Alarm.com vs ADT: What’s the Difference?

Alarm.com vs ADT: What’s the Difference?

Alarm-com vs ADT
  • When it comes to the crowded landscape of the home security industry, there are a lot of companies fulfilling various roles, including equipment manufacturers, installers, monitoring services, and even big tech companies like Amazon and Google that dabble in the home security market.

    Understandably, this can sometimes cause confusion among consumers about the role of a specific company, and this has definitely been the case with one of the newer and most innovative companies in the industry, Alarm.com.

    Alarm.com is most accurately described as a hybrid between a manufacturer of home security equipment and a developer of technology to improve the functionality of both their equipment and equipment manufactured by other companies.  However, many people confuse Alarm.com with ADT and other home security system installers.

    The bottom line is that comparing Alarm.com to ADT is not a “one-to-one” comparison.

    Alarm.com supplies home security equipment and technology to a network of best-in-class security and smart home experts, including Dynamark Security of Richmond.  They do not sell directly to consumers—only to local home security companies.  They are a partner of Dynamark Security. 

    ADT, on the other hand, is a company that installs home security equipment manufactured by other companies.  They sell directly to consumers and are a competitor to Dynamark Security. 

    In other words, comparing Alarm.com to ADT would be like comparing General Motors to a car dealer.  In the same way that a consumer can’t buy a car directly from General Motors, they can’t buy home security equipment or technology directly from Alarm.com—only from local servicing dealers like Dynamark Security.

    The reason for this is that Alarm.com wants to make sure people who use their technology and equipment are being provided the support they need by a competent, trusted company—like Dynamark.

     Alarm.com at a glance

    Alarm.com logoAlarm.com provides complete home automation and security equipment like cameras, doorbells, lights, locks, garage doors, thermostats, and more. Customers can control all their devices with the alarm.com app, which is compatible with most alarm systems.

    Alarm.com is widely viewed as one of the most innovative companies in the home security industry:

    • They were the pioneers of developing the concept of “smart home as a service” idea.
    • They were the first company to introduce remote alarm monitoring and alerts for a disabled system.
    • They launched the very first native mobile app for smart phones.
    • They launched the first LTE smart home connection.
    • They are a leader in the integration of artificial intelligence and video surveillance with their video analytics technology.

    Alarm.com’s innovation and high-quality products are the reasons that Dyanamrk Security partners with them.  We are committed to providing our customers the best security solutions possible, whether those solutions come from manufacturers established in the industry for decades–like Honeywell—or new, innovative companies like Alarm.com.

    ADT at a glance

    ADT LogoADT is a national company that installs home security equipment and provides alarm monitoring services.

    However, although they are the largest home security company in the nation, that doesn’t necessarily translate into great service.

    First of all, they often use local subcontractors of varying quality to do the actual installation and maintenance of security systems.  Second, they are sometimes less than straightforward about terms of alarm monitoring contracts that their customers sign up for, sometimes locking them into longer contracts than the customers intended.

    Lastly, despite what they might have customers believe, the equipment and technology used by ADT in security systems they install is for the most part the same or similar as the equipment and technology available to most other home security companies, including Dynamark Security.

    Alarm.com vs. ADT

    As we mentioned at the top of the article, comparing Alarm.com to ADT is not an apples-to-apples comparison.  It’s like comparing Whirlpool to Sears, or Briggs & Stratton to Home Depot.

    In each case, the comparison being made is not between two companies that sell competing products, but rather between one company that makes the product and another company that sells and/or services the product.

    A better comparison might be to compare Alarm.com to Stihl (the outdoor power equipment company known for their high-quality chainsaws).  As anyone who owns a piece of Stihl equipment knows, you can only buy Stihl products from a local servicing dealer.  You won’t find their products at Lowe’s or Home Depot, because Stihl wants to make sure that the people who sell their products provide a level of high-quality, personal support that you just won’t get from big-box stores.

    In the same way, Alarm.com’s products and technology are only available from a nationwide network of authorized service providers, including Dynamark Security.  These providers are screened and vetted by Alarm.com to ensure that they provide a high quality of service and support to their customers.

    Alarm.com vs. ADT FAQs

    Do both Alarm.com and ADT sell home security products and systems? 

    Yes, both companies sell security products like alarms, motion sensors, security cameras, and smart-home devices. The difference lies in who they sell these products to.

    Alarm.com sells equipment and technology that they make to local security companies, who then who sell their products and supporting technology to consumers.

    ADT, on the other hand, sells equipment made by other companies directly to consumers.

    Do Alarm.com and ADT sell direct-to-consumer for DIY-installation?

    Neither company sells security products for people to install themselves.  Alarm.com products are only available from local authorized dealers that can support the products.

    ADT sells directly to consumers, but they also do not sell security equipment designed for DIY-installation.

    In fact, although ADT and Dynamark Security are competitors and probably would not agree on many things, the one thing we would probably agree on is that DIY-security solutions do not tend to work well for homeowners.  In fact, recent surveys have shown that a lot of people who purchase DIY security equipment never end up installing it or connecting it to an alarm monitoring service.

    What are the subscription requirements of Alarm.com and ADT?

    ADT requires customers to purchase an alarm-monitoring subscription with their systems and products.

    Because Alarm.com partners with local security companies, subscription requirements vary by provider.

    Does Dynamark Security require customers to purchase alarm monitoring services when they buy Alarm.com security equipment?

     No, Dynamark Security does not require our customers to purchase ongoing alarm monitoring subscriptions with home security products that we install (such as security cameras).  However, we do firmly believe that a monitored home security system is the best protection against burglary, because that is what the data has repeatedly demonstrated.