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.
Professional monitoring plans come with cellular backup
Month-to-month contract option if you pay for your system upfront
Customers own their equipment
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
Three security system packages and three monitoring plans
Three security system packages and three monitoring plans
Between 42-60 months
Better Business Bureau rating
4.1 stars on Google Play; 4.7 stars on App Store
4.6 stars on Google Play; 4.8 stars on App Store
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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 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
24/7 cellular monitoring
*For every additional camera that you add to the Smart Home Video Monitoring plan, your monthly cost will increase by $5.
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
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.
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.
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.
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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