ADS Pros & Cons
- Wireless Equipment
- Cellular Backup
- Customizable Equipment
- Smartphone Access
- Allows Equipment Financing
- Low Monthly Monitoring Fee
- 36-Month Minimum Contract Length
- Equipment Package Not Included In Monitoring Plan
- Frequently Changing Offers & Pricing
Who Is American Defense System Most Ideal For?
American Defense Systems is a semi-national alarm company. Having installed security systems in more than half of the states in the U.S., it is slowly creeping towards becoming a full-fledged national alarm company. In fact, American Defense Systems has released to the public a list of over 20 state licenses they have acquired. That said, you must first check if American Defense Systems operates in your area before proceeding with this review.
American Defense Systems supports a wide variety of security and automation equipment, making it an ideal choice for families. The company's pricing structure lets you choose exactly which equipment you want added to your system. You can start small and slowly build up your security system or go big from the get-go. With American Defense Systems, it's all up to you.
Although the company's Military Family Policy isn't explicitly mentioned in its website, American Defense Systems has always been known as a military family-friendly alarm company. This is because the founder and CES of American Defense System is a veteran himself. If you're an army personnel looking for a security company that can offer you flexible terms, American Defense System should be in your considerations.
Getting Started With American Defense Systems
American Defense Systems is among the many security companies that still follow the traditional sales process, wherein you have to leave your contact details on their website or call their sales hotline in order to get a quote. This is a much tedious process than simply ordering equipment online and having it delivered to your doorstep, but at least the sales rep can help you determine what security equipment you need. On the flip side, it gives the sales rep the opportunity to pitch in additional equipment and service.
So what happens during the sales process? First, you leave your contacts details on American Defense Systems website or call their sales hotline at 800-610-2134. A representative will schedule a visit to your house to talk about what services and equipment you want and also give you a quote. The sales rep will also talk about the contract. Once you're ready to sign, they will schedule the installation date and time. Simply be at home during the installation schedule. The technician will come to your house to install and activate your security system.
American Defense Systems Monitoring & Equipment Overview
It always pays to be prepared, so before starting the sales process, it's vital to gain a overview of American Defense System's monitoring service and equipment.
Low Monthly Fee
The first thing you should know is that American Defense Systems offers monitoring for as low as $25/month. The entry level plan, named Interactive Security, offers 24/7 professional monitoring against burglary, intrusion, and fire. The mid-tier plan is called Smart Security and it starts at $30/month. It offers security monitoring plus home automation access. The highest tier plan is Smart Security & Video for $35/month. As the name implies, it offers the same features as Smart Security plus it adds video surveillance features.
The monitoring plan also determines what products you can add to your system. Interactive Security only lets you use basic security and environment monitoring sensors, such as door/window sensors, motion sensors, glass break sensors, smoke alarms, and CO detectors. Smart Security lets you add home automation devices in addition to security and environment monitoring sensors. The Smart Security & Video plan lets you add any device available from American Defense Systems, including security cameras.
The Equipment Is Sold Separately
As you might have noticed, American Defense Systems' pricing is low when compared to other security companies. It was able to offer such low pricing in part because it sells the equipment separately. After picking the monitoring plan that's right for you, the next step is adding equipment. The equipment is sold at a regular price, so the cost of owning a system can easily reach hundreds of dollars or even over $1,000. The equipment fee will be charged to you upfront.
You Can Get Your Equipment Financed
If you don't want to pay upfront, you can finance your system via GreenSky, and financial technology company. Doing so will bring the upfront fee down to $0 but will increase your monthly fee. The good news is with this financing option, the interest rate is 0%.
American Defense Systems' Partner Equipment Manufacturers
American Defense Systems offers equipment from some of the industry's best security equipment manufacturers. Most of the sensors offered by the company are from Qolsys, which is only fitting because the control panel offered by American Defense Systems is also from Qolsys. The company also partnered with Alarm.com. It's American Defense Systems smart thermostat and security cameras provider. Finally, American Defense Systems partnered with Arlo, Ring, SkyBell, and Yale for smart home integrations.
American Defense System Equipment Review
To help you choose the right equipment for your home, here's a list of all the devices offered by American Defense Systems.
Devices That Control
The heart of every American Defense Systems security system is the control panel. The company offers the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 to every new customer. It's a high-tech control panel that uses a touchscreen interface to offers its users control over their security systems. It also comes pre-built with helpful security features, such as two-way talk, glass break sensor, integrated siren, and Disarm Photos. It also has the capability to continue operations during power outages thanks to its 24-hour battery backup.
The control panel is usually installed in a central location within the house, but if you need more access points, you can add IQ Remotes. The IQ Remote is a wireless tablet that offers the same control capabilities as the control panel. It can also function as a wireless doorbell chime, emergency panic button, or siren.
If you only want a remote control device that can simply arm or disarm your system, you can opt to get the IQ Keyfob. It's a remote control device that looks like a car remote that has dedicated buttons for arming and disarming your system. It can also become a panic alarm button by pressing the arm and disarm button simultaneously.
Sensors That Detect Intrusion
Sensors are the foundation of every security system. With American Defense Systems, you can choose exactly what types of sensor you need for your home.
Let's start with sensors that monitor your home's entryways, door/window sensors. American Defense Systems offers two types of door/window sensors. IQ Mini is slightly smaller that regular door/window sensor, but is installed visibly on your front door. IQ Recessed is a recessed door sensor that is hidden away when installed.
Next, we have motion sensors. American Defense Systems also offers two types of motion sensors. The first type is a regular PIR motion sensor called IQ Motion-S. The second type is an image sensor. An image sensor is a PIR motion sensor outfitted with a low-resolution camera capable of capturing still images. If the PIR sensor is tripped, the camera will snap a series of photos and send it to you via email or text for verification.
American Defense Systems also utilizes glass break detectors. This sensor is trained to listen for the sound of glass breaking, one of the telltale signs of intrusion. It's ideally placed on a wall opposite the window or glass door you want monitored or on the ceiling for larger living spaces.
Sensors That Detect Environmental Hazard
American Defense Systems also offers sensors built to keep certain environment hazards in check. The alarm company offers four sensors of this kind: a smoke/heat detector, carbon monoxide detector, temperature sensor, and flood sensor. These sensors monitor for fire, carbon monoxide, abnormally high or low temperatures, and water leaks respectively.
If added to your system, these sensors send an alert via the control panel if a hazard is detected. Some of them, like the smoke/heat detector, can also be linked to the monitoring center. If so, the monitoring center can call the fire department on your behalf.
Devices That Automate Your Home
American Defense Systems also offers products that aim to automate your home. For starters, it offers light and appliance automation using IQ Lightbulb, IQ Socket, and IQ Outlet. If you're looking to smarten up your thermostat, American Defense System offers the Alarm.com Smart Thermostat. This thermostat supports custom schedules and can automatically respond to data readings in and around your house. You can also automate your door locks using the Yale smart locks offered by American Defense Systems. Beyond the smart home products offered by American Defense Systems, the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 is known to support a variety of Z-Wave products.
One key thing to note is that home automation products are more than just devices you can control with the control panel or your smartphone. The purpose of smart home products is to make your home respond to you.
Cameras For Video Monitoring
Lastly, American Defense System offers security cameras for video monitoring. The cameras it offers are from Alarm.com and SkyBell.
The Alarm.com Indoor Camera is a webcam-like camera with a 1080p resolution and features like live streaming, motion detection and night vision. The Alarm.com Camera, on the other hand, is a wall-mounted outdoor security camera. Its features are similar to that of the indoor camera.
If you wish to add video monitoring to your front door, you can opt to get the SkyBell HD video doorbell. It's a round-shaped camera equipped doorbell that can stream videos to your phone when pressed. It can also detect motion and record to the cloud.
American Defense Systems Monitoring Review
American Defense Systems is a full-fledged alarm company, but it doesn't offer professional monitoring services. Instead, systems installed by American Defense Systems are monitored by Brinks Home Security, one of the largest alarm companies that was formed by the merger of MONI (formerly known as Monitronics), LiveWatch, and Brinks. It offers professional monitoring services to over 1 million subscribers in the U.S., many of which are from dealers such as American Defense Systems.
Brinks Home Security is more than capable of monitoring security systems. For one, its monitoring centers are UL listed. It also features redundancy. In the monitoring industry, redundancy means having multiple monitoring center locations that are each capable of taking over in case the other monitoring centers fail to operate due to acts of God. In Brinks Home Security's case, there are three monitoring center locations. Each monitoring center is also equipped with backup generators, uninterrupted power supplies, and backup communication.
American Defense System Customer Service Overview
Reading through customer reviews is usually a stressful ordeal, but that wasn't the case when I read through American Defense Systems customer reviews about the company's customer service. There were some negative reviews, but great deal of the reviews are positive.
One of the things most frequently mentioned is American Defense Systems' excellent after-sales support. According to the reviews, the support team is quick to respond and is very helpful.
Another thing that stands out is their sales process. Unlike other companies, American Defense System rarely gets involved in sales misconduct issues. This is probably because the company really invested in their sales team. Instead of hiring contractors who are trained to sell as many security systems as they can in order to get better commissions, American Defense Systems hired career-oriented individuals who are willing to work for the company for the long haul. These individuals are given a basic pay, incentives, benefits, and regular training.
Unfortunately, American Defense Systems isn't very transparent about its policies, so before signing a contract with the company, be sure to ask about its moving and cancellation policies.