SimpliSafe vs. Brinks Home Security

SimpliSafe and Brinks offer different systems with different features, but we give SimpliSafe a (slight) overall win.
Best for Most
Affordable monitoring
Few home automation options
Runner-up
Many home automation options
Contract required

SimpliSafe vs. Brinks is like pitting the new kid on the block against an old standby.

Okay, SimpliSafe’s not really that new. It’s been around for over a decade, and its easy-to-install DIY system changed the security game and made it way more affordable for people to secure their houses.

That said, Brinks has some perks of its own. It has higher-end equipment and way more home automation options than you’ll get with SimpliSafe. Just know you have to sign a contract to get all that.

SimpliSafe vs. Brinks package comparison
CompanyMonitoring price rangeContractHome automation integrationsLearn more
SimpliSafe$14.99–$24.99/mo.NoneLimitedSee System
Brinks$29–3936 mos. YesGet a Quote

Data effective 8/27/2019. Offers subject to change.

Light Bulb icon
Heads up!
Brinks Home Security filed for “reorganization under Chapter 11 of the federal Bankruptcy Act” in June 2019.1

For now, Brinks is still running business as usual, but Chapter 11 is a big hit for any company. If you want to feel confident your security company isn’t going to go out of business in the near future, then SimpliSafe is a good choice. But for now, we’ll set aside the bankruptcy thing and review Brinks’s system as it is.

SimpliSafe vs. Brinks pricing, contracts, and fees

SimpliSafe has way more affordable pricing than Brinks—plus you can skip the contracts and cancellation fees.

SimpliSafe and Brinks both offer professional monitoring, which means someone else is always watching your security system for you, ready to call the police if an intruder crashes through your front window.

As far as pricing goes, SimpliSafe takes this one easily. Its monitoring plans (and equipment) are much cheaper than Brinks’s.

SimpliSafe monitoring plans
PlanPriceMobile app accessCamera supportLearn more
Standard$14.99/mo.NoNoSee System
Interactive$24.99/mo.YesYesSee System

Data effective 8/27/2019. Offers subject to change.

Notice that SimpliSafe makes you subscribe to its more expensive monitoring plan to get access to its mobile app. That means you can’t control your security system from your smartphone unless you get the fancy higher-priced plan.

That plan might be higher priced, but it’s still pretty cheap by industry standards. But for real, SimpliSafe? A mobile app shouldn’t be that hard to get.

Brinks monitoring plans
PlanPriceMobile app accessCamera supportLearn more
Home Complete$29/mo.YesNoGet a Quote
Home Complete with Video$39/mo.YesYesGet a Quote

Data effective 8/27/2019. Offers subject to change.

You do need a professional monitoring plan with either Brinks or SimpliSafe. Neither really has a self-monitoring option. If you want a system you can monitor yourself from your smartphone, check out some of our other DIY security system recommendations.

Contracts

SimpliSafe doesn’t do contracts at all. You don’t have to sign on for three years or even three months to get professional monitoring, and you can cancel it whenever you want.

Brinks, on the other hand, is still stuck on that contract life. Plan to sign on for 36 months if you opt for a Brinks system.

Megaphone icon
Pro tip
That 36-month contract is the standard for traditional security companies. But you can find shorter contracts from companies like Link Interactive and Vivint. Both those companies even let you skip the contracts if you pay for all your equipment up front.

Fees

Neither SimpliSafe nor Brinks has a ton of fees. They don’t charge for installation (since you do it yourself), and they don’t charge for activation.

Brinks does have one fee though: a cancellation fee. If you try to end your contract early, expect to still pay 100% of the cost of your remaining contract. Some other companies charge percentages like 70% or 80%, but Brinks wants the whole thing.

SimpliSafe vs. Brinks fees
BrandSimpliSafeBrinks
Installation feeNone*None*
Activation feeNoneNone
Cancellation feeNone100% of remaining contract
Learn moreSee SystemGet a Quote

Data effective 8/27/2019. Offers subject to change.

* No fee for DIY installation. Installation fee may apply for professional installation option.

Pricing winner: SimpliSafe

SimpliSafe has cheaper monitoring plans and fewer fees than Brinks. You can cancel your monitoring plan whenever you want, and you don’t have to worry about paying hundreds of dollars for ending things early.

SimpliSafe vs. Brinks equipment

Brinks has higher-end equipment than SimpliSafe plus better cameras.

SimpliSafe and Brinks have totally different equipment options, and Brinks’s is a bit more high-end. SimpliSafe still offers things like smoke detectors and motion sensors, but all its stuff is much simpler than Brinks—especially its keypad.

SimpliSafe security equipment

SimpliSafe Security equipment

Source: SimpliSafe

SimpliSafe equipment looks nice and works well, but it also lives up to its name: it’s simple.

If you want a straightforward system without all the bells and whistles, then SimpliSafe is a perfect option. You get an analog keypad you use to arm and disarm your system, plus a range of sensors that can do everything from telling you when a door’s open to alerting you when there’s a leak.

SimpliSafe available equipment 

  • Base station
  • Keypad
  • Door/window sensor
  • Motion sensor
  • Glass-break sensor
  • Key fob
  • Siren
  • Water sensor
  • Freeze sensor
  • Panic button
  • Smoke detector

Brinks security equipment

Brinks Security Equipment

Brinks uses equipment made by Alarm.com and GE. Alarm.com supplies equipment to a ton of different home security companies, including Protect America and Link Interactive.

Alarm.com equipment works really well, although it doesn’t always have the best security cameras out there. Cameras aside, you do get things like a fancy touchscreen panel that looks nice on your wall and lets you see everything that’s happened with your security system.

Brinks available equipment

  • Door/window sensor
  • Garage door tilt sensor
  • Freeze sensor
  • Glass-break sensor
  • Water/flood sensor
  • Smoke detector
  • Smoke alarm listener
  • Key fob
  • CO detector
  • Vibration sensor

Brinks’s website doesn’t make it easy to choose exactly what equipment you want. It directs you to two different preset packages that only show you a handful of the devices Brinks has to offer.

If you want to see all your options and add other devices to your cart, you have to scroll all the way to the bottom of the home page and find the “Add On Products” link. That’s a bit too much work for us, and SimpliSafe’s buying experience is much easier.

SimpliSafe vs. Brinks cameras

Brinks camera

Brinks wins the camera showdown. It offers an outdoor camera, which SimpliSafe does not. Plus, both Brinks’s indoor and outdoor cameras record in 1080p high definition, also known as Full HD. (SimpliSafe’s indoor camera records in 720p, which is just regular old HD.)

Brinks camera models

  • SkyBell Slim Line Video Doorbell
  • Brinks Home Outdoor Camera
  • Brinks Home Indoor Camera

What we can say for SimpliSafe’s cameras are that they’re cheap. Both its indoor SimpliCam camera and its video doorbell cam are cheaper than Brinks’s options. And SimpliSafe’s video doorbell records in 1080p, while the Brinks doorbell cam records in 720p.

SimpliCam security camera

SimpliSafe camera models

  • Video Doorbell Pro
  • SimpliCam
Pin icon
Pro tip
You can use SimpliSafe’s SimpliCam outside if you buy the outdoor kit for it. The kit includes a weatherproof sleeve and a long power cable.

Equipment winner: Brinks

Brinks has more and better equipment than SimpliSafe overall. Brinks has more camera options, more device options, and a full touchscreen panel instead of just a keypad.

That said, we still recommend the SimpliSafe equipment for people who want a more streamlined security system and don’t need all the fancy extras. SimpliSafe also has an easier online ordering process.

SimpliSafe vs. Brinks home automation and mobile control

Brinks supports more smart home devices than SimpliSafe.

It’s safe to say home automation is not a priority for SimpliSafe. The system does have some simple smart integrations, like with the Nest thermostat. But for the most part, you’re not gonna turn your house into a smart home with SimpliSafe.

SimpliSafe home automation integrations

  • Google Home
  • Amazon Alexa
  • Nest thermostat

If you do want to build the smart home of your dreams, then Brinks is for you. It supports Z-Wave, which is a super common connection type for smart home devices. You can add in just about anything you want, including smart locks and smart lights.

Brinks home automation integrations

  • Z-Wave
  • Amazon Alexa
  • Google Home

Home automation winner: Brinks

SimpliSafe doesn’t support Z-Wave (or Zigbee). That means you can’t add on third-party smart home devices like smart lights and have them work with your security system. You’re pretty much stuck with voice assistants like Amazon Alexa and Nest thermostats.

Brinks does support Z-Wave, and you can use your Brinks system as a hub for all the smart stuff you want, along with using Alexa or Google Home to control everything.

SimpliSafe vs. Brinks customer experience

SimpliSafe gets better overall customer reviews than Brinks.

Neither SimpliSafe nor Brinks is going to be winning our customer service blue ribbon any time soon. (That award still goes to Frontpoint.) But SimpliSafe does have a slightly better customer service reputation than Brinks, or at least fewer customer complaints from the Better Business Bureau.2, 3

These companies score similarly on Trustpilot,4, 5 but SimpliSafe does have only five reviews there as opposed to Brinks’s 1,600+. And as far as Google Customer Reviews are concerned, SimpliSafe is by far the superior choice for customer support.6

Customer experience winner: SimpliSafe

SimpliSafe gets more kudos from customers than Brinks tends to collect, but neither of them are customer service superstars.

Recap

SimpliSafe wins our overall recommendation for its low prices and better customer support.

SimpliSafe and Brinks offer different things for different people. You want the best equipment with professional monitoring, and you don’t mind signing a contract? Then Brinks is a good choice.

But we have to give SimpliSafe the overall win (by a sliver) for making home security so darn affordable and getting a bit more positive feedback from customers.

We’d like to see SimpliSafe add more home automation options, but you can still use it with smart home basics like Amazon Alexa.

Pricing winner: SimpliSafe—SimpliSafe is a lot cheaper than Brinks on both monitoring and equipment. Plus, SimpliSafe doesn’t make you sign a contract, but Brinks does (and it has high cancellation fees).

Equipment winner: Brinks—Brinks’s Alarm.com equipment is fancier than SimpliSafe’s minimalist designs. But both sets of equipment work well, it just depends on whether you want a full touchscreen panel or a simple keypad. Brinks also has slightly better cameras.

Home automation winner: Brinks—Brinks supports Z-Wave, while SimpliSafe does not. If you want to add in third-party smart devices, then Brinks is for you.

Customer experience winner: SimpliSafe—SimpliSafe gets fewer customer complaints than Brinks and more positive reviews. But SimpliSafe still has some room to improve on the customer service front.

Still not sure which system to go with? Check out our best home security systems review to look at all the major systems on the market.

Sources

  1. Better Business Bureau, “Brinks Home Security, Bankruptcy
  2. Better Business Bureau, “Brinks
  3. Better Business Bureau, “SimpliSafe
  4. Trustpilot, “SimpliSafe
  5. Trustpilot, “Brinks Home Security
  6. Google Customer Reviews, “SimpliSafe