Fortress Vs. Monitronics

Update: Monitronics is now Brinks Home Security. 

Fortress and Monitronics both offer viable home security options that will likely appeal to different consumers. Monitronics has professional installation, industry-standard 36-month contracts, and available home automation. Fortress offers no monitoring contracts and only DIY installation of pre-programmed packages. Monitronics details have been reported to vary among local dealers.

Get Best Offer
Brinks
  • DIY installation
  • Professional monitoring optional 
  • $500 for Brinks Home Complete with Video 

Doesn't expire

Get Best Offer
Fortress
  • DIY Installation
  • Professional monitoring optional from Alarm Relay
  • $270 for S6 Titan 3G/4G WiFi Classic Kit 

Doesn't expire

Get Best Offer
Fortress
Fortress
Fortress

We're huge fans of Fortress' lack of monthly fees, affordable price, and 30-day return policy. 

Key Similarities:

  • One type of installation
  • Some mobile management options

Key Differences:

  • Monitronics has professional installation. Fortress has DIY.
  • Monitronics has industry-standard 36-month contracts. Fortress offers no monitoring contracts.
  • Only Monitronics has available home automation options.

Winner and Loser Categories

Packages, Equipment and Pricing

Winner: Monitronics

Monitronics offers three packages advertised as ranging in cost from $35-$55 with activation fees ranging from $99-$149. Monitronics has a well-regarded centralized monitoring system, but uses local dealers for installation, leading to varying on-the-ground user experiences. Local dealers also have final control over activation costs and contract terms. This means specials and coupons can potentially lower a system’s cost. But overall, local variation makes Monitronics pricing unpredictable. Most equipment is Honeywell or GE. Medical alert packages are additionally available.

Fortress offers only equipment packages, with no monitoring options available. Packages are all pre-programmed, and range in cost from $99-$570, depending on customizations. Available equipment includes sensors, sirens, and an HD security camera. Fortress technology is reported to be inexpensive compared to the industry standard. Because only self-monitoring is available, Fortress systems rely on sirens, strobe lights, and autodial to alert users to issues. Alarm delays have been reported.

Contracts

Winner: Monitronics

Monitronics offers the industry-standard 36-month monitoring contract. Fortress notably offers no monitoring packages.

Mobile App

Winner: Tie

Monitronics and Fortress both have some available mobile management options. Fortress offers a mobile app that is only available with specific package options. Monitronics has remote smartphone control capabilities, but only text and email notifications and remote arm/disarm are free. Additional remote features are available at extra cost.

Installation

Winner: Tie

Monitronics and Fortress each offer one type of installation. Preference will depend on what type of service you are seeking.

Monitronics offers professional installation done by local dealers. The customer service experience varies by location and is therefore less reliable. Installation is free but users will likely pay significant activation fees. Fortress offers only DIY installation of pre-programmed packages.

Home Automation

Winner: Monitronics

Only Monitronics has available home automation options.

Who Fortress is Better For:

  • Users looking to avoid any monitoring contracts
  • Users interested in DIY installation
  • Users open to sirens, strobe lights, and autodial as alerts

Full Fortress Review

Get Best Offer
Fortress
Fortress
Fortress

We're huge fans of Fortress' lack of monthly fees, affordable price, and 30-day return policy. 

Who Monitronics is Better For:

  • Users looking for a monitoring contract
  • Users seeking home automation
  • Users requiring professional installation

Full Monitronics Review

Fortress and Monitronics both offer strong home security options. Those looking for a long-term monitoring contract, professional installation and home automation will likely be pleased with Monitronics. Those looking for DIY installation and hoping to avoid monitoring contracts will likely prefer Fortress.

Monitronics  is now owned by Brinks. Check out our review of the Brinks home security system.

Related: the Best Security Systems of 2019

Gabe Turner

Gabe Turner

Gabe Turner is an attorney and journalist with a passion for home tech and secure, efficient living. Since graduating from NYU Law, he has maintained a paradoxical existence of trying to live life adventurously while remaining staunchly risk-averse. He is torn by the dual desires of wanting to only be in Brooklyn writing about housing policy and smart home tech and aspiring to visit his friends scattered across the globe. Gabe believes that stable, safe communities are the cornerstone to a vibrant and healthy society, and it is this passion that brought him to contribute to Security Baron.

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