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      April 7, 2020

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Brinks vs Protect America

Best Home Security Systems

To help you find the Best Home Security Systems, TopConsumerReviews.com provides you with an in-depth comparison of Brinks and Protect America.

To see ALL of our reviews for the Best Home Security Systems, please Click Here

Where can you find the best home security system? Today's marketplace gives you more options than ever, with packages ranging from budget-friendly, basic home monitoring with equipment you install yourself, to technician-installed systems that include smoke and flood detectors.

Before you determine which home security system is right for your needs, it's important to understand why you should have one. Although crime rates have been dropping in some areas, there are still nearly 2 million break-ins nationwide every year, resulting in losses of at least $2,000 on average. And, even if a burglary doesn't lead to a big financial loss, there's no way to put a monetary value on the peace of mind that vanishes when you find out that an intruder was inside your home.

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Best Reviews

2020

Home Security Systems Reviews

4 stars
Brinks

BRINKS

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Features:

30-day risk-free guarantee with no termination fees

DIY or professional installation available

2-year warranty on equipment

Award-winning customer service

Some systems require 3-year monitoring contract

Monitoring fees of $29-$39/month

With more than 1 million subscribers, Brinks offers some of the most popular home security systems available today. J.D. Power and Associates named this company as their top-rated provider for customer satisfaction, clearly demonstrating the business' success in providing peace of mind through excellent security system coverage.

Brinks gives you lots of choices. Do you prefer professional installation or do-it-yourself? Would you rather order online or over the phone? The decision is yours. That's a breath of fresh air, compared with many of the big-name home security systems providers that won't do anything until you meet with an overly eager sales rep.

Let's take a look at the four home security systems packages Brinks offers:

  • Nest Secure: this is the only one with no required contract. You'll pay $399 for your equipment (or $11.08/month with no interest), and $29/month for monitoring. The package consists of the Nest Guard (keypad/motion detector/alarm/panic button all in one, plus Google Assistant), Nest Detect (a sensor that detects motion as well as open/close), and Nest Tag (a key fob that you tap on the Guard to arm/disarm the system). Your package comes with 2 Detects and 2 Tags, and you can add more as desired.
    Some of the features incorporated into the Nest devices are, frankly, very cool. The Detect sensors have Pathlight, which turns them on and off as people pass - a default nightlight. Remind Me alerts can be set up to let you know if you're the last one to leave home or the first one to get back, so that you can arm/disarm accordingly without forgetting. You may also want to check out the features of Quiet Open, Dog Pass, and even everything Google Assistant can do with your Brinks system.
  • Smart Security Essential: billed as "easy DIY install at an affordable price", this package has an equipment cost of $199 and monitoring fees of $29/month. A 36-month service agreement is required. This entry-level package gives you 2 wireless door sensors, a wireless motion sensor, and a touchscreen control panel that can be used as a smart home hub for any home automation device you may already have or choose to add on to your home security system.
  • Smart Security Complete: adding on to the Essential package, this tier gives you access to 24/7 video monitoring via smartphone. Your equipment will cost $499 (or $13.86/month with no interest fees) and it comes with 3 wireless door sensors, 2 wireless motion sensors, an indoor camera with night vision, and the Home Touch control panel. This plan also requires a 3-year service agreement, and monitoring costs $39/month.
  • Smart Security Ultimate: as the only package that comes with free professional installation, it should be no surprise that it's also the most expensive at $1099 (or $30.53/month with no interest) for your equipment. The package comes with the touchscreen control panel, video doorbell, 2 wireless motion sensors, 3 wireless door sensors, and an outdoor camera. You'll pay the same $39/month (with a 3-year contract too) for your monitoring service.

We appreciate that Brinks offers a 30-day satisfaction guarantee. If you don't love your home security system, you can end your service without paying a termination fee. While we'd like to see them up the ante by offering a refund of any fees already paid, this is still a decent way to give you a low-risk way to see if their coverage and equipment is a good fit.

While you can get home security systems that are less expensive equipment-wise, you can't go wrong with everything Brinks has to offer if you're willing to spend the money and don't mind committing to a 3-year service agreement on most packages. Their reputation is stellar, and your safety is in very good hands with any Brinks home security system.

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3.5 stars
Protect America

PROTECT AMERICA

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Features:

Home automation capabilities

$53.99 per month monitoring charge

Customer Information: 1-855-881-3071

For almost 30 years, Protect America has helped protect over 500,000 homes with self-installed security systems. This Austin-based company enjoys accreditation and an "A" rating from the Better Business Bureau, and more than 8000 customers gave their service a perfect 5-star satisfaction rating.

However, Protect America isn't as upfront with their pricing as they used to be. You can enter some basic information to get your free quote, but the email you receive doesn't tell you anything about what their packages or monitoring will cost - only that you'll get a call or text from a Protect America representative. We'd like to see them go back to being more transparent, so that customers can more easily compare home security systems across multiple providers.

Alternately, you can click to build your system under the "Security Your Way" option: enter your street address to verify coverage in your area, and you'll be shown several packages of equipment that you can modify to suit your needs. Here are some examples:

  • 11-piece home security system: 3 door/window sensors, 1 key fob, 1 motion detector, 4 window decals, yard sign, and touchscreen control panel. You'll pay $39.99/month if you don't want to pay for your equipment package upfront. Otherwise, you can pay $454.98 for the equipment and then $24.99/month for the monitoring service. That saves you $110.01 over your required 3-year contract.
  • 24-piece home security system: 14 door/window sensors, 1 motion detector, touchscreen control panel, 1 key fob, 4 window decals, yard sign, plus indoor video camera and video doorbell. Your monthly monitoring will cost $54.99/month and that includes the cost of your equipment over the 3-year contract. Or, pay $799.99 for the equipment package upfront and your monthly monitoring drops to $24.99, saving you $280.01 over the length of the contract.

No matter which package you choose, you can always add on extra equipment. You may want additional door/window sensors or motion detectors, a glass break detector, extra keychain remotes or a video doorbell. Those prices are clearly spelled out under the package you create.

One type of protection we didn't find with Protect America's build-your-own packages is smoke/fire/carbon monoxide. You'll see that smoke detectors are listed under their equipment heading, described as "life safety", but there was nowhere in the custom build section that even indicated that coverage as a possibility. So, caveat emptor : they offer the service, but you'll probably have to speak with a representative to ask for it, and there's no advance notice on the site to tell you what you'll pay for the sensor or its monthly monitoring.

Protect America also doesn't place much emphasis on home automation in their build-your-own packages. While their available products page shows integration with most Z-Wave compatible devices, such as using Alexa to dim lights or using August Lock keyless entry doorknobs that can be secured remotely, there was almost no mention of that in the custom-design page. Once again, you'll have to work with a sales rep to get smart home devices in your home security system.

While Protect America, like any big business, gets its share of complaints, most of them revolve around customers who didn't understand that they were committing to a 3-year contract - despite the company clearly spelling it out multiple times during the sales process. We feel like Protect America could go the extra mile by offering a satisfaction guarantee of some kind, but that still wouldn't stop the problem of customers who want to cancel before their 3-year contract is up.

On the other hand, we found many reviews from happy customers who report that the home security systems sold and serviced by Protect America are easy to install, the technicians and customer service reps are friendly and helpful, and most importantly, the 24/7 monitoring is responsive and keeps them safe.

Although Protect America has been passed by some of their competitors, this company still offers home security systems that are worth considering - and you may appreciate being able to get all of your equipment at no cost upfront, even if it means you'll pay more per month for your monitoring.

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Continued from above

You may feel like your home won't be a target because you live within a gated community or you have strong deadbolts and motion-activated floodlights. While those preventative measures can make it less likely you'll be the target of a home invasion or robbery, the most determined criminals can still gain access to your house. For that reason, the experts strongly recommend that you invest in a 24/7 monitored home security system. Not only does it make it less likely that a criminal will target your house to begin with, but it also ensures that any attempts to break into your home will be detected immediately and reported to you and to local law enforcement.

When considering the many home security systems on the market today, you'll quickly see that they vary widely with respect to features, provided equipment, and service fees. Some providers give you all of the sensors and other equipment at no cost, with the understanding that you'll install the needed components on your own. Other services require you to make an appointment with a technician who will set up your home security system for you. Also, while most systems are monitored using wireless connections, some companies still use landlines - which can add to your costs if you are one of the millions of homeowners who rely solely on mobile phones and need to add a landline to use the home security system.

As you look through home security systems reviews, it's easy to get bogged down in the numerous packages, price points, and add-on features. Keep in mind the following basic criteria, to help you narrow down the options to find the right protection for your home:

  • Equipment and Installation Costs: What will you pay to get the equipment needed for the level of coverage you want? If the equipment isn't given to you free of charge, do you own it outright or do you pay monthly to rent it? If there's no charge, are there add-ons not included with the basic setup that you'll need to pay for? If a technician install is required, how much will you pay for the service?
  • Monitoring Service. Will your home security system be monitored around the clock? What do customers say about the response time of the service? Will local authorities be contacted directly and immediately, or will the company reach out to you first (e.g. false alarms)? How much does the monitoring cost per month?
  • Satisfaction Guarantee. If you're unhappy with your home security system for any reason, can you get a refund? Is there a warranty period on any provided equipment?
  • Reputation. What do current and previous customers say about their experience with the home security system? Has the provider been rated by the Better Business Bureau? Does the company deliver on its promises to keep you safe?

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best home security systems available today. We hope this information gives you all of the insight needed to identify the home security system that will protect you and your loved ones now and in the future!

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