As a general rule, home security companies offer customers a package of home security equipment and 24/7 security monitoring. In most cases, customers buy the equipment one time, with cost determined by how much equipment is purchased. The second part of the package is the monitoring service which is billed monthly or quarterly. While customers may lay out a large amount of money for their equipment, they tend to remember the cost of monitoring longer since they receive monthly bills. There are many reasons why a customer may want to attempt to use their home security equipment without monitoring. Regardless of the reason, it’s important to know which features of your ADT security system function without monitoring.

Does ADT Work Without Monitoring?

You can cancel your ADT and use your security equipment without monitoring. This makes your system “self-monitored.” Keep in mind that if you are still under contract with ADT, you must complete your contract before you can cancel monitoring. If you don’t owe ADT any part of a signed contract, you may cancel the monitoring service. After cancelation, you can self-monitor your system.

How Does It Work?

If you are looking to have the system send you alerts about activity, that depends on the model number of the ADT system. It’s possible that system alerts require a purchase and installation of an IP and cellular communicator. These may not be manufactured by ADT and will require their own monthly fee.

Most alarm companies don’t offer self-monitoring systems because they want you to buy their entire package including professional monitoring. However, if you search, you can find a few companies that offer a remote system control and direct text or email notification to a limited number of people in the case of any activity. In many cases, you may need to weigh the cost of the ADT monitoring monthly fee against the inconvenience of monitoring your own system. Like an insurance policy, your home security system covers you during a worst case scenario. You may not need it all the time, but the one time you need it, it is there to keep you safe and report any activity like a fire or break-in.

Without professional monitoring the following scenarios could become very real, very fast:

  • The police are not called if the alarm system goes off;
  • The fire department will not be notified when your connected smoke alarm detects the smoke coming from your ancient electrical wiring in the cedar closet; and
  • You’ll have no idea that your sump pump has failed and a torrential flood is now turning your basement into a swimming pool.

Products from

    Is Your Home Secure Without These Services?

    ADT’s system offers the following (from the ADT website):

    • Ability to check your home security and other alarm systems
    • Arm and disarm your system
    • Adjust your thermostats and lights
    • Specify alert criteria so you’re notified if there’s a fire, intrusion or temperature control problem
    • View security camera feed

    Baby playing with toys on the floor of a green nursery.

    Be Aware of Security Features If You are Thinking of Canceling Professional Monitoring

    ADT has advanced security systems which include the ADT Pulse. This system allows you to connect both electric and electronic devices to your home security network. This allows you to check on your family, pets, and home any time you wish using the mobile app. A lot depends on why you bought a security system in the first place. Have circumstances changed since you installed the ADT system? Or are you still concerned about your family’s home security?

    ADT Home Security: A Buyer’s Guide

    Which Features Can You Use Without Professional Security Monitoring?

    If you’ve made the decision to try self-monitoring, and have canceled your monitoring contract, then here is what you can use.

    1. You can arm and disarm your unmonitored alarm system like you did before you canceled the ADT contract. The functions and operation of your alarm system are the same with or without professional monitoring.
    2. You can find free monitoring software online which may be compatible with your ADT system without the monthly service charge. Some of these may only be free for a trial, and then you have to pay their monthly fee.

    If you are on the fence about what to do about your ADT contract, contact Protect America for more information or a quote. Protect America may be able to offer a solution to the problem that made you consider using your ADT equipment without monitoring.