Brinks vs. Ring Alarm Review 2021

We recommend Ring Alarm as the winner here, but not without concerns
Best for Monitoring

We compared Brinks vs. Ring, and we have to declare Ring the winner. It’s cheaper and has better equipment with good home automation. But we have concerns about Ring’s growing reputation issues, and some customers may still prefer Brinks.

Brinks pros and cons

Pros

  • Monitoring safety features
  • Broad home automation
  • Smart home devices

Cons

  • Pricier

Ring Alarm pros and cons

Pros

  • Inexpensive
  • Proprietary equipment
  • Broad home automation

Cons

  • Bad reputation

Brinks vs. Ring Alarm: Pricing and monitoring plans

Ring squeaks ahead of Brinks in the monitoring space due to lower pricing

Ring slightly tops Brinks in terms of monitoring. Brinks has some of the best safety-oriented monitoring service features out there, but it costs four times as much as Ring.

Brinks and Ring Alarm home security comparison
Home security companyMonitoring price rangeBase equipment package priceMonitoring typeDetails
Brinks logo$39.99/mo.$199.00Professional monitoringView Plans
Ring logo$10.00/mo.$199.99Self and professional monitoring View on Amazon

Amazon.com List Prices (as of 05/13/2021 1:00 MST) Full Disclaimer

Ring also offers a free self-monitoring option.

Brinks monitoring pricing

Brinks has some handy monitoring features.

Brinks has some handy monitoring features, like built-in panic buttons on its equipment. It also has a duress code feature (in case someone forces you to disarm your alarm against your will) and a service called ASAPer.

Yes, the name is confusing, but basically, ASAPer is a way for Brinks to instantly reach out to your emergency contacts and to you when your alarm goes off. And if it’s a false alarm, ASAPer makes it easier for you to cancel before Brinks sends emergency responders to your home.

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Monitoring permits
Some states or cities require an alarm permit for a home security system. When you get a professionally installed system, the company typically applies for a permit on your behalf. When you get a DIY system, you usually have to research and obtain the permit on your own.

If you’re supposed to have an alarm permit but don’t, the police may fine you when you receive a false alarm (on top of any false alarm fees).¹

Brinks monitoring plans
PlanPriceMobile app accessMonitoring typeLearn more
Brinks Home Security$39.99/mo.

Yes
ProfessionalView Plans

Data effective 05/13/2021. Offers are subject to change.

Brinks requires a 36-month contract.

Brinks’s monitoring fee includes mobile app access and smart home and video support. That’s not true of most companies; Ring is one of the only other brands that offers all of that in a single fee. But Ring’s fee is much, much lower.

brinks equipment

Source: Brinks

Ring Alarm monitoring pricing

Ring has literally the cheapest monitoring among well-known national brands. It’s just $10 a month for the company’s professional monitoring service. That’s less than Netflix costs these days.

Ring monitoring plans
PlanPriceMobile app accessMonitoring typeLearn more
Protect$0.00/mo.

Yes
SelfView on Amazon
Protect Plus$10.00/mo. OR $100.00/yr.

Yes
ProfessionalView on Amazon

Amazon.com List Prices (as of 05/13/2021 1:00 MST)

Ring also has a plan we don’t list in the table. Ring Basic offers video storage for a single camera—but doesn’t help with your security system. However, Ring Protect Plus is good for monitoring your system and gives you storage for unlimited Ring cameras. That’s an outstanding deal.

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Ring contracts?
Ring doesn’t require contracts of any kind. But you can pay for up to a year of monitoring in advance to get a discount.
Ring Alarm equipment

Source: Ring

Brinks vs. Ring Alarm: Security equipment

Ring has cheaper and more unique equipment than Brinks

Brinks sells some decent equipment, but it doesn’t make any of it. Instead, with Brinks, you’ll see items from manufacturers like Alarm.com and SkyBell.

On the flip side, Ring makes all of its own items.

Brinks and Ring Alarm equipment pricing comparison
DeviceBrinksRing Alarm
Door/contact sensorStarts at $29.00$19.99
Motion sensor$59.00$29.99
Flood detector$49.00$34.99
Learn moreView PlansView at Amazon

Amazon.com List Prices (as of 05/13/2021 1:00 MST)

This isn’t everything these brands sell. But there just isn’t much overlap between Brinks equipment and Ring equipment.

Brinks sells several smart home products, like thermostats, garage door openers, and door locks that Ring doesn’t offer. Likewise, instead of selling smoke or carbon monoxide detectors, Ring sells listeners that pick up on existing alarms. And Ring sells separate keypads and base stations, while Brinks sells control panels that serve both those functions.

We didn’t add camera prices to the equipment table since Ring’s cameras get quite complicated. More on that next.

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Backups
Both Brinks and Ring have battery and cellular backup in case of an outage.

Brinks vs. Ring Alarm: Cameras

Cameras are Ring’s forte

Ring started as a camera manufacturer. It arguably makes better cameras than home security systems, while on the flip side, Brinks cameras are pretty meh.

Brinks cameras

To the best of our knowledge, Brinks cameras come from Alarm.com like most of its other equipment. There’s nothing wrong with Alarm.com, but the cameras just aren’t the best out there.

Brinks charges quite a bit for these cameras, too, which makes them even less desirable.

Brinks camera prices
CameraPriceStorage typeLearn more
Indoor camera$199.00CloudView Plans
Outdoor camera$249.00CloudView Plans
Doorbell camera$199.00Cloud and localView Plans

Data effective 05/13/2021. Offers are subject to change.

Yi Indoor Camera

These cameras could get the job done, but they don’t meet most of our security preferences. They have limited fields of view, limited night vision, and even limited audio. (You can’t talk to visitors/intruders using your app, just through the Brinks control panel.)

Still, we do like that your video storage is included in your monitoring fee, and the local storage on the doorbell camera is a plus.

Ring Alarm cameras

Ring makes way too many cameras to list them all here, so we’re not even going to try. Instead, we’ve picked one from each category (indoor, outdoor, and doorbell) to give you a sample of what’s available.

Ring Alarm camera prices
CameraPricePower sourceStorage typeLearn more
Indoor Cam$59.99PlugCloudView on Amazon
Spotlight Cam$199.99Battery/wired/solarCloudView on Amazon
Video Doorbell Pro$169.99WiredCloudView on Amazon

Amazon.com List Prices (as of 05/13/2021 1:00 MST)

Ring makes a vast variety of affordable cameras with different power sources to meet different needs. But all the storage is cloud storage, and in order to record anything, Ring requires a paid plan.

The cloud storage is convenient since you can access it anytime from any connected device. But if you prefer the safety of a physical copy of all your videos, it’s not as useful.  You’ll have to download the videos and transfer them since none of the cameras have local storage built in.

As for the paid plans, they’re extremely affordable. Still, we don’t like paying extra to use something we already own.

Ring Alarm cloud storage plan price
PlanPrice# days cloud storage# camerasLearn more
Basic$3.00/mo. OR $30.00/yr.601View on Amazon
Protect Plus$10.00/mo. OR $100.00/yr.60UnlimitedView on Amazon

Amazon.com List Prices (as of 05/13/2021 1:00 MST)

These plan prices are some of the best you’ll find, especially the $10 unlimited camera plan with alarm system monitoring. And 60 days of storage is more than enough for the average homeowner.

You can learn more about Ring cameras in our Ring camera review.

Brinks vs. Ring Alarm: Smart home integrations

These companies are fairly evenly matched in integration

Both Brinks and Ring Alarm offer good home automation options with multiple connectivity avenues. Brinks sells more smart devices, while Ring has more smart home compatibility.

Brinks smart home integrations:

  • Amazon Alexa
  • Google Assistant
  • Z-Wave

Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant integrations mean that Brinks can connect indirectly to most smart home devices. But if you’re looking for a direct connection, Z-Wave can provide it. Many smart home items use the Z-Wave protocol, making it easy to link them to other products.

As we mentioned earlier, Brinks also sells some smart home devices as add-ons to its packages. Smart locks, smart thermostats, and more are all available through Brinks sales.

Ring Alarm smart home integrations:

  • Amazon Alexa
  • Google Assistant
  • Z-Wave
  • IFTTT

Ring Alarm has all of Brinks’s connectivity with the addition of IFTTT. IFTTT can be a huge boon to a smart home because it creates smart home chains between multiple devices. For instance, you could set up a chain linked to the front door lock. When you open the lock, the front hall light could turn on and a speaker could start playing your favorite radio station.

These complicated chains can sometimes be set up through other interfaces, like through Alexa commands, but IFTTT has long been known as one of the best cause-and-effect platforms out there.

The one downside to Ring’s home automation is that the company doesn’t sell very many branded smart home devices of its own. You can get a smart Ring light bridge and a few lights, but you won’t get locks, thermostats, or some of the other most popular smart home products.

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Ring app
The Ring app is fairly easy to use, and we have no major complaints about it. Most of Ring’s app issues come from its other app, Neighbors.

Brinks vs. Ring Alarm: Customer service

Ring has some reputation problems

Brinks isn’t the most beloved of home security systems. The company has a habit of buying up other companies’ contracts, creating confusion and dissatisfaction in the customers it acquires. And it just really seems like Brinks has struggled to find its footing in the home security industry.

But on the other hand, Ring is the center of an extreme amount of controversy. Internal and external privacy issues, including Ring’s partnership with police, have left many customers and potential customers wary of using Ring devices and apps.

We think those who want a less conflicted customer experience would be better served by Brinks.

If you need help at any time, you can call either of these companies. Brinks is available any day from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. CST, while Ring’s hours are weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST.

  • Brinks customer service number: 800-447-9239
  • Ring Alarm customer service number: 800-984-1596
You can also text Brinks at 469-513-8685.

Brinks vs. Ring Alarm: Which is better?

When it comes down to it, we recommend Ring over Brinks—but with the caveat that some conscientious users will find Ring distasteful. In those cases, Brinks would be the better choice.

  • Prices and monitoring plans: Ring Alarm. Ring’s low, low prices are hard to beat, even with a solid monitoring service like Brinks’s.
  • Security equipment: Ring Alarm. Ring makes its own security equipment, which comes at a less expensive price than Brinks’s generic devices.
  • Cameras: Ring Alarm. Ring is king when it comes to cameras, while they’re a weaker point for Brinks.
  • Smart home integrations: Brinks sells more smart home devices, though Ring has more integration options.
  • Customer service: Brinks is a lot less controversial than Ring, which has a big ethical quagmire to sort through.

If neither of these services are doing it for you, you may want to read our DIY Home Security Systems Review and Best Home Security Systems.

Brinks and Ring Alarm home security comparison
Home security companyMonitoring price rangeBase equipment package priceCamera modelsDetails
Brinks logo$39.99/mo.$199.00Indoor, outdoor, doorbellView Plans
Ring logo$10.00/mo.$199.99Indoor, outdoor, doorbellView on Amazon

Amazon.com List Prices (as of 05/13/2021 1:00 MST)

Methodology

When we rate home security systems, we primarily look at the following five aspects:

  • Price
  • Equipment
  • Cameras
  • Home automation
  • Customer service

Our ratings also include hours of research and hands-on testing. For instance, we’ve tested the Ring security system in the past, which informed some of the opinions in this review.

Usually, we’ll choose the winner of a versus comparison based on how many categories each company wins. But if a company does something really well or egregiously poorly, we might more heavily weigh those aspects over others.

Brinks vs. Ring Alarm home security: FAQ

Here are a few questions you may have about Brinks and Ring home security systems.

Do I need a security camera?

Not necessarily.

You can have a perfectly safe security system without a security camera setup. For instance, you could get a Brinks system and opt out of the lackluster cameras, and your home would still be well protected.

But if you want to know everything that happens on your property or live in a larger home and can’t quickly get from one room to another, we strongly encourage looking into a camera.

Sources

  1. SafeWise Team, Safewise. “Do I Need an Alarm Permit to Install a Security System in My Home?” April 12, 2021. Accessed May 13, 2021.

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