The Best Home Security
Consider your Options
Trying to choose the best home security? We’ve put everything you need to know to make an informed decision here on one page. I have tried to be as unbiased as possible in my analysis, but of course I hope you’ll pick DFW Security.
Here are some questions we’ll try to answer:
- What are the pros and cons of ADT vs Vivint?
- Which is better? DIY or Professional Installation?
- What are the advantages of a national vs local security company?
- Which security company has the best alarm system equipment?
- Which home security cameras are the best?
- Which security company has the best prices?
Compare the Pros & Cons of ADT vs. Vivint - A Quick Summary
- • Advanced Technology
- • Reliable Equipment
- • Expensive
- • Long Term Contracts
- • Questionable Sales Tactics
- • Nationwide Availability
- • Longest History in Industry
- • Poor Customer Service
- • Inconsistent Equipment Quality
- • Outstanding Technology
- • Exceptional Customer Service
- • Worry-Free Warranty
- • Limited Service Area
- • Best Price Requires Contract
Which Alarm Company has the Best Technology and Equipment?
The best security and automation technology comes from Alarm.com. Their platform integrates top-of-the-line smart security equipment like DSC, 2Gig and Qolsys with convenient smart home devices like door locks, thermostats, cameras and garage doors. Alarm.com also provides automatic software upgrades as new features are released so you’re always up to date. Alarm.com doesn’t sell direct to consumers, but instead relies on local security companies for sales, installation, service work, billing, etc. DFW Security is a local provider of Alarm.com technology and equipment in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.
Vivint’s current equipment is very similar to Alarm.com. In fact, Alarm.com filed a lawsuit this year against Vivint for patent infringement and accused them of essentially stealing ADC’s trade secrets to manufacture their own version of alarm equipment as they used to be a local provider for Alarm.com. If you don’t want Alarm.com, Vivint is a good second choice for quality equipment.
ADT has changed their equipment line so many times it can be hard to keep up with. Because they utilize local dealers, subcontractors and resellers who sell their accounts to ADT corporate, the type and quality of equipment and installation varies wildly, making it difficult for me to evaluate fairly. If you decide to go with ADT, make sure you choose your local dealer wisely.
Professional Installation versus D.I.Y.
Should I install a home security system myself? There is an abundance of do-it-yourself home security options on the internet. Whether you choose DIY or professional installation is mostly a matter of personal preference, but here’s a few advantages and disadvantages of each option to consider.
- • The equipment usually costs less.
- • Nobody needs to come to your house.
- • You can install it on your own schedule.
- • Phone and/or video support may be available.
- • The equipment is of a lower quality.
- • Installation can be difficult and very time-consuming.
- A typical alarm installation with 2 cameras takes professional installers 3-4 hours - and they are experts who do this every day.
- • Learning how to program and use the system can be challenging.
- • Customization options are limited.
- • The equipment is top quality.
- • You can rely on the installer's expertise for ideal component placement.
- • The technician can help program and customize the system to your preferences.
- • They will show you how to use all the features of the system.
- • Service Plans are available.
- • You must be home during business hours for installation.
- • Systems can cost more than DIY.
ADT vs. Vivint vs. DFW Security - A Company Comparison
- • First and Largest Home Security Company, and the most well-known.
- • Owned by Apollo Global Management and publicly traded.
- • Headquartered in Florida with around 200 locations.
- • Over 6 million customers.
- • Utilizes dealers, subcontractors, and direct corporate sales reps.
- • Reputation for sub-par customer service.
- • ADT employees have been accused of hacking into customer’s alarm systems and cameras in several recent lawsuits.
- • Based in Utah, servicing the US and Canada.
- • Formerly APX Alarm. Rebranded as Vivint in 2011. Publicly traded from 2020.
- • NRG bought Vivint in 2023, their 2nd attempt to enter the home security market.
- • Vivint has been plagued by lawsuits over deceptive sales practices and other violations. They’ve been sued and/or fined by 5 states, the Federal Trade Commission, the Federal Communications Commission, and ADT, in addition to several pending class action lawsuits from competitors.
- • Utilizes dealers, subcontractors, retail locations, and direct sales.
- • About 2 million customers.
- • Headquartered in Fort Worth, privately owned by 4 people.
- • About 30,000 customers.
- • Loyal to customers and employees over shareholders.
- • Our platform provider Alarm.com operates with integrity and prioritizes privacy.
- • DFW Security keeps our customers in-house rather than selling them to a corporate giant, so you can always deal with us directly.
- • We’re large enough to offer the latest technology and attract the best talent, while remaining small enough to provide personalized customer support and attention.
Pricing Comparison of ADT vs Vivint vs DFW Security
When comparing apples to apples, Vivint is most expensive, then ADT, then DFW Security. All prices aren’t displayed online so it can be difficult to compare companies without calling around. The reason for this is simple: prices vary. With a professional security company, you get the benefit of an expert helping you design a system that works best for you. This could include alarm components, cameras, and smart home devices. It’s not a cookie cutter experience, so there’s not a set price.
Equipment Cost. This can be paid upfront or monthly. All 3 companies offer zero interest financing plans with up to 60 months to pay. This payment is usually separate from your monthly services, similar to a cell phone plan. You can often save money by paying for your equipment outright. After paying off your equipment, your monthly rate should drop to around $30-50 per month for smart systems. This is the main benefit of keeping the equipment payment separate.
Monthly Services. All professional security companies charge a monthly fee for their monitoring services. This allows you to receive fast police or medical response to emergencies 24/7. Monthly service fees can also cover video services for cameras, smart home automation, audio, alerts, verified response and/or service plans for system repairs.
Reviews and Reputation - ADT vs Vivint vs DFW Security
The customer experience is an important factor to consider when choosing a home security company. Ask around to see if your friends have a home security company that they're happy with. As ADT and Vivint use dealers instead of employees, you may never see the salesperson you buy from again. Make sure the company you choose is solid and committed to your relationship for the long haul.
Public reviews sites are a great way to learn about how a company supports their clients. Unfortunately, larger companies can suppress their reviews from showing up on Google, Bing and Facebook as ADT and Vivint have both done. (Hmmm...I wonder why?)
Other smaller review sites like TrustPilot and BestCompany show sub-par results for ADT and Vivint.
Vivint has a C rating with the Better Business Bureau with 5,985 complaints filed. ADT is BBB accredited but has 7,512 complaints.
Yelp shouldn’t be considered as a trustworthy review source for any company, as it is known to filter out positive reviews and prohibits businesses from asking its customers for ratings.
With a smaller customer base and local customer service, DFW Security is able to focus on making sure every customer is totally satisfied. In fact, 35% of DFW Security's new customers are referred by an existing customer. We would love to have you join the DFW Security family. Just give us a call!
A Word About Contracts
While our tendency is to assume all contracts are inherently evil, this is not always the case. There are actually a few benefits to signing a term agreement with a home security company.
First, it locks in your price. Also, security companies can use monitoring agreements as collateral with their banks. This means they don’t have to charge as much money upfront for equipment, they can offer lower prices to the customer, and you get a better deal. If you move, most companies will move your system for you without you having to pay a bunch of money upfront. If you need out of your agreement, you can usually transfer your agreement to someone else so they can now take advantage of your lower rate. The standard agreement term in the alarm industry is 36 months, but Vivint’s are 60 months. If you know you will only be in your location for a short time, you’ll definitely want a month-to-month agreement but know that you’ll probably pay more or have to settle for a lower quality system.