Blue by ADT vs. Brinks Home Security 2021

Excellent Alternative to ADT
Monthly price: $0.00–$19.99
Installation type: DIY
Best for Basics
Monthly price: $39.99/mo.
Installation type: DIY or professional

When it comes to this smart security showdown, we would pick Blue by ADT over Brinks Home for Blue’s inexpensive price, no-contract option, and superior camera tech. But Brinks Home is still an excellent system with outstanding, innovative monitoring that many homeowners are going to love.

Blue by ADT pros and cons

Pros

  • No contract
  • Self-monitoring option
  • Proprietary equipment

Cons

  • Faulty outdoor camera

Brinks Home pros and cons

Pros

  • Included camera storage
  • Emergency monitoring features

Cons

  • Mandatory contract
  • More expensive

Blue by ADT vs. Brinks Home: Prices and monitoring plans

The winner: Brinks Home due to the impressive array of monitoring features

When it comes to monitoring, Brinks Home is king. Its monitoring options aren’t very flexible, but it has some innovative emergency features that you don’t usually see in a DIY system.

Blue by ADT and Brinks Home home security comparison
Home security companyMonitoring price rangeBase equipment package priceMonitoring typeDetails
Blue by ADT logo$0.00–$19.99$219.99Self-monitoring or professional monitoringView Plans
Brinks home updated logo$39.99/mo.$199.00ProfessionalView Plans

Data effective 06/21/2021. Offers are subject to change.

Blue by ADT monitoring pricing

Blue by ADT allows you to self-monitor (nice) and doesn’t require contracts (even better). It also charges just $19.99 a month for its professional monitoring services, which is about the price we expect for DIY systems.

Since there are no contracts, you don’t have to worry about cancellation fees. You can end your professional monitoring services and resume them at will.

If you opt for the self-monitoring option, you won’t get cellular backup, though you’ll get it with the professional service. But not even the professional monitoring comes with camera storage. That’s a separate service that costs more money.

Blue by ADT monitoring plans
PlanPriceMonitoring typeHome automation supportLearn more
Self-monitoring$0.00/mo.

No

Yes
View Plans
Professional monitoring$19.99/mo.

Yes

Yes
View Plans

Data effective 06/21/2021. Offers are subject to change.

Blue by ADT professional monitoring doesn’t offer any special features compared to Brinks Home, but it still has the most important function. Both you and the authorities will be notified by the call center in case of an emergency.

Info Box icon
Blue by ADT vs. ADT
Blue by ADT uses a different monitoring system than ADT. Blue has just three monitoring centers vs. ADT’s nine. Three centers are probably more than enough, since it’s unlikely that all three would ever be incapacitated at once. Just know that you won’t get the same coverage as with the regular ADT service.
Blue by ADT equipment

Source: Blue by ADT

Brinks Home monitoring pricing

The most important things to know about Brinks Home monitoring? It’s $40 a month, and you have to sign a three-year contract.

With Brinks Home, you have a 30-day trial.

Three years used to be industry standard, but as more systems move away from contracts altogether, it’s a bit of a drag. However, you’ll have a 30-day trial to make up your mind, so you can always cancel within that window. Once the trial expires, you’ll have to pay off the entire contract to get out of it.

Brinks Home monitoring plan prices
PlanPriceMonitoring typeMobile app accessDetails
Brinks Home Security$39.99/mo.Professional

Yes
View Plans

Data effective 06/21/2021. Offers are subject to change.

How does $40 a month for professional monitoring compare to other services? For a DIY system (which Brinks Home is), that’s about two to four times more expensive than is typical. But for a professionally installed system (which Brinks Home also is), it’s standard for professional monitoring and app access.

FYI: this price includes camera storage, which is fantastic, since most systems of all types typically charge more for that service. That makes Brinks Home a better deal than it first appears.

Brinks security equipment

Source: Brinks Home

Brinks Home also has the distinction of offering some excellent, unusual monitoring features.

Brinks Home professional monitoring features:

  • Emergency buttons on the panel and keychain remote
  • Duress code in case someone forces you to disarm the alarm
  • Automatic alerts to emergency contacts
  • Quick text or email connection to emergency contacts
  • Easy false-alarm cancellation

These features will help you feel super-safe in a Brinks Home-guarded home. No matter what happens, you’ll always have a way to reach someone or for them to reach you.

Blue by ADT vs. Brinks Home: Security equipment

The winner: It’s a draw between Blue’s ingenuity and low prices and Brinks Home’s large equipment selection

Blue by ADT equipment is just for Blue; you can’t get it with another provider. Its prices are also pretty low, as is the case with most DIY systems.

Most Blue by ADT equipment comes in slate or pearl gray.

On the other hand, Brinks Home has pretty steep prices even though it’s a partial DIY system and offers generic equipment that tons of other home security providers are also using. So we’re not sure what Brinks Home is charging so much for, since it’s not installing most systems or making its own products.

But Brinks Home offers a ton of smart home devices, like garage door sensors, locks, and thermostats. Blue by ADT doesn’t sell any of those products.

Blue by ADT and Brinks Home security sensor pricing comparison
Security sensorBlue by ADTBrinks Home
Base station$179.99Price not given
Door/window sensor$14.99$40.00
Motion sensor$24.99$80.00
Flood sensor$34.99$56.00
Indoor camera$199.99$160.00–$240.00
Outdoor camera$199.99$240.00
Doorbell camera$199.99$159.00–$240.00
Yard sign$7.79$14.99 (with stickers)
Window stickers$1.20 for 4$14.99 (with yard sign)
Learn moreView PlansView Plans

Data effective 06/21/2021. Offers are subject to change.

Blue by ADT sells a few other items that you can add to your home security system. You can get either a Wi-Fi extender with a chime for any of your cameras or an extra battery pack for your outdoor camera.

And hey, you can even get an outdoor camera kit with two of Blue by ADT’s outdoor cameras with the extender. (Although we don’t necessarily recommend the outdoor camera; learn more in our Blue by ADT Outdoor Camera Review.)

When checking out of Blue by ADT’s online store, you also have the option of adding a Google Nest Mini or Google Nest Hub to your Blue by ADT system.

Brinks Home also sells more home security and smart home products that we don’t show in our table. Overall, Brinks Home has a lot more stuff than Blue by ADT, especially when it comes to home automation.

Brinks Home sells the following items:

  • Keychain remote
  • Glass break detector
  • Smart locks
  • Smart thermostat
  • Smoke detector
  • Carbon monoxide detector
  • FireFighter (listens to existing smoke detectors)
  • Garage door tilt sensor

While neither of these is our favorite home security equipment offering, they both have their benefits. But if neither the Blue by ADT nor Brinks Home system warms the cockles of your heart, check out Vivint for the perfect blend of innovation and smart home variety or Ring for an extremely affordable system.

Blue by ADT vs. Brinks Home cameras

The winner: Blue by ADT, but beware the outdoor camera

We’ll give it to you straight: if cameras are a big concern for you, you’re probably going to want Blue by ADT over Brinks Home, unless you’re specifically looking for an outdoor camera.

Blue by ADT cameras are some of the more aesthetically appealing cameras on the market, and they have features like 24-hour rolling storage, siren detection, and facial recognition. Brinks Home uses super-basic Alarm.com cameras that don’t offer anything out of the ordinary and fail to live up to baseline camera standards.

But the Blue by ADT outdoor camera has had major connectivity issues for tons of customers and reviewers. Brinks Home’s tried-and-true outdoor camera is the more reliable option.

Blue by ADT cameras

These cameras are a little more expensive than what we like to see, but they integrate smoothly with the Blue by ADT app and offer some features that we really like.

Blue by ADT camera prices
CameraPriceIndoor/outdoorStorage typeLearn more
Indoor camera$199.99IndoorLocal storage and cloud storageView Plans
Outdoor camera$199.99OutdoorLocal storage and cloud storageView Plans
Doorbell camera$199.99OutdoorCloud storageView Plans

Data effective 06/21/2021. Offers are subject to change.

All Blue by ADT cameras use facial recognition technology. In our indoor and outdoor cameras tests, the tech didn’t work as it’s supposed to. It frequently didn’t pick up on people’s faces, and when it did, it didn’t recognize familiar faces. It’s also oddly designed since the cameras can’t recognize non-account users.

But, when it did work, it worked well by pointing out individuals it had never seen before.

Blue by ADT’s other standout feature is the carbon monoxide and smoke alarm detection built into the indoor and outdoor cameras. The detection works similarly to the Brinks Home FireFighter: it hears existing detectors and alerts you, saving you the trouble and expense of finding smart detectors.

Graphite Blue by ADT video doorbell camera

Source: Blue by ADT

You don’t necessarily need a storage plan with these indoor or outdoor cameras since they have local storage. And you can even skip it for the doorbell camera if you’re okay with just the rolling 24-hour storage.

But if you do go for Blue by ADT storage, it’s a pretty good deal.

Blue by ADT cloud storage plan price
PlanPrice# days cloud storageLearn more
Standard$2.99/mo. for 1 camera60 daysView Plans
Premier$12.99/mo. for unlimited cameras60 daysView Plans

Data effective 06/21/2021. Offers are subject to change.

$12.99 for unlimited cameras isn’t the best out there. For instance, it’s not as good as Ring’s offering, which is $9.99 for unlimited cameras plus alarm system monitoring. But it’s still a reasonable price.

And you’ll save several dollars a month with Blue’s monitoring and camera subscription compared to Brinks Home’s combined price.

Brinks Home cameras

The Brinks Home cameras don’t quite cut it for us. They never seem to hit the mark to meet homeowners’ needs.

For instance, the doorbell camera (a SkyBell Slim Line model) has a 180° field of view, which allows you to see pretty much everything around your front door. But it has only  720p quality vision and just eight feet of night vision, making the wide angle moot.

Similarly, the indoor camera films in 1080p but doesn’t have motion detection. And the outdoor camera has motion detection but only an 88° view. So you never get the combination of features that would make the best possible camera.

Brinks Home monitoring plan prices
CameraPriceIndoor/outdoorStorage typeDetails
Indoor camera$199.00IndoorCloudView Plans
Outdoor camera$249.00OutdoorCloudView Plans
Doorbell camera$199.00DoorbellCloud and localView Plans

Data effective 06/21/2021. Offers are subject to change.

Our favorite thing about Brinks Home cameras? You don’t have to pay extra to use them! Your monitoring subscription covers the cloud storage fee.

Blue by ADT vs. Brinks Home: Smart home integrations

The winner: Blue by ADT because it offers just a tad more integration

When it comes to smart home integration, we like to see either Alexa or Google connectivity and Z-Wave or Zigbee connectivity. Those connections fulfill the basic needs of a smart home. Everything else is just gravy.

Both Blue by ADT and Brinks Home meet these basic requirements, but Blue offers a little more extra functionality than Brinks Home does.

Blue by ADT smart home integrations:

  • Amazon Alexa
  • Google Assistant
  • Z-Wave Plus
  • IFTTT

With these four integrations, you’ll be able to connect most devices to your Blue by ADT system and perform most smart home actions. Voice control, smart home chains—it’ll all be at your fingertips.

Brinks Home smart home integrations:

  • Amazon Alexa
  • Google Assistant
  • Z-Wave

Brinks Home doesn’t have quite as much automation as Blue by ADT. Without IFTTT, you won’t be able to create cause-and-effect smart home chains. But other than that, a Brinks Home system connects to the same devices as a Blue by ADT system.

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Z-Wave vs. Z-Wave Plus
Z-Wave Plus has a better range than Z-Wave, but it’s not about to replace Z-Wave. Z-Wave and Z-Wave Plus devices are compatible with each other, so you can keep what you have and add newer products into the mix.

Blue by ADT vs. Brinks Home: Customer service

The winner: Draw because neither of these services really stands out in this area

Although Blue by ADT and Brinks Home are newer innovations, both of their parent companies, ADT and Brinks Home, have been around forever. You’ll get 100+ years of security-related experience from either company.

ADT has a reputation for being more expensive but less innovative than some of its competitors. The lower-priced, less-traditional Blue by ADT system is a big step forward for the ADT brand. And because Blue has its own customer service department, the system isn’t defined by ADT’s typical service missteps. (These tend to revolve around ADT’s many and diverse vendors.)

But because Blue by ADT is so new, there isn’t much valuable public feedback yet. You’re essentially buying without knowing exactly what kind of experience to expect.

Brinks Home, on the other hand, has more of an established reputation. Like most long-standing home security companies, it has both many positive reviews and a lot of complaints. Most of its issues stem from customer contracts.

Many of those contract complaints involve Brinks Home’s numerous buy-ups of other security companies. For instance, Brinks Home bought up Protect America’s contracts, switching over Protect America customers apparently without their consent to Brinks Home’s terms. And a lot of those customers are not happy about the change.

Other contract issues involve confusion over oral and written contracts, contract renewal, and contract cancellation policies. We suggest thoroughly reviewing Brinks Home’s terms and conditions before signing and getting both verbal and written confirmation of your contract expiration date.

  • Blue by ADT customer service number: 877-464-7437
  • Brinks Home customer service number: 800-447-9239

You can also text Brinks at 469-513-8685.

Blue by ADT vs. Brinks Home: Which is better?

Blue by ADT can save you a ton of money, offer you more monitoring flexibility, and send you unique equipment that you won’t find anywhere else. For those reasons, we’d suggest Blue by ADT for most consumers.

On the other hand, Brinks Home has great monitoring services with emergency features with quick communication for a true feeling of security. So if you’re okay with spending a little more and getting equipment that’s kind of blah, the trade-off could be worth it.

  • Prices and monitoring plans: Brinks Home. Blue by ADT has a free self-monitoring option and no contracts, but it doesn’t come close to offering as many emergency fail safes as Brinks Home does.
  • Security equipment: Draw. You won’t spend too much money on Blue’s pretty, proprietary products, but if you want a lot of smart home devices, you should go with Brinks Home.
  • Cameras: Blue by ADT. Blue by ADT cameras don’t require a storage plan and have some cutting-edge features, while Brinks Home cameras are still struggling to find their footing.
  • Smart home integrations: Blue by ADT. Blue by ADT slips ahead of Brinks Home by offering IFTTT integration.
  • Customer service: Draw. Blue by ADT doesn’t have much of a customer service reputation either way yet, while Brinks Home is struggling to resolve the same repeated problems.
Blue by ADT and Brinks Home home security comparison
Home security companyMonitoring price rangeBase equipment package priceMonitoring typeDetails
Blue by ADT$0.00–$19.99$219.99Self-monitoring or professional monitoringView Plans
Brinks Home$39.99/mo.$199.00ProfessionalView Plans

Data effective 06/21/2021. Offers are subject to change.

Methodology

At Reviews.org, we evaluate home security systems based on five categories:

  • Price
  • Equipment
  • Home automation
  • Cameras
  • Customer service

We read customer reviews on sites like Consumer Affairs and the BBB, and we also read other professional reviews to get the big picture. And when we can, we also test the systems we review with our very own hands. For instance, we tried out several pieces from the Blue by ADT system. This research gives us a good idea of which systems to recommend and for what reasons.

Blue by ADT vs. Brinks Home home security: FAQ

Does Brinks Home sell Nest Secure?

Brinks Home no longer sells or monitors Google Nest Secure systems.

Does Blue by ADT offer a panic function?

Yes, if you have professional monitoring.

In an emergency, you can press a panic button on your control panel. However, once someone presses the button, you can’t cancel the call, so use with discretion.