Andrew Garcia

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Between these two security systems, our favorite is Vivint.

SecureScore™: 9.1/10

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As a homeowner, a good home security setup can offer peace of mind. With the right system, you can enjoy 24/7 monitoring and see what’s happening on your property at any time throughout the day or night.

Vivint Smart Home Equipment

Vivint Smart Home Equipment

Unfortunately, with so many companies to choose from (all of whom claim to be the best), shopping for the perfect setup can be a formidable process. We’ve tested many different home security systems, discovering the many features and pricing options that make or break each one.

Recently, we managed to get our hands on two popular brands in the home security space: Vivint and ADT. If you’re considering one of these brands, we compared the two side by side, from features, to pricing, to ease of use.

ADT Home Security Equipment

ADT Home Security Equipment

FYI: If you want to know what it’s like living with Vivint, check out our full Vivint review here. Or, if you think ADT might be the better option, you can read more about this popular brand in our ADT review.

Understanding the Differences

When shopping for the perfect home security system, it’s best to compare and contrast the many options available to you within the marketplace. Think about your must-haves and your max budget. Are there special features that have grabbed your attention? Is your home the size of a castle, a bungalow, or somewhere in between? Narrowing your search will help you better understand what security company is right for you.

After testing both ADT and Vivint, we were surprised at the number of differences uncovered, especially when it came to the required contract length. With ADT, you’re looking at a 36-month agreement (although with a six-month money-back guarantee), while Vivint requires a 48-60 month commitment. Personally, we’re not fans of long-term contracts; however, they’re not a deal-breaker for us if the company proves relationship worthy. And Vivint is absolutely relationship-worthy.

Vivint Doorbell Camera Pro Installed

Vivint Doorbell Camera Pro Installed

FYI: Contracts and pricing are not “everything.” You should also consider the functions and features of each system so that you can make the best decision according to your specific security needs.

Another difference is reputation. ADT has been in service for over 145 years (almost as old as Canada!), and over the years they’ve built a stellar reputation for reliable home security. Vivint, on the contrary, is a newer millennial startup that was birthed with the intention to integrate more technology to create simple, easy-to-use smart home systems. It doesn’t quite have the industry clout of ADT, but it’s definitely getting there.

Next, let’s talk emergency connections. Vivint is cell monitoring-based, meaning they offer connection to your security alarms and alerts via cellular connection only. While this option is suitable for most, it does require a consistent cellular signal, so it’s not the best security system for folks who live in rural areas. ADT also offers cellular monitoring; however, they additionally provide service to landlines, providing a wider service area of coverage to their customer base (including those in more rural spots).

Comparing Similarities of Home Security Services

Alright, we’ve talked differences, but how do these two really match up in terms of essential qualities and services offered? Both ADT and Vivint offer top of the line home security systems complete with professional installation and wireless equipment.

Full-home automation is also available, which can be a wonderful addition to the standard home monitoring systems by giving video surveillance to homeowners for an added sense of security. Using a mobile app, you’re able to know the status of your home instantly, anytime and anywhere. As a bonus, you can also include appliances, thermostat control, door locks, and more in your home automation setup. But after testing both systems, we have to give the edge to Vivint when it comes to smart home automation. It’s the best in the business in this category.

ADT Indoor Camera (left) and Outdoor Camera (right)

ADT Indoor Camera (left) and Outdoor Camera (right)

Vivint vs. ADT: Key Features to Look Out For

Features are key when trying to make that final irksome decision and taking the time to understand each of them is important. The last thing you (or we) want is for you to settle for one option, only to realize it’s not what you need. While some companies might offer home automation or installation costs, you’ll find that the service does not cover the proper area of your space. ADT and Vivint, however, include the ability and option to cover the entire exterior and interior of your home, providing coverage and awareness to all areas.

FYI: For those who are a bit intimidated by the idea of DIY installation, you should take comfort in knowing that both ADT and Vivint offer professional installation and startup to make sure that all equipment is functioning properly and operational.

As mentioned, Vivint’s home security system is operated using a cell-based monitoring program. While this works swimmingly for most, it does limit those who do not have consistent access to cellular signals. ADT offers mobile services, but also a landline, allowing a broader base for customer use. Additionally, ADT offers a personal medical alert response. This can be added to your monthly packages and contracts, allowing the wearer to find peace of mind in situations that might present themselves as dangerous to those with elevated medical needs and conditions.

Did You Know: Medical alert response has been proven to effectively save lives. If you or a loved one has a special medical need or condition, a medical alert response can be a great way to ensure that any medical emergency is addressed in a safe and timely fashion. So if you’re looking for an extra layer of emergency coverage, check out our rundown of the best medical alert systems.

Both Vivint and ADT do offer highly rated services for home protection, with the biggest variant involving the contract length and pricing. While some might find it worth the investment to have specific features, others might opt for basic coverage and simplicity.

Vivint Door/Window Sensor

Vivint Door/Window Sensor

Vivint vs. ADT Pricing

Undoubtedly, ADT and Vivint are both high-quality in-home security systems with great customer service. Before you make your decision though, be sure to read the fine print to fully understand the financial investments.

Vivint is pretty clear and their monthly rates are listed online at $29.99 and $39.99; the more expensive package includes video and home automation. Here’s our latest roundup of Vivint’s plans, packages and prices.

ADT is a bit more intensive with their pricing, as they require a consultation before giving you exact pricing. They do offer an affordable plan of $28.99 per month, but this doesn’t include any video or home automation. Most prices for their coverage and equipment vary by location and requirements. If you want to learn more about ADT’s offerings, check out our in-depth guide to ADT plans and prices.

Also keep in mind that you can finance your equipment with both companies. With Vivint, you’ll own the equipment and make payments on it over time. But with ADT, you’ll rent the equipment as long as you have their service.

Equipment and Installation

Knowing whether you’re able to install your own equipment or if you’ll need professional help is a major step in easing your home security startup. Vivint produces its own line of security cameras and other equipment, and Vivint has the best home automation technology available, including its own smart thermostat. A downfall to this is that Vivint is not compatible with any other brand devices, compared to ADT which gives you more options and flexibility.

Photo of our Vivint Installation Specialist, Don

Photo of our Vivint Installation Specialist, Don

Did You Know: ADT allows externally sourced monitoring equipment such as cameras, sensors, thermostats, and other home automation devices. This freedom to choose your exact equipment will always be up to you if you decide to switch to another home security provider.

Our Final Verdict on Vivint vs. ADT

Basically, both ADT and Vivint are wonderful, high-quality home security services that you really can’t go wrong with. Evaluating your home’s specific monitoring needs, the daily use of technology, and your desire for more synchronized applications are all vital when trying to figure out the right company to go with.

While some may be drawn to full-home automation, others might like the idea of basic monitoring on a budget. Take a moment to go over (and over!) the details, and ask for more information when necessary. After all, there’s really no such thing as too much research, especially when the safety and security of you and your loved ones are involved.

But to give you something to really sink your teeth into, we think Vivint is all-around better than ADT, but only slightly. Vivint’s equipment is top-notch. The system is fully-integrated for smart home automation. And Vivint’s professional installation is really something else.