ADT Home Security vs. Blue by ADT: What’s the difference?

Security company ADT has a diverse lineup of security and smart home devices — in fact, it’s broad enough to confuse newcomers. This time we’re helping with a detailed look at two ADT security categories: ADT Home Security Systems and Blue by ADT. These are very different options, and which one will work best depends on the needs of your home.

What is ADT Home Security?

ADT is one of the oldest and largest providers of home security systems and services in the United States. While the company’s devices have seen many, many iterations over the years, it currently offers three broad packages:

Safe Home: This basic package offers intrusion detection and fire alarms.

Smart Home: ADT is upgrading to smart home automation compatibility and adding more home automation devices.

Video & Smart Home: This level adds video cameras to the security system.

There are two important points to keep in mind about these security systems. First, they are designed for professional installation, which means you meet with an ADT representative, explain what package and appliances you want, and have them quote you for installation. Everything is controlled via a mounted ADT control panel, and there are limits on the devices you can choose based on the plan you have.

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Image used with permission of the copyright holder

Second, ADT Home Security systems are automatically paired with ADT Professional Monitoring, which means the monitoring center will receive alerts about certain events (such as a fire alarm being activated) and will make decisions about whether or not to call 911 without you having to. do anything. The subscription plans required for this tracking start at around $37 per month and go up from there – and are required as part of the service.

These systems have some smart features and higher level packages allow home automation compatibility with additional ADT devices. There’s a mobile app for remote control if you choose the smart home package and compatibility with Amazon’s Alexa. But overall, ADT’s core offerings are mostly more traditional home security systems.

What makes Blue by ADT different?

Blue is ADT’s latest foray into do-it-yourself (DIY) home security systems, which is an entirely different beast. First, there are no professional quotes, installation or installation fees. You choose from a range of ADT devices that are designed to be easy to use and can be installed yourself. An ADT base station is required, but otherwise, the devices are mostly controlled by the mobile app, and you can place them wherever you think they’ll be most effective. It’s a similar system to other popular DIY security options on the market, and you can also take the devices with you when you move.

Second, there is no need for home monitoring services. This means you don’t have to pay a subscription if you don’t want to, but instead take care of monitoring using the mobile app features. This makes Blue significantly more affordable than traditional ADT home security systems, and it also comes with a no-contract option so you’re not locked into any future costs.

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ADT has experimented with DIY security several times in the past and recently purchased the (then retired) LifeShield brand. Blue is an attempt to incorporate DIY offerings as a core part of the ADT brand, but it’s still a relatively new option and it will take time to see how ADT builds it.

But Blue still runs ADT?

That. And that means you can add ADT monitoring to your Blue security system if you want. Simply no have on, and the system is built to function independently.

Placing the ADT Blue camera on the casing.Image used with permission of the copyright holder

What security systems can I get with Blue?

There are three different options for building your Blue system, with each additional level adding more devices to the base package. From there you can add any additional devices you want. Currently, Blue’s devices are largely limited to all-in-one security cameras, but the higher tiers give you more flexibility. Let’s look:

Build Your Own System — $179.99: This provides just the base station and mobile app and lets you add whatever you want. Indoor and outdoor cameras are the primary options, but they’re well-equipped with two-way communication, night vision, fire/CO detection for the indoor model, motion detection with activity zones, battery backups, SD card slots, and even face ID. That’s a pretty complete package for just one device.

Starter System — $219.99: Gets door and window sensors to start (and adds some ADT signs you can use). This makes it a more complete package for total security and there is currently no way to get door and window sensors otherwise.

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Starter Plus System — $299.99: This includes the Starter System and adds an independent motion sensor that you can place where you want.

Using the ADT home monitoring screen to arm the system.Image used with permission of the copyright holder

Can I change my old ADT system to Blue?

You can, but only the way you would upgrade to Blue from any other security system. You’ll need to replace all your old security devices: Blue and ADT Home Security are not naturally compatible. ADT does not currently offer any discounts or offers to switch from ADT Home Security to Blue — or vice versa.

How do I know which ADT system is best for me?

Blue by ADT is a good option for saving money and equipping smaller homes or apartments with smart security systems — especially if you like to control and monitor the system yourself rather than hand it over to a monitoring center.

ADT Home Security is better if you’d rather pay more for direct access and if you have a larger home or building you need to equip with a security system and want a professional to handle all the details. You also have to be prepared to pay a hefty monthly fee no matter which package you choose.

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