ADT Pulse

When our alarm monitoring company increased our rates (from $9.99/mo to $12.99/mo) recently I started shopping around. I didn’t really expect to find anything cheaper, but it’s the way I’m wired.

I contacted three local contractors to give me a price on taking over the monitoring of our existing system, and/or adding some bells and whistles to the arrangement. The prices were not too shocking, typically $30/mo for monitoring, and a few hundred to switch some hardware around to “take over” our system. I asked each about “home automation” options, and generally got no meaningful response.

ADT came in and the salesman demonstrated their “Pulse” system. This integrates CCTV, alarm and home automation through a local control unit and a clever app on your android/iphone allowing you to check your cameras or receive notifications when your kids get home etc.

The quote I got was to take over the existing system I have, integrate the CCTV and later add zwave devices to add HA functionality to the system (at additional cost). The price? $150 up front, and $60/mo. Thats $2310 to me over three years BEFORE adding any bells and whistles.

I decided that if I had to pay for the hardware anyway I’d go with Vera, and save myself a few dollars;

$2310 – $467.64 = $1842.36 (Monitoring cost over 3 years)
$1842 – $100 = $1742 (Add EVL-3 DSC Interface Module).
$1742 – $200 = $1542 (Add Vera Lite Controller).

I now get to spend $1500 before this system costs me the same as the ADT pulse system (bare bones) would have AND Vera allows me to integrate the Belkin Wemo Switches I already had installed, instead of replacing them.

I get that the route I chose has more bumps in it, but damn. I cannot justify three grand over three years to acheive the same result.


  1. Madeye says:

    So – I take it that the $12.99/month became more palatable after your being quoted $60/month? … LOL!

    Besides, you really wouldn’t have been happy having someone else ‘administer’ your toys for you, now, would you? ;-)

  2. Mugwug says:

    Oh I knew we were not going to beat their rate, even with the increase. I have a personal policy however that when someone increases the rates on me I shop around – we’re getting bare bones service, and if someone is offering bells and whistles we might actually use then maybe it’s time to make a move.

    Our internet is the perfect example of this, the service absolutely blew when we experienced a recent outage, and so I shopped around. Turns out we can get the same (or possibly better) speeds and reliability at a lower cost.

    Bye bye ISP… lak of loyalty is a two way street thankfully.

    And you are of course right… I don’t much like a system where I can’t tinker a bit ‘under the hood’.

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