ADT vs. Bay Alarm

ADT and Bay Alarm are both robust security offerings, but ADT wins by default because it’s more widely available.

Most Popular
ADT
4.3 out of 5 stars
4.25
Competitive Small Service
Bay Alarm
2.8 out of 5 stars
2.75
Brianne Sandorf
Staff Writer, Home Security & Smart Home
Read More
December 09, 2020
3 min read

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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.

Medical alert devices
Bullhorn

Bay Alarm Security is associated with a medical alert company, Bay Alarm Medical. (Think along the lines of Life Alert.) They’re related but have entirely different locations, CEOs, and logos. ADT has a medical alert system 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
Company
Monitoring price range
Contract
Home automation integrations
Learn more

ADT

$27.99–$62.99/mo.

36 mos.

Icon Yes  DarkYes

Bay Alarm

Call for quote

36 mos.

Icon Yes  DarkYes
Data effective 12/09/2020. 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 nine monitoring centers. If one ADT monitoring center becomes unavailable, one of the 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 service.

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.

What should I look for in a medical alert?
Info Box

Ideally, a medical alert system would include fall detection and a GPS device, but it really depends on the brand and package.

ADT and Bay Alarm pros comparison
ADT
  • Far-reaching reputation
  • Professional installation
  • Multiple monitoring centers
Bay Alarm
  • Excellent customer service
  • Professional installation
  • Bay Alarm Link mobile app

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. 

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 mostly represented by a bunch of different vendors and installers who work under the ADT label, which makes it easier to provide service across the US. But if you don't want to hassle with a third party, customers have the option to go through ADT directly. 

ADT also offers a DIY self-installation security system through Blue by ADT, which has month-to-month contract options and lower-cost monitoring options. 

ADT doesn’t make its own equipment.

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
ADT
  • Expensive
  • Installation prices aren’t transparent
  • Poor customer service
Bay Alarm
  • Limited locations
  • Equipment prices aren’t transparent
  • Monitoring and installation fees aren’t transparent

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:

Brianne Sandorf
Written by
Brianne Sandorf
Brianne has a degree in English and creative writing from Westminster College and has spent 6+ years writing professional, research-based content. Before joining Reviews.org, she wrote safety and security content for ASecureLife.com. Her pieces and quotes are published across the web, including on MSN.com, Social Catfish, and Parents.com. Hobbies include wearing a seatbelt, wearing a life jacket, and keeping her arms and legs inside the ride at all times. Contact her at brianne@reviews.org.

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