ADT Pulse Review 2020

ADT Pulse is like the VIP room of ADT’s home security options, and the price shows it.
ADT Defenders Vertical logo
Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Lots of smart home options
Security camera support
More expensive than Vivint

We’ve talked about ADT’s security system before. And you’ve no doubt heard the name “ADT.” But have you heard about ADT Pulse?

You might ask, “What is ADT Pulse? How much does it cost? Can it help me foil my cat’s endless quest to push all my books off the shelves while I’m at work?” All excellent questions—and we’re here to answer them.

The short answer is that ADT Pulse is ADT’s fanciest security offering. You can automate your home, put up security cameras, and maybe even stop your calico from causing chaos. (We said “maybe.”) The only downside is the price.

ADT Pulse plans and pricing overview
CompanyMonitoring price rangeContractHome automation integrationsLearn more
ADT Pulse$58.99–$59.99/mo.36 mos.Z-Wave, Amazon Alexa, Google AssistantView Plans

ADT Pulse monitoring and pricing

ADT has super-reliable professional monitoring, but the prices for ADT might give you some sticker shock.

ADT’s monitoring is one of its best features. Monitoring means the professionals are constantly keeping an eye on your system, so if any intruders make their way into your house, ADT will know about it and call the cops for you.

Plus, ADT has multiple monitoring centers scattered around the country, so even if one is taken out by a hurricane and another gets swamped in a flood, someone is still there in case something happens.

But how much does it cost to get monitoring for your ADT Pulse system? Let’s take a look.

ADT Pulse monitoring plans
PlanPriceSmart home support?Learn more
ADT Pulse Monitoring + Video$58.99/mo.NoView Plans
ADT Pulse Monitoring + Smart Home Connect $59.99/mo.YesView Plans

If you’ve shopped around and seen how much other security companies (like Vivint or Frontpoint) charge for their monitoring plans, then you might think the Pulse prices look a bit steep. And they are. But ADT’s diehard reliability and top-notch tech make up for it.

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Want to know more about ADT pricing?
Learn more about contracts and installation fees on our total ADT system review.

ADT Pulse technology and equipment

ADT Pulse uses standard equipment but can help you turn your house into a smart home.

If you got a system from some other security company out there, like Link Interactive or Protect America, your equipment would probably look pretty similar to what you’ll get with your ADT Pulse system.

That’s because most traditional security companies, including ADT, use third-party equipment from companies like Honeywell, GE, and 2GIG.

Even if it’s standard, the equipment is pretty cool. The control panel lets you control everything from your thermostat to your door locks right from the touchscreen. Plus, all the wireless sensors communicate with both the panel and the mobile app so you can turn on the lights and fire up the A/C before you even get home.

ADT Pulse equipment also comes with cellular backup. That means if your power goes out or your Wi-Fi goes down, your security system will still stay up and running. (Pretty important if you live in a stormy area.)

ADT Pulse system features:

  • Works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant
  • Works with your smartwatch
  • Works with Z-wave smart home devices


ADT Pulse offers both indoor and outdoor cameras. It even has a doorbell camera so you can make sure no one steals your latest Amazon shipment.

Source: ADT

All the ADT Pulse cameras record in 720p (which is high definition), and you can get indoor and outdoor models alongside that snazzy new doorbell cam. But we’d still say these aren’t the best cameras we’ve seen.

If you want some really nice security cameras you can show off to the neighbors, we think there are better indoor, outdoor, and even doorbell options out there. We’d say ADT’s cameras are more like bonus add-ons to your whole home security system.

Home automation

Now this is where it gets fun. ADT Pulse gives you a foot in the door to all sorts of home automation options. You want smart locks? Smart lights? Smart outlets? What about a smart garage door opener? With ADT Pulse, you got it.

Plus, all that smart stuff connects to the ADT Pulse mobile app so you can monitor and control everything from your phone.

ADT Pulse home automation integrations

  • Lights
  • Garage door
  • Thermostats
  • Locks
  • Electrical plugs and switches
  • Cameras (including doorbell cameras)
  • Smoke and CO sensors
  • Entry sensors
  • Flood sensors

With the control panel or the mobile app, you can also set rules for your smart home gadgets. Let’s say you want your lights to turn on and your thermostat to readjust every morning at eight o’clock—ADT Pulse can do that for you.

Mobile app

Source: ADT

The mobile app gives you a livestream view of your cameras. You can also use the app to arm and disarm your system, see which doors are open or shut, and even see what the weather’s like.

The app will also show you what’s happened in your house over the last day, week, or month. If you wanna see when exactly it was the babysitter brought the kids home from the park last week, you can check in the app.


If you’re looking for a DIY kind of deal, then ADT Pulse isn’t it. ADT professionally installs all its systems, which is nice if you want to make sure that everything is in place and ready to go before you trust the system with your safety.

On the flip side, professional installation does come with a fee, and it’ll take a few hours out of your day.

ADT Pulse installation fee: $99

The installation tech will go over your system and equipment with you before you sign on the dotted line. If you want to add an extra sensor or you decide you actually don’t need that indoor camera in your garage, then you can settle all that on installation day.


ADT Pulse is a pricey security option, but the reliable name behind it might make it worth it.

ADT security systems logo

ADT Pulse is not the cheapest system on the market, but it’s a huge upgrade over the standard ADT system. ADT Pulse gives you tons of smart home integration options and security camera support that’ll make your life easier and keep your home safer.

Monitoring: ADT Pulse monitoring is some of the most reliable out there. It has multiple monitoring centers around the country, so someone’s always watching your system.

Security equipment: ADT Pulse equipment is all wireless, and it lets you control everything from lights to locks right from the control panel, your smartphone, or your smartwatch.

Cameras: ADT’s cameras are a bit middle-of-the-road, but they do offer high-definition recording, and you can view clips and your camera’s livestream in the ADT Pulse app.

Home automation integrations: ADT Pulse supports all kinds of smart home integrations, like lights, locks, and thermostats. You can automate as much or as little of your home as you like.

Installation: ADT systems are all professionally installed, so a technician will come to your house and do the work for you.

Do you have an ADT Pulse system? Do you think it’s worth the upgrade? What smart home integrations do you use with your system? Let us know in the comments!

Additional contributors

Trevor Wheelwright