Home security is a great option when a gun won't work.

What You Need To Know

RE Factor Tactical Buyer's Guide
  • Home security can monitor fire and carbon monoxide
  • Smart security provides home automation
  • Select home security can provide video evidence

Home Security

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ADT has been around for a long time, almost 150 years long. It’s no surprise they’re so well known. In fact, they’re the leading company in security nationwide. If you’ve ever considered using ADT, make sure you read the following first for our home security review.

What does ADT Stand for?

ADT stands for American District Telegraph. It got its name back in 1874 from its founder, Edward Callahan. Callahan had created a telegraph-based system called a “call box”. The call box was a connection that sent a signal to the call center—a security measure dedicated to businesses. ADT would later make connections to homes. Unfortunately, this was more than a century ago, and telephone systems weren’t quite a thing yet. This meant the company had “runners”. It was the runners’ job to find out what happened and then notify the police. Luckily for us today, this style of security has been improved with advanced technology.

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Over the years, ADT and been bought out by various companies. And with this came a lot of minor name changes. While ADT has always kept its primary name, it’s come with some additions. When Hawley Group, Ltd. purchased ADT; they renamed the company ADT Security Systems Inc. that was in 1987. In 1996, the company had a second minor name change, ADT Security Services, Inc. Finally, Tyco International LTD bought out ADT, where it would keep its name.

ADT History

ADT has a long history, not just in its name. While ADT took off in 1874, after a home invasion, the story behind it started much earlier. Edward Callahan was not in the business of advanced home security—which is expected since home security in the 1800s lied in the hands of the homeowner and a good shotgun. Before Callahan got into the business he was a telegrapher. This explains why the telegraph was a base for his invention. After only a few years, there were call boxes in 50 towns, which meant by 1890, more than 500 homes were receiving services from ADT.

Once the wars began, ADT was needed more than ever. Many businesses lost manpower and ADT had the means to give security to those companies. During this time, ADT created the first automated alarm system, known as the Telewave automatic intrusion system. ADT also created the Teletherm automatic fire detection system.

In 1969, ADT finally became a publicly owned company. And when technology took off in the states, around 1970, so did ADT. They went on to create a more advanced security system and started the automated Central Station.

Throughout the years ADT advanced in the security industry. They created the Unimode fire system, introduced central station monitoring, and created the wireless Safewatch System. Today they’ve created a lot of great offers, each with state of the art security technology. So you can rest easy at night, knowing someone’s watching out for you.

ADT Packages

ADT offers various packages for the potential customer to select from. You can choose the most basic package, which requires you to have a landline. You can also get a basic wireless package, which is actually quite a bit more with the same services. However, they also offer wireless services and a combination. So, if you’re worried about someone cutting your landline and disabling your system, you can always go with a wireless system and a landline. Wireless is also a great option for renters. If you rent, and can’t have some company come in a drill a bunch of holes in your walls and floors, then the wireless system might work best for you. If you’re concerned about wireless falling through, again, you could opt to do both a wireless and landline combination, giving you peace of mind—something ADT has been doing for nearly 150 years.

When you finally decide on which package you want, know you’ll have to pay more than your monthly package fee. ADT services also come with a $99 installation fee. If you want an extended warranty, it’s an add-on, just like fire, Co2, and medical protection. As of this article, there’s not a huge price jump between the Basic Wireless package and ADT Pulse, and you get several new perks. You’re not paying extra for an extended warranty and you’re getting access to home automation and Mobile Access with Alerts. If you want to go all out, there’s the ADT Pulse +Video package. This package includes all the same things as ADT Pulse, except now you get security camera(s), live video streaming and recording.

A plus to selecting ADT over other security companies is their added pet-friendly motion detector. This comes with all packages and it doesn’t cost you any extra. With this detector, you don’t have to worry about your dog setting it off. ADT says their motion detector is rated for dogs up to 80 lbs.

If you decide to forgo a package, meaning you need more than the basic equipment included, you’re probably going to have to pay more. Going with their package option is definitely the better deal and you’re still getting a lot of protection 24/7.

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ADT Cameras

ADT offers a few types of cameras. They offer both an indoor and outdoor camera. Even a doorbell camera. Which is actually pretty cool. If someone rings your doorbell, you can see who’s there without leaving your couch. Or, if you’re not at home, you can do the same thing using the ADT Pulse app.

ADT Indoor Security Cameras

ADT also offers Indoor Security Cameras. If you purchase ADT Pulse +Video, you get this option. Because your indoor cameras are motion-activated, the pet-friendly motion sensor comes in handy. If it senses something other than your dog, it will send you a video clip automatically. If you have more than one indoor camera, you can always shift between them. You also have the option of recording.

ADT Outdoor Security Cameras

Outdoor Security Cameras are where it’s at. These cameras let you see who’s coming up to your property and when they leave. It’s also a great deterrent for burglary, both inside and outside the home. Combined with your ADT app, you can see your camera’s video footage at any time. The outdoor camera is similar to the indoor version, but with weather in mind. Outdoor cameras are snow, rain, and humidity resistant. The cameras also come with a built-in heater, to guarantee function at temperatures as low as -40 degrees. They’re also built with infrared night vision, meaning you can see what’s going on no matter what time it is.

ADT Prices

ADT offers home security on the more expensive side of things. But the extra cost you’re paying might be worth it if you’re looking for a long-standing company who’s been in the game since before home security was even invented. Let’s face it, ADT has been around so long, they are the real professionals out there. Just look for the promotions. ADT offers them all the time, which could actually end up saving you a lot of money.

ADT Signs

If you were thinking, “this just costs too much for me”, we understand. The good news is, you can always pretend you have ADT. Unfortunately pretending to have ADT and actually having ADT are two different things, and pretending won’t actually provide you with that much security.

So, if you’d rather forgo you, your spouse, and your child’s utmost safety, then you can always buy an ADT sign without all the ADT prices. Again, since you have to put a warning on everything these days—an ADT sign does not guarantee you or your family’s safety. So don’t be stupid and try and sue ADT after someone broke into your home, even though you put 7 signs in the yard and 26 stickers in all four corners of your windows. That’s not how these things work.


Yes, ADT has an app. I think most major companies these days do, so it shouldn’t come to you as a surprise. ADT’s app is called, “ADT Pulse”. If you have the ADT’s Pulse Monitoring +Video package, you can use the app for home automation. With the app, you can also manage, monitor, and modify your home when you’re not there. Some of the features only come with the added video package.

The app gives you the option of viewing any video cameras on your property. You can also record and save the video to your phone. The app gives you the option of locking and unlocking your doors, changing the temperature in your home, lighting, monitoring your doorbell camera, and even the option for home automation switches plugs.

Again, these functions vary on what you’ve purchased and what you’ve set-up with ADT. This means, if you don’t have a doorbell camera, you won’t be able to monitor it.

ADT Security Reviews

Overall, ADT is a great company. They provide high-quality security monitoring and you’ll always have someone watching out for you. Most people who review ADT, say they have a quick response time and have no issues with the technology. However, with any large company, there’s going to be complaints. In ADT’s case, the complaints generally come from customer service and lengthy contracts, not from the quality of security they provide.

ADT Customer Service

ADT is a large company, and like most big companies out there, they have smaller, local dealers all around the country. This can sometimes pose a problem. If you look ADT up on Better Business Bureau, you’ll find they have an A+, however, their customer service seems to take a hit when it comes to their local dealers. Meaning, depending on where you live, you could either end up with excellent or terrible customer service.

But, don’t let this be your deciding factor on choosing ADT over another company. ADT’s security services more than compensate for the local customer service some people may receive. Because at the end of the day, ADT has six monitoring centers around the nation—more than the other leading companies. This means, heaven forbid one of the centers goes down, all their calls will go to another monitoring center.

ADT Contracts

You may be turned off by ADT’s lengthy contract terms at 36-month. Three years is quite a long time. Of course, there’s always the 24-month contract option in some states. If the term agreement is more than what you’re looking for, there are other security services out there with shorter contracts. However, keep in mind, a 36-month contract isn’t really that much different from other home security services on the market. In fact, they do have a slight advantage over those other providers. In most cases, if you break your contract with a home security provider, you’ll have to pay 100% of your remaining contract off. However, with ADT, you’re only required to pay 75% of the cost back. And a 25% difference is a lot of money in your pocket.

You also have six months to test out the services, and if you’re not completely happy you can cancel your contract without having to pay that 75% back. However, that “no-hassle, money-back guarantee” is subject to the terms and agreements of the Residential Service Contract you made with ADT. They will refund your installation charge and your ADT Security Services.

The only major difference may be with military members who PCS or deploy. Security companies should let you out of their contract at no cost if it’s for a military obligation. This means, if you buy a house in Wyoming and get ADT, but two years later you PCS, you can break your 3-year contract. You also have the option of transferring your service to your new location. There is, however, a reactivation movers fee. So, make sure you talk with an ADT representative to discuss your particular situation.

Remember, before you sign your contract, read the fine print. Local permits are required with all activated security systems. Which usually requires only a small fee. It will depend on your local policy. Usually, this requires the homeowner to submit an application along with your local permit fee. For example, you may be required to mail or personally take your application to the local police department. This isn’t a fee you’re paying to ADT, and you can get fined for not filing a permit with your county.

ADT Discounts

Make sure you ask your local provider about any promotions ADT is offering. ADT has offered free installation for an indoor and outdoor security camera, large cuts in their basic installation price and so much more over the years. But remember, not all deals are offered everywhere, so check with your local provider.

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Uninstall ADT Security System

If you aren’t happy with your ADT services, you’re moving and don’t want to reinstall or you are moving to a location where ADT is not provided. You may be asking, “How do I uninstall my ADT Security System?”

Your first step is to disconnect your services. Meaning, you’re going to have to get in touch with an ADT representative to terminate your current service. Once this is done, you will be provided with a box for shipping.

You’re also going to need a couple tools: A Phillips head screwdriver and a small flathead screwdriver—not provided by ADT. Once you’ve acquired all the necessary tools to uninstall your security system, you’ll need to uninstall the base unit.

This is done by first removing the screw which holds in your transformer. You can then unplug the transformer. You should see two wires—these are your leads. Loosen the screws holding your leads down so you can remove them.

Now, onto your base unit. You’ll need to unplug the ethernet cable and the power cord. You will find another screw on the back cover of the unit—while it’s still attached to the wall, remove that screw. After you’ve loosened the screw and unplugged everything, you should be able to lift the unit directly off the mount. The back cover that’s left has screws in it as well, which you’ll need to remove. Your next step is to unplug the battery in the unit—do this by disconnecting the wires inside. There’s also a screw holding the battery in, so make sure you loosen that enough to remove the battery. Once you’ve done this, you should be able to lift the battery with the wires you unplugged. After all that’s done, simply put the unit back together the same way you took it apart. Replace the back cover and the screw to their original locations.

Your keypad is uninstalled similarly. First, you will have to disconnect your transformer—it’s exactly the same as your wall mount’s transformer. For the keypad, you’ll remove the screw holding the keypad—this should be on the bottom of the unit, depending on your model. Next, lift the unit off the mount and unplug the power cable. Remove the wall mount by taking out the screws holding it to the wall. Then, disconnect the battery and loosen the screw in the same manner as you did with the base unit. Finally, replace the back and screw it in.

If you have a table mount system, where your base unit is not plugged into the wall, you’ll simply need to unplug the system and remove the battery in the same manner as a wall-mounted base unit.

After everything is uninstalled you should be able to place the system in the provided bags and boxes for shipment. Package everything neatly and then send it on its way.

ADT Careers 

ADT has been providing home security for years and now they want to provide you with job security. ADT has a huge selection of job openings all over the country. If you’re looking to get in the business of security, look to ADT. ADT offers a range of positions from Monitoring Operator, Call Center Representative (Alarm Dispatcher), and Inside Sales Call Center Representative. ADT also believes in culture, community outreach, employee benefits, learning and development, and diversity and inclusion. If this sounds like something for you, don’t be afraid to visit their Working at ADT site, here.