ADT vs. Brinks Home Security

We compare ADT and Brinks on equipment, monitoring, cameras, and smart home integration to help you choose the right system.
ADT Shield
ADT Home Security
4 out of 5 stars
Starting from
  • pro
    6 monitoring centers
  • con
    Pro install required
  • pro
    147 years of experience
Runner up
Brinks Home Security
3.5 out of 5 stars
Starting from
  • con
    1 monitoring center
  • pro
    DIY install
  • con
    High cancellation fees

SafeWise experts have years of firsthand experience testing the products we recommend. Learn how we test and review

ADT is our winner with well over a century of experience in the home security industry, and it certainly shows. While you have to commit to a long-term contract up front, ADT has no starting equipment costs, an impressive six-month, money-back guarantee (certain restrictions apply), and helpful customer service that’s worth the tradeoff.

ADT pros and cons

pro Experience and industry reputation
pro 6-month money-back guarantee
pro 6 monitoring centers
con Long-term contract
con Pricey add-ons
con Installation fee

ADT: Industry experience

ADT is a trusted name in home security systems with more monitoring centers than other brands. Although you may pay a little extra up front for installation, you don’t have to buy equipment if you commit to a contract. Plus, ADT backs up its reputation with a six-month, money-back guarantee (certain conditions apply).

Learn more in our full ADT home security review.

Brinks pros and cons

pro DIY installation
pro Speedy alerts
pro Easy home automation
con Long-term contracts
con More expensive equipment costs
con One monitoring station

Brinks: Easy installation

Brinks leans full-tilt into DIY installation by programming your devices before shipping so all you do is peel and stick an adhesive, or use a few screws to mount your equipment. There's no need to wait for a technician to stop by.

Learn more in our full Brinks home security review.

ADT vs. Brinks monitoring and equipment

Lowest monitoring price
Equipment cost
Installation type and fees
Contract length
Money-back guarantee
Equipment warranty
(with contract)
3 years 6 months Lifetime
(with QSP)
$199.99+ DIY
3 years30 days 2 years

Info current as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.
Full ADT disclaimer

ADT vs. Brinks similarities

ADT and Brinks have most of the qualities you’d want in a reputable home security company:

  • 24/7 professional monitoring with two-way audio
  • Smartphone app
  • Similar equipment offerings

Although the two companies have different up front costs in terms of installation and equipment, ADT and Brinks also land in about the same place on average monthly monitoring cost.

If cost is what matters to you, you’ll probably be happy with either ADT or Brinks as your home security providers.

Alarms, alerts, and notifications

You can arm and disarm your ADT security system remotely through its mobile app for both iPhone and Android. You can even customize alerts, use geo-location services, and view live surveillance footage on the app. Just be sure to customize your system through the higher-tier ADT package that includes video recording.

With Brinks, you’ll enjoy all the standard benefits of arming and disarming remotely through the Brinks app, with adjustable sensitivity and customizable alerts and notifications.

Brinks' app advantage

One advantage to the Brinks app is the ability to create a chat room with important people like your spouse, kids, and the monitoring station. This means you can quickly connect, cancel false alarms, alert first responders, and make sure everyone is safe.

3-year contracts

ADT requires a three-year contract, but it also offers free equipment as a bonus. Brinks also has a three-year contract, but you'll pay some equipment costs to start.

Money-back guarantee

ADT has an attractive and generous money-back guarantee that extends for the first six months. Terminating early will cost you up to 75% of the remaining contract period.

With Brinks, if you cancel after the 30-day trial period, you’ll have to pay the full balance of your remaining Brinks contract. Ouch.

Smart home compatibility

Both companies offer smart home devices that provide all the bells and whistles you expect from home automation, including doorbell cameras, smart lighting, and smart thermostats. ADT and Brinks both offer Z-Wave and Amazon Alexa Google Assistant compatibility.

ADT vs. Brinks differences

These two security companies are similar on the surface, but digging into the details turns up some big differences.


ADT requires professional installation starting at $99. Brinks offers free DIY installation.


ADT does suffer its share of customer complaints, but it also has an impressive amount of experience and a stellar industry reputation. Brinks’ recent bankruptcy has created some confusion about its future.

Number of monitoring centers

Brinks and ADT both own their monitoring centers, but ADT has nine monitoring stations versus Brinks’ one. If you’re concerned about the reliability of professional monitoring, ADT is the clear choice to protect your home.

ADT's basic package

If you opt for a basic package for ADT monitoring, be aware that monitoring uses a landline only. It’s also worth noting that the costs for things like carbon monoxide monitoring aren’t included in the basic package and can add up quickly. Each of ADT's "packages" are customized according to your needs.

Home automation pricing

While ADT offers similar devices and Z-wave compatibility, Brinks doesn't charge extra to control smart lights, a thermostat, and a door lock.

You’ll pay a bit more for that option with ADT as automation is only available through higher-tier plans. The top-priced plan also comes with a $199 installation fee and hefty monthly monitoring rate. The good news is it includes the mobile app, live video, and add-ons like smartbulbs for your home lighting or a smart thermostat to keep your home comfortable and energy efficient.

The winner: ADT has you covered

ADT is a more traditional home security company. In this case, that means trust and reliability. You can count on professional monitoring with nine redundant centers.

  • ADT requires professional installation and charges a fee, but it works out for your bottom line in the end because you get free equipment with your three-year contract. Unless you have a compelling reason to do DIY installation or to insist on no contract, you’ll find ADT offers the best value across the board.
  • Interested in a DIY iteration of ADT? Take a peek at our ADT Self Setup review.
  • Brinks offers DIY installation but you’ll pay for equipment up front. And if you already have some of the long-discontinued Nest Secure devices, Brinks Nest Secure can be a perfect solution for your home security.

Still undecided? Check out our full ADT and Brinks reviews to learn more.

How we decided: ADT vs. Brinks

In addition to scouring the internet for reviews and ratings from real customers, we evaluated opinions from experts, ratings from consumer organizations, and our own rankings for the best home security companies.

We consider factors that matter most to our readers for our rankings, such as cost, customer service, installation, and ease of use. Take a peek at our full methodology here.

Katie McEntire
Written by
Katie McEntire
As a renter, pet-owner, and woman living alone, Katie McEntire takes safety seriously. She’s tested devices like pet cameras, home security systems, and GPS trackers in her own home and devices in the name of safety. In addition to testing, writing, and reviewing for SafeWise, she also makes videos for the site’s YouTube channel. She’s been featured on publications like TechGuySmartBuy, Forbes, Healthy Moms, and Digital Care. Katie has a Bachelor’s degree in Technical Writing from Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee. She’s held previous writing positions at and Top Ten Reviews.

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