ADT vs. Brinks Home Security

ADT and Brinks have similar features but different price points and installation.
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You’ve probably heard of both of these systems before. ADT and Brinks are two of the most popular home security systems out there. But which one is better?

We recommend ADT for people who want someone else to install their system for them and who want the most recognizable name in the biz on their front yard sign. Brinks works better for budget-conscious people who don’t mind rolling up their sleeves to install their system themselves.

ADT vs. Brinks comparison
CompanyADTBrinks
Monitoring price range$27.99–$62.99/mo.$39/mo.
Installation typeProfessionalDIY
Contract36 mos.36 mos.
Smart home integrationsZ-Wave, Amazon Alexa, Google AssistantZ-Wave, Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant
Starter kit priceQuote required$199
Mobile app controlYes*Yes
Learn moreView PlansView Plans

Data effective 6/2/20. Offers subject to change.
* Mobile app control requires ADT Command plan.

ADT vs. Brinks pricing

ADT costs more than Brinks, especially for smart features.

ADT is pricier than Brinks on every front, including monitoring, equipment, and installation fees. Unless you sign on for a basic landline plan from ADT (which we don’t recommend for most people), Brinks is the cheaper option.

ADT vs. Brinks price comparison
CompanyADTBrinks
Monitoring price range$27.99–$62.99/mo.$39.00/mo.
Contract36 mos.36 mos.
Learn moreView PlansView Plans

Data effective 6/2/20. Offers subject to change.

ADT pricing

ADT doesn’t come cheap. That’s especially true if you want mobile app control, smart home functionality, and cameras, in which case it’s the most expensive security system we’ve reviewed.

You can opt for fewer features and pay less money every month. But it seems silly to settle for a dumber security system when you could get a smart one from another brand for the same price (or less).

Brinks pricing

Brinks has roughly standard monitoring pricing at $39 per month. Even better than the monitoring: Brinks’s starter kit of equipment costs a smooth $199. That’s cheaper than what you’d pay for a starter kit from SimpliSafe or Google Nest Secure.

You also get to skip the installation fee with Brinks, whereas with ADT you’ll pay either $99 or $199.

ADT vs. Brinks equipment

ADT and Brinks have very similar equipment and cameras.

ADT and Brinks have similar equipment. You can get most of the same devices with the same integrations from both. In fact, some of the equipment is the exact same considering both Brinks and ADT use some devices from Alarm.com.

ADT equipment

ADT touchscreen control panel and sensors

Source: ADT

Which equipment you get from ADT can change slightly depending on which plan you sign up for and which dealer you go through. ADT has a bunch of dealers across the country who sell ADT systems under different names, such as SafeStreets.

We recommend going with an ADT Command plan, which will get you the best equipment and the best features. Even then, ADT’s cameras aren’t our favorite.

Brinks equipment

Brinks Security Equipment

Source: Brinks

Brinks has standard third-party equipment you can get from multiple other security companies (including ADT). That said, the equipment is reliable and has decent features. We also like that Brinks’s monitoring has multi-channel alerts, where they can call, email, and text you if someone triggers your security system.

As with ADT, Brinks’s security cameras aren’t the best we’ve seen. But you still get HD recording. And Brinks offers an indoor, outdoor, and doorbell camera so your property is fully covered.

ADT vs. Brinks home automation

ADT and Brinks offer basically the same home automation features, but they cost more from ADT.

ADT and Brinks both have smart home functionality. In fact, they offer basically the same integrations. Both work with Z-Wave, so you can install compatible devices and control them along with the rest of your security system. Both also work with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.

ADT vs. Brinks home automation comparison
CompanyADTBrinks
Smart home integrationsZ-Wave, Amazon Alexa, Google AssistantZ-Wave, Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant
Learn moreView PlansView Plans

Data effective 6/2/20. Offers subject to change.

ADT home automation

Once again, if you want the good stuff from ADT, you’re going to have to pay them more money. Home automation features from ADT require an ADT Command plan.

The Command plan gives you mobile app control, camera support, Z-Wave integration, and smart speaker control through your Amazon Echo or Google Home. We think smart home stuff is worth the upgrade, but prepare to pay extra through ADT.

Brinks home automation

Brinks has the same smart home features as ADT, but you’ll pay less to get them. Just like ADT, Brinks works with Z-Wave. It also has a mobile app you can use to control your system from your smartphone.

Unlike ADT, Brinks has only one monitoring plan to choose from, so you don’t have to subscribe to a higher-priced, special version (like ADT Command) to get the best stuff.

ADT vs. Brinks installation

ADT requires professional installation, while Brinks lets you go full DIY.

ADT will send a professional installation tech to your house to set up your system for you. Brinks, on the other hand, just sends you everything in a box and you set up the system yourself.

ADT vs. Brinks comparison
CompanyADTBrinks
Installation typeProfessionalDIY
Installation fee$99–$199None
Learn moreView PlansView Plans

Data effective 6/2/20. Offers subject to change.

ADT installation

There are some perks to professional installation. You don’t have to worry about setting things up correctly, and the installation tech is trained to spot which parts of your house need which types of protection.

Just keep in mind that professional installation costs more (DIY is usually free to set up), and that installation day is an upsell opportunity. You might end up with a higher bill after you decide to add on four extra sensors and a second control panel.

Bullhorn icon
Want ADT but with DIY installation?
Blue by ADT is a relatively new DIY offering from ADT. Plus, not only can you install it yourself, but it also has better cameras than the standard pro-install system.

Brinks installation

Brinks keeps things simple with DIY setup. You order whatever devices you want online (you can also call in if you like that better), they ship you the stuff, and you set it up yourself.

DIY security systems are usually pretty easy to install, and Brinks is no different. If you get stuck, Brinks has a bunch of tutorials on its YouTube page. But for the most part, you just stick the sensors wherever you want them, on doors, windows, and walls.

ADT vs. Brinks customer experience

Brinks generally gets better customer reviews than ADT.

Of the two, Brinks customers seem to be happier with their experience than ADT subscribers. It gets better ratings and has fewer complaints.

ADT customer experience

The ADT customer experience can be a bit confusing because ADT uses third-party contractors for everything. It’s hard to know what kind of experience you’ll get when the company you work with depends on where you live and who you decide to call.

We recommend the ADT provider SafeStreets. It gets a stunning 4.9 star rating on Trustpilot1 and an A+ rating from the BBB.2 Compare that to ADT’s general 2-star rating on Trustpilot.3

Brinks customer experience

Brinks is much less confusing than ADT to work with because it doesn’t have so many dealers. And customers seem to really like their systems. Brinks gets an excellent 4.3 stars on Trustpilot4 and an A+ rating from the BBB.5

Recap: Which system is better?

ADT and Brinks are both smart home security systems with compelling features.

ADT is the best-known system in home security and there’s a reason: it’s reliable and comes with a recognizable name. But Brinks offers many of the same features as ADT’s top plans but at a much lower price.

Pricing: ADT costs more than Brinks, especially if you opt for an expensive ADT Command plan.

Equipment: Brinks and ADT have similar equipment with similar features. Neither of these companies have the best security cameras out there.

Home automation: ADT and Brinks have roughly the same home automation features, including Z-Wave integration and support for Alexa and Google control.

Installation: ADT requires professional installation, which is nice but costs more. Brinks lets you install everything yourself.

Customer experience: ADT on the whole does not get great customer feedback, but its provider SafeStreets does. Brinks gets generally good reviews from its customers.

Do you think it’s worth it to pay more to get an ADT system and professional installation? Do you prefer to DIY it and set everything up yourself with a system like Brinks? Tell us your thoughts in the comments.

Further reading

Sources

  1. Trustpilot, “SafeStreets
  2. Better Business Bureau, “Safe Streets, USA, LLC
  3. Trustpilot, “ADT
  4. Trustpilot, “Brinks Home Security
  5. Better Business Bureau, “Brinks Home Security