Home security systems have quickly become essential in the 21st century. There are many home security providers, but two excellent providers are ADT and Brinks Home Security. They have been in the industry longer than any other home security service, with more than 140 years of experience.
ADT is a global brand with over 7 million customers in the US; if you're looking for an established brand, you can't go wrong with them. Brinks doesn't have the same reach and uses Nest on a third-party basis for some of their security services. Let's look at what they can offer you.
ADT and Brinks Home Security: What do they have in common?
- Professional monitoring: Each provider offers professional monitoring options.
- Mobile app: You can control and monitor your app, particularly security cameras and video doorbells using the mobile app.
- Long-term contracts: You'll need at least a three-year contract.
- Z-wave compatibility: You can use your security equipment with various smart home devices, including the Nest thermostat, Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and Apple TV.
- Smart home: Dedicated smart home equipment is available, including smart locks and automated plugs.
- Smoke detectors: You can access smart home safety equipment such as carbon monoxide detectors and smart smoke alarms.
- Cellular backup: Cellular backup will protect your security system in case of a power cut or damage to your landline/wi-fi. ADT and Brinks offer cellular backup.
ADT and Brinks Home Security: What are the differences?
- DIY installation: ADT home security doesn't offer DIY home security services, but Brinks will allow Nest Secure users to use Brinks services with DIY installation.
- Customer service: Brinks don't outsource customer support, so it's more reliable.
- Price: ADT is one of the most expensive providers in the security industry, but Brinks is quite affordable.
- Reputation: ADT has more than 7 million customers in the US, but Brinks has around 1 million.
- Partnerships: Brinks has partnered with Nest Secure, but ADT is a standalone service provider.
- Moneyback guarantee: ADT offers a six-month moneyback guarantee compared to Brinks' 30-day guarantee.
Brinks Home Security - What you need to know
Brinks is known for offering quality hardware and reliable services. Like ADT, Brinks has more than 100 years in the security industry. Let's analyze each area of their services to see what they have to offer.
You can pay $199 for Brinks Pro install (or include it in your package costs at $10 a month). You can also DIY install with Nest Secure, reportedly a simple process.
Your equipment will come with a professional monitoring service as standard. Promotional discounts are usually available, so keep an eye out. Without any discount, the complete home package is $500 plus a monthly monitoring cost of $29. The package includes:
- A touch screen control panel
- Wireless motion detector
- Three door sensors
- Stickers and yard signs
If you choose video surveillance, the package will cost $599. Video monitoring is $39 per month.
With video surveillance, your Brinks Home Complete package will cost you $599. The package includes a video doorbell and indoor camera, plus everything above.
Brinks also offers additional equipment on an a la carte basis. Equipment includes:
- Smoke detectors
- Environmental detectors
- Glass break sensors
- CO detectors
- Backup battery
- Control panel
- Vibration detectors
- Smart plugs and lights
Brinks offers some great smart home integrations, which include:
- Smart lights: Smart switches, in-wall dimmers, and other control features are included with Brinks smart lights.
- Temperature control: This system can be used with Nest and IQ smart thermostats.
- Smart locks: You can remotely lock/unlock your home with a button.
- Z-wave compatibility: Various Z-wave products can be used with your system, including Google Home, Amazon's Alexa, Samsung Smart Home Hub, and Apple TV.
The basic costs to consider are as follows:
- Upfront costs: The exact costs will depend on the package but range from $199 to $599.
- Professional monitoring costs: Professional monitoring is available for a monthly fee of $29; video monitoring may cost extra.
- Pro install: The cost of a pro install is $199.
There are some add-on prices. These items are purchased individually:
- Outdoor camera: $299
- SkyBell video doorbell: $199
- IQ wireless garage door sensor: $39
- IQ wireless carbon monoxide detector: $79
- IQ smoke alarm: $79
- Customization: You have more control over your system and can customize it more due to Brinks' partnership with Nest Secure.
- Cellular backup: Cellular backup and battery backup ensure monitoring will not be interrupted in the case of tampering or a power cut.
- Effective monitoring: One of the best benefits is the Alarm Response Monitoring center. It's fully staffed and operates 24/7 to respond to you in the event of a fire, police, or medical crisis.
- Poor reviews: Several people have complained about auto-renewal and difficulties leaving contracts, and communication issues.
- Long-term commitment: If you sign up with Brinks directly, you'll need a 36-month contract. You can technically have a rolling contract via Nest Secure.
ADT: What you need to know
ADT is a household name providing services globally, and the blue logo is a familiar sight almost anywhere. You know you can trust ADT. But, reputation comes with a price, and ADT is one of the most expensive in the industry.
Unlike Brinks, there's no way to have ADT services on a DIY basis. You'll need professional installation. Professional installation costs at least $99, and you'll have an ADT representative install your new system and walk you through it to ensure you understand how it works.
The basic system comprises:
- Motion sensors
- Door sensors
- Window sensors
- Key fob
- Yard signs and decals
- Push-button keypad for landline monitoring
You can buy extras individually, including additional video cameras. Possible add-ons include:
- Flood and freeze detectors
- Touchscreen control system
- Outdoor cameras
- Smart locks
- Light control garage control
- Automated smart switches and plugs
Similar to Brinks, your ADT equipment will be compatible with various third-party integrations. Possible integrations include Z-wave and If This Then That (IFTTT) equipment such as Google Assistant, Nest Thermostat, and Alexa. ADT also has a range of smart lights, locks, and a video doorbell.
The costs to consider when you purchase are as follows:
- Equipment costs: You don't pay for your equipment directly; it's incorporated into your monthly contract costs with nothing to pay upfront.
- Installation fee: Installation costs start at $99 and can reach $299 for a more complex system.
- Monthly fees: Monthly fees range from $35.99 to $57.99 per month.
- Reputation: ADT has an excellent reputation and millions of customers; you know you can trust them.
- Hardware: ADT is an industry leader with the best equipment; you won't find any flimsy security equipment here.
- Professional installation: An ADT representative will help you decide your security needs, install your new system and walk you through your new security system.
- Customer service inconsistencies: ADT has enjoyed an excellent reputation for years, but there have been issues since beginning to outsource customer support to third-party companies. This is apparent when looking at ADT's reviews.
- Add-on extras: Nobody chooses ADT because they're cheap, but the base packages are surprisingly affordable. Unfortunately, the additional extras add up quickly.
- Mobile app issues: The mobile app is okay, but glitches and can lose connectivity. It's disappointing for such a large company to have an unreliable app.
ADT or Brinks Security?
ADT and Brinks are similar in terms of smart home integration, reliability, and their alarm systems functionality. ADT is superior to Brinks in terms of the warranty. Brinks does offer some self-monitoring and DIY systems via their partnership with Nest Secure. ADT has more to offer, but if you want greater flexibility, then you should consider Brinks.
This article has been reviewed and approved by Officer Banta.
Officer Banta is the official SecurityNerd home security and safety expert. A member of the Biloxi Police Department for over 24 years, Officer Banta reviews all articles before lending his stamp of approval. Click here for more information on Officer Banta and the rest of our team.