Despite going through several rebrandings, Brinks is still going strong with cutting-edge technology and ultra-fast response times.
Brinks has been around in some form or fashion for decades. Combining fully customizable security setups with reliable professional monitoring, they’re one of the best-known names in the industry. Now backed with MONI and LiveWatch, Brinks has once again bolstered their service offerings1 with high-tech service and features.
There’s certainly a lot to like about Brinks. They have a great reputation, they have some of the best equipment in the industry, they offer great professional monitoring, and their response times are fantastic. That said, there are certainly some drawbacks of going with Brinks, particularly if you’re looking for DIY options. Before we get into that, though, let’s take a look at some pros and cons.
Brinks — named for their founder Perry Brinks — can trace its history in the home security space back to the 1800s. It wasn’t until the 1990s, though, that Brink’s Home Security came to be. They’ve also since dropped the apostrophe from their name while partnering with other security providers to offer customers higher tech features and solutions.
Until a weird hiatus.
You see, throughout the ’90s and early 2000s, the company built some incredible momentum, with offerings rivaling those of ADT home security systems. Then — poof! — the company disappeared. After a rebranding in 2009, and a couple of mergers later, the name fell off the map again for almost a decade.3 Fast forward to 2018, and the company suddenly reemerged as Brinks Home Security.
With all this shimmying and shaking, I was understandably curious as to what exactly Brinks was bringing to the table. Have they emerged through the crucible a more complete and comprehensive security system? Or are they a shell of the powerhouse they were 20 years ago? Do they still take an old school approach, or have they embraced some of the new trends in the home security industry? We’ll unpack all these questions, but let’s start with a first look.
Did You Know? Monitronics (MONI) and LiveWatch joined forces to rebrand their companies as Brinks Home Security.
Right off the bat, I really appreciated that Brinks sells three straightforward equipment bundles that are easy to install and use, sans professional help. Brinks gets this part right.
What I didn’t like as much, though, is that Brinks is requiring a three-year monitoring contract. So much for flexibility. If you’re positioning yourself as a DIY system, a three-year contract is a tough pill to swallow. But is this new, lean and mean Brinks worth the long-term commitment? Let’s dig in.
One of the first things you’re going to notice about Brinks home security is that they take a pretty old-school approach to purchasing security equipment. This is most apparent on their website. You’re not going to be able to purchase anything there. You have to contact one of their sales representatives who will work with you to customize a package for your individual needs.
This is great in the sense that there are no one-size-fits-all approaches to home security, but I don’t like the lack of buying options. At least with Brinks’ rival ADT, customers can choose whether to call for a quote or buy online. With Brinks, you only have one approach. Is it the end of the world? No. But it’s something to keep in mind.
Next, we’re going to provide you with a chart that shows the different packages Brinks offers. Keep in mind that this is pricing from when we recently tested Brinks ourselves. Brinks’ pricing in your area may differ from this, but the table below should give you an idea of Brinks’ cost.
|Smart Security Essential||Smart Security Complete||Smart Security Ultimate|
|Monthly Monitoring Price||$39.99||$44.99||$49.99|
|Touch-Screen Control Panel||1||1||1|
|Wireless Door Sensors||2||2||3|
|Wireless Motion Sensor||1||1||1|
|Yard Sign and Stickers||1||1||1|
|HD Video Doorbell||Not Included||1||1|
|Outdoor Camera With Night Vision||Not Included||Not Included||1|
While these packages aren’t currently available, this should give you a pretty good idea of what you’re looking at.
Remember, Brinks has gone fully customizable, so when you speak to the representative, you’ll have the option of picking out all of the equipment you need, from security cameras and sensors to thermostats and smart home devices. You’ll work with them to understand your needs, potential solutions, and ultimate costs. And speaking of that, don’t feel like you’re going to need to shell out a ton of money up front. Brinks offers a zero-percent APR financing option to make things a little easier on the pocketbook.
FYI: Brinks Home Security offers a 30-day, money-back guarantee, and a two-year warranty on equipment.3
Brinks offers free two day shipping on their equipment, so everything I needed to get set up was on my doorstep relatively quickly. And true to their new DIY ethos, the Brinks system was super easy to install and set up. From start to finish, my Brinks system only took about 30 minutes to get up and running. Not as quick as, say, our SimpliSafe installation, but not bad.
Now, if you’d rather have an expert install your system, Brinks invites you to text or call their customer care department to set that up. (For a fee, of course.) And note that Brinks is currently including professional installation as part of their Ultimate package. That wasn’t the case when I tried it out, but it’s a nice perk.
Once your Brinks devices are in place, you can begin exploring the equipment and monitoring service. Since GE makes much of the Brinks equipment, the devices themselves are high quality and dependable. They also seem to communicate well with one another and the hub of the system.
Now, that is important. While we recommend testing each component individually, how they work together defines how well a security system can protect your home. And with Brinks, everything works seamlessly to make your home less of a target for break-ins, burglaries, and package theft.
You’ll be able to arm and disarm the alarm and perform other commands using the Brinks IQ 2.0 Control Panel — a sleek touch-screen device that’s a bit like Vivint’s award-winning SkyControl keypad. (Check it out in our Vivint home security review.) You’ll also be able to control your system remotely with the Brinks app. The app is decent, but it doesn’t measure up to the Ring app or the ADT Pulse app. I don’t like its basic interface, especially considering how advanced a Brinks security system can be. One thing to note here, though, is that Brinks recently came out with the Brinks Smart Hub, which is an improvement over the Brinks IQ 2.0 Control Panel.
Did You Know? Many home security companies offer free self-monitoring using their companion apps. Brinks is not one of them. While you can access and control your system using the Brinks app, you still have to pay a monthly fee for Brinks professional monitoring service. All of their systems require this monitoring subscription.
Brinks entryway sensors and motion sensors are very responsive. I didn’t experience any false alarms, which was nice. When the alarm does sound, you can expect a Brinks monitoring agent to get in touch within 30 seconds to assess the situation. That’s speedy for an alarm company, and we all know that during emergencies, every second counts. With Brinks agents quickly responding to every alarm, I have more confidence that it can help protect my home against burglary and home invasions.
On the other hand, while we strongly recommend professional monitoring, I don’t like the fact that Brinks doesn’t offer a free self-monitoring option despite being a DIY system. Most DIY systems, such as SimpliSafe, let customers use their equipment without monthly fees, but with Brinks, that’s not an option. If you’re looking for self-monitoring, check out our guide to the best home security systems with no monthly fee.
Finally, I wasn’t all that impressed with the SkyBell doorbell camera offered by Brinks. It only offers 720p HD video quality, which doesn’t really compare to the 1080p HD of most doorbell cams on the market today. Their outdoor security camera is a bit better, with improved image quality and ease of use. Brinks also offers an indoor 1080p HD camera if you want to keep an eye on things inside. for $199.
Brinks home monitoring depends entirely on the size of the package you select. Generally speaking, though, it’ll run you between $39.99 to $49.99 per month. Keep in mind, the industry standard is around $25. The costs with Brinks are a little steep.
Pro Tip: If you don’t have the money up front, take advantage of Brinks’ no-interest equipment financing through GreenSky. You’ll be able to spread out the cost over 36 months.
As far as monitoring performance, Brinks offers a few nice features, including LiveVoice Assist (two-way talk via the control panel), ASAPer service (instant interactive messaging), and cloud storage of video recordings.
All these features work together to protect your home from crooks and criminals. LiveVoice Assist connects you to a monitoring agent quickly and conveniently through the control panel during emergencies. ASAPer makes communication a bit easier despite the chaos an unexpected alarm might cause. And cloud storage keeps video evidence of events, which you can use in case of a break-in.
One thing to really like about Brinks Home Security is the extensive lineup of add-ons and upgrades. The prices are (mostly) reasonable, and the GE-made products are built to last. You can customize any of Brinks’ three equipment packages with these devices:
I’m a big fan of the fact that Brinks offers equipment options, but I wasn’t thrilled about their security cameras. They are either pricey for their features and quality, or they offer specs below industry standards (like the 720p doorbell). My suggestion is to buy security equipment from Brinks if the brand suits you, but use third-party cameras that you can monitor separately. Check out our security camera guide for tips in choosing the right security cameras.
Brinks Home Security isn’t exactly known for offering innovative features and technology. But that’s fine, as their systems are geared more toward the low-cost, DIY market. If you want cutting-edge features and technology, check out Vivint home security packages. That said, Brinks does provide a few helpful features that are practical for everyday use.
The Brinks security app lets you arm, disarm, and tap into your live video streams using your smartphone or other mobile device.4 This feature performed well for me, but I’d like to see a more user-friendly design.
On the bright side, just having an app improves a security system tremendously. Security apps let you control and monitor your system from anywhere, so even if you’re away, you can use it to protect your home. Specifically with the Brinks app, I was able to check camera live footage and use two-way talk to speak with visitors. If there were a burglary, that feature could have served as a great crime-stopper.
Another great aspect of Brinks Home Security is its easy DIY installation. In fact, Brinks makes our list of best DIY home security systems. Without any tools or handyman skills, you’ll be up and running in 30 minutes or less. The sensors are easy to mount, and the whole system arrives at your door preconfigured and ready for action.
The Brinks upper-tier plans include cloud video storage. This addition allows you to store your recorded video footage and clips in the cloud for safekeeping and review. This feature normally costs an extra $5 to $10 per month at other companies, so it’s nice that Brinks includes it in select plans. And while recorded videos won’t stop burglaries or break-ins, you may be able to present them as evidence, making it a nice addition to Brinks’ protection.
Brinks IQ 2.0 Control Panel features an LCD touch-screen for a streamlined look and user-friendly operation. It gave me greater control over my system than I typically get from a push-button panel. And the Brinks panel doubles as a smart home hub, seamlessly connecting all the smart devices in the house into one central unit.
While their warranty isn’t exactly a feature, it’s certainly worth mentioning here. All Brinks equipment comes with a 30-day, money-back guarantee. This assurance allows you to test- drive their system for a full month to ensure it’s right for you. If you find it’s not the best fit, simply return it for a full refund. Even though a 30-day guarantee is fairly standard in the industry, not all companies offer it.
|Communication method||Cellular, Wi-Fi|
|Professional monitoring||Yes (required)|
|Setup and installation||DIY or professional|
|Setup time||30 minutes|
|Average response time (professional monitoring)||30 seconds|
|Equipment options||Entry, motion, glass break, etc.|
|Indoor and outdoor security cameras||Yes|
|Home coverage||1,500 – 3,000+ sq. ft.|
|Compatibility of companion app||iOS and Android|
|Warranty on equipment||2-year|
|Monthly cost for monitoring||$39 to $49|
|Equipment cost||$199 – $699|
|System release date||2018|
Having access to quality customer service can make all the difference. And Brinks really excels in this category. First off, they offer ASAPer, along with LiveVoice assist. These features ensure that highly trained emergency personnel are always close at hand. There are also traditional customer support channels staffed by Brinks security experts.
With phone support, you can speak with their dedicated customer care team, and you can even text them your questions, which is innovative. Each time I reached out, the customer support was good, but not necessarily great. The staff was friendly and helpful, but I do have a way of asking difficult questions.
Tip: Never underestimate the importance of customer service when choosing a home security company. You never know when you’ll need tech support, billing assistance, or help getting out of your contract in a pinch.
If you’d prefer to contact Brinks through their website, a ticketing system is available. Also, extensive self-service support resources give you answers to most of the basic problems you may encounter. Finally, there’s a Brinks online community that lets you connect with other users to ask questions, share solutions, and more.
As far as customer service goes, Brinks Home Security definitely makes the grade. J.D. Power ranked Brinks No. 1 in customer satisfaction with home security systems in 2018.5 Brinks also holds an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. Not bad at all.
Overall, I found Brinks to be a pretty good system for the money, especially considering the sleek, modern touch-screen controls. It’s easy to install and even easier to use. Plus, the monitoring was reliable and the response times were fast.
However, next time around, I would probably choose the Smart Security Complete package to save a few hundred dollars. With lots of customization options, smart home features, and affordable equipment financing, I must say that Brinks delivers pretty good value.
That being said, don’t forget to consider the long-term contract requirement. Some people complain that Brinks isn’t flexible enough with its three-year contracts and strict cancellation policies. But if you plan on needing home protection for years to come (and who doesn’t?), then choosing this long-time leader in home security might make sense for you. All in all, it’s a decent system that I don’t hesitate to recommend.
We are dedicated to providing unbiased reviews of home security systems, and our team is committed to identifying brands that offer dependable and high-quality security equipment and monitoring services. Our process begins with extensive research, during which we meticulously gather and compare information on various security systems.
Once we identify reliable systems, we purchase them and install them in our homes for the next part of our testing process. There, we conduct extensive testing of each feature and assess the system’s strengths and weaknesses in protecting our home and family. To evaluate the system’s ability to detect security breaches, we even simulate burglaries, home invasions, and package theft scenarios.
Our testing process typically lasts for at least a week, but we often keep the security systems for up to a month to understand what it’s really like living with these systems longer term. Then we write up our first-hand account about ease of use, performance, features, customer service, pricing, and more.
Sliwon-Stewart, A. (2018, March 12). MONI rebrands to BRINKS. Informa.
Burkitt, L. (2009, June 30). Brink's $120 Million Name Change.
Brinks Home Security. (2021). Terms and Conditions.
Brinks Home Security. (2019, July 30). Brinks Home Security. Google.
J.D. Power. (2018, October 25). Smart Home Features Emerge as Key Opportunity to Drive Customer Satisfaction with Home Security Systems, J.D. Power Finds.