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ADT vs. Brinks: Comparing home security systems

ADT and Brinks are two names that consistently stand out from the rest, but which is better?
Written by Lena Borrelli, Contributing Writer

ZDNet Report

  • ADT home monitoring plans are more expensive than plans offered by Brinks.
  • ADT offers the option for wired connections, while Brinks only offers wireless and cellular. 
  • Brinks provides options for DIY or professional installation, while ADT requires professional installation for a fee.

With Americans spending more time at home now than ever before, it is a good time to update your home security to keep your whole family safe. However, with so many emerging technologies, it's hard to know which are the best home security systems to use. 

ADT vs Brinks: Comparison


Starting Price


Equipment Available





Digital panel | Door and window sensors | Motion detector | Backup battery | Yard signs & window decals | High-decibel alarm




DIY or professional 

Wireless touchscreen system | Wireless motion sensor | Wireless door sensors | Video doorbell

Information accurate as of April 2021


Score: 1.4 | J.D. Power: 834* | Contract requirement: Yes | 

Why we chose it

ADT has been a leader in the security field for decades, and while its coverage isn't the cheapest compared to other competitors, it offers 24/7 monitoring with advanced features.


  • 24/7 monitoring
  • $500 theft protection guarantee
  • Environmental monitoring


  • More expensive than competitors
  • Six-month return policy
  • Charges extra for wireless, cellular-based systems

Equipment available:

  • Flood, fire, and leak sensors
  • Glass break sensors
  • Indoor/outdoor cameras
  • Video cam doorbell
  • Additional add-on devices

Plans & pricing:

  • ADT Secure: $45.99/month
  • ADT Smart: $49.99/month
  • ADT Complete: $59.99/month

Score: 2.6 | J.D. Power: 842* |  Contract requirement: Yes |

Why we chose it

Brinks offers cellular-based systems with DIY installation for a more affordable security solution that is backed by a 30-day return policy.


  • Affordable security
  • 24/7 monitoring
  • Fully wireless systems
  • Home automation


  • 30-day return policy
  • Video monitoring is not available in all packages
  • Limited features compared to ADT

Equipment available: 

  • Additional sensors
  • HD indoor cameras with night vision
  • Smoke detector
  • Video doorbell
  • Over 100 add-on smart home devices

Plans & pricing:

  • Brinks Essential: $29/month
  • Brinks Complete: $39/month
  • Brinks Ultimate: $39/month

*J.D. Power's 2020 Home Security Satisfaction Study. Based on a 1,000-point scale.

Compare ADT and Brinks home security plans

Basic Plan




Secure: $45.99/mo.

Smart: $49.99/mo.

Complete: $59.99/mo.


Essential: $39/mo.

Complete: $39/mo.

Ultimate: $39/mo.

Information accurate as of April 2021

ADT vs Brinks: Emergency connections

One of the main differences between Brinks vs ADT has to do with how the two companies handle their operating systems. Both companies are great choices for the best monitoring systems because they both offer 24/7 monitoring centers. However, they communicate much, much differently. 

ADT defaults to wired connections, using your landline to power the system. You have the option of Wi-Fi or cellular connections, but you will have to upgrade, and it will cost you more. Brinks skips landlines altogether instead of sticking strictly to Wi-Fi or cellular connections for its home security monitoring.

Customers who live in rural areas may prefer ADT's wired connection because stable internet service is often so spotty in these areas. However, people in metropolitan and suburban areas may prefer a wireless connection since many households don't even subscribe to landlines anymore. When it comes to Brinks vs ADT for emergency monitoring, ADT is your pick if you need wired service. Otherwise, Brinks offers the best wireless systems with the Wi-Fi and cellular-based options that most households need to set up and maintain their home security systems.

ADT vs Brinks: Installation

There are also significant differences between the two providers when it comes to installation. When trying to decide between Brinks vs ADT, installation can be a major factor for busy households or frequent travelers who shudder at the thought of yet another appointment to coordinate. 

Brinks is among the best DIY home security systems because it gives the option for your security installation, offering either free DIY installation or professional installation for an extra fee. The DIY installation is a surprisingly easy process, holding up to Brinks' promise of just 15 to 30 minutes from start to finish. This is mainly because its systems arrive pre-configured, taking out the more complicated tech stuff for more novice users. There's also support if you run into any issues during installation.

ADT doesn't offer DIY installation for its systems, instead of requiring that all users schedule an appointment for professional installation. If you prefer not to handle the setup, this can be a great benefit for you, but be aware that it does come at an extra cost which is added to your bill.

ADT vs Brinks: Monitoring plans

There are a few things to consider in the battle of Brinks vs ADT when it comes to home security monitoring plans. They both offer multiple plans, but ADT is noticeably higher in cost. 

With Brinks, you have the option of adding video monitoring to your plan for an extra $10 a month. Brinks partners with Moni and Livewatch for its 24/7 professional security monitoring, so your home is never unprotected. If anything were ever to happen, trained professionals can act quickly and summon the right kind of help.

ADT's plans also include the option of video or no video, but there are other options, as well. The base plan only offers wired connections, requiring an immediate upgrade for using a cellular or wireless connection.

ADT vs Brinks: Smart home automation

Smart home automation has become the gold standard amongst homeowners today, so it is a feature that many users look for in a home security provider.

Both ADT and Brinks deliver here, but you'll find that the price tag is significantly different between the two. Brinks integrate with well over 115 security and smart home devices that all work with its systems, including smart door locks, home lighting, and garage doors. It comes standard with Brinks home monitoring plans, costing nothing to automate your home. ADT also offers these integrations, but plan upgrades are required if you want to take advantage of them in your home. 

When it comes to Brinks vs ADT for smart home automation, Brinks is the more affordable choice.

ADT vs Brinks FAQ

Which is better: ADT or Brinks?

It all depends on what you need in a home security system. While Brinks offers DIY affordability, you can pay a little more for the full-service experience with ADT. 

Is Brinks now ADT?

In 2021, Brinks is still Brinks, but it has undergone a few changes in recent years. In 2009, the company underwent a rebranding, renaming itself Broadview, before ADT absorbed the company in 2010. Eight years later, Brinks became Brinks again and has kept its original branding since. 

How much is Brinks per month?

Brinks home security plans begin at $29 each month and increase from there, depending on which options and security features you choose. 

Why is ADT so expensive?

ADT requires more of an investment upfront, requiring you to purchase your home security system while Brinks allows you to rent. However, once you pay for it, your equipment is yours to own -- a bonus many customers find worthwhile.

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