7 Amazing Tricks for ADT Self Setup

We walk through ADT Self Setup’s easy setup, intuitive customer portal, robust smart home integration, and customized sensors, alerts and routines.

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Steve Siems
Feb 13, 2023
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Today, we’re taking a look at seven tips and tricks to get more out of the DIY home security system ADT Self Setup. We previously did a video review on this system, but today we’re diving a bit deeper to give you some ADT Self Setup (formerly Blue by ADT) tips and tricks for a better user experience.

Here are our top tips and tricks for ADT Self Setup:

  1. You’re responsible for setup, but it’s super easy.
  2. You should take advantage of the customer portal.
  3. You can customize your sensors.
  4. You can create your own custom alerts.
  5. You can connect ADT Self Setup with third-party devices.
  6. You can control Z-Wave devices through the app.
  7. Your ADT Self Setup system can react to multiple triggers, including third-party devices.

Keep reading to learn more.

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1. You’re responsible for setup, but it’s super easy.

Starting off, we want to point out that the ADT Self Setup system is completely DIY, meaning they do not provide professional installation.

Surprised by that? Us too. When we think of ADT, we imagine a technician coming out to our house and installing the system. With Self Setup, ADT has made things much easier for those who don’t want the cost or hassle of someone coming to their home.

This DIY version is a much easier solution, and Self Setup has made it super easy to set up.

When your system arrives, it’s already set up and good to go: ADT Self Setup has already connected all of your sensors and devices to the hub.

Blue by ADT equipment

You just have to set up the motion sensors and door and windows sensors. That involves the following steps:

  1. Remove the tab to engage the battery, and allow that device to sync with the base station.
  2. Peel off the double-sided sticky tape.
  3. Place the sensors where you want them, and you’re good to go.

Of course, if you get a package with additional ADT Self Setup devices (like security cameras), your installation process will be a little more involved.

ADT Self Setup’s doorbell camera requires some hardwiring, so you might want to invite an electrician friend to help if you’re not comfortable with connecting it yourself. But the ADT Self Setup outdoor and indoor camera options are quick and easy to set up.

2. You should take advantage of the customer portal.

You can easily check and operate your DIY system using the ADT Self Setup app on your phone. There’s also a customer portal website that you can use to monitor your system and customize some features and settings.

The website looks and works exactly like the app, so if for some reason you don’t have your phone on you or you’re at work and cannot utilize your phone, you can use the web portal to stay connected to your home security system.

Keep in mind that this is ADT Self Setup, not the traditional ADT system. It has a separate portal and mobile app than ADT's other home security system.

3. You can customize your sensors.

We recommend that you customize your sensors by naming them. When your sensors arrive, they have generic names automatically assigned to them. This can get quite confusing when you start trying to automate things.

If you’re setting up home automation features, it can be especially confusing later down the road trying to remember “window three,” “window four,” etc. Choosing exact location/names for sensors (like “Mia’s bedroom window” or “kitchen motion detector”) can take the guesswork and potential frustration out of the equation when remembering sensor names and receiving push notifications about them.

4. You can create your own custom alerts.

By default, your security system is preloaded with basic notifications like these:

  • Armed
  • Disarmed
  • Power loss
  • Connection issues

You also have the option to set up your own custom alerts. For instance, you can create a custom alert where every time the front door opens, ADT Self Setup will send you a notification. You can even set the alert up so that a doorbell or outdoor camera will record what happens.

Depending on the kind of hardware and sensors you’ve installed, you have many options for customizing your alerts.

5. You can connect ADT Self Setup with third-party devices.

Third-party integration is pretty solid with this security system. You can navigate to the third-party integration area within the app to connect Amazon, Google, Z-Wave, and even IFTTT (If This Then That).

Each integration will get you different functionality. An Amazon Alexa device or Google Home will add voice control to your system. The Z-Wave protocol enables adding a wide range of devices to your smart home suite, including locks, thermostats, and CO detectors and smoke alarms. And the IFTTT platform easily allows you to add smart home chains and routines that incorporate multiple devices.

Here’s an example routine:

  • You can set up a location service so that when ADT Self Setup detects that your phone has left the area, the system will automatically arm itself.
  • In addition to that, once the system has armed itself, you can connect it to your iRobot app, which will automatically start your robot vacuum.
  • You can also have it adjust the temperature of your Z-Wave thermostat when you arm your system.
August smart locks
Info Box

Another useful integration if you have August door locks is programming ADT Self Setup to automatically arm when your door locks.

There are a ton of other different features that you can find in the IFTTT app. To learn more, read What Is IFTTT? and Best IFTTT Devices.

6. You can control Z-Wave devices through the app.

As we mentioned, ADT Self Setup is compatible with Z-Wave devices, which include light bulbs, smart locks, thermostats, garage door openers, etc.

ADT Self Setup is compatible with Z-Wave devices.

If for some reason you try to connect a Z-Wave device that isn’t compatible with this system, it will designate it as an unknown device. It will let you trigger the device on and off. But you won’t be able to integrate and customize that device into your system as much as you can with a recognized device.

7. Your ADT Self Setup system can react to multiple triggers, including third-party devices.

ADT Self Setup opens up many possibilities for home automation. As your smart home gets “smarter” and you bring more devices into your home’s ecosystem, you can enable these devices to communicate outside your home security system.

For example, if you have security cameras that are not by ADT Self Setup, such as Ring cameras, and they detect motion, you can set ADT Self Setup to have your porch lights turn on.

And that’s it for today! Thanks for reading our ADT Self Setup tips and tricks. To learn more about this system, check out our ADT Self Setup Review.

Steve Siems
Written by
Steve Siems
Steve is a social media influencer and an overall Smart Home enthusiast. He loves to geek out with all things tech, and is quickly becoming one of the industries leading voices. When he's not in front of the camera, Steve is researching the next greatest Smart Home accessory or playing with his 2 little girls in sunny So Cal.

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