ADT vs. Brinks Overview
|BBB customer reviews||1.25/5 stars based on 480+ reviews||1.5/5 stars based on 230+ reviews|
|J.D.Power rating||3 Power Circles||5 Power Circles|
|DIY installation option||No||Yes|
|Contract length||36 months||36 months
Modern system controls
According to a 2018 study by J.D. Power, when consumers are deciding between home security brands they’re looking for features like sleek touch-screen control panels and the option to operate their system via mobile device.
The ADT mobile app, available with their Control package monitoring option, allows consumers to arm or disarm the system remotely, lock and unlock the front door, control the thermostat, turn on the lights, and view camera footage. It can also send alerts when consumers forget to close the door or window, or neglect to arm the system before leaving.
Brinks offers several ways to access their security systems. With Google Nest Secure (for whom Brinks provides professional monitoring), owners can use a Nest tag, a passcode, or the Google Nest app. With the Brinks Home Complete systems, the access options are a passcode, the Brinks Home Security App, bluetooth hands-free disarming, or an optional keychain remote.
Smart home compatibility
In addition to their mobile app, ADT also offers other devices for your smart home: garage door openers, video doorbells, security cameras, smart plugs, smart door locks, and flood sensors.
Much like ADT, Brinks provides voice alerts and allows smartphone control, as well as bluetooth and touchscreen options for their Home Complete Systems.
Given the Google Assistant connectivity inherent in the Brinks-backed Google Nest Secure, Brinks can also be connected to smart home devices. The Home Complete Systems are compatible with Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant, as well as the full suite of Google Nest cameras and thermostats. The Alexa compatibility means Brinks users can also incorporate Amazon Ring’s video doorbell into their smart home ecosystem.
Brinks does not include window sensors. However, the sensors intended for the doors can be used as DIY window sensors. The company also sells indoor and outdoor security cameras, and video doorbells.
ADT has been in the security business for 145 years and the company boasts more than 7 million customers in the U.S. and Canada who are using one of the three monitored security system options:
- Traditional package: digital panel, cellular connection, high-decibel alarm, entryway sensors, window and yard signs
- Control: everything in the traditional package plus ADT mobile app
- Video: includes everything in the Control package plus remote secure video
In addition to these packages, ADT Health offers medical alert systems for seniors and those with medical conditions. Customers can press a button to receive assistance over two-way voice radios, and the fall detection pendants will send an alert when a fall is detected.
Dallas, Texas-based Brinks Home Security boasts more than 1 million subscribers. The company offers three monitored security systems:
- Google Nest Secure: includes a keypad, motion detector, alarm, and panic button
- Home Complete: includes touch screen control plus video
- Home Complete with Video: includes everything in Home Complete, plus video monitoring
There is no contract required with Google Nest Secure, but both Home Complete and Home Complete With Video require a 36-month agreement.
Comparing Transparency and Customer Satisfaction
In the 2018 J.D. Power Customer Satisfaction Rankings, Brinks Home Security came in first place with 852 points and five Power Circles – the only company to receive that high of a ranking within the survey. ADT came in one point below the industry average of 834 points.
One possible factor: In March, 2016, a consumer fraud class action lawsuit was filed against ADT alleging the company exaggerates its systems’ safety. According to the lawsuit, ADT states that it uses the most advanced technology, but the plaintiffs allege that ADTs wireless systems are not encrypted and not authenticated, allowing interception and interference from authorized parties. However, in March, 2019, the settlement was placed on hold.
Brinks is not without its own troubles. On June 30, 2019, the BBB reported that Brinks Home Security filed for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the federal Bankruptcy Act.
Regarding transparency at the consumer level, ADT does not list prices for its products or services on its website. You can fill out the form on its website, and a specialist will call you back. In exchange for getting a free quote, you also have to agree to let someone call you “from time to time,” about ADT and LifeShield offers. The Brinks website, on the other hand, lists all of the information for their products and services, including contract lengths, and monthly monitoring amounts.