Pros / Brinks Home Security has better installation and equipment options than other home security providers.
Cons / You must pay 80 percent of your account balance if you cancel early.
Verdict / Brinks Home Security is the best home security system you can get, though its contract terms and monitoring fees aren't the best option for everyone.
Despite the resemblance to the legacy company of the same name, Brinks Home Security is a new home security company. It's essentially a rebranding of both LiveWatch and MONI, which were two of our top-rated security systems in past comparisons. Although Brinks Home Security has some elements from each of its predecessors, particularly LiveWatch's self-install equipment and MONI's 24/7 customer support, its contract terms didn't make the transition as smoothly. This is an impressive company with monitoring options for almost anyone and may be worth the extra expense.
Brinks Home Security gives you the choice between two traditional 24/7 monitoring plans, though we chose to evaluate the less-expensive option, Brinks Home Complete, for this comparison. This plan starts at $39 a month, which is slightly higher than the $37 average we found among home security systems. The system also has a $19 activation fee and includes some basic equipment for free. Compared to most security systems, these are some of the most affordable starting costs you can get.
When you sign up for a Brinks Home Security system, you can expect the contract to last three years and renew on a month-to-month basis after that. This contract is typical of home security systems, such as ADT and Frontpoint, but we were disappointed to see LiveWatch's one-year contract disappear when it became Brinks Home Security. As with MONI, the early-termination policy, found on Brinks's Terms & Conditions page, requires 80 percent payoff of your account balance, making it more restrictive than LiveWatch's no-fee policy. Compared to systems with 75-percent payoff, like ADT and Link Interactive, Brinks' cancelation policy is not as good.
If you decide you don't want the Brinks system, you can cancel your contract and return the equipment for up to 90 days after the start of your contract without any termination fees. This is the second-longest return policy, ADT's is six months, among the security systems we reviewed.
After you sign up for Brinks Home Security's 24/7 monitoring services, the company gives you two options for installation: professional or self. If you choose to self-install your system, the company ships the pre-programmed equipment to your home and you follow some simple tutorials and place the devices where you need them. Although self-installed systems only require the basic $19 activation fee, they only have a two-year warranty. A one-time fee of $49 adds lifetime warranty coverage to self-installed systems.
If you opt for professional installation, the company sends a technician to your home to set up equipment and show you how it works. This option comes with a lifetime warranty but requires either a $199 installation fee or add $10 to your monthly fees. If you want a professional installation, paying the $199 upfront is $161 cheaper than the monthly fee in the long run.
For assistance with installation or other problems with your system, you can contact Brinks Home Security's customer support over email, live chat, phone and social media. The company's website also has a helpful support section and customer portal.
The Brinks Home Complete service plan comes with an IG Gen 2 Security Panel, a motion detector and three entry sensors you can place on doors or windows in your home. If you need other sensors, such as smoke detectors and leak sensors, you can expect your starting costs or monthly fees to go up. The control panel has a touchscreen interface that lets you arm and disarm the system easily as well as a LiveVoice Assist function that lets you speak with the monitoring station in the event of an alarm. The system works with smartphone apps without any extra fees, unlike many competitors that reserve this function for more-expensive service plans.
One of the best parts of Brinks Home Security is that it works with a wider variety of smart home devices than any other company we reviewed. For example, you can connect the system to popular voice controls like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. You can also add locks, lighting, thermostats, garage door openers and other devices to your system. If you want security cameras, you need to subscribe to the company's more expensive monitoring plan, which starts at $49 a month.
Another unique thing about Brinks is its partnership with Nest. It provides optional home monitoring services for Nest Secure DIY security system regardless of where you buy the system. To get monitoring, you pay $29 a month for a no-contract option, or $19 a month if you commit to three-year contract. Whether you use a Brinks system or Nest Secure, this home security company is the most flexible we've seen in terms of equipment. It's also the only one that gives you three system options: self, pro and DIY.
- Monthly Monitoring Fee
- Contract Length