Brinks Home Security: What you need to know
Brinks Home Security is a combination of two other security companies, LiveWatch and MONI. These have both been featured as top-rated home security systems and services in the past.
It is one of the largest home security companies in the US, with more than one million subscribers. It's also one of the best home security systems you can get.
Brinks is a security company that has combined some of the best features of its predecessors into one tidy service. You can self-install, which helps cut costs, and the monitoring options aren’t too expensive, starting at $29 a month. If you want assistance with installation then this costs $199.
Free cancellation: 30 days
Security monitoring: Professional 24/7
Smartphone control: Yes
System price (starts at): $399
Monthly costs (start at): $19
Wired or Wireless: Wireless
Video cameras: Yes (optional)
Installation fees: Self-install at no cost ($199 otherwise)
Brinks Home Security now uses Google’s Nest Secure family of products for its main packages. These are designed with ease of installation in mind and rely on wireless data connections. That’s good if you don’t want your home covered in wires and intend to self-install.
The security hubs use WiFi, which usually means solid home WiFi is a must. However, Brinks provides 4G LTE cellular backup for uninterrupted monitoring even if WiFi or power is down. This service is included as part of the professional monitoring service fee for all packages. That’s great as some other providers charge extra for this vital feature.
The other benefit of using Nest products is that they are smart. This means you can control them from a single app on your smartphone. You can even add to your security system with extra sensors and cameras at any time. If you like tech then this will be great for you, if you’re not that comfortable using a smartphone app then this may be overkill.
Packages: How much does Brinks Home Security cost?
There are currently three home security system packages available from Brinks. There is also a monitoring-only service if you already own a Nest Secure system.
- Nest Secure: $399 for equipment | $29 a month monitoring | No contract
- Brinks Home Complete: $499 for equipment | $29 a month monitoring | 36-month contract
- Brinks Home Complete with Video: $599 for equipment | $39 a month monitoring | 36-month contract
- Brinks Monitoring only: $19 a month 36-month contract or $29 a month rolling contract
(N.B. If you activate the professional monitoring service within 10 days of purchasing any system from Brinks Home Security you’ll receive a $100 prepaid gift card, effectively reducing the overall cost by $100.)
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Brinks Nest Secure
Outside of getting Brinks monitoring using your own Nest system, Nest Secure is the cheapest and most basic package available. It offers a base unit – that works as the hub for all security devices – two window/door sensors as well as two keyfobs. You also get Brinks stickers as an intruder deterrent. This option has a one-off cost of $399 plus $29 a month for monitoring services, but you’re not tied into a contract so can cancel at any time.
Brinks Home Complete
Home Complete is the next level up and comes with the base unit, three sensors and a motion detector. It also comes with the Brinks Home Touch, a tablet you can use as a smart home hub. This option has a one-off cost of $499 and a $29 a month fee for monitoring.
Brinks Home Complete with Video
The final package is Home Complete with Video. This has all the features of Complete, but adds an indoor camera and a video doorbell to the package. This is the most expensive option at $599 equipment fee and $39 a month monitoring.
Both these packages are compatible with smart assistants like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. There are also apps for Apple products like the iPhone, iPad and Apple TV. However, these don’t support HomeKit, which is Apple’s smart home system so you won’t be able to control it using the Siri voice assistant. The basic Nest Secure option only comes with Google Assistant support.
Both these packages also come with 0% financing for purchasing the equipment. This is spread over the period of the contract, which can help keep initial setup costs down, without adding to the overall cost.
Brinks Warranty and Cancellation
The two pricier Brinks packages require you to sign up to a 36-month contract. You have a 30-day free cancellation period but after that you will need to pay 80% of your remaining contract if you want to end it early. That’s not quite as generous as ADT, which charges 75%. The home security monitoring contract will roll month-on-month after the end of the 36-month period.
All hardware purchased from Brinks is covered by a 2-year limited warranty. We’d like to see a minimum 3-year warranty to tie in with the length of the contract, but two years is better than some other security companies offer. Brinks doesn’t offer an extended warranty program, which we’d also like to see.
Brinks Home Security app
The Brinks Home Security app is available for Android and iOS smartphones and tablets and can also receive alerts. It also works as a single port of call for all your smart home products. This means you can use it to unlock a smart door lock, turn on a smart light or even adjust a smart thermostat as long as they are compatible.
Brinks uses Alarm.com to power its app. This means Z-wave-compatible smart home products should work with it, while Zigbee-only compatible ones won’t. If all that jargon means nothing to you then here is a list of all Brinks-compatible devices so you can check on a product-by-product basis.
Of course you’re also able to view live footage from your security cameras and see the status of the sensors in your home.
If you want to know more about the Brinks app you can watch this video.
How does Brinks Home Security alert you when an alarm is raised?
Brinks Home Security has a round-the-clock Alarm Response Center that will respond to a raised alarm. Their trained staff can then notify the relevant police, fire or medical authorities required in case of an emergency. They can often react faster than you as they can contact the correct jurisdiction right away, as opposed to getting routed through a 911 operator.
You can select a list of emergency contacts who can also be alerted. You can decide whether they receive voice calls, SMS text or email notifications. You can also declare a false alarm quickly so as not to disturb anyone.
Your emergency contacts are also able to participate in ASAPer’s (As Soon As Possible emergency response) group chat. This is a secure messaging system that allows you to send and receive private messages to the Brinks team and your emergency contacts. This works via text, website or email and Brinks claims it speeds up the process in case of emergencies. If no-one responds to an ASAPer alert then Brinks will contact the authorities.
Brinks Home Security: What the users say
It’s always worth considering what people who have been using a service think of it as not everyone’s experience is the same. It’s also worth noting that it’s much more likely for someone to complain about bad service than complimenting good service. In this section we highlight scores for Brinks Home Security from well-established user review platforms, as well as awards it has won.
Brinks Home Security won the 2018 J.D. Power Customer Satisfaction award narrowly beating AT&T Digital Life and Vivint Smart Home. Users valued its smart home features, touchscreen tablet and smartphone app.
Consumer Affairs gives Brinks Home Security a score of just under three stars out of five from 631 reviews over the past year. Most complaints tend to stem from customer service, installation and charging issues. Overcharging and cancelation fees seem a particular annoyance. Positive reviews focus on the cost and ease of use of the system.
Its TrustPilot score is better with four out of five stars. Once again people highlight issues with customer service and charges on the one hand, and how good and easy-to-use the system is on the other.
Brinks Home Security: Other things to consider
Brinks does not charge you any extra or ask you to sign a new contract if you move home. However, you will need to remove and reinstall all the security equipment yourself. Just make sure you contact Brinks to let them know you have moved and to begin monitoring your new home.
Unlike some other providers Brinks Home Security systems work with smartphone apps at no extra cost. You can keep adding to it with other smart home devices. That means you can add smart flood sensors, fire sensors or even thermostats, garage door openers and lighting. If you like tricking-out your home with smart products then Brinks will work very well for you. Be aware, however, that costs will stack up the more you add and there may be an increase to your monthly subscription cost too.
You do have the option of professional installation for the contract packages if you’re concerned about installing it yourself. This generally costs $199, but may cost more if you choose to install a lot of extra hardware.
Brinks Home Security: Review Verdict
Brinks offers a great monitoring service, some of the best equipment available and competitive pricing. We really like how simple and clear its offerings are, unlike many other monitoring companies that make you pay extra for every additional feature.
The ASAPer messaging service is also very neat and makes Brinks stand out from the crowd. We also like that even the most basic package comes with cellular backup.
If you are handy enough to install the equipment yourself and will make use of the smart home features then we highly recommend Brinks Home Security.
- ADT Home Security review
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