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You’ve probably heard of ADT security and Vivint security since both are long time companies with strong reputations. We’ve selected ADT as the Best Brand Recognition for home security systems, and recognized Vivint as the Best Smart Home Automation in 2020.
But there’s more to consider than just a familiar name. Before making a decision on which home security company to choose, it’s important to ask yourself a few questions: How much do you want to pay for your home security system? What features are the most important to you? Are you comfortable committing to a contract?
So when it’s Vivint vs. ADT, which is the better choice? In this review, we will compare the plans, pricing, customer reputation and installation process of ADT and Vivint.
ADT Home Security
ADT is a home security system that offers standard alarm packages, as well as more advanced smart home integrations.
- Six-month money-back guarantee if service issues aren’t quickly resolved.
- Theft protection guarantee covers up to $500 of home insurance deductible.
- Offers smart-home integration at higher plan levels.
- Installation must be performed by the service team.
- Customers note long waiting windows for system servicing.
- Can be hard and expensive to cancel.
Vivint Home Security
Vivint home security offers a completely smart setup for all levels of packages to protect your home.
- Customizable plan options let you mix and match features based on what you need.
- Integrates with a wide range of smart devices.
- Offers a no-contract plan option.
- No-contract option is only available with full payment for equipment, so it can be costly upfront.
- Customers have noted inconsistencies with billing and customer service.
- Requires professional installation, so it is not possible to DIY.
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ADT home security offers three tiers of packages, giving you the chance to add as much tech as you want to your plan. No matter which package you choose, your system is managed by a smart tablet that is installed in your home.
- ADT Secure Package: The lowest tier package available, ADT Secure offers 24/7 alarm monitoring through its security team, which includes monitoring for fire, floods, and carbon monoxide levels. The security equipment is also included in the plan (although installation is charged separately).
- ADT Smart Package: In addition to everything offered by ADT Secure, the Smart Package gives customers the ability to remotely arm and disarm their system remotely from a mobile device, as well as mobile alerts, system scheduling, and automation.
- ADT Complete Package: ADT Complete rounds out the plan with visual security. Customers with this package will get additional security camera equipment that enables you to livestream from your mobile device, as well as record and save video clips from the device.
Vivint’s plan structure is different from ADT. Instead of several tiers of packages to choose from, Vivint has just one base level plan that includes its standard equipment, the Smarthub control device and sensors for your home. This basic plan will also give you access to the Smart Home app and 24/7 monitoring from the Vivint team.
Beyond these basics, the customer controls what add-ons to include with a plan. Customizations are available for other smart features that connect directly to the Smarthub device and Smart Home app. These optional add-on features include:
- Doorbell camera.
- Element smart thermostat.
- Smart locks.
- Ping camera (for indoor use).
- Linear garage door control.
Who is it best for
- ADT Secure Package– Best for budget-friendly professional monitoring
- ADT Smart Package– Best for integration with other devices
- ADT Complete Package– Best for video surveillance
- Vivint– Best for package customization
Contract and Pricing
ADT’s packages start at $36.99 per month. However, it doesn’t provide package-specific rate information on its website. All ADT customers must agree to a contract, with a minimum contract term of thirty-six months. Customer reviews do note that ADT offers intro rates that can increase over the life of the term or upon contract renewal, so customers should look out for these pricing jumps.
Vivint’s packages start at $29.99 per month, but the actual cost of service will depend on which, if any, add-ons you choose. Vivint offers flexibility with a no-contract option for its plans but requires payment in full for the security equipment upfront to qualify. For those who don’t want to cover the cost of equipment upfront, contract terms start at 42 months.
ADT has an A+ rating by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and has been accredited since March 2013. Although it maintains a high rating by the BBB, customer reviews average just one out of five stars. Many of the comments share common themes of poor customer service and long servicing windows. Some also note it’s confusing or expensive to cancel the contract and that the pricing changed unexpectedly. Some customers have left five-star reviews, many of which highlight the expertise and professionalism of the installation and service teams that have assisted them.
Vivint is not accredited by the Better Business Bureau and has a C rating, which is likely due in part to a resolved government investigation from 2019 regarding unlicensed sales in Wichita, Kansas. Customer reviews average one and a half stars out of five, with unhappy customers uniting around issues with billing clarity and transferring or canceling contracts. However, some happy customers also took the time to leave positive reviews highlighting the range of smart features at an affordable price and satisfaction with the response team communications.
Ease of Installation
ADT home security systems must be installed by its professional team. Even though the security equipment is included in the cost of your package, installation fees can range from $99–$199 according to the company website, depending on the package and necessary equipment.
ADT’s home security system is compatible with Amazon Alexa, Kwikset smart keys, and zWave, so if you already use any of these smart home devices, you may be able to get away with a lower-tier (and less expensive) ADT package.
Vivint home security systems must be installed by its installation team, and the installation fee varies depending on where you live and what upgrades you choose.
Vivint is compatible with a wide range of smart home and individual security products, including:
- Google Home.
- Nest Thermostat.
- Philips Hue Smart Lighting.
- Kwikset smart locks.
- Select indoor, outdoor and doorbell cameras.
When it comes to Vivint security vs. ADT security, Vivint is a better choice for budget customers who want smart home integration. The basic Vivint package comes with its Smarthub device and Smart Home app controls, while ADT customers would need to upgrade to at least the second tier package to get smart features. Also, only Vivint offers a no-contract option.
ADT may be a better fit for customers who don’t want to deal with smart home integration. ADT offers a traditional home security plan with sensors and professional monitoring, while even Vivint’s basic plan requires smart equipment and mobile app integration.
Vivint is a good security system for those who want professional monitoring without a contract. Its customization options also make it a great fit for those who already have other smart devices in their homes.
ADT is a good security system for homeowners who value name recognition for their security system.
ADT’s packages start at $36.99 per month.
Vivint’s packages start at $29.99 per month.