Last updated on Oct 28, 2020

ADT vs. Brinks

A deep dive into what separates two top home security providers ​
Advertiser Disclosure:
We recommend products and services based on unbiased research from our editorial team. We make money via affiliate links, which means if you click a link on our site, we may earn a commission. Any commissions we receive do not affect our recommendations; if you want to know more about how that works, read more.

A proper home security system could reduce the risk of your property becoming part of the crime statistics.  According to the U.S. Department of Justice, there are more than 13.5 million property victimizations each year in the nation. These victimizations include burglaries, trespassing, and thefts, costing residents money and peace of mind.

The right home security system helps reduce these risks by combining cameras, sensors, and control panels to provide active on-demand monitoring and response. 

But which system is right for your home? We’ve compared two industry front-runners—ADT and Brinks—and looked at their plans, contracts and pricing, customer service, and ease of installation to help you find the best security solution.


ADT offers superior brand recognition and professional monitoring options


  •  More than 7 million customers
  • Combines plans and equipment to find the best fit
  • Full lineup of smart home security devices


  • Low customer satisfaction score with the BBB at 1.25/5 stars
  • No DIY installation
  • Home automation only available with the most expensive monitoring package


Brinks offers great starter systems with no contract lock-in and easy, DIY installation


  • No contracts required
  • Simple DIY installation of security devices
  • Full home automation compatibility


  • No window sensors offered
  • 1.5/5 stars customer satisfaction rating with the BBB
  • Recently underwent bankruptcy restructuring
 Monitoring OptionsMonitoring Prices starting atInstallation Options
ADTProfessional monitoring$37/monthProfessional
BrinksProfessional monitoring$29/monthDIY

Data as of 04/29/20


ADT offers three monitoring plans: Essentials, Total Protection, and Premium Protection. Essentials comes with 24/7 professional monitoring, while Total Protection includes monitoring and adds SafeWatch CellGuard—which connects your system without the use of a landline. Premium Protection is required for ADT Pulse automation integration.

Brinks offers four home security packages: Nest Secure, Smart Security Essential, Smart Security Complete, and Smart Security Ultimate, each with different equipment options. All plans include automation support, 24/7 monitoring, and cellular backup.

Who is each plan best for?

  • ADT Essentials – Best for professional monitoring on a budget
  • ADT Total Protection – Best for total cellular coverage
  • ADT Premium Protection – Best for complete security with home automation
  • Brinks Nest Secure – Best for simple smart home integration
  • Brinks Smart Security Essential – Best for sensor-based home security
  • Brinks Smart Security Complete – Best for DIY installation with live video streaming capabilities
  • Brinks Smart Security Ultimate – Best for total security with professional monitoring and installation

Contract and Pricing

ADT requires a 36-month contract for all of its home security systems, along with a 30-day trial period. The Essentials plan comes in at $37/month, while Total Protection costs $45/month and Premium Protection is $57/month.

Brinks offers both no-contract and 36-month agreement options, plus a 30-day trial period. Its Smart Security Essential, Complete, and Ultimate plans all cost $39/month for professional monitoring, while the Nest Secure plan is  $29/month. 

Customer Service

While ADT has been accredited with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) since 2013 and enjoys an A rating, its average customer review score is just 1.25 out of 5 stars. Homeowners who need support can check out the company’s in-depth support page and search for specific answers, or connect with live help via online chat.

Brinks has a slightly higher BBB score with an A+ rating and has been accredited since 2011, but has just 1.5 out of 5 stars based on customer reviews. They also have a large online knowledge base and user community to help answer any questions. Homeowners can also contact the company for technical support 24/7.

Ease of Installation

ADT systems come with professional installation that costs $99—there’s no option for a DIY install. The company offers a host of great smart home security devices including garage door openers, video doorbells, security cameras, smart plugs, smart door locks, and even flood sensors. Home automation integration is possible with ADT Pulse, but only if you’re willing to spring for the most expensive security plan.

Brinks systems are designed for DIY installation, although the Smart Security Ultimate package includes free professional install. All Brinks systems are ready for home automation right out of the box for integration with Google Home, Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, and other third-party automation applications. 

Further Reading


Is ADT better than Brinks?

The answer depends on your priorities. If you want brand recognition and top-tier professional monitoring, choose ADT. If you want a DIY system with no contracts, Brinks may be your best choice.

How much is ADT per month?

ADT’s monitoring plans start at $37/month, plus a one-time installation fee of $99.

Is Brinks home security good?

Brinks comes with great smart home options and easy DIY installation, but it doesn’t offer window sensors.

About the Authors

Doug Bonderud is an award-winning freelance writer with the unique ability to translate complex financial concepts into approachable, actionable content that both captures reader interest and delivers key brand messaging.