ADT Self Setup vs. Brinks Home

Excellent Alternative to ADT
  • pro
    Monthly price: $0.00–$19.99/mo.
  • pro
    Installation type: DIY
Best for Basics
  • pro
    Monthly price: $39.99–$49.99/mo.
  • pro
    Installation type: DIY or professional
Brianne Sandorf
Mar 09, 2023
Icon Time To Read9 min read

When it comes to this smart security showdown, we would pick ADT Self Setup over Brinks Home for ADT Self Setup'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.

ADT Self Setup 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

ADT Self Setup 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.

ADT Self Setup and Brinks Home comparison

Home security company
Monitoring price range
Base equipment package price
Monitoring type
Details
ADT Shield

$0.00–$19.99

$219.99

Self-monitoring or professional monitoring

Brinks

$39.99–$49.99/mo.

$199.00

Professional

Data effective 03/09/2023. Offers are subject to change.

ADT Self Setup monitoring pricing

ADT Self Setup 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.

ADT Self Setup monitoring plans

Plan
Price
Monitoring type
Home automation support
Learn more
Self-monitoring

$0.00/mo.

Icon No  DarkNo
Icon Yes  DarkYes

Professional monitoring

$19.99/mo.

Icon Yes  DarkYes
Icon Yes  DarkYes

Data effective 03/09/2023. Offers are subject to change.

ADT Self Setup 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
ADT Self Setup vs. ADT

ADT Self Setup uses a different monitoring system than ADT. ADT Self Setup 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:  ADT

Brinks Home monitoring pricing

The most important things to know about Brinks Home monitoring? It’s $40 to $50 a month, and you have to sign a three-year contract.

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

Plan
Price
Monitoring type
Mobile app access
Details
Smart Security Essential

$39.99/mo.

Professional

Icon Yes  DarkYes
Smart Security Complete

$44.99/mo.

Professional

Icon Yes  DarkYes
Smart Security Complete

$49.99/mo.

Professional

Icon Yes  DarkYes

Data effective 03/09/2023. Offers are subject to change.

How does $40 to $50 monthly 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: these prices 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.

ADT Self Setup vs. Brinks Home: Security equipment

The winner: It’s a draw between ADT Self Setup's ingenuity and low prices and Brinks Home’s large equipment selection

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

Most ADT Self Setup 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. ADT Self Setup doesn’t sell any of those products.

ADT Self Setup and Brinks Home security sensor pricing comparison

Security sensorADT Self SetupBrinks Home
Base station$179.99 Price 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 more

Data effective 03/09/2023. Offers are subject to change.

ADT Self Setup 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 ADT Self Setup's outdoor cameras with the extender. (Although we don’t necessarily recommend the outdoor camera; learn more in our ADT Self Setup Outdoor Camera Review.)

When checking out of ADT Self Setup's online store, you also have the option of adding a Google Nest Mini or Google Nest Hub to your ADT Self Setup 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 ADT Self Setup, 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 ADT Self Setup 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.

ADT Self Setup vs. Brinks Home cameras

The winner: ADT Self Setup, 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 ADT Self Setup over Brinks Home, unless you’re specifically looking for an outdoor camera.

ADT Self Setup 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 ADT Self Setup 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.

ADT Self Setup cameras

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

ADT Self Setup camera prices

Camera
Price
Indoor/outdoor
Storage type
Learn more
Indoor camera

$199.99

Indoor

Local storage and cloud storage

Outdoor camera

$199.99

Outdoor

Local storage and cloud storage

Doorbell camera

$199.99

Outdoor

Cloud storage

Data effective 03/09/2023.. Offers are subject to change.

All ADT Self Setup 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.

ADT Self Setup'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:  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 go for ADT Self Setup storage, it’s a pretty good deal.

ADT Self Setup cloud storage plan price

Plan
Price
# days cloud storage
Learn more
Standard

$2.99/mo. for 1 camera

60 days

Premier

$12.99/mo. for unlimited cameras

60 days

Data effective 03/09/2023. 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 ADT Self Setup'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 camera prices

Camera
Price
Indoor/outdoor
Storage type
Details
Indoor camera

$199.00

Indoor

Cloud

Outdoor camera

$249.00

Outdoor

Cloud

Doorbell camera

$199.00

Doorbell

Cloud and local

Data effective 03/09/2023. 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.

ADT Self Setup vs. Brinks Home: Smart home integrations

The winner: ADT Self Setup 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 ADT Self Setup and Brinks Home meet these basic requirements, but ADT Self Setup offers a little more extra functionality than Brinks Home does.

ADT Self Setup 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 ADT Self Setup 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 ADT Self Setup. 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 ADT Self Setup system.

Light Bulb
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.

ADT Self Setup vs. Brinks Home: Customer service

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

Although ADT Self Setup 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 ADT Self Setup system is a big step forward for the ADT brand. And because ADT Self Setup 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 ADT Self Setup 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.

  • ADT Self Setup customer service number: 877-464-7437
  • Brinks Home customer service number: 800-447-9239

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

ADT Self Setup vs. Brinks Home: Which is better?

ADT Self Setup 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 ADT Self Setup 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. ADT Self Setup 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 ADT Self Setup's pretty, proprietary products, but if you want a lot of smart home devices, you should go with Brinks Home.
  • Cameras: ADT Self Setup. ADT Self Setup 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: ADT Self Setup. ADT Self Setup slips ahead of Brinks Home by offering IFTTT integration.
  • Customer service: Draw. ADT Self Setup doesn’t have much of a customer service reputation either way yet, while Brinks Home is struggling to resolve the same repeated problems.

ADT Self Setup and Brinks Home home security comparison

Home security company
Monitoring price range
Base equipment package price
Monitoring type
Details
ADT Self Setup

$0.00–$19.99

$219.99

Self-monitoring or professional monitoring

Brinks Home

$39.99–$49.99/mo.

$199.00

Professional

Data effective 03/09/2023. 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 ADT Self Setup system. This research gives us a good idea of which systems to recommend and for what reasons.

ADT Self Setup vs. Brinks Home home security: FAQ

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

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.

Brianne Sandorf
Written by
Brianne Sandorf
Brianne has a degree in English and creative writing from Westminster College and has spent 6+ years writing professional, research-based content. Before joining Reviews.org, she wrote safety and security content for ASecureLife.com. Her pieces and quotes are published across the web, including on MSN.com, Social Catfish, and Parents.com. Hobbies include wearing a seatbelt, wearing a life jacket, and keeping her arms and legs inside the ride at all times. Contact her at brianne@reviews.org.

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