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Brinks vs. ADT

Compare ADT and Brinks on home security features and costs

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by Kathryn Parkman ConsumerAffairs Research Team
ADT, Brinks Home Security™ and Vivint Smart Home
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Brinks and ADT both have solid reputations among renters and homeowners as reliable, responsive home security providers. These companies share many qualities, including equipment options, monitoring services and contract requirements.

Brinks and ADT’s service and equipment offerings differ in a few key areas. Those interested in a professionally installed alarm will likely prefer ADT, while those who prefer a DIY approach should opt for Brinks. Below, we compare the two leading home security companies in more detail.

Starting monitoring fees$39/month*$36.99/month*
Landline options
Money-back guarantee30 days6 months
Upfront starting costs$199*Varies by package
Customer satisfactionRead reviewsRead reviews
Brinks$39/month*30 days$199*Read reviews
ADT$36.99/month*6 monthsVaries by packageRead reviews

*As of publishing date

How are Brinks and ADT different?

Brinks and ADT are both long-standing American companies with more than a hundred years of experience. ADT has been around since 1874, and The Brink’s Company was founded even earlier — in 1859. Brinks Home Security, a sister brand, was founded more recently in 1994.

  • Installation: The most distinct difference between the two companies is that Brinks specializes in DIY systems while ADT offers professional installation for its security packages. However, Brinks provides free installation services with its Ultimate packages. ADT also offers some DIY solutions for renters and those with lower security needs through its Blue by ADT brand.
  • Pricing transparency: Brinks lets customers purchase security systems online, but ADT home security pricing is available only through a free phone quote. Though ADT doesn't feature online pricing for its primary home security systems, Brinks and Blue by ADT are similar in cost. Blue by ADT products can be purchased online and are more affordable than most Brinks systems.
  • Guarantees and returns: ADT systems come with a six-month money-back guarantee. Brinks systems have just a 30-day window for free returns. However, all Brinks equipment includes a two-year warranty, while ADT customers must opt in to a Quality Service Plan (QSP) through a representative.

About Brinks home security systems

Brinks security system packages feature smart home technology, easy installations and 24-hour professional monitoring on all systems. The systems use Wi-Fi and cell networks for monitoring services, so no landline or hardwiring is required.

As of publishing, Brinks security system packages range from $199 to $1,000, but these packages can be customized to your home’s needs. Pricing for individual components like door alarms or cameras runs between $29 and $249, and financing options are available for qualifying customers.

  • Optional DIY installation: Most Brinks security systems are designed to be self-installed with easy-to-use adhesive strips. The company also provides free professional installation for those who want it. Professional installation is typically recommended exclusively for larger home systems, particularly those with multiple integrations for locks, lights or other smart devices.
  • Brinks monitoring: Brinks provides 24-hour monitoring services, which start at $39 per month and require a 36-month contract. You can purchase a package online and return it within 30 days if it doesn’t meet your expectations. If you purchase Nest Secure with your security system, you can cancel it at any time.
  • Equipment options: Additional equipment options include video doorbells, motion sensors, door sensors, outdoor and indoor cameras and a touchscreen control panel. The system is compatible with other smart home devices like flood sensors and smart locks.
  • Mobile app: Brinks offers a single hub for all your smart devices with its Brinks Home Security App. You can arm or disarm your security system from this app and control any integrated smart devices like thermostats, lights, locks and more.
  • Customer service: You can reach Brinks customer service by phone or online chat. Brinks is highly rated by its clients, with many praising its customer service and technical support. Brinks home security reviews indicate its representatives are patient and kind. Some recent complaints appear to be related to former Protect America customers who were unaware of the merger.

Compare Brinks home security packages

All Brinks packages come with professional monitoring, a touchscreen control panel, yard signs and stickers. The main hub is compatible with Amazon Alexa, Z-Wave and other home automation devices. Its systems are equipped with tamper protection and cellular backup technology. Financing options with 0% APR are available to qualifying Brinks customers.

Smart Security Essential highlightsSmart Security Complete highlightsSmart Security Ultimate highlights
Wireless motion sensors122
Wireless door sensors233
Home automation features
Indoor camera
Video doorbell
Free pro installation
Smart Security Essential highlights12
Smart Security Complete highlights23
Smart Security Ultimate highlights23

About ADT home security systems

ADT began as the first residential security system network in America and has since made strides in expanding its equipment and service offerings. The company sells complete home security systems, smart home automation and emergency monitoring devices.

ADT home security equipment must be purchased as a package or customized by a security professional. Professional installation ranges from $99 to $199, depending on the system. However, it offers some DIY systems for its Blue by ADT products.

ADT and Brinks both
provide professional
monitoring services

In the event of an emergency or alarm, the system uses a cellular or landline network to communicate with a professional monitoring service, which can dispatch emergency responders if necessary.

  • Professional installation: ADT equipment is designed for professional installation. You can get pricing info for a professionally installed system only by requesting a free quote from a representative. Professional installation costs $99 to $199.
  • ADT monitoring: All home security plans include 24-hour professional monitoring services ranging in cost from $36.99 to $52.99 per month. Like with Brinks, ADT home security packages require a 36-month contract. However, the company offers no-contract systems under its Blue by ADT brand.
  • Equipment options: Select from indoor and outdoor security cameras, video doorbells and DIY surveillance systems with Blue by ADT. The brand also includes smoke and fire detectors, flood sensors and smart home automation solutions. Your ADT security equipment must be purchased as a package or customized by a professional security technician.
  • Mobile apps: The remote access app is included only with the Smart and Complete home security packages. Blue by ADT security systems include a mobile app with smart home integrations.
  • Customer service: Customers are consistently pleased with the service they receive from ADT and the reliability of the company. It offers customer support over the phone or by live chat on the website. Recent ADT home security reviews indicate its customer service representatives are patient and professional. However, some complaints mention long hold times.

Compare ADT home security packages

All ADT systems come with a digital panel, entryway contacts, a wireless keychain remote, motion detectors, yard signs and 24-hour monitoring. Blue by ADT is the DIY alternative to professionally installed equipment — these systems start at $159.99, with individual devices ranging from $14.99 to $199.99 and optional monitoring services starting at $19.99 per month.

Window/door sensor
Motion sensor
Remote access mobile app
Smart home automation
Video surveillance

Bottom line: Which is better, ADT or Brinks?

The ConsumerAffairs research team has concluded that Brinks is better for renters or homeowners who don’t want to go through the hassle of hardwiring a system. ADT systems are more difficult to install (most customers pay for professional installation) and could be harder to take with you if you move into a new house.

  • Brinks is a good pick for transparent prices and easy installation — Brinks systems are self-installed and easy to integrate with other smart devices. When requested, Brinks connects buyers with professional installers in their area, and some of its products include free installation promotions.
  • ADT is a good pick for customizable systems with pro installation — ADT offers quality equipment with smart home automation features and 24-hour monitoring, but it’s harder to install its systems yourself. Unlike with Brinks, ADT systems are compatible with both cellular and landline connections.

Both Brinks and ADT offer similar home security services with their own customer perks and appeals. With so many competing providers on the market, we suggest comparing the features, pricing, ease of installation and customer service records of a few different companies. Next, read about how ADT compares to Vivint Smart Home.

Renters and homeowners should review customization options from each provider to see which meets their home security needs. Think about the physical space you want to protect — does your home need cameras near both the front and back doors? Is your apartment susceptible to window break-ins?

As you compare, look for a security system that offers the level of flexibility you need and the technology that’s most likely to keep your family and property safe. For more information, read our guide to finding the best home alarm provider for you.

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    by Kathryn Parkman ConsumerAffairs Research Team

    As a member of the ConsumerAffairs Research Team, Kathryn Parkman believes everyone deserves easy access to accurate and comprehensive information on products and businesses before they make a purchase, which is why she spends hours researching companies and industries for ConsumerAffairs. She believes conscious consumption is everyone's responsibility and that all content deserves integrity.