Brinks Home Security brings its powerful industry reputation to the table alongside three smart home security packages. Founded over 160 years ago, the Brinks name is well-known and highly rated for home security. In fact, the company ranks No. 1 in overall satisfaction by customers in the 2018 J.D. Power study. Some of the best features of the Brinks Home Security system are found in home automation and extra efficient smart home technology.
We reviewed Brinks against three other home security competitors, evaluated three of its home security plans and took note of all the positive and negative features. Brinks absolutely excels at customer service and smart home features, doesn't require a landline, and offers the "fastest alarm response" right to your smartphone. But the company lacks in its diversity of contract options, availability of any kind of theft guarantee, and in its transparency of some key features and prices.
Brinks Home Security packages claim to be "tough on bad guys" and "easy on you." Brinks says that it has "everything you need to keep your home safe."
Is it true?
Whether or not the security system is "easy on you" is up for interpretation. If you're well-versed in current technology trends and appreciate the involvement of your smartphone and touchscreen devices for your home, you're in luck. Brinks Home Security is incredibly tech-oriented and partners with the Nest brand for low-maintenance, sleek tech options in the most basic Brinks package called "Nest Secure." These kinds of home automation features, which correlate with customer satisfaction according to J.D. Power's survey, allow for your security system to be a hub for other smart devices, like automated locks and voice assistants. But they also might be more complicated than some people are looking for. Brinks may have everything you need for your home security system and it may be "tough on bad guys" with quick sensors and alarms, but it will likely only seem easy to those familiar with smart homes and smartphone technology.
Homeowners who want the absolute best in customer satisfaction and quick alarm response from their home security system.
Homeowners who desire a theft protection guarantee and an included professional installation. Also not for homeowners who aren't tech-savvy.
|Contract term||No contract or 36-months|
|24/7 professional monitoring||Yes|
|Number of plans||3|
|Professional installation fee||$199-$399|
|Early termination fee||70% of the remaining months of contract term|
|Theft protection guarantee||No|
*Pricing is for basic package. Please note that pricing will vary based on customization, package tiers and fees.
No. 1 in customer satisfaction
The 2018 J.D. Power study awarded Brinks Home Security the top spot in customer service and overall customer satisfaction. The study evaluated four factors: billing and payment, customer service, enrollment, and usage. Brinks ranked the highest among other home security brands, scoring an impressive 852 out of 1,000 and five out of five Power Circles for consumers.
ASAPer® alert system
Brinks uses patented security technology that makes disarming and understanding your home alarm easier, especially when you're away from home. The ASAPer feature provides real-time messaging to a group of your emergency contacts — typically all of the members of your household – to verify the details of the alarm.
You can also get emergency assistance through this system if you're at home and in danger. When an alarm goes off on your Brinks security system, you will be notified and can resolve it as a false alarm or confirm it as a real threat. If no one responds, the police will be notified and sent to your home. The ability to chat through the alert system and quickly react to threats when you're away from home is an interesting and valuable aspect of the Brinks service.
No landline needed
Another great feature of Brinks Home Security service is its ability to monitor and send an alarm without the need of a landline. Brinks uses a secure, cellular connection in addition to Wi-Fi to communicate with its U.S.-based Alarm Response Center. According to NPR, more than half of all households are cell-phone-only homes and don't use landlines. With Brinks, you won't need to add a landline service onto the price of your security system, helping you trim costs.
Smart home compatible
The Brinks Home Security system can be a hub for all of your smart home devices – up to 119 to be exact. The recent J.D. Power study revealed that the availability of smart home features was instrumental in driving customer satisfaction. Since Brinks ranked among the best home security systems, you can bet that the smart home capabilities are second to none.
You can use voice-controlled technology, such as Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa, to activate your security system and coordinate with other smart home devices. Many people who use this kind of technology love the simplicity of saying, "Okay Google, set security to away" before they head out the door. When it comes to the Brinks system itself, there are a wide range of tech options to help you secure your home:
- The Nest App
- Smartphone Control
- Home Automation
- Google Assistant
- LiveVoice Assist
- Live Video Streaming
- Cloud Video Storage
- 24/7 Monitoring
Affordable monthly plans
As long as you choose to go the route of a contract plan with a DIY installation, Brinks is a very affordable option and starts around $29 a month. On the other hand, if you're not a great DIY installer or you'd rather not be chained to a contract for three years, Brinks Home Security becomes more expensive. A professional installation will cost you anywhere between $199 to $399 for a Brinks system. Whether you choose to pay that upfront or finance it into your monthly payment, it's still a substantial cost compared to the basic monthly plan.
No guarantee against theft
Perhaps the biggest reason you would consider a home security system in the first place is the protection against theft and break-ins. Unfortunately, Brinks does not offer a theft protection guarantee or pay any money toward your insurance claim deductible if you end up having to file one. This puts Brinks a step behind other home security competitors. For example, ADT Home Security will pay your insurance deductible, up to $500, if a break-in occurs while your system is armed. Since keeping your stuff safe is the system's main purpose, we think this a significant drawback.
Unclear installation cost
When we couldn't find the pricing on professional installation on the Brinks website, we turned to a Brinks customer service rep for more information. Although they mention "transparent pricing," we didn't find this to be exactly true. According to the Brinks sales rep we spoke to, the professional installation, instead of the DIY version, would cost anywhere between $199 to $399 depending on the current promotions.
For customers who don't want to take the DIY route, professional installation adds hundreds of dollars to your setup cost — on top of equipment fees. For more information on your Brinks installation costs, be sure to talk to a Brinks representative.
Limited contract options
Brinks Home Security systems may be technologically advanced and easy for most people to install, but when it comes to contracts, your options are limited and a little disappointing. Your options are a month-to-month contract or a standard 36-month contract. That's three years that you're locked into the service, and the warranty for equipment only applies for two years.
If you're more into the "set it and forget it" lifestyle, you might enjoy the stability and peace of mind that comes with the contract. And, since you have to purchase your equipment upfront, you may likely want to get your money's worth out of it with long-term use. We just wish there were a little more variety in the options.
Brinks vs. ADT
ADT Home Security is the most popular provider for home security. It is used and trusted by millions of customers and there is a range of available equipment options and customizable packages. When it comes to overall experience, ADT home security has extensive experience out of the lineup of security competitors – it was founded in 1874. However, Brinks beats out ADT when it comes to the J.P. Power score of customer satisfaction and its ability to offer month-to-month pricing instead of a contract.
Both companies carry an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau and both offer professional installation, in-house monitoring, and home automation. You'll want to check out ADT if you prefer having a theft guarantee and a more affordable professional installation. But we recommend Brinks if smart home and customer service capabilities are super important to you.
Brinks vs. Vivint
When we compared Vivint to other home security systems, we found that its smart home features made it the easiest to use. You can even have two-way conversations through your security cameras – an option we didn't see with Brinks. Plus, solar panels are available on Vivint for offsetting energy use costs and they offer a full mobile app for control of your system on-the-go.
However, Vivint scored below Brinks when it comes to its overall customer service, at four out of five Power Circles instead of a perfect five out of five from J.D. Power. Vivint outperforms Brinks when it comes to available contract options, but those contracts are longer – by one or two more years. Consider Vivint if you are particularly interested in full home technology and want to have your system as long as four or five years. If you're looking for more of a budget-friendly approach to smart home security with only three years of commitment, we think Brinks is your best bet.
Brinks vs. GetSafe
Although Brinks doesn't fully promote its professional installation, it is still an option for those who don't want to do it themselves. In contrast, GetSafe doesn't offer an option for professional installation at all.
One of the best perks about GetSafe is its contract flexibility, with options of month-to-month, one year and three years — especially good for renters who might not be able to commit to a three-year contract. If you're a homeowner and don't mind having a contract, Brinks may be your answer. On the other hand, if you're renting and don't mind the DIY nature of GetSafe, we think you might be a better fit for its services.
Brinks Home Security FAQ
What does Brinks Home Security include?
Equipment and features will vary based on your selected home security plan – Nest Secure, Brinks Home Complete, or Brinks Home Complete with Video. No matter which plan you choose, you will get 24/7 professional monitoring by securing your home with Brinks. If you select a Brinks Home Complete plan, you can expect the following basic features and benefits:
- LiveVoice Assist
- Smartphone Control
- Home Automation
- 24/7 Monitoring
- Crash and Smash Protection
- Wireless Touchscreen Control Panel
- 3 Door/Window Sensors
- 1 Motion Detector
- Options for additional equipment
How does the Nest Secure system work?
Nest partners with Brinks Home Security to bring customers a new option for home monitoring. Nest's self-learning and easy-to-use devices alert users to motion, smoke, intrusion and other unusual activity in your home. When an alarm is triggered, you will receive an alert with the Nest app where you can respond accordingly. Unique features of the Nest Secure system include Remind Me alerts, Quiet Open, Google Assistant, Dog Pass and Pathlight.
The bottom line
When it comes to home automation and customer service, Brinks Home Security is one of the best systems money can buy. With a long list of available equipment, plus the option to add on more, we think Brinks is a great brand to trust for comprehensive home protection.