By Terri Williams

ADT vs. Brinks Home Security Review

There were 1.4 million burglaries and 319,356 robberies in the US according to the FBI’s most recent crime survey. Installing a home security system is one way you can protect your home and avoid being a part of this statistic, and both ADT and Brinks both offer the home security products and services you need to get started, and we break down which one might be the best for your home.

ADT vs. Brinks Overview

ADT
Brinks
Our review
Our review
BBB rating A+ A+
BBB customer reviews 1.25/5 stars based on 480+ reviews 1.5/5 stars based on 230+ reviews
J.D.Power rating 3 Power Circles 5 Power Circles
Professional installation
DIY installation option No Yes
Contract length 36 months 36 months
No-contract
Starting price $37 $29
Mobile app

Modern system controls

According to a 2018 study by J.D. Power, when consumers are deciding between home security brands they’re looking for features like sleek touch-screen control panels and the option to operate their system via mobile device.

The ADT mobile app, available with their Control package monitoring option, allows consumers to arm or disarm the system remotely, lock and unlock the front door, control the thermostat, turn on the lights, and view camera footage. It can also send alerts when consumers forget to close the door or window, or neglect to arm the system before leaving.

Brinks offers several ways to access their security systems. With Google Nest Secure (for whom Brinks provides professional monitoring), owners can use a Nest tag, a passcode, or the Google Nest app. With the Brinks Home Complete systems, the access options are a passcode, the Brinks Home Security App, bluetooth hands-free disarming, or an optional keychain remote.

Smart home compatibility

In addition to their mobile app, ADT also offers other devices for your smart home: garage door openers, video doorbells, security cameras, smart plugs, smart door locks, and flood sensors.

Much like ADT, Brinks provides voice alerts and allows smartphone control, as well as bluetooth and touchscreen options for their Home Complete Systems.

Given the Google Assistant connectivity inherent in the Brinks-backed Google Nest Secure, Brinks can also be connected to smart home devices. The Home Complete Systems are compatible with Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant, as well as the full suite of Google Nest cameras and thermostats. The Alexa compatibility means Brinks users can also incorporate Amazon Ring’s video doorbell into their smart home ecosystem.

Brinks does not include window sensors. However, the sensors intended for the doors can be used as DIY window sensors. The company also sells indoor and outdoor security cameras, and video doorbells.

Packages offered

ADT has been in the security business for 145 years and the company boasts more than 7 million customers in the U.S. and Canada who are using one of the three monitored security system options:

  • Traditional package: digital panel, cellular connection, high-decibel alarm, entryway sensors, window and yard signs
  • Control: everything in the traditional package plus ADT mobile app
  • Video: includes everything in the Control package plus remote secure video

In addition to these packages, ADT Health offers medical alert systems for seniors and those with medical conditions. Customers can press a button to receive assistance over two-way voice radios, and the fall detection pendants will send an alert when a fall is detected.

Dallas, Texas-based Brinks Home Security boasts more than 1 million subscribers. The company offers three monitored security systems:

  • Google Nest Secure: includes a keypad, motion detector, alarm, and panic button
  • Home Complete: includes touch screen control plus video
  • Home Complete with Video: includes everything in Home Complete, plus video monitoring

There is no contract required with Google Nest Secure, but both Home Complete and Home Complete With Video require a 36-month agreement.

So, which is right for me?

If you... Then you should go with: Because:
Want DIY installation Brinks Brinks offers an easy and convenient DIY option with Google Nest Secure packages
Want brand recognition ADT ADT has 7 million customers and has been in business since 1874
Don't want a contract Brinks Their Google Nest Secure option offers you the freedom from binding paperwork
Health alerts ADT ADT Health includes optional medical alert systems

Comparing Transparency and Customer Satisfaction

In the 2018 J.D. Power Customer Satisfaction Rankings, Brinks Home Security came in first place with 852 points and five Power Circles – the only company to receive that high of a ranking within the survey. ADT came in one point below the industry average of 834 points.

One possible factor: In March, 2016, a consumer fraud class action lawsuit was filed against ADT alleging the company exaggerates its systems’ safety. According to the lawsuit, ADT states that it uses the most advanced technology, but the plaintiffs allege that ADTs wireless systems are not encrypted and not authenticated, allowing interception and interference from authorized parties. However, in March, 2019, the settlement was placed on hold.

Brinks is not without its own troubles. On June 30, 2019, the BBB reported that Brinks Home Security filed for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the federal Bankruptcy Act.

Regarding transparency at the consumer level, ADT does not list prices for its products or services on its website. You can fill out the form on its website, and a specialist will call you back. In exchange for getting a free quote, you also have to agree to let someone call you “from time to time,” about ADT and LifeShield offers. The Brinks website, on the other hand, lists all of the information for their products and services, including contract lengths, and monthly monitoring amounts.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will my home alarm system still work if the power goes out?

Brinks has planned for a power outage, and utilizes a 4G LTE cellular backup and battery backup for uninterrupted monitoring. ADT also has a battery backup, but if you don’t regularly charge said battery you could be vulnerable in the event of a power outage.

Will my security system disrupt my home WiFi network?

It shouldn’t. ADT does not use WiFi; it uses a different wireless protocol that will not interfere with your network. Brinks uses Z-wave protocols, which also will not affect your home Wifi.

Are wireless security systems secure?

According to Brinks, it’s easier to cut a landline than disrupt your system’s wireless signal to the Alarm Response Center. If someone tampers with the security panel or base, it will trip the alarm. If you’re concerned, your wireless sensors can be hidden from view so intruders can’t see them. But all wireless networks are vulnerable to a degree, and you may want to read up on how to keep your smart home secure.

What should I look for when comparing home security systems?

Factors to consider include a system that works with your desired degree of home automation, a flexible plan, and DIY installation options. An analysis of the best home security systems can help you decide what’s best for your needs.

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