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Flexible home security and automation systems for the DIY crowd
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We love a good “choose your own adventure” story. And that’s pretty much what you’ll get with Link Interactive. During our latest round of testing, this home security company offered us options and choices around every corner. We were able to choose our own equipment, contract length, package, plan, and whether or not we wanted 24-7 professional monitoring. That’s a lot of choices! And it’s not something we’re used to seeing from other brands.
If you like to do-it-yourself, you’ll appreciate that Link Interactive offers easy DIY installation. Their three cellular monitoring plans are reasonably priced, and the overall flexibility of Link Interactive left an impression on us. But before you start thinking our “adventure” with Link Interactive was perfect, well… it wasn’t. We found a few critical weaknesses in their offerings that we think you should know. Don’t worry! We’re going to share it all with you today. So, let’s jump right in!
We did some light investigative work, and we found that Link Interactive used to be “Mountain Alarm” back in the day. Link’s parent company — Fire Protection Service Corporation — was founded in 1952 by a fellow named Peary Barker.1 Today, Link Interactive remains a household name in the small-ish mountain town of Ogden, Utah.
We also learned that 2GIG (2 Guys In a Garage) makes Link’s wireless equipment and earns higher quality ratings than General Electric’s comparable equipment.2 Between their quality products and reputation for outstanding customer service, we certainly didn’t want to count this company out. All in all, no red flags went a-flyin’. Not in our research anyhow. So, let’s see how much these home security systems cost, and how well they performed during our rigorous testing and trials.
Link Interactive is not the cheapest setup in town. Let’s just get that out of the way. It’s not your everyday low-cost DIY system like Ring Alarm or SimpliSafe. Those budget brands charge around $250-$450 for equipment, with monitoring priced at $10-$20 per month. On the other hand, Link Interactive isn’t as expensive as the big boys like Vivint and ADT. It seemed to us that Link found a sweet spot for pricing. That is…until we learned about their upfront costs.
Pro Tip: You can use door or window sensors to protect more than just doors and windows. Use them to guard medicine cabinets, gun vaults, jewelry boxes, liquor cabinets (sorry teens), pool gates (sorry tots), and more!
The equipment is the most expensive part of the deal. You’ll pay upward of $500-$700 for a complete setup of your choosing (yep, more choices!). If you want to finance your equipment over time, Link Interactive will put you on a one-, two-, or three-year contract. If contracts aren’t your thing — they certainly aren’t ours — then you can pay for your equipment upfront, and you’re good to go.
From there, the only other cost is for 24-7 professional monitoring. You’ll pay between $30.99 and $44.99 per month for around-the-clock protection (and, depending on your plan, smart home features, and video surveillance, too). Or you could dodge those monthly fees and self-monitor your own system. We like that Link Interactive’s professional monitoring is optional, as too many companies require it these days.
|24-7 Cellular Monitoring||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|HD Video Monitoring||No||No||Yes|
|Contract Length||1-3 Years||1-3 Years||1-3 Years|
|Price||$30.99 per month||$39.99 per month||$44.99 per month|
Thankfully, there are no installation fees or activation fees with Link Interactive. So, to sum up the pricing. The most expensive cost is the equipment, which will run you $500-$700, depending on your equipment bundle. Compared to industry averages, this expense is a little pricey. But remember, you can finance your equipment for 1-3 years to soften the initial blow. Finally, if you want professional monitoring, it’ll cost you $30-$45 per month, depending on the plan you choose. We found the monitoring prices to be slightly lower than the industry average.
We had our boots laced up and ready to go with a fast purchase from the web. However, we were stopped immediately in our tracks. Link Interactive required us to “call in for a quote.” On the phone, you can expect a sales rep to help you customize a package with door and window sensors, motion sensors, a control panel, indoor or outdoor cameras, a doorbell camera, and the like. Keep in mind, all equipment comes with a three-year warranty (pretty nice!) and a 30-day, money-back guarantee (we’ve seen better).
Did You Know:ADT offers a generous 6-month, money-back guarantee, which is the best in the industry.
Link Interactive makes the grade in this category. We were able to install our equipment and mount the hardware in a matter of minutes. If you’re not the handiest around the house, don’t worry, there’s no drilling or wiring involved. The door and window sensors mount with removable adhesive strips, and the only tool you’ll need is a screwdriver for installing the control panel. But even that’s optional.
Bear in mind, your mileage may vary depending on the equipment bundle you purchase. If you went wild at checkout and bought a Costco-sized cartful of equipment, you’ll need to roll up your sleeves and carve out a couple of hours for installation.
In our experience, controlling the Link Interactive security system was generally pretty easy. We went with the IQ Panel 2, which wasn’t cheap. This touchscreen panel gave us total control over our system, allowing us to arm and disarm the alarm and manage our cameras and smart home devices with a few swipes of the finger. Not bad.
We were also able to control our system remotely using the Link Interactive mobile app, which is powered by Alarm.com.3 Smartphone controls are always nice, but note, the Standard monitoring plan does not include this important feature. You’ll have to spring for Gold or Elite if you want it. So, that’s a little disappointing. There’s also a nifty little keychain remote for basic arming and disarming functions.
Thankfully, all of Link Interactive systems use cellular monitoring. Cellular monitoring is generally faster and more reliable than Wi-Fi or landline monitoring. So, we fully expected to see speedy response times when our alarm tripped. Well, expectations and reality sometimes don’t line up. Link Interactive agents took about 40 seconds on average to answer our call. This response is slower than the industry average of approximately 35 seconds (and every second counts when a bad guy is forcing entry!).
Pro Tip: You can choose between the 2GIG Go! Control Panel ($251), or their premium IQ Panel 2 controls ($331). Although it’s expensive, we liked the IQ Panel 2 for the 7-inch touchscreen, built-in glass break sensor, and 5-MP camera.
FYI: If you want state-of-the-art video surveillance, Deep Sentinel takes a proactive approach to home security and offers some of the best security cameras we’ve seen.
Overall, we enjoyed using Link on a daily basis. The controls were strikingly similar to Brinks Home Security. And even though the monitoring was a bit slower than what we’re used to, we felt safe and secure in our home. We give Link Interactive a solid B grade in the daily-use department.
In our research, we found that Link Interactive holds an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB).4 Each time we reached out to sales or support, we spoke with a friendly agent. In fact, we found that the company truly prides itself in outstanding customer service. They even display links to major consumer review platforms like Yelp, Trustpilot, and Angie’s List on their website.5 So, it sure seems like they have nothing to hide.
They also have Additional Support Resources, which we found to be a bit lackluster. Sure, we had access to Installation Guides, Monitoring Station Procedures, FAQs, Tips to Avoiding False Alarms, and a Moving Guide, but we found the documents to be a bit dense to read. All in all, Link Interactive’s customer service is good, but it didn’t feature the level of refinement of other brands we’ve tested like ADT and Frontpoint.
FYI: Keep in mind that Link Interactive’s offices are closed for customer service on Sundays. This availability may have something to do with their location in Ogden, Utah.
Link Interactive offers loads of different devices, each with their own features and technology. All of the equipment is wireless and communicates seamlessly with the control panel. We’ll highlight our favorite features below, but just know that nothing was truly unique or outstanding.
For the price, we do think Link Interactive could level-up when it comes to innovation. They certainly don’t measure up to some other systems we’ve researched and tested, like Vivint. That said, here are a few notable features we think you should know about:
Touchscreen Controls — Link’s Premium Smart Home Panel, the IQ Panel 2, offers a 7″ touchscreen with a built-in camera and glass-break sensor. It’s one of our favorite components of the system, but it comes at a steep price.
Smartphone App — Control your system from virtually anywhere in the world using the mobile app powered by Alarm.com. Depending on your plan, you can receive activity alerts, arm and disarm your system, perform smart-home commands, view live video feeds, and more, all from your smartphone.
Hands-Free Voice — Link Interactive’s top-tier plans support voice communication through the control panel. In the event of a break-in or other crisis, you can talk directly to emergency personnel, and they can determine whether or not to call 911.
Pet-Friendly Motion Sensor — We always like to see pet-sensitive motion sensors. These devices can distinguish between your furry friend and a burglar, which helps to reduce false alarms. Note, it doesn’t work with large dogs over 40 pounds.
Environmental Sensors — Monitor your home for smoke/fire, carbon monoxide, water leaks, flooding, and frozen pipes. Link Interactive offers all of the above in the Home Safety category.
Video Surveillance — The top-tier security plans include monitoring for wireless video cameras. Their indoor and outdoor cameras deliver 1080p HD video quality and night vision technology. However, we’d like to see more camera options from Link Interactive.
Panic Pendant — These waterproof panic buttons can clip to your belt or be worn around your neck or wrist. Press the button and the system will send an alert to the monitoring station. These devices are ideal for seniors — think of it as a medical alert system.
Home Automation — The Elite plan supports automation features like smart lighting, thermostats, door locks, and more. Another thing to note is that Link Interactive systems play well with Z-Wave compatible smart devices.
Did You Know: Z-Wave is a wireless communications protocol used for home automation. It’s a mesh network using low-energy radio waves, allowing for wireless control of appliances and other devices, such as lighting control, security systems, thermostats, windows, locks, and more.6
We found that Link Interactive offers a wide range of equipment and add-ons. The sheer amount of options can be overwhelming, so we recommend taking a deep breath before diving into this next section. Remember, if you do choose to go with Link Interactive, their sales rep will help you narrow down your options. Also, keep in mind that certain devices only work with particular plans. For instance, you can only get video monitoring with the most expensive Elite monitoring plan (we broke this down in a helpful chart in our Pricing section above).
Compared to the industry-average prices, we found Link Interactive to be all over the map. That is, we think certain products like the touchscreen panels and garage door controllers are overpriced. But then other devices, like their door and window sensors, are very competitively priced compared to what we’ve seen. So, if you choose Link Interactive, just pay attention to the individual device prices.
|IQ Panel 2 (touchscreen)||Home Security||$331|
|2GIG Secondary Touchpad||Home Security||$138|
|IQ Remote Tablet||Home Security||$207|
|2GIG Go! Control Panel||Home Security||$251|
|Door/Window Sensor||Home Security||$22|
|Motion Sensor||Home Security||$50|
|Image Motion Sensor w/ Built-In Camera||Home Security||$112|
|Glass Break Sensor||Home Security||$69|
|Outdoor Sensor||Home Security||$61|
|Panic Button||Home Security||$29|
|Tilt Sensor||Home Security||$29|
|Smoke/Heat/Freeze Sensor||Life Safety/Environmental||$66|
|Carbon Monoxide Detector||Life Safety/Environmental||$80|
|Premium Thermostat||Home Automation||$132|
|Touchpad Deadbolt||Home Automation||$135|
|Touchscreen Deadbolt||Home Automation||$204|
|Garage Door Controller||Home Automation||$114|
|Smart LED Light Bulb||Home Automation||$22|
|Lamp Module||Home Automation||$42|
|Outdoor Camera||Video Surveillance||N/A|
|Indoor Camera||Video Surveillance||$140|
|Premium Indoor Camera||Video Surveillance||$280|
|Doorbell Camera||Video Surveillance||$167|
|Slim Doorbell Camera||Video Surveillance||$177|
|Onsite Video Recorder-1TB||Surveillance||$325|
Want to see the Link Interactive system in action? Check out our video review from our YouTube channel below:
So, is Link Interactive worth your time and money? Well, let’s recap. The upfront equipment prices ($500-$700) were steep, but the professional monitoring fees are reasonable ($31-$45 per month) and optional. We liked how flexible Link Interactive is with everything from equipment options to contract lengths.
We also found a handful of glaring disadvantages with the company. For starters, we would like to see a few premade packages for sale. We think this implementation would help shoppers wrap their heads around the offers. As it stands, there are just so many choices that it can be crippling for folks that don’t understand the different devices or how the systems work. Also, we don’t love the contracts or the lack of a professional installation option from Link Interactive. Those aspects aren’t necessarily deal-breakers, but they are definitely something to consider!
When the dust settles, we still think Link Interactive is a decent system, but it simply doesn’t stack up against many of the home security systems we’ve tested over the years. So, we have to recommend further exploration of our best home security systems before you pull out the ol’ credit card and jump into something prematurely. That’s right, we recommend “choosing a different adventure,” if you will.
If you purchase your equipment upfront in full, you do not have to sign a contract. But if you finance your equipment, you must sign a 1-, 2-, or 3-year contract.
Yes, the systems offer DIY installation, which takes about 25-45 minutes for basic to mid-level systems.
Unfortunately, Link Interactive only offers customized bundles, so you’ll have to pick and choose the devices you want.
All systems are wireless.
Yes, but we found these features to be lacking.
Fire Protection Service Corp. (2020). Bloomberg. Retrieved June 24, 2020.
2GIG. (2020). Why 2GIG?
Alarm.com Mobile. (2020, June 5). Alarm.com.
Fire Protection Service Corporation: Better Business Bureau® Profile. (2020, May 13). BBB.
Link Interactive Reviews. (2020). Trustpilot. Retrieved June 24, 2020.
Z-Wave. (June 14, 2020). Wikipedia. Retrieved June 24, 2020.