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Last updated on Feb 11, 2020

Vivint Smart Home Security Systems Review

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Vivint

  • Top-of-the-line smart home tech
  • 24/7 Professional monitoring
  • Good customer experience
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How We Reviewed Vivant

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3 Monitoring plans

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3 Security cameras

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1 Powerful system

Vivint Smart Home Security Systems Review

Vivint pairs classic home security with advanced smart home tech, increasing your home’s safety and convenience at the same time. Its equipment is intuitive, from the control panel to the doorbell camera, with quality touchscreens and sleek design.

Vivint is not a bargain. The monthly monitoring rates, at around $35, are squarely middle of the road, but equipment costs are steep. If you can’t pay $600 or more upfront for a starter kit, you’ll be locked into some of the longest service contracts we’ve seen: 42 months or 60 months.

It’s also worth noting that Vivint only offers a three-day trial on its product. If you want to give devices a test drive in your home without the time crunch, look at providers with longer trial periods. Thirty days to try equipment in-home is standard. Some, like SimpliSafe and Cove, offer 60 days.

If you know you want professional installation and monitoring, and don’t mind paying top dollar for quality equipment, then Vivint is a great home security pick. Amongst traditional home security options, Vivint — with its sophisticated technology and solid customer experience — gives ADT a run for its money.

Pros

✔ Stand-out technology
✔ Strong app
✔ Good compatibility

Cons

✘ No DIY options
✘ Long contracts
✘ Short trial period and warranty

Vivint Packages and Prices

Packages Price* Equipment starts at Type of Installation Best for
Smart Security Monitoring $29.99 $599 Professional Light tech-use households without smart gadgets
Smart Home Monitoring $39.99 $599 Professional Smart homes without cameras
Smart Home Video Monitoring $44.99 $799 Professional Smart homes without cameras

All information accurate as of 02/11/2020.

*Plus equipment financing if paying for equipment over contract term

Vivint’s rates are competitive with traditional home security providers like ADT and Protect America, but are double what you’d pay for SimpliSafe and its ilk. If you are shopping based on price, look elsewhere. If you’re shopping for a high-performing system that offers smooth control of both security and home automation, consider Vivint’s top-tier plan, Smart Home Video Monitoring. The extra five bucks per month over Smart Home Monitoring covers video surveillance for one camera.

Who is each Vivint plan best for?

  • Smart Security Monitoring – Best for homeowners who love the streamlined functionality of smart home security, but aren’t interested in home automation.
  • Smart Home Monitoring – Best for homes that use smart thermostats, lights, or garage door openers, but no smart cameras.
  • Smart Home Video Monitoring – Best for complete smart home security with video surveillance.

Vivint Prices

In all three of home security’s cost buckets — equipment, installation, and monitoring — Vivint costs more. A starter kit, sans camera, costs $600. You’ll pay another $50-plus for installation. Want a camera? Vivint plays best with its own equipment, and that in-house equipment is spendy. Vivint’s video doorbell costs $100 more than the first-generation model from Ring. If you can buy upfront, then you are looking at monthly monitoring costs from $30 to $45. You can finance the equipment by adding a little extra to each bill, but in that case you will be paying monthly bills for as long as the next five years. The only way to sidestep Vivint’s long contracts is to buy outright.

Vivint Ease of Use

Between the touchscreen control panel and the extremely well-rated Vivint app, the Vivint system is a breeze to customize and control. And while the cost of professional installation is off-putting (Vivint’s installation fee starts at $50, but can go up to a couple hundred for an extensive system), the payoff is functionality. A correctly installed system that you have been personally taught to use promises to be stress-free, and to help you avoid false alarms.

Vivint Types of Installations

Professional Packages

Vivint smart home security systems are professionally installed by field service technicians. Professional installation fees start at $50, but may be higher depending on the number and type of devices you choose. Note that if you move and take your Vivint system with you, you’ll be charged a $100 moving fee for re-establishing your system in your new home.

DIY Packages

Vivint requires professional installation. While the system is wireless, and so potentially just as plug-and-play as DIY newcomers like SimpliSafe, Vivint doesn’t support DIY installation at this time.

Vivint Types of Monitoring

Professional Packages

Vivint’s three monitoring tiers all include 24/7 professional monitoring. In this format of home security, the command center will first try to make contact with you, and then the authorities, if the alarm is tripped.

DIY Packages

While the Vivint app allows you to monitor surveillance cameras and make system changes, you won’t be able to replace the Vivint monitoring center with your smartphone. All of Vivint’s DIY capabilities are intended to support the 24/7 monitoring that comes with any Vivint plan.

Additional Benefits:

  1. Professional monitoring without a contract for upfront buyers – Vivint rewards those who are ready to invest in smart home equipment and “buy in cash” with the option of a month-to-month contract.
  2. Smart home functionality based in security – Vivint gives you a leg up on building out your smart home with a range of in-house smart devices all controllable from a single app.
  3. Professional monitoring could mean home insurance discounts – Only professionally monitored home security systems, like one from Vivint, makes you eligible for a discount on your homeowners insurance premium with some providers.

Additional Drawback:

  1. No online ordering – Like ADT and other traditionally priced home security providers, Vivint requires you to make a phone call and talk to a representative for a quote. The in-person attention could mean a better tailored system, but the lack of upfront info is off putting.
  2. Fast decision, big commitment – Unlike its competitors, Vivint doesn’t offer a 30-day trial period: You have just three days after installation to decide if the system suits you and your home. And if you don’t pay upfront for devices, you are locked into your Vivint service agreement for five years.

Compare Home Security Providers

Vivint ADT Frontpoint SimpliSafe
Types of Installation Professional Professional DIY DIY Professional
Starting Price $39/mo $36/mo $45/mo $15/mo
# Package Options 2 3 3 2
Contract Length Month-to-month 42 Months 60 Months 36 Months 12 Months 36 Months Month-to-month
View plans View plans View plans View plans

All information accurate as of 02/11/2020.

Who is each home security provider best for?

  • Vivint – Techno-enthusiasts who want a pre-built smart home security system.
  • ADT – The smart-home-curious who value company reputation.
  • Frontpoint – Those who will pay more for customer experience.
  • SimpliSafe – Budget-minded homeowners looking for sleek, flexible systems.

About the Authors

Anne Dennon

Anne Dennon Home Technology Writer

Anne has covered home security and home automation for Reviews.com for two years. She's interested in human-computer interaction and tech ethics. She previously worked in education and information literacy.