Blue by ADT Review 2021

We think Blue by ADT holds its own in the DIY space
Blue by ADT logo
Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Reasonably priced
Option for self-monitoring
Pricey cameras

The Blue by ADT system is a respectable addition to the DIY space. And with its self-setup, self-monitoring, and no-contract approach, it’s also a step in the right direction for ADT.

While we think Blue by ADT could do more to make itself shine against its DIY competitors, overall, this is a well-priced system with attractive equipment.

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Why the different rating?
Last spring, we were all agog about Blue by ADT. We loved how ADT—a company we think could innovate a little more to keep their edge in the market—put out this super affordable and user-friendly system with unique, interesting equipment.

Unfortunately, since then, a lot of changes have been made to Blue by ADT. While it’s still satisfactory DIY security, it’s not the same system we were raving over last year.

Blue by ADT plans and pricing overview
CompanyMonitoring price rangeContractHome automation integrationsLearn more
Blue by ADT$0.00–$19.99/mo.

None

Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Z-Wave Plus, IFTTT
View Plans

Data effective 03/23/2021. Offers subject to change.

Blue by ADT pricing, contracts, and fees

When you go Blue, you have no contracts and no installation, moving, or cancellation fees

You can self-monitor your Blue by ADT system.

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.

Happily, the professional monitoring runs on a month-to-month basis, so you won’t have an ongoing contract. That also means you won’t have to pay a cancellation fee if you want to end the monitoring services. And because it’s all DIY (which means no installation fees), you can move it yourself (which means no moving/reinstallation fees).

Blue by ADT plans and pricing overview
CompanyPriceContract lengthLearn more
Self-monitoring$0.00/mo.No contractView Plans
Professional monitoring$19.99/mo.No contractView Plans

Data effective 03/23/2021. Offers subject to change.

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

Speaking of video doorbell cameras, how much does Blue by ADT equipment cost? Since our last review, the prices of Blue by ADT packages have gone up while the equipment amount is severely winnowed. But while they aren’t as good of a deal compared to their old iterations, they’re okay when stacked against some Ring, SimpliSafe, and Abode packages.

For instance, with Blue by ADT, you can use the Build Your Own System deal to get the base station with its keypad, one motion sensor, and one door or window sensor for about $220.

In contrast, Ring’s five-piece system includes a base station, a separate keypad, a door/window sensor, a motion detection, and a range extender to increase the base’s connectivity for $199.99. SimpliSafe offers a base station, keypad, motion sensor, door/window sensor, a yard sign, and two window stickers for $229. And Abode sells its hub, a key fob, a motion sensor, and a mini door/window sensor for $229 as well.

So the most minimal Blue by ADT system is a slightly better deal than the Abode Smart Security Kit, but it isn’t quite as good as the basic Ring and SimpliSafe offerings.

On the other hand, if you’re looking to buy devices à la carte, you’ll find that the individual pieces of equipment have market prices or, shockingly, better. ($14.99 door and window sensors, anyone?)

Blue by ADT equipment

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

Unlike regular ADT equipment, Blue’s equipment seems to be proprietary.

Like tons of other big-box home security companies, ADT outsources its equipment production to Alarm.com and similar providers. 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 the system. 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.

Sadly, the equipment isn’t actually blue.

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Where did Blue by ADT come from?
If you’re familiar with LifeShield, you’ll recognize the Blue by ADT DIY system. Before ADT took over, LifeShield sold the system. And LifeShield was previously known as InGrid. So if you’re looking for other Blue by ADT system reviews and you’re not finding them, try looking under those other companies’ names.

Blue by ADT equipment:

  • Hub (with integrated keypad)
  • Door sensors
  • Window sensors
  • Motion sensors
  • Flood sensors
  • Extender
  • Indoor camera
  • Outdoor camera
  • Doorbell camera
  • Wireless outdoor camera battery pack
  • Window stickers
  • Yard signs

If you read our previous review, you’ll notice that Blue by ADT no longer sells the fire safety sensor or keychain remote. We’re pretty sad about that; we thought both of those were nice touches. Hopefully the security company brings them back or replaces them with something equally awesome soon.

You can also buy a Google Nest Mini straight from Blue by ADT. Blue by ADT’s selling it for $49, which is about the regular retail price. So you won’t get a deal, but if you’ve been thinking of going Google Nest, this is a good excuse to get started.

Packages

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

Blue by ADT packages overview
Blue by ADT packageBasicsSensorsPriceLearn more
Build Your Own System1 base station with integrated entry keypad
Mobile app access
None$179.99 + cost of any additional equipmentView Plans
Starter System1 base station with integrated entry keypad
1 yard sign
4 window stickers
Mobile app access
2 door/window sensors$219.99View Plans
Starter Plus System1 base station with integrated entry keypad
1 yard sign
4 window stickers
Mobile app access
4 door/window sensors
2 motion sensors
$299.99View Plans

Data effective 03/23/2021. Offers subject to change.

When it comes to DIY security, we recommend starting with at least one motion sensor and one door or window sensor. Our suggestion would be to either build your own system with one of each or spend about $80 more to get a plethora of sensors with the Starter Plus System.

Blue by ADT cameras

Blue outdoor camera

We love the way these cameras look. You might be able to deter burglars simply because they’ll be too mesmerized by the pearl-gray or graphite hardware to strike.

We also love how many features these cameras have at the relatively modest (for a security camera) $200 price point.  For instance, all of Blue’s cameras come with facial recognition, which some of the leading camera brands are still waiting to incorporate.

And while Blue by ADT previously advertised cloud storage for the video doorbell only, it appears that you can use cloud storage with any camera. You’ll get 30 days of free storage up front, but after that, you’ll pay if you want clips to be stored longer than 24 hours.

Blue by ADT has one of the lowest-cost camera plans on the market. You’ll pay $2.99 per camera per month for standard storage and $12.99 per camera per month for the premier option. Unfortunately, we aren’t sure what separates the standard and premier plans other than price.

Blue by ADT camera specs
FeatureBlue indoor cameraBlue outdoor cameraBlue doorbell camera
Prices$199.99$199.99$199.99
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
Rechargeable batteries

Yes

Yes
NA
Learn moreView PlansView PlansView Plans

Data effective 03/23/2021. Offers subject to change.

So, how do these cameras perform?

We tested both the indoor and outdoor cameras. The indoor camera performed perfectly except for an inability to properly recognize faces.

The outdoor camera didn’t perform so well. It had a hard time staying connected, which normally we would chalk up to an error on our end, but we aren’t the only reviewers who struggled with the device.

Still, while we would recommend being cautious with the outdoor camera, we wouldn’t rule out the indoor camera when you’re shopping. Especially the indoor camera. If Blue by ADT could just perfect the facial-recognition technology, the indoor option would be gangbusters.

Blue by ADT video doorbell camera

Blue also offers a video 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 doesn’t have most of the latest doorbell camera features, like package, vehicle, or people detection, making it a little overpriced for what it is. But like the indoor and outdoor cameras, it looks nice, and that facial recognition is super useful if you can get it to work correctly.

All of these cameras can be used without a Blue by ADT system. So if you want just a security camera, and one of these sounds like a good fit for you, go for it.

Extender and chime

Graphite Blue by ADT extender

If you choose to get a Blue by ADT camera, it’s worth looking at the Extender + Chime device.

The extender offers the following benefits:

  • Extends Wi-Fi signal for cameras
  • Extends outdoor camera battery life
  • Plays doorbell chime for doorbell camera
  • Offers custom sounds for doorbell events
  • Sounds additional alarm for security system users

That’s quite a bit for a single extender.

The device is plug-in, so it shouldn’t be challenging to set up if you decide you want to give it a try. You’ll just have to cough up $49.99.

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.

That’s good news for smart home geeks, because with this compatibility list, you can directly or indirectly connect a Blue by ADT home security system with almost anything.

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.

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 you don’t get that extra help if you have the full security suite.

As we mentioned, there’s no installation fee. Unless, of course, 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 not dealing with ADT’s 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 that, as far as we can tell, has no crossover to ADT’s customer service resources.

That means, 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. However, a lot of the reviews for Blue by ADT are actually for regular ADT (there’s a lot of commentary about contracts and installations), making it hard to get as accurate of a read as we would like.

Recap: Is Blue by ADT good though?

Blue by ADT is a solid DIY option

Blue by ADT really isn’t bad as far as DIY goes. It’s affordable, and it has sound equipment and flexible monitoring options. Overall, it won’t leave you feeling blue (except maybe when you call customer service).

Pricing: Blue by ADT’s professional monitoring is very affordable, and its self-monitoring is free. Some of the equipment value isn’t entirely up to snuff, but it’s not highway robbery either.

Equipment: Blue by ADT equipment is proprietary, and we like the way it looks, but the outdoor camera has some connectivity issues.

Home automation: Blue by ADT is compatible with several different protocols, making it a good fixture for a smart home.

Installation: You’ll install Blue by ADT yourself.

Customer experience: Blue by ADT’s customer service is relatively new, so the quality is still up in the air.

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. Sure, Blue sells wireless extenders. But it’s kind of pointless to buy an extender if you don’t have good internet in the first place. Here are the internet plans we recommend for Blue by ADT systems.

Recommended internet plans

You want plenty of bandwidth, especially if you get those Blue by ADT 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$74.99*400 MbpsView Plans
Verizon Fios Home InternetInternet 400/400$64.99/mo.400 MbpsView Plans
AT&T FiberAT&T Internet 1000$60/mo.940 MbpsView Plan
Data effective 11/04/20. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
* For the first 12 months with a 1-year agreement.
w/ Auto Pay + taxes & equip. charges.
Ltd. avail/areas for 12 mos, plus taxes & equip. fee. Autopay & Paperless Bill req'd. $10/mo equip. fee applies