Frontpoint has always been one of the highest-rated alarm companies on HowSafe.org. However, with the emergence of new companies, it's always a good thing to ask ourselves if any of the new contenders can provide the level of security we need. A good way to find out the answer is to compare new companies with a company we've tested and approved.
Brinks is technically not new. It was one of the best known alarm companies in the early 2000s, but the Brinks that we know today is not the same Brinks. in 2017, MONI and LiveWatch, two former big players, merged and formed a licensing agreement to use the brand name Brinks. This makes them unique; Brinks is a revamped brand but with the combined experience of two well-established alarm companies.
Brinks Pros & Cons
- Low Cost Monitoring
- Equipment Financing with 0% APR
- 30-Day Trial Period
- A Three-Year Contract Is Required
- Frequent Offer & Deals Changes
- History of Poor Customer Service
Brinks is One of our Top Picks for 2019
Available Nationwide · 2-Year Equipment Warranty · ASAPer
Frontpoint Pros & Cons
- High-Quality Customer Service
- Best In Class Technology
- Comprehensive Smart Home Solutions
- No Landline/Broadband Monitoring
- Frequent Pricing/Deals Changes
- Online Availability
- Equipment Made by Alarm.Com
- 30-Day Returns
- DIY Installation
- Long-Term and Short-Term Contracts
- Equipment — Brinks provides monitoring services to both Brinks and Nest Secure security system owners. Frontpoint only caters to Frontpoint system owners.
- Contract — Brinks provides a no-contract service option to Nest Secure users and three-year contracts to Brinks system owners. Frontpoint requires a one-year or three-year contract.
- Equipment Package — Brinks only offers two equipment packages, each corresponding to a monitoring service. Frontpoint is more flexible, offering several equipment packages with various inclusions and prices.
- Camera Plan — Frontpoint has a standalone camera plan for those who only need security cameras. With Brinks, you're required to have a security system in order to use their cameras.
- Smartphone App Access — All Brinks customers can access the Brinks Home Security app, while Frontpoint's app is reserved only for Interactive and Ultimate plan users.
Sales & Pricing Comparison
Brinks and Frontpoint have both moved away from the traditional sales process wherein a home visit is required. You can buy their products online and set up service, without speaking to a sales rep, allowing you to liberally make buying decisions without any pressure. They will only call you when it's time to sign the contract before the service starts. Of course, if you prefer to have a sales rep guide you through the sales process, you can also call Brinks' and Frontpoint's respective sales hotlines.
Brinks has a two-tiered pricing plan. The lower tier offers security and home automation features for $29 per month, and the higher tier, which adds video monitoring features, will cost you $39 per month. Frontpoint offers three monitoring plans — Standard for $34.99 per month, Interactive for $44.99 per month, and Ultimate for $49.99 per month.
Brinks also offers two equipment packages. The first one, designed for the lower-tier plan, sells for $499 or $13.86 per month if paid in 36 monthly installments. It includes a touchscreen control panel, three door/window sensors, and one motion sensor. The second package costs $599 or $16.64 per month and has an indoor camera and doorbell camera in addition to the standard inclusions. Frontpoint, on the other hand, has several equipment packages that you can use with any monitoring plan. Prices start at $399, but if you sign a three-year contract, they will lower the price to as low as $99.
Brinks and Frontpoint are both designed for DIY installation. After placing an order, they will ship all the devices to you and it will be your job to install them. Online tutorial videos, downloadable manuals, and their respective tech support lines are at your disposal in case you need help.
Key Features & Tech
Brinks' standard equipment package includes a touchscreen control panel, which is the IQ Panel 2 from Qolsys, three door/window sensors, and one motion sensor. These devices can work together to protect an average-sized home, but if you need additional equipment, you can always buy from Brinks online store. Brinks also sells Nest Secure systems. Frontpoint's standard equipment is a little bit different. Instead of a control panel, a Frontpoint Hub and a remote keypad is included. This is a smart choice because burglars are known to smash control panels in order to deactivate security systems. With the Frontpoint Hub, even if someone breaks the remote keypad, the hub can still generate alert signals.
Brinks' home automation platform revolves around integrations and the Brinks Smart Home app. Integrations with Z-Wave and other wireless protocols allow the system to connect with a variety of smart home products, while the app makes it possible to create rules, scenes, and schedules that are all useful in home automation. Frontpoint's home automation offer also takes full advantage of the Frontpoint app powered by Alarm.com, as well as integrations with Z-Wave and other Alarm.com-compatible products. The difference between Frontpoint and Brinks is that not all Frontpoint users can utilize home automation. Only those subscribed to the Interactive and Ultimate plan can enjoy smart home features.
Brinks and Frontpoint both get their equipment from Alarm.com. Due to that, they offer the same types of cameras. They have a standard indoor camera with a fixed angle, a smart indoor camera with features like Bluetooth speaker and one-touch two-way call initiator, an outdoor camera, and SkyBell video doorbells. Frontpoint has a slight edge because they have a standalone camera plan. With this plan, you can enjoy video monitoring and event recording features even without a Frontpoint security system. The Camera Plan will cost you only $15 per month plus the regular cost of the cameras.
Brinks's smartphone app, Brinks Home Security, offers remote access and control features, allowing you to monitor your security system wherever you are. It currently holds a 3.6-star rating on both iTunes and Google Play. Frontpoint's app, which is powered by Alarm.com, offers the same features. It has a 4-star rating on Google Play and 4.6-star rating on iOS.
Frontpoint is considered a trendsetter in the alarm industry because they are one of the first companies to standardize cellular monitoring. Cellular monitoring is a monitoring method that uses wireless cellular signal to communicate alerts. It's fast, reliable, and not susceptible to outages. Unlike landline monitoring, there are no wires to cut that would allow burglars to disable your alarm system from outside. Aside from cellular monitoring, the Frontpoint Hub can also use your Wi-Fi to send alerts. Brinks also uses cellular monitoring with Wi-Fi backup. This monitoring method has become standard to them after the launch of the revamped Brinks brand.
Customer Service Experience
Contracts are standard with most traditional alarm companies, and Brinks and Frontpoint are no exceptions. Both companies require a three-year contract, but Frontpoint has a one-year contract option. If you're willing to give up the $300+ equipment package discounts and settle for a smaller equipment discount, Frontpoint will allow you to sign a one-year contract. Brinks customers don't have the same option. However, if you're a Nest Secure user utilizing Brinks' monitoring service, you can choose between the $19 per month option with a three-year contract or $29 per month option with no contract.
Early Termination Policy
Knowing the length of the contract is vital cancelling service while the contract is active has a pricey consequence. The good news is that unlike most alarm companies that will charge you 100% of your remaining balance, Brinks and Frontpoint only charge 80% of your remaining contract balance. The balance is computed by multiplying the number of months until the contract ends by your standing monthly rate.
Fortunately, signing the contract doesn't mean that you're already bound to follow the contract's terms. Both Frontpoint and Brinks have a 30-day return period, during which you can return your security system, cancel service, and get your money back with no penalties.
Brinks' and Frontpoint's moving policies also ensures a smooth process of taking your system with you in the event of a relocation as long as you're moving within the U.S. Since both are DIY installed systems, you can take down your security equipment yourself and reinstall it in your new address. Better still, just give Frontpoint a call and they will send you fresh adhesive tapes for the installation.
The Bottom Line: Who Wins?
After carefully analyzing Brinks and Frontpoint's features, pricing, and customer service quality, we've determined that Frontpoint is still better. However, don't count Brinks out just yet. MONI and LiveWatch, the two companies that merged to form Brinks, were both highly-rated and reputable companies. After the merger, they have remained that way. Although Brinks is not better than Frontpoint, it's still a brand we're happy to recommend. Besides, there are things such as their pricing, that make them a better option than Frontpoint for some people. If it seems to you that Brinks will be a better fit for your home, then go for it. They have our high recommendation and seal of approval.
If you want to learn more about Frontpoint, check out our Frontpoint in-depth review. Also feel free to read our Brinks review for more information about their equipment, features, and customer service quality.
|Plan||Price||Promo Price||Contract Length|
|NEST SECURE 36-MONTH||$19/mo||-||36 mo|
|HOME COMPLETE||$29/mo||-||36 mo|
|HOME COMPLETE WITH VIDEO||$39/mo||-||36 mo|
|Plan||Price||Promo Price||Contract Length|
|Protection Plan||$34.99/mo||-||36 mo|
|Interactive Plan||$44.99/mo||-||36 mo|
|Ultimate Plan||$49.99/mo||-||36 mo|