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Vivint vs. ADT

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Vivint vs. ADT: Which Home Security System Is Right for You? [2023]

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Your home is one of your costliest investments. To protect your abode and everything within it, home security systems offer unparalleled protection against unwelcome intruders. 

ADT and Vivint are two of the top names in the home security industry, and for good reason. Both companies offer exceptional security products and services, but how are they different? 

Below we dive into the similarities and differences between Vivint and ADT to help you determine which system is right for you.

How We Evaluated Both Companies

We compared ADT and Vivint against each other and other top home security companies to determine the best home security systems of 2023

We evaluated each company in a number of categories, including:

  • Reputation: To evaluate each company’s public perception and level of trustworthiness, we pulled Trustpilot and Better Business Bureau (BBB) ratings for each company. Those with higher scores from both sites ranked higher in this category. 

  • Pricing: To compare system cost, we looked at the base system each company offered and assigned scores based on their affordability. 

  • Trial period/money-back guarantee: We awarded companies points for offering a free trial period or money-back guarantee. The longer they were, the more points we awarded. 

  • Warranty length: Companies that offered warranties for their products were awarded points, and longer warranties resulted in more points. 

  • Contract period: Companies that did not require a contract received the most points for this category. Companies that required longer contracts scored lower in this category. 

  • Integration capabilities: We awarded points to companies whose systems integrate with smart home systems and devices like Google Nest, Apple HomeKit, and Amazon Alexa.

  • Installation: Companies that offer both DIY and professional installation options scored higher than those that only offered one option. 

  • Self-monitoring options: We awarded points to the companies that offered a self-monitoring option.

Vivint vs. ADT at a Glance

Winner

ADT

3.0Expertise.com ranking

Pros

  • Trusted brand with over 145 years of experience
  • 6-month money-back guarantee
  • Operates 12 monitoring call centers nationwide

Cons

  • 36-month contract required for professionally installed systems
  • Customers do not own their equipment
  • No self-monitoring option

Vivint

2.0Expertise.com ranking

Pros

  • Professional monitoring plans come with cellular backup
  • Month-to-month contract option if you pay for your system upfront
  • Customers own their equipment

Cons

  • No trial period
  • Customers that finance their security system must sign a 60-month contract
  • No self-monitoring option

Vivint vs. ADT Overview

Below is a quick snapshot of how the two companies stack up against each other. 

Monthly professional monitoring starting cost

$29.99

$28.99

Available plans/systems

Three security system packages and three monitoring plans

Three security system packages and three monitoring plans

Contract length

Between 42-60 months

36-month minimum

Warranty

120 days

One year

Trial period

Three days

30 days

Better Business Bureau rating

D

A+

App reviews

4.1 stars on Google Play; 4.7 stars on App Store

4.6 stars on Google Play; 4.8 stars on App Store

Installation type

Professional only

Professional only

Self-monitoring 

Key Vivint and ADT Similarities

The two companies overlap in a number of key areas. 

Vivint and ADT:

  • Require professional installation

  • Charge an installation fee

  • Do not offer a self-monitoring option

  • Offer three system and monitoring plans 

  • Offer the option to customize a security package for your home

  • Offer home automation connectivity

  • Provide top-of-the-line security products including cameras, sensors, and more

Key Vivint and ADT Differences

Below are a few of the key differences between ADT and Vivint.

Vivint:

  • Does not offer a money-back guarantee

  • Offers a month-to-month contract option if equipment is purchased upfront

  • 23 years of business 

  • Customers can purchase equipment outright or finance, but the customer owns the equipment once they pay it off

  • Can only be used with wireless technology

  • Receives a "D" rating from the Better Business Bureau

ADT:

  • Offers a six-month money-back guarantee

  • All professional monitoring plans require a minimum 36-month contract

  • 147 years of business

  • Customers rent equipment for the duration of their contract

  • Can be connected to your landline phone

  • Receives an "A+" rating from the Better Business Bureau

5-main-differences-between-adt-and-vivint

ADT vs. Vivint: System Components

ADT and Vivint both offer a wide assortment of home security products and devices.  Vivint produces their own line of home security products. While these products receive positive reviews, they aren’t compatible with other home security brand products.

ADT, on the other hand, works with some third-party equipment like sensors and home automation devices. To ensure ADT will work with your equipment, contact the company’s customer service department.

It’s worth noting that with Vivint, you will own your security equipment after paying upfront or after your financing period ends. With ADT, you lease the equipment from the company and do not own the products outright. 

Find a local home security company near you.

Vivint vs. ADT: Installation 

Both Vivint and ADT home security systems require professional installation and charge for installation. 

The installation fee for Vivint varies depending on the package you purchase:

  • Smart Security Monitoring package installation fee: $99

  • Smart Home Monitoring package installation fee: $149

  • Smart Home Video Monitoring package installation fee: $199

ADT’s website states they charge a $150 installation fee for most of their packages. If professional installation isn’t something you’re interested in, ADT does offer a DIY home security option with Blue by ADT. 

Blue by ADT does not require professional installation (in fact, pro installation isn’t even an option) and allows homeowners to pay for professional monitoring or to self-monitor their home security. 

Installation cost

$99-$199

~$150

It’s worth noting that you may be able to have the installation fee waived if you purchase your home system during a company promotion, like during Black Friday. 

ADT vs. Vivint: Professional Monitoring

Both ADT and Vivint offer 24/7 professional home monitoring. While professional monitoring comes with an additional monthly fee, it offers invaluable peace of mind knowing that pros are monitoring your home. 

Vivint

Vivint offers three professional monitoring plans: Smart Security, Smart Home, and Smart Home Video Monitoring. 

If you purchase your Vivint security equipment upfront, you can avoid a long-term contract. If you opt to finance your equipment, you’ll have to sign a contract that lasts as long as your financing plan—typically between four and five years. This is a longer contract than ADT’s 36-month contract required for professional monitoring plans. 

Professional monitoring cost

$29.99

$39.99

$44.99*

24/7 cellular monitoring

Yes

Yes

Yes

Video support

No

No

Yes

*For every additional camera that you add to the Smart Home Video Monitoring plan, your monthly cost will increase by $5. 

ADT

ADT offers 24/7 professional monitoring, and with 12 monitoring call centers spread across the country, your home is in good hands. 

When it comes to professional monitoring costs, the information is a little murky. If you read an ADT review, you’ll likely spot a starting cost of $28.99 for professional monitoring. 

However, this price is not listed on ADT’s website or connected to any of ADT’s three packages. When we called ADT to inquire about the $28.99 pro monitoring cost, they let us know that they do indeed offer that monthly price but it’s tied to a customized package. 

We recommend calling ADT to confirm that starting price point is indeed an option prior to purchasing a plan. 

Professional monitoring cost

$28.99

$45.99

$49.99

$59.99

Video support

No

No

No

Yes

With ADT’s professional monitoring services, customers are required to sign a 36-month contract. However, there’s a six-month money-back guarantee should you decide ADT isn’t right for you.  

Vivint vs. ADT: Contracts and Warranties

Contracts and warranties are areas where Vivint and ADT differ the most. 

Contracts

If you choose any of ADT’s professional monitoring plans, you must sign a minimum 36-month contract with the company. 

Vivant, on the other hand, does not require a long-term contract if you purchase all equipment upfront. Instead, you have the ability to enter a month-to-month contract that doesn’t lock you in for years like ADT requires. 

Warranties

ADT offers a six-month money-back guarantee and a one year warranty for all professionally installed equipment. 

Vivint provides a 120-day warranty for customers. However, those on the five-year contract plan can have their components serviced or replaced by the company in exchange for a service fee.

Our Verdict: Which Is Better, Vivint or ADT?

The good news is that you can’t go wrong with either company. While the two companies have slight differences, they both offer exceptional home security to protect you and your loved ones. 

Determining which company is best for you boils down to your personal preferences and what aspects of a home security system are most important to you. 

ADT is best for customers who…

  • Prioritize brand reputation: ADT boasts 147 years of experience and receives an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. 

  • Appreciate a money-back guarantee: The company offers a generous six-month money-back guarantee so you can test out the system before committing long-term. 

  • Want exceptional professional monitoring: With 12 monitoring stations across the U.S. backed with generators and backup servers, your home will be protected 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Vivint is best for customers who…

  • Want to own their equipment outright: Whether you pay upfront or finance your security equipment, the equipment belongs to you once you pay it off. 

  • Don’t want a long-term contract: Vivint customers have the option to choose a month-to-month contract if they purchase their security equipment upfront rather than financing. 

  • Value smart home integration: Vivint offers an array of smart home devices like smart locks, smoke detectors, leak sensors, garage door controls, and smart lighting that work seamlessly with your home security system.

Vivint vs. ADT: FAQ

We answer frequently asked questions about Vivint and ADT below. 

Methodology

To rank the above companies, we started with a list of 15 home security systems that ranked highly on third-party websites. From there, we gathered data for each company from their respective websites, third-party websites, and customer service reviews. 

We used that data to create a 100-point scoring rubric that examined the following categories:

  • Reputation (25 points): To evaluate each company’s public perception and level of trustworthiness, we pulled Trustpilot and Better Business Bureau (BBB) ratings for each company. Those with higher scores from both site ranked higher in this category. 

  • Pricing (20 points): To compare system cost, we looked at the base system each company offered and assigned scores based on their affordability. 

  • Trial period/money-back guarantee (10 points): We awarded companies points for offering a free trial period or money-back guarantee. The longer the trial period or guarantee, the more points we awarded. 

  • Warranty length (15 points): Companies that offered warranties for their products were awarded points, with longer warranties resulting in more points. 

  • Contract period (10 points): Companies that did not require a contract received the most points for this category. Companies that required longer contracts scored lower in this category. 

  • Integration capabilities (5 points): We awarded points to companies whose systems integrate with smart home systems and devices like Google Nest, Apple HomeKit, and Amazon Alexa.

  • Installation (10 points): Companies that offer both DIY and professional installation options scored 10 points in this category, while companies offering only one option received 5 points. 

  • Self-monitoring options (5 points): We awarded points to the companies that offered a self-monitoring option.

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