Can I Use ADT Cameras Without Service?

ADT sign in front of bushesADT sign in front of bushes

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ADT is one of the most prominent security services companies in the United States, offering various home protection services. Being one of the most well-regarded companies in the home security industry, they have developed many innovative ways to keep your home safe. One of those innovations is the use of cameras to monitor one’s home on the outside and the inside. But can they be used without an active service or monitoring plan?

You cannot use an ADT camera without service. You will need to have an ADT monitoring plan and the Pulse application to use any ADT camera to its full functionality.

In this article, we’ll cover the types of cameras ADT provides and how they function with and without an active ADT monitoring plan.

Can ADT Cameras Be Used Without Service?

As with most security monitoring hardware, the companies that install the hardware usually tie in the installation with a contract agreement around monitoring, and ADT is no different with its Smart Home Security program.

Security services firms like ADT offer free installation on many devices, but the catch is that you will need to sign up for a service agreement. Typically, cameras and most other smart home devices will not work unless connected and monitored by the security company that is offering the service.

Additionally, you will need an active contract or subscription to download ADT’s application, Pulse, to be able to log in and view videos stored on the ADT cloud or view live footage. Pulse works as the automation software or user interface connecting a homeowner to the many smart home devices that ADT offers; this includes smart home locks, smart home alarm keypads, smart bulbs, and smart switches.

Do I Need an Internet Connection to Use ADT Cameras?

You will also need to make sure that you have a good internet connection to use ADT cameras; without the internet connection at home, you will not be able to transmit videos to the ADT Cloud for retrieval and lose live view functionality.

ADT offers cameras that work over Wi-Fi, so a good Wi-Fi signal is a must-have to have the camera work properly. Besides having a strong Wi-Fi signal, the camera will need to have a dedicated line-in for power. ADT offers installation, so a qualified ADT technician should be more than capable to assist with installing the camera and making sure the correct power cable or cords are installed correctly.

What Cameras Require ADT Service?

ADT provides a smaller variety of cameras, all of which are tailored to specific need or environment. ADT offers two types of cameras, both outdoor and indoor. While both can function without an active service, if you want to record and store footage or view a live feed, you will have to invest in an ADT plan.

Can Other Cameras Be Used with ADT Services?

ADT allows other smart devices to be used via the Pulse App, but the cameras must be provided by ADT. Some of the items that ADT will allow are smart switches and smart bulbs as long as they are Z-wave compatible devices and can connect to the installed ADT Gateway.

Alternatives to Using ADT Cameras through their Standard Service

ADT offers a service called ADT Blue; with ADT Blue, you can take a DIY approach to install a home monitoring system. ADT offers various devices that can be purchased individually or through packaged offerings that can be combined to create a home surveillance system without having a monthly charge or a recurring contract.

The significant difference between this service and ADT’s standard service is that there is no professional monitoring of your camera system. Additionally, homeowners are primarily responsible for ensuring that the devices are working properly.


As with most home monitoring services, the devices provided must be used on the network that they offer. ADT is no exception to this business model; it is the primary way they generate revenue. Without the service, you will not be able to use the ADT cameras that they provide—something to keep in mind before you sign up.

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