For most, having a safe environment to build memories and experiences is a priority. Whether you’re looking to protect your loved ones (pets included) or the fruits of your labor, having a security system is absolutely essential.
The technology of home security systems has overcome its bygone days of loud beeps and blurry videos. In fact, technology is now so sophisticated that its cameras can tell the difference between domestic animals, people, and cars. However, with all the innovative technology features, it can be difficult to choose a security system that fulfills your needs without going over your budget.
We recently got our hands on ADT and Brinks home security packages, and we tested both systems for several days. To help you with your decision, we compared these top-notch security companies side-by-side, leaving no stone unturned.
Overview Comparison: Brinks vs. ADT Home Security Systems
Both ADT and Brinks are trustworthy allies in the home security industry. Here is a comparison of the main differences and similarities between the two:
Main Similarities Between ADT and Brinks
After using both systems, we found a surprising amount of overlap in features and tech. Here are some similarities shared between ADT and Brinks when providing security services:
- Contract Commitment. To purchase either ADT or Brinks, you’ll need to sign a 3-year contract.
- 24/7 Monitoring. ADT and Brinks offer 24/7 Professional Monitoring that we’ve found to be incredibly reliable.
- Connectivity. Both ADT and Brinks offer connectivity through landline, cellular, or Wi-Fi options.
- Trial Period. You can get your money back should you not like the security services of either company. However, Brinks only offers a 30-day trial period, while ADT offers six months.
Main Differences Between ADT and Brinks
Although several similarities were discovered during testing, we also noticed many key distinctions between the two. Significant differences between ADT and Brinks include:
- Equipment. With Brinks, you have to purchase the security equipment up front. Meanwhile, with ADT, you can pay it over time along with your monthly monitoring fee.
- Installation. You can opt for DIY installation with Brinks. ADT, on the other hand, requires professional installation — for which you’ll have to pay a fee (though it’s fairly reasonable).
- Medical Alert Devices. ADT offers devices which allow users to emit an alert in case of a medical emergency, while Brinks does not.
- Reputation. ADT has been around since the 1800s, so they naturally have a better reputation in the industry compared to Brinks.
FYI: ADT medical alert devices — such as bracelets or pendant s — have a 300-foot coverage range. Medical alert systems allow seniors to age with confidence.
Our In-Depth Comparison: Brinks vs. ADT Home Security Systems
When purchasing a security system, it’s important to understand the ins and outs of what you’re getting. Here is a more extensive comparison between Brinks and ADT to help you make the right decision.
ADT vs. Brinks: Our Favorite Features
First up: features! Here we provide all of the interesting and unique features you can get when purchasing either ADT or Brinks. Let’s have a look.
ADT offers a variety of home security systems, each with a myriad of exciting features.
They range from environmental protection and monitoring to door and window sensors. Cameras, a video doorbell, pet-friendly motion sensors, and a mobile app are also on hand.
Note that environmental monitoring services include sensors that detect and alert you to the presence of carbon monoxide.
Did You Know: The ADT equipment includes Z-Wave technology that allows your security devices to communicate with one another.
The features from Brinks vary according to the equipment or plan that you purchase.
Overall, they offer wireless equipment for an easy DIY installation. Brinks devices can function with or without Wi-Fi and users can remotely control their security devices through the Brinks app via a smartphone or a tablet. In case of emergency, you can reach the monitoring team through a cell phone connection as well.
Contracts and Warranties
ADT requires you to sign a contract for a minimum period of either 36 or 24 months. We personally don’t love long-term contracts, but honestly, they aren’t a deal-breaker for us.
They also offer a theft protection guarantee — meaning that ADT will refund up to $500 of your losses if an intruder gets inside your home. Additionally, the company has a money-back guarantee. You can try ADT’s security system for six months and, if you don’t like it, ADT refunds your money.
Last but not least, you can enroll in ADT's Extended Limited Warranty/Quality Service Plan (QSP), which is useful to avoid repair or replacement charges for your equipment.
Unfortunately, Brinks requires customers to commit to a 3-year contract (a hefty commitment for some). Then again, it’s the same contract length as ADT.
Like ADT, Brinks also offers a money-back guarantee that allows you to cancel their services without penalty and get your money back. However, you must cancel within the first 30 days after signing a Brinks’ contract.
Sometimes, after long periods of use, devices need to be repaired or replaced. To ensure that your equipment is working as it should, Brinks offers a warranty on home automation products which covers repairs and/or replacement of failed equipment. We appreciate the equipment warranty, as you never really know when your components will decide to give out. We see it as a little extra peace of mind.
ADT and Brinks Plans and Pricing
Next up, we disclose the equipment pricing, monitoring fees, and unforeseen fees that are (too often) hidden in the fine print of home security contracts.
ADT offers monthly plans ranging from $29 to $53. However, before hiring them, you’ll have to pay an activation and installation fee that ranges from $99 to $199.
On the bright side, tenants who are renting in places that already have a security system installed from ADT can pay a minimal monthly fee of roughly $19.99.
FYI: A benefit of choosing ADT security systems is that you don’t have to pay up-front fees. The equipment rental price is combined with your professional monitoring in your monthly fee.
By contrast, with Brinks, you purchase and become the owner of your security devices. Also, Brinks offers DIY installation, from which you can dodge additional fees. That’s a win in our book!
The price, of course, depends on the type of security equipment you select. Brinks offers equipment with starting prices at $399.
After purchasing the equipment, you can choose from monitoring plans ranging from $29 or $39 per month. This is right in line with the industry average.
Equipment & Options
With ADT, we’ve found that the type and amount of equipment varies depending on the security plan you choose. Keep in mind, they offer both wired and wireless equipment and, as a plus, their video doorbell devices include two-way communication.
ADT’s basic package includes a keychain, an alarm, one control panel, one motion sensor (that detects animals, cars, and people), and three entry sensors. The siren emits an alarm should an intruder dare to break into your home.
Did You Know: ADT’s keychain has three buttons: unlock, away, and stay mode. The unlock button is used to disarm the security system, while the away button is for arming it. Lastly, if you press the stay button three times, it will emit a panic alarm and notify the monitoring staff ASAP.
When purchasing a Brinks basic package, you will get one control panel, three entry sensors, and one motion sensor.
If you want to upgrade, we recommend trying the Home Complete package which includes all the basic equipment mentioned above along with video cameras and a video doorbell. For extra security, Brinks also offers integration of Google Nest products within your security equipment.
When it comes to installing security systems, ADT is primarily a professionally-installed system, while Brinks is all about do-it-yourself simplicity. If you’re curious about DIY systems, we recommend reading our guide to the best DIY security systems available.
If you choose ADT, your options will be limited as you’ll have to pay a technician to install the system for you (despite how handy you are).
The advantage of Brinks is that you can do the installation yourself. Now, before the doubts creep in, note that Brinks only offers wireless equipment and pre-configured systems. To install your security system, all you have to do is mount the devices, turn them on, pair with the mobile app, and voilà! You’ll have your security system up and running within 15 to 30 minutes.
FYI: Brinks also offers professional installation, but it is only available if you choose their more expensive packages.
Emergency Response Time
If (or when) that dreaded emergency happens, you’ll want to be able to reach the monitoring center ASAP. Thankfully, both ADT and Brinks offer different mediums of communication.
If you choose to go with ADT, your system can connect with the monitoring center via Wi-Fi, landline, or cellular connections. Brinks, on the other hand, only offers Wi-Fi or cellular. This is fine by us, as the only reason you’d really need a landline connection is if you live in a rural area. If that’s you, check out our best home security systems for rural areas.
Did You Know: ADT has been around since the 1860s, has millions of active customers, and offers services nationwide and in Canada.
Final Thoughts: ADT vs Brinks Security Systems
Choosing the right security system for you depends on two key things: what you need and how much you are willing to pay. Overall, both ADT and Brinks are reliable, and we don’t think you’ll regret choosing either company. That said, we give the slight edge to ADT— mostly for reliability and quick response.
Why should you choose ADT? ADT has an excellent reputation nationwide. They are slightly more pricey than Brinks; however, the price is higher because ADT offers more features and a much better guarantee. To learn more, read our full ADT review.
Why should you choose Brinks? If you’re on the lookout for a more affordable security system, then Brinks is likely your best bet. You can save over $99 by avoiding ADT’s installation and activation fees, yet still reap the benefits of Brinks’ state-of-the-art technology. To read about our full experience testing Brinks, head over to our hands-on Brinks review.