ADS Security Review
This company is headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee and is ranked the 21st most profitable home alarm company in the United States in 2016. They were established back in 1990 and now currently protects over 70 thousand homes, businesses and manufacturing facilities all throughout the south-eastern part of the USA. They provide a full range of basic sensors for your residence as well as camera video surveillance. They also offer some home automation features that a lot of companies still don’t have. With that being said, they are known as being one of the most expensive companies in this industry and their poor online reviews may push their customers to start investigating and researching other top ranked home security companies for their home safety needs.
Quick Summary Index:
One very useful and popular favorite feature of ADS Security is their surveillance camera setup that helps you monitor your residence even while you’re not present. Customers have the ability to view up to 6 different live video streams at once and also receive either text or e-mail notifications in the event that the motion sensor has been tripped. Users are given access to easily adjust or tilt their surveillance video cameras using ADS’s smartphone app. Since their cameras are 100% wireless, customers may easily position them to where they feel will be the most beneficial spot.
All the technicians at their monitoring centers have received and earned the highest training certificate you can get in the industry, the Five Diamond Central Station. They are expertly trained to help install your alarm equipment properly and to monitor it professionally 24/7 to ensure your protection and safety at all times. ADS offers quite a few pretty impressive home automation devices and equipment that help not only protect you and your family, but also your wallet by helping you save on energy expenses. They offer features like their water automation which allows customers to have complete remote control over all water fixtures like your sinks, showers, sprinklers, faucets, and more. This can all obviously be done remotely to ensure you save money on your water bill and even prevent water damage in the unlikely event of an emergency. ADS also provides a bunch of safety features that are exclusively geared toward your pets. This includes little pet cams, carbon monoxide sensors, rescue decals that you may place on your front door, and even protection profiles.
Equipment and Monitoring
ADS security is a full service alarm company that uses the popular Honeywell brand equipment. They do provide 24/7 monitoring through their UL-listed, CSAA 5-Diamond Certified Central Monitoring Station. This is the most coveted award in this industry and deserves some respect. It is a distinction that less than 1% of monitoring companies in the USA are able to achieve.
Using their central monitoring center, they provide professional monitoring for basic safety measures such as intrusions, fires and carbon monoxide. That’s just the tip of the iceberg though as you are able to control so much more through the use of additional sensors and their home automation equipment. The Honeywell LYNX 5200 Touch-Screen control panel is a full color panel that acts as the brain of this system by communicating with their monitoring station using a cellular signal. I have discussed many times how a cellular connection is definitely the best connection method in this industry so it’s nice to see them use it. The connected wireless sensors use Z-Wave home automation technology.
ADS Mobile App
The LYNX 5200 features both a iOS and an Android app. You may download and control your setup through any smartphone or tablet device. You can arm or disarm your system and customize rules for your new smart appliances. Depending on what service plan you choose, the components of your system will vary slightly. Things like motion sensors, door/window sensors, fire/smoke detectors, gas leak sensors, smart locks and even an indoor surveillance video camera. ADS does feature a full array of the top alarm equipment.
ADS Packages and Service Plans
Their monitoring services are listed below:
Smart Basic – $42.95 / month
Monitoring and Interactive Services
Smart Interactive – $49.95 / month
Monitoring, Interactive and Home Automation
Smart Complete – $59.95 / month
Safety Monitoring, Interactive, Smart Home Automation and Video Camera Surveillance
ADS usually offers a $300 device and install discount when purchasing any of these packages above, with the minimum up-front installation fee of $249.
If you should decide to cancel your service before your contract expires, you will only be charged 75% of your remaining balance. This is actually pretty note-worthy as most other companies will have no problem charging you 100% of your remaining balance and sometimes even a hefty termination fee, which could potentially cost you a couple hundred dollars extra.
ADS Home Automation
They offer the full spectrum of home automation with features like small appliance control, smart lock automation, remote temperature control and even lighting automation. Harnessing the power of their mobile app, you have the ability to control any of these cool features from any smart device.
They’ve also included a special feature named ADS Aniware. This allows customers to setup and receive instant e-mail and text notifications to notify users of home events being triggered. Using Aniware, you can check up on your residence remotely at any time by simply viewing the live video streams or receiving short video clip alerts via text when your system is disarmed or when motion is detected. Alarm Detection Systems (ADS) call’s it’s home automation system OneSync. Using this, customers may dramatically increase the performance of their existing alarm system by integrating certain compatible thermostats, lighting fixtures, smart door locks and more. It claims to save most customers hundreds of dollars per year on their energy bills by greatly reducing waste when the home owners are absent by turning off lights and heating units. Here’s a quick review of some of the features you will receive:
- Camera video surveillance
- Remotely arm/disarm locks
- Temperature controller
- Indoor and outdoor lighting automation
- Small Appliance Automation and Control
- Customizable automation schedules that fit your needs
One main feature that they emphasis with their smart automation system is their eCare medical alerts. According to their own website, “We offer a wide-range of medical alert devices focused toward an individual’s assistance and monitoring. When prompted by something such as their medical pendant’s button being pressed, eCare will alert our central monitoring station.” They also feature 2-way voice monitoring that can assist in determining when and how medical help may be needed. Besides just emergency situations, the eCare device can be used for other things like medication reminders or even fall detection.
ADS Customer Service and Support Review
This company has held and maintained an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) for a multitude of years. With only a measly 16 complaints being filed with them over the last 3 years, it is no surprise that they are able to maintain that BBB rating. Considering that they require a long 5 year contract, this surely indicates that they try very hard to take the necessary actions to quickly resolve any and all serious customer complaints. Their customer service department can be contacted via phone or by e-mail, as well as using their website and your online account.
Most of their negative or bad online reviews center around small difficulties in terminating their service and the hefty fees associated with it. Like we discussed earlier, the customer is held responsible for 75% of the remaining policy balance. If you are locked into a 60 month contract, this can certainly turn into a large sum of money. It is still hard for me to look at this as a con though seeing as most companies make customers pay their balance in full.
Another large concern with ADS Alarm is that they have limited support with regional offices only in Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, South Carolina and Tennessee. If you plan on moving out of their structured region, it might be smart to start looking into other top-rated national alarm providers such as Frontpoint or Protect America.
If you currently reside in the Southeast and don’t have any intentions of moving you should probably at least consider ADS Security. Be sure to remember that they will probably require a 5 year contract which can definitely make some people uncomfortable. They do offer a lot in terms of unique and useful smart home automation features. They are one of a few home alarm companies in the industry that give users the ability to pan and tilt their surveillance cameras easily from their smartphone mobile app. It should be noted that ADS is among the most expensive home protection companies we’ve encountered. This pertains to their monthly monitoring fees, but also their high initial startup costs. Customers that can afford this service and are more interested in automation should certainly check this company out.