Home Security Showdown: Vivint vs ADT — Which is Better?


Vivint vs ADT, which Home Security system should you get and why?

One of my friends and his wife are expecting their first child soon and he wants to be sure they are safe and secure when he’s at work. He wants a system with a rich and complete feature set. He also wants something that can grow with him, but he doesn’t want to break the bank, either. I figured that I’d kill two birds with one stone and write about what I found out so you, my dear readers can know as well.

Taking a Look at What ADT Offers

ADT is one of the country’s oldest and largest security firms, established in 1874 as a delivery company for the telegraph system. They offer services in all 50 states that include the installation of mostly hardwired systems as well as 24/7 monitoring. These systems are fairly ideal for those that aren’t very proficient with wiring and tech or those that simply don’t have the time or inclination to do the installation themselves. System cost is typically rolled into the cost of installation and is usually around 100 bucks or less.

ADT Systems Can Be Customized in a Myriad of Ways

There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all home security and automation system and most companies realize this. ADT is one of the best at this and they offer numerous customization options to fit your needs as exactly as possible. ADT will send a tech/sales person to your house to discuss your needs and budget with you and work with you to tailor a system that comes as close as possible to meeting all your needs. You may not get everything you want or may get more than you really need, but they really do work with you to help make sure you’re not paying for stuff you don’t need or want.

ADT Pulse Combines Home Automation and Security

ADT’s Pulse service is a combination of home automation and security system, all of which can be controlled either via a panel in the home or a mobile app. The ADT mobile app even gives you voice control over much of the system. One cool thing is that occasionally ADT will offer free installation and activation of Pulse, which means there are no upfront costs for you.

ADT Systems Can’t Move with You

Pretty much every system that ADT sells is hardwired. This means that the installation process will have a tech(s) crawling in your attic and/or basement stringing wires. They may even occasionally need to cut into drywall to run wires. This means that removing the controller and components is pretty difficult and next to impossible for the system to move with you.

ADT Customer Reviews Are Mixed

In looking through some sites for reviews about the company two things stood out to me. The first being that most customers seem to be at least satisfied, if not quite happy with the way the system works and what it can do for them. Many also consider their pricing structure quite fair. Some say that they feel the ADT tech staff is extremely knowledgeable and helpful, while others say they’re helpful but not very good. That’s pretty par for the course when it comes to customer and technical support, though.

If there is one single thread I can find in the ADT reviews I read through it’s the fact that they have problems when people move. Customers say that their accounts weren’t cancelled when they were told they were and they were still billed. During a move, one customer even said that they discovered that although they were billed for it, their system hadn’t been monitored for over seven months!

Vivint is a Newer Home Security and Automation Plus Company

Vivint is a newer company offering home security and automation solutions since 1999. This means they have quite a bit less experience than ADT. However, it also means they’ve had less time to learn bad habits. It also means they’re more open to newer technologies than the older companies. Additionally, it also means they don’t have to stay within the strict confines of straight home security and automation supplier.

Vivint is Easy to Install and Use. And It Moves with You

Vivint systems mostly use wireless technology. This means that the install tech(s) won’t have to climb around the attic and cut into walls to run cables and wiring. Sure, they’ll have to do a little drilling to mount the panel(s) and control module, but that’s pretty much it. Everything else simply plugs into a wall outlet for power and then connects to the controller wirelessly. This means that the system can easily move with you when/if you move. Simply

Vivint Offers Everything You’d Expect in Security and Automation

Vivint security systems offer 24/7 live home and system monitoring, motion detection, door and window monitoring, as well as a smoke detector. One crossover feature is a live HD video feed that you can watch on your mobile device. Home automation features include smart door locks and interaction with your HVAC system.

Vivint vs ADT: Here’s Where Vivint Completely Outshines ADT

You can already see that Vivint has better options. However, they don’t stop there. I mean, they’re a newer tech company, so they’ve got to offer more, right? Smart Monkey gives you one terabyte of cloud storage. ADT? Nothing. As if that wasn’t enough, they also offer Vivint 50 MB Internet service for about 60 bucks a month and they even say that price will never change.

Vivint Lets You Move and Keep Your System

That’s a little misleading. Vivint’s actual policy is that they will set you up with a “like for like” system for 99 bucks when you move, basically no questions asked if you’ve been with them for less than a year. If you’re with them for over a year, it’s free, although local taxes and fees may apply. Simply contact them and tell them when and where and they’ll work with you on the rest. I see this alone as a feature that leaves ADT in the dust. With ADT, if you move before your contract expires, you have to pay a cancellation fee.

Vivint isn’t Done

As if that wasn’t enough, Vivint also offers a solar power package. Yes, I said Vivint also offers a solar power package that can reduce your overall home energy costs by as much as 50 percent. You can choose your grid power supplier, too. Oh, I almost forgot: Their site says there’s no upfront cost for this.

So, what do you think in the Vivint vs ADT discussion? My money’s on Vivint, that’s for sure.

Photo Credit: June 21, 2012 via photopin (license)