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Best Home Security Systems with Professional Installation

Security company
Best forBest home automationBest reputation
Overall rating4.5/53.91/5
PriceStarting at $29.99/mo.Starting at $27.99/mo.
Learn moreView PlansView Plans
Security company
Best for
Overall rating
Price
Learn more
Best home automation Best reputation
4.5/5 3.91/5
Starting at $29.99/mo. Starting at $27.99/mo.
View Plans View Plans

Overview

Many home security systems are moving toward DIY installation, but we know that many people are more comfortable with a professional installing their system, especially one that is complex or high tech.

Of the home security companies we recommend, two offer only professional installation: Vivint and ADT.

Of the home security companies we recommend, two offer only professional installation: Vivint and ADT. Both Vivint and ADT charge a $99 installation fee, so the choice really comes down to what your priorities are and what works best for your situation. Read on to find out more about these two industry giants.

The details: Vivint vs. ADT

Best for
Best home automation
Best reputation
Lowest monitoring price$29.99/mo.$27.99/mo.
Installation cost$99$99
Home automation ratingCutting-edgeStandard
Learn moreView PlansView Plans
Best for
Lowest monitoring price
Installation cost
Home automation rating
Learn more

Best home automation
Best reputation
$29.99/mo. $27.99/mo.
$99 $99
Cutting-edge Standard
View Plans View Plans

Vivint review

Best home automation

Vivint pros and cons

Pros

  • High-quality equipment
  • Mobile access for all monitoring plans
  • Home automation support and third-party integration
  • Affordable basic monitoring plan
  • Flexible payment options, including contract-free monitoring

Cons

  • High up-front equipment costs for contract-free plan
  • Longer contract lengths than industry standard
  • Extra cost for video monitoring

Vivint: High-tech equipment and flexible payment

Vivint packs high-tech features and benefits into every one of its monitoring packages. Unlike much of its competition, Vivint gives customers access to their security systems from their smartphones, even at the basic monitoring level.

Vivint has a few drawbacks, like longer-than-usual contract lengths and high equipment costs, but we still unreservedly recommend the company.

Pricing

Vivint’s unique Flex Pay lets you pay for none or part of your equipment costs up front and spread the rest of the costs out each month if you sign a 42- to 60-month contract.

Or you can go the contract-free route, which lets you pay for all your equipment up front and then pay only the monthly monitoring fee after that.

This flexibility is rare in the industry for a company of Vivint’s caliber.

While this isn’t the lowest monthly monitoring price on the market, it’s an excellent value.

Monitoring plans

Vivint’s top monitoring plan costs $49.99 per month, which is pretty standard for the security industry. Its basic monitoring package is priced at $29.99 per month.

While this isn’t the lowest monthly monitoring price on the market, it’s an excellent value. All Vivint’s plans come with cellular monitoring with mobile access—which some companies charge much more for.

Installation

Vivint charges a $99 installation fee and offers only professional installation (no DIY options).

Customer service

Vivint offers 24/7 customer service via phone and online chat. We love this around-the-clock availability for consumers—no one wants to be stuck with a malfunctioning alarm in the middle of the night.

Features and equipment

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Unlike most of the home security system industry, Vivint produces some of its own security equipment. You can stick with the basic sensors and cameras, or you can create a powerful smart home complete with doorbell cameras, smart thermostats, automatic lights, and more.

The quality of Vivint’s equipment is one of the main reasons we recommend it, but keep in mind that high quality also means high cost, and it may not fit into every budget.

Home automation support

Vivint offers its own home automation products as well as third-party integrations, including Google Home and Amazon Alexa.

ASL Insider Tip

You’ll have to pay a little more for Smart Home monitoring, but if home automation is something you’re interested in, we definitely recommend looking into Vivint.

Lifetime warranty

All Vivint equipment comes with a lifetime warranty for as long as you pay for a monitoring plan. (If you end your monitoring plan or your contract ends, the warranty on the equipment does too.)

This extensive coverage is something we love to see, especially considering that some other companies charge extra for any kind of extended warranty.

>>Learn more: Read full Vivint review

ADT review

Best reputation

ADT pros and cons

Pros

  • Decades of experience in home security
  • Multiple monitoring stations for extra security and reliability
  • Rapid response time for installation appointments
  • Some equipment included with plans
  • One app for security and smart home devices

Cons

  • Higher monthly cost for cellular monitoring plans
  • No outdoor camera through our recommended provider

ADT: Experience, reliability, availability

ADT stands head and shoulders above the home security industry in terms of length of time in the business. With decades of experience, ADT has become a trusted name in the industry.

ADT uses independent dealers to install and service equipment. Protect Your Home is our ADT dealer of choice. It’s been around for 20 years, and we feel confident in recommending a provider with that kind of extensive experience and knowledge.

Pricing

Protect Your Home includes basic home security equipment in its monitoring plans, which can save you quite a bit of cash up front. You’ll get a keypad, backup battery, alarm, motion detector, and door/window sensors.

While you’ll probably want to add on additional equipment, like security cameras, more sensors, and smoke detectors, the basic package is enough to get you started.

Monitoring plans

Although ADT’s basic monitoring plan starts at just $27.99 per month (a little lower than Vivint’s basic package), it’s monitored via landline.

We strongly prefer cellular monitoring over landline because landline monitoring is susceptible to tampering (think wire-cutting), whereas a cellular system will still work even if your power goes out or your internet is disabled.

We strongly prefer cellular monitoring over landline because landline monitoring is susceptible to tampering (think wire-cutting), whereas a cellular system will still work even if your power goes out or your internet is disabled.

If you want cellular monitoring, your monthly costs start at $48.99 and go up for mobile access, video monitoring, and smart home integration.

Installation

Like Vivint (and many other home security companies), ADT charges a $99 installation fee.

However, Protect Your Home can usually get an installer to your home within 24 to 48 hours of calling. The installation process usually takes no more than four hours, so you don’t have to clear your entire day to be home.

Customer service

ADT offers 24/7 customer service over the phone, through email, or via live chat.  We feel that this kind of availability shows that ADT values its customer base.

All of ADT’s monitoring plans also include up to $500 of theft protection if something happens while your system is armed.

Features and equipment

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As mentioned earlier, Protect Your Home offers customers a free basic equipment package, but it also offers additional types of equipment, including indoor cameras, glass break sensors, smoke detectors, and CO alarms.

Home automation

If you want a central way to manage and control your home automation products, ADT has an app for that. ADT’s app not only gives you mobile access to your security system but also connects your smart home devices, so you have one app to work with instead of half a dozen.

ASL Insider Tip

ADT’s top-tier plan is the only one that fully supports home automation integration, so if that’s a priority for you, choose that plan.

Warranty and service plan

Like Vivint, ADT includes a lifetime equipment warranty with the payment of an ongoing monitoring plan. It also includes free home visits for equipment repairs.

Unlike Vivint, however, this lifetime warranty is not included with the basic monitoring package—another reason we don’t necessarily recommend that plan.

>>Learn more: Read full ADT review

How we chose

Most of the top home security companies offer DIY installation—it saves you money and lets you have full control over where to place your chosen equipment in your home.

But you may be more comfortable with professional installation and appreciate having someone advise you on where to place equipment and make sure it’s all set up and running correctly.

Vivint and ADT are the only two companies we recommend that offer 100% professional installation, and we have found a lot to recommend about both brands.

What to consider

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If you want the assurance of having a professional install your home security system but aren’t sure how to choose a provider, consider the cost—both up front and ongoing—as well as the specific features or equipment you’re looking for.

Your decision might also change based on whether you want to build a smart home or you already have home automation devices in your house. You may also want to think about how quickly you need your security system installed.

Our recommendation

Overall, we feel that Vivint has the most to offer customers looking for home automation support, and it does so at a low monthly price. But both options offer great service and value.

  • Vivint: If you want high-tech equipment and smart home integration with every monitoring plan in addition to flexible payment options and customer support, this is the company we recommend. Read our full Vivint review to learn more.
  • ADT: If you are looking for an experienced company with quick professional installation and you aren’t concerned about slightly higher monthly costs, ADT is the company for you. Check out our ADT review to get more details.

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