Security Cameras

ADT is one of the nation’s leading home security companies, but with such a wide array of equipment available to its customers, it can be tricky to know which of its devices does what. 

We’ve decided to put ADT’s indoor camera, outdoor camera, and doorbell camera side by side so you can see how each one works, what makes them alike, and what makes them different. We’ll also compare them to similar products on the market, like the Nest Cam and Ring Video Doorbell, so you can see how they stack up.

ADT Cameras at a Glance

Resolution
Control App Connection
Power Source
Field of View
Price
Indoor Security Camera Outdoor Security Camera Video Doorbell Camera
ADT Outdoor Security Camera ADT Video Doorbell
720p 720p 720p
Wireless Wireless Wireless
AC plug AC plug Hardwire (8–24 VAC)
128.6° 95° 180°
View Packages View Packages View Packages

Data effective 03/25/2020. Offers and availability subject to change.

SALE

ADT is currently offering a free doorbell camera ($229 retail value) with a new monitoring agreement. Terms and conditions apply. LIMITED TIME OFFER.

ADT Cameras Breakdown

Indoor Security Camera

The ADT Indoor Camera can be mounted on your wall using the mounting plate or placed on a tabletop with the included stand. It must be plugged into a wall outlet for power, but it connects wirelessly to your ADT Control app through your Wi-Fi network. With a resolution of 720p, it’s not quite as sharp as the 1080p industry standard, but the difference in picture quality isn’t all that noticeable. The camera also has infrared night vision and motion detection, but the lens isn’t adjustable. 

The ADT Indoor Camera will start recording video when the motion sensor detects movement or when your alarm is triggered, but it will only record for thirty seconds before turning off for five minutes. 

This is a feature that frustrates many ADT customers, but keep in mind that you can also watch live video at any time using the Control app, so you can tune in to your feed as soon as you receive a notification on your phone. You also have the option of starting a recording manually while watching the live feed. 

The indoor camera is useful if you’re an ADT customer and you have to be away from home while your loved ones (including those with four legs and fur) are at home without you. You can drop in anytime using the Control app’s live feed, and you’ll get movement notifications accompanied by 30-second video clips so you can keep tabs on what the kids and the pets are up to throughout the day. 

If you’re not an ADT customer and you’re trying to decide on the best indoor video camera for you, our list of the Best Home Security Cameras can help you make an informed decision. The Nest Cam IQ Indoor was one of our top ten picks because of its two-way talk, motion and sound alerts, integrated Google Assistant, and 24/7 recording options.

Pros

  • Wall mount or tabletop
  • Infrared night vision
  • Motion-triggered recording
  • Live video feed

Cons

  • 720p resolution
  • 30-second recordings

Outdoor Security Camera

The ADT Outdoor Camera works much like the indoor camera with 720p resolution, infrared night vision, and thirty-second clips with a five-minute cool-off period. What makes the outdoor camera different is its weatherproof design that can withstand temperatures between -40°F and -158F°, with a built-in heater that will kick in if the temperature drops below 42°F.

The outdoor camera also uses passive infrared (PIR) sensors that detect motion slightly differently than the indoor camera’s motion sensors by detecting body heat rather than light. These motion sensors can detect movement up to 15 feet away, but the outdoor camera has the narrowest field of vision of ADT’s camera lineup, with only a 95-degree viewing angle. 

Once again, this outdoor camera is a good choice if you’re an existing ADT customer and you want to be able to keep an eye on things outside. It works flawlessly with the ADT Control app and your ADT security system, giving you added security on the parts of your property that your ADT security system can’t reach.

If you haven’t yet settled on ADT and you want to keep shopping around for outdoor security cameras, we really like the Ring Spotlight Cam. It earned our pick for Best Outdoor Camera on our list of Best Home Security Cameras. It can run on batteries or solar power, and it has a built-in spotlight and alarm. 

Pros

  • Weatherproof design
  • Internal heater
  • PIR sensors

Cons

  • Narrow field of view
  • 720p resolution
  • 30-second recordings

Video Doorbell Camera

ADT recently decided to get in on the video doorbell action by offering its own Doorbell Camera with two-way audio. Like the outdoor camera, the doorbell camera is built to withstand extreme temperatures and adverse weather conditions, but the rechargeable battery won’t charge if it’s any colder than 32°F or any hotter than 138°F. 

The camera’s 180-degree field of vision is the widest angle of all the ADT cameras, and it has PIR motion-sensing technology and night vision. When it detects motion, or when the doorbell button is pressed, you’ll get a notification from the ADT Control app. The doorbell’s microphone and speaker allow you to use the Control app to answer your door from anywhere and chat with the person on your doorstep. 

The nice thing about the ADT doorbell is that it works so seamlessly with the ADT Control app, so you can access all of your cameras, arm and disarm your security system, and answer your door all in one app. 

It’s handy if you have people who need to access your home when you’re not there, like dog walkers or house cleaners, because you can answer the door and turn off the alarm system so they can come in. Then, if you want to, you can use the ADT Control app and your indoor ADT cameras to keep an eye on them as they move through your home. 

ADT’s video doorbell camera made our list for the Best Video Doorbells, but other favorites like the Ring Video Doorbell and the Vivint Doorbell Camera are also worth a look. If you’re up for a DIY doorbell, Ring is a great choice for its easy installation. We also like that you can customize its settings, like motion zones and motion detector sensitivity. 

Pros

  • Two-way talk
  • Rechargeable battery
  • PIR sensors
  • Wide viewing angle

Cons

  • 720p resolution

How ADT Cameras Work with a Security System

When you add ADT security cameras to your alarm system, you’re getting a family of smart home devices that work together as a team. After installation, your installer can help you set up your equipment with preferences that work as “if, then” statements to give you the maximum benefit from your cameras and system. 

For example, you can set it so if the kitchen door opens when the system is armed, the kitchen camera starts recording. Or, say, if motion is detected at the front door doorbell camera, the camera over the garage door starts recording as well. Basically, your cameras become your eyes to start watching your home in case something unusual happens there.

Because ADT equipment is “smart,” you can also add in devices with Z-Wave technology like smart door locks, lights, and plugs to work with your alarm system for even more protection. For example, if an outdoor camera detects motion outside the laundry room, you can have lights inside the laundry room turn on. It’s a great way to scare off potential intruders. 

All ADT cameras are IP cameras, which means they store all of their footage in the cloud, rather than on a local DVR. And good news, your ADT subscription comes with 30 days of unlimited cloud storage. 

When one of your ADT cameras detects motion, it will record a 30-second clip and upload it to the cloud for you to review later through the mobile app or web portal. You can use the web portal to download your ADT video clips to your computer for long-term storage if needed. Best of all, unlike other camera storage, there’s no limit on the number of clips you can keep in the cloud each month.

Keep in mind that ADT isn’t the only security company with integrated camera systems. If you’re looking for systems with DIY installation, Frontpoint made the top of our Best Security Systems list, and it has recently announced contract-free options. This puts it in line with two more of our top picks, Vivint and SimpliSafe. All three companies have solid surveillance cameras. 

Pros

  • Ethernet connection
  • Flush mount design
  • Motion alerts
  • Two-way audio

Cons

  • Professional installation
  • High price tag

FAQs

Does ADT offer video monitoring?

No. While you can get professional monitoring for your security system, the monitoring service does not include monitoring for your video cameras. Due to privacy concerns, few monitored security services offer video monitoring.  

What does “ADT Authorized Provider” mean?

When a provider is ADT authorized, it means they’re authorized to sell and install ADT equipment and use the ADT logo, but they can set their own prices and have certain policies that may be different from ADT corporate. 

Does ADT have dome cameras?

Yes, ADT offers dome cameras designed for outdoor use, but they work best when hung directly upside down. Otherwise they have a tendency to leak and cause water damage to the camera. Dome cameras offer the benefit of being more tamper-proof than the standard outdoor camera. 

What is a key fob?

A key fob is a keychain remote for your security system, similar to the remote you use to unlock your car. Pushing different buttons on the remote lets you arm and disarm your system. Like car key fobs, many security system remotes also have panic buttons. If your system is tied into a mobile app, you can use your smartphone for remote access to your system, even when you’re not home.

The Bottom Line on ADT Cameras

ADT cameras may not be classified as cutting-edge technology, but if you have an ADT alarm system, they tie in nicely with your existing devices and give you an added layer of security. The indoor camera, outdoor camera, and video doorbell are each designed to do a specific job, and for the most part, they do their jobs well. They’re a great choice if you’re one of the many people out there who feel more comfortable letting a pro handle your security camera installation.

Written by Kasey Tross

Kasey is a trained Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) member and a freelance writer with expertise in emergency preparedness and security. As the mother of four kids, including two teens, Kasey knows the safety concerns parents face as they raise tech-savvy kids in a connected world, and she loves to research the latest security options for her own family and for SafeWise readers. Learn more

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