Brinks vs ADT Comparison

Brinks and ADT are two of the most popular security systems on the market. Which one works better? Our experts find out.

By
&
Aliza VigdermanGabe TurnerChief Editor
Last Updated on Jul 30, 2020
By
&
Aliza VigdermanGabe TurnerChief Editor
Last Updated on Jul 30, 2020

ADT

  • Professional installation on all systems
  • Monitoring centers
  • 145+ years of home security innovation
Editor's Rating
9.3
/10

Brinks Home Security

  • 150+ years in security industry
  • Wireless systems with 24/7 monitoring
  • Advanced home automation features
Editor's Rating
8.6
/10

We researched, tested, and reviewed Brinks and ADT. See how they measure up in our in-depth comparison the most comprehensive comparison you will find.

Key Takeaways From Our Brinks vs ADT Comparison:

  1. ADT and Brinks both offer quality home protection with 24/7 monitoring
  2. Brinks offers better deals on cellular home security systems
  3. Both companies require contracts for monitoring services
  4. Brinks requires upfront purchase of security equipment
  5. Both companies deliver everything needed to protect your home

The five points above are meant to illustrate the major points of this Brinks vs ADT comparison. But there’s much more to the story. Read on to learn the key differences and similarities with Brinks and ADT.

Brinks vs ADT Comparison Overview

Key Differences: Brinks vs ADT

  • Brinks is DIY, while ADT requires professional installation
  • ADT offers 6-month money-back guarantee, opposed to Brinks 30-day return window
  • Brinks systems are cellular-based and surprisingly affordable
  • ADT’s equipment is superior to Brinks
  • ADT is more expensive overall

Key Similarities: Brinks vs ADT

  • 100+ year old companies, firmly established in the industry
  • Both offer 24/7 professional monitoring
  • Both require 2-3 year contracts on all systems
  • ADT and Brinks both offer smart home compatibility
  • Both offer fast response times and reliable protection

Now let’s jump into the different categories to see how these two security solutions stack up against one another.

Home Security Categories We Compare:

Age and Influence 

Brinks — The home security giant Brinks was founded way back in 1859. The company has been delivering top notch security services almost ever since. The 21st century hasn’t exactly been great for Brinks. In fact, it seems as though the company is experiencing an identity crisis. They rebranded as Broadview in 2009, were acquired by ADT in 2010, and in 2018 returned as Brinks once again. Nevertheless, Brinks is still a multi-billion dollar company offering stellar home security solutions. But can they match ADT’s market influence?

ADT — The words ‘home security’ and ‘ADT’ go together like peanut butter and jelly. And the reason is simple — ADT has been delivering quality security solutions for 145 years. While Brinks might technically be older than ADT, ADT has been steady through the years. Today the company serves 7 million customers and counting, making it the biggest player in home security. And remember, ADT bought out Brinks at one point, a business deal that illustrates just how big ADT really is.

Age and Influence Category Winner: ADT

Brinks was once nipping at the heels of the home security powerhouse ADT. But after a tumultuous two decades for Brinks, ADT is clearly more established and popular among consumers. Remember though, this is just one category. Let’s see how they stack up when it comes to features and tech.

Features and Technology 

Brinks — Brinks home security systems are Wi-Fi or cellular powered. They offer decent features and technology, but nothing groundbreaking. Users can control their system from anywhere via mobile app. And Brinks does offer home automation compatibility with Google Nest devices.

Standout Brinks features and tech include:

  • 100% wireless home security
  • 24/7 professional monitoring
  • Home automation features
  • Control panel Smash and Crash Protection
  • LiveVoice Assist
  • Cloud video storage
  • Mobile app

ADT — ADT is similar to Brinks in this category, offering security packages to safeguard your home. ADT does offer wireless, cellular-based systems — but they do charge a premium for this option. The company also offers home automation capabilities and remote control via mobile app. It’s no secret that ADT leads the field when it comes to reliable and highly-effective home security.

Standout ADT features and tech include:

  • 24/7 professional monitoring
  • Landline and cellular-based systems
  • Smart home automation
  • Environmental monitoring (Flood, fire, leak)
  • Pet-friendly motion detectors
  • Mobile app

Features and Technology Category Winner: ADT

This is a close one, but ADT takes the slight edge. Their home automation is more robust. And unlike Brinks, ADT offers environmental monitoring, as well as landline and cellular options.

Monitoring Options

Brinks — Brinks monitoring plans start at $29/mo. for ‘Brinks Home Complete’ and increase to $39/mo. if you spring for the video surveillance package. These prices are fairly standard. Brinks has an agreement with Moni and Livewatch for professional monitoring. Customers enjoy around-the-clock monitoring by true professionals. If a break-in or security breach occurs, the monitoring center will jump into action to protect your property and keep your family safe.

ADT — ADT offers four monitoring plans. They start at $27.99/mo. for landline-based home security. And the premium packages range up to $58/mo. but include features like cellular-connectivity, home automation, and video. The quality and reliability of ADT’s professional monitoring is simply unrivaled.

Monitoring Options Category Winner: Tie

Another close one. While Brinks monitoring is more affordable than ADT, ADT offers more packages and options when it comes to securing your home. But most importantly, ADT has earned a reputation for reliable monitoring and fast response times.

Emergency Connections

Brinks — The new and improved Brinks is following in the footsteps of many 21st century security companies, offering WiFi and cellular-connectivity. This means you don’t need a landline to receive fast service. In fact, cellular-based systems are known to have faster connection speeds and overall better reliability. All of Brinks connections are wireless in this way.

ADT — ADT’s bare-bones and basic security package is landline-based. The company also offers cellular home security systems, but they aren’t cheap.

Emergency Connections Category Winner: Brinks

To compete with Brinks in this category, ADT would have to offer cellular connectivity at the $30/mo. pricepoint. But alas, ADT’s cheapest cellular plan runs about $50/mo. Brinks takes the slight lead when it comes to emergency connections.

Security Equipment Included

Brinks — ‘Brinks Home’ costs $29/mo and includes a touchscreen control panel, 3 door/window sensors, 1 motion detector, and a nifty mobile app. ‘Brinks Home Complete’ costs $39/mo and includes everything in the Brinks Home package, plus 1 indoor camera and 1 doorbell camera.

Brinks add-on equipment includes:

  • Smoke detector
  • Additional sensors
  • HD indoor camera w/night vision
  • 100+ smart home devices

ADT — With the ADT base package, customers get a control panel, hub, infrared motion sensor, a few entryway sensors, and a wireless keychain remote. There is no upfront equipment cost, as equipment rental is factored into the monthly monitoring fee.

ADT add-on equipment includes:

  • Glass break sensors
  • Video cam doorbell
  • Indoor/outdoor cameras
  • Flood, fire, leak sensors
  • And other options

Security Equipment Category Winner: ADT

ADT has more upgrades and options than you can shake a stick at. Whether you have a large home and want to add on to your existing system, or you want to choose from the latest smart home features, ADT has what you need. It’s not exactly cheap, but it’s nice to have options. On the other hand, Brinks offers upgrades, but not nearly to the extent of ADT. However, both Brinks and ADT packages include everything you need to get started with home protection.

Equipment Quality

Brinks — Brinks has been known to offer high-quality equipment. After all, the company has a fleet of armored trucks that can easily withstand an onslaught of gunfire. So why should their home security equipment be any less formidable and durable? From their control panels and sensors, to smoke detectors and cameras, the quality of Brinks’ products are top-notch.

ADT — ADT offers some of the best equipment in the business. All of their equipment is manufactured by companies like GE and Honeywell, so it’s certainly built to last. In fact, equipment quality is a point of pride for ADT, and it’s a benefit that people have come to expect.

Equipment Quality Category Winner: ADT

Yet another close one, but ADT takes the slight edge when it comes to equipment quality. With the genius minds and technological capabilities of GE and Honeywell making their products, it’s no small wonder that ADT offers up better equipment than Brinks security.

Smart Home Automation 

Brinks — The Brinks hub is capable of supporting 119 security and smart home devices. Get smart lights, door locks, garage door openers, etc. Needless to say, the security company has home automation dialed-in. Also, automation is included with both of Brinks’ packages, starting at $29/mo, making it highly affordable. And it’s compatible with Google Home, Nest, Amazon Alexa, Apple TV, and more.

ADT — Unfortunately, although ADT offers smart home automation (lights, door locks, thermostats, and more), the price tag might give you sticker shock. Starting at about $50/mo., ADT home automation is much more expensive than Brinks.

Smart Home Automation Category Winner: Brinks 

For $29/mo. and a few equipment upgrades, you can transform your home into the smartest home around. Compare this to ADT’s $50/mo. and you can see why Brinks is the clear winner. We would like to see ADT offer a package that includes cellular home security and home automation around the $30 price point. Is that too much to ask?

Ease of Installation 

Brinks — This is where Brinks shines. The company offers DIY installation with all of its wireless systems. And the systems come preconfigured, so there’s no fuss or muss. Just plug-and-play setup that only takes 15-30 minutes. If you don’t love DIY, no problem, Brinks offers professional installation for an extra fee.

ADT — Unfortunately, ADT requires professional installation across the board, even with their cellular plans. This can present a problem for busy people who can’t necessarily be available for installation appointments. Also, ADT’s base plan is powered via landline. This means there will be drilling into walls, splicing circuitry, and other invasive install methods. However, professional installation means that setup is done right the first time around.

Installation Category Winner: Brinks

Brinks capitalizes on one of ADT’s biggest weaknesses: installation. Brinks makes it easy to get up-and-running with home security and automation. With Brinks, there’s no handyman skills required and no installation appointments to keep. Just set aside 30 minutes or so, and voila! ADT should take note and offer a DIY home security package.

Customer Service

Brinks — Brinks offers call/text phone support. Their website also has customer support services available. Many of Brinks devices support two-way talk to communicate with security experts and support techs. Overall, Brinks security customer service is superb, and they have the A+ BBB rating to prove it.

ADT — ADT also carries an A+ BBB rating. But there’s mixed feelings about the company’s service team when it comes to online reviews. From what we’ve experienced, ADT staffs a professional service team that is always happy to help.

Customer Service Category Winner: Brinks

Brinks has returned to the home security market with one of the best customer service departments around. In fact, J.D. Power ranked Brinks #1 in Customer Satisfaction in 2018. Sure, ADT’s customer service is good, just not that good.

Contracts 

Brinks — Brinks requires customers to sign a 3-year contract for their monitoring services. And the company offers a meager 30-day return window.

ADT — Similar to Brinks, ADT has two-year and three-year contracts. But thankfully, ADT also offers the best money-back guarantee in the business. You can return your equipment and receive a full refund for monitoring costs anytime in the first 6 months. This customer-friendly policy alone is why many choose ADT over the competition.

Contracts Category Winner: ADT

Both companies require your autograph and a 2-3 year commitment. But ADT’s 6-month money-back guarantee is just too good to pass up. While ADT does have some stipulations on this guarantee, it’s still far more generous than Brinks’ 30-day return window.

Cost and Value

Brinks — Brinks equipment fees start at $399. Then you pay either $29 or $39 per month depending on your plan. Overall, this is a great value considering the quality of home protection and smart automation capabilities you get. The best part, there are no activation fees or installation fees, as their security systems are easy-to-install on your own.

ADT — ADT’s home security systems generally cost between $40 to $60 per month — much more expensive than Brinks. However, you can get setup with a (very) basic landline package for about $28/mo. The company also requires a $125 installation/activation fee. The silver lining — with ADT you don’t have to fork out hundreds of dollars upfront to purchase the equipment.

Cost and Value Category Winner: Tie

ADT and Brinks are neck-and-neck in this category. On the one hand, Brinks’ monthly fees are cheaper, but you have to pay for the equipment upfront. And while ADT’s monthly monitoring plans are steep, you’ll enjoy reliable home protection from a company that’s been around for ages (literally).

Brinks and ADT are two of the most popular home security companies for a reason. While they might not have the innovation-chops of the new 21st century companies, they both hold their own when it comes to home security and smart home automation. But there can only be one winner. See below for our expert at-a-glance analysis of the category winners.

  • Age and Influence: Winner – ADT
  • Features and Technology: Winner – ADT
  • Monitoring Options: Winner – Tie
  • Emergency Connections: Winner – Brinks
  • Security Equipment Included: Winner – ADT
  • Quality of Equipment: Winner – ADT
  • Home Automation: Winner – Brinks
  • Installation: Winner – Brinks
  • Customer Service: Winner – Brinks
  • Contracts: Winner – ADT
  • Cost and Value : Winner – Tie

Overall Winner – ADT

The Bottom Line

A strong argument can be made for both companies and the home protection they deliver. But you have to think about everything from features and tech, to customer service, contracts, and more. Hopefully this in-depth Brinks vs. ADT comparison has answered all of your burning questions. You should now be ready to make a wise buying decision.

Go with Brinks if you’re looking for easy, DIY installation on a 100% wireless cellular home security system. Brinks is affordable, reliable, and stacked with home automation features. Brinks has certainly reemerged on the home security scene with something to prove.

Or choose ADT if you’re looking for total home protection from a well-established company. Although it’s more expensive, ADT delivers lots of high-tech features and technology, best-in-class equipment, and reliable professional monitoring.