Brinks and Vivint are two of the most popular alarm companies in the country as of date. They both have a strong presence, online and offline, as evident by Vivint and Brinks ads scattered throughout the web and even on front yards of countless American homes who have chosen the two companies as their security systems provider. This article breaks down the similarities and differences between the two.
Vivint Pros & Cons
- Highly Innovative Equipment
- Heavy Smart Home Focus
- They Offer Equipment Financing
- Four to Five-Year Contracts
- You Can't Buy Equipment Online
- History of Poor Customer Service
Brinks Pros & Cons
- Choice Between Brinks & Nest Secure Equipment
- Financing Options with 0% APR
- Affordable Monitoring Plans
- 3-Year Contracts
- Frequent Changes in Offers & Pricing
- MONI & LiveWatch's History of Poor Customer Service
Brinks is One of our Top Picks for 2019
Available Nationwide · 2-Year Equipment Warranty · ASAPer
- Long-Term Contract
- Smartphone App Access
- All-Inclusive Professional Monitoring
- Home Automation
- Security Cameras
- Contract Length — Brinks only offers services with three-year contracts, while Vivint's minimum contract length is four years.
- Installation — Brinks' systems are DIY installed. Vivint requires professional installation.
- Equipment — Brinks use equipment made by Alarm.com, while Vivint uses equipment exclusive made for them.
- Equipment Purchase — You can buy Brinks security systems online. Vivint requires an over-the-phone consultation before setting up services.
- Return Policy — Vivint's three-day return policy is short compared to Brinks' 30-day policy.
Sales & Pricing Comparison
You can set up service with Brinks by visiting their website or making a call to their sales hotline. Being able to buy products online is convenient, especially considering that most alarm companies would require you to schedule an in-home visit, which could take up an entire day. Vivint, on the other hand, does give free in-home consultations, but if you're more comfortable just talking on the phone, you can also use their sales hotline.
Brinks and Vivint are both pretty transparent when it comes to their pricing. Brinks has monthly rates starting at $29 per month. Their highest monitoring rate is $39 per month. Vivint's monthly rates are pricier. Their entry-level monitoring plan will set you back $39.99 per month, while their highest monitoring plan will cost you $49.99. Considering that Brinks' entry-level plan features are similar to Vivint's entry-level plan features, it's safe to say that Brinks takes this one.
As mentioned earlier, Brinks offers their products online, making it easier to get an estimate of the equipment cost. A starter package that includes a touchscreen control panel, a motion sensor, and three door/window sensors sells for $399. You can choose to pay all that upfront or finance the equipment and pay an additional $11.08 per month for 36 months. A larger package that includes an indoor camera and a video doorbell is also available for $499 upfront or $13.86 per month for 36 months. Vivint, on the other hand, prefers customizing their packages. Once you know what devices you want included in your system, Vivint will give you a quote.
Vivint requires professional installation, and the technician's fee is added to your upfront payment. The flat rate is $99, but if you have more complicated devices such as cameras and thermostats, they might increase the charge. Brinks is purely DIY. There are no installation fees, but it's up to you to perform the installation. If you need help, however, you can contact Brinks' tech support. They can also connect you to a local dealer if you want professional installation.
Key Features & Tech
Brinks equipment packages have the standard inclusions: a touchscreen control panel, a motion sensor, and three door/window sensors. These devices are enough to secure an average-sized home, but if you want more features or expand your home security system, you can always buy more from Brinks. They also sell glass break sensors, smoke alarms, flood sensors, and more. Vivint also offers a full-suite of security and safety devices. What makes them unique, however, is the innovation they've put into their products. For example, instead of standard control panels made by a third-party manufacturer, Vivint offers a smart control panel with exceptional features like two-way talk, battery backup, and cellular connectivity with Wi-Fi backup.
Similarly, Vivint's home automation platform is superior to Brinks. Vivint has several highly-innovative products under their belt, including the Vivint Element Thermostat. They also have integrations with a number of reputable smart home brands like Alexa, Google Home, Nest, and Philips Hue. Brinks may not have a smart home platform as extensive as Vivint's but they also offer smart thermostats, lights, and locks which are all powered by the Alarm.com-made Brinks Home Security app.
Brinks and Vivint both offer indoor cameras, outdoor cameras, and video doorbells. As usual, Brinks' cameras are made by Alarm.com, with the exception of their video doorbell that is made by SkyBell. Vivint, on the other hand, innovates their own cameras. They have a smart indoor camera called Ping, an AI-powered outdoor camera, and a smart video doorbell in the Vivint Doorbell Cam. They also offer a cloud DVR that allows local storage of videos recorded by the cameras and supports 24/7 continuous recording. Brinks' cameras can only record motion events detected by the cameras and alerts triggered by the security system.
Brinks' app is powered by Alarm.com and is pretty well-rated by the iOS and Android users community. It is free-to-use for all Brinks customers, even those who are on their entry-level monitoring plan. The app gives users access to home automation features as well as remote access to their security system. Vivint's app also grants users the same features. In fact, the Vivint app is one of the most intuitive we've seen. It has an easy-to-use interface, but also provides a series of smart features.
Brinks and Vivint use the same monitoring method: cellular. In the alarm industry, cellular monitoring is considered the most reliable communication during emergencies. Unlike landline, cellular signal can't be cut. It's also not susceptible to power outages unlike broadband monitoring. However, in case of a weak cellular reception, Brinks and Vivint can both use your existing Wi-Fi connection as a backup.
Customer Service Experience
The contract or monitoring agreement is a vital deciding factor as in can make the difference between a hassle-free service and hellish experience. A monitoring agreement binds you to use the company's service for the number of years indicated by the contract. Vivint and Brinks both require long-term contracts, but Vivint's contracts are longer. The minimum contract length is four years but they might increase it to five years depending on your credit standing and several other factors. Brinks contracts are fixed to three years.
Early Termination Penalty
if you breach the contract by cancelling service before the end of your contract term, you'll be subjected to penalties. With Vivint, a contract buyout is required. Regardless of how many months you've stayed a customer, you will pay all the remaining balance of your contract. With Brinks, the penalty is lower. You will only be required to pay 80% of your remaining balance. The remaining balance is equivalent to your monthly rate multiplied by your contract's unused months.
Fortunately, you have several days after signing the dotted line to change your mind. Brinks gives their customers 30 days to live with the security system and use their service. During this period, you can cancel service and get your money back without paying a penalty. The full terms of the contract will only take effect after the first 30 days. With Vivint, there is no return policy. However, all consumers are protected by the Right of Rescission set forth by the Truth In Lending Act under the U.S. federal law. In this act, consumers are allowed three days to cancel a contract, including a home security monitoring agreement.
In this day and age, moving has become an integral part of the lives of many people. If you have plans to relocate within the next few years, we recommend choosing Brinks over Vivint. Brinks lets you easily move with your security system, simply by boxing it up and installing it in your new house. Of course, you must call them and let them know about the change in your address. Vivint's moving process is a little more complicated and might require that you restart your contract or purchase a new system entirely.
The Bottom Line: Who Wins?
The match between Vivint and Brinks is toe-to-toe. Brinks' pricing is lower, they have a more relaxed sales process, and their customer service and policies are better. However, Vivint has better products and better features. If you want a company that is easier to deal with, we recommend choosing Brinks. If you want a highly-advanced security system with smart features and a strong home automation platform, then Vivint is the right choice. Who will you choose?
To learn more about Vivint, check out our Vivint in-depth review where we discussed more about the features they offer and their products. If you're interested in Brinks, the breakdown of their pricing, features, and products are highlighted in this Brinks review.
|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|