ADT and Vivint are both popular home security providers that offer alarm systems with rich features. Both companies offer professional installation and monitoring and sell equipment as packages instead of individual items.

Overall, ADT’s packages are less expensive than Vivint’s, and ADT gives customers the option to choose self- or pro-monitoring. ADT is also one of the most well-known home security companies, with almost 150 years in business.

However, ADT requires a multiple-year contract for professional monitoring, while Vivint offers month-to-month payments (unless you’re financing the equipment). Vivint also has higher average customer reviews and a cleaner privacy record than ADT, making it a better choice for those looking for a top-of-the-line home security provider that’s fully installed and monitored by professionals.

Lower costs and a self-monitoring option.

Exclusive features and complete professional management.

  • $24.99 per month for professional monitoring with no cameras.

  • $34.99 per month for professional monitoring with cameras.

Professional installation:

  • $45.99 per month for pro-monitoring with no cameras.

  • $59.99 per month for pro-monitoring with cameras.

Professional monitoring plan is required with equipment purchase: $41 per month without cameras and $46 per month with cameras.

  • Included in pro-install equipment package starting at $499.99.

36-month minimum; 24 months in California.

Monitoring is month to month unless financing equipment.

Smart-home integration with Alexa and Google.

Smart-home integration with Alexa and Google.

  • Live chat is available 7 a.m. to midnight EST.

  • Support center on website.

  • Customer service is rated 1.2 stars out of 5 stars on Trustpilot.com.

  • Phone and live chat are available.

  • Help center on the website.

  • Customer service is rated 3.1 stars out of 5 stars on Trustpilot.com.

Why ADT is a better choice

ADT and Vivint both offer professionally installed and monitored home security systems, but Vivint is more costly than ADT and doesn’t offer a self-monitoring option.

Cost

Vivint’s equipment and monthly professional monitoring fees are more expensive than ADT’s, though Vivint’s base kit includes more products.

  • Vivint’s professionally installed and monitored base kit, at $599.99, includes a control hub, four door/window sensors and one motion sensor. 

  • ADT’s self-installed base kit, at $194.98, includes a smart home hub, door/window sensor and app. ADT’s professionally installed version of the same plan, which requires professional monitoring as well, costs $499.99.

  • Vivint’s professional monitoring costs $41 per month or $46 with cameras, while ADT’s costs $24.99 per month or $34.99 with cameras. 

  • ADT’s self-monitoring is free, and Vivint doesn’t offer self-monitoring.

Monitoring and installation options

ADT offers professional monitoring services and also allows customers to monitor their own systems, while Vivint requires professional monitoring for their equipment.

  • You can also install ADT systems yourself, while Vivint’s equipment must be professionally installed.

  • If you’re looking for a hands-off experience, Vivint is a great choice, but if you want the option of DIY setup and monitoring, ADT is a better pick.

NerdWallet rating

 

“NerdWallet’s ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula considers the type of home security system being reviewed, as well as pricing, offerings, video features, privacy and customer reviews.”

NerdWallet rating

 

“NerdWallet’s ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula considers the type of home security system being reviewed, as well as pricing, offerings, video features, privacy and customer reviews.”

Equipment cost

$194.98

Base kit comes with one ADT Smart Home Hub, one ADT Door/Window Sensor and the ADT+ app.


Professional monitoring monthly cost

$24.99 and up

$59.99 with cameras. A monitoring plan is required with equipment purchase, but you can choose self-monitoring starting at $24.99.


Hazard detection

Add-on CO detector, smoke detector and water/temperature sensor.

Why you might want to use Vivint instead

Vivint is still a top choice, especially for people who want a fully professionally managed system with an airtight privacy record.

Flexible contract

ADT’s professional monitoring services come with a fairly long contract term — a 36-month minimum in all states except California, which has a 24-month minimum. Though Vivint doesn’t offer a self-monitoring option, customers can pay for professional monitoring month to month and cancel more easily if they purchase equipment upfront.

Better reviews

We couldn’t find any public record of privacy breaches at Vivint, but two class-action lawsuits were filed against ADT in 2020 after a former employee allegedly accessed the security systems of over 200 customers in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Vivint also has 3.1 stars out of 5 stars on Trustpilot, a consumer review website, while ADT has 1.2 stars out of 5 stars.

Special features

Vivint offers several standout features for home security equipment that ADT doesn’t.

  • Vivint’s outdoor cameras and doorbells have a theft-deterrent feature that can identify potential “porch pirates” and respond with dramatic lights and sound to let them know they’ve been spotted.

  • Vivint also offers a “Car Guard” device that pairs with your security system and sends disturbance alerts for bumps and towing. It also provides location tracking and car diagnostics.

Vivint Security System

NerdWallet rating

 

NerdWallet’s ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula considers the type of home security system being reviewed, as well as pricing, offerings, video features, privacy and customer reviews.

NerdWallet rating

 

NerdWallet’s ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula considers the type of home security system being reviewed, as well as pricing, offerings, video features, privacy and customer reviews.

Equipment cost

$599.99

Base kit includes Vivint Smart Hub Control Panel, four door/window sensors, and one motion sensor.


Professional monitoring monthly cost

$41

Professional monitoring plan is required with equipment purchase. $46 with cameras.


Hazard detection

Add-on smoke/CO detector and water sensor.

ADT and Vivint alternatives

For homeowners and renters who want a more DIY option at a lower cost, a security system or individual items from providers such as SimpliSafe or Arlo may be a better fit.

SimpliSafe Security System

SimpliSafe Security System

NerdWallet rating

 

NerdWallet’s ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula considers the type of home security system being reviewed, as well as pricing, offerings, video features, privacy and customer reviews.

NerdWallet rating

 

NerdWallet’s ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula considers the type of home security system being reviewed, as well as pricing, offerings, video features, privacy and customer reviews.

Equipment cost

$249.96

Base kit includes one base station, one keypad, one entry sensor, one motion sensor. Sometimes you can get one free Smart Alarm wireless indoor security camera and a free trial of professional monitoring if they’re running a promotion.


Professional monitoring monthly cost

$29.99

Self-monitoring available for $9.99 per month. You can also access basic features with no plan.


Hazard detection

Add-on smoke/CO detector, water and temperature sensor.

Haven plan includes hazard sensors, alarm system, siren and panic button for $520.

Arlo Security System

NerdWallet rating

 

NerdWallet’s ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula considers the type of home security system being reviewed, as well as pricing, offerings, video features, privacy and customer reviews.

NerdWallet rating

 

NerdWallet’s ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula considers the type of home security system being reviewed, as well as pricing, offerings, video features, privacy and customer reviews.

Equipment cost

$199.99

Base kit includes one keypad sensor hub, two sensors, and a free three-month pro monitoring trial.


Professional monitoring monthly cost

$24.99

Some sensor features not available without subscription. Self-monitoring for cameras starts at $7.99 per month.


Hazard detection

Sensors can detect water and temperature and alert you when a smoke/CO detector goes off.

No smoke/CO detector.

Ring and Abode, two of our other top-reviewed home security providers, are also good options.

Ring Security System

NerdWallet rating

 

NerdWallet’s ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula considers the type of home security system being reviewed, as well as pricing, offerings, video features, privacy and customer reviews.

NerdWallet rating

 

NerdWallet’s ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula considers the type of home security system being reviewed, as well as pricing, offerings, video features, privacy and customer reviews.

Equipment cost

$199.99

Base kit includes Alarm Base Station, keypad, door/window contact sensor, motion detector, Alarm Range Extender and free 30-day trial of Ring Protect professional monitoring. “Pro” starter kit comes with a Wi-Fi router.


Professional monitoring monthly cost

$20

Self-monitoring available with plans starting at $3.99 per month.


Hazard detection

Add-on smoke/CO detector and listener, flood and freeze sensor.

Abode Security System

NerdWallet rating

 

NerdWallet’s ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula considers the type of home security system being reviewed, as well as pricing, offerings, video features, privacy and customer reviews.

NerdWallet rating

 

NerdWallet’s ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula considers the type of home security system being reviewed, as well as pricing, offerings, video features, privacy and customer reviews.

Equipment cost

$139.99

Base kit includes security hub, key fob and mini-sensor for door/window.


Professional monitoring monthly cost

$24.99

Self-monitoring with extra features is $7.99 per month, but you can still use the alarm system for free.


Hazard detection

Add-on smoke alarm monitor and leak detector.

No smoke/CO detector.

Share.

Comments are closed.