Cost Effective Home Security: LiveWatch vs Link Interactive

Both LiveWatch and Link Interactive stand out for their excellent customer service. And with affordable entry-level security packages as well as advanced home automation features, either one is a fantastic option to safeguard your home.

However, each company has significantly different approaches to equipment offerings, innovation, and response to customer feedback. Read on to see why we chose Link Interactive as the better option of the two companies.

Unique features

Link Interactive has more going for it in terms of customization, but LiveWatch has some unique features that make it worth looking into.

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 customization

Link Interactive has no set equipment packages, which means you can select exactly the devices you need. Link also has a huge range of home automation options, and it offers its equipment at very reasonable prices. Link Interactive’s system can even work with some existing devices, eliminating the need to start from scratch.

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 ensures the control panel is connected through a cellular connection. So even if the control panel is damaged, the system will still function and will notify you and the monitoring company. Note that while both companies offer Crash and Smash Protection, all of Link’s plans have this feature, but LiveWatch’s lowest-tier Basic plan does not.

Customer service

Link Interactive is more highly rated than LiveWatch by its customers based on ratings from around the web. 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. However, many customer comments mentioned functionality issues. A good number of complaints centered on faulty equipment or low-quality performance—alarms going off for no reason, disarm code not working, and other problems that arose and required calls to the customer service team. Overall, though, most reviews are four or five stars out of five.

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 skilled at handling installation and technical issues from its less technologically savvy customer base—several reviews praise the company’s support technicians.

Between the two, Link Interactive provides better customer service. Its recent elimination of set equipment packages also shows us that Link listens to its customers’ feedback. With more reviews, a higher rating, and a history of above-and-beyond service, Link Interactive takes necessary steps to ensure its customers are satisfied.

Contracts

LiveWatch has one of the best contract options we’ve ever seen: a 12-month contract with the option to cancel at any point in the first year without paying any fees. In fact, if you cancel within the first year, LiveWatch will issue a full refund for any remaining time on your contract. After the first year, the plan switches to a monthly contract. You then get to keep the equipment, and you retain the ability to cancel your monitoring at any time.

Link Interactive offers 12-, 24-, and 36-month contract options, and you’ll pay a lower monthly fee when you sign a longer contract. The company recently added more contract length options than it previously had, giving more flexibility to its customers. Link doesn’t offer a way to end the contract early without paying the full balance remaining on your contract, which can amount to a potentially hefty cancellation fee, depending on how far along you are in your contract. However, Link Interactive has a transfer policy that allows someone else to take over the remainder of your contract. The company also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee so customers can try out the alarm system before committing to a long-term agreement.

Between the two companies, LiveWatch is the clear winner in terms of contracts: there are very few companies in the home security industry that match LiveWatch’s flexible cancellation policy.

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.

Link Interactive is fairly comparable in terms of ease of installation. Installing the system requires the use of Phillips- and flat-head screwdrivers. The system also requires a few more steps to install it properly and sync it with your control panel, but Link provides installation guides for every piece of equipment it offers.

Both companies make installation easy, and their customer service teams are on standby to answer any questions that may arise during the process. For this section, we rank both companies equally.

Equipment

Both LiveWatch and Link Interactive offer packages with all of the basic security equipment you need. However, Link Interactive provides a slightly larger variety of home automation equipment than LiveWatch does. If you want home automation options, LiveWatch offers third-party solutions nearly but not quite on par with Link’s offerings, with competitive pricing on both sides.

LiveWatch equipment

Give LiveWatch a call: 888-990-5125

LiveWatch offers two Plug & Protect systems: Basic and IQ 2.0. Both systems cost $99 and offer the same basic components and features:

  • 2 door sensors, 1 motion sensor
  • 24/7 professional monitoring
  • Mobile control and alerts
  • Pre-configuration for immediate use on arrival

The main difference between the two is the control panel, though both control panels have interactive touch screens. The Plug & Protect Basic plan comes with the Simon XTi 1.0 touch screen display, while the Plug & Protect IQ comes with the IQ 2.0 panel. We highly recommend upgrading to the IQ 2.0 panel—aside from providing better security, the IQ 2.0 panel has a larger, 7-inch screen and multiple built-in applications that make home automation easier.

Link Interactive equipment

Give link a call: 855-830-3778

Link Interactive has revamped its entire pricing structure. The company once offered equipment packages, but now customers can select only the equipment they need and nothing else. This flexibility allows you to work within your budget to protect the most vulnerable areas of your home, then add on pieces of equipment as your needs and wallet allow.

When you select a Link Interactive monitoring plan, you’re given the option between two control panels. These panels are where the main differences lie in terms of price and capabilities.

Control PanelQolsys IQ Panel 22GIG Go!Control
Price$200$0
Touch screen size7 inches4.2 inches
LTE
Bluetooth touchless disarming
Sensor encryption
Panel camera
2-way voice
Battery backup length24 Hours8 Hours
SD card slot
Control Panel Qolsys IQ Panel 2
Price
$200
Touch screen size
7 inches
LTE
Bluetooth touchless disarming
Sensor encryption
Panel camera
2-way voice
Battery backup length
24 Hours
SD card slot
Control Panel 2GIG Go!Control
Price
$0
Touch screen size
4.2 inches
LTE
Bluetooth touchless disarming
Sensor encryption
Panel camera
2-way voice
Battery backup length
8 Hours
SD card slot

Something to keep in mind is that even though the IQ Panel adds $200 to your cost, it includes three door/window sensors and one motion detector. It is definitely the more advanced and powerful of the two panels, but those wishing to spend less can still get adequate home protection with the free Go!Control panel.

LiveWatch allows users to get started relatively easily, but Link Interactive’s flexibility, home automation options, and à la carte offerings help it rank above LiveWatch.

Pricing & packages comparison

Different monitoring plans are divided by price and functionality. Higher-priced plans offer more features than the lower-priced options and are often more 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-tier options may include advanced features like video surveillance and home automation.

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

LiveWatch charges a $99 upfront equipment fee on top of a $19.95 activation fee—Link Interactive has none of these fees. Link Interactive’s wider range of contracts, Crash & Smash Protection in all its plans, and lower prices help it rank above LiveWatch in this category.

Link Interactive is more innovative

While the level of service LiveWatch offers for $29.99 a month is substantial, it pales in comparison to the overall benefits from Link Interactive.

The real competition lies in the three upper monitoring tiers of LiveWatch versus the three tiers of Link Interactive. Both companies offer similarly priced plans with comparable functionality, but there are a few key 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 makes Link Interactive more affordable.

Link Interactive’s upfront costs are lower, and the range of home automation options makes it more enticing. Plus, the fact that Link Interactive switched to an à la carte equipment selection shows that the company listens to its customers and is making changes to better serve them.

Compared side by side, the high-quality equipment, exceptional customer service, and strong home security offerings of Link Interactive make it the superior choice. LiveWatch isn’t a bad choice at all, and it even ranks in SecurityGem’s top 10 choices for home security—but its recent stagnation and comparative lack of unique features prevent us from recommending it over Link Interactive.

Do you have experience with LiveWatch or Link Interactive? Tell us your thoughts in the comments.