Home Security Alternatives to ADT

Equipment alternative
Vivint
Vivint
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5
Starting from
$29.99
/mo
  • pro
    More affordable installation
  • pro
    Optional contract
  • pro
    Comprehensive equipment
Value alternative
Frontpoint
Frontpoint
4.3 out of 5 stars
4.25
Starting from
$34.99
/mo
  • pro
    Self installation
  • pro
    No contract
  • pro
    Comprehensive equipment
Budget alternative
SimpliSafe
SimpliSafe
4.3 out of 5 stars
4.25
Starting from
$17.99
/mo
  • pro
    Self installation
  • pro
    No contract
  • con
    Limited equipment

Long contracts, high monitoring fees, frustrating sales reps—we get it. We've spent a lot of time over the years reviewing ADT-monitored home security, and despite its longstanding reputation as a lding home security provider, it's definitely not for everyone.

The good news is that there are several quality home security alternatives to ADT, and we've rounded them up for you. We'll show you how they compare when it comes to pricing, contracts, equipment, customer service, installation, and monitoring.

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Compare alternatives to ADT

Here are four strong alternatives to ADT and the main differences between each security company and the leading home security giant.

Brand
Starting monthly monitoring fee
Starting package price
Installation fee
Installation
Contract length
Smart home compatibilityIcon Tooltip  Dark
Learn more
$0.00VariesProfessional 3 years Amazon, Google,
Z-Wave
$599.00$49.00ProfessionalNone * Amazon, Google,
Z-Wave
$99.00NoneDIY NoneAmazon, Google,
Z-Wave
$229.00$79 (DIY is free)Professional or DIY None Amazon, Google

Info current as of publish date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.
Full ADT disclaimer

1. Vivint: Equipment alternative

Smart home alternative
Vivint
Vivint
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5
Starting from
$29.99
/mo

When it comes to ADT alternatives, Vivint is probably ADT's top contender. Like ADT, Vivint offers professional alarm system installation, home automation, and professional monitoring through its in-house Five Diamond certified center, but it does all that for a lot less than the cost of ADT.

Vivint offers far more equipment than ADT, including an extra panic button, a smart light, a smart thermostat, and a unique Car Guard. Vivint's cameras also have a unique "smart deter" feature that sends potential porch pirates running. We're also big fans of the Vivint app, which makes smart home automation a snap.

ADT does pull ahead of Vivint in terms of experience and customer policies. ADT boasts over 140 years in the home security industry, whereas Vivint's been on the scene for around 20. Vivint's warranty is the shortest in the industry at just four months, whereas ADT offers a lifetime warranty.

You're expected to pay 100% of your remaining balance if you cancel Vivint, but ADT gives a slight break at 75%.

Read our Vivint vs. ADT review for our full head-to-head analysis, or check out our Vivint review.

2. Frontpoint: Value alternative

No contract alternative
Frontpoint
Frontpoint
4.3 out of 5 stars
4.25
Starting from
$34.99
/mo

It's hard to pin down Frontpoint as the best of any single category, but it offers a nice blend of equipment and customer-friendly policies. Plus, every single Frontpoint package comes with identity theft protection services, so it's really a two-in-one deal. 

With Frontpoint, you get a full suite of Frontpoint equipment (it's just missing an extra siren) that you install yourself. There's no contract, which means there's no cancellation fee. Frontpoint's equipment is covered under a three-year warranty, which is as good as it gets besides ADT's lifetime offering.

Read our Frontpoint vs. ADT review for our full head-to-head analysis, or check out our Frontpoint review.

3. SimpliSafe: Budget alternative

Budget monitoring alternative
SimpliSafe
SimpliSafe
4.3 out of 5 stars
4.25
Starting from
$17.99
/mo

SimpliSafe's main appeal is affordable monitoring, which is half the price of ADT's. There are no contracts, no cancellation fees, and optional pro installation.

If you don't want your equipment bundled into a package like ADT, SimpliSafe's Build My System tool can help you choose only the devices you need. But selection is limited—while it includes the basics like sensors and security cameras, its devices don’t include protocol for Zigbee or Z-Wave devices, so compared to ADT you won't get as many options for smart home automation.

Luckily, there are SimpliSafe outdoor cameras and the SimpliSafe Video Doorbell Pro now. Plus, its systems are compatible with August smart door locks, Amazon Alexa, and Nest.

Read our SimpliSafe vs. ADT review for our full head-to-head analysis, or check out our SimpliSafe review.

5 things to consider as you shop for ADT alternatives

You're pretty sure ADT-monitored home security system isn't a good fit for you, but the number of other home alarm system options is overwhelming. Where to start? Here are some things to consider as you shop around for an alternative to ADT.

1. How long do you expect to live in your current home?

Long contracts, a complicated moving policy, and high termination fees, are a big frustration for ADT customers, especially when an unexpected move hits.

If you think you might relocate within the next three years or you just don't want to be locked into a contract, look for a home security company with a portable security alarm system or no contracts or termination fees.

2. How much do you want to pay?

Getting a security system for free may seem tempting, but those systems are very basic, and they come with the burden of a three-year contract. Adding in extras like cameras and smart home control will cost you more in equipment, installation fees, and monthly monitoring fees.

It all adds up, and to get what you want, you may end up paying a lot more in the long run. Take the time to compare the costs over the course of three years before you decide which alarm system is right for you.

3. Do you want professional or DIY installation?

One of the strengths of an ADT-monitored system is its fleet of experienced technicians who can get your alarm system up and running for you without you having to do a thing.

But that installation comes with an extra fee, and many companies are now offering systems that require little to no technical expertise to install so you can do it yourself.

ADT alternatives include both DIY and professionally installed alarm systems, so it's important to consider which you'd be more comfortable with.

4. Do you want professional or DIY monitoring?

Just like with installation, you can go with a professional or a DIY option when it comes to monitoring your alarm system. ADT's mandatory professional monitoring with redundant security monitoring centers is great, but it definitely ups your monthly fees. If you want the reassurance of the ADT name without higher monthly costs, check out Blue by ADT, the company's DIY option. 

There are companies out there offering a choice between professional monitoring through a monitoring center, self monitoring through an alarm app, or some combination of the two. It's a good idea to decide which feels right to you before you start shopping around.

5. Do you already own smart devices that may be incorporated into your new security system?

If you've already invested in smart home devices like a Nest thermostat, Amazon Echo, or Ring doorbell, you’ll probably want to find an alarm system that works with what you have so you can operate everything from one place.

While few alarm systems out there are compatible with everything, many are increasing their integrations every day, so it's a good idea to check and see what's compatible with your favorite devices.

Final word on ADT

ADT is kind of like a home security grandpa: it's old and wise, but it also holds on to some outdated notions like lengthy contracts, mandatory professional installation, and the idea that you have to be a homeowner to use their service. (Renters are referred to Blue by ADT).

Newer companies might not have the experience of ADT, but they have a lighter touch and are more in tune with what many of today's consumers are looking for with more flexible, budget-friendly, DIY systems. They're definitely worth a look if you're ready for something different.

ADT alternatives FAQ

Most home security systems will come with an alarm panel, keypad (which may be included on the panel), two or more door and window sensors, a motion sensor, and a remote/key fob. Alarm systems that don’t have a keypad are usually controlled with an app. Once you have your basic system, you can purchase additional items like cameras, glass break sensors, and smoke detectors. Some companies offer lower prices by bundling these items together in discounted packages. 

No. Many, like SimpliSafe, contract out their alarm monitoring to established monitoring companies. Vivint and Brinks have their own monitoring centers, while SimpliSafe uses a monitoring company called COPS and Frontpoint uses Rapid Response. 

ADT’s outdoor cameras are some of the best on the market. Its indoor cameras are high quality, but they don’t have the two-way talk like cameras offered by Vivint and Frontpoint. SimpliSafe cameras have microphones to pick up audio but no speaker for you to communicate with someone in your home through your phone. 

As someone who’s had a security system since long before apps were even a thing, I can tell you that app control makes life a whole lot easier.

Rather than calling a neighbor to check on an alarm when I’m not home, I can do it myself from the app on my phone. (Half the time it’s just a sensor going off because I need to replace the batteries.)

And instead of giving my mother the code to disarm the system and hoping she’ll be able to figure it out, I can unlock the door for her and turn off the system from anywhere using the app. It’s also nice to be able to check security cameras for reassurance when I’m not around.

Basically, when you’re out, apps give you the kind of control over your system you would have if you were home.

Kasey Tross
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.

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