Vivint vs. ADT

Vivint, after rebranding itself in 2011 and being acquired by one of the largest financial firms in the world, the Blackstone Group, made an aggressive push to become a serious rival to ADT. Both companies have won several industry awards. They have similar general marketing and sales policies. Each uses U.S. manufactured components that are not proprietary.

The companies uses local sales representatives and installation technicians. Neither offer Do-It-Yourself (DIY) options.

ADT vs Vivint

Our extensively researched comparison provides you will a good overview of each, highlighting each similarity and difference. We use a wide-range of comparative data points, including contracts, customer satisfaction ratings in multiple areas, costs and service. ADT, in our view, comes out ahead, but many homeowners and small businesses may find that Vivint suits their individual needs better depending upon their circumstances.


  • Cellular transmission
  • Each offers a complete range of U.S. manufactured sensors and smart home devices
  • ADT and Vivint own the centers that monitor their systems
  • Each company charges substantial penalties for early contract termination
  • Smartphone apps are available free of charge
  • There is no money-back guarantee with either company’s system except that required by state law
  • ADT and Vivint provide the equipment free when you sign a monitoring contract


  • Vivint contracts require an extra two-year commitment compared to ADT
  • Frontpoint offers two contract options and ADT one
  • Vivint has a B- Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating, and ADT has an A+
  • ADT uses Honeywell, and Vivint uses 2Gig home security technology
  • Vivint requires a five-year contract and ADT requires a three-year
  • Vivint monthly charges for their basic and premium services are higher than what ADT charges
  • Vivint allows users to choose a certain number of smart home control items, based on the package bought. ADT charges extra for any smart home devices
  • Vivint provides a home and cloud photo storage device with their premium package

Comparison Overview Chart of Basic Packages

Package NameEssentialsSmart Protect
Monthly Monitoring Fee$36.99$53.99
Equipment Costnonenone
Activation and/or Installation Fee*$199.00$199.00
Contract Length3 years5 years
Equipment ManufacturerHoneywell2Gig
Outsourced or Proprietary Monitoring CentersProprietaryProprietary
Door/Window Sensor Included33
Motion Sensor11
Smoke Detector
BBB Rating

* Fee can vary depending on local dealer and online specials or coupons

Comparison Overview Chart of Top Packages Offered

Package NamePulse SelectSmart Complete
Monthly Monitoring Fee$49.99
Equipment Costnonenone
Activation and/or Installation Fee*$199.00$199.00
Contract Length3 years5 years
Equipment ManufacturerHoneywell2Gig
Outsourced or Proprietary Monitoring CentersProprietaryProprietary
Video availableYesYes
Door/Window Sensor Included33
Smoke Detector
Smart Home Services Devices03
Touchscreen ConsoleYesYes
iTune App Rating**2.5 stars3.5 stars
Android App Rating**3.5 stars4.3 stars
Blackberry App Rating4 stars3.9 stars

*Fee can vary depending on local dealer and online specials or coupons
** “All version” star rating used for the comparison

Comparison Overview
The quality of offerings from ADT and Vivint is excellent. Most experts agree that Honeywell and 2GIG have some of the best equipment on the market.

ADT and Vivint both sell an equally diverse range and types of sensors and detectors. Vivint offers a few more pieces of equipment with each of their packages. Each has Z-Wave, smart home devices, but only Vivint offers them as standard equipment in the mid-range and premium packages. Prices for individual components are similar too.

Their monitoring services receive good ratings from customers. Vivint and ADT own their own centers and hence devote all their resources to support only their home and business security clients.

The key differentiators between the two companies are the pricing, contract length, and aggressive sales techniques. Vivint has gotten better in recent years but prior to that had several lawsuits filed against it by state’s attorney general’s offices for misrepresentation and deceptive sales tactics.

Winner and Loser Categories

Company Reputation

Winner: ADT

Vivint had over 3500 complaints lodged against it with the Better Business Bureau. ADT has had several hundred, but all are usually resolved to the satisfaction of the complainant. Vivint has done better in this department in the past two years but still suffers from higher rates of customer dissatisfaction than ADT.

Aggressive salesmen who make promises that cannot be kept are the reason for most of the low Vivint ratings. ADT suffers from complaints related to contract terms as much as Vivint does, however.

Both companies have excellent installation and service reputations.


Winner: ADT

ADT and Vivint both charge the same for installation and activation. Local dealers for Vivint can offer discounts, coupons and sales on these two services whereas local ADT dealers must follow corporate guidance.

Vivint charges substantially more for their all three of their packages compared to ADT and most other home security companies. Vivint’s basic package charge is one of the highest in the industry.


Winner: ADT

Many consumers find the industry standard, three-year contracts required by ADT onerous. The five-year contracts required by Vivint add a long two-year to an already long period of time.

Both companies have very aggressive and strict contract termination clauses. Terminating a Vivint contract after one year will cost you twice as much as terminating an ADT contract.

Packages and Contents

Winner: Vivint

Vivint provides more equipment with their packages than ADT. Their middle and premium Vivint packages allow the consumer choose whatever two or three smart home devices they want. Vivint considers cameras a smart home appliance; to with Vivint you can outfit your residence with video without incurring the relatively substantial cost of buying a camera as an add-on.

Ease of Installation

Winner: Tie

There have been very few consumer complaints about the installation provided by ADT and Vivint. Users give universally high marks overall to both companies for their installation services.

Equipment Quality and Technology

Winner: Tie

The pricing and quality of Honeywell and 2Gig products are about the same.


Winner: ADT

ADT advertises a six-month return policy, but only on installation. Vivint, however, has no return policy. Their equipment warranties are the same, and any sensor or detector that goes bad due to a manufacturing defect will be replaced at no charge.


Winner: Tie

ADT and Vivint will fix your home security system free of charge if a problem develops.

Comparison Summary

ADT wins our comparison review in almost every category, though the equipment and service, two key components of any home security offering, are essentially the same.  Learn more about this system in our ADT review.

Most people choose ADT over Vivint due to pricing and contract length. Some consumers, however, who expect to be in their home for a long time, may not mind the 72-month term. The ability to choose your smart home devices, including video, may also push some consumers to decide on Vivint.  Learn more in our Vivint review.



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