Info current as of 03/20/20. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.
AT&T Digital Life: Good for Existing Customers
AT&T Digital Life requires a big buy-in for an average system. When you sign up for home security, you have to start with the Smart Security package and upgrade from there.
This starter package has a few unique sensors and devices like recessed contact sensors and an indoor siren that detects intrusion, CO, and smoke. But the best stuff like smart locks and cameras require an upgrade that hikes up an already steep bill.
The service’s website glosses over pricing and policy details like hidden repair fees and early termination. We had to ask multiple customer service agents to get a clear picture of equipment alone.
AT&T Digital Life’s onboarding fees may be a lot for newcomers. But it’s not a bad option if you’re already an AT&T customer because it may reduce your initial onboarding costs.
AT&T Digital Life app
Lack of transparency
Expensive down payment and cancellation policy
How We Reviewed AT&T Digital Life
We did a lot of digging for this AT&T Digital Life review. We sifted through customer and professional reviews, articles, user threads, and videos to better understand AT&T’s home security service.
Once we confirmed the Smart Security package was the standard base package, we spoke with several AT&T Digital Life customer service representatives to get more information. Most of the agents were friendly and helpful but confirmed that Digital Life is hiding essential details from anyone browsing its website. Learn more about our testing and research process in our full methodology.
Info current as of 03/20/2020. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change. *This price is added to your existing monthly bill. This does not represent the full cost per month.
AT&T Digital Life pricing starts at $39.99 for the Smart Security plan. From there, you can upgrade to the Outdoor Camera plan for $10 more. The energy, door, and water automation upgrades simply add $4.99 per month to your existing bill.
For monitoring, $39.99 is the starting price per month. But between this, installation, and equipment costs, AT&T requires a lot of money down for onboarding costs. To get the Smart Security plan installed into your home, you’ll need to pay about $550 up front, plus a minimum of $40 every month.
These rates are expensive compared to our favorite home security systems. Popular systems like Frontpoint and ADT don’t require money down for installation or equipment (though they both still require monthly monitoring fees).
We weren’t able to find much information on our own about prices for upgrades, so we consulted customer service. Here’s what they told us about the upgrade costs:
Indoor Smart Plug
The good news is the equipment payments are a one-time charge. So if you want to add a water sensor to your home security system, you’ll just pay the $49.99 once. That said, it might tack a few bucks onto your monthly monitoring bill.
Expensive equipment is annoying, but hiding details about pricing and products is worse. But if AT&T already provides your internet, phone, or other services, it may be worth a look.
Current AT&T customers with services like internet or home phone, may be able to bundle these services for a discount. But that may require some wrestling with customer service.
AT&T Digital Life Equipment
While AT&T Digital Life’s entry package is expensive, the company is generous with the number of sensors you get in the starter kit. The free installation doesn’t hurt either.
What’s in the Box
2 recessed contact sensors
4 surface contact sensors
The Smart Security package comes with six contact sensors total, two for door frames and four for surfaces like windows and cabinets. We don’t usually see this many sensors in a starter kit. Your entrances will be covered from the start.
The recessed door sensors hide out of sight, making them harder for intruders to tamper with. The indoor siren rings a powerful alarm whenever it senses glass breaking, carbon monoxide, or smoke in your home.
Like many other systems, all your sensors connect through the central keypad alarm. This is the control panel where you can arm and disarm your system. It also notifies you when any of your doors or windows open.
The Smart Security kit also comes with access to the AT&T Digital Life app and text and email alerts. It grants you remote access to check on your system or arm and disarm your home’s sensors even when you aren’t in.
AT&T Smart Devices, Cameras, and Home Automation
AT&T Digital Life customers get access to home automation and video by upgrading.1
Digital Life Video Upgrade
AT&T Digital Life offers an outdoor camera with this upgrade. The company does sell indoor cameras, but you’ll have to purchase one separately.
Like other security cameras, AT&T’s outdoor camera captures video clips when it senses motion like the kids getting home from school or your neighbor walking by. You can also watch live feed from the Digital Life app to check up on your home in real time.
Digital Life Energy Upgrade
This upgrade gives you more control over your electricity bill and home energy usage. The standard upgrade comes with a smart thermostat and smart plugs. You can also opt for additional equipment like smart lights and outlet controls.
All of these devices connect to your Digital Life app, allowing you to control your home’s power consumption from across the room or across the country.
Digital Life Door Upgrade
If you get regular visitors like cleaners or dog walkers while you’re away, smart locks are a clever solution. You can control them from your phone like other smart devices, allowing you to lock and unlock your doors remotely. AT&T Digital Life gives you the choice between touchscreen door lock, push button door lock, or garage door controller.
Digital Life Water Upgrade
From leak-prone water heaters to finicky washing machines, flood-causing appliances can wreak havoc on a basement, kitchen, or laundry room. The water automation package lets you puddle-jump past disaster with water detectors that alert you to pooling water or dripping pipes.
While these sensors can’t fix the problem, you’ll get alerts through text, email, or the app when your sensor detects moisture. So you can prevent a problem before it gets worse.
AT&T Digital Life Installation
One silver lining to AT&T Digital Life is the pros install the Smart Security package for free, but upgrades cost $99.99 (along with equipment and taxes).
For example, we asked an AT&T agent about installing an outdoor camera. She told us we could expect $199.99 (before taxes) for the camera and $99.99 for the installation.
Your install times and prices will vary depending on the devices you want. But beware—AT&T installers charge a $49.99 fee for repairs 14 days after your system’s installed. The more equipment you get, the more that may need repairs later on.
AT&T Digital Life Customer Service
AT&T Digital Life only provides surface-level information about its products, policies, and prices on the website. So we spoke to AT&T agents through the site’s live chat feature to find out more.
The three different agents gave us more information about equipment packages and prices. Each was very polite and as helpful as they could be, but there were some inconsistencies with what they told us.
We asked the multiple service representatives about packages and pricing beyond Smart Security, and each gave us a different story. If you want to get details on AT&T Digital Life, you may have to work with multiple service reps or expect a long phone call to get more information.
AT&T Digital Life Cancelation Policy
AT&T Digital Life’s cancelation policy is confusing but worth looking over before purchasing. Understanding this information ahead of time could save you a lot of cash if you decide to return your system.
We discovered that you have 14 days after installation to return the equipment without owing the early termination fee (ETF). After those two weeks, it gets complicated. To put it simply, you can cancel your service, but expect a whopping ETF fee around $640.
Restocking fees may also apply, and the refunds may take up to two months to reach your account. AT&T Digital Life comes with a two-year contract. So after those first 14 days, you’re locked in unless you want to pay hefty cancelation fees.
Compare AT&T Digital Life to Other Security Systems
Info current as of 03/20/20. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.*With $99 installation charge and new monitoring agreement. Early termination fee applies. See Safestreets.com for full offer details, terms, and conditions. **Frontpoint offers equipment financing for $0.
AT&T Digital Life doesn’t have the most expensive professional monitoring, but they do charge a hefty up-front equipment fee. Companies like ADT provide professional monitoring and installation, just like AT&T. But ADT leases its equipment, where AT&T sells it outright. That’s where the huge down payment comes from.
If you know you’ll be in the same home for the next few years, contracts like those from AT&T and ADT shouldn’t be a problem. But companies with self-install systems like Frontpoint are better for renters and folks who move often. Contracts from ADT and AT&T aren’t long, but you’ll pay the price in early termination fees.
With AT&T, installation is free for essential devices, but you’ll have to pay if you want upgrades. On the other hand, Frontpoint only charges for professional monitoring because it’s a DIY system and doesn’t require pros to set it up. Compared to other security systems, AT&T is more of a commitment for more money. If you don’t have the budget or aren’t sure Digital Life is for you, we suggest choosing another system.
AT&T Digital Life FAQ
Is AT&T Digital Life going away?
Despite rumors of changes, AT&T Digital Life is still up and running. It doesn’t seem like it, but AT&T Digital Life has made packages and products more exclusive in the last few years. We haven’t seen any new developments since 2018.
How much does AT&T Digital Life cost?
The basic Smart Security package costs $549 up front and $39.99 per month. This price doesn’t include taxes, extra fees, or optional upgrades.
How long is AT&T Digital Life contract?
AT&T Digital Life requires users to be under contract for 24 months (two years).
Does Nest work with Digital Life?
AT&T Digital Life works with the Nest thermostat but not other Nest products. We found a helpful video that helps you self-connect third-party products to your Digital Life system. Digital Life also works with Alexa and Google Home.
A Final Word on AT&T Digital Life
To put it simply, we don’t recommend AT&T Digital Life for home security. If AT&T is already your phone or internet provider, bundling services may save some cash. But the fees, taxes, and secrecy around AT&T’s equipment packages and policies turned us off.
Overall, we aren’t wholly impressed by AT&T Digital Life. The equipment quality doesn’t justify the prices, and the company doesn’t give much information to prospective customers.
Katie McEntire has tested home security systems in her own apartment, installed GPS trackers in her own car, and watched her cat, Toki, nap all day through a live nanny cam feed. As an expert reviewer, she believes that firsthand experience is the best way to learn about new products (even if it requires being the guinea pig). She specializes in pet safety and DIY security and has contributed to publications like DigitalCare.org and TechGuySmartBuy. Learn more