Alarm Relay vs. ADT Security: Comparative Cost Analysis and Review

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    Alarm Relay vs. ADT Security

    In an ideal world, we would be safe enough to not need security systems. However, in our world, it is always safer to take the right precautions and keep ourselves safe. For 36 million Americans, installing a security system is the best way to protect our house and property.

    But once they decide to get a security system installed, an important question arises; should they get a monitored security system or an unmonitored one? The best way to address this dilemma is to consider their features, draw comparisons, and decide which meets your goals for home protection.

    First, let’s understand each security system type.

    When it comes to protecting your family, more people are relying on monitored alarm systems than ever. The question is how do you find that option that best suits your needs without overpaying.

    There is a massive array of options on the marketplace when it comes to home security systems. You can get all sorts of packages ranging from basic and budget-friendly home monitoring systems with equipment that you install yourself to professionally installed systems that feature flood and smoke detectors. Finding out which home security system is right for you all comes down to the overall cost, the features, the ease of use, and the customer support.

    The Need for Home Security Systems

    Even though crime rates have dropped in recent years, it is estimated that there is a break-in every 26 seconds in the US, which adds up to approximately 2.5 million break-ins and burglaries attempted throughout the country every year. Those numbers are extraordinary considering that there are so many home security systems with advanced technology available to people. Even if a break-in doesn’t result in a significant financial loss, you can’t place any monetary value on the knowledge that an intruder was in your home.

    To attain peace of mind and secure your property, it is imperative to acquire a home security system. While there are several options available to people, we felt it was time we compared two of the best ones on the market. The two companies we have chosen to highlight in our comparative cost analysis are Alarm Relay and ADT Security. So, let’s review the two brands right here.

    Reviewing Alarm Relay and ADT Security – Making the Case

    We want you to choose the best home security system based on the overall cost, the features, the ease of use, and the customer support provided to you over time. ADT Security has been around for a long time, while Alarm Relay is one of the newer names in the industry but has quickly become a nationwide brand. So, let’s see how they compare against one another to make a case for the best home security system.

    1. ADT Security

    As one of the oldest names in the industry, ADT Security needs no introduction, as it has been around for over 140 years and offers various kinds of security solutions. The key features it provides include:

    • A $99 installation fee
    • Contracts ranging between 24 to 36 months
    • Monthly monitoring costs between $27.99 to $58.99 per month
    • Landline or wireless monitoring packages

    One of the main benefits of being around in the industry for so long is that ADT has established 24/7 monitoring centers. CNET recently pointed out though:

    “Being the oldest company in a market doesn't mean you have to act the oldest, but that's what ADT's home security does. Its dependence on the online portal for its best features -- not to mention its continuing use of contracts -- feels outmoded. A painful installation process, with low passcode security standards, is even worse than outmoded; it verges on irresponsible.” CNET

    CNET

    To provide you with a decent picture of whether this is the home security system you should get for your home, let’s take a deeper look into the overall package offered by them.

    Expensive Monitoring Costs

    As one of the oldest brands in the industry, ADT commands one of the highest monitoring fees and is easily the most expensive home security system on the market. The Basic, which is their entry-level package, is offered at $27.99 per month, which may sound like a good deal, but you need to have a landline. Most people don’t have that, and you will need to account for the extra cost of installing a landline and paying for the monthly service apart from the package from ADT.

    Pay More for Advanced Features and Packages

    If you want to obtain the next level of service from the Basic package, you will need to pay more. That would be the ADT Pulse package, which doesn’t require a landline installation because it is wirelessly monitored. However, the package will cost you $53.99 per month, and if you choose to add video surveillance into the package, you will need to pay $58.99 per month to get their premium coverage.

    What You Get in their Security Packages

    ADT Security offers three basic packages, which will have different names depending on where you live in the country. These packages will provide you with the following:

    Traditional

    This is the most economical package offered by ADT and features 24/7 monitoring, window decals, and yard signs, motion detectors, wireless keychain remote, entryway sensors, and a digital panel.

    Control

    This package provides you with smart home controls, remote arm/disarm, and customized schedules, automation, and alerts with your home security system.

    Video

    This package is the top tier of their service and enhances your protection through security cameras that will live stream from your smartphone and let you save and record video clips.

    Professional Installation Required

    You will need to get professional installation for your ADT security system, where the fees start at $99 and increase as more equipment is added. You should be aware that the prices vary depending on where you live. The rates aren’t publicized because the charges for equipment, monitoring, and installation depend on the local service area.

    High Hardware Costs

    One of the main reasons why ADT Security may not be a great option for you is because they have one of the most expensive hardware devices in the industry. A simple breakdown of the hardware used in their basic package would be as follows:

    Touchscreen hub $374
    Touchscreen control tablet $200
    Cell backup $75
    Charger for tablet $50
    Window/door sensors and motion sensor bundle $150
    Desktop mounts for touchpads and hub $100 ($50 each)
    Wireless touchpad $150
    Indoor siren $90
    Keyfob $50
    CO detector $100
    Smoke/CO detector $180
    Flood sensor $100
    Glass break detector $100
    Smart thermostat $160
    Outdoor smart plug $70
    Indoor smart plug $70
    Z-Wave smart lights $60 for a two-pack
    Indoor camera $150
    Z-Wave deadbolt $250
    Outdoor camera $290
    Video doorbell $200
    MyQ $220
    The entire hardware installation cost will come up to somewhere around $3,000 to $4,000, making it extremely expensive when you compare it with Alarm Relay.

    Don’t take our word for it! Read more from a recent CNET article “ADT home security review: Clunky and overpriced”.

    2. Alarm Relay

    Alarm Relay is a relatively new company in the home security systems industry when compared with ADT Security. They offer professional, affordable, and reliable monitoring for wired and wireless home security systems. They also provide broadband, landline, and cellular monitoring through their annual service contracts that come with auto-renews. The key features they offer include:

    • Low monthly monitoring fees of $8.95
    • Compatible with security equipment installed already at your home
    • Exceptional reputation for customer support
    • UL-Listed monitoring centers

    The best part about Alarm Relay is that they don’t require you to purchase equipment from them, even though you can. They will take over your current security system, whether it is wireless or wired, and uses cellular, broadband, or landline monitoring. Alarm Relay is an excellent option if you already have a home security system in place.

    Remote Takeover

    If you already have an existing home security system in place, there won’t be any need for a technician to program the system in person. The remote takeover option offered by Alarm Relay means that they can walk you through the process over the phone. It only takes about thirty minutes to reprogram the system depending on the type and number of sensors attached to it.

    Smartphone Access

    You can get smartphone access with Alarm Relay, but you may have to pay for it. It’s an upgrade that can be applied to your monitoring system but may cost you some additional money. The best part is that you won’t get only one app to use but an entire list of apps that will work with your home security system. The ease of use ensures you can have a modern home security system at a minimal cost.

    Home Automation and Cameras

    If you want additional security features to your security system, Alarm Relay has you covered. They offer you home automation cameras and features that will give you peace of mind knowing that your home is protected from any break-in attempt.

    Moving Policy

    One of the best things about Alarm Relay is that they let you move without any costs whenever you want. It won’t be easy to move the equipment if the security equipment has been hardwired into your home. However, you get the option for installing a brand new wireless system in your new home before you transfer the service.

    Equipment and Monitoring Packages

    Since Alarm Relay mainly offers monitoring services, they choose to work with clients who have an existing system in place already. All they need to do is send someone with a takeover module, which will work with the existing security system, or they can walk you through the activation process over the phone. The cost of the module is up to $50.

    If you are looking to buy your home security system from Alarm Relay, you don’t need to worry as they provide you with superior products at the most affordable rates. They sell you Helix security systems, which are built around a control panel and comes with security and safety sensors with the ability to send alarms to the monitoring center.

    You can buy the Helix security system in various kits, which start at $179.99. You can purchase the most expensive kit for only $599.00, which comes with sensors that will cover a large house completely. There is also a fixed indoor camera with the kit.

    Apart from the kits, the best part is that Alarm Relay lets you build your security system from scratch. Here are some of the costs of devices and add-on sensors you can purchase and what they will cost you:

    1MP Outdoor Camera $199
    2MP Indoor Pan and Tilt Camera $189
    1MP Indoor Camera $99
    Helix HeliPAD $80
    Helix Siren $99
    Helix Medical Pendant $28
    Helix Keyfob $22
    Helix Tilt Sensor $47
    Helix Smoke/Heat Detector $80
    Helix Motion Sensor $66
    Helix Brick Sensor $33
    Helix Door Window Sensor $25

    When you factor in the overall cost of the equipment, you can easily see that Alarm Relay is a much better option than ADT Security.

    Apart from that, when it comes to monitoring, there is one monitoring plan offered by Alarm Relay, which can be upgraded and get different features. The plan starts at $8.95 per month, but you won’t be paying monthly. You will need to pay for the monitoring costs of one year. After the first year, the contract will be auto-renewed by Alarm Relay for another year’s service. The auto-renewal can be stopped by sending a written notice to Alarm Relay a month before the contract ends.

    The introductory price of $8.95 is meant for landline monitoring, and it isn’t as secure as cellular or broadband monitoring. If you upgrade to broadband or cellular monitoring, the monthly fee will be increased to $20. You can apply further upgrades like door open/close reports and regular connectivity tests for a fee.

    Alarm Relay also reserves the right to raise the monitoring fee once the initial contract has ended. That means if you have paid $107.40 for your first year of service, you may be expected to pay more for the second year and other years after that.

    Important Considerations When Purchasing Home Security Systems

    You may think that you don’t need a home security system because you’re living in a gated community or that you live in a safe neighborhood with enough protection around you. However, you can never be too safe, and taking preventive measures is recommended to safeguard your property and obtain peace of mind. That is why it is recommended to invest in a 24/7 monitored home security system that comes with all the bells and whistles.

    That not only deters criminals from breaking into your home but also ensures that even if they do manage to break into your home, it will be detected and reported to you and the law enforcement authorities immediately. When considering installing the best home security systems on the market today, you can’t go wrong with Alarm Relay as your choice.

    They are a relatively newer brand in the industry, but as we have already shown in our comparative cost analysis above, they are a much better shout than industry heavyweights such as ADT security. The best part about Alarm Relay is that they offer you all the sensors and equipment at an affordable rate so that you can protect your property in the best manner.

    We know how confusing it can be to choose a decent home security system, as the numerous reviews can get you bogged down in the add-on features, packages, and price points. That is why we are sharing the basic criteria you should follow to narrow down your options and find the right home security system to protect your home. These include the following:

    Installation and Equipment Costs

    You need to find out what you will be paying for the equipment and whether you will need to handle the installation costs. Apart from that, find out if you have to rent the equipment or will own it outright if it has been given to you without any charges. Learn about whether there are any add-ons and hidden fees attached to your home security system’s installation and equipment costs.

    Monitoring Service

    You also need to find out whether your home will be monitored around the clock and the service’s response time. Are the local authorities going to be contacted immediately and directly after a break-in, or will the company reach out to you first? You should also find out what will be the cost per month for the monitoring service.

    Satisfaction Guaranteed

    Do you get a trial period for checking the services of the home security system? What about if you want to change to another company, would you get a refund? Will there be any warranties provided with the equipment? These questions must be answered so that you can obtain a home security system that has your best interests at heart.

    Brand Reputation

    Check what the current and previous customers of the home security system have to say about the equipment, monitoring service, and overall experience. Also, find out how the company has been rated by the Better Business Bureau and if it can deliver on all the promises it is making for safeguarding your home.

    Features You Should Look for in Every Home Security System

    When you are looking for the best home security system in the industry, you should pay close attention to the features it is offering you. Some of the ones to watch out for include:

    Control Panels

    The control panel is essentially the brain of the home security system. They may be remotely or physically attached to electronic detectors and sensors all over the house. The control panel typically has a keypad that lets you control, activate, or disable the home security system.

    Alarms

    All home security systems have alarms that alert you whenever there is an intruder present on your property. However, there are alarms for other purposes such as flood, fire, carbon monoxide, and other disasters. There should be safety alarms installed in your home apart from your home security system.

    Window and Door Sensors

    Most home security sensors come with two parts, which include one that is placed on the window or door and another on the frame. When the door is closed, magnets run a charge through the sensor of the home security system. Whenever a window or door is opened, it breaks the circuit and triggers the sensor to sound the alarm.

    Security Cameras

    If you require complete surveillance of your home and property, you should have CCTV cameras installed on all the important points. These security cameras will transmit images to the monitor and catch any intruder attempting to trespass or break into your property or home. You can either choose to install digital or analog security cameras, which can be attached to digital video recorders to capture the images picked by the camera.

    Motion Sensors

    If you have large areas on your property surrounding your house that must be monitored, you should opt for a home security system with motion sensors. These sensors can detect movement from 50 to 90 feet away and are connected to a security camera or the home security system.

    You can either choose to install an active detector that emits sound or light and recognize a disturbance in the energy or a passive detector, which uses sound or heat waves to sense a disturbance in the environment.

    Conclusion

    Even though ADT Security is one of the oldest names in the industry, they are an outdated company that hasn’t shifted with the times. Although they have a solid home security system and a host of impressive features, when it comes to the price point, ease of use, and customer support, they lack in all departments.

    On the other hand, Alarm Relay is making a name for itself as one of the industry’s best home security system companies. They may not be the biggest brand around, but they offer an excellent monitor service and equipment package that guarantees value for money.

    Join the thousands of Americans who have pulled the plug on old school overpriced options and chosen Alarm Relay. Setting up a professional alarm monitoring service doesn’t have to be complicated. With a dedicated team to support you along the way we are always ready and available to protect your home.