Brinks Home Security Review 2020

Brinks security systems have standard equipment plus a few thoughtful features.
Overall Rating 3 out of 5
Monitoring:
$29–$39/mo
Contract:
Up to 3 yrs
Installation:
DIY

If you’re looking for a home security system that’ll move out with you, Brinks Home Security might be for you.

But will Brinks’s extra features, like ASAPer®, put it above other DIY security systems like SimpliSafe, Scout, and Abode? Let’s find out.

Brinks Home Security pricing overview
PackageMonitoring priceHome automationMobile app accessLearn more
Home Complete$29/mo.YesYesView Plan
Home Complete with Video$39/mo.YesYesView Plan

Data effective 12/3/2019. Offers subject to change.

Brinks Home Security equipment

Brinks forces you to choose one of two basic packages, then you can pick from an à-la-carte lineup.

Brinks starts you out with three pretty well-rounded packages: Smart Security Essential, Smart Security Complete, and Smart Security Ultimate.

What’s not obvious is that you can easily add more door or window sensors, cameras, and motion sensors once you start the ordering process. (You can’t choose fewer sensors or cameras, though.) You can also pick and choose various add-ons, including additional cameras, garage door sensors, and more.

Source: Brinks Home Security

Brinks basic security equipment

The difference between the three Brinks security packages is how many (and which) sensors you get, and if you get cameras.

Here’s a detailed list of what comes with each Brinks Home Security package.

Smart Security Essential, $199

  • Brinks Home Touch control panel
  • 2 door/window sensors
  • 1 motion sensor
  • 1 yard sign

Smart Security Complete, $499

  • Brinks Home Touch control panel
  • 3 door/window sensors
  • 2 motion sensors
  • 1 indoor camera
  • 1 yard sign, 2 stickers

Smart Security Ultimate, $1,099

  • Brinks Home Touch control panel
  • 3 door/window sensors
  • 2 motion sensors
  • 1 outdoor camera
  • 1 doorbell camera
  • 1 yard sign, 2 stickers
  • Professional installation

One thing to note is that Brinks’ door sensors double as window sensors. Brinks even goes so far as to say that window sensors aren’t cost-effective since it’s rare for would-be burglars to bust a window to gain access to your home. Motion sensors tend to be a better choice for these areas.

Source: Brinks Home Security

That’s good to know if you’re on a budget, but we always recommend buying the home security equipment that makes you feel safest.

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Find out more about Nest Secure equipment
Want to pair your Brinks monitoring with Nest Secure? Find out how the Nest Secure system stacks up in our Nest Secure review.

Brinks Home Security cameras

We mentioned that the Smart Security Complete package starts you out with one HD indoor camera. If you want more than one indoor camera or need to keep an eye on the sky (and your front porch), Brinks also lets you add on additional indoor and outdoor cameras.

Brinks camera specs
CameraBrinks Home Indoor CameraBrinks Home Outdoor Camera
Image
Resolution1080p1080p
Field of vision113° horizontal, 100° vertical88°
Night visionUp to 20 feetYes
Learn moreView PlansView Plans

Data effective 12/3/2019. Offers subject to change.

One major issue we noticed is that the field of vision for the outdoor camera is 88 degrees. That’s minuscule compared to cameras like the Arlo Pro 2, which has a 130-degree field of view. (It’s also one reason why we picked the Arlo Pro 2 as one of our top outdoor cameras.)

You should also note that while the Brinks security system relies on both Wi-Fi and a cellular connection, its cameras use Wi-Fi only. So if your internet goes out, your cameras go out too. Not cool.

If you want a security system that includes cameras, Brinks sadly isn’t our first choice. Instead, we recommend Arlo, Ring, or Vivint.

Brinks HD doorbell camera

One of our favorite home security (or home automation) features is video doorbells. Brinks’s HD video doorbell falls slightly short on resolution—but it still offers features that match many of our top video doorbell picks.

Here’s a quick peek at the specs.

Brinks HD video doorbell specs

  • Resolution: 720p
  • Field of vision: 180°
  • Night vision: Up to 8 feet
  • Motion sensor: 8-foot range
  • Two-way talk: Yes

Home automation

If you’re itching to pair your Brinks hub with home automation features like cameras, thermostats, and more, you won’t be disappointed. Its security system integrates with the most popular home automation devices, including Nest thermostats, Amazon Alexa, and Google Assistant.

The Brinks site lets you pick and choose from quite a few home automation add-ons, including (but not limited to) these types of devices:

Brinks home automation equipment

  • Cameras (indoor and outdoor)
  • Video doorbell
  • Smoke detectors/CO2 detectors
  • Water sensor
  • Garage door sensor
  • Freeze sensor

Brinks Home Security mobile app

Source: Alarm.com

Alarm.com powers dozens of security systems out there, and Brinks is one of them. That means Brinks’s equipment is not exclusive to Brinks—you can get it from other companies too. But the Alarm.com equipment and app Brinks uses are still reliable, and the app especially has a rating of about 4 stars on the Google Play store as of the time of this review.

The Brinks app lets you arm and disarm your security system, get alerts, monitor your system, and watch live video from your cameras. You’re also able to control certain home automation features, like temperature, lights, and locks. So no more getting up from your comfy couch to dim the lights when your home movie starts.

Most complaints mention the app’s notification system. Quite a few users said the doorbell notification was so delayed that their visitor had left by the time they got an alert on their phone. Keep in mind if you’re seeing serious lag from your cameras, it might actually be an internet issue and you need a faster ISP.

Brinks monitoring and pricing

Brinks claims to have the speediest response time, but we’re also in love with its group chat function.

Brinks offers two home security monitoring plans. Both of them are professionally monitored, which means there’s someone keeping an eye on your system at all times, watching for alerts, ready to tell you if anything happens.

Brinks Home Security monitoring plans
PlanPriceContractLearn more
Home Complete$29/mo.36 mos.View Plan
Home Complete with Video$39/mo.36 mos.View Plan

Data effective 12/3/2019. Offers subject to change.

Professional monitoring is more expensive than choosing a system that lets you do it yourself. But we think it’s worth it. Let’s face it—sometimes life gets hectic. And the last thing you need during a hectic day, week, or month is to forget to check your security system, miss your high schooler coming home early, and them getting locked out.

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Professional monitoring with Brinks means that if an alarm goes off, a representative at its Alarm Response Center will call, text, or email your custom list of emergency contacts. (Don’t worry, you can update that list at any time, like when you finally decide to give your pre-teen a smartphone.)

If necessary, Brinks will contact the police, fire department, or other help for you, as well.

Brinks Home Security monitoring

Brinks proudly states that it has the “fastest response in the nation”—that’s a 30-second response time compared to a 330-second response time, in case you’re counting. That quick response is thanks to its ASAPer® alert system. (As Soon As Possible-er? We don’t get it either.)

ASAPer lets you cancel any false alarms right away, plus you can check on your emergency contacts with the system’s group chat to make sure everyone’s safe and sound. This is the feature we love most, since it lets you check in with everyone all at once instead of juggling multiple phone calls and texts.

Brinks Home Security contract

If you’re pairing your Brinks system with professional monitoring, you don’t have a no-contract option. But you’re not entirely stuck with the service if you end up not liking it.

Brinks offers a 30-day trial, and if you decide it’s not for you within those 30 days, you can cancel your service and return your system for a refund.

If you say goodbye to Brinks after that 30 days, you’ll need to pay off what’s left on your 36-month contract. Awkward.

Brinks customer experience

Will Brinks earn a five-star customer service rating? Only time will tell.

Now that MONI and LiveWatch have been rebranded to Brinks Home Security, it’s hard to say which company Brinks will take after in the customer service department.

When we contacted Brinks customer service through the live chat option the first time, the response was quick and clear. Though the representative did initially ask for our zip code, when we pushed back, they were gracious and accommodating. That’s refreshing, especially since sales tactics are usually more predatory than a velociraptor pack.

The next few times, not so much. We kept getting mixed messages about the professional installation price. Ugh.

Installation

Installing the Brinks security system is an entirely DIY endeavor. Brinks notes that once you buy your system, you’ll be asked a few questions so the company can program your system before it arrives.

Once you slice open the box like a sushi chef, you should be able to place your door and window sensors, then activate your system. Easy peasy.

Of course, if DIY installation seems daunting, you can opt to have a pro help you out. They’ll install your security system, test it to make sure it works, and demonstrate how all the features work. In fact, if you opt for the Smart Security Ultimate package then professional installation comes included. (Otherwise, you’ll pay a fee.)

One benefit of having your Brinks system professionally installed is that the warranty becomes a lifetime warranty. (Compared to a two-year warranty if you DIY your installation.)

Brinks ordering process

Ordering your system on the Brinks site is pretty straightforward. Once you get to your shopping cart, you can easily add extra sensors or cameras.

One thing Brinks isn’t up-front about is the monitoring service contract, which is 36 months. Maybe we missed it, but we had to dig through the FAQ to find out how many months we’d be signing on for.

However, we did like that Brinks clearly states when they’ll first charge for monitoring—which is when the system is activated.

Recap

Brinks is a good middle-of-the-pack choice if you want monitoring plus DIY installation.

We’re big fans of Brinks’ DIY approach to home security installation, plus its ASAPer® feature that includes a group chat to check on your emergency contacts. Here’s the quick-and-dirty version of how it stacks up across the board.

  • Basic security equipment: Brinks offers your typical Alarm.com equipment, but hey, if it’s not broken, don’t bother fixing it, right? But seriously, Alarm.com equipment tends to be reliable and integrates well with other devices.
  • Cameras: Brinks offers a few cameras, including indoor and outdoor options. But its outdoor camera has a pretty limited field of view that we can’t quite wrap our heads around. The real star of the show? The Brinks doorbell camera.
  • Home automation integrations: Brinks integrates with Alexa, Google Home, and Nest devices, plus a few dozen other home automation gadgets that’ll have you dimming the lights and setting the temperature while you’re at work in no time.
  • Installation: You can go for the DIY installation here and not pay a single dime. It sounds pretty easy—take your system out of the box, place your sensors, and activate. But if that’s not your cup of tea, there’s a pro installation option for an extra fee.
  • Monitoring: At $29 or $39 a month, Brinks’ monitoring service falls into the middle of the pack when it comes to price. You will need to sign a 36-month contract, though. So if you prefer the freedom of no contract, you might like SimpliSafe or Scout better.
  • Customer experience: Brinks is a new combo of LiveWatch and MONI, so it’s hard to say where Brinks falls on the customer experience scale just yet. But the ratings of those two companies are pretty good, so we’re hoping Brinks follows suit and keeps things most excellent.

Still shopping for a home security system? We’ve got more recommendations for you:

Do you have Brinks Home Security? Tell us what you like (or don’t like) about it in the comments below.

  • Mike Junkins

    Just hope you do not live long enough to need to cancel your contract with Brinks Home Security. I have a fulfilled contract I have been working on cancelling in advance of its expiration, and I have 15 days and 5 hours on the phone and still it is not cancelled. I cannot believe the idiotic hurdles they have created to keep you from cancelling. I am not the giving up type however, I will complain into eternity and dispute my card charges. I have decided that I need to stand agains this kind of trickery. A substandard company trying to ride on the coat tails of a good name from the past – in my opinion.