ADT vs. Vivint: Features, Pricing

ADT is more affordable and offers self-monitoring, but Vivint’s service gets higher reviews.
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ADT and Vivint are both popular home security providers that offer alarm systems with rich features. Both companies offer professional installation and monitoring and sell equipment as packages instead of individual items.

Overall, ADT’s packages are less expensive than Vivint’s, and ADT gives customers the option to choose self- or pro-monitoring. ADT is also one of the most well-known home security companies, with almost 150 years in business.

However, ADT requires a multiple-year contract for professional monitoring, while Vivint offers month-to-month payments (unless you’re financing the equipment). Vivint also has higher average customer reviews and a cleaner privacy record than ADT, making it a better choice for those looking for a top-of-the-line home security provider that’s fully installed and monitored by professionals.

ADT

Vivint

Better for

Lower costs and a self-monitoring option.

Exclusive features and complete professional management.

Hardware cost

$194.98 and up.

$599.99 and up.

Video monitoring cost

Self-setup:

  • $24.99 per month for professional monitoring with no cameras.

  • $34.99 per month for professional monitoring with cameras.

Professional installation:

  • $45.99 per month for pro-monitoring with no cameras.

  • $59.99 per month for pro-monitoring with cameras.

Professional monitoring plan is required with equipment purchase: $41 per month without cameras and $46 per month with cameras.

Installation cost

  • Free for self-install.

  • Included in pro-install equipment package starting at $499.99.

Included.

Contract

36-month minimum; 24 months in California.

Monitoring is month to month unless financing equipment.

Compatibility

Smart-home integration with Alexa and Google.

Smart-home integration with Alexa and Google.

Customer support

  • Live chat is available 7 a.m. to midnight EST.

  • Support center on website.

  • Customer service is rated 1.2 stars out of 5 stars on Trustpilot.com.

  • Phone and live chat are available.

  • Help center on the website.

  • Customer service is rated 3.1 stars out of 5 stars on Trustpilot.com.

Why ADT is a better choice

ADT and Vivint both offer professionally installed and monitored home security systems, but Vivint is more costly than ADT and doesn’t offer a self-monitoring option.

Cost

Vivint’s equipment and monthly professional monitoring fees are more expensive than ADT’s, though Vivint’s base kit includes more products.

  • Vivint’s professionally installed and monitored base kit, at $599.99, includes a control hub, four door/window sensors and one motion sensor. 

  • ADT’s self-installed base kit, at $194.98, includes a smart home hub, door/window sensor and app. ADT’s professionally installed version of the same plan, which requires professional monitoring as well, costs $499.99.

  • Vivint’s professional monitoring costs $41 per month or $46 with cameras, while ADT’s costs $24.99 per month or $34.99 with cameras. 

  • ADT’s self-monitoring is free, and Vivint doesn’t offer self-monitoring.

Monitoring and installation options

ADT offers professional monitoring services and also allows customers to monitor their own systems, while Vivint requires professional monitoring for their equipment.

  • You can also install ADT systems yourself, while Vivint’s equipment must be professionally installed.

  • If you’re looking for a hands-off experience, Vivint is a great choice, but if you want the option of DIY setup and monitoring, ADT is a better pick.

ADT Security System
ADT Security System

4.5

NerdWallet rating

 
Read review

on NerdWallet

View details

4.5

NerdWallet rating

 
Equipment cost
$194.98
Base kit comes with 1 ADT Smart Home Hub and 1 ADT Door/Window Sensor.

Professional monitoring monthly cost
$24.99 and up
$34.99 with cameras. A monitoring plan is required with equipment purchase (1 month minimum for self setup and a several-year contract with professional installation), but you can arm and disarm a self-setup system for free after the first month.

Hazard detection
Add-on CO detector, smoke detector and water/temperature sensor.
View details

Why you might want to use Vivint instead

Vivint is still a top choice, especially for people who want a fully professionally managed system with an airtight privacy record.

Flexible contract

ADT’s professional monitoring services come with a fairly long contract term — a 36-month minimum in all states except California, which has a 24-month minimum. Though Vivint doesn’t offer a self-monitoring option, customers can pay for professional monitoring month to month and cancel more easily if they purchase equipment upfront.

Better reviews

We couldn't find any public record of privacy breaches at Vivint, but two class-action lawsuits were filed against ADT in 2020 after a former employee allegedly accessed the security systems of over 200 customers in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Vivint also has 3.1 stars out of 5 stars on Trustpilot, a consumer review website, while ADT has 1.2 stars out of 5 stars.

Special features

Vivint offers several standout features for home security equipment that ADT doesn’t.

  • Vivint’s outdoor cameras and doorbells have a theft-deterrent feature that can identify potential “porch pirates” and respond with dramatic lights and sound to let them know they’ve been spotted.

  • Vivint also offers a “Car Guard” device that pairs with your security system and sends disturbance alerts for bumps and towing. It also provides location tracking and car diagnostics.

Vivint Security System
Vivint Security System

4.0

NerdWallet rating

 
Read review

on NerdWallet

View details

4.0

NerdWallet rating

 
Equipment cost
$599.99
Base kit includes Vivint Smart Hub Control Panel, 4 door/window sensors, and 1 motion sensor.

Professional monitoring monthly cost
$29.99
Professional monitoring plan is required with equipment purchase; the cost goes up by $5 per month for each camera in your system.

Hazard detection
Add-on smoke/CO detector and water sensor.
View details

ADT and Vivint alternatives

For homeowners and renters who want a more DIY option at a lower cost, a security system or individual items from providers such as SimpliSafe or Arlo may be a better fit.

SimpliSafe Security System
SimpliSafe Security System

5.0

NerdWallet rating

 
Get started

on SimpliSafe's website

View details

5.0

NerdWallet rating

 
Equipment cost
$249.96
Base kit includes one base station, one keypad, one entry sensor and one motion sensor. Sometimes you can get a free Smart Alarm wireless indoor security camera and a free trial of professional monitoring if they're running a promotion.

Professional monitoring monthly cost
$19.99
Self monitoring available for $9.99 per month. You can also access basic features with no plan.

Hazard detection
Add-on smoke/CO detector, water and temperature sensor.
View details
Arlo Security System
Arlo Security System

4.5

NerdWallet rating

 
View details

4.5

NerdWallet rating

 
Equipment cost
$199.99
Base kit includes one keypad sensor hub, two sensors, and a free three-month pro monitoring trial.

Professional monitoring monthly cost
$24.99
Some sensor features not available without subscription. Self monitoring for cameras starts at $7.99 per month.

Hazard detection
Sensors can detect water and temperature and alert you when a smoke/CO detector goes off.
No actual smoke/CO detector, and you'll need a paid monthly plan to use the sensor's alarm listening feature.
View details

Ring and Abode, two of our other top-reviewed home security providers, are also good options.

Ring Security System
Ring Security System

4.5

NerdWallet rating

 
View details

4.5

NerdWallet rating

 
Equipment cost
$244.95
Base kit includes alarm base station, keypad, door/window contact sensor, motion detector, alarm range extender and free 30-day trial of Ring Protect professional monitoring. Pro starter kit comes with a Wifi router.

Professional monitoring monthly cost
$20
Other features/self monitoring available with plans starting at $4.99 per month. You'll need at least the basic plan to arm and disarm your system remotely.

Hazard detection
Add-on smoke/CO detector and listener, flood and freeze sensor.
View details
Abode Security System
Abode Security System

4.5

NerdWallet rating

 
View details

4.5

NerdWallet rating

 
Equipment cost
$159.99
Base kit includes security hub, key fob and mini sensor for door/window.

Professional monitoring monthly cost
$24.99
Self monitoring with extra features is $7.99 per month, but you can also use basic features for free.

Hazard detection
Add-on smoke alarm monitor and leak detector.
No actual smoke/CO detector.
View details