Blue by ADT Review 2020

We like Blue by ADT more than ADT’s regular offering, and we think it holds its own in the DIY space.
Blue by ADT logo
Overall Rating 3.5 out of 5
Reasonably priced
Option for self-monitoring
Separate customer service department

Does Blue by ADT live up to all its hype? It comes close.

We’re definitely surprised that something so user-friendly and cutting-edge would come from the big, slow ADT monolith. But even if you don’t compare it to traditional ADT services, Blue by ADT is a competitive DIY offering.

Let’s talk more about it in this Blue by ADT review.

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Where did Blue by ADT come from?
Blue by ADT is a DIY system sold through LifeShield, which was formerly known as InGrid. It’s a little confusing, we know.
Blue by ADT plans and pricing overview
CompanyMonitoring price rangeContractHome automation integrationsLearn more
Blue by ADT (ADT/LifeShield)$0.00–$19.99/mo.

None

Yes
View Plans

Data effective 05/20/2020. Offers subject to change.

Blue by ADT pricing, contracts, and fees

When you go Blue, you have no contracts or fees.

We never thought we’d say this about an ADT product, but you can self-monitor your Blue by ADT system, and it’s free. If you don’t want to do that, you can pay just $19.99 a month for professional monitoring.

Blue by ADT plans and pricing overview
CompanyPriceContract lengthLearn more
Self-monitoring$0.00/mo.NAView Plans
Professional monitoring$19.99/mo.NAView Plans

Data effective 05/20/2020. Offers subject to change.

If you get a video doorbell camera, you need to get a separate cloud storage plan (more on that later).

Blue by ADT equipment is very affordable.

Speaking of video doorbell cameras, Blue’s equipment is very affordable. Packages start at $109.19. That includes the base, the entry keypad, a yard sign, four window stickers, and a free month of monitoring services. For the price, that’s quite good.

Of course, you need to buy some additional equipment to use the base and keypad, but you’ll find that the individual pieces of equipment have market prices or, shockingly, better. ($8.99 door and window sensors, anyone?)

You can also get more expensive packages, like the 11-piece system. It comes with the base, the keypad, four door/window sensors, a motion sensor, a fire safety sensor, a keychain remote, a yard sign, four window stickers, and a free month of monitoring—all for $199.15. The price is on par with Abode and Ring’s cheapest packages, but it includes more devices.

Contracts

There are no contracts with Blue by ADT. You couldn’t get a contract agreement even if you wanted one.

Fees

Because you’re installing and maintaining the equipment yourself, there are no fees associated with Blue by ADT.

Blue by ADT equipment

Blue by ADT appears to use proprietary equipment over Alarm.com stuff.

We’re super surprised and delighted to see that Blue’s equipment seems to be proprietary.

Like tons of other big-box home security companies, ADT outsources its equipment production to Alarm.com. That means that, while the products are ADT branded, they’re the same as other major players’ equipment.

In contrast, Blue by ADT’s equipment is unique. Some or all of it seems to be created specifically for LifeShield. Plus, the devices look like a million bucks. They’re all gray or white, with soft, rounded edges—definitely less austere than the home appliances of yesteryear.

Our only criticism is that the equipment isn’t actually blue! We feel deceived.

Packages

Let’s break down the Blue by ADT security packages.

Blue by ADT packages overview
Blue by ADT packageBasicsCamerasSensorsPrice
Build Your Own System1 base
1 entry keypad
1 yard sign
4 window stickers
NoneNone$109.15 + cost of any additional equipment
8-Piece Doorbell Camera System1 base
1 entry keypad
1 yard sign
4 window stickers
1 doorbell camera2 door/window sensors$349.99
11-Piece System1 base
1 entry keypad
1 keychain remote
1 yard sign
4 window stickers
None4 door/window sensors
1 motion sensor
1 fire safety sensor
$199.15
15-Piece Camera System1 base
1 entry keypad
1 keychain remote
1 yard sign
4 window stickers
1 indoor camera6 door/window sensors
2 motion sensors
1 fire safety sensor
$295.12

Data effective 05/20/2020. Offers subject to change.

All plans come with a free month of professional monitoring from ADT.

Blue by ADT fire safety sensor

Blue fire safety sensor

This fire safety sensor goes next to your fire alarm. If the alarm goes off, the sensor picks up on it and alerts you. Blue’s taken a page out of Ring’s book with this sensor, which is a lot like the Ring listener.

We especially like this approach because you don’t have to replace your existing smoke detector.

Heads Up icon
Does Blue by ADT’s fire safety sensor work with my carbon monoxide alarm?
No, it’s for fire safety only. In contrast, Ring’s listeners work with both.

Blue by ADT cameras

Blue outdoor camera

The Blue cameras are downright pretty. You might be able to deter burglars simply because they’ll be too mesmerized by the pearl-gray hardware to strike.

But the cameras don’t just look good. They’re also full of useful features. For instance, all of Blue’s cameras come with facial recognition, which is unusual for a camera at the $200 price point.

Blue by ADT camera specs
FeatureBlue indoor cameraBlue outdoor cameraBlue doorbell camera
Two-way talk

Yes

Yes

Yes
Night vision

Yes

Yes

Yes
Facial recognition

Yes

Yes

Yes
Motion detection

Yes

Yes

Yes
Fire/CO siren detector

Yes

No

No
Push notifications

Yes

Yes

Yes
Local storage

Yes

Yes

Yes
Cloud storage

No

No

Yes
Learn moreView PlansView PlansView Plans

Data effective 05/20/2020. Offers subject to change.

Both the indoor and outdoor cameras have rechargeable batteries. Also, all cameras can be used without a Blue by ADT system. So if you want just a security camera, go for it.

Blue also offers less expensive alternate indoor and outdoor cameras, but their specs aren’t on the website.

Blue by ADT doorbell camera

Blue also offers two video doorbell cameras. You have a choice of the HD video doorbell or the Blue doorbell camera.

Blue doorbell camera

Like the indoor and outdoor security cameras, the Blue doorbell camera features night vision, facial recognition, two-way talk, motion detection, and push notifications. It also comes with something else: cloud storage.

However, if you want to use your cloud storage, you’ll pay $2.99/mo. While it’s annoying to pay a monthly fee to use a piece of equipment you own, that’s extremely cheap. It’s undoubtedly one of the lowest-cost camera plans on the market.

Blue by ADT doorbell camera subscription plan
PlanPriceStorageLearn more
Blue subscription plan$2.99/mo.60 daysView Plans

Data effective 05/20/2020. Offers subject to change.

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Blue extender + chime
The Blue by ADT chime/Wi-Fi range extender strengthens the wireless signal for all your Blue cameras.

As for the HD video doorbell camera . . . that’s a bit of a mystery. LifeShield isn’t selling the HD video doorbell camera on its own, and it also doesn’t share the specs on its website. But we notice the HD video doorbell costs the same as the Blue doorbell camera.

Other equipment

Here’s a full list of what you can get with Blue by ADT:

  • Entry keypad
  • Door sensor
  • Window sensor
  • Motion sensor
  • Fire safety sensor
  • Glass break sensor
  • Temperature/flood sensor
  • Indoor camera
  • Outdoor camera
  • Doorbell camera/video doorbell
  • Yard sign
  • Window stickers
  • Extender + chime
  • Keychain remote

Blue by ADT home automation and mobile control

Blue has multiple compatibility options and can be controlled remotely.

You might have noticed that Blue by ADT is light on the smart home equipment (read: there’s none). But don’t despair. You can still get your home automated.

Some Blue by ADT equipment is already compatible with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Z-Wave Plus, and IFTTT. Other integrations, such as HomeKit compatibility, are pending.

Mobile app

Blue by ADT app

Source: LifeShield

The Blue by ADT app has high ratings on both the App Store and Google Play. Word on the street is that the app is just LifeShield’s original security software with a new skin. Still, people seem to like it.

You can use the mobile app to check on and control the system remotely. It’s also your number-one tool for installing your system.

Speaking of which . . .

Blue by ADT installation

Installation is in your hands.

Blue by ADT is, like most DIY systems, designed to be installed by the buyer. The company shows you how to install your cameras on its YouTube channel, but if you have the full security suite, you don’t get that extra help.

Installation fee: None, unless you (a) hire someone else to install it for you or (b) reward yourself with a bonus for your hard work. (You deserve it.)

Blue by ADT customer experience

When you buy Blue by ADT, you’re dealing with LifeShield customer service.

We won’t bust out an overview of ADT’s customer service because Blue by ADT has its own service department.

If you need help with your system, you’ll contact a separate Blue by ADT support center. It’s run by LifeShield and has no crossover to ADT’s customer service resources. If you have one property with regular ADT and one with Blue, you have to make separate phone calls to troubleshoot your systems. Or send separate emails or write separate angry letters . . . you get the idea.

Blue by ADT’s customer service reviews are pretty mixed. Sounds like the type of service you get depends on the circumstances. It’s definitely no SafeStreets (our preferred authorized ADT dealer).

Recap: Is Blue by ADT good though?

Blue by ADT is a solid DIY option.

Blue by ADT is good. It’s affordable, and it has decent equipment and flexible monitoring options. Overall, it won’t leave you feeling blue (except maybe when you call customer service).

If you’re still not sure about Blue, though, you have other options. Feel free to check out our best DIY security systems, best cheap security systems, best no-contract security systems, or best self-monitored security systems. We think those options are most comparable to Blue by ADT, although you can check out our regular best security systems page as well.

Is your house ready for Blue by ADT?

To take full advantage of Blue by ADT, you need a good internet connection and cell phone plan. Sure, Blue sells wireless extenders. But it’s kind of pointless to buy an extender if you don’t have good internet or reception in the first place. Here are the internet and mobile plans we recommend for Blue by ADT systems.

Recommended internet plans

You want plenty of bandwidth, especially if you get those awesome cameras. Here are our suggestions for good internet plans with lots of Mbps.

Recommend plans for Blue by ADT
ServicePlanPriceDownload speedDetails
Xfinity Internet - WestBlast! Pro Plus$64.99300 MbpsView Plans
Verizon Internet - Fios GigInternet 400/400$59.99/mo.*400 MbpsView Plans
AT&T FiberInternet 1000$49.99/mo.940 MbpsView Plan
Data effective 11/19/18. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
* w/ Auto Pay + taxes & equip charges
for 12 mos plus taxes & equip fee. $10/mo equip fee applies. Incl unlimited internet data allowance ($30 value)

Recommended mobile plans

When you leave the house or if your Wi-Fi’s on the fritz, you rely on your phone data to give you access to your security system. It’s essential to have the best connection possible, especially if you’re self-monitoring. Otherwise, you might be in the dark about what’s going on at home.