With all the choices available, choosing a security system for your home can be difficult. But don't worry; we got you covered. If you want an honest and factual comparison of Brinks, one of the largest traditional alarm companies today, and SimpliSafe, a reputable hybrid security company, read on below.
SimpliSafe Pros & Cons
- No-Contract Professional Monitoring
- Option Between Professional and Self-Monitoring
- Affordable Monthly Rates
- Limited Device Lineup
- Functions as Local Alarm When Self-Monitored
- Limited Camera Options
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 2023
Available Nationwide · 2-Year Equipment Warranty · ASAPer
- Nationwide Availability
- Low-Cost Monitoring
- Online Sales Process
- Wireless Equipment
- DIY Installation
- Contract — Brinks requires a contract, while SimpliSafe is contract-free.
- Equipment — Brinks uses a touchscreen control panel as the brains of their security systems. SimpliSafe has a base station with no built-in interface, but backed by a remote wireless controller.
- Monitoring — Brinks' equipment is tied to a monitoring service. SimpliSafe can be used a self-monitored local alarm system or with professional monitoring services.
- Cameras — Brinks offers several cameras and has a monitoring subscription that includes video monitoring features. SimpliSafe sells two types of cameras, but video monitoring features will cost you extra.
- Home Automation — Brinks supports full-home automation via smart home products that they sell. SimpliSafe relies on third-party integration to provide any sort of home automation features.
Sales & Pricing Comparison
Although Brinks and SimpliSafe are different in that Brinks is a traditional alarm company while SimpliSafe is a hybrid alarm company, they have a very similar online sales process. With Brinks, you start by choosing a monitoring package that decides which equipment package you'll get. Once that's settled, you can buy additional devices. With SimpliSafe, you'll start by picking an equipment package and then decide whether or not you want to add professional monitoring and which monitoring package is right for you. One advantage of Brinks over SimpliSafe is that you can also buy products and set up service with the help their security experts. You can talk to a sales rep over the phone or set up an appointment via email.
SimpliSafe and Brinks are both regarded as affordable security solutions. SimpliSafe has monitoring plans starting at $14.99 per month, but their flagship monitoring plan will cost you $24.99 per month. This is already lower than the price of most monitoring services offered by traditional companies, but to make things even better, you can choose not to set up professional monitoring services and instead use SimpliSafe as a local alarm. With Brinks, professional monitoring starts at $29 per month. This is an extremely affordable plan compared to what most traditional alarm companies like ADT and Frontpoint. Their most expensive plan will set you back $39 per month, but it already includes home automation and video monitoring features.
With either Brinks or SimpliSafe, buying a starter package is required before you can successfully set up monitoring services. Brinks offers two equipment packages, each designed for one of their monitoring plans. The smaller package will cost you $399, while the larger one sells for $499. Both packages include a control panel, a motion sensor, and three door/window sensors. The larger package includes an additional indoor camera and video doorbell. With SimpliSafe, there are more than a handful of packages to choose from. Their smallest package costs $229, while larger packages sell for over $1,000, the entire price of which must be paid upfront. This is different from Brinks that offers financing (36-month installments at 0% APR) and straight payment options.
Another similarity between Brinks and SimpliSafe is how their systems are installed. Both offer wireless equipment designed for DIY installation. They will ship your security system to you and it's up to you to set it up in your home. Both companies offer useful articles and video tutorials that can help you in the installation. If you want pro-installation, you can request SimpliSafe to send you a technician for $79. With Brinks, if you want pro-installation, they might refer you to a partner local dealer that provides installation services.
Key Features & Tech
Brinks standard equipment packages are inclusive of a motion sensor and three door/window sensors, but the highlight of the package is the touchscreen control panel. The control panel is a tablet-like device that controls and ties together your entire security system. It is backed by features like Disarm Photos and a built-in glass break sensor and siren. SimpliSafe's equipment packages all include a SimpliSafe Base Station. Unlike regular control panels, the base station is designed to be hidden away from the sight of intruders. This is so that they can't easily prevent your system from calling for help by smashing your alarm keypad. Even if they destroy the wireless keypad that is also included, the base station will continue to function.
Brinks and SimpliSafe both support home automation features, but the level of home automation Brinks can provide is far superior to what SimpliSafe offers. Brinks' control panel supports compatible smart locks, lights, thermostats, and even garage door controllers. Using the Brinks app, you can control and automate any smart home product paired with your control panel. On the other hand, SimpliSafe doesn't offer any home automation product and instead relies on third-party integrations. SimpliSafe works with Alexa, Google Home, August Smart Lock Pro, and Nest Thermostat. Additionally, for some of these integrations to work, you have to be subscribed to SimpliSafe's highest monitoring plan. With Brinks, home automation features are included with any monitoring plan.
Cameras are a good addition to any home security system. Brinks offers indoor cameras, outdoor cameras, and video doorbells. Under indoor cameras, they also have a premium camera with a built-in Bluetooth speaker as well as features like one-touch two-way talk activation so your family members can quickly contact you through the camera. Camera monitoring features are included in Brinks' highest-tier monitoring plan. With SimpliSafe, your only options are the SimpliCam indoor camera or SimpliSafe Video Doorbell Pro. Moreover, video monitoring features are not included in any of their monitoring plans. If you want features like cloud storage, you will need to purchase a camera plan for each of your camera.
Having access to your home security system wherever you are via a smartphone app is a vital feature. Although both Brinks and SimpliSafe have smartphone apps, only Brinks provides free access to all their customers. The app, Brinks Home Security, is designed specifically for their security systems so users can control, access, and monitor their home from anywhere. The SimpliSafe app, which provides almost the same functionality, is offered exclusively to those who are subscribed to their highest level monitoring plan. If you're using SimpliSafe as a self-monitored alarm or subscribed to their entry-level monitoring plan, you can't use the app.
The monitoring method is the communication medium used by the security system to inform you and the monitoring center of any emergencies. Brinks uses cellular signal, while SimpliSafe relies on your internet connection but can use cellular signal if your internet is down. In the alarm industry, cellular monitoring is considered to be the most reliable. It's wireless, so there are no wires for burglars to cut. It's also less prone to disruptions and not reliant on your landline or internet connection. However, broadband or internet monitoring is faster. The fact that SimpliSafe uses broadband monitoring as its primary monitoring method means that it transmits alerts faster, while the cellular backup provides assurance that your system will function even when your internet is down.
Customer Service Experience
Although service contracts are common in the alarm industry, SimpliSafe is a well-known brand that offers contract-free monitoring. In fact, you can use their security systems without a monitoring service, albeit as a local alarm. In contrary, Brinks requires a minimum of three-year contract. During this period, you are legally obligated to use their service, and cancelling service mid-contract means penalties. The penalty depends on how far along are you in the contract. The more months remaining, the higher the penalty. Basically, Brinks charges as penalty 80% of your remaining contract balance, which is your monthly fee multiplied by the remaining number of months.
Besides being contract-free, SimpliSafe has a longer return policy on equipment purchase from them. You have 60 full days after purchase to issue a return request. Brinks has a shorter 30-day return period. However, we have to acknowledge that Brinks' return period is more than generous compared to other traditional alarm companies. Aside from the return of the equipment, Brinks' return policy also allows the cancellation of service without penalties. Most alarm companies only give their customers a couple of weeks to return their systems. Even worse, some don't have a return policy at all.
Lastly, it's important to know your options if ever that the need to relocate arises. Brinks and SimpliSafe are both DIY installed security systems that are wireless and easy to install. That means they are easy to uninstall and relocate to a new home as well. It is important, however, to tell your alarm company before moving so they can update your address on file. Also, if you need additional security devices for your new home, Brinks might be able to give you discounts.
The Bottom Line: Who Wins?
Comparing SimpliSafe to Brinks is like comparing apples to oranges. The two are very different in terms of features, pricing, and policies. SimpliSafe might be better for some, while others might benefit more from Brinks. However, we can help you make a decision.
If the price is a huge deciding factor for you, then SimpliSafe is a better choice. Their security systems cost less and their monthly rates are lower than Brinks, but the home security value they can provide is still top-notch. If you prefer enjoying features like home automation and camera access, then Brinks is the right choice for you. They are among the most affordable alarm companies in terms of equipment and features, but they can also give you access to advanced features that SimpliSafe simply can't offer.
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