Cost Effective Home Security: LiveWatch vs Link Interactive

Comparing LiveWatch and Link Interactive is no easy task. Both companies stand out for their high levels of customer service, and with affordable entry-level security options as well as advanced home automation features, either one is a fantastic option to safeguard your home.

Even so, there can only be one winner between the two. Find out why we chose LiveWatch as the better option of the worthy competitors.

Unique features

LiveWatch and Link Interactive may both be home security companies, but there are a few features that distinguish them from each other.

LiveWatch’s ASAPer

When it comes to an actual emergency, LiveWatch outranks other competitors with its ASAPer system. ASAPer stands for “As Soon As Possible emergency response.” This system responds ten times more quickly than any other system on the market. When the alarm is triggered, the system contacts everyone on your emergency call list at the same time via their preferred method: phone, text, or email. As the customer, you can respond to the alarm via your phone and declare it a false alarm or have LiveWatch contact emergency services.

ASAPer removes the human element from the equation; while traditional systems have someone monitoring your account who must follow your predetermined alarm response instructions, ASAPer automatically notifies everyone in your emergency contact list. Compared to traditional response times (which can take as long as five minutes), ASAPer stands out for efficiency and speed.

Link Interactive’s Transparency

Link Interactive sets itself apart with transparent pricing, online ordering, and special offers (call to learn what current promotions Link is running). In addition, Link Interactive can use some of your existing equipment, eliminating the need to purchase more. They are one of the few security companies that lists all the prices for all their equipment on their website, making it easier to price out your prospective security system.

What they have in common

Both LiveWatch and Link Interactive offer 24/7 offsite monitoring with crash and smash protection. Tech-savvy burglars may try to smash your control panel in order to deactivate the system; while this can work on traditional systems with hardwired phone lines, Crash and Smash protection means the control panel is connected through a cellular connection. Even while damaged, these systems will still function and will notify you.

Customer service

Though it’s close, Link Interactive is more highly rated than LiveWatch by its customers based on ratings from Consumer Affairs (4.7 out of 5 versus 4.5 out of 5.) It’s worth noting that Link Interactive has 680 total reviews, compared to LiveWatch’s 20. Link Interactive’s reviews consistently mention the ease of installation and the high level of customer service provided by the company, with several reviews mentioning specific customer service reps by name. Its customer service is a point of pride for the company, and the customer reviews reflect that. However, a great number of reviews mentioned functionality issues. Alarms would trigger for no reason, the disarm code stopped working, and other problems would arise that required calls to the customer service team over faulty equipment or low-quality performance. Of the 680 reviews, only 26 were three stars or lower.

Both LiveWatch and Link Interactive have A+ ratings from the Better Business Bureau. While LiveWatch may not have as many reviews as Link Interactive, it is notably good at handling installation and technical issues from its older customer base; several reviews came from senior citizens and praised the company’s support technicians. LiveWatch has had 11 complaints closed in the past 12 months, and one particularly negative review touched on recurring billing issues.

Contracts

LiveWatch has one of the best contract options I’ve ever seen: a 12-month contract with the option to cancel at any point in the first year without paying a cent. In fact, if you cancel within the first year, LiveWatch will issue a full refund for any remaining time. After the first year, the plan switches to a monthly basis, but you retain the ability to cancel at one low flat fee.

Link Interactive offers 12- 24- and 36-month contract options. There is no way to end the contract early with Link Interactive without paying the full balance remaining on your contract, which can amount to hundreds or even thousands of dollars depending on how far along you are in your contract. On the other hand, Link Interactive offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, no strings attached. This deal allows customers to try out an alarm system before committing to a long-term contract.

Between the two companies, LiveWatch is the clear winner: there’s almost nothing in the home security industry that can compare to LiveWatch’s “cancel at any time” policy in addition to only a 12-month contract that transitions to month-to-month.

Installation

Both LiveWatch and Link Interactive offer DIY installation. This means you will need to familiarize yourself with the systems and perform the installations yourself. LiveWatch does not use professional installation, but expects you to install the components using its Plug & Protect system. According to its FAQ page, all components come with 3M adhesive strips that make them easy to attach to the wall straight out of the box. Average installation time is anywhere from 15 to 20 minutes.

On the other hand, Link Interactive is a bit more complicated, as our review points out. Installing the system requires the use of a Phillips- and flat-head screwdriver. The system also requires a bit more of step-by-step instruction to install properly and sync with your control panel, but they at least provide installation guides for all their equipment they offer.

Note: If you purchase directly from Link Interactive, professional installation is an option.The installation may sound daunting, but it doesn’t have to be.

While both companies strive to make the installation easy and their customer service teams are on standby to answer any questions that may arise during the process, LiveWatch succeeds in ease of use more than Link Interactive.

Equipment

Both LiveWatch and Link Interactive offer equipment that covers all of the basic security functionality you need. However, Link Interactive also provides a larger variety of equipment in the area of home automation than LiveWatch does. If you want home automation as an option, LiveWatch offers third-party solutions on par with Link Interactive’s offerings.

LiveWatch equipment

Give LiveWatch a call: 888-990-5125

LiveWatch offers two Plug & Protect systems. Sometimes, LiveWatch offers web deals where both systems are priced at $99.

Plug & Protect Basic:

  • 2 door sensors, 1 motion sensor
  • 24/7 professional monitoring
  • Mobile control and alerts
  • Arrives configured for your home

Plug & Protect IQ 2.0:

  • Larger, 7” touchscreen panel
  • Weather and other applications pre-programmed
  • 2 door sensors, 1 motion sensor
  • 24/7 professional monitoring
  • Mobile control and alerts
  • Arrives configured for your home

The main difference between the two is the control panel they use, but both control panels are interactive touchscreens. The Plug & Protect Basic plan comes with the Simon xTi 1.0 touchscreen display, while the Plug & Protect IQ comes with the IQ 2.0 panel. We highly recommend switching to the IQ 2.0 panel, even if you use the Basic plan; aside from providing better security, the IQ 2.0 panel has a larger screen and multiple applications built in that make home automation easier.

Link Interactive equipment

Give link a call: 855-830-3778

Link Interactive no longer offers pre-selected equipment packages to choose from and every system is built customized from the ground up, requiring you to pay for only what you need to protect or automate your home. This can lead to higher-upfront costs, however, depending on the types of equipment you want. For more information about the types of equipment and sensors available from Link, check out our equipment review or visit their site and get in contact with a Link Interactive representative to have them help build you the system you need.

With LiveWatch, you can get started for as little as $99. Even with the $19.95 activation fee, LiveWatch’s system is still $60 cheaper than Link Interactive in terms of start-up costs. In terms of pure home security, LiveWatch is the better option.

Pricing & packages comparison

Different monitoring plans are divided by price and functionality. Higher-priced plans offer more features than the lower priced options; however, the lower-priced options are not always as secure. For example, the least expensive option from LiveWatch doesn’t include Crash & Smash protection, while all of Link’s options do. In other cases, higher-priced options may include advanced features like video surveillance and home automation.

Company
Plan NameBasicMobile ProTotal HomeTotal Home + VideoStandardGoldElite
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View Plans
Price$29.95$34.95$39.95$49.95$29.99$34.99$39.99
Activation
Fee
$19.95$19.95$19.95$19.95$0$0$0
Contract Length12 months12 months12 months12 months12, 24, or 36 months12, 24, or 36 months12, 24, or 36 months
Upfront
Equipment
Costs
$99$99$99$99$99$199$399
Crash & Smash
Protection
ASAPer
Company
Plan Name
Basic
Read Full Company Review
View Plans
Price
$29.95
Activation
Fee
$19.95
Contract Length
12 months
Upfront
Equipment
Costs
$99
Crash & Smash
Protection
ASAPer
Company
Plan Name
Mobile Pro
Read Full Company Review
View Plans
Price
$34.95
Activation
Fee
$19.95
Contract Length
12 months
Upfront
Equipment
Costs
$99
Crash & Smash
Protection
ASAPer
Company
Plan Name
Total Home
Read Full Company Review
View Plans
Price
$39.95
Activation
Fee
$19.95
Contract Length
12 months
Upfront
Equipment
Costs
$99
Crash & Smash
Protection
ASAPer
Company
Plan Name
Total Home + Video
Read Full Company Review
View Plans
Price
$49.95
Activation
Fee
$19.95
Contract Length
12 months
Upfront
Equipment
Costs
$99
Crash & Smash
Protection
ASAPer
Company
Plan Name
Standard
Read Full Company Review
View Plans
Price
$29.99
Activation
Fee
$0
Contract Length
12, 24, or 36 months
Upfront
Equipment
Costs
$99
Crash & Smash
Protection
ASAPer
Company
Plan Name
Gold
Read Full Company Review
View Plans
Price
$34.99
Activation
Fee
$0
Contract Length
12, 24, or 36 months
Upfront
Equipment
Costs
$199
Crash & Smash
Protection
ASAPer
Company
Plan Name
Elite
Read Full Company Review
View Plans
Price
$39.99
Activation
Fee
$0
Contract Length
12, 24, or 36 months
Upfront
Equipment
Costs
$399
Crash & Smash
Protection
ASAPer

And the winner is…

When you come straight down to it, there aren’t many companies that offer the level of service LiveWatch provides for just $29.99, so it clearly has an advantage on price for basic monitoring. If you’re looking for a company to protect your home and alert authorities when a break-in occurs, LiveWatch is the better option.

The real competition lies in the three upper tiers of LiveWatch versus the three tiers of Link Interactive. Both companies offer similarly priced plans with similar functionality, but there are a few clear differences. Link Interactive’s highest tier is less expensive than LiveWatch’s, with a $10 per month difference between the two—and the lack of an activation fee lends more strength to Link Interactive’s offerings.

Even so, Link Interactive’s upfront costs beyond the basic package can be staggering. LiveWatch allows you to install the system and get your first month of monitoring for far less, with the option to cancel at any time. Home automation is a great feature to include, but not strictly necessary. If you do decide to upgrade to an automated system in the future, LiveWatch makes it easy to do so.

When it comes to affordable functionality and reliability on top of the fantastic cancellation policy, I have to declare LiveWatch the winner. LiveWatch’s ASAPer service, as well as its much lower costs, make it the best option when we look at the basic goal of a security system: keeping you and your home safe.

Do you have experience with LiveWatch or Link Interactive? Let us know in the comments.