ADT vs. Bay Alarm 2020

ADT and Bay Alarm are both robust security offerings, but ADT wins by default because it’s more widely available.
  • Most Popular
    3 out of 5 overall
  • Competitive Small Service
    2.5 out of 5 overall

You’ve heard of ADT. You’ve heard of Bay Alarm. But you haven’t heard how each compares to the other.

If you’re contemplating one of these brands for your home security, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s dive into ADT vs. Bay Alarm.

Bullhorn icon
Medical alert devices
Bay Alarm Security is associated with a medical alert company, Bay Alarm Medical. They’re related but have entirely different locations, CEOs, and logos. ADT has a medical alert offering, too, which can come as part of a home security bundle. Because Bay Alarm Security is so divorced from Bay Alarm Medical, we won’t compare the Bay Alarm and ADT medical alert systems in this review.
ADT vs. Bay Alarm package comparison
CompanyMonitoring price rangeContractHome automation integrationsLearn more
ADT$36.99–$62.99/mo.36 mos. YesView Plans
Bay AlarmCall for quote36 mos. YesView Plans

Data effective 03/02/2020. Offers subject to change.

What we like about ADT

ADT touchscreen control panel and sensors

The biggest benefit of using ADT is the name. It’s like that cheerleader/class officer/prom queen from your high school that everyone knew by reputation. Some intruders refuse to mess with the best-known brand in the business, giving you an extra layer of protection.

ADT also brings you a complete professional installation. To the delight of grandparents everywhere, you don’t have to be tech-savvy to use ADT. (Not to mention that ADT offers an old-school landline alarm system.)

Finally, with ADT, you get the security of not one, not two, but six monitoring centers. If one ADT monitoring center becomes unavailable, one of the five others will pick up where it left off.

What we like about Bay Alarm

Bay Alarm system

Bay Alarm Security is kind of like ADT on a smaller scale. It’s not available everywhere, but because of its well-ranked medical alert devices, its name is known even in places where it doesn’t provide security.

But while ADT’s service is just so-so, Bay Alarm’s is incredibly well reviewed. It’s clear that Bay Alarm cares about its customers.

Like ADT’s, Bay Alarm’s home security systems are professionally installed to save you some hassle.

One other thing: we like the Bay Alarm Link app. Remote access apps can be a pain, but this one has a user-friendly design.

ADT and Bay Alarm pros comparison
ADTBay Alarm
Far-reaching reputationExcellent customer service
Professional installationProfessional installation
Multiple monitoring centersBay Alarm Link mobile app
View PlansView Plans

What we don’t like about ADT

You practically need a king’s ransom to afford an ADT system. The professional monitoring prices are so sky-high, they rival the Tower of Babel. And we know the equipment’s far from cheap, although we’re still trying to get ADT to share the exact price.

ADT doesn’t make its own equipment.

What, you may ask, do you get for this princely sum? We’re not sure—ADT doesn’t even make its own equipment.

We also struggle with ADT’s customer service. ADT’s not known for helpful reps or installation techs. Part of that may be because of the brand’s fractured approach: ADT is represented by a bunch of different vendors and installers who work under the ADT label. That makes it easier to provide service across the US but harder to maintain a centralized standard.

What we don’t like about Bay Alarm

Bay Alarm Security isn’t nationally available. You can get it in California and parts of Washington state and Arizona. But if you live anywhere else, no Bay Alarm for you.

Also, remember how we just decried ADT for not being forthcoming about its equipment prices? Bay Alarm also has that same problem, only 100% worse. Until you get on the phone for an estimate, you won’t even know monitoring or installation costs.

ADT and Bay Alarm cons comparison
ADTBay Alarm
ExpensiveLimited locations
Equipment prices aren’t transparentEquipment prices aren’t transparent
Poor customer serviceMonitoring and installation fees aren’t transparent
View PlansView Plans

Which one should you choose?

We prefer Bay Alarm’s customer service, but we can’t deny the star power of ADT.

It depends.

Bay Alarm’s only an option if you live in one of its service areas. But if you do, we urge you to consider it. We think the stellar customer service is worth at least getting a quote.

If you live elsewhere, it’s hard to go wrong with ADT. Sure, it’s expensive, and we think its approach to handling customers could use some help. But there’s power in that blue octagon.

Want to learn more?

Feeling unsatisfied with these recommendations? There’s still a whole world of home security out there. Check out some of our other reviews: