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AT&T Digital Life Home Security Review
Digital Life has some of the shortest contracts in the business, but not all is well in AT&T Land.
Yes, Digital Life home security still exists (though with fewer offerings). You can enlist its services. But should you?
In this AT&T Digital Life review, we’ll walk you through what’s available and help you decide if this service is right for you.
Monitoring price range
Home automation integrations
Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa
Data effective 12/02/2020. Offers subject to change.
AT&T Digital Life pricing, contracts, and fees
Want AT&T Digital Life? Then AT&T Digital Life wants your personal info. Upon checkout, AT&T will ask you for your social security number and birthdate to run a credit check on you. We think that’s a bit invasive.
You can get a Smart Security package for $549.99 and then have it professionally monitored at $39.99 each month. That’s Vivint-level pricing but without Vivint’s smart home capabilities.
If you’re remembering more options from AT&T Digital Life, you’re not wrong. It used to have three different tiers of monitoring and equipment. Now it has just the one.
Our favorite thing about AT&T Digital Life is the contracts: just 12 months. We like that so much more than the industry standard of 36 months.
Digital Life doesn’t charge you for the initial installation. But if you move during the contract period, the company may require you to pay for reinstallation or to buy a whole new system.
If you cancel early, Digital Life will charge you up to $640 to recoup its costs. We don’t like steep cancellation fees (or, honestly, any cancellation fees). In this situation, it makes a little more sense. We understand that the charge offsets the risk that Digital Life assumes by providing 12-month contracts. Still, we’d prefer to see no fees.
Also, a word of caution—with AT&T, it actually makes more financial sense to keep paying through the last few months than to cancel. $640 is more than what AT&T would make off your professional monitoring all year.
Also, if you need a technician to troubleshoot or fix something, you’ll be charged for that service call.
AT&T Digital Life equipment
Most of the Digital Life equipment is pretty meh. We aren’t sure who makes the equipment, but it’s nothing special. It looks a bit outdated, to be honest.
When you purchase the Smart Security package, you receive the following equipment:
- One keypad/control panel
- One indoor siren
- One motion sensor
- Two contact sensors
- Four window sensors
In terms of equipment, that’s not a bad package. A lot of home security companies offer just one or two sensors at the start. But it is a bad package if it costs $549.99, which it does. $549.99 worth of equipment should have a lot more bells and whistles.
AT&T Digital Life conversion kit
Source: AT&T Digital Life
A conversion kit? What’s that? According to Digital Life, you use it to convert your already existing security system to be Digital Life-compatible.
Don’t get too excited. It apparently only works with wired window and door sensors. Still, it could save you a little money . . . or not . . . since the kit costs $99.99.
AT&T Digital Life cameras
Let’s put it this way: AT&T Digital Life talks about its cameras on its website, but it doesn’t appear to have any cameras for sale at the moment. So if you’re looking for security cameras, instead of using the Digital Life e-commerce system, you may want to call in directly and see what the company has to offer.
Digital Life is currently selling an “active doorbell” online. However, based on the description, it’s not a video doorbell. It’s just a high-tech doorbell. But if you want, you can connect it to a separate Digital Life camera that will take photos when your doorbell rings.
AT&T Digital Life home automation and mobile control
First of all, if you want Digital Life in your home, you need high-speed internet. If you can’t remember what speeds your ISP promised, test your service out on our speed test tool.
According to the FCC, your internet needs to hit 25 Mbps to be “high-speed.”¹ If your internet speeds are below that, you want something faster. Otherwise, Digital Life won’t work properly.
If you have speedy internet and want Digital Life, you can choose to add the fancy doorbell, a carbon monoxide sensor, or a heat detector. In terms of home automation, that’s all you can purchase directly from Digital Life.
You can control your system using Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa. Sadly, the equipment isn’t 100% compatible with either Z-Wave or Zigbee protocols, although it does connect with some Sengled and Lutron devices.
Like most modern home security companies, Digital Life offers an app for remote access to your system.
No one is hailing the Digital Life app as an amazing piece of software, but no one’s majorly criticizing it either. It gets the job done.
AT&T Digital Life installation
When you buy AT&T Digital Life, you’ll set an appointment for professional installation. Professional installations can be time-consuming since you have to be at home when they take place. But overall, it’s nice to have your system installed by someone who knows what they’re doing.
Remember, your installation is free. But if you need troubleshooting in the future, you’ll be charged for each technician visit. So don’t let that installation tech leave until you’re satisfied that the system’s at 100%.
Installation fee: None.
AT&T Digital Life customer experience
We had high hopes for Digital Life, but we noticed in user reviews that its customer service is comparable to Comcast’s. That’s a red flag for sure.
Based on what we dug up, we have to agree that the Comcast comparison’s not outrageous. Digital Life customer service has a lot of pitfalls. It especially isn’t easy to cancel. You may have to call multiple times to get the outcome you want.
Recap: Is it good though?
AT&T Digital Life isn’t our favorite or most highly-rated service. Still, its short contracts are beaten only by the contract-free brands. If you live a nomadic lifestyle or want to leave your rental when your lease is up, Digital Life could be a good fit for you.
If you don’t want to pony up $549 for the equipment or aren’t comfortable with the credit check, try these inexpensive security solutions. Or you can look at our individual reviews for services like ADT and Frontpoint. Finally, if you’re leaning towards a DIY system, check out our favorite DIY home security systems.
Digital Life FAQ
Is AT&T Digital Life still available?
Yes, AT&T Digital Life is still around. There were rumors it would be sold in 2018, but it never was.² It’s now a skeleton version of what it used to be, but it’s alive and kicking.
Is AT&T Digital Life available in my area?
Digital Life doesn’t have clearly demarcated service areas, so if you want the service, you should first find out if you can get it. It’s not just geographical location that matters; you also have to live in a residential building with fewer than five floors.
Do I need an alarm permit to use AT&T Digital Life?
That depends on your location.
Governments tend to regulate alarm use on a municipal level. You may need to get an alarm permit, register with the police, or pay an alarm fee. You might even have to do all of those things. Just check your city ordinances and regulations.
What about my garage door?
While Digital Life offered garage door openers in the past, that equipment isn’t included on the current website. You also can’t get a smart plug, a smart door lock, a thermostat, or a water detection sensor directly from Digital Life.
The name Digital Life implies major home automation, but the offerings have changed drastically to focus almost entirely on security. You’ll have to go somewhere else for your smart plugs.