ADT is the largest home security company in the United States. With a solid track record and array of products to choose from, it’s a solid choice for homeowners or renters who are looking for a reliable service and around the clock customer support.
Vector Security has nearly 50 years of service under its belt, and offers homeowners an impressive amount of smart home options with its higher tier plans. It is more of a regional company, though, operating through a third-party model to offer services to mostly the eastern part of the United States.
If you’re deciding between ADT or Vector Security, there are many similarities and differences between the two. While both are more traditional companies with professional installation and longer contracts, there are some key differences that we feel may make ADT a more attractive choice for the average homeowner.
ADT and Vector Security: What do they have in common?
- Third party contractors: Both companies utilize some third-party contractors to sell and install equipment. While that increases the footprint for Vector and ADT, it can contribute to some inconsistent customer service experiences.
- Pricey plans: If you decide to go for ADT or Vector, you will be paying more money than DIY companies. The higher tier plans get pretty pricey with the added bells and whistles.
- Good mobile app ratings: Both Vector Security and ADT have impeccable ratings in both app stores, with customers giving high marks for usability and speed. Both have over four star ratings in both stores.
- 24/7 monitoring: When going with ADT or Vector, you will get professional monitoring with every plan. That means in case of an emergency, the company will notify both you and authorities immediately.
- Smart home options: When deciding on ADT vs Vector, smart home options are very similar. Customers can choose from a wide variety of automation options to transform your house into a smart home.
- No mobile access in lower tier plans: If mobile access is important to your security needs, you’ll have to purchase higher tier plans. Both ADT and Vector do not provide smartphone access in the lowest tier plan.
- Long contracts required: Customers are required to sign at least a 3-year contract with both companies, with steep fees if you decide to cancel prior to the contract ending.
- Professional installation: You won’t have to worry about troubleshooting during setup, thanks to technicians who come to your home and install equipment for you.
- Similar camera options: Both Vector and ADT offer customers similar camera options such as outdoor, indoor and doorbell cameras.
- Confusing pricing: You won’t be able to simply go on either Vector Security or ADT’s website and easily see pricing options. It depends on factors like zip code and package choices. It’s always best to call and get a direct quote for the most accurate price.
- Automatic renewal: Whether you’re going with ADT or Vector, both companies will automatically renew your contract if you don’t opt out. If you are a Vector customer, you must physically write a letter to cancel instead of calling or emailing.
ADT vs Vector: What are the differences?
- Household name vs Regional brand: When deciding on ADT or Vector, if name brand means something to you, ADT is the way to go. With a national footprint and household name, ADT wins with the best track record and name recognition. Although Vector’s nearly 50 years in service is nothing to sneeze at, it has more regional name recognition.
- Flood sensors vs No flood sensors: ADT offers all kinds of environmental monitoring, whereas Vector does not offer flood sensors. If you live in an area of the country where flooding may be an issue, ADT may be a better pick.
- International vs Regional: ADT is available in nearly every state as well as Canada and Puerto Rico. Vector Security is available in certain areas in select states, mostly in the Eastern half of the United States. Even within certain states, there are only certain counties that Vector services, so it’s important to call first to make sure you are in a service area.
- 24/7 customer service vs No 24/7 customer service: When deciding on ADT vs Vector, if around-the-clock customer service is important to you, ADT is the way to go. It provides customers non-stop service, whereas Vector Security customer service lines are available during business hours on weekdays only. It’s important to note both companies do have monitoring around-the-clock.
- Installation fee vs No installation fee: ADT requires customers to pay a $99 installation fee, where Vector’s professional installation comes at no cost.
- Simple cancellation vs Complicated cancellation: Both companies require you to cancel to avoid automatic renewal. With ADT, you can simply call to cancel services. However, Vector requires customers to handwrite a letter and mail it to cancel, which seems like an unnecessary step to our SecurityNerd.
- Rental option vs No rental option: If you rent a home or apartment, ADT can still provide service for renters. Vector requires home ownership to use their security services.
ADT: What you need to know
ADT is the most established home security company in America, starting over 140 years ago. While it is a more traditional option with professional installation and long contracts required, it also offers home automation options with a smartphone app. With over 7 million customers, you know what you’re getting with ADT.
- Brand recognition: This is a time-tested company with millions of customers. You aren’t taking a risk by trying ADT, because you know what you’re getting.
- Professional installation: There’s no need to worry about installing equipment yourself. A company technician will come out to your house to make sure everything is set up properly.
- Smart home options: Even though this is a traditional home security company, ADT offers decent smart home options and even integrates some third-party automation options.
- For homeowners and renters: ADT doesn’t limit its services to homeowners only. If you rent, you can still get a security system from ADT.
- Price: You will automatically be paying more when compared to DIY companies with ADT. But add-ons can be pricey, and if you’re looking for all the bells and whistles, you may have a hefty monthly fee at the end.
- Automatic renewal: You have to make sure to provide 30-day notice when you’re cancelling at the end of your contract. ADT will automatically renew your contract in 30-day intervals if you don’t.
- Long contracts: You must sign a three-year service contract with ADT. You can transfer your service if you move to avoid cancellation fees.
- Varying customer service: Because ADT operates using third-party companies in some areas, customer service can vary.
Read our full review of ADT.
Vector: What you need to know
Vector Security has almost 50 years of service under its belt, and operates in select areas across the Eastern half of the United States. Vector is for homeowners only, and provides traditional home security options along with a wide array of home automation products. While Vector plans are pricier than DIY security companies, you also get professional installation along with 24/7 monitoring, however you must pass a credit check.
- Home automation options: If turning your house into a smart home is a high priority for you, Vector has multiple options to keep you happy. From environmental monitoring to products like smart lights and plugs, you can add what you need to your plan.
- Highly-rated app: The Vector Security app is highly-rated in both app stores, with over a 4 rating. Customers like its easy interface and reliability.
- 24/7 monitoring: You don’t have to worry about monitoring your own system with Vector. If anything out of the ordinary happens, the company can contact both you and authorities.
- Lengthy contracts: You must sign at least a 3-year contract with Vector Security, which could be a turnoff if you plan on moving anytime soon. Vector will not refund your money if you move out of its service area.
- Confusing pricing: In order to find out pricing online, you must type in your zip code and give contact information. Because pricing depends on a number of factors, it’s probably a better idea to call a branch to get accurate pricing before purchase.
- Credit checks: You must pass a credit check in order to acquire service. That means a hard pull on your credit, which our Security Nerd looks at as a negative.
- Limited service area: Even in the states where Vector operates, it is still limited to certain counties. Our Security Nerd suggests to put in your zip code on the website to see if you are in a service area before even looking at pricing.
ADT or Vector?
When making a decision between ADT vs Vector, our SecurityNerd thinks the better bet is ADT. ADT provides professional monitoring for renters and homeowners alike, with robust smart home options from a company that has been in the business for over a century. While the traditional ADT system does require a credit check, ADT also offers a solution through LifeShield that does not require a credit check, so customers have more flexibility there.
Vector is still a strong option if you’re looking for a more traditional security company with 24/7 monitoring and professional installation. The mobile app gets high marks across the board, and you can choose from an impressive array of smart home options. The biggest downside of Vector is the limited service area, which could make it difficult to transfer service if you move out of your home.
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.