ADT Pulse Cost and Review: Customers Speak Out on Pulse

Posted by , , at 11:36 am

The folks at ADT have invested a tremendous amount of time and energy in developing and marketing their Pulse platform. The offering is a massive effort to help ADT try to catch up with other alarm companies, especially in the areas of interactive monitoring and home automation. Now that Pulse has been out for a number of months, the reviews are coming in – and they are mixed. A great example was posted to the FrontPoint web site, in the form of a request for us to contact an unhappy Pulse customer:

We bought ADT’s Pulse system, but they can’t figure out how to program a static router in their iHub. Two installs and two months later we’re thinking about giving up and asking for money back. No installer has done anything as they just give up at “go” and pass it to someone else.

ADT Quality in General

There’s no question that ADT is the largest alarm company in the US: roughly 6 million customers, and few people can even name the next largest company (it’s Protection One, by the way!). But as I’ve had ample opportunity to point out, bigger does not necessarily mean better for you, the consumer. In fact, while some companies use size as an advantage, others may use it as an excuse for sub-par service or behind-the-times technology. And in the case of ADT’s Pulse, many of us in the alarm industry are convinced that they chose the wrong platform for advanced services. That’s because those advanced services rely on a broadband connection instead of a cellular connection. That Internet link is more vulnerable than cellular – and much more complex, as this review from www.yelp.com demonstrates.

The tech/installer had to come back twice because of problems with the installation.  As the “Pulse” system is new, there were a few kinks that had to be worked out to accommodate the new system.  My DSL router was too far from the control panel to be effective so I had to redo my whole network in my house.  Not a big deal for me, but if you struggle with routers and wireless settings you might want to make sure everything will go smoothly with the installation before signing the contract.

This is hardly what you call a plug and play approach. Most people can barely remember their WiFi security code, to say nothing of reconstructing their entire home network! The best system (offered by FrontPoint and a few other select companies) combines GSM cellular communication with Z-Wave in-home automation technology for the most robust and reliable suite of next-generation services. Add in the fact that FrontPoint has always used safer cellular monitoring, and you can see why homeowners turn to us for peace of mind.

They Forgot Crash and Smash Protection

The Pulse system is also vulnerable to what the industry calls Crash and Smash, meaning an intruder takes out your alarm system before it can communicate to the monitoring center. When it comes to Crash & Smash, there’s only one technology that is virtually undefeatable, and it was developed and patented by Alarm.com, the leader in advanced alarm monitoring technology. And as the leader in wireless, interactive home security, FrontPoint has it. We’ll continue to check the Pulse – but it seems this patient is still under close observation!

Comments (12)

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  1. Shawn

    I have the ability to view my home through my phone and have had it for going on 5 years now through ADT. I think your info is incorrect and misleading to say the least. ADT Pulse is a newer product line that they are offering but the technology has been there. How long has Frontpoint been offering this service?

    • Peter M. Rogers

      Thanks for your comment. ADT has had bits and pieces of the technology we offer for some time, that is true. It’s also true that it was limited and generally expensive. But if you have had the ability to view streaming video on your smart phone using a free app designed for the purpose, AND your cameras were smart enough to send you motion-activated clips (that were also stored off-site in a secure location where they could be downloaded on demand), and you were able to accomplish all that without having a DVR (Digital Video Recorder) in your home, and you were able to set the system up yourself, I will be amazed – and will stand corrected. I also strongly suspect the system you describe cost thousands of dollars, not hundreds. FrontPoint uses the technology developed by Alarm.com, the recognized leader in smarter interactive monitoring. ADT’s Pulse platform is essentially their belated effort to catch up to Alarm.com – but they left out the critically important Crash & Smash protection that Alarm.com offers – and has patented. Alarm.com has offered its services for nearly ten years, and FrontPoint has used Alarm.com in every system we have sold since our inception in 2007 – the only alarm company to have done so. Thanks again for your comment.

      • Joe

        im still waiting for a reply from shawn…. lol..

        • Peter M. Rogers

          Joe – Thanks. So am I…

  2. Shawn

    I have the ability to view my home through my phone and have had it for going on 5 years now through ADT. I think your info is incorrect and misleading to say the least. ADT Pulse is a newer product line that they are offering but the technology has been there. How long has Frontpoint been offering this service?

    • Peter M. Rogers

      Thanks for your comment. ADT has had bits and pieces of the technology we offer for some time, that is true. It’s also true that it was limited and generally expensive. But if you have had the ability to view streaming video on your smart phone using a free app designed for the purpose, AND your cameras were smart enough to send you motion-activated clips (that were also stored off-site in a secure location where they could be downloaded on demand), and you were able to accomplish all that without having a DVR (Digital Video Recorder) in your home, and you were able to set the system up yourself, I will be amazed – and will stand corrected. I also strongly suspect the system you describe cost thousands of dollars, not hundreds. FrontPoint uses the technology developed by Alarm.com, the recognized leader in smarter interactive monitoring. ADT’s Pulse platform is essentially their belated effort to catch up to Alarm.com – but they left out the critically important Crash & Smash protection that Alarm.com offers – and has patented. Alarm.com has offered its services for nearly ten years, and FrontPoint has used Alarm.com in every system we have sold since our inception in 2007 – the only alarm company to have done so. Thanks again for your comment.

      • Joe

        im still waiting for a reply from shawn…. lol..

        • Peter M. Rogers

          Joe – Thanks. So am I…

  3. Alan Draper

    Interesting update. Thanks for the latest 411 on this.

    • Peter M. Rogers

      You are welcome, Alan. We were quite surprised (and a little amused) to have an unhappy Pulse customer post that way on our lead portal. But then again, it’s my considered opinion that ADT did not sufficiently think through the implementation of the platform. We think that having all the interactive features broadband-based is a point of vulnerability, and prefer sending all the messaging (alarm signals included) over a secure cellular link. It costs us more, but it’s better for the homeowner. The only thing we use broadband for is video – all the rest is digital GSM cell transmission.

  4. Alan Draper

    Interesting update. Thanks for the latest 411 on this.

    • Peter M. Rogers

      You are welcome, Alan. We were quite surprised (and a little amused) to have an unhappy Pulse customer post that way on our lead portal. But then again, it’s my considered opinion that ADT did not sufficiently think through the implementation of the platform. We think that having all the interactive features broadband-based is a point of vulnerability, and prefer sending all the messaging (alarm signals included) over a secure cellular link. It costs us more, but it’s better for the homeowner. The only thing we use broadband for is video – all the rest is digital GSM cell transmission.

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