ADT Blue DIY Home Security System: An Expert Review

ADT is one of the most popular names in the home security market. Today we will be going over Blue by ADT, which is ADT’s DIY home security offering.


ADT’s DIY home security system Blue looks exciting at first glace. Let’s go over each component one by one, starting with the all new touchscreen control panel.

The hub

ADT Blue’s hub is great if you are looking for something that doesn’t have a lot of bells and whistles. It is not the sleekest designed panel out on the market, and it certainly doesn’t have a lot of features but it does protect your home. The panel has a simple design with a push-button keypad. The panel is meant to be placed on a desktop.

The panel is pretty expandable, allowing you to connect 250 total devices including 16 cameras, 32 key fobs, 8 touchscreens or alpha keypads, and up to 224 Z-Wave devices. You can also have up to 99 user codes for this system.

ADT Pulse control panel

Let’s compare ADT Blue’s hub to their Pulse brand’s control panel. ADT Pulse’s interactive services (similar to our services) allow you to remotely control your system, on the go and through your smart device. Pulse branded equipment also brings newer versions of intrusion sensors meant to cater to customers looking for the most up to date kind of security equipment.

With Pulse, ADT wanted to offer a control panel that had all the unique/state of the art features that other interactive control panels currently have (such as our Qolsys IQ Panel 2), and one that would work perfectly with the Pulse app.

The ADT Pulse control panel has an HD touchscreen keypad in full color. It connects to Wi-Fi, allowing you to free yourself from the need of a landline for your system to work. It comes with an 8-hour rechargeable backup battery in case your power goes out. It can be wall mounted or placed on a surface. For the keypad to function you will need an ADT Pulse iHub which is pretty much a wireless router that connects all of your Pulse equipment to the hub. The ADT HD touchscreen allows you to view video from ADT branded cameras, displays systems status, and allows you control smart home devices all from this panel.


Door/window sensor

The ADT door/window sensor will protect the entryways to your home. You have the option to choose from wired or wireless sensors. Wired door/window sensor will wire into your control panel. Wireless sensors will communicate wirelessly. The wireless door/window sensor is battery operated is reported to last 3 to 5 years before it requires another fresh set of batteries. Both sensors are UL listed which means they have been tested to be tamper proof so you don’t have to worry about a burglar disabling them.

With the ADT door/window sensor, whenever a door or window (that’s been secured by one of these door/window sensors) opens, you will get an instant alert through the ADT Pulse app.

Motion sensor

The next type of basic intrusion sensor that ADT offers is motion sensors. The ADT motion sensor can cover large areas - they have a 35 x 40 ft. range. If you have a pet, you do not have to worry about these sensors being triggered by their movement due to the fact that ADT’s motion sensor is pet immune for pets up to a certain size (usually around 60 lbs). The motion sensor has been reported to be more ‘immune’ to dogs then cats, as cats tend to jump around and get on top of things around the house more.

The ADT motion sensor is battery operated, with a battery life of up to 8 years. When a motion sensor is triggered you will be instantly notified via the ADT Pulse app that this event has happened.

Glass break sensor

If you are looking to add on some equipment other than door/window sensors and motions sensors, you will find out that ADT has a lot to offer. If you are looking for other intrusion sensors, you can purchase an ADT Glass Breaks Sensors. Glass Break sensors are really neat intrusion sensors meant to detect the sound of glass breaking in your home. ADT’s Glass Break Sensors are wireless and have a detection range of 25 feet. They are battery operated and are powered by two 3V batteries.

Hold Up Button

ADT also offers a Hold Up Button. This button is designed for situations where you are faced with an intruder and need to press a panic button without the intruder noticing. This is great if you have a business and would like to have a panic button that works silently. You can mount it underneath a desk or any discreet location.

ADT’s Hold Up Button comes in both wired and wireless forms. ADT also offers keyfobs that have panic buttons built-in and that will allow you to quickly arm and disarm your system with a push of a button.

Water/flood sensor

ADT offers a wide variety of environmental sensors that will help protect you from natural disasters like flooding, fires and CO2 leakage. ADT offers flood sensors that will alert you when a leak or flood have been detected inside your home or office. The flood sensor is wireless and includes a wireless transmitter with a 6 ft. long cord.

The ADT flood sensors is powered by one 3V battery and has a battery life to up to 10 years.

Smoke sensor

One essential environmental sensor that every home and business owner must have is a smoke detector. ADT offers a smoke detector that will protect your home and office from potential fire damage.

The smoke detector comes with an LED indicator light to let you know that your smoke detector is working. It also includes an audible alarm that will alert you when smoke from a fire has been detected. These sensors come in both wireless and wired versions. They are battery operated and last several years on 3V CR123A lithium batteries.

Carbon monoxide sensor (CO2)

Another essential environmental sensor that is a must have for home and business owners are CO2 detectors. ADT’s CO2 detectors use electro-chemical sensing technology that can detect even the lowest levels of CO2 in your home.

The ADT CO2 detector has an audible alarm that will alert you any time rises of CO2 gases are detected in your home or office. Just like ADT’s smoke detectors, the CO2 detector has an LED indicator light that will let you know that this sensor is working. You do have the option to purchase these sensors in a wired and wireless version. They are battery operated and have a battery life to up to 10 years.

Home automation

ADT also offers you ways to use smart home devices such as smart locks, thermostats, garage door controllers and light controllers.


The smart door locks that ADT offers can be controlled via ADT’s Pulse app and are a great way to control access to your property. You can set up multiple user codes, and give each user/family member access to the door lock through the app. ADT is compatible with Schlage, Kwikset and Yale Z-Wave door locks and can be purchased directly through ADT, an ADT authorized dealer or from an off-the-market store like Amazon or Home Depot.


The smart thermostat that ADT offers allows you to control the temperature at home from anywhere in the world. All you need is the ADT Pulse app. These thermostats can be set to be turned off and on during different times of the day which can cut down on the cost of your energy bill per month.

Garage door controllers

Just like the thermostat, ADT’s garage door controllers can also be controlled from anywhere in the world, where you can open and close the garage door and be notified through the app as well any time there is a change in the status of the garage door. For example, you can set up alerts any time the garage doors opens or closes as well as when it remains open for an extended period of time. This a great feature for times when you forget to close your garage door!

Light controllers

ADT also offers Z-Wave enabled smart switches or light controllers. These smart switches will plug into your outlets and will allow you to control lights and small appliances on the go. You can also set timers for these switches which will also cut down your energy costs per month.

If you are looking for some smart light bulbs that will also help cut down on your energy costs, ADT has you covered. You can purchase smart bulbs which do not use a lot of energy. These smart bulbs can also be controlled on the go through the ADT app. You can set timers for when your lights come and go off all through the app.

Professional installation

If ADT’s Blue DIY option is not for you, then maybe you should give ADT’s professionally installed system a look. If you are not that tech savvy or lead a busy schedule, then that is another reason why ADT’s professional installation option is something you should take advantage of. Of course, there will be a fee for this service (unlike DIY systems like the one we offer here at Link Interactive), but you can expect the installation to be taken care of swiftly and professionally. However, the exact fee is hard to come by unless you call or contact ADT directly, and this can also depend on your location and what the local dealers in your area typically charge for professional installations.

Having you call them for information like this is also meant for you as a potential customer to talk to one of their sales reps in a way to persuade you into purchasing a system through them. This is not an uncommon method of in the home security world. Many companies use this same strategy to get potential customers like yourself to buy one of their systems.

Equipment Pricing

In addition to installation charges, pricing for the equipment listed above is a little hard to come by as well. ADT Blue’s packages are pretty simply laid out on their website. The 3 packages they offer are Starter, Starter Plus, and Premium. The respective starting prices for each of the 3 packages are $219, $299, and $419.

Equipment pricing

ADT offers several ways for you to purchase their equipment. One way is to contact them directly. That is the only real way to get accurate pricing for their equipment unless you speak to an authorized dealer. Authorized dealers are third parties that have been authorized by ADT to sell their equipment. It is generally more beneficial for you to purchase equipment through an authorized dealer because they are local, and they generally have special discount offers on their equipment.

ADT authorized dealers

Another advantage to going with an authorized dealer is the fact that if you ever have any issues with your system, you can expect speedy customer service. The downside is that local dealers tend to charge visit fees and typically these visits aren’t covered under warranty rules.

Standard monitoring vs ADT Pulse

Another factor when it comes to pricing is the kind of service you’re signing up for. ADT offers traditional no-frills home security systems where the only way to control them is through the control panel, or smart home security systems that can be controlled via an app - the ADT Pulse app. With ADT Pulse is obviously more expensive than ADT’s standard monitoring service, but gets you so much more as well.


You can compare ADT Pulse’s monitoring service with Link Interactive’s monitoring services. In fact, in ADT at the moment uses the same exact app ( that Link Interactive does. The only difference is the pricing and the equipment. Check out our offer here.

Medical alert systems

If you have an elderly parent or someone who has medical problems that will need immediate medical treatment in the case of an emergency, ADT offers medical alert systems. There are several different packages that ADT has to offer you when it comes to their medical alert systems:

Medical Alert Basic

The Medical Alert Basic package does require a landline and includes the in-home base unit, a pendent alert button necklace, and an alert button watch.

Medical Alert Plus

The Medical Alert Plus package includes the in-home unit which does not require a landline. It also includes a range extender for the base unit, 2 pendent alert button necklaces, and 2 alert button watches.

On-The-Go System

The On-The-Go system includes a mobile base unit, 1 pendent alert button necklace, and 2 alert button watches. The system is also wireless and can be transported easily from one place to another.

ADT Cameras

Now let’s take a deeper dive into what ADT has to offer when it comes to video surveillance equipment.

ADT Blue Camera

ADT Blue offers 4 types of cameras. An indoor wireless camera, a regular wired indoor camera, a doorbell camera and a regular outdoor camera. All 4 cameras allow you to view footage from your phone, talk through your camera, record on demand, and set up motion triggered recordings. Apart from Blue’s camera offerings, ADT also offers cameras as part of their Pulse offering.

ADT Pulse indoor camera

The first camera we will be taking a look at is ADT’s indoor camera. ADT’s indoor camera is powered through an AC power source, and works by connecting to your home’s Wi-Fi network. The camera is pretty compact making it easy to place in a variety of locations on the inside of your home.

The video resolution is high definition of 720p with a 90-degree viewing angle and also includes infrared LEDs which will allow you to view video even when there is no light in the room in which you place your indoor camera. ADT’s indoor camera is motion activated and will start to record when motion is sensed near your camera.

ADT Pulse outdoor camera

ADT also has a camera that will allow you to keep an eye on things that are happening on the outside of your home. ADT’s outdoor camera has a lot of the same features as their indoor camera. The ADT outdoor camera is powered through an AC power source and works by connecting to your home’s Wi-Fi.

The video resolution is the same as their indoor camera, with the camera sporting a 720p video resolution. The viewing angle is slightly larger than the ADT indoor camera, with this camera having a viewing angle of 95-degrees. This will allow you to cover a bit more of an area than the indoor camera. It also has a better night vision than the indoor camera, and will allow you to see video up 6 meters at night.

ADT’s outdoor camera is made from IP66 weatherproof material that will protect it from the elements. Just like ADT’s indoor camera, their outdoor camera is motion activated and will start recording video when it detects motion.

ADT Pulse doorbell camera

Video doorbell cameras are an extremely popular type of camera with home security enthusiasts. ADT’s video doorbell camera works a little differently than the other video surveillance cameras they offer. For you to be able to use this specific camera, you will need an existing doorbell wiring setup. The ADT video doorbell camera does connect to your home’s Wi-Fi network just like the other cameras they offer.

The video resolution is 720p with a 180-degree wide angle field of view that will allow you to cover a really large area around the door in which you have this camera placed. This camera also includes infrared night vision which will allow you to capture video in low light settings.

One really standout feature of the ADT video doorbell camera is that it comes with 2-way audio with noise cancellation technology which will allow you to directly communicate with whomever is around the camera with minimal background noise. This camera, like the other ADT cameras, is motion activated and will start recording once it has detected motion.

Video Monitoring

Now that we have went over what types of video cameras ADT has to offer you, let us look at how you can monitor them and view their video. The best way for you to view the video from your ADT camera is through the ADT app. The app will allow you to stream live video and view recorded video clips right from the app. You will also get push notifications any time any of your cameras have detected motion. The ADT app will also allow you to control any of your cameras’ features while on the go right from the app.


Now let’s go over the monitoring plans that are currently offered by ADT Pulse. ADT’s Traditional Plan is the most basic plan that they have to offer. It includes 24/7 professional monitoring, burglary protection, and detection for fire, flood, and CO2. The next plan they have to off is their Control plan. The Control Plan has everything that the Traditional plan has to offer, but it also includes remote arm and disarming through the ADT app, control of smart home devices, customizable alerts, schedules, and scenes. The most premium package ADT has to offer is their Video plan. The Video plan includes everything in the Control plan plus live video streaming and the viewing and storing of recorded video clips. ADT unfortunately does not offer any information about the pricing for these plans, and you will need to reach out to them directly for this information.

ADT Blue vs Link Interactive

We think that ADT has a lot to offer you when it comes to security solutions for your home or office. They also have been around for a long time so we feel that they are a company you can trust for your home or office security needs. There a few things we don’t particularly care for when it comes to ADT. The lack of pricing information is frustrating, and the information they do have is scattered throughout their website. ADT is also a little bit more expensive when it comes to equipment and monitoring costs. For example, with Link Interactive, you can get a much better app in and equipment in Qolsys for a lot less money spent per month.

At Link Interactive, we combine the best of both worlds; traditional, robust home security equipment that you can install yourself in minutes with a stellar app to control your system on the go! Click here to see Link Interactive’s offers!