24 May ADT vs Vivint Comparison and Home Security Review
There are many factors to consider when shopping for a security system these days. It can sometimes be confusing and hard to understand the differences, strengths, and weaknesses. This comparison between ADT and Vivint will help you understand the differences and why you would want to choose blue (ADT) over orange (Vivint).
Below is a fairly large table showing many of the differences. I will elaborate on these but first, here you have the table. This is the only website and blog that will go into this much detail for you. Warning: there maybe more information here than you want to know.
|Monthly Monitoring Fee||59.99/mo||69.99/mo|
|Contract Length||36 months||60 months|
|Outdoor Cameras Available||Yes||No|
|High Speed Internet Connection||Yes||No|
|Voice App Available||Yes||No|
|High Quality Touchscreen||Yes||No|
|Integration in Ford Vehicles||Yes||No|
|Severe Weather Alerts||Yes||Yes|
|Good BBB Rating||Yes||No|
|Garage Door Control||Yes||Yes|
|Experience in Security Business||140 Years||14 Years|
|Trip Charge for Service Call||$25||$49|
|Unlimited Cloud Video Recording for a month||Yes||No|
|DVR||Yes with Analog Cameras||No|
|Lowest Monitoring Rate||$36.99/mo||$49.99/mo|
|Good Hardwired Panel Option||Yes||No|
This is a comparison of the top tier Security, Video, and Home Automation Package. Vivint charges around $68/mo for this. ADT only charges $59.99/mo for their ADT Pulse, and that is their cap. You could add many more things and the price won’t increase. If you were comparing price alone, it’s an obvious choice so far. (Of course, this is only a price comparison of the top tiers of both companies. Keep reading for the price comparison of both companies lowest rates.)
ADT has always had a 36 month agreement. At the end of the ADT agreement, it renews month to month. Vivint, on the other hand, usually ties their customers into a long 60-month or 5-year contract. What gets even worse is that for most people, their contract renews for a year at a time after that. The long contract and auto-renewal for a year makes them much less consumer friendly and is one of the reasons they have so many negative reviews online.
Home view is the patented view that only ADT has of your entire home or business in a floor plan view. You can see all the doors or windows that are open at once. You can see if any of your motion detectors are picking up motion. Additionally, you can click on one of them and see every time there was an opening or motion for the last 30 days. You can even click on deadbolts, thermostats, lights, and cameras right from this view. This view makes managing your home or business much easier from a birds eye view. Vivint does not have this nor does any other security or home automation company.
If you want to see who is in your driveway, back yard, or at your front door, there’s a good chance you will only be able to do it with ADT. Vivint doesn’t officially support or install outdoor cameras. ADT not only has outdoor cameras, but they can also record on motion and you can have unlimited 30-second clips for a month. Additionally, you can have up to 10 ADT Pulse Cameras with any combination of indoor, outdoor, and even analog cameras with a DVR.
High Speed Internet Connection
ADT chose to install a separate unit called an iHub for their ADT Pulse service. What this does is allow them to connect it to a LAN wired internet connection so you can have a faster connection to your home security and automation service. How long do you want to wait for the deadbolt to lock? Or how long do you want to wait to turn the system on or off? On a different note, having the z-wave transmitter separate from the keypad/control panel allows is to be stronger. Many complaints have been posted online about the z-wave range of the Vivint keypad/panel.
Good BBB Rating
It’s not an easy thing for a large company with many sales people to maintain a good BBB rating. ADT has an A rating. Vivint has gone from F to C+, and now it just shows that they are not accredited. (I assume Vivint pursued legal action against the BBB to not show their rating anymore, but I don’t know about this.) If price is not a factor for you, and contract term is not a factor for you, what about the rating of their existing customers?
ADT has been in the security business for over 140 years now. Vivint has 14 years in the security industry. ADT’s main focus is security and home management. Vivint has a focus also with security and home management, but also is focused on their solar and internet offerings. ADT has never changed their name. Vivint has gone from Apex in 1999 to APX and then in 2011 changed their name to Vivint.
ADT owns and operates six monitoring centers throughout North America for residential and small business accounts. They are all UL Certified. Vivint has two monitoring stations in St. Paul Minnesota and Provo, UT.
ADT has technicians and vehicles in 200 branch offices to service their customers. They are not primarily focused on summer sales. The trip charge for an ADT Technician to come out to your home is only $25. Vivint and most other companies will charge $49 or more for a trip charge and they may not have a year-round presence in your area.
ADT primarily installs equipment from Honeywell or DSC. Both of these systems can be used with other monitoring services if a customer doesn’t want to stay with ADT. Vivint installs 2gig or their new Sky Panel. If you are successful getting out of their contract, you won’t be able to use this panel with another company. You will need to replace it.
Hardwired System Options
ADT has two top-of-the-line panels they use with ADT Pulse for a home that is pre-wired. You can keep those zones and have a control panel separate from your keypads. Vivint does not have an option for a hardwired panel with a separate keypad. Whether you have no wiring in your home or if you have 50 wired doors and windows, you will get their same keypad/panel. This is why most people that have a wired system prefer to go with ADT Pulse.
Lower cost options
You might be thinking “Alright, this is a comparison for the highest level of monitoring service from both companies, but how do the lower cost options compare?” ADT has monitoring options starting at $36.99/mo. Vivint starts their options at $49.99/mo. It’s great that ADT has something for everyone at any price level. If you don’t want to control your alarm from your smart phone, you don’t need to pay for that added feature with ADT.
As you can see from the table and the explanations, ADT is clearly the best choice as it has always been. Vivint is a great company and has very admirable qualities. But who would want to spend more, have a longer commitment, and have less features and options with a company that has a known lower reputation from online reviews? Not me. ADT is clearly the better option with better technology, lower prices, and better service.