There are literally thousands of security companies in the U.S. Selecting the best home security company to help protect your home and family can prove to be a challenge. If you’ve narrowed it down to an ADT Monitored Security System and LiveWatch Security, you have arrived at two of the best.
ADT Authorized Provider -Safe Streets is one of the most highly recognized professionally installed security company…and LiveWatch offers an exceptional value in the DIY category of home security.
Consequently, you are likely weighing the pros and cons of DIY vs professional alarm installation.
On the one hand, a DIY alarm system is typically cheaper….but, for a little bit more, the professionally installed system may provide additional peace of mind knowing that is was correctly installed by a trained technician.
This 2016 review was written to help compare these two companies directly and determine which company best meets your unique security and home automation needs.
Prizefight Format Overview
ADT Monitored Security vs. LiveWatch Security is an early installment in our Home Security Advisor’s Prizefight Series where our security company contenders square off against each other in a side-by-side “Prizefight” comparative review.
Each review will include 5 “Rounds” where both of the participants will be judged and ranked on specific criteria. The scores of individual rounds will be calculated and averaged to decide the overall winner who will reign supreme until the next heavyweight security bout!
The judging criteria will be:
Reputation and Credibility
Equipment and Technology
Pricing and Value
So let’s take a look and see how the home security heavyweights compare. Time to “weigh-in” and see who can deliver the knockout punches?
The Contenders- ADT Monitored Security vs. LiveWatch Security
ADT Monitored Security
Safe Streets was founded in 1998 and is one of the largest Authorized Providers for ADT, the number one name in the home security industry.
They have earned an A+ BBB rating by providing exceptional installation and service to thousands of satisfied customers.
All monitoring services are provided by ADT, which was founded 140 years ago as American District Telegraph and is the oldest and most recognized name in home security.
LiveWatch is based in St. Mary’s, Kansas, and is now owned by Monitronics.
Established in 2002, LiveWatch protects over 200,000 homes and families and has an A+ BBB rating.
Reputation and Credibility
ADT Monitored Security
While installing over 200,000 systems per year, ADT Authorized Provider – Safe Streets, maintains an A+ BBB rating.
The systems are monitored by the largest security company in the country which has controlled the top spot on the SDM Top 100 for over a decade.
In a bit more than a decade, LiveWatch has distinguished itself by offering world-class customer service-earning them an A+ BBB rating, and a very consumer-friendly sales approach. Instead of requiring the typical 3-5 year monitoring contract, LiveWatch requires only a one year contract- while still offering significant savings on upfront equipment costs.
While LiveWatch’s A+ rating is impressive and many will appreciate their flexible contract options, the ADT Authorized Provider’s system is monitored by the #1 home security company.
Both companies enjoy a solid BBB ranking, and significant experience helping to protect homes and families, but the latter is a system that carries the brand that has maintained a stronghold on the SDM’s #1 spot for decades – thus earning a win in this category.
ADT operates 6 UL Listed, Five Diamond Certified monitoring stations across the country. This provides the highest level of redundancy- enabling calls to be rerouted in the event of a disaster in one area.
Monitoring rates run from $36.99-$58.99.
They both offer 24/7 protection against intrusion, emergency, and personal safety, fire and environmental hazards.
LiveWatch monitoring offers fully integrated cellular monitoring, even on their basic monitoring package. This eliminates the possibility of defeating the system by disabling cable or landlines.
Their basic monitoring package is truly an exception value-at just $29.99 for basic cellular service, as is their premium service which includes their exclusive ASAPer feature, as well as 2-way voice authentication, Alarm.com interactive services, Geo-Services and “Crash and Smash” technology which will notify the monitoring station even if the system is destroyed.
Both companies offer quality monitoring services by highly regarded Central Stations. ADT Monitoring offers additional redundancy, but LiveWatch offers a host of additional services at extremely affordable rates.
While LiveWatch used to hold a decisive pricing edge, especially on the lower end- their basic monitoring price has increased from $19.95 to 29.95. Nevertheless, LiveWatch still offers additional monitoring features and maintains a lead in this category.
ADT Authorized Provider – Safe Streets Customer Service
Protect Your Home, an ADT Authorized Premier Provider, has been in the business of helping to protect homes and servicing their customers for over 18 years.
They have a solid A+ BBB rating, and install ADT monitored home security systems which include the exclusive ADT 6 month service guarantee – which states that if any service-oriented issue is not resolved within 6 months, the equipment will be removed and your money refunded. (certain restrictions apply) It should be noted, however, that this is not really a “no questions asked” return policy.
LiveWatch Customer Service
With an A+ BBB rating, LiveWatch has a solid reputation for providing superior customer service for over a decade. While there is no professional installation available, most customers will find the system easy to install.
LiveWatch offers an unheard of industry-exclusive One Year Return Policy, in which you can get a full equipment refund at any time within the first 12 months.
Both companies offer quality customer service and A+ BBB rating. However, ADT Monitored security systems are professionally installed and they have a longer history of delivering award-winning service.
This trumps the LiveWatch One Year Return Policy.
Equipment and Technology
ADT Authorized Provider
ADT Monitored equipment is professionally installed. Package pricing and manufacturer may vary depending on current promotions and the package selected.-but, typically the basic package pricing is competitive and carries the ADT 6 Month Service Guarantee (certain restrictions apply).
ADT Monitored Systems offer an array of security and home automation devices and services.
While advertised monitoring prices start as low as $36.99, the equipment on typical $99 packages is pretty basic. Upgrades, add-ons, and monthly monitoring prices can mount up very quickly as additional options are included.
While most ADT monitored entry-level systems offers will include fairly basic equipment, LiveWatch includes a fully-equipped cellular GE system on their basic $29.95 package, and a premium touchscreen control panel in all their premium packages – the highly-touted newcomer Qolsys IQ. Control. The Control Panel in their Plug and Play IQ is made by Qolsys.
It is a technological home automation tour de force that incorporates the cellular, Wi-Fi and z-wave communication technologies within a gorgeous 7’ Android touchscreen user interface. This panel will even display current weather conditions and has a built-in camera to identify who is disarming the system. This panel is discounted and included in their $99 basic package with either Mobile Pro or Total Home monitoring subscriptions.
The cost of additional sensors is also extremely competitive, with door and window sensors starting at just $30. There is a full line up of equipment available to meet virtually any security, home automation, energy management or surveillance needs- with all LiveWatch Plug and Protect monitored systems carrying a lifetime warranty.
While the ADT Authorized Provider offers professional installation, and most of the same overall capabilities of the LiveWatch packages…they are only available as a la carte upgrades and options-at substantially higher costs.
The LiveWatch program offers significantly more bang for the buck. For $99 and under $30 a month, you get a premium touchscreen cellular panel that includes an internal camera that records arming activities and provides live weather reports.
Their $39.95 Total Home package includes Crash and Smash technology, Location Based Control and their exclusive ASAPer instant notification technology.
However, if you are looking to be able to use voice control to operate your system, the ADT monitored system provides that show-stopping feature.
Price and Value
ADT Authorized Provider – Safe Streets
While ADT Monitored systems reflect reasonably competitive packages and rates, the costs may quickly escalate depending on your needs and interests.
Basic packages are available starting at $99 for installation and as low as $36.99 for monitoring, but if you want interactive services (the ability to control your system remotely on the internet or a mobile device), cellular or home automation capabilities-both upfront costs and monthly monitoring rates can quickly skyrocket.
Typical monitoring packages run from $36.99-58.99+. Professionally installed components are often significantly more expensive.
LiveWatch offers a GE basic security package for just $99-which includes fully integrated cellular communication capability When you upgrade to either Mobile Pro or Total Home Monitoring, you get a host of additional services and the upgraded Qolsys Control Panel (a $200 value)
Many advanced monitoring features(ASAPer, Crash and Smash, Live Voice Assist, Geo-Services) are included at extremely competitive price points.
ADT Monitoring simply doesn’t offer some of the interactive monitoring bells and whistles, but the Voice Control feature might outweigh that for many customers looking for some state of the art tech wizardry.
While the ADT Authorized Provider – Safe Streets offers superior name recognition, top-notch security value and professional installation –LiveWatch wins this round bu including more advanced features and services in the basic programs, lower monthly monitoring rates, and lower add-on equipment pricing.
ADT Monitored Security vs LiveWatch Review-Conclusion
Both of these Security Prizefight Heavyweights are worthy contenders for anyone looking to help protect their homes and families with a quality home security and automation system.
Overall, ADT Monitoring offers better name recognition, professional installation and a more storied history.
However, LiveWatch has been in the business of protecting homes for over a decade, also enjoys an outstanding BBB rating – while offering more advanced technology and superior monitoring features at lower prices.
There may be some who still prefer the name recognition and are willing to pay a bit more for professional installation, but the value-conscious consumer will find that … LiveWatch is a Superior Value!
Why choose ADT Monitoring Over LiveWatch?
Despite the fact that LiveWatch wins in overall value…it is a DIY system only. There are many people out there that just feel more comfortable with a professionally installed system and a name brand that is the most highly recognized brand in the home security industry.
- FREE Security System -$850 Value*
- Professional Installation
- Superior Monitoring Redundancy- 6 Monitoring Centers
- Local Nationwide Service Network
- Superior Technology – Voice Control Available
- Broad Home Automation Compatibility
- Nationwide Relocation Program
- $500 Theft Protection Guarantee (certain restrictions apply)
- 6 Month Service Guarantee (certain restrictions apply)
*$99 charge for parts & installation with monthly monitoring services. Termination Fee Applies. For New Customers Only. (See T&Cs Below)
While LiveWatch offers a compelling value proposition, you may want to take a few minutes to investigate further and see why ADT helps protect more homes and families than the next 10 competitors combined!
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*$99 Customer Installation Charge. 36-Month Monitoring Agreement required at $36.99 per month ($1,331.64), 24-Month Monitoring Agreement required at $36.99 ($887.76) for California, including Quality Service Plan (QSP). Form of payment must be by credit card or electronic charge to your checking or savings account. Offer applies to homeowners only. Certain packages require approved landline phone. Local permit fees may be required. Satisfactory credit history required. Termination Fee applies. Certain restrictions may apply. Offer valid for new ADT Authorized Premier Provider customers only and not on purchases from ADT LLC. Other rate plans available. Cannot be combined with any other offer.
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