A well-known name in the security industry, Brinks has been around for decades in some form or fashion. Despite some upheavals, rebranding, and the company ownership changing hands a few times, they’re still one of the most dominant providers of home security today, as evidenced by the overwhelming numbers of little blue signs you’ll see in people’s yards.
These days, Brinks offers fully customizable security setups with professional monitoring, and now backed with MONI and Livewatch, which means their security offerings have been significantly upgraded with high-tech services and features.1 They offer affordable DIY home security systems, straightforward packages and pricing.
But as they say, not all that glitters is gold. We’ve been researching and testing Brinks Home Security products for years. During our latest deep-dive into Brinks, we put their equipment packages and monitoring plans under a microscope.
It should come as no surprise that we found plenty of stuff we liked, but there are a few not-so-great things we need to mention — namely their long contract requirements. We’re going to get into all of that and more today. We’ll highlight the plans that are worth the money as well as what you should probably steer clear of. We’re also going to share exactly what it costs to get set up with a system from Brinks Home Security, so stay tuned.
Our staff is great at researching and testing systems and comparing it to similar security options, but we wanted to see what Brinks customers have to say about the product and the service they receive over time. In May 2020, we’ve surveyed 31 Brinks customers and asked them to rate Brinks in 10 different areas, including an overall rating. Below is a summary of their ratings.
Before we get going, we need to establish some context. At the time of this writing, Brinks focused on providing security packages to their customers. That has changed. Now, Brinks is really leaning into customizability, allowing customers to work with professionals to create customized security systems that best suit their needs. Great news if you want a bespoke security solution, not so great news if you’re looking to do some quick napkin math to see how much all this will cost.
So keep that in mind while you’re reading this article. We’ve kept the prices of the security kits Brinks once offered up to give you an idea of what you might pay, but your bottom line is going to rely completely on what devices you select and where you’re located.
With that in mind, let’s talk equipment.
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One thing we really like about Brinks is its simple and straightforward pricing. They offer three equipment packages that cost $199, $349, and $1,099. After getting hands-on experience with the Brinks equipment selection, we recommend the Brinks Smart Security Complete package for $349, as it provides users with the most value. If you want to pay fewer upfront costs, you can finance the upper-tier packages interest-free for 36 months through GreenSky. This option reduces the equipment cost to about $15 or $30 per month, depending on which bundle you choose. Don’t worry, we’ll dig into each of these packages in just a bit.
Tip: Sometimes, it’s wise to buy a basic home security package and add devices to suit your specific needs. Just be sure to choose the system that supports the features you want, such as video or home automation.
Next, you’ll pay $39 per month for Brinks professional monitoring, which is a touch pricey compared to other providers. We’ve tested other home security brands, like Ring Alarm and SimpliSafe, that charge less than $30 a month. And we really didn’t see enough difference to warrant Brinks being more expensive than these brands. Also, we’d like to see a more diverse lineup of options. As it stands, Brinks only offers one monitoring plan, whereas most brands offer three or more options at different prices.
|Monthly Plan Cost
|Smart Security Essential
|Smart Security Complete
|Smart Security Ultimate
|Monthly Plan Cost
|Monthly Equipment Cost
|Total Monthly Cost
|Smart Security Essential
|Smart Security Complete
|Smart Security Ultimate
Brinks does offer some helpful features with their monitoring plan, including 24-7 professional monitoring, smartphone control via the Brinks Home Security app, home automation options, LiveVoice Assist, live video streaming, and cloud storage of video recordings.3 That’s everything you need for complete home security and smart home automation. But remember, you’ll have to purchase additional devices to access more advanced features.
When the dust settles, after factoring in equipment costs and monitoring, Brinks prices are just about average compared to other home security systems out there. While you’ll pay less for equipment, you’ll have to pay a bit more for monitoring. So, it evens out in the end. For more information, check out our full review of Brinks here.
Did You Know? LiveVoice Assist from Brinks Home Security allows you to speak with monitoring agents in real-time using your touchscreen control panel. This feature can save lives during an emergency.
Keep in mind, Brinks is now focused more on custom-made security solutions than they are equipment packages, but these previously available kits can give you a good idea of how much you might pay.
Brinks also offers free shipping and a 30-day, money-back guarantee.4 The three equipment packages include:
The Brinks Smart Security Essential package is your basic home security kit, with just enough features for the non-techies out there. This package includes a Brinks Home Hub touchscreen control panel, a wireless motion sensor, two wireless door sensors, and a yard sign. Smart Security Essential is $199, and the monitoring service costs $39 per month. Overall, we found this bundle to be a great system for the money, especially considering the sleek and modern touchscreen controls of the panel.
The Brinks Smart Security Complete package includes everything in the Smart Security Essential bundle, plus an indoor camera with night vision, as well as an extra entryway sensor and a motion detector. As with the Smart Security Essential system, this package offers on-the-go access through the mobile app. If you purchase the package upfront, it only costs $349. We found this package to be a great deal considering the extra equipment included. With GreenSky financing, you can save even more money by financing the equipment over 36 months. Monitoring will cost you an additional $39 per month.
Finally, the Brinks Smart Security Ultimate package includes everything in the lower-tier options, except for the indoor camera. Instead, this package contains a SkyBell video doorbell camera ($199 value) and an outdoor camera ($249 value). We did the math, and although you’re getting an additional $250 to $350 worth of equipment compared to the Complete package, you’re actually paying more than $500 for it! So, if you do choose Brinks Home Security, we recommend purchasing the Essential or Complete package with add-ons for the best value.
Pro Tip: If your budget allows, we recommend purchasing your equipment upfront so that you own it outright. This initial investment will make your monthly payments much more affordable.
Another attractive aspect of Brinks Home Security is that their packages are completely customizable with add-ons from high-quality brands like GE and Qolsys. The add-ons and upgrades we tested include their indoor and outdoor cameras with 1080p HD video, the IQ smoke detector, wireless garage door tilt sensor, flood detector, and a FireFighter device for fire monitoring, to name a few.
Brinks equipment costs are actually quite reasonable, especially for the SkyBell Slim Line Video Doorbell ($199) and the wireless door and window sensors ($29). Here are the Brinks equipment offerings with a price breakdown:
|Door and Window Sensors
|Wireless Motion Sensors
|Wireless Glass Break Detector
|Garage Door Tilt Sensor
|IQ Wireless Temp Sensor
|IQ Wireless Flood Detector
|IQ Smoke Detector
|FireFighter Fire Alarm
|Skybell Doorbell Camera
Brinks also offers several home automation devices. You can connect these smart products to any of the Brinks Home Security packages. Overall, the products performed well during testing, and everything was simple to set up. Our only complaint is that they fall on the pricey side compared to other devices we’ve tried. However, that’s to be expected with GE products.
|Fluorescent Light & Appliance Module
|Lighting & Appliance Control
|Z-Wave In-Wall Dimmer
|Z-Wave Outdoor Module
|Lighting & Appliance Control
|Kwikset SmartCode Wireless Keypad Deadbolt
|Kwikset SmartCode Wireless Keypad Leverlock
We’ve spent countless hours testing dozens of home security systems with hundreds of pieces of equipment, so we’ve pretty much seen it all. It’s rare that something surprises us, but the Brinks Home Hub — formerly called the IQ 2.0 Control panel — certainly did.
It’s an exceptionally designed LCD touchscreen platform that provides way more control and visibility into our system than traditional keypads, and we were able to manage all of our connected devices from one place without lifting — just swiping — a finger.
The Home Hub can integrate with smart platforms like Amazon’s Alexa and any product using Z-Wave In fact, the system can support up to 119 smart home devices at once. And you can manage everything using voice controls through Google Home, Alexa, Apple TV, and others.
Pro Tip: Home automation devices can add up in cost. So be intentional when purchasing smart devices and only buy equipment that you intend on using.
Brinks Home Security also uses the ASAPer system, which enables live messaging with a customized list of contacts if your system is triggered. This network helps to avoid one of the most frustrating aspects of home security: false alarms. So we think users will find ASAPer to be a useful feature. Otherwise, Brinks doesn’t really bring anything ultra innovative to the table like, say, Vivint. Brinks cameras are decent, but nothing special. Their sensors are fairly basic. And their GE devices are quality, but nothing to write home about.
The Brinks Home Security app lets you know as soon as it detects anything from your home security equipment. You’ll know if someone sets off a motion detector or if a contact sensor has been disturbed.
Some Brinks Home Security plans include 24-7 monitoring. Home security professionals keep a close eye on your system status and can alert authorities if you’re unable to react to a notification.
The Brinks Smart Security Complete plan includes surveillance cameras that give you a live streaming view of the immediate area. You can record clips and review the stream through the Brinks Home Security app.
Professional installation of your Brinks home security system is available with a premium option. You can pay upfront with a flat fee or in installments with an added monthly fee.
You have complete control over arming and disarming the system and checking the notifications through the application.
Right now you’re going to get a free video doorbell worth $299 when you sign up for 24/7 professional monitoring through Brinks. Keep in mind, though, that this only applies to new customers, and you’ll be required to sign up for a 36-month contract.
While Brinks isn’t the cheapest option out there, they do make efforts to remain affordable. From what we’ve seen, you can get a full, comprehensive home security system for around $350.
That said, our team was also somewhat disappointed with the one-dimensional monitoring plan and pricing from Brinks. Of course, their professional monitoring is incredibly reliable, and it offers rapid response times. But at around $49 per month, it’s too expensive unless your system is fully outfitted with home automation and video surveillance. For basic home security monitoring, people shouldn’t have to pay a $40 fee each month when they can get a similar service for $10 to $29 from several other companies. Even still, Brinks Home Security is a safe bet for people looking for home security with plenty of great features.
National Electronic Security Alliance (NESA). (2018, July 6). MONI and LiveWatch complete rebrand as Brinks Home Security.
Brinks Home Security. (2019, July 30). Brinks Home Security. Google.
Brinks Home Security. (2020). Terms and Conditions.
Rouse, M. (2018, August 29). What is Z-Wave? IoTAgenda.