Thinking about leaving ADT

Securing your home, your office, etc.
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Thinking about leaving ADT

Postby neilbedwell » Tue Jan 13, 2015 9:31 pm

Currently, I have an ADT alarm system in my house with a cellular dialer. I had to go with the cellular setup when I switched my phone service from our local provider to VOIP (voice over IP) with a company called Phone Power. We have been fairly happy with the VOIP phones and have had them now around 18 months. What I am not happy with is the fact that I live in a spot with very little cell phone signal and the cellular dialer works sporadically. A friend of mine has a Wilson cellular signal booster on his house and is very happy with it. I've been to his house and he has less natural signal than I do here but when my phone picks up the booster I get at least 3 bars of signal at all times. So, obviously, that's something I need to add to my house. He added it specifically for his ADT system. We had them installed around the same time.

In all honesty, though, I'm questioning my entire setup. I have had this ADT system for about five years now and I am not under any sort of contract at this point. It is a wired system (I specifically requested a wired system when I agreed to the install. The tech that came here to install it was PISSED when he realized he would be here more than 15 minutes and actually have to work. When I told him to sit down, shut up and hand me the stuff while I did it myself he got "OK" really quickly.) So, it's a good system but an older one and I am certain that technology has advanced somewhat.

I'm paying ADT $61 per month right now for monitoring. The system does NOT have any fire sensors connected to it, it is only motion and door open sensors. I get a small deduction on my homeowners insurance but nowhere near the cost of the monitoring. The sad truth of it all is that I live just far enough out in the country that it would take at least 20 minutes for the police to show up, if they would even bother. I had a false alarm one time and someone did show up but I was able to drive home from town and clear the house myself a good 10 or 15 minutes before the deputy showed up.

Our neighbors heard the alarm siren and a couple of them did come over. My parents now live beside me so they would be more apt to come over than just our neighbors and they are almost always home. Bottom line, if all I was relying on was the Sheriff's department to respond to an alarm, the thieves could have a large UHaul loaded and be long gone by the time anyone showed up. The outside alarm is really the only effective thing at this point and that's only if anyone near me is home. Some meth heads have now moved into the area and it's only a matter of time before they come calling, if you know what I mean.

So, what are my options? Is there anything really new out there that I don't know about? Is the monitoring worth it at this point? Is there anyone out there that is cheaper? What do you folks use?

I have thought about a dog but I'm not home much and I don't think that's fair to the dog to be left alone that much. I appreciate any help you folks can provide.

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Re: Thinking about leaving ADT

Postby MisterB » Wed Jan 14, 2015 8:20 am

Take a look at Comcast's Xfinity alarm services. Seems like the new thing people are doing instead of ADT

Also, if you're wanting to add smoke and carbon monoxide monitoring and alerting to your phone, check out the Nest thermostat and smoke/carbon alarms. I've got the system in my house, and it is awesome.

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Re: Thinking about leaving ADT

Postby Nathan » Wed Jan 14, 2015 8:42 am

$61 a month for alarm monitoring is outrageous.

I've been researching this setup because my system is due for an upgrade. This stuff really isn't that difficult. The man that breaks into your home won't be a Russian spy with a laptop that can override your system and even if he was, chances are he could override any residential grade system. The man breaking into your house is most likely a common thug and it doesn't take much to catch common thugs. A good basic system should be fine. I have to have monitoring but most can get by just fine with mobile text message notification.
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NRA Certified Instructor in Pistol, Rifle, Shotgun, Personal Protection Inside the Home and Personal Protection Outside the Home.

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Re: Thinking about leaving ADT

Postby mondan » Thu Jan 22, 2015 8:46 pm

I had ADT/Brinks since 2002. Got tired of the high prices and bad support when asking to upgrade or add to the existing system. I did some research and found Frontpoint Security to have an A+ rating at the time. Their system is wireless with cellular connectivity. I ended up getting two accounts (me and the inlaws). Since they use commercially available systems, you can purchase additional components via Amazon at a cheaper cost (this was told to me by their staff). The system comes preconfigured and you place the sensors where they need to go. They have the full gamut to include fire, water, carbon monoxide, etc. When I inquired about the video accessories, then rep asked if I was technology proficient, since it would be cheaper to do it myself. The few alarms we have set off have been responded by almost instantly by the company calling. I have some doors set up on timers and will text me when opened for too long. Alarms also can be made to trigger texts as well. There is an app (of course) that includes geolocation. Of I forget to turn on the alarm between 5am and 6am and I am more than a mile from the residence, the alarm will automatically arm...and other functions.

As for your cellular coverage, depending who you use for your cell phones, you should be able to get a micro site at your house free of charge. I know quite a few that have called their providers and continued complaining about their coverage until the provider followed through...bug them.

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