Vivint and ADT: two of the most popular home security systems in the US. If you’re on the market for smart home security solutions, you’ve probably come across these two powerhouses. And judging by the word on the streets and referrals, you’ve heard that they’re both impeccable options, right?
But here’s a scenario where you can only choose one security system. From the outlook, that’s a tough decision to make since they both possess admirable similarities, with a few differences. Thankfully, we’re here to lighten things up by locking the head-to-head and comparing different elements, including pricing, installation, customer service, usability, and more. But first, a quick summary…
Vivint vs ADT – Quick Summary
Despite their current level of success, Vivint and ADT weren’t all beds of roses when they started. ADT, the oldest of the two, was so mainstream when they launched their business that they used to provide security via Telegraph. Can you believe that? But they’ve since invested in first-class technologies like automation, pro monitoring, and more, setting them apart from the competition to date.
On the other hand, Vivint is at least two decades old, having been founded in 1999. The company, which was acquired in 2012 by The Blackstone Group for a mouth-watering $2 billion, boasts of top-notch security systems unmatched by the competition. They command a massive customer base of 1.3 million users across the US and Canada.
We bet this hype leaves you excited to learn how Vivint’s security system compares to ADT’s. Well, so are we! In the post below, we compare and define everything in black and white such that by the time you’re done reading the review, you shall have decided whether to go for Vivint or ADT home security systems. So let’s get down to business!
Vivint vs ADT – Monitoring
Before we lock Vivint and ADT head-to-head on this, let’s begin by understanding that there are two home security monitoring options: professional monitoring and self-monitoring, and they’re pretty self-explanatory. The former involves bringing in a team of professionals to monitor your home, whereas the latter is where you only need the app to maintain your home’s security.
If an emergency occurs and you’re self-monitoring your home, it is up to you to notify the authority, fire department, or hospital before incurring further damage. However, if you contract a professional monitoring team, they’ll handle the situation for you.
So, what monitoring options do ADT and Vivint provide? Vivint home security lets you choose to either self-monitor or seek professional monitoring, depending on the number of cameras you have. Remember, since the plans work on a post-pay basis, the company will charge you a monthly flat rate, with the professional monitoring plan being costlier but more reliable.
When it comes to professional monitoring, nothing beats ADT; it has flexible plans that vary depending on your specific security needs. For instance, you can get professional monitoring for your everyday security, which is the cheapest. You can also seek monitoring for life safety devices like flood detectors or smoke. Finally, you can include the monitoring of your indoor and outdoor cameras for a few extra bucks.
And the best part? Both smart home security systems will keep you covered even if your neighborhood experiences a power outage. How so? They both come with cellular backups for all their systems to keep your home secure even in the darkest nights.
Vivint vs ADT – Models and Equipment
Whereas Vivint takes the top spot for security systems equipment quality, ADT’s are more affordable. ADT typically offers equipment made by third-parties, and that takes a slight toll on their resourcefulness, despite being low-priced.
ADT provides four camera types, including the doorbell video camera, outdoor, indoor, and DIY security cameras. The cameras transmit clear 720p HD videos and are integrated with ADT’s mobile app to enhance virtual monitoring and answering of the door. ADT also provides additional equipment like Carbon monoxide detectors, control panels, glass break sensors, remote thermostats, etc.
On the flip side, most of Vivint’s equipment are usually manufactured in-house, and they offer five camera types, including doorbell, indoor, outdoor, smart drive, and security camera systems. Their smart home devices are much more advanced and easily compatible.
For instance, their doorbell camera comes with two-way communication, thanks to its 65dB built-in speaker. Unlike ADT’s 720p HD, Vivint’s doorbell cameras provide 1080p HDR sensors that can record and even zoom in far-away images. If you pair that with their smart lock, nothing can stop you from deterring crime before it happens. Other Vivint’s equipment include the SmartHub panel, tilt sensors, key fobs, lamp modules, smoke detectors, motion sensors, and more.
Vivint vs ADT – Pricing and Contracts
Contracting for Vivint and ADT isn’t as flexible as you may probably wish. Vivint offers fixed three-and-a-half or five-year contracts, whereas ADT offers a three-year contract payable after the first six months of service. However, you can cancel the contracts anytime without any repercussions, but you’d have to pay for the equipment in full. Let’s now look at how the companies compare in terms of pricing.
Vivint charges a one-time installation fee of $99 plus three packages that you can choose based on your security needs. These include:
- The smart security package. It costs $29.99 per month and provides mobile access, smoke & CO monitoring, and a medical alert pendant. However, it excludes video monitoring and smart home integration.
- The smart home package. It costs $39.99 per month and provides all the features available in the smart security package. Plus, it adds smart home integration but excludes video monitoring.
- The smart home video package. It costs $49.99 per month and an additional $5 per camera. It features every service included in the smart home package and adds video monitoring as well.
ADT also charges a flat installation rate of $99 (except for the ADT Command Tier III plan) and offers a host of packages that vary depending on the price and services provided. Also, they offer a 6-month money-back guarantee and a lifetime equipment warranty. Here are the six ADT plans:
- Essentials plan. It costs $27.99 per month and offers landline monitoring for smoke & CO.
- Complete monitoring plan. It costs $36.99 and provides landline monitoring for smoke & CO, with a lifetime equipment warranty also included.
- Premium plan. It goes for $44.99 and provides everything available in the complete monitoring plan; only this time, they leverage cellular monitoring.
- ADT Command Tier I. It costs $52.99 and provides everything available in the premium plan, with mobile access.
- ADT Command Tier II. Costing $58.99 per month, the plan provides everything available in ADT Command Tier I and adds video monitoring.
- ADT Command Tier III. Its installation fee is a bit higher ($199), and the plan costs $62.99 per month. It includes everything available in ADT Command Tier III and adds smart home integration.
Vivint vs ADT – Installation
As we alluded above, both Vivint and ADT security systems cost at least $99 to install. The companies send their experts to your home with the necessary equipment and tools, but you can choose to do it yourself, though not recommended. The professionals let you ask questions concerning the equipment and even offer unsolicited advice about your home’s security best practices.
But if you’re on a tight budget, you can decide to take the DIY route, which isn’t as hard as you may think. More so, installing ADT systems doesn’t require technical knowledge since the systems come pre-programmed. Perhaps the only challenging part is installing the cameras since they’re from third-party companies. All in all, we recommend entrusting the companies’ professionals with the installation to become eligible for a lifetime equipment warranty.
Vivint vs ADT – Customer Service
Both companies are committed to addressing any security concerns or questions their customers may have. You can interact with their customer support agents via live chat, phone, or website. ADT also takes a further step to provide support via Facetime, which is more convenient and handy, especially in addressing physical technicalities.
Comparing the Google reviews, Vivint comes out on top with an overall star rating of 3.8 against ADT’s 2.5. By the time of checking, ADT only had 11 reviews, whereas Vivint had a resounding 800 people review its services. They both had a fair share of negative reviews, with most people complaining that the sales team is overly aggressive. Seemingly, neither companies offer excellent customer services, but if we were to choose one, we’d go for Vivint security systems.
Vivint vs ADT – Apps
Our final comparison is about each company’s mobile apps. Vivint and ADT apps have awe-inspiring capabilities such as arming/disarming your system, live-streaming the footage, getting push notifications and controlling any connected devices. However, Vivint’s smart home app includes another exclusive capability – seeing and speaking to visitors via the doorbell camera.
In terms of Google Play Store and Apple Store rating, the ADT Pulse app has a 3.9 and 4.8 rating on Android and iOS, respectively. On the flip side, the Vivint app’s ratings are a whopping 4.6 on Android and 4.5 on iOS. Overall, Vivint is a better app, considering that it includes an extra capability and rakes higher ratings, although they’re both incredible.
Who is Vivint Security System Best For?
You should get yourself a Vivint home security system if you:
- Wish to access and control your home remotely
- Want the peace of mind knowing that your family and other valuable are maximally protected
- Wish to save on your homeowner’s insurance premium payments
- Want to keep tabs on your kids while you’re away from them
- Want to receive instant alerts about fire or gas problems
Who is ADT Security System Best For?
On top of the reasons listed above, ADT security systems are also suitable for the following categories of people:
- Those who want the reassurance that they can get their money back if they change their mind; the company offers a 6-month money-back guarantee.
- Those in search of a company with immense experience and a far-reaching customer base.
Final Verdict: Vivint or ADT?
Frankly, the best security system boils down to personal preferences because both Vivint and ADT are overwhelmingly impressive in their capacities. If you fancy DIY installation, customer support via Facetime, and round-the-clock professional monitoring, then ADT is for you. Likewise, if you prefer professional installation, monthly installment (instead of upfront) payments for equipment, and an app with impeccable settings, go for Vivint security.
Which, between Vivint and ADT, would you prefer for your smart home security? Share your thoughts in the comments below!