Spoiler alert: ADT and Vivint are both fantastic home security systems. Both offer solid equipment, full-service professional monitoring, and powerful apps. Both work well with Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home. Both provide friendly, reliable customer service. It should be no surprise, then, that both show up on our list of the best home security systems.
So, why bother reading this comparison? Simple: these are both great systems, but they’re not both great for you. There are a number of stark differences between Blue by ADT and Vivint, and only one of these companies will make sense for your particular situation. Which one is it? Keep reading to find out.
Smart Home Integration: Both brands work well with Alexa and Google Home.
Camera Options: Both companies offer three basic camera models – an indoor camera, an outdoor camera, and a doorbell camera.
Apps: Both companies also offer responsive, easy-to-use apps that let you control your whole security system with just your voice.
Monitoring: While Vivint offers professional monitoring, Blue by ADT offers both professional and self-monitoring options.
Pricing: You’ll pay more across the board for Vivint than Blue ADT, but that’s because Vivint is a full-service home security company while Blue is a DIY company.
Installation options: Blue by ADT only offers DIY installation, while Vivint only offers professional installation.
Comparing System Components
Let’s start this comparison by focusing on what you actually get when you sign up with each company.
Both companies offer high-quality equipment including door and window sensors, motion sensors, and a range of cameras. Both systems integrate smoothly with both Alexa and Google Home, so you can connect to additional devices like smart light bulbs, electric blinds, garage doors, and televisions. And, you can control everything with just your voice.
Ultimately, though, Vivint has a slight edge over Blue by ADT when it comes to choice. As you’ll see if you visit our Vivint review, Vivint has glass break sensors, a carbon monoxide sensor, a thermostat, and its own line of door locks, for instance. Blue by ADT has none of these. What does Blue have that Vivint doesn’t? A keychain remote.
Blue by ADT
Door/ Window sensors
Glass break sensors
Smoke/ heat sensors
Carbon monoxide sensors
FYI: A window sensor will let you know if someone tries to open a window of your home. Only a glass break sensor can tell you if an intruder actually breaks a window.
According to our Blue by ADT analysis, Blue does offer one key feature that Vivint hasn’t quite worked out yet: facial recognition on all three of its cameras. Scan a few photos of friends and family into your system, and you can get customized alerts that tell you exactly who’s at the door. Or, set up applets through IFTTT to cue locks to open, lights to come on, or music to play depending on who’s knocking.
The real differences between Blue by ADT and Vivint emerge when we talk about monitoring options.
Let’s start with Vivint. Vivint is a full-service home security company, which means that any time you sign up with the company you’re signing up for 24/7 professional monitoring. You can cancel monitoring at any time, but when you do, you lose access to all of Vivint’s smart features, including app alerts and the ability to view live and recorded footage. Basically, you wind up with a local alarm system and have to rely on sirens to know if anything’s amiss.
We always encourage readers to choose professional monitoring, and here’s why: You never know when you’re going to be too busy to check an alert from your system. You might be at the doctor, stuck in traffic somewhere, or just too engrossed in watching “House of the Dragon” to bother worrying that your phone pinged. With professional monitoring, it doesn’t matter. Someone else checks the alert for you and lets you know if it’s something you need to worry about. In fact, Vivint’s monitoring service will even call emergency personnel to respond if there’s a problem.
Here’s the thing, though: Blue by ADT offers professional monitoring, too. But, it also offers self-monitoring. Now, while we always recommend you go the professional route, we understand some of you out there prefer to do the job yourself. Maybe you want to save money, or maybe you’re just a control freak. With Blue by ADT, you get to decide for yourself. Let the experts keep an eye on things, or DIY it. We like professional monitoring, but we like choice even better. Advantage goes to Blue in this category.
Pro Tip: If you’re looking to save a little money while staying safe, go with a system that offers both self and professional monitoring. You can monitor it for free most of the time but can still sign up for a month of professional service when you need it, like when you go on vacation.
These two companies are also pretty different when it comes to installation. Blue by ADT only offers DIY installation. Vivint, on the other hand, requires professional installation.
Blue by ADT is certainly easy to install yourself. Components are all plug and play, sensors stick easily to doors and windows, and everything routes easily through the keypad hub and the mobile app. Our complete guide to installation can even help you make decisions about where to put your cameras.
However, Vivint’s professional installation is relatively affordable, ranging in price from $50-$200 depending on the current promotion and system you purchase. And yes, professional installation means you get to sit back and watch someone else do all the work. Technicians decide on the best places to put everything, and you don’t have to pay a dime extra.
Advantage to Vivint here, with one caveat. If you move, Vivint charges between $50 and $200 to reinstall your equipment at your new home, and you don’t have the option to do it yourself.
If you’ve been paying attention up to this point, it will probably come as no surprise that Vivint costs a bit more than Blue by ADT costs. That’s because Vivint provides more in terms of services. Let’s break it all down.
Generally speaking, there are three main costs associated with home security systems:
If you’re comparing apples to apples, Vivint equipment can be anywhere between two and five times as expensive as Blue by ADT equipment.
Blue by ADT
Door/ window sensor
Vivint does allow you to purchase equipment through a financing plan, and the cost is conveniently added to the price of your monitoring plan. That helps to soften the blow of its pricing a little. And, of course, Vivint’s equipment is certainly better quality than Blue by ADT’s. We wouldn’t say it’s five times better, though. We’ll call it a tie.
You won’t pay anything for installation with either of these companies. However, “free” for Blue by ADT means doing the work yourself, whereas free for Vivint means you actually get something of value for no cost. (Of course, if you move, you’ll pay $50-$200 for Vivint to set your system up in a new location.) However, under most circumstances, we think getting something for nothing is a pretty good deal. Advantage Vivint.
Finally, there’s monitoring. If you’re comparing Blue’s self-monitoring package to Vivint, there’s a pretty distinct difference. Self-monitoring is free. In fact, Blue even throws in a full 24 hours of video recording at no charge. Vivint plans, in contrast, start at $30 per month.
The more accurate comparison, though, would be between Vivint’s plan and Blue’s professional monitoring plan. Blue comes out on top, as a month of professional monitoring costs $20, which is $10 less than Vivint’s best price. Advantage Blue.
Finally, it’s worth noting that Blue by ADT’s pricing is all transparent. You can find exactly what you need to know about costs on the company’s website. Vivint, on the other hand, likes to keep this information close to the vest. They don’t publish equipment costs, monitoring prices, or even installation fees. Instead, you have to contact a sales representative and get a quote. Vivint does this for a reason: Every package is a little different, and they work on the principle of customized pricing. Still, knowing exactly what things cost sure helps with comparison shopping.
All in all, we have to give Blue by ADT the edge when it comes to pricing. But if price isn’t an object for you, then Vivint is the better (and smarter) system.
So, here’s where things stand: We’ve given the nod to Blue by ADT when it comes to pricing and monitoring options. Vivint, though, wins in the categories of installation and equipment. Does that make it a toss up?
Sort of. If you remember how this page started, you’ll know we said these are both great companies that offer great products. However, those products are also different. The bottom line, then, is that you have to go with the one that’s going to meet your specific needs.
If you want simple and affordable home protection without sacrificing features, then go with Blue by ADT. If you want the best-of-the-best smart home security system to protect you and yours, then Vivint is the way to go.
Choose Blue by ADT if:
You like controlling your system yourself.
You’re looking to save a little money.
You like a system that features facial recognition.
Choose Vivint if:
You prefer leaving your security to the professionals.
You’re looking for less common system components, such as door locks and glass break sensors.
You want a fully-integrated smart home.
We get lots of questions when it comes to Blue by ADT and Vivint security systems, and we don’t always have the time to answer them on our pages. So, we’ve taken a little extra time to address them here.
Blue by ADT doesn’t cost anything per month if you choose to self-monitor. You can pay for Blue equipment and never owe another dime if you’re willing to DIY your monitoring. Blue makes this easy by giving you free real-time alerts, access to live and recorded footage, and 24 hours of recording capacity. However, if you’re interested in 24/7 professional monitoring, that runs $20 per month.
Blue by ADT is definitely worth it. Blue is under the ADT name, and ADT has over 145 years of experience in the security industry. You get great equipment at a low price; a choice between self and professional monitoring, and easy DIY installation.
Vivint costs as little as $30 per month. That’s the price of its lowest monitoring package. However, it’s hard to say with any certainty what a total Vivint package might cost. For one thing, the company doesn’t publish prices on its websites, preferring to negotiate directly with customers. For another, Vivint allows you to finance equipment prices and add this cost to the monthly monitoring fee. Thus total monthly costs will depend on how much equipment you purchase, how much of the equipment price you finance, and what kind of monitoring plan you’ll need for the amount of equipment you purchased.
The best home security system is ADT (not Blue by ADT). With ADT you get a choice of hardwired, wireless, or hybrid systems, full smart home integration with Google Home and Alexa, and full 24/7 monitoring with every package. ADT also provides some of the best equipment in the business plus professional installation. You can read more about this titan of home security in our ADT price guide.