Should you go with a Smart Alarm System or a more traditional one like ADT?

ADT security systemLooking to set up an alarm system for your new home?  Well, I just moved apartments after 11 years and I’m in charge of gearing up an alarm system.

The first company who came to mind was ADT.  I use them for our New York Computer Help office and since 2000, luckily we haven’t had to majorly use it, but we did one time have a new hire get a little curious with pressing a hold-up button and it worked!

So, is ADT the company to go with? Perhaps, but you do have smart home alarm systems you can go with as well.  There are a slew of well-reviewed choices: SimpliSafe, iSmartAlarm, Abode, and vivint.  So, when setting up my home, I went through all these smart home choices, of course.  My favorite wound up being Abode due to the rich features and how stable the network is being that the hub is basically a powerful computer.  With these smart homes, it will either have a main hub that connects all the cameras, door and windows sensors, and devices, or rely on your wireless network’s router.  That’s not a bad thing since it is all controllable with your smartphone.

The Smart Alarm systems that you should consider are the ones that will alert the police if the alarm gets set off.  With ADT, you’re paying anywhere from $70 – 110 / month for the alarm system to alert the authorities.  With the Smart system, you’re only paying $20 – 40 / month.  This is the big difference.  You basically don’t need to pay for the ADT support and alert system which is 3-5 times the amount.  A big cost savings.

Plus, with the Smart Alarm systems, you can easily connect other smart devices, like Nest, Ring, and other home devices.  Oh wait, ADT does that too.  Yup, ADT has upped its game and also links many smart devices, such as Ring which I’m setting up.  This is the doorbell your friends or strangers will buzz.  Then, you’ll be able to see them on your smartphone and decide if you want to let them in or not.  ADT also has a smart door lock which means you can remotely open the door for people.  Pretty cool.  There are other tricks ADT has.  The point is ADT is smart-enabled also.

So, why go with ADT (or not) if the Smart home systems can do what ADT does?  That big difference is that ADT will still secure you better, plain and simple.  How?  The Smart systems all rely on your wireless computer network.  If your Internet is down, so is your alarm system.  The better ones will revert to your cell phone service as a back-up to use if your wireless network goes down.  Okay, so that’s a good fall-back, right?  Yeah, technically, but as a computer expert, I know that in practice, such a fail-over is not always seamless and may have to be manually set up when the primary option doesn’t work.  I don’t know about you, but I’m not planning to start troubleshooting how my phone can activate the alarm system during a black-out or if my Internet service provider goes down.

As for ADT, the alarm system is working off of the ADT satellite system.  This is not your wireless network, your cell network, or another possible faulty network.  With the ADT network, it is a working network that does not rely on the Internet or cell service.  Thus, you are able to sleep at night knowing your alarm system will be running 24/7.

Yes, you’ll be paying more for the monthly service and yes, your initial purchase will be higher, but what good is a service if it could possibly not be running when you need it?  So, I’m a fan of ADT.  You can certainly set up Ring, a smart home device to see who’s at your door along with Schlage, or some door unlock smart app to go along with your ADT network.  So, you have smart devices that you can set up to go with your ADT network.

Just like any security, the more stable and reliable it is, the better secured you are.  ADT does this.  And you can have fun with the smart devices to boot.  If you need help with setting up your smart devices, our onsite computer service technicians are able to help you.

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