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 to protect your home.
Written by | Updated November 27, 2019
Most Well-Known
ADT Home Security
  • 140+ years of experience
  • More monitoring centers
  • Professional installation required
  • 140+ years of experience
  • More monitoring centers
  • Professional installation required
Entry-Level Pick
Brinks Home Security
  • DIY installation
  • No-contract option
  • High cancellation fees
  • DIY installation
  • No-contract option
  • High cancellation fees

ADT Edges Out Brinks with Experience and Superior Professional Monitoring

ADT has 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 security has quick response times, an impressive six-month, money-back guarantee, and helpful customer service that’s worth the tradeoff.

If you opt for ADT’s basic package, be aware that monitoring uses a landline only, similar to Protect America. 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.

You may be lured in by Brinks’ home automation advantages and DIY installation, especially if you already own Google Nest smart home products. But be warned that due to several partnerships of varying natures—Alarm.com, MONI, LiveWatch—customer service can be challenging.1

ADT vs. Brinks Monitoring and Equipment

Lowest Monthly Monitoring Cost
Equipment Cost
Installation Type and Fees
Contract Length
Money-back Guarantee
Equipment Warranty
Learn More
ADT Protect Your Home logo
$27.99 $29.99
$0 with contract $299
Professional, $99-$199 DIY, $0
36 mo. 36 mo. for Home Connect, No contract required for Nest Secure
6 mo. 30 days
90-day limited warranty Lifetime warranty
View Packages View Packages

Data as of 09/12/2019. Offers and availability subject to change.

What Do ADT and Brinks Home Security Systems Have in Common?

ADT and Brinks have most of the qualities you’d want in a reputable home security company, including an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.2

Both of these home security companies offer the following:

  • 24/7 professional monitoring with two-way audio
  • 3-year contracts on most packages
  • Money-back guarantee (time varies)
  • Smartphone app
  • Compatibility with Amazon Alexa and Google Home
  • 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.

What Makes ADT and Brinks Home Security Systems Different?

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

  • Installation: ADT requires professional installation starting at $99. Brinks offers free DIY installation.
  • Reputation: 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.
  • Home automation integration: While ADT offers similar devices and Z-wave compatibility, Brinks’ partnership with Nest means it edges out a slight advantage in home automation. Plus, with any Brinks monitoring package, you have the option to control smart lights, a thermostat, and a door lock. You’ll pay a bit more for that option with ADT.
  • No-contract option: If a long-term contract is a deal-breaker for you, then Brinks Nest Secure package is going to be your best option.

Brinks and ADT both own their monitoring centers, but ADT has six 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 at a Glance

ADT home security equipment and logo

Pros

  • Experience and industry reputation
  • 6-month money-back guarantee
  • More monitoring centers

Cons

  • Long-term contract
  • Pricey add-ons
  • Installation fee

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, and ADT backs up its reputation with a six-month, money-back guarantee.

 

ADT Pricing, Plans, and Contracts

With five different packages that fit almost any budget, ADT can make even the most commitment-phobic person feel better about a three-year contract. Just be warned that the lower cost of the basic package means you’ll need a landline for your home security system and also that safety monitoring like smoke and carbon monoxide will add extra fees.

 

ADT Contracts and Extended Warranties

ADT has an attractive and generous money-back guarantee that extends for the first six months. It also offers free equipment when you commit to a three-year contract, but there’s a big catch. Terminating early will cost you up to 75% of the remaining contract period. ADT also provides a 90-day limited warranty on its equipment with the option to purchase an extended warranty.

 

ADT Customer Service

An A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau and good reviews for the ADT Pulse App are a good start, but ADT falters when it comes to feedback on Trustpilot.3 It does, however, earn extra points for some pretty sweet customer guarantees, including special savings for ADT customers who move after six months of service and theft protection of up to $500 in addition to homeowners insurance reimbursement.

 

ADT Home Automation

ADT offers smart home devices that provide all the bells and whistles you expect from home automation, including doorbell cameras, smart lighting, and smart thermostats. ADT offers Z-Wave integration in addition to Amazon Alexa and Google Home compatibility. (That’s only with higher-tier plans, though.)

 

ADT Alarms, Alerts, and Notifications

You can arm and disarm your ADT security system remotely through the ADT Pulse 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 select the higher-tier ADT package that includes video monitoring.

ADT Wins for Reliability and Reputation

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. Despite an installation fee and longer-term contract, you won’t have to pitch in up front for equipment, and the six-month, money-back guarantee gives you a taste of ADT’s security before you commit.

View Packages

Brinks Home Security At a Glance

brinks security system components on a table

Pros

  • Nest Secure Package
  • More home automation options
  • DIY installation
  • No-contract options

Cons

  • Long-term contracts
  • More expensive equipment costs
  • One monitoring station

Brinks’ partnership with Nest gives bragging rights for home automation, and many renters are attracted to the DIY installation and no-contract option. Although similar in price to ADT for professional monitoring, Brinks’ solo monitoring station can leave you in the lurch if it ever goes offline during an emergency.

 

Brinks Pricing, Plans, and Contracts

Brinks has three packages, but they’re deceptively different. The Nest Secure package is a no-contact, DIY installation option that requires $299 up front for equipment costs. Brinks Home Complete and Home Complete with Video require a three-year contract but won’t result in equipment costs up front.

 

Brinks Contracts and Extended Warranties

Not having a contract is attractive, but with Brinks Nest Secure, you’ll pay for it with higher equipment costs. Brinks Home Complete packages do have a three-year contract and require a credit check. If you cancel after the 30-day trial period, you’ll have to pay the full balance of your remaining Brinks contract. Ouch.

 

Brinks Customer Service

Brinks Home Security formerly earned top marks from J.D. Power and Associates, but reviews on Trustpilot and complaints at the Better Business Bureau highlight recent troubles.4 As we mentioned previously, there is some ambiguity over who is using the Brinks brand name since it’s filed for bankruptcy—and that’s creating some confusion for customers.

 

Brinks Home Automation

The Brinks partnership with Nest, a leader in home automation, means that it maintains a bit of an edge in smart home compatibility. Nest Secure equipment earns top marks, especially for its home security cameras. But Brinks Home Connect uses Honeywell equipment, the same manufacturer as ADT.

 

Brinks Alarms and Notifications

You’ll enjoy all the standard benefits of arming and disarming remotely through the Brinks app, with adjustable sensitivity and customizable alerts and notifications. 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 so you can quickly connect, cancel false alarms, alert first responders, and make sure everyone is safe.

Brinks is for DIYers and Home-Automation Junkies

Hey, we like gadgets too. And if you already have some Nest smart home devices, Brinks Nest Secure can be a perfect solution for your home security—as long as you’re comfortable with installing the system yourself. The Brinks Nest Secure package is also a good solution for renters who want to avoid contracts.

View Brinks Packages

Our Final Pick: ADT Has You Covered

ADT security sign closeup

ADT is a more traditional home security company, but in this case, that means trust and reliability. You can count on professional monitoring with six centers across the US and Canada that won’t let you down. While ADT does require professional installation and charges a fee, in the end it works out for your bottom line because you’ll get free equipment with your three-year contract.

Brinks offers DIY installation, and there is a little less risk involved for renters if you choose its no-contract Nest Secure package. Just keep in mind you’ll pay for the Nest equipment up front, and you won’t have the luxury of ADT’s six-month, money-back guarantee to fall back on if something goes wrong.

View ADT Packages

How We Picked the Best Home Security Company

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. Our rankings are determined by factors that matter most to our readers, such as cost, response time, customer service, installation, and ease of use. You can get a peek at our full methodology here.

More Options Like ADT and Brinks

Sources:

  1. Brinks, In The News, “MONI Announces Exclusive, Long-Term Agreement to License the Iconic Brinks Home Security Brand”; Brinks Home Security, “Live Watch is Now Brinks Home Security
  2. Better Business Bureau, “ADT Security Systems,” “Brinks Home Security
  3. Google Play Store, “ADT Pulse”; Apple App Store, “ADT Pulse”; Trustpilot, “ADT
  4. J.D. Power, “Smart Home Features Emerge as Key Opportunity to Drive Customer Satisfaction with Home Security Systems, J.D. Power Finds”; Better Business Bureau, “Brinks Home Security”; Trustpilot, “Brinks Home Security

Written by Kaz Weida

Kaz is a journalist who covers home security, parenting, and community and child safety. Her work and product testing in the security and safety field spans the past four years. You can find Kaz in HuffPost, SheKnows, Lifehack, and much more. Her degree in education and her background as a teacher and a parent make her uniquely suited to offer practical advice on creating safe environments for your family. Learn more

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