ADT vs. Nest

We compare ADT and Nest to help you determine the better security provider for your home.

ADT and Nest are two home security providers that offer basic and advanced solutions. While ADT offers professionally monitored and installed security systems, Nest primarily offer DIY home security systems and standalone products you can purchase. Like ADT security systems, the Nest Secure system can also be professionally monitored and installed based on your preference. We’ve compared both providers below based on important considerations for home security.

Best for Industry Experience

ADT Home Security

  • 140+ years in business
  • 6-month money back guarantee
  • $500 Theft Protection guarantee

Best Smart Integrations

  • Reasonably priced DIY option
  • Contract for professional monitoring is optional
  • Easy to use
(D) ADT vs Nest

Compare ADT vs. Nest

ADT is a well established leader in the monitored home security industry, while Nest (owned by Google since 2014) is a technology-driven disruptor well known among smart home fans. Which should you choose for your home and family – the time-tested traditional provider, or the company out of Silicon Valley? Here, we compare the two providers side by side across key home security categories.

Cameras

Winner: Nest

For the latest and greatest cameras, go with Nest. As a Google-owned consumer technology company, Nest releases new products several times a year and helps to set standards for the industry. While ADT home security offers several camera options that definitely get the job done, they don’t always have the sleekest looks or the most cutting edge specifications.

Package Options

Winner: ADT

While Nest offers many standalone products for a la carte purchasing, the Nest Secure Alarm System is its only security package. ADT has three tiers of home security packages and service options, and all of them can be customized. That makes ADT a better fit for medium and large homes with a blend of intruder protection, environmental monitoring and family safety needs. 

Guarantees & Warranty

Winner: ADT

ADT offers a 6-Month Money-back Guarantee if it can’t resolve concerns with equipment or service, along with a Theft Protection Guarantee that promises up to $500 toward your home insurance deductible should a burglary occur while the system is armed. ADT’s Theft Protection guarantee on top of its warranty is a plus that we believe gives the provider an advantage. The Nest Secure Alarm System has a limited 1 year warranty that spans up to 3 years depending on the product.

Contract Flexibility

Winner: Nest

Nest is a better choice for commitment-phobes. Once you start month-to-month monitoring with Brinks, you can cancel at any time without penalty. You can even self-monitor the Nest system through the mobile app and never opt into monitoring at all. ADT requires a minimum 36-month contract with early termination fees, and there is no option to self-monitor.

Price & Value

Winner: Nest

ADT and Nest have close prices for their entry level monitored home security systems, but Nest costs slightly less. If you purchase the ADT Traditional Package, you’ll have to pay $99 upfront plus $44.99/mo. for monitoring. ADT home security also requires a 36-month contract and professional installation. Installation cost varies, but $100 is a reasonable estimate. For 36 months of service, that’s $1,619.64 total. A Nest Secure Alarm System costs $1,443 for the same duration – $399 for equipment plus $29 per month for monitoring, without installation service. 

Installation

Tie: ADT & Nest

We appreciate professional installation because it ensures the system is set up right and that you’re using it correctly. But it’s not for everyone: Do-it-yourself (DIY) installation saves money, avoids the hassle of scheduling an appointment, and doesn’t require a stranger in your home. ADT requires professional installation, which typically entails a fee. Nest products are designed for easy DIY installs, but if you need help you can hire a Nest Pro.

Industry Experience

Winner: ADT

ADT has been a trusted, consistent name in home security for over 140 years. While Nest has the Google brand to leverage, it partners with Brinks to provide monitoring service. While Brinks is another well-established brand name, it has gone through a number of acquisitions and spin-offs. After over a decade of being out of the residential industry, Brinks Home Security just re-launched in 2018.

Monitoring Service

Winner: ADT

ADT’s monitoring is more comprehensive. In addition to intruder alarms, it also monitors smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors and other optional sensors. ADT also performs its monitoring in-house, while Nest outsources this service to Brinks. Both ADT and Brinks monitoring centers have earned Five Diamond Certification from The Monitoring Association, the highest standard in the industry. However, ADT inspires a little more confidence that the operator fielding your potential emergency will be familiar with your system.

Professional monitoring starts at $19/mo.
Installation DIY or Professional
Trial Period 30 days
Contract length Depends on the monitoring plan you choose
BBB rating C

Frequently Asked Questions About ADT & Nest

BestSmartLightBulbsFAQsManPhoto

Does ADT require a long-term contract?

Yes, ADT requires a 36-month, or three-year, contract.

Does Nest require a contract?

No, you don’t have to sign a contract to purchase the Nest Secure system. If you opt into professional monitoring through Brinks, there is a month-to-month plan you can choose.

What types of packages does ADT sell?

ADT sells three packages: Traditional, Control and Video. The Traditional Packages starts by giving you all the basics, and each subsequent package adds on a little more – smart home automation, cameras and more. Each package is customizable. Research ADT  packages.

What types of packages does Nest sell?

Nest only sells one complete security system package with monitoring available, the Nest Secure Alarm System. However, it offers a large number of standalone smart home security devices.

Do I have to sign up for Brinks Monitoring with the Nest Secure system?

No. You can purchase just the Nest Secure system without signing up for professional monitoring. In that case, you would be responsible for monitoring the system yourself using the Nest mobile app.


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Researched by the

Safety Team

The Safety Team is a group of experts that handle provider research, product reviews and recalls to make your home safety and security search as easy as 1-2-3.