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Home Security
Comparison Chart

Compare alarm companies using this chart to see which one has the features you want most.

How Good is ADT?

ADT has to be the most established home security brand in the country, and for good reason: they were founded over a century ago. ADT has made many important contributions to the security industry, but as of late they've been playing catch-up with all of the new tech companies muscling their way into the market.

What does ADT do right?

  • Their monthly costs start at a reasonable rate (but can go up to $70/month on the higher end)
  • They enable home automation through the ADT Pulse app
  • Their video security plan offers plenty of options

Where does ADT fall short?

In addition to selling their own security systems, ADT also allows smaller dealers to sell under their brand and then they only handle your monitoring.

That means if you purchased your system from a third-party equipment dealer and you have a problem with your equipment, ADT can't help you; you have to contact the dealer.

Having to work with two different companies — one for the equipment and one for the monitoring — can be frustrating and time consuming.

Plus, ADT systems can be made from so many different manufacturers that it can make the troubleshooting process frustrating. If a different your keypad, cameras, window/door contacts, and motion sensors are all coming from different brands, you can run into problems down the line.


Quality of Equipment

ADT cuts down their costs when you purchase their "free" system by giving you the cheapest equipment possible. Most of these lack modern security features. The average home security buyer has no idea that the alarm panel they just pulled out of the box is a model that's over ten years old and not up-to-date with the full suite of security options that other systems do.

Sometimes, the older equipment is riddled with security holes that can be exploited by criminals looking to break into your home.

adt lawsuit

Just a few months ago, ADT had to pay $16 million to customers after being sued multiple times over the last few years for using “unencrypted wireless communications systems that rendered [home security systems] vulnerable to being hacked.” The unsecured network could let unauthorized users onto the system and disable it remotely, making the entire home vulnerable.

To make matters worse, a lot of this old equipment is incompatible with newer equipment, making switching security companies all the more expensive and a huge headache for everyone.

More: Why Local Alarm Companies Beat the Big Corporations

Customer Service

It's always a good idea to read some reviews about a company before you commit.

When you have a customer base as large as ADT, providing a consistent level of service can be a challenge —as the company has alluded to in the past. ADT has to field 500,000 calls a day, so you'll never talk to the same person twice. Good luck getting a person on the phone who i solve your problem.

Customers have written detailed complaints about sales reps not showing up to scheduled appointments and about being put on hold for hours.

Local Service Matters

At Alarm New England, we pride ourselves providing a high level of customer service and support that always ensures you get a prompt response.

Your safety always comes first. Genuine 24/7 protection, not the illusion of security.

That's the Alarm New England difference.

More: FOX 61 News: How Local Security Services Are Putting Home Security Back in Your Hands

Want to learn what makes for the best home security system? Download our free Ultimate Guide to Home Security.

Get the Ultimate Guide to Home Security and learn:

  • Top 5 misconceptions about home security
  • How to assess vulnerabilities in your home
  • Why home security is about more than preventing burglaries
  • Cutting-edge security equipment: how home security has changed
  • Monitored vs. Self-Monitored Systems
  • Local vs. National Security Companies

Download Your Ultimate Guide »

How Good is Vivint?

Vivint is one of the largest national security brands, and their bright orange color scheme certainly stands out from the crowd. They differentiate themselves by their impressive array of smart home automation products and a well-regarded smartphone app. However, they’re certainly not without their faults. Keep these things in mind as you consider a Vivint system.

What does Vivint do right?

  1. A wide range of smart home products
  2. Equipment is higher quality than ADT’s
  3. Month-to-month payment options

 Alarm New England vs. Vivint

Where does Vivint fall short?

Vivint’s equipment is proprietary.

That means it will not operate properly if you want to use it with another monitoring company.

They have a high minimum monthly fee.

Their lowest plan starts at $39.99. While they do offer you the opportunity to finance your security system, this can result in you getting into a 5-year contract— which is longer than much of the competition.

While they do offer a wide range of customization options, Vivint’s equipment costs tend to be higher than many in the industry.

At Alarm New England, our packages start at $24.99, our equipment is not proprietary, and we absorb some of the cost with a shorter 3-year contract.

We offer two options: a three-year contract and a month-to-month option for customers looking for flexibility.

More: Can I Buy a Security System Without a Contract?

Cellular Only

While most security systems are capable of using both Wi-Fi and cellular towers for dual-path communication, Vivint only has a cellular connection. This is an issue for customers who have inconsistent cell service, particularly those who live in remote regions.

Having dual-path communication helps ensure that your system will have a way to communicate with your monitoring company at all times.

More: Monitored Fire Alarm Saves Home from Catastrophic Fire

Sales Pressure

Prior Vivint customers have written many unhappy reviews of Vivint's customer service. Vivint relies on “free” trial periods and 1-day deals to make it harder for customers to consider a variety of options.

More: Why Local Alarm Companies Beat the National Brands

Want to learn what makes for the best home security system? Download our free Ultimate Guide to Home Security.

Get the Ultimate Guide to Home Security and learn:

  • Top 5 misconceptions about home security
  • How to assess vulnerabilities in your home
  • Why home security is about more than preventing burglaries
  • Cutting-edge security equipment: how home security has changed
  • Monitored vs. Self-Monitored Systems
  • Local vs. National Security Companies

Download Your Ultimate Guide »

How Good is Comcast?

Comcast has branched out from their core business as a cable television provider to offering home security. For those who like getting their bills all from one company, Comcast’s Xfinity Home security package can seem appealing.

What does Comcast do right?

  1. Equipment is up-to-date
  2. Discounted rates for customers using other Comcast services
  3. Return policy

Alarm New England vs. Comcast-Xfinity.png

Where does Comcast fall short?

You have to pay for the equipment upfront. It's also proprietary.

Comcast leases their security equipment to you.

So, rather than paying for quality equipment that you own and can use with other security monitoring companies, you have to return it if you cancel your plan.

It’s also proprietary so — even if you did own it — it will not work properly with any other security monitoring companies.

Customer Service Issues

USA Today recently ranked Comcast #15 on their list of America’s 20 most-hated companies. Customers have mostly negative things to say in their Yelp reviews.

Common customer complaints include:

  • Problems caused by poor installation and scheduling delays
  • Billing mistakes resulting in costly fees
  • Disappointing customer service

Comcast’s customer retention policies are so extreme that a number of their customer service phone calls have gone viral, illustrating the amount of pressure its employees are under to keep customers from leaving. 

There’s a good reason Comcast won the dubious award of Worst Company in America 2014.

Subcontracted Technicians

Comcast subcontracts technicians to handle installations.

That means they may not be subject to the same screening, background checks, and training as a full-time employee.

They raise your monthly rates.

As with many companies, loyalty is rewarded by increasing rates every year.

If you have another Comcast service, like TV or internet, the base Xfinity Home security package costs $29.95 a month for the first 12 months.

After that, they raise your rates to $39.95 for the remaining 13-24 months.

If you don’t use Comcast for any other services, you will start out paying $39.95 per month. That’s an expensive base monthly cost compared to most of the industry.

Everything from their monthly rates and equipment costs to their installation and monitoring fees is higher than leading competitors. 

Our home security packages start at $24.99 for the most basic system. If you go with a 3-year contract, we'll absorb some of the cost of the equipment.

They have no month-to-month options.

Xfinity Home Security requires a minimum two-year contract for all of their packages. This may be slightly shorter than the standard three-year contract, but other companies do not require a contract at all.

Alarm New England offers two options: a three-year contract and a month-to-month option for customers looking for flexibility.

More: Can I Buy a Security System Without a Contract?

They require that you pay for other Xfinity services.

The most basic home security packages require that you have Xfinity internet. For more comprehensive home security plans, Xfinity requires that you use them as your internet and cable provider.

Comcast’s bandwidth issues are well-documented and a huge problem for customers in areas where Comcast has no competitors.

Get the Ultimate Guide to Home Security and learn:

  • Top 5 misconceptions about home security
  • How to assess vulnerabilities in your home
  • Why home security is about more than preventing burglaries
  • Cutting-edge security equipment: how home security has changed
  • Monitored vs. Self-Monitored Systems
  • Local vs. National Security Companies

Download Your Ultimate Guide »

How Good is SimpliSafe?

DIY home security systems are growing ever more popular, a lot of people ask why they should choose Alarm New England's customized DIY alarm system over the "kits" sold by our local Boston-based neighbor, SimpliSafe.
 
Before we jump into why we think our solution does a better job of protecting you, your family, and your property, let's just point out areas where we see eye-to-eye with SimpliSafe.
 

What does SimpliSafe do right?

  • They offer month-to-month contracts
  • Their equipment is portable
  • Equipment costs are on the cheaper side
These are all factors into why they're so successful; they aim for a self-monitoring market where cost, rather than safety, is the top priority.
 

Where does SimpliSafe fall short?

Proprietary Equipment

SimpliSafe says "No Contracts, just month-to-month" but their equipment is proprietary. Once you buy that system, you're stuck with them forever unless you want to spend hundreds of dollars on new equipment, because only ONE monitoring station out there can monitor that equipment.
 
If you're ever dissatisfied with your SimpliSafe experience, you have to start over and sink hundreds of dollars into brand-new equipment.
 

Consumer Grade Equipment vs. 128-bit Encryption

SimpliSafe's equipment is consumer-grade security equipment. It's hackable. In contrast, our 128-bit encrypted Honeywell equipment prevents signal jamming. We value your safety as well as your privacy, so we keep your data secure using the same technology as the banking industry. See for yourself how hackers were able to exploit security holes in SimpliSafe systems:

Outsourced Security Monitoring

Like with FrontPoint & many others, SimpliSafe outsources their monitoring services to a third-party. In this case, that company is COPS Monitoring. The issue with third-party monitoring is that it creates an accountability problem. Plus, SimpliSafe's equipment it's held to much lower safety standards. We have no idea what kind of testing their alarm system undergoes to make sure it won't fail when you need it most.
 
Alarm New England offers 128-bit AES encryption on all wireless signals. We monitor public school systems, meaning we have to meet the strictest safety regulations. We're constantly testing our disaster response protocols to ensure that our alarm monitoring station is ready to respond to any emergency within seconds. We even have a redundancy central monitoring station in Boulder, Colorado. 
 
4) The SimpliSafe base station is not crash-and-smash-proof. When a burglar enters the home, he has 30 seconds to destroy the base station, rendering it unable to contact the Dispatch Center.
 
With Honeywell’s Advanced Protection Logic, your Lyric system will contact our central monitoring station the moment someone opens a delayed entry zone to let us know it’s working.

If you are the one who triggered the entry, once you punch in your code, we receive a notification that you disarmed the system.
 
lyric app thermostatIf we don't get this second signal from your Lyric panel, we'll treat it as an alarm and follow the appropriate emergency protocol. Even if the burglar rips your Honeywell alarm right out of the wall, our monitoring professional is already dispatching the police to your home.
 

No Professional Installation Option

Simplisafe does not offer professional installation which means that if you are having a problem that might require more attention onsite — you’ll have to rely on phone or online support.
 

No Smart Home Automation

Whether you’re ready to enjoy smart home automation today or may want to in the future, Simplisafe does not currently offer that option. 
 
We offer only top-of-the-line equipment and are constantly staying up-to-date with cutting-edge tech. Whenever you decide you want to install any automation upgrades, we'll make the process easy.
 
Even if you don't care about that level of convenience right now, there's a good chance that you'll want to something like a smart thermostat or doorbell at some point. We recommend that you leave that upgrade path open to save yourself a bunch of money in the future.
 

Get the Ultimate Guide to Home Security and learn:

  • Top 5 misconceptions about home security
  • How to assess vulnerabilities in your home
  • Why home security is about more than preventing burglaries
  • Cutting-edge security equipment: how home security has changed
  • Monitored vs. Self-Monitored Systems
  • Local vs. National Security Companies

Download Your Ultimate Guide »

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