Vivint vs. ADT Home Security

Vivint and ADT have two of the top home security systems on the market. But which one’s better?
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If just the word “DIY” makes you feel tired and you’d much rather kick back and let someone else assemble every random gadget that makes up a home security system, then Vivint and ADT both have options for you.

Vivint’s and ADT’s home security systems are both customized and set up for you by professionals, so you know everything’s done right the first time. As for which of the two you should choose, we vote Vivint. But ADT is such a well-known name, that just the yard sign might make it worth it to you to sign on.

Vivint and ADT comparison
CompanyVivintADT
Monitoring price range$29.99–$44.99/mo.$36.99–$62.99/mo.
Installation typeProfessionalProfessional
Installation fee$99$99–$199
Contract lengthNone OR 42–60 mos.36 mos.
Contract cancellation fee100% of remaining contract75% of remaining contract
Smart home supportYes*Yes*
Starter kit price$599Unknown
Mobile app controlYesYes**
Learn moreView PlansView Plans

Data effective 1/30/2020. Offers subject to change.

* Smart home functions not supported by all monitoring plans. 

** Mobile app control not available with all monitoring plans.

What we like about Vivint

Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro installed on the outside of a house

Vivint is like the luxury car of home security systems. It offers high-end equipment with top tech features like video analytics and smart home integrations, and it’s all set up for you by the pros. Vivint’s installation tech will work with you to identify the areas of your house that could use a little security love, so you know everything is properly protected.

We also like Vivint’s flexibility. If you want security but not the smart home stuff, you can sign on to a lower-priced plan. And if you don’t want to be tied into a contract, then Vivint lets you skip the agreement—as long as you pay for all your equipment up-front.

What we like about ADT

Everyone knows ADT. That might not seem like that big of a deal, but if a burglar’s wandering around scouting houses, there’s something to be said for having a recognizable name on that yard sign. And there’s a reason it’s such a big brand: ADT is reliable and available everywhere.

Like Vivint, ADT is professionally installed. An installation tech will tell you exactly what you need to protect your house, so you’re not just ordering things at random, hoping it will be enough.

Vivint vs. ADT pros comparison
Vivint pros:ADT pros:
Professional installation and consultationProfessional installation and consultation
Flexible pricing and contractsWell-known name
Top-notch equipmentGood smart home support
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What we don’t like about Vivint

The main drawback of Vivint is the price of its equipment. This isn’t a system where you can shell out a few hundred dollars and call it good. Nah. Plan on spending around $600 just for your basic start-up kit—and the price will only go up from there.

We think Vivint is worth it if you’ve got the cash. But if not, then there are plenty of security systems out there these days that can give you a little peace of mind for a lot less money.

What we don’t like about ADT

We talked about Vivint being expensive, but if you’re looking for the biggest budget-busters, then it doesn’t take first place. That honor goes to ADT.

If you opt for full smart home support and video cameras, then ADT’s monitoring prices skyrocket to cost more than any other security system we review. And frankly, we’re not sure why.

ADT’s equipment is pretty standard, and ADT’s cameras aren’t exactly the best on the market. Plus, it doesn’t advertise its equipment prices, so you can’t know in advance how much your system’s going to cost.

It seems like what you’re really paying for is the name. You just have to decide if that’s worth it to you.

Vivint vs. ADT cons comparison
Vivint cons:ADT cons:
Pricey equipmentExpensive monitoring
Long contracts (if you opt for one)Hidden equipment pricing
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Which one should you choose?

Nine out of ten times, we’d go with Vivint over ADT. You get a fancier system with better features for a lower monitoring price. But if you can get a good deal on ADT (or you just really want that name recognition), then it’s a solid choice for a professionally installed security system.

Want to learn more?

Still not sure if one of these is the best security system for you? Read our other reviews to compare your options.