ADT vs Ring Comparison - Which System is Best? (2022)

You might be wondering, “How can home security systems be all that different from each other?” The truth is, although they strive to accomplish the same goals, home security systems can be night and day different. When choosing a home security system, you’ll want to consider the features, ease of use, installation, and cost. Thankfully, we’ve had hands-on experience testing both systems, so we know them inside and out. With this in mind, let’s dive right into our comparative look at ADT and Ring Alarm to help you to make a smart decision.

ADT vs Ring Comparison - Which System is Best? (1)

ADT Home Security Equipment

Similarities Between ADT & Ring Alarm

Although they are more different than alike, ADT and Ring Alarm home security systems have many similarities. Let’s have a closer look.

Both Ring and ADT are wireless home security systems, meaning that neither is required to be hardwired in or around the house (though ADT does have a wired option). Wireless installation means that they are easily integrated into the home and there are no external wires for would-be burglars to snip to bypass the system.

FYI: We’re finding that wireless systems are fast-becoming the gold standard in the industry. Many of today’s best wireless home security systems (like Ring Alarm) can be installed in under 30 minutes with no tools.

ADT and Ring home security systems are both intended to be used in conjunction with mobile apps. In other words, both systems can be accessed, monitored, and controlled remotely using your smartphone. Since mobile devices have become so integral to everyday life, it only makes sense that you should be able to use them for your home security system. We really like the Ring app, but ADT’s Pulse app offers plenty of functionality, too.

ADT vs Ring Comparison - Which System is Best? (2)

Ring Wireless Home Security System

(Video) Ring Alarm vs ADT Home Security: An Expert Comparison

Some functions and accessories available through ADT and Ring can be used in conjunction with the other home security system. For instance, ADT Pulse and Ring Alarm can both be managed in the Ring app, and ADT offers Ring doorbell cameras. This type of cross-company collaboration is becoming more and more common. And honestly, we like it!

It’s also worth noting that neither company charges an activation fee. And both ADT and Ring Alarm offer a money-back guarantee. ADT’s guarantee is a generous 6-months (the best guarantee in the industry), while Ring Alarm gives you 30 days to return the system for your money back.

Finally, both ADT and Ring Alarm offer 24/7 monitoring services, but the professional monitoring offered by ADT costs more per month.

If you want to really explore Ring Alarm to see if it’s right for you, we recommend reading our comprehensive Ring Alarm review. But if you’re thinking that ADT might be more your speed, then you should definitely visit our ADT hands-on testing and review page here.

Differences Between Ring Alarm and ADT

Now that we have established how ADT and Ring home security systems are similar, let’s take a look at some of their biggest differences.

First off, ADT charges an installation fee, while Ring Alarm does not. This is because ADT requires professional installation and Ring is a DIY system. There are advantages to both methods, however, and it comes down to a matter of preference.

FYI: We like Ring’s DIY installation, as it only takes about 30 minutes and you can do it at your leisure. But on the other hand, ADT’s professional installation is great because you’re guaranteed to have the system installed correctly, and without any DIY-induced headaches.

ADT has more options when it comes to home automation equipment and integrations. The only automation equipment that Ring offers is its smart lighting setup and a few third-party smart locks. Again, this is a matter of preference and does not reflect upon the quality of either of the two security systems when it comes to protecting your home. That said, if you’re looking to install smart lighting, smart locks, a smart thermostat, etc., then we think ADT is the better choice.

(Video) ADT Home Security Review | Is ADT the Best Security System Out There?

Ring Alarm offers limited smart functionality — though it does work great with Alexa for hands-free voice control. To explore other systems with Alexa compatibility, have a look at our in-depth guide to home security systems that work with Alexa.

ADT and Ring Alarm also differ in that Ring can be set up and installed nearly anywhere, while ADT home security systems require you to be a homeowner. This makes Ring Alarm a great choice for rentals, apartments, or even for use in the dorm room. The nature of ADT’s offerings is meant for more established households.

Since ADT has multiple payment options, the company requires that you have a satisfactory credit score to purchase their home security system. Ring Alarm, however, does not require a credit check or contracts, making the system easier to purchase. Just pay for the equipment up-front and you’re good to go.

While it might seem like Ring beats ADT when it comes to contracts and terms, that’s actually not the case. Credit checks, contracts, and payment plans can be a good thing when it comes to home security. This means you won’t have to pay for your equipment upfront; rather, you can spread the payments out over months and years so that you can afford the best equipment possible. We’ve seen this with other brands, too, like Vivint’s smart home security systems.

Did You Know: ADT requires a 36-month contract if you finance their equipment, while Ring Alarm systems are generally cheap enough that you can pay upfront and not enter into a contract.

One last difference to consider is that you have the option of using solar panels to power some of the Ring home security cameras. ADT does not have any solar energy options at this time.

Standout Features & Tech

When selecting the home security system that best fits your needs, you’ll really want to consider the different features that the systems offer. Note that ADT systems and Ring Alarm systems have quite a few differences when it comes to their features and technology. Here’s a look at what to keep an eye out for in each system.

Ring Alarm Features

The first thing to note about Ring home security systems is that there are different plans or tiers that you can choose to purchase. As you go up in price, each tier has different features. So the features described below may be plan-specific.

  • 24/7 Professional Monitoring: With Ring Alarm, you have the option to purchase a Ring Protect subscription plan that includes professional monitoring services for only $20 per month (it’s one of the cheapest monitoring plans we’ve seen). This ensures that a professional monitoring center is alert and able to respond to an active alarm, day or night.
  • Motion Activated Messages/Notifications: This feature means that you’ll be notified as soon as one of the motion sensors in your home is tripped. This is a great feature because the alert happens in real-time and will let you know as soon as an incident (or break-in!) occurs. Keep in mind that all of Ring’s cameras also have motion-triggered alerts.
  • Thirty Second Call Response: Ring home security systems boast a thirty-second response time. This is the time it takes for the monitoring center to reach out when your alarm goes off. And from what we’ve seen, this is a fairly fast response time for any incident in or around your home.

Did You Know: The industry standard response time is between 30-40 seconds. The fastest we’ve seen was offered by Deep Sentinel, at 20 second response times. Check out our latest Deep Sentinel review to learn more about this innovative, camera-based system.

(Video) Best Home Security Systems of 2021 | Simplisafe, Vivint, ADT, Ring, Frontpoint

  • Alexa Compatible: Since Ring is owned by Amazon, it makes sense that it offers seamless connectivity with Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant. This will give you hands-free voice control, allowing you to arm your system and view your cameras (with the appropriate smart displays) without lifting a finger. Other than Alexa and now Google Home compatibility, this is pretty much Ring Alarm’s limit in the smart home category.
  • Lifetime Theft Protection: Ring promises to replace any equipment, such as a camera mounted on your porch, if it is stolen. This theft protection plan does not expire. You may be wondering why someone would steal a security camera, but trust us, it happens all the time.

ADT vs Ring Comparison - Which System is Best? (3)

Ring Stick Up Cam

  • Real-Time Video and Two-Way Talk: With the Ring Alarm home security system, you can stream your security camera video footage in real-time, directly from your smartphone. The setup also has a two-way talk feature that can be used to speak to visitors and/or scare away intruders.
  • Video-Saving and Sharing with 60-Day Video History: The company provides the capability to share videos captured by Ring’s lineup of security cameras. The system can store video footage for up to 60 days. You will also have the option to save clips permanently if you capture the information that you need. It does come with a monthly fee though; $3 per month per camera or $10 per month for unlimited cameras.
  • Snapshot Capability: Another cool feature of Ring home security systems is that you can take snapshots on your screen. This is basically like taking a photograph to capture a frame from your security footage with the viewing device.

ADT Features

ADT has been in the home security business for 100+ years, so they’ve had time to figure out the best features and tech to include in a home security system. With that said, you might find some overlapping features with Ring Alarm, but that’s to be expected. Below we’ve listed the main features that you get with ADT. And we will say that ADT is more advanced than Ring Alarm, but it’s also more expensive on a monthly basis.

  • 24/7 Monitoring: Similar to Ring’s monitoring, with ADT’s 24-hour monitoring, an emergency response agent will always be ready to ensure that the proper course of action is taken in the event of a break-in or other crisis. We’ve experienced slightly faster response times with ADT, but both brands deliver in this category.
  • Touchscreen Panel: ADT offers the Pulse touchscreen control panel. You can arm and disarm your alarm and customize other settings with the swipe of a finger. ADT edges out Ring Alarm in this category, as Ring only offers a push-button control panel.
  • Home Automation Options: ADT’s home automation options allow certain appliances and equipment to be monitored, automated, and operated remotely from your phone or tablet. Being able to use your smartphone to operate your security system is a huge plus in our book.

FYI: With ADT, you can also connect any Z-Wave smart device into your system, opening up the potential to build out a smart home ecosystem.

  • Two-Way Talk Capabilities: ADT offers two-way talk capabilities as well, just as Ring home security systems do. Being able to talk between devices in the home or remotely will come in handy more often than you might think.
  • Mover’s Savings Package: ADT will work with you to save you money if you need to move. All you have to do is let them know that you are moving and they will schedule a re-installation. We like the flexibility offered here.
  • Equipment Averaged into Monthly Payment: When you have ADT installed, you do not have to pay for the equipment up-front. Instead, the company will average out the cost of the equipment over your monthly payments to make the initial cost manageable.
  • Guaranteed Theft Protection: ADT offers a theft protection guarantee like Ring does. If your equipment is stolen, ADT guarantees replacement free of charge.

ADT vs Ring Comparison - Which System is Best? (4)

Blue by ADT Video Doorbell Installed

  • Professional Installation: ADT will professionally install the equipment for you so that you do not have to worry about improper installation or the safety of your home. Although ADT’s installation is generally on-point, we have heard stories to the contrary, and we’ve heard that the service can vary from region to region. Something to keep in mind.
  • Certificate for Use by Homeowners Insurance Companies: ADT will send you a certificate that can be turned in to your insurance company. Doing this will allow you to be eligible for certain rebates and reductions on your homeowner’s insurance policy.

ADT vs. Ring Alarm: Costs and Fees

The final important point of comparison is the cost of each home security system. After all, you’ll have to purchase the equipment (at least with Ring) and pay for a monthly monitoring service if you want to keep your home and family secure day and night. Let’s have a look at what you can expect to spend with each company.

Ring Pricing

Ring’s equipment starts at around $150 for a basic 5-piece kit, and ranges up to about $650 for a full 14-piece kit that can secure a large home. We often recommend going with a smaller kit to get started, and then upgrading over time to suit your specific needs. After all, it's a DIY system, so you can add to your Ring Alarm system over time.

(Video) ADT Home Security Review!

Once you purchase the equipment, you’ll have four Ring Protect plans to choose from. The first of these is the free option, which is pretty lean on features compared to the other plans. It does, however, come with motion-activated notifications, theft protection, real-time video, and two-way talk.

The Ring Protect Basic option costs $3 per month or $30 per year. In addition to the features offered in the free package, it offers snapshot capabilities, 60-day video storage, and video saving. This is the monitoring plan you’d choose if you were to install a Ring camera, but only one camera is covered by this plan.

The Ring Protect Plus package costs $10 per month or $100 per year and offers the same features as the Basic plan, only this plan covers an unlimited number of cameras installed at the same address.

Lastly, the Ring Protect Pro package costs $20 per month or $200 per year. This plan includes everything in the Plus plan, in addition to professional monitoring for the Ring Alarm.

To learn more about Ring’s offerings, have a look at our guide to Ring’s packages, plans, and pricing.

Did You Know: Ring has one of the most affordable monitoring packages in the business. To put it in context, the industry average is around $29-$39 per month for professional monitoring, and even DIY brands range between $15-$25 monthly. So $20 per month for a plan with camera cloud storage is a great deal in our book.

ADT Pricing

Let’s cut right to the chase: ADT is much more expensive than Ring Alarm, but you get what you pay for. Their Essential package costs about $37 per month (opposed to Ring’s $20 monthly fee). It includes 24-hour monitoring, three keypads, motion detectors, three window sensors, a siren, a back-up battery, and a remote. The good thing is that you don’t have to buy your equipment upfront.

If you want the works, consider going with ADT’s Total Protection package that costs $43 per month and gives you cellular connectivity, or go with the Premium package for $53 per month which comes with video support and smart home automations.

As you can see, ADT is more expensive than Ring on a monthly basis, but you won’t have to fork out hundreds of dollars on day one. Keep in mind though, you will need to enter into a contract with ADT for monitoring and equipment. Thankfully, they do offer that 6-month money-back guarantee that we mentioned earlier.

To really get a closer look, head on over to our in-depth breakdown of ADT’s pricing and plans here.

(Video) The Best Smart Home Security Systems

Which is better: Ring Alarm or ADT?

So which is better? Great question! It completely depends on your living situation, your budget, and the amount of features you want access to. For instance, if you’re looking for something quick and nimble that won’t break the bank, Ring Alarm is the system for you. We’d also recommend reading through our SimpliSafe review if you’re interested in a DIY system similar to Ring Alarm.

On the other hand, if you’re a homeowner who wants reliable monitoring and high-quality equipment (and you don’t mind paying for it), then ADT might be the better option. You’ll also have more smart home capabilities with ADT, which is something that we value. Either way, these are both great systems with solid reputations in the industry, so you really can’t go wrong here.


FAQs

ADT vs Ring Comparison - Which System is Best? ›

ADT and Ring are two well-known home security systems. Here we dive into each one to help you decide which one is right for you and your family. Updated August 31, 2022.
...
ADT vs Ring.
Security Product Comparison:ADTRing
Value8.79.3
Equipment9.89.9
Features & Technology9.89.3
Ease Of Use9.69.5
17 more rows

Is Ring monitoring as good as ADT? ›

No, Ring is not better than ADT; we think ADT is better than Ring. With more than 140 years in business, ADT is super trustworthy, while Ring has had multiple hacks and privacy issues. We trust ADT's professional monitoring over Ring's, although it is more expensive.

How does ADT compare to Ring? ›

ADT would be a good option for families who prefer to have a professional touch with their home security system. Ring is a much cheaper option for the do-it-yourself customer. Their monitoring costs range from $0-10 per month, and there's no installation fee or contact.

Which company has best security system? ›

Compare the best home security systems
BrandBest forSmart home compatibility
VivintBest overallAmazon, Google, Z-Wave
SimpliSafeBudget pickAmazon, Google
FrontpointQuality DIY pickAmazon, Google, Z-Wave
ADTMost experiencedAmazon, Google, Z-Wave
5 more rows
Aug 29, 2022

What is the best brand for home security? ›

Our pick for best overall home security company is Vivint. Their wide assortment of available, high-quality equipment and affordable monitoring options allow their customers to experience highly customizable security that can be optimized for individual needs.

If you’re in the market for a new home security system, you may be feeling overwhelmed by all the options available. There are a lot of different video surveillance security systems out there with some key differences that you may not be aware of. We recently tested Ring and Blink security cameras, paying special attention... View Article

Up to Ten Camera Capacity : The Blink video surveillance system has a large capacity for multiple cameras.. Blink recently released a couple of cameras called the Blink Indoor and Blink Outdoor.. Entry Sensors : Ring Alarm’s entry sensors will alert you when someone enters your home through an exterior door or window, which is an obvious advantage that Ring has over Blink.. Indoor/Outdoor Cameras : Seeing that Ring offers a variety of different security cameras, it’s not surprising that they have devices for both indoor and outdoor use.. Pro Tip: If you choose Ring, you can integrate your Ring doorbell and Ring Cams into your Ring Alarm system.. Home Automation : Ring offers home automation options such as smart lighting and automation of the cameras themselves.. Blink and Ring are both home security systems that rely on video surveillance cameras to keep porch pirates and burglars at bay.. Two-Way Talk : This is a staple feature we always look for in a security camera, and both Ring and Blink offer it.. Camera Selection : As we've mentioned above, Ring offers a handful of outdoor cameras, doorbell cameras, and an indoor camera.. Both Ring and Blink are great cameras in their own right.. Field of Vision : Ring has cameras that boast up to a 160-degree field of vision, while Blink’s camera only offers 110-degree FOV.. Intrusion Protection : Remember that Ring sells the Ring Alarm home security system.. So there’s no denying the effectiveness of a camera system like Ring or Blink.. All things considered, we have to say that Ring is the better camera system compared to Blink.

We put these two wireless security systems head-to-head. See which one came out on top! Ring offers total home security with entry sensors, security cameras,

Ring offers total home security with entry sensors, security cameras, doorbell cameras, floodlights and more Arlo is a camera-based home security system and does not offer entry sensors Both systems include well-designed equipment that’s built-to-last The price is right for Ring and Arlo at $15/mo.. Ring offers comprehensive home security, while Arlo is strictly a surveillance system Arlo’s security cameras are superior to Ring’s cameras Ring offers 24/7 professional monitoring, Arlo doesn’t have any monitoring options Ring comes with entryway sensors and motion detectors, while Arlo comes with cameras and a base station. Ring System Ring and Arlo are both wireless systems with an easy DIY install Neither company requires a long-term contract Both offer Wi-Fi-based security systems with cellular backup Ring and Arlo deliver surveillance security (indoor and outdoor cameras) Both systems are stacked with nifty features and sold at a reasonable price point. Rather, Arlo only offers indoor and outdoor security cameras, a doorbell camera, and floodlights.. Installing the Arlo Ultra 4K Camera Arlo security camera features and tech include:. Arlo doorbell camera offers the following features:. Ring offers complete home security.. Customers can secure their homes using door and window sensors, high-quality indoor and outdoor cameras, and even a video doorbell camera.. While Ring offers the whole shebang, Arlo only has video cameras.. ft. home for only $259.. Arlo even has a live-chat option, and even their base packages include 90 days of premium phone support.. Arlo — Much like Ring, Arlo offers no-contract, month-to-month home security.

Blink vs. Nest: which of these two makes the better security system? We're about to find out as we dive into this head-to-head comparison.

Below we look at the full camera model lineup for both Blink & Nest.. Blink Indoor: low cost, entry-level camera for indoor use only with basic 720p video quality and free Cloud-based video storage; wireless battery power; requires the Blink Sync Module Blink XT2 : indoor / outdoor camera with better 1080p video quality and free Cloud-based video storage; wireless battery power; requires the Blink Sync Module. Nest Cam Indoor: most budget-friendly Nest camera for indoor use only; includes basic function with standard video resolution Nest Cam Outdoor: most budget-friendly outdoor camera with basic functions and standard video resolution Nest Cam IQ Indoor: a more advanced indoor camera with a renewed look, advanced 4K sensor, and tracking as well as integrated person alerts Nest Cam IQ Outdoor : advanced outdoor camera designed to pair with the Nest Cam IQ Indoor; with advanced 4K sensor and tracking as well as integrated person alerts. 10-SECOND SUMMARY: Blink and Nest both have cameras in overlapping categories (indoor vs. outdoor), but in design, performance, and function, they have some big differences.. Magnetic Mount: Both the Nest Cam Outdoor and Nest Cam IQ Outdoor have a mount that magnetically attaches to the camera.. Nest Aware 5-day ($ 6 / mo): 5-day video history, rolling Nest Aware 10-day ($ 12 / mo): 10-day video history, rolling Nest Aware 30-day: 30-day video history, rolling. The resolution of the Blink Indoor camera is a little less at 720p, but still not bad (Blink XT2 screenshots shown above.). Exactly what you get with the Nest or Blink cameras may vary depending on which model you go with.. Winner: The Nest indoor camera offers 1080p video resolution (like the Blink XT2) and is user-friendly.. It pairs well with other Nest cameras or video doorbells and push-alerts via the Nest app informative and instantaneous.. RUNNER UP: The Blink XT2 camera is an indoor / outdoor camera with wireless power, no subscription fees, and easy setup and usability.

Is ADT worth the money and installation time? We discuss it all here.

Like many other home security companies, ADT sends professionals to your house to help determine the best setup for your needs.. When one of the installers helped explain the system to me, he set 1-2-3-4 as my passcode.. David Priest/CNET. The center of ADT's whole system is the control panel… and the app... and the online portal.. On the control panel, you're mostly limited to arming your system, checking camera feeds and device states and activating various routines (such as locking your door and turning off all the lights).. There you can monitor your camera feeds, arm your system and adjust device settings, and you can also create automations.. ADT's online portal lets you create various automations, but it's disappointing the feature isn't on the app.. ADT told me contracts are "standard practice in the industry," though Vivint, Comcast Xfinity and some other professional home security companies I'm aware of don't require them.. ADT's hardware is also more expensive than DIY devices we've tested and liked from SimpliSafe , Abode and Ring Alarm , but how does it stack up against other professionally installed and monitored systems?. Touchscreen hub: $374 Cell backup: $75 Door/window sensors (x3) and motion sensor bundle: $150 Touchscreen control tablet: $200 Charger for tablet: $50 Wireless touchpad: $150 Desktop mounts for touchpad and hub: $100 ($50 each Key fob: $50 Indoor siren: $90 Smoke detector: $100 Smoke/CO detector: $180 CO detector: $100 Glass break detector: $100 Flood sensor: $100 Temperature sensor: $100 Z-Wave smart lights: $60 for a two-pack Indoor smart plug: $70 Outdoor smart plug: $70 Smart thermostat: $160 Z-Wave deadbolt: $250 MyQ: $220 Video doorbell: $200 Indoor camera: $150 Outdoor camera: $290. Vivint's package is $500 for a comparable starting setup that also includes a flood sensor.. In general, ADT's sensors are competitively priced against some other professionally installed and monitored systems.. Take as an example ADT's door/window sensors, one of the most basic units in a home security setup.

When you’re in charge of business security, minding others is part of minding your own business. Here we look at the best business security systems for

Best Hardwired Security System Overall. Best Hardwired Security System for Professional Monitoring. System. ADT - Best Hardwired Security System Overall Brinks Home Security - Best Hardwired Security System for Professional Monitoring Ring Alarm Security Kit - Best Hardwired Security System for Existing Sensors Lorex - Best Hardwired Security System for Self-monitoring. What We Liked 24/7 professional monitoring Alexa and Google Home integrations Choice of DIY or professional installation Responsive customer service. Ring shows up on our list of best wireless security systems, but they don’t offer a true hardwired security system.. Professional Monitoring We didn’t find many hardwired systems that offered both self and professional monitoring options.. Lorex also offers cameras with:. As a result, most companies don’t offer professional monitoring services with their hardwired packages.. The best hardwired system on the market is ADT.. Other great hardwired systems include Brinks, Ring Alarm, and Lorex.. ADT makes the best home security system overall.. In addition, ADT has more monitoring centers than any other company in the US.

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