Back up your DIY home security system with professional monitoring

Samsung is just one of ADT's new partners.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Home security company ADT has embraced the smart home over the past year, partnering with big names in the market such as Samsung's SmartThings, Nest and LG. It's now announced Canopy, a new professional monitoring service for these partners, which will work with devices such as Samsung's Gear S2 watch (pictured above).

ADT's services have closely followed the traditional security firm paradigm for years. That means customers must pay for installation by a certified professional, agree to a specific contract length and fork over a monthly fee for features such as mobile alerts and 24-7 monitoring for the duration of the term. And an early cancellation typically means paying a termination fee.

Canopy will offer a flexible, contract-free service. It will be an optional service, available to ADT's partners on a month-to-month basis.

ADT isn't the only service that's stayed with traditional methods -- Vivint, AT&T and other professional home security firms have also kept close to the subscription model.

But the security industry has shifted significantly in recent years, as DIY devices gain a stronger hold on the market. For many customers, the flexibility of contract-free professional monitoring is a large part of the appeal. Companies such as Simplisafe and Scout already offer optional month-to-month monitoring -- and Scout announced a few weeks ago that it's extending its monitoring service to Samsung's SmartThings.

Professional firms have made some effort to adapt to the onslaught of new DIY products. ADT works with the Nest Learning Thermostat and announced in 2015 that it was working with LG on a standalone security device. Just this week, Vivint confirmed that it's joining forces with Amazon for integration with the Echo. Meanwhile AT&T's Digital Life already integrates with Samsung security cameras, the Ring Video Doorbell and an assortment of other DIY gadgets.

But today's announcement from ADT is by far the strongest indication that the DIY smart home plays a significant role in home security. So far, ADT has secured partnerships with Samsung's SmartThings system -- which can be monitored from an app on the Gear S2 watch -- along with LG, Kidde, the August Doorbell Cam, Wink, Honeywell's Lyric product line, the Ring Video Doorbell and the Roost Smart Battery.

ADT hasn't offered up details on pricing or availability just yet, but claims that information will be available "shortly."

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