The ADT model line has a number of advantages specifically for security when compared to the other SmartThings hubs, but those advantages only apply to the dual logo devices used for the security functions, not to any other devices used for home automation. The home automation side of it is really the same as the other model lines.
So here are the security advantages I’m aware of. There may be more.
- The ability to arm/disarm locally
If the smartthings cloud is not available (And historically there has been an outage at least once a month for the last 18 months), The regular model lines cannot be either armed or disarmed. Really. That action takes place in your smartthings cloud account. There are a Number of stories in the forums of people who had no way to keep their siren from going off during an outage except to take it completely off power, etc.
The ADT model line can have its security factions accessed, including arming and disarming, from the panel or the key fob without requiring the smartthings cloud.
Entry and exit delays. The original smartthings hubs assumed that everyone will be arming and disarming their systems via the Geopresence on their smart phones and so there is no way to set a separate exit delay. It’s been a feature that has been requested pretty much since the system came out, and we’ve always been told that it’s coming in the future, but two years later and it still isn’t here.
The entry delay is especially useful coming in if you have someone like a dog sitter or a cleaning service that has a key code for your smart lock But isn’t running the app on their own phone. An entry delay allows them to use the lock code, come in, and disarm the security system. And arm and then get out again when they leave.
While the community has come up with some workarounds for this, they all rely on custom code – – and custom code Only runs in the cloud. So if you hit one of those outage periods, the delay won’t work either.
In contrast, the ADT model line has a built in entrance and exit delay, just like most security systems do.
Individual sensor accuracy and reliability The dual logo Components are using a proprietary communication protocol that is just more reliable than standard home automation components. You should get fewer false alarms.
Notifications The standard smartthings model lines require the cloud in order to send any notifications, even push notifications to your own phone. The ADT model line has a built-in cellular communications module. The only thing is I don’t know if that one works for self-monitoring if you are not subscribing to an ADT plan or not, it might not. I just don’t know one way or the other.
The original smartthings hub just isn’t suitable as a primary security system, and they know that. Their own official product usage guidelines tell you not to use it for security.
The ADT model line was built from the beginning for security. I think it’s clearly better suited to that purpose, I just wish I knew for sure one way or the other about the notifications issue. If the self-monitoring set up still can’t send any notifications without the smartthings cloud, then that’s just a huge gap for a security system and I would be looking at Abode or one of the other competitors instead. But when combined with the ADT monitoring, it’s a nice solid low-end system, which cannot be said of the original model lines.