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ADT vs. Vivint (2021)

ADT and Vivint are both great home security companies. Learn what makes them different and which is better for your house and family.

A person wearing a light blue shirt holds an ADT home security device while standing near a display of yellow and blue cupcakes. Courtesy ADT

ADT has been in the home security industry for a long time, and its signature lawn signs are readily recognizable. Another great home security option, though, is available through Vivint. Both providers made our list of the best home security companies and offer great tools and services, as well as smart-home integration. But how are they different?

We examined both ADT and Vivint and considered their plans, costs, and equipment. Here, we break down the differences between the two home security companies and make recommendations on what kind of customer might benefit most from each.

Our Take

ADT is slightly cheaper than Vivint, and it offers more customization options. Vivint Smart Home, though, provides more updated technology for your house’s security system, including advanced smart-home integration.

Compare ADT vs. Vivint

Provider ADT Vivint
Provider ADT Vivint
Get Free Quote Visit site Visit site
Reviews Team Rating 9.1 / 10 8.5 / 10
Trial Period 30 days 3 days
Contract Length 36 months None, if equipment is purchased up front
Monthly Monitoring Cost $27.99–$59.99 $36.99–$59.99
Installation Professional only Professional only
24/7 Monitoring
Motion Detection
Smart Home Compatibility
Mobile App Access
Video Surveillance
Video Streaming Capability

ADT vs. Vivint Overview

ADT Overview

ADT home security has assisted millions of customers in the last 140 years. With 24/7 customer support and a six-month money-back guarantee, ADT provides home security solutions that suit many budgets.

Here are some benefits to ADT:

  • Longevity and a good reputation in the industry
  • ADT has the largest nationwide network of monitoring centers
  • Six-month money-back guarantee on installation and monitoring fees*

*Certain restrictions apply.

Vivint Overview

Vivint offers home security technology that is fully integrated into your smart home, and it has excellent mobile app integration. With 20 years of experience in home security systems, Vivint emphasizes wireless security and easy DIY installation.

Here are some of the major selling points for Vivint:

  • Integrates with third-party smart-home devices like Google Nest, Amazon Echo, etc.
  • Highly customizable system that is easy to use and understand
  • Great mobile app integration that allows full control of your home

What Do ADT and Vivint Have in Common?

Though both companies have different approaches, ADT and Vivint share some common ground. Here are some ways they are similar:

  • Types of security equipment: Both services strive to provide the most up-to-date technology in professional monitoring. Both services are able to secure your home with high-end home security cameras, smoke detectors, water sensors, and much more.
  • Mobile App Integration: Both feature an easy-to-use mobile app that allows you to monitor your home from your smartphone, as well as receive alerts and stream video.
  • No Third-Party Provider: Both companies provide their own monitoring rather than utilizing a third-party provider.

How Are ADT and Vivint Different?

Though ADT and Vivint have similar equipment and tools, they also have different approaches to home security:

  • Monthly Monitoring Cost: Vivint charges slightly more—a little over $5—than ADT for its monthly monitoring cost.
  • Money Back Guarantee: ADT offers an impressive six-month money back guarantee while Vivint has the standard 30-day guarantee.
  • BBB Rating and Accreditation: ADT is accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and has an A+ rating, while Vivint is not accredited by the BBB and has a C- rating.*

* Better Business Bureau ratings and customer review scores are subject to frequent change. These details are accurate as of April 17, 2021.

ADT vs. Vivint Packages

ADT Packages

Feature The Essentials Package ADT Pulse® Remote Package ADT Pulse® + Video Package ADT Pulse® Home Automation + Video Package
Feature The Essentials Package ADT Pulse® Remote Package ADT Pulse® + Video Package ADT Pulse® Home Automation + Video Package
Keypad panel
Motion sensor
Remote key fob
Panic button
Wireless door and window sensors
Mobile app integration -
Indoor camera - -
Outdoor camera - -
Doorbell camera - -
Smart lock - - -
Smart plug - - -

ADT home security features a few different contract options that can cover customer needs. Customers who do not need smart-home integration may enjoy The Essentials Package, which features 24/7 alarm monitoring, panic buttons, wireless door and window sensors, and a motion sensor. Other packages, such as the ADT Pulse® Remote Package and the ADT Pulse® + Video Package, include more smart devices. Both packages offer specific smart-home integration and professional monitoring capabilities, and then the ADT Pulse® Home Automation + Video Package builds upon both of them while adding a smart lock and smart plug.

Note: A 36-month monitoring agreement is required for customers (24 months for California residents).

Vivint Packages

Feature Vivint Smart Hub Starter Kit Package Home Security System Package Smart Home Control Package Video Security Package Smart Complete Package
Feature Vivint Smart Hub Starter Kit Package Home Security System Package Smart Home Control Package Video Security Package Smart Complete Package
SkyControl Panel
Smart entry sensors (2)
Voice control
Motion sensor
Smart smoke detector - -
Element thermostat - - -
Smart lock - - -
Smart garage door opener - - -
Doorbell camera - - -
Outdoor camera - - -
Ping indoor camera - - -

Across five different equipment bundles, Vivint allows you to build your smart-home security system from the ground up. Vivint’s base-level equipment package, the Smart Hub Starter Kit, provides you with a touch-screen command center for the security system. It also provides one water sensor, one motion sensor, two smart-entry sensors, and $100 toward additional sensors. The Smart Complete package is the most comprehensive, with outdoor cameras and a doorbell camera.

ADT vs. Vivint Pricing

ADT Pricing

Pricing The Essentials" Package ADT Remote Package ADT Video Lite Package ADT Video + Home Automation Package
Pricing The Essentials" Package ADT Remote Package ADT Video Lite Package ADT Video + Home Automation Package
Weekly Cost $7/week $13/week $15/week $15/week
Monthly Cost $27.99/month $53.99/month $59.99/month $59.99/month

For base package installation, ADT costs $99 for qualified customers. Keep in mind that upgraded packages will require additional installation fees, and additional fees may apply for customers requiring a cellular hookup. Monthly monitoring prices range between $36.99 and $59.99, and you can pay it with either a credit card or automatic bank withdrawal.

Vivint Pricing

Pricing SkyControl Starter Kit Package Home Security System" Package Smart Home Control Package Video Security Package Smart Complete Package
Pricing SkyControl Starter Kit Package Home Security System" Package Smart Home Control Package Video Security Package Smart Complete Package
Equipment Cost $599 $709.98 $1,049.95 $1,379.95 $1,789.92
Optional Monthly Financing Cost $9.98 $11.83 $17.50 $23.00 $29.83

You have the option to purchase your Vivint equipment with a single, up-front payment or to finance it all. If you pay up front, your monitoring services will be billed on a month-to-month basis. If you choose to finance Vivint’s equipment, the costs are bundled with monitoring services in a five-year contract with monthly payments.

Vivint’s professional monitoring contracts and prices are:

  • Smart Security Plan: $29.99/month
  • Smart Home Plan: $39.99/month
  • Smart Home Video Plan: $44.99/month

ADT vs. Vivint: How It Works

How Does ADT Work?

After you have purchased a plan with ADT, a professional will come to your house to install your new ADT system. They will set it up and test it for you, and after it is running properly you can control everything from the control panel provided by ADT and from the mobile app.

When there is an alert to your sensors, ADT will attempt to contact you to confirm whether or not an emergency is happening. Then, one of ADT’s monitoring centers will notify the proper authorities and dispatch them.

How Does Vivint Work?

Vivint offers free home installation for its security equipment.

When your Vivint sensors are triggered, a representative from Vivint will contact you to confirm that an emergency is occurring. If you are in trouble or the representative cannot reach you, police will be notified and dispatched immediately to your home.

Our Conclusion

Both ADT and Vivint provide security and safety to millions of customers throughout the United States through excellent customer service and great equipment. In fact, Our Reviews Team has named both to our list of best home security companies of 2021. If you are looking for the most comprehensive, adaptable, and extensive home security service provider, ADT can meet your needs. Vivint, on the other hand, is perfect for anyone looking for smart-home integration and the most cutting-edge technology in the home security industry.

To get a free quote and obtain more information about ADT or Vivint, use the tool below.

If you are still unsure whether ADT or Vivint is right for you, compare both to other top-rated security providers in the industry below.

Compare Top-Rated Home Security Providers

Provider Abode SimpliSafe Frontpoint
Provider Abode SimpliSafe Frontpoint
Get a Free Quote Visit site Visit site Visit site
Monitoring prices (per month) $6–$20 $15–$25 $44.99 to $49.99 per month
Contract required No Month-to-month No
24/7 monitoring Available Available Available
Professional installation $99 and up $79 Not available
DIY installation Available Available Available
Mobile app access Yes Yes, with interactive monitoring Yes
Motion detection Yes Yes Available
Smart home compatibility Yes Yes Yes
Video surveillance Yes Available, with Simplicam Available
Video streaming capability Yes Available, with Simplicam Available

Our Rating Methodology

The This Old House Reviews team is committed to providing comprehensive and unbiased reviews to our readers. This means earning your trust through transparent reviews and having the data to back up our ratings and recommendations. Our rating system for home security providers is on a 100-point scale based on 10 factors:

  • Number of systems (5)
  • Special features (10)
  • Installation options (5)
  • Connectivity and smart home automation (15)
  • Pricing (15)
  • Contract period (5)
  • Warranty (15)
  • Trial period (15)
  • Usability (5)
  • Trustworthiness (10)

Our team reviewed 32 companies and spent 744 hours researching and testing products to help us compare home security systems on key factors such as package options, cost, reliability, and ease of use. Read more on our methodology here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you negotiate with Vivint Smart Home?

Yes, you can negotiate with your Vivint sales representative when you set up a contract with Vivint. You might negotiate about your options to purchase all your equipment up front in one payment or determine monthly finance options.

Do wireless cameras work without the Internet?

With any wireless security camera network, Vivint or ADT, your options become limited without Internet access. You can still record video, but you will not be able to access a live video stream, and you will not be able to receive security alerts from your system without the internet.

Can ADT be easily hacked?

ADT does not have any current red flags for hacking risks. There have been previous reports of ADT cameras being hacked, but they were limited to a specific model of digital video recorders.

To share feedback or ask a question about this article, send a note to our Reviews team at reviews@thisoldhousereviews.com.