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Brinks vs Vivint: Which Home Security System is Better?

Brinks vs Vivint: Which Home Security System is Better? February 15, 2024


Brinks and Vivint are two of the largest and most well-known home security companies in the United States. Both companies offer professionally monitored security systems and a range of smart home devices and services.  Brinks Home Security was originally founded as Broadview Security in 2009, after acquiring the Brinks Home ...

Brinks and Vivint are two of the largest and most well-known home security companies in the United States. Both companies offer professionally monitored security systems and a range of smart home devices and services. 

Brinks Home Security was originally founded as Broadview Security in 2009, after acquiring the Brinks Home security brand from the Brinks Company. They rebranded as Brinks Home Security in late 2020. Vivint was founded in 1999 under the name APX Alarm Security Solutions. The company rebranded as Vivint Smart Home in 2017.

While they have some similarities in services offered, there are also key differences between Brinks and Vivint when it comes to equipment, monitoring, smart home integration, and contracts. This article provides an in-depth comparison of the two home security providers across these categories to help consumers make an informed decision on which company may be the better fit for their needs.

History

Brinks was founded in 1859 as Brink’s City Express in Chicago during the height of the city’s crime wave preceding the Civil War. The company began by transporting money and valuables via armored stagecoaches throughout the region. In the early 1900s, Brinks expanded into bank guard services and eventually into home and business security services. 

Vivint was founded in 1999 as APX Alarm Security Solutions in Provo, Utah. In 2010, the company changed its name to Vivint to reflect its growing residential services. Vivint pioneered the smart home technology that it is known for today, incorporating features like wireless equipment, mobile access, and home automation. Over the past two decades, Vivint has grown to become one of the largest smart home and home security companies in North America.

Services Offered

Brinks and Vivint offer interactive home security systems complete with advanced equipment and mobile monitoring. Key services for both companies include:

24/7 professional monitoring and emergency response. Trained professionals monitor alarms and can dispatch emergency services if needed. 

Home automation and smart device integration. Control lights, locks, thermostats from the security panel or mobile app. Works with major smart home platforms.

HD cameras and video storage. Indoor and outdoor cameras with night vision and motion alerts. Video can be accessed remotely via app. Video is stored in the cloud.

Environmental monitoring. Sensors track temperature, water, smoke and carbon monoxide levels for home protection. Alerts are sent if abnormal activity is detected.

Mobile alerts and control. Receive alerts and control the system from anywhere using the mobile app and interactive touchscreen panels.

While the core services are similar, the approach differs for each company. Vivint offers a higher level of automation and integration with their SkyControl panel and Sky app. Brinks focuses more on traditional security and monitoring with their Command panel and Home Security app. Overall, both provide comprehensive smart home security solutions with customized equipment and support.

Equipment and Installation

When it comes to home security equipment and installation, Brinks and Vivint offer some key differences. 

Types of Security Equipment

Both Brinks and Vivint provide a range of security equipment to monitor entry points, motion, environmental threats like water leaks or carbon monoxide, and more. 

Brinks offers basic equipment like door/window sensors, motion detectors, security cameras, smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, water leak sensors, touchscreens, etc. Vivint offers similar basic equipment, but also has more advanced options like doorbell cameras, outdoor cameras, glass break sensors, garage door tilt sensors and more.

Vivint tends to use more smart home technology in its equipment while Brinks focuses on straightforward security components. For example, Vivint doorbell cameras integrate with the smart home system while Brinks just offers basic video doorbells.

DIY vs Professional Install

Brinks is oriented towards DIY installation, providing equipment that the homeowner can set up themselves. They offer basic instructions and support to guide the installation process. This can save on installation costs, but may be frustrating or lead to incorrect setup for less tech-savvy homeowners.

Vivint requires professional installation by a Vivint technician. The benefit of professional install is ensuring correct setup of equipment for maximum effectiveness. The downside is the added cost of professional installation. Vivint does offer financing options to cover the cost of installation.

So in summary, Brinks caters more to DIY install while Vivint requires professional setup. The choice depends on the homeowner’s technical skill and budget for installation.

Monitoring and Response 

Both Brinks and Vivint provide professional monitoring for their home alarm systems. This allows alarms to be sent to monitoring centers that can verify and respond to emergencies. There are some key differences between the two companies:

Brinks Monitoring Center

Brinks operates its own UL-listed monitoring center in the United States that is staffed 24/7.  

When an alarm is triggered, Brinks contacts the homeowner to confirm if it is a real emergency. If there is no response, Brinks will notify the local police.

Brinks promises emergency response times within 15 minutes on average.

Vivint Monitoring Center

Vivint uses a third-party UL-listed central monitoring station, MONI, to provide monitoring. 

Like Brinks, Vivint will attempt to contact homeowners first when an alarm goes off before dispatching emergency responders.

Vivint also pledges emergency response within 15 minutes on average. 

Overall, both Brinks and Vivint use professional monitoring centers that follow similar procedures for verifying alarms and dispatching emergency personnel when needed. Their promised emergency response times are comparable. A key difference is that Brinks operates its own monitoring center, while Vivint relies on partner MONI.

Smart Home Integration

Both Brinks and Vivint offer integration with popular smart home platforms to allow for home automation and control.

Brinks works with Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Z-Wave, and IFTTT. You can use voice commands to arm/disarm your system, control smart locks, lights, thermostats, and other connected devices. Brinks’ automation features let you set up scenes and schedules for things like setting your thermostat back at bedtime. 

Vivint offers even more robust smart home capabilities. Vivint’s proprietary SkyControl panel integrates with a wide range of devices including lighting, door locks, cameras, thermostats, garage door openers and more. Vivint also works with Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit and IFTTT. You can control your Vivint system and connected devices through the mobile app, voice control, the SkyControl panel or automations and schedules.

Both systems allow for home automation, but Vivint offers more seamless smart home integration and control between security, locks, lights, climate and more. Vivint’s Sky platform and proprietary devices give it an advantage over Brinks when it comes to advanced smart home capabilities.

Mobile Apps

Both Brinks and Vivint offer user-friendly mobile apps for iOS and Android that allow you to access, monitor, and control your system remotely. 

Vivint’s mobile app stands out for its simplicity. The interface is clean and intuitive, allowing you to arm and disarm your system, view live camera feeds, lock and unlock doors, adjust smart home devices like lights and thermostats, and receive notifications – all with just a few taps. Vivint prioritizes ease of use, with options clearly laid out. Setting up automations and schedules is straightforward within the app.

Brinks’ mobile app provides robust functionality too. You can arm and disarm, control smart devices, view live feeds, receive alerts, and more. It includes home automation features to set scenes, schedules, and rules. The app allows you to personalize notifications so you receive alerts that matter most to you. The interface is busy, with many menu layers, so it may require some learning to navigate. 

Both apps allow efficient remote system access and control. Vivint’s app offers a more streamlined design, while Brinks provides in-depth customization. Most users will appreciate the intuitive simplicity of Vivint’s mobile app.

Customer Service

When it comes to customer service, both Brinks and Vivint aim to provide responsive support and high levels of customer satisfaction. 

Brinks offers customer support 24/7 via phone, email, and online chat. Customers have praised Brinks technicians for their friendliness and knowledge when providing installation and troubleshooting services. Overall Brinks maintains above-average customer satisfaction ratings. One downside is that contract cancellation involves fees, which some customers view negatively.

Vivint also provides 24/7 customer support accessible by phone, email or through the mobile app. Customers report very positive experiences with Vivint’s technical support team, who are able to diagnose and solve most issues quickly and effectively. Vivint aims to maintain industry-leading customer satisfaction, and they have a liberal 30-day money back guarantee if customers are not fully pleased with the service. 

When comparing the two, Vivint tends to edge out Brinks in overall customer service quality and satisfaction. Vivint technicians receive high marks for professionalism and technical expertise. Brinks satisfaction is solid but has room for improvement according to some customer reviews. Ultimately both companies aim to provide responsive customer support, but user experiences seem to favor Vivint.

Pricing and Contracts

When it comes to pricing, Vivint and Brinks take different approaches. 

Vivint requires customers to sign a 42-60 month monitoring contract. The monthly fees range from $30-60 depending on the services selected. Canceling early comes with steep termination fees of up to $1400.

Brinks does not require long term contracts. Customers only pay month-to-month without termination fees. However, the monthly fees tend to be higher, ranging from $30-70. Brinks also charges more upfront for equipment and installation compared to Vivint.

Overall, Vivint’s long contracts lock users in but offer lower monthly rates. Brinks provides more flexibility without contracts, but the monthly fees are higher. 

Conclusions

Brinks and Vivint are two of the largest home security companies in the United States. While they share some similarities in services and equipment, there are some key differences between them:

Monitoring and Response: Both Brinks and Vivint offer professional monitoring with emergency dispatch, though Vivint has a faster advertised response time. 

Smart Home Integration: Vivint offers more robust integration with smart home devices like cameras, locks, thermostats, etc. Brinks’ integration is more limited.

Contract Length: Brinks has flexible contract options including month-to-month, while Vivint typically requires a longer 3-year contract.

Customization: Vivint offers more flexibility to build a customized system. Brinks has preset packages to choose from.

Customer Service: Reviews give Vivint slightly higher marks for customer service and user experience.

Overall, Vivint leans more toward a high-end, customizable smart home security system while Brinks offers a more traditional security system with flexible options. For those wanting complete home automation, Vivint would likely be the better choice, though it does come with a longer contract. Brinks is good for basic monitoring without being locked into a long-term commitment. Do thorough research to determine which provider best fits your home security needs.

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