Vivint Review | Affordable Monitoring and High-End Equipment

Best High-End System
Our rating:
4.2 out of 5.0
4.2 out of 5 stars4.2
Customer service
3.8 out of 5 stars3.8
Price
3.8 out of 5 stars3.8
Features & equipment
5 out of 5 stars5.0
Plans starting at:  
$29.99

    Vivint has the best high-end home automation equipment with flexible monitoring options. It offers a cheap entry-level plan and contract-free options, but its main drawbacks are pricey equipment and long contracts if you don’t pay up front.

    If you want a top-of-the-line system with all the perks of a no-contract setup, Vivint is an obvious choice. It’s the only professionally installed security system that also offers no-contract monitoring with full home automation support.

    If you don’t care about home automation but you want the best home security equipment, Vivint also offers a low-priced monitoring plan, minus the support for smart home devices.

    The fantastic security and smart home equipment is a big part of why we recommend Vivint over other alarm companies, but is it the best system for you? Keep reading to learn more about what makes Vivint great and where it falls short for some customers.

     

    Vivint pros and cons

    Pros
    • Pro BulletOffers high-end, unique equipment
    • Pro BulletSupports lots of smart home devices
    • Pro BulletProvides a contract-free option
    • Pro BulletOffers flexible payment options for equipment
    • Pro BulletOffers affordable entry-level plan
    • Pro BulletIncludes mobile access with all plans
    Cons
    • Con BulletCosts a lot up front for equipment
    • Con BulletHas longer contracts than most (if you opt for a contract)

    Compare Vivint plans

    All Vivint’s plans give you important features like mobile access (so you can control your system with your smartphone) and medical alert support. To use any of Vivint’s cameras (indoor, outdoor, or doorbell) with your system, you’ll need to opt for Vivint’s top-tier plan—it’s the only one with camera support.

    Vivint home security monitoring plan comparison

    Data effective 6/12/2019. Offers subject to change.

    Vivint home security cost

    Professional monitoring

    Vivint’s monitoring prices are on par with other companies, like Frontpoint and some of ADT’s plans. Plus, its lowest-priced plan (Smart Security) is cheaper than what you see from most other big-name providers, and almost on the same level as what you’d see from a cheap DIY provider like SimpliSafe.

    SimpliSafe Interactive monitoring plan: $24.99/mo.

    Vivint Smart Security monitoring plan: $29.99/mo.

    We love that Vivint’s base plan gives you mobile access so you can control your system through your smartphone with any plan. Most other security companies (like ADT and Frontpoint) require you to subscribe to one of their higher-priced plans before you get mobile app support.

    Protip
    Pro tip

    When you compare home security monitoring plans, look for ones with a cellular connection. Some companies offer cheaper plans for landline or broadband connections, which are fine if you want a super basic system. But cellular is the most reliable and secure connection.

    Flexible payment options for equipment

    Vivint gives you two options to pay for your equipment:

    1. Buy it all up front
    2. Finance it over the length of a contract

    If you buy all your equipment up front, you don’t have to sign on to a contract. That means you can cancel your monitoring plan whenever you want without paying those hefty cancellation fees you see from companies like ADT.

    That said, it’s not cheap to buy everything you need all at once. (Plan on spending over $500 for the most basic equipment you’ll need.) If you can’t or don’t want to shell out all that cash at once, you can finance your equipment over the length of your contract.

    Vivint contract lengths: 42–60 mos.

    Financing your equipment means your monthly costs will be higher. And Vivint’s 60-month contract is significantly longer than the industry average of 36 months. But in our experience, most people keep their alarm systems for more than five years, so it’s not a huge deal if you don’t think you’ll need to cancel anytime soon.

    Installation fees

    Vivint charges $99 for professional installation. That’s about the same as what you’ll pay for any other professionally installed security system. And sometimes DIY companies with no installation fees (like Frontpoint) still sneak in a comparable activation fee.


    Features of Vivint home security

    Impressive home automation support

    Vivint gives you tons of options for home automation devices that can make your life way easier. Whether you want to change the temperature when you leave for the day or unlock your front door for your kids when they get home, Vivint lets you do it all from your phone.

    You can buy some home automation devices, like smart locks and a smart thermostat, directly from Vivint. And if you want to add some third-party devices, you can do that too. Any Z-Wave compatible device will integrate right into your Vivint system. Smart lights, smart plugs, smart speakers? Go wild—they’ll all work.

    Vivint smart devices:

    • Element thermostat
    • Small appliance lighting control module
    • Car Guard
    • Kwikset smart locks
    • Garage door control
    • Google Home

    Mobile access

    Vivint Smarthome App
    You can access your Vivint system remotely with every plan—something other companies make you pay extra for.

    You can access your Vivint system remotely with any monitoring plan. This might not seem like a big deal, but a lot of companies don’t give you mobile access with the basic plan—Vivint does.

    Most people control their security systems completely from their smartphones, so we think mobile access is essential. Through your phone, you can arm and disarm your system, check on your house while you’re away, look in on your camera livestreams, and talk to your kids through your video doorbell. You never have to touch your control panel if you don’t want to.

    High-end equipment

    Vivint designs and manufactures a lot of its own equipment, which is a rarity in the security industry. A lot of other big-name companies use the same third-party equipment from Alarm.com, Honeywell, or GE.

    That equipment is great and works well, but it doesn’t stand out. Why choose Protect America over Link Interactive if they both have the same stuff?

    With Vivint, you get thoughtfully designed equipment that’s supported by the same company that made it, which is a nice perk.

    Heads up
    Take Note

    As much as we like Vivint’s equipment, it doesn’t always have the most innovative stuff. If you want the best security camera or the best video doorbell as standalone devices, you might want to check out your other options. But on the whole, Vivint gives you a solid system with some top-notch features.


    Equipment

    Vivint Smart Hub

    What’s available?

    Vivint has all the equipment you need to turn your house into a minor fortress. You can get all the standard security equipment, like entry sensors and motion sensors, along with a slew of environmental sensors like smoke detectors and carbon monoxide sensors, as well as essentials like a control panel and key fobs.

    Vivint also has indoor, outdoor, and doorbell cameras. Just keep in mind you’ll need to subscribe to the Smart Home Video monitoring plan to get camera support.

    Installation

    Vivint sends professionals to install your home security system. This means you’ll have to set aside the better part of a day to let them into your home, which is inconvenient, but there are perks to having a pro set up your system.

    For starters, you don’t have to worry about whether you’ve installed it correctly. And because you’ll have a pro in the house, you’ll have the chance to ask questions about your equipment and make sure you understand exactly how it works.

    FYI
    How To

    Your installation day is also when you’ll finalize what equipment you want. You can work with your installation tech to add devices or take them off your order. You won’t know exactly how much you’ll pay for your equipment until after you’ve sorted all that out with the tech, which makes budgeting a bit tricky.

    Aesthetics

    Vivint’s equipment is simple and sleek. We wouldn’t quite call it pretty, but it looks nicer than the security equipment offered by lots of competitors.

    Warranties

    Your Vivint equipment comes with a lifetime warranty as long as you’re paying for a monitoring plan. If you pay extra for a Premium Service add-on plan, you’ll also get free service calls if you need help with your system.

    If you pay for your equipment up front and don’t sign a contract, the equipment warranty is only 120 days.

    Vivint Solar

    If you want to up your eco-game along with your home security, Vivint also offers solar panels through its Vivint Solar division.

    Vivint Solar is separate from Vivint SmartHome (where you get your security system), so it has separate costs and plans you have to sign on for. But it’s a great way to round out your smart home.


    Vivint customer service

    Availability

    If you have an issue with your system at 2 a.m., no worries—you can still get ahold of Vivint’s customer service team. They’re available by phone 24/7, which is more than we can say for a lot of other security companies with more limited hours.

    Vivint also lets you talk to customer service over live chat, so you don’t have to pick up the phone if you don’t want to. Live chat’s also there 24/7. Super convenient.

    What customers are saying about Vivint

    We won’t sugarcoat it—in the past, online reviews of Vivint were scathing. But almost all the critics focused on Vivint’s sales tactics rather than the actual security system. As Vivint has improved customer experience over the years, online reviews have improved as well. Critical reviews haven’t disappeared—it’s still the internet. But there are way more positive reviews than there have been in the past.

    Recent positive reviews heap a lot of praise on Vivint’s mobile app, fast response times, and easy-to-use equipment. Customers are also impressed with the installers setting up their systems; many reviews mention that installers took extra time to help customers understand how equipment worked.

    The critical reviews that aren’t about sales tactics talk about high equipment costs and equipment that temporarily loses a signal. Some reviews also mention it took multiple visits from technicians to get Vivint equipment working or that it was difficult to cancel a contract.


    Vivint vs. the competition

    Vivint vs. ADT

    Vivint and ADT are similar in a lot of ways. Both are professionally installed systems, both offer lots of home automation integrations, and both offer similar types of monitoring plans.

    That said, Vivint has a lot going for it over ADT. ADT is a huge conglomerate that uses different providers for everything from sales to installation to equipment and customer support. Vivint keeps everything in house so everyone—from the salesperson to the installation tech—works for the same company: Vivint.

    Plus, despite the fact that Vivint and ADT offer similar types of monitoring plans, Vivint’s plans cost less. You’ll pay $10 more per month for about the same features from ADT.

    Vivint vs. ADT camera plan comparison

    Data effective 6/12/2019. Offers subject to change.

    Vivint vs. Frontpoint

    Vivint and Frontpoint have similar plan pricing, but Frontpoint takes a different approach to equipment and installation.

    Frontpoint is a totally DIY system with high-quality, user-friendly equipment. We’ve also always been impressed with Frontpoint’s customer service and support.

    All that said, Frontpoint doesn’t offer a super basic (and more affordable) base plan like Vivint’s Smart Security monitoring plan. Overall, Frontpoint's monitoring is more expensive than Vivint's.

    Some of the difference in monitoring prices is offset by equipment costs: with Vivint, you pay for your equipment, either up front or over time. Frontpoint subsidizes a lot of its equipment costs, so you don’t have any of those extra costs with a basic package.

    Vivint vs. Frontpoint plan comparison

    Data effective 6/12/2019. Offers subject to change. *With Smart Home or Smart Home Video plans only.

    Vivint vs. SimpliSafe

    Vivint and SimpliSafe are at opposite ends of the alarm system spectrum. Vivint gives you VIP-level features and professionally installed equipment while SimpliSafe gives you super basic equipment you install yourself. Plus, SimpliSafe has cheaper monitoring and even more flexible contract options.

    If you opt for Vivint, you’ll definitely pay for it—both its plans and equipment cost more than SimpliSafe’s. But you’ll also get a higher-quality experience, plus features like full home automation support (which SimpliSafe doesn’t have).

    Vivint vs. SimpliSafe plan comparison

    Data effective 6/12/2019. Offers subject to change. *With Smart Home or Smart Home Video plans only. **With Interactive plan only.

    FAQs

    My Vivint panel is frozen, what should I do?

    We recommend calling Vivint’s support team at 800-216-5232. You can also reach them via live chat. Either way, they can help you figure out any issues with your control panel or equipment.

    Does Vivint work with Nest?

    Yes and no—Vivint integrates with the Nest thermostat. Google Nest Secure† products don’t use Z-Wave technology, so Vivint won’t work with Nest cameras, but you can integrate the Nest thermostat right into your Vivint app and control everything from one place.

    Does Vivint work with Alexa and Google Home?

    Yes, Vivint integrates with both Amazon Alexa and Google Home so you can control your system with your voice.

    Does Vivint work with HomeKit?

    No, Vivint does not currently integrate with Apple HomeKit.

    Does Vivint require a contract?

    No, you don’t have to sign a contract with Vivint. But if you don’t have a contract, you have to pay for all your equipment up front, which can be pretty expensive. If you want to finance your equipment over time, you have to sign a 42- or 60-month contract.


    Our recommendation

    We wholeheartedly recommend Vivint, especially if you want a home security system that integrates with smart home devices. Vivint lets you add smart locks, thermostats, doorbell cameras, and other convenient home automation gear. And the fact that you can get a high-end system without a contract is a huge bonus.

    Vivint’s door-to-door sales tactics have been sketchy in the past, but we’ve seen improvement in reviews from its customers. If you want a professionally installed system, we think Vivint’s the best experience out there.

    Check out Vivint home security plans now if you’re ready to protect your home with industry-leading equipment.

    Not quite ready to choose? Learn more about other security companies here.

    Contributing author: Brianna Jensen


    †Google Nest Secure is a trademark of Google LLC. Google is a trademark of Google LLC.