Reviews

Brinks vs. ADT: Which Home Security System Should You Buy?

Brinks Home and ADT bring a lot to the table when it comes to home security. When comparing Brinks vs. ADT, customers will find that one company comes out on top.
Catherine Hiles Avatar
Brinks vs. ADT

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When considering purchasing a home security system, customers may find that they are inundated with choices. Two of the common options for home security are ADT and Brinks Home. ADT is an instantly recognizable name and often one of the first companies a customer will look into when considering cameras, alarms, and monitoring in their home. Brinks may conjure up images of armored cars transporting cash from banks, but that’s not all the company does; Brinks Home is its home security subsidiary, offering many of the same services as ADT and other competing companies.

Even after perusing the top home security tips, it can seem difficult for a potential customer to know which home security system will best suit their requirements and budget, or even whether a security system is worth it for their home, so thorough research is a must. Customers who find themselves comparing Brinks vs. ADT will want to consider several factors when choosing the best home security system for their needs.

How We Compared Home Security Systems

Brinks vs. ADT
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  • Reputation and customer reviews: A lot hinges on reliable home security. Reading about positive experiences from other customers can give shoppers confidence in either company’s service.
  • Equipment options and quality: Because every home is built differently, security hardware needs to be adaptable. We compared the equipment options from both companies.
  • Packages and plans: A security system is more than a single camera. Packages need to be able to cover a wide range of demands. We looked into the packages offered by each company to see which offered the most variety.
  • Pricing and fees: The best security system in the world isn’t much use if it’s unaffordable. We looked at hardware costs to see if they were reasonable, and we compared costs for monitoring.
  • Installation: Getting a security system in place should be as painless as possible. We looked into the available installation options offered by both ADT and Brinks Home.
  • Monitoring: Quality monitoring relies on dependable feeds and connections. Additionally, while some customers want to self-monitor their system, others prefer to leave it to the pros. We looked at monitoring options for both companies.
  • App user experience: A friction-free mobile experience is needed for full peace of mind. We compared the mobile app options from ADT and Brinks Home to see which would check the most boxes for customers.
  • Contracts and trial period: Restrictive agreements can quickly hinder an otherwise quality product, but a free trial period can help customers feel confident in their choice. We investigated contract requirements and available trial periods with both companies.
  • Warranty: Peace of mind means being able to get a new system fixed without extra costs. We checked into the available warranties offered by both ADT and Brinks Home.
  • Home automation and device compatibility: Security cameras fit into a wider ecosystem of home devices. We considered whether home security equipment from ADT or Brinks Home would fit neatly into a smart-home system.

1. Brinks vs. ADT: Reputation and Customer Reviews

Relying on online customer reviews to gauge a company’s reputation can be challenging. Customers may worry that companies are paying for positive reviews, or they might be turned off by too many negative reviews. While negative reviews are important to take into account, it’s also important to understand that customers are much more likely to leave a review after a bad experience than after a good one. In addition, potential customers can check to see whether the company has responded to its bad reviews to try and resolve the situation; this shows that companies are willing to do what it takes to make things right for their customers.

ADT home security reviews vary depending on the platform. While the company has an impressive 4.5 out of 5 rating on Consumer Affairs, its reviews on Trustpilot skew more negative, giving the company a 1.2 out of 5 rating on this platform. Brinks Home Security reviews are similarly uneven, with a 2.6 out of 5 rating on Consumer Affairs and a 3 out of 5 rating on Trustpilot. Brinks Home Security complaints mention dissatisfaction with the contract period and cancellation process, while ADT complaints report some issues getting responses from customer service. Both companies respond to reviews—both positive and negative—showing that they care about their customers and their reputation, which is encouraging.

All things considered, ADT is a bigger name in the home security industry, having been in business since 1874. Established in 1994, Brinks is a relative newcomer to the space and has yet to garner the same name recognition that ADT enjoys.

Verdict: ADT is a well-known name thanks to its 150-year tenure in the home security industry, while Brinks is a newer player with less name recognition. When it comes to customer reviews, both companies have their share of positive and negative comments, but ADT’s customer reviews tend to skew slightly more positive than those for Brinks.

Winner: ADT

2. Brinks vs. ADT: Equipment Options and Quality

When purchasing a home security system, customers will want to make sure that their chosen provider has the types of equipment they need—and that the equipment is of high quality and will last. Both Brinks Home Security and ADT offer quality equipment, including several types of security cameras (indoor, outdoor, and doorbell), entry sensors, motion detectors, smart locks and thermostats, and hazard detectors (smoke and carbon monoxide).

However, ADT’s equipment lineup goes a step further than that of Brinks Home. ADT offers additional equipment that’s missing from the Brinks lineup, including a panic button, a wireless keypad, a range extender, smart plugs, and several Google Nest products. Brinks Home Security cameras are manufactured by Alarm.com, while ADT uses Google Nest cameras (there are no ADT cameras offered) that sync up with the other Nest equipment sold by the company. This includes smart speakers, smart hubs, and a Wi-Fi router. Google is a household name, and customers who already have products such as Nest cameras or Echo smart speakers in their home will appreciate being able to easily connect their home security equipment to their smart-home system.

Verdict: Both Brinks and ADT offer a similar range of high-quality equipment, including security cameras, intrusion detectors, and home automation devices. However, ADT offers additional equipment that Brinks does not, including smart plugs, an outdoor camera with floodlights, and a panic button.

Winner: ADT

Brinks vs. ADT
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3. Brinks vs. ADT: Packages and Plans

Many customers will appreciate the option to create their own home security equipment package to ensure they’re not overpaying for equipment they don’t need. Both ADT and Brinks Home offer this capability, so customers can create a system that’s tailored to their specific home security needs. Other customers, however, may feel overwhelmed by choices and prefer to pick from a selection of prebuilt equipment packages when purchasing their home security system. Both companies also offer this option, but ADT’s packages are more comprehensive than Brinks Home’s packages.

ADT has a total of two Build Your Own and four prebuilt equipment packages. All ADT prebuilt equipment packages can be customized with additional sensors, cameras, and smart devices.

  • The Build Your Own package for pro installation includes a touch-screen panel, three entry sensors, and one motion detector; from there, customers can add equipment suited to their needs.
  • The Smart Home package, which requires professional installation, adds a smart door lock to the Build Your Own package.
  • The Video & Smart Home package, which also requires professional installation, adds one Google Nest doorbell and one Google Nest camera to the Smart Home package.
  • The Build Your Own package for DIY installation comes with an ADT smart-home hub, one entry sensor, and access to the ADT+ app.
  • The Starter package, intended for DIY installation, comes with the ADT hub, four entry sensors, two motion detectors, one Google Nest doorbell, an ADT yard sign, and four ADT window stickers.
  • The Premium package is also intended for DIY installation; it adds a Google Nest hub to the Starter package for further smart-home integration.

Brinks offers three equipment packages, though they’re not quite as robust as ADT’s packages and it’s harder to find them on the Brinks website. Similarly to ADT, though, these packages are a good starting point for customers to add equipment and build their own customized system.

  • The Smart Security Essential package includes a control panel, two door sensors, and a motion sensor.
  • The Smart Security Complete package adds a doorbell camera to the Essential package.
  • The Smart Security Ultimate package adds an outdoor camera to the Complete package and increases the number of door sensors to three.

Verdict: Both Brinks and ADT offer customers the ability to build their own security systems. However, ADT customers can also choose from four preselected equipment packages that cater to different customer needs, such as security cameras and smart-home devices. Brinks does offer three prebuilt equipment packages, but they are bare bones compared to ADT’s.

Winner: ADT

4. Brinks vs. ADT: Pricing and Fees

Cost is an important consideration for customers when researching the best home security system for their needs. Even if a system has the ideal mix of equipment, it’s not going to work if the price point is too high. Brinks and ADT have a range of prices; ADT costs for equipment packages are as follows.

ADT Package NameTotal Equipment CostMonthly Equipment Cost
Build Your Own (professional installation)$599$9.98 to $24.96
Smart Home (professional installation)$849$14.15 to $35.38
Video & Smart Home (professional installation)$1,158$19.30 to $48.25
Build Your Own (DIY installation)$194.98N/A
Starter (DIY installation)$479.99N/A
Premium (DIY installation)$579.98N/A

Brinks requires customers to contact its sales department to get pricing on its equipment, which makes it hard for customers to determine whether a system from Brinks will fit their budget. However, Security.org reports that Brinks’ three equipment packages range in cost from $360 to $799. Customers will want to keep two main points in mind, though. First, these costs may vary when a customer connects with a Brinks rep to build their own package. Second, the three equipment packages offered by Brinks are rather bare bones when compared with ADT packages, so the prices are not necessarily comparable. The best way to get solid pricing is for the customer to call the Brinks Home Security phone number or schedule an appointment online.

When it comes to monitoring, ADT monthly costs are based on the equipment packages the customer chooses. Prices are as follows.

ADT Package NameMonthly Monitoring Cost
Build Your Own (pro installation)Starting at $45.99
Smart HomeStarting at $49.99
Video & Smart HomeStarting at $61.99
Build Your Own (DIY installation)Starting at $24.99
Starter$34.99
Premium$34.99

Like Brinks equipment prices, monitoring prices are not listed on the company’s website. SafeHome.org reports the monitoring costs for a Brinks home security system range from $29 to $39 per month, though potential customers will need to schedule a free consultation to get a quote for monthly monitoring.

Both companies will likely charge a fee if a customer cancels their service while still under contract. ADT customer service will apply termination fees to the customer’s account, and the customer may also be required to pay any remaining balance left on their contract. Brinks Home Security cancellation policies aren’t clear; customers will need to contact the company’s dedicated cancellation team for more information if they want to cancel Brinks Home Security service.

Verdict: Brinks customers will need to contact the company’s sales department to get a quote for a home security system; there is no transparent pricing information on the company’s website. On the other hand, ADT customers can build their system online and choose to either finance their system or pay for it up front. Both companies charge a fee for customers who cancel their service before the end of their contract.

Winner: ADT

Brinks vs. ADT
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5. Brinks vs. ADT: Installation

Traditionally, ADT products were designed for professional installation, and that is still true. However, ADT also sells DIY security systems under its ADT Self Setup umbrella. Similarly, Brinks Home systems are designed for DIY installations, but the customer can opt for professional installation if they aren’t sure how to install security cameras themselves (or if they want advice on where to place security cameras for the most widespread coverage).

One important distinction between the two is that Brinks equipment is the same whether the customer installs it themselves or opts for pro installation, while ADT has two separate equipment lineups for professional and DIY installation. That means a customer can’t purchase an ADT package intended for professional installation and install it themselves; neither can they purchase an ADT Self Setup package and have an ADT pro install it (though there’s always the option to budget for security camera installation costs and hire a handyman or similar service to install the system).

Verdict: Brinks home security systems are traditionally designed for DIY installation, though customers can opt for professional installation. ADT’s systems are traditionally designed for professional installation, but customers who prefer a DIY setup can opt for an ADT Self Setup package.

Winner: Tie

6. Brinks vs. ADT: Monitoring

ADT and Brinks both require their customers to sign up for a professional monitoring service; there is no self-monitoring option available with either company. This may be a disadvantage for customers who prefer to monitor their own security system, but many will appreciate the extra assurance they get with 24/7 professional monitoring services.

ADT customers will pay for the monitoring plan that matches the equipment in their system. If the system only includes different types of window alarm sensors, door sensors, and motion sensors, the customer will pay less than they would if they had cameras or smart equipment in their package. There are also different monitoring plans for professionally installed ADT packages and ADT Self Setup packages, so customers will want to review the offerings of each to determine which would best suit their needs. ADT monitoring is designed to be set up using a landline, which is beneficial for those in rural areas with poor cellular or Wi-Fi coverage; however, ADT systems can also connect via cellular service and voice-over IP (VoIP), which makes them a well-rounded option for a wide variety of customers.

Brinks, on the other hand, doesn’t support landline connections, so customers without reliable cellular or Wi-Fi connections may need to look elsewhere. Brinks also has only one monitoring station, while ADT has nine—this could translate to faster response times for ADT customers, and that can be a huge benefit for those facing a home intruder or an emergency such as a fire or water leak.

Verdict: Both Brinks and ADT require customers to sign up for professional monitoring services and do not offer self-monitored or unmonitored plans. Each company offers 24/7 monitoring with cellular backup; however, ADT also offers landline connection, which could make it a better fit for customers in rural areas, and it has nine monitoring stations compared to Brinks’ one, which could lead to faster response times.

Winner: ADT

7. Brinks vs. ADT: App User Experience

Modern home-security customers rely on mobile apps as well as home hubs to control their security system. Therefore, it’s important that the company a customer chooses has a user-friendly app that allows them to control their system away from home—and if the app offers additional features, such as smart-home control, that’s even better.

Both Brinks and ADT offer functional apps that include features such as lock-screen notifications of tripped alarms, live remote video feeds, system arming and disarming, and smart thermostat control. The Brinks Home Security app is highly rated on both the Apple App Store (4.6 out of 5) and Google Play (4 out of 5). Brinks also takes the time to respond to negative reviews and strives to resolve any issues customers have.

ADT’s main app, ADT Control, is similarly well-rated on the App Store (4.8 out of 5) and Google Play (4.9 out of 5). Like Brinks, ADT responds to reviews and attempts to resolve concerns and issues. However, where ADT really stands out is its lineup of additional apps.

  • ADT+ is the main app for ADT Self Setup customers and allows them to control their system, as well as their Google Nest smart-home devices, remotely.
  • MyADT allows customers to control their ADT account. Services include ADT bill pay, system tests, and password management.
  • SoSecure by ADT is an additional app designed to provide emergency help to subscribers while they’re away from home. Services include location sharing, emergency assistance, and roadside assistance. Subscriptions range from $4.99 to $9.99 per month.

Verdict: Brinks and ADT customers can use their security system’s app to perform basic functions such as arming or disarming the system and reviewing security camera footage, as well as controlling smart-home devices remotely. However, ADT also offers an additional mobile safety app called SoSecure that provides users with on-the-go emergency help.

Winner: ADT

8. Brinks vs. ADT: Contracts and Trial Period

Both ADT and Brinks have a standard 3-year contract, and customers who cancel before that period is up may be required to pay a penalty, which can be off-putting. However, both companies offer a trial period of sorts that helps ease the burden of signing such a lengthy contract. Brinks Home has a 30-day money-back trial period in which customers can return their equipment for a full refund within a month of receiving it. This can help customers test out the equipment in their home before committing to keeping it for the length of the contract.

At first glance, it may seem as if ADT’s trial period is better; the company has a 6-month guarantee on faulty hardware, which is often mistaken for a true trial period. However, what that guarantee actually means is that ADT will refund the customer’s money if the equipment fails within the first 6 months and it can’t be fixed or replaced. Assuming the company can repair or replace the faulty equipment, the customer will not get a refund and will be obligated to see their contract through to the end.

Verdict: Both ADT and Brinks require customers to sign a 3-year contract. ADT doesn’t have a trial period, but customers will be able to get a full refund within the first 6 months if their equipment fails and ADT cannot fix or replace it. However, Brinks offers a 30-day trial period to allow customers to test out the equipment and get a refund if it doesn’t meet their needs. 

Winner: Brinks

Brinks vs. ADT
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9. Brinks vs. ADT: Warranty

Both Brinks and ADT offer hardware warranties designed to cover any expenses that arise from equipment failure. ADT’s warranty is free for the first 90 days, which can help customers cut down on up-front expenses when purchasing a home security system. After that 90-day period, ADT customers can pay for the company’s Quality Service Plan, which costs $7 per month and covers up to $1,250 worth of devices.

Brinks doesn’t offer a free warranty; instead, customers will need to pay for a Brinks Home Plus plan from day 1 in order to get coverage. This warranty costs $7.99 per month—slightly more than ADT’s warranty, but the difference will equal less than $12 per year.

Verdict: ADT offers a 90-day warranty on its equipment, and customers can opt to extend their warranty indefinitely by paying monthly for the Quality Service Plan. Brinks doesn’t offer a free warranty; however, customers can choose to pay monthly for the company’s Brinks Home Plus plan.

Winner: ADT

10. Brinks vs. ADT: Home Automation and Device Compatibility

Brinks and ADT equipment can be integrated with smart-home assistants such as Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, making them easy to control using a smart speaker. However, ADT has a wider range of smart-home devices than Brinks, which could be appealing to customers who want a fully integrated security and smart-home system.

ADT has a wide range of smart-home devices, including a Google Nest Wi-Fi router and point, Google Nest Mini smart speaker, Google Nest Hub, and Google Nest Thermostat. ADT customers get the assurance that comes with Nest products and can feel confident that their smart-home and security devices will sync together to create a whole-home infrastructure.

Brinks does offer some home automation devices, including a smart lock and smart thermostat, but they aren’t backed by Google’s brand name as is ADT’s equipment.

Verdict: Brinks and ADT both offer home automation devices such as smart locks and thermostats. However, ADT customers can purchase additional smart-home pieces, including the Google Nest Hub and Wi-Fi router, while Brinks doesn’t offer these types of devices. 

Winner: ADT

Verdict: ADT is a solid choice for customers who want a home security system from a well-known name in the industry that offers high-quality equipment and smart-home device compatibility. However, Brinks is a strong competitor and offers the added benefit of a true trial period to allow customers to test out their home security system before fully committing.

When making a decision between Brinks and ADT, customers will want to consider what they are looking for from their home security system. An ADT alarm system comes with perks such as high-quality Google Nest equipment, smart-home compatibility, and several prebuilt packages for customers to choose from. Although Brinks falls short of ADT in some areas, it’s still a strong contender in the home security sphere. Ultimately, the choice will be up to the individual customer—and, no matter which system they choose, they’ll likely find equipment that fits their needs in either lineup—from simple security signs that can deter crime to different types of cameras and smart-home equipment.