Forum Thread

Cellular-based home alarm conversion

AggieMom 19,211 2,792 June 30, 2012 at 07:38 AM
My home is currently wired to for an ADT alarm system. I'm not interested in motion, just doors & windows and cellular monitoring. I'm ready to cut the phone line and be done with it.

Looking for reviews of companies who will convert my existing system to cellular.

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#2
Quote from AggieMom View Post :
My home is currently wired to for an ADT alarm system. I'm not interested in motion, just doors & windows and cellular monitoring. I'm ready to cut the phone line and be done with it.

Looking for reviews of companies who will convert my existing system to cellular.
My favorite is the HoneyWell Lynx Plus System - I think the service is overpriced, but it does what you are looking for http://www.guardcom.net/prices.html doesn't require a lot of pricey installation which is nice.

My friends who own a house, love their My Alarm System - http://www.my-alarm.com/
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#3
Pretty sure ADT will put the cell dialer in for you. We have guardian and this is an option with them. Like $30 a month extra as I remember. Total ripoff. In fact, the whole monitoring of your alarm is a ripoff and totally unnecessary. As soon as my 3 years is up in October, we are cancelling the monitoring and just going with it as a stand-alone system.
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#4
You're with ADT? When does your contract expire? You are paying WAAAAAYYYY too much for monitoring.

Save your money and leave them as soon as you can.
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#5
Quote from Brian1 View Post :
You're with ADT? When does your contract expire? You are paying WAAAAAYYYY too much for monitoring.

Save your money and leave them as soon as you can.
Alternatives, please! laugh out loud That's what I'm looking for! We've been with them for years - ready to move on.
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#6
Quote from AggieMom View Post :
Alternatives, please! laugh out loud That's what I'm looking for! We've been with them for years - ready to move on.
Ah, OK! Easy!

First, you'll want to search for home monitoring services that service your area and make a list of them along with their phone numbers.

Second, call them and ask them if they require a contract. If they "yes", thank them and move on. If they say "no", they move on to the next round of questions.

Third, make sure their monitoring station is UL approved.

Fourth, make sure offer integrated smoke and fire. We are concerned about the burglar, but we are much more likely to be harmed or killed by smoke or fire.

Fifth, you'll want to pay somewhere in the mid- to high-teens, no more than $20 per month at the most for monitoring.

Finally, concerning equipment installation costs, you can usually get a preliminary quote over the phone by counting the number of doors and windows you want to protect. Do not let a salesman come to your house to give you a quote. They often use emotion and strongarm tactics to sell you on their service. Also, consider adding an internal motion sensor. Going this route you'll end up paying for your monitoring station outright. This is much better than subsidizing the cost by getting locked into a long-term contract.

When does your contract with ADT expire?

For other readers, NEVER sign a contract with a home monitoring service.
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#7
Quote from Brian1 View Post :
Ah, OK! Easy!

First, you'll want to search for home monitoring services that service your area and make a list of them along with their phone numbers.

Second, call them and ask them if they require a contract. If they "yes", thank them and move on. If they say "no", they move on to the next round of questions.

Third, make sure their monitoring station is UL approved.

Fourth, make sure offer integrated smoke and fire. We are concerned about the burglar, but we are much more likely to be harmed or killed by smoke or fire.

Fifth, you'll want to pay somewhere in the mid- to high-teens, no more than $20 per month at the most for monitoring.

Finally, concerning equipment installation costs, you can usually get a preliminary quote over the phone by counting the number of doors and windows you want to protect. Do not let a salesman come to your house to give you a quote. They often use emotion and strongarm tactics to sell you on their service. Also, consider adding an internal motion sensor. Going this route you'll end up paying for your monitoring station outright. This is much better than subsidizing the cost by getting locked into a long-term contract.

When does your contract with ADT expire?

For other readers, NEVER sign a contract with a home monitoring service.
Great info! Thank you. I've got a few companies that have been used by friends/family but the websites all look so shady. Hide I guess I need to start calling. Good advice about the contracts. I'm fairly sure we're out of contract with ADT, unless they auto-renew you.
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#8
You really need no monitoring and it is a waste of time. Here's why:

1. You will have more false alarms than legitimate ones.
2. You have to pay for false alarms after you have x amount.
3. Police and fire put alarm companies calls for police and fire related reasons at the bottom of their priority scale. Why? See #1.
4. Due to #3, it takes typically 1/2 an hour or longer for the fire/police to come by. Don't believe me? Set off your alarm, don't answer the phone when the alarm company calls to verify and see how long the police take to show up
5. 98% of burglars will be thwarted by your yard signs. less than 2% will break in anyway and they will be thwarted by the alarm going off. Something greater than 0% will actually break into your house after seeing your yard signs and then stay in the house while the alarm is going off to rob you. AND if all that happens, it will still be 30 minutes before the popo shows up and they will be long gone by then.

BTW: There are Internet based services that will automate the monitoring of your alarm. They will get the call and send you a text/email/voice, etc when the alarm is triggered.

Is there a chance that you will have a legitimate alarm where you do need assistance and the alarm company comes through for you and you actually get some gain out of this? Of course! But the chances of this happening are remote at best. If it is worth $300/year for the peace of mind, by all means get the monitored service!

BTW: Your ADT system "brain" is useless to another company but they can use all of the sensors. So if you choose to go with another company, you should not need to pay for or install new sensors. If they tell you otherwise, look to a more competent service provider.

Also BEFORE you cancel your monitoring, remove the phone line on your alarm system. Many alarm companies will dial into your alarm and disable it (sour grapes). If they can't get in, they can't do this and you can continue to use the alarm as a stand-alone system. This will be 99.9% as affective as having the same alarm monitored.

BTW: I believe ADT does auto-renew at your previous terms if you do not cancel, in writing, 30 days prior to the contract end. If so, they will expect 100% buyout to cancel the contract. Google "ADT Complaints" to see what is out there. They are one of the worst.
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Last edited by dealgate June 30, 2012 at 04:14 PM

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#9
Quote from AggieMom View Post :
Great info! Thank you. I've got a few companies that have been used by friends/family but the websites all look so shady. Hide I guess I need to start calling. Good advice about the contracts. I'm fairly sure we're out of contract with ADT, unless they auto-renew you.
ADT most certainly has an auto-renewal clause in their contracts. You'll want to read and make sure you understand exactly how to cancel your service because auto-renewal clauses for home monitoring services are notorious for being so one-sided and purposefully difficult to get out of, such as you have to cancel on one particular day, and not before then, to successfully cancel your service. Otherwise, it rolls over for another one, two, or three years. So, read and understand how to cancel and then make sure you do it exactly how they say to do it.

If you'd like, you can post what the contract says about canceling if you need more help with making sure you do it successfully.
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#10
Quote from Brian1 View Post :
ADT most certainly has an auto-renewal clause in their contracts. You'll want to read and make sure you understand exactly how to cancel your service because auto-renewal clauses for home monitoring services are notorious for being so one-sided and purposefully difficult to get out of, such as you have to cancel on one particular day, and not before then, to successfully cancel your service. Otherwise, it rolls over for another one, two, or three years. So, read and understand how to cancel and then make sure you do it exactly how they say to do it.

If you'd like, you can post what the contract says about canceling if you need more help with making sure you do it successfully.
I'm working on getting that information. Thanks for your help! I can't see anything in my online account about contract terms.
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#11
i read they jam cellular alarm sgnals whole blocksat atme


Cellular signals can be jammed by using a small jamming device, which are, of course illegal here in the U.S., but they do exist. When you have such a device near a cellphone, the phone signal will be jammed and show "No Service" while the jammer is active. For home alarm systems, there is a two part solution. First, also connect your alarm to a standard telco line (landline or VoIP) as a backup if this unlikely event happens. Second, and more importantly, never, ever do anything to "advertise" to a burglar what brand of alarm you have installed. If a yard sign advertises you have system xyz "protecting your home, a determined thief can figure out which technology is used and a way to potentially bypass the technology
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#12
Quote from cavan View Post :
i read they jam cellular alarm sgnals whole blocksat atme


Cellular signals can be jammed by using a small jamming device, which are, of course illegal here in the U.S., but they do exist. When you have such a device near a cellphone, the phone signal will be jammed and show "No Service" while the jammer is active. For home alarm systems, there is a two part solution. First, also connect your alarm to a standard telco line (landline or VoIP) as a backup if this unlikely event happens. Second, and more importantly, never, ever do anything to "advertise" to a burglar what brand of alarm you have installed. If a yard sign advertises you have system xyz "protecting your home, a determined thief can figure out which technology is used and a way to potentially bypass the technology
I disagree with the not advertising. Almost all major alarm companies use Ademco alarms. This is no secret. There is no harm in them knowing that. There is no information that they can glean from the alarm monitoring agency that would help them to thwart or disable it. And on the contrary, advertising that you have an alarm is 98% of your protection. Even if you don't have an alarm, put up the yard and window signs. If you hide the fact that you have an alarm, most of your protection is gone.

The cell-phone jammer is a somewhat legitimate point, however, that would not disable the home audible alarm from going off. And I doubt any burglar would know if you have a land-line based or cell-phone based (or both) monitoring link. And let's not forget most burglars are not very sophisticated. They are smash and grab types.
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#13
It took all of 1 min for the cops to arrive each time my alarm went off.
it took less than 1 min when i called them about my neighbors house being broken into
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#14
Quote from stufine View Post :
It took all of 1 min for the cops to arrive each time my alarm went off.
it took less than 1 min when i called them about my neighbors house being broken into
Dang man, what part of town do you live in?
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#15
Quote from Brian1 View Post :
Dang man, what part of town do you live in?
Smaller town. I'm about 7 houses (500' line of sight) Guess it all depends how close you are Big Grin
My best buy was our dog. No cat poop in the yard, no animals in the trash.
I use a wireless ip camera now but I'm going to switch to the wired w/dvr. The alarm was great other than the monitoring cost, but I want to see who came in. After being robbed, one of the troubling thoughts that lasted is always wondering if we knew the person.

Sorry AggieMom, didn't mean to TC

dealgate has some good points for people farther away. In that case a camera system would help as long as they don't get the dvr.
I was always the toughass in thought. No bigge if I get robbed... it's insured. It's the everlasting thought of whodunit
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