July 7, 2012

ADT Pulse or Xfinity Home? for Home Security, Home Automation, Video Security

ADT Pulse or Xfinity Home?  Which service should you pick for your monitored home security, home automation, home video security needs?

If you are looking at - monitored home security, home automation, video security – for your home, then your first stop is likely to be the two largest providers of these services -

  1. ADT Pulse from ADT, the industry’s largest home security provider.
  2. Xfinity Home from Comcast, the industry’s largest Internet, TV service provider and now home security services.

Before comparing the two services with each other, take a look at ADT Pulse review and Xfinity Home review to get an idea of the pros and cons of the service, their pricing and the equipment, cameras used.

The Core Offering - Monitored Home Security
The core offering of both services is a monitored home security service. Doors, windows, motion sensors installed at your home are monitored remotely from the service’s monitoring center. Additional sensors such as glass-break sensors, smoke sensors, carbon mono-oxide sensors can also be installed and monitored.

On an alarm, the monitoring center tries to contact you and, if needed, dispatches security to your home.

Home Automation
Both services provide basic home automation - you can turn on/off your thermostat, lights, appliances remotely. While ADT Pulse uses Z-wave devices for home automation, Xfinity Home uses Zigbee.

A control panel together with controllers for each device (that needs to be controlled) is installed at your home. Additional controllers can be added (for an extra charge).

Video Security
Both services provide basic video security. IP cameras are installed at your home and connected (wired or wirelessly) to your home router for the Internet connection. The live video feeds from the cameras can be viewed remotely (by you) and upon triggers (such as motion-sensing), short video clips can be recorded on the camera, which can then be viewed remotely (by you).

Live video monitoring could have been the star of the offering. Unfortunately, both services use “old” IP cameras (Sercomm RC8021) with limited capabilities. Furthermore, there is no cloud-based storage for the video feeds, which further limits the use of such a service.

The 3-Year Contract and Pricing
You’ll pay installation charges with each service, plus both services will sign you up for a 3-year contract.

The monthly price - Xfinity Home Premier at $50 per month with a 3-year contract.

ADT services are sold through resellers, and therefore, ADT does not provide pricing on its website. For ADT pricing, check ADT Pulse price and ADT Pulse Costs (at Frontpoint, an ADT competitor).

Prices for the two services are comparable.

ADT Pulse or Xfinity Home?
The two services are comparable in features, price and locking you up in 3-year contracts. So which one should you get – ADT Pulse or Xfinity Home?

If you already work with one of ADT or Comcast and are comfortable with them (and the 3-year contract), then it is an easy decision to get their service – both are large, top-notch providers.

Alternatives to ADT Pulse, Xfinity Home
If you want newer features, unbundled home security features, no contract home security then consider other services as well.

The List of Top Home Security Services can give you a starting point to evaluate. For example,

  • AlarmRelay for a $9/month no-frills home monitoring service
  • SimpliSafe for a $15/month no-contract home monitoring service
  • DropCam for newer, HD video security with cloud storage - DIY.
  • Logitech Alert for IP cameras for DIY video security
  • Panasonic or Axis IP cameras for the latest IP cameras, for DIY video monitoring
  • And a myriad of providers for home automation devices e.g.
    • Nest – for a modern, automated thermostat
    • Lockitron – for an automated door lock

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