A home security system has never been more essential, and many even have smart home features that can contribute to your home environment. But with so many options, it can feel confusing when choosing the right security provider and package. Two great options for you to consider are Vivint and Brinks Home Security. Vivint is a traditional security provider with a modern twist, providing security solutions and home automation to over 1 million homes across North America. Vivint has been in the business for around 20 years.
Brinks has been around for much longer, boasting 100+ years in the security industry. They're known for having some of the fastest response times in the industry. Let's compare them both side by side to see which is best for you.
Vivint vs. Brinks Home Security - What are the similarities?
- Hazard detection: A great shared feature, you can purchase environmental detectors such as flood and freeze detectors that will notify you in case of an issue. Many security companies focus strictly on security cameras and ignore issues like these that can cost you thousands of dollars.
- Long-term contracts: You'll be under a long-term contract whether you sign up with Vivint or Brinks. Brinks requires a 36-month contract, and Vivint requires a 4 or 5-year contract.
- Video doorbells: Both offer doorbell cameras with two-way talk, which reduces the risk of your parcels going missing and is a convenient way to talk to anyone who's at your door, whether you're home or not.
- Professional monitoring: You'll be required to take out a monitoring plan.
- Mobile app: You'll be able to use a smooth, complete app that lets you arm/disarm your system and receive push notifications in the event of an issue.
- Smart home devices: Many home automation features are offered - including compatibility with smart thermostats, door locks, and third-party integrations such as Z-wave products.
- Costs: The costs of their monthly monitoring plans are effectively the same.
Vivint vs. Brinks Home Security - What are the differences?
- Warranty: With Brinks, you'll have a 30-day no-quibble moneyback guarantee. However, Vivint will only allow you to return your security equipment within the first three days.
- Connectivity: With Brinks, you'll run on Wi-Fi or a cellular connection. Vivint, on the other hand, only offers landline or cellular connectivity.
- DIY installation: Brinks gives you the option to install your equipment yourself. You can save some money by completing a self-install, but a professional installation is an option for a fee.
Vivint: What you need to know
Vivint is a traditional home security company with a twist; you can use smart home integrations, including Z-wave technologies, which give you access to a growing number of third-party integrations.
There's no need to worry about installation with Vivint as a qualified technician will come to your residence and fit your system for you.
Vivint offers a variety of security equipment, which extends to both add-ons and pre-defined packages:
- Smoke detectors
- Outdoor security cameras
- Motion sensors
- Door sensors
- Glass break sensors
- Indoor cameras
- Freeze/flood sensors
- Heat sensors
- Panic pendant
- Garage tilt detectors
- Carbon monoxide detectors
You can purchase smart home devices on an individual basis, too, including smart locks, doorbell cameras, and more. You can also use third-party integrations such as Amazon Alexa and Google Home.
- Equipment costs: You'll need to pay your costs monthly; there are no upfront costs, but your system will cost a lot over time. You should contact Vivint for an up-to-date quote, but for example, a basic bundle (including smart hub, door sensors, motion sensor, and yard signs) will come in at $599 or $9.99 per month.
- Installation costs: Be sure to ask about deals and promotions - Vivint quoted our SecurityNerd $100 for installation but mentioned that they occasionally run free installation offers.
- Monthly costs: Professional monitoring plans are available for between $39.99 and $59.99 per month, depending on how many cameras you're using and if you're using video surveillance.
- Customization: With the help of professionals, you can fully customize your system.
- Professional install: Though it's a slightly more costly system, it's worth it when you consider that you have no worries regarding installation. You can just let the professionals do the work.
- Smart home options: You can integrate your security system into an excellent smart home ecosystem, from smart lights to garage sensors and thermostats.
- Price: The price is relatively high, and a DIY system may save you some money.
- No satisfaction guarantee: Some companies offer a moneyback guarantee; with Vivint, you only have a three-day window to return it, which isn't enough to experience the system.
- Long-term contracts: You'll need to take out a long-term contract with Vivint - you cannot self-monitor.
Brinks Home Security - What you need to know
Longevity is a significant benefit with Brinks; they've been in the industry longer than pretty much any provider. Let's break down each area of their services so you can see what to expect.
The installation process is designed to be DIY, but you can pay $199 (upfront or added to your monthly payments) for Brinks Pro Install. Customers report that the DIY process is simple, so this is unnecessary, but a nice extra if you're not confident in your ability to install a home security system.
Your equipment comes with a monitoring service, promotional discounts may be available, but the complete home system is around $500 plus a monthly monitoring fee of $29. This package includes:
- A touch screen control panel
- Wireless motion detector
- Three door sensors
- Stickers and yard signs
With video surveillance, your Brinks home complete package will cost you $599. The package includes the above, plus a video doorbell and an indoor camera. Monitoring is $39 per month if you add video too.
Brinks' smart home capabilities include:
- Smart lights: You're able to design a smart light system that includes in-wall dimmers, smart switches, and other light control features.
- Temperature control: This system is compatible with IQ and other popular smart thermostats.
- Smart locks: With the touch of a button, you can control who can come and go.
- Z-wave compatibility: You can use an array of Z-wave products with your system, including the Samsung Smart Home Hub, Google Home, Amazon's Alexa, and Apple TV.
Essential costs you'll want to consider include:
- Upfront costs: The equipment costs will depend on the package you select, ranging from as little as $199 to as much as $599.
- Professional monitoring costs: Professional monitoring is available for a monthly fee of $29; video monitoring may cost extra.
Here are some potential add-ons that you can purchase on an a la carte basis:
- Outdoor camera: $299
- SkyBell Video Doorbell: $199
- IQ wireless garage door sensor: $39
- IQ Wireless carbon monoxide detector: $79
- IQ Smoke alarm: $79
- Customization: Through its partnership with Nest Secure, Brinks allows you to buy a complete system or purchase Brinks/Nest equipment individually.
- Effective monitoring: One of the most significant benefits is the Brinks Alarm Response Monitoring center, which operates 24/7 and is staffed with professionals who can quickly alert fire, ambulance, or police services in the case of a crisis.
- Cellular backup: Cellular backup and battery backup ensure monitoring will not be interrupted in the case of tampering or a power cut.
- Poor reviews: A significant proportion of customer reviews show that many are unhappy with pressure to extend contracts, reliability issues, and difficulties contacting customer service.
- Long-term commitment: You can technically have a month-to-month monitoring system via Brinks if you sign up with Nest Secure, but if you sign up directly with Brinks, you'll need a 36-month contract.
Vivint or Brinks?
If you’re looking for a smart home security system with a long-running reputation, you can’t go wrong with either provider. They have similar functionalities, security monitoring, and equipment packages. With greater compatibility with Nest Secure systems, Brinks offers a little more on the smart home front but has a poorer customer support reputation than Vivint, so you should consider these two issues before making your choice.
This article has been reviewed and approved by Officer Banta.
Officer Banta is the official SecurityNerd home security and safety expert. A member of the Biloxi Police Department for over 24 years, Officer Banta reviews all articles before lending his stamp of approval. Click here for more information on Officer Banta and the rest of our team.