Vivint got its start in 1999 under the name APX Alarm. In 2011, the Utah-based home security company rebranded itself as Vivint, combining the words “vive,” (it means “live”) with “intelligent.” If the name is any indication, Vivint wants customers to have smart home security systems that makes life easier. One way it does that is through a line of security cameras.
You can control every camera through the Vivint Smart Home app on your phone. The app lets you pull up real-time streaming video on your phone in a matter of seconds.
Infrared night vision lets you check out what’s up inside or outside of your house, regardless of if it’s 2 a.m. or 2 p.m. Hear a weird noise outside your front door? There’s no need to tell yourself it was probably the wind or a squirrel or something harmless. Check it out for yourself so you can go back to sleep without tossing and turning and wondering what the heck is going on outside.
When your Vivint outdoor camera detects movement within its field of vision, it begins recording for either 20 or 30 seconds, depending on the camera type. These are known as Smart Clips, and they can be stored on the 1 TB Vivint Smart Drive for up to 30 days. The Playback feature also lets you rewind to moments when the cameras detected activity. That way, you don’t have to feel like you’re rewinding an old VCR tape just to see the moment when a delivery man from UPS dropped off a Christmas present.
The two-way talking lets you check in on what’s going at home even if you’re on the other side of the planet. If the bus drops off your kids a few minutes before you leave work, you can use two-way talking to remind them that snacks are in the fridge. The indoor camera also lets your loved ones press a button to be connected to you instantly, no cell connection necessary.
Does your cat like to roam around the laundry room and cause trouble? You can use your Vivint camera to set up customized notifications that will be particularly sensitive to movements in the laundry area. That way, if Captain Poof climbs in the dryer, you’ll know about it long before you turn on the machine.
Every camera operates in high-def that’s at least 720 p. In most cases, you’ll get the full HD experience with 1080p. Wide-angle lenses also make it feel like you’re viewing things on a real camera rather than through a periscope.
We live in DIY culture, but Vivint removes that temptation by making professional installation standard with all its packages. You don’ have to worry about reading the directions wrong. Instead, an experienced installer will come to your house and do the hard stuff for you.
Other companies really push their indoor and outdoor cameras, but Vivint is a little different. The company makes its Doorbell Camera available with four of the six packages: Smart Control, Smart Complete, Smart Entry, and Surveillance.
The Ping Camera is available if you purchase either the Smart Complete or Surveillance packages. The Outdoor Camera is also available with those two packages. The Smart Complete package costs $1789.92, or $29.83 a month over 5 year, 60-month contract. Almost every contract is 5 years, so you’ll want to be sure that Vivint is right for you before signing on the dotted line.
Vivint also offers a Video Security package that includes all three cameras plus a Sky Control Starter Kit that links your smart home products into one network. It costs $1379.95, or $23 a month.
If you want to purchase each item separately, you can do that as well. The Outdoor Camera costs $299.99 if you pay upfront, or $5 a month.
The Ping Camera is $199.99, or $3.33 a month.
For the Doorbell Camera alone, you’ll pay $249.99.
The basic monthly monitoring package is $29.99, but if you have any cameras, you’ll need to add $20 a month to that for the Smart Home Service plus Video Monitoring.
Like a lot of home security companies, Vivint offers three types of cameras. However, it was the first company to come out with a doorbell camera in 2015. That forced its competitors to raise their game as well or get left in the dust. In addition to the doorbell camera, you can also choose from the Ping indoor camera or a standard outdoor camera.
There’s lightweight, and then there’s Vivint’s outdoor camera. It weighs only 7 ounces, and that includes the bracket and cables. 112-degree diagonal field of view includes night vision that extends nearly 40 feet from the camera base.
It will also work in almost any climate from Arizona to Maine, as it’s designed to function in temperatures as low as -4 degrees and as high as 122 degrees.
Vivint bills this as the “world’s first two-way indoor camera.” The 10x zoom capacity is ideal for zooming in on what’s happening with your kids, elderly parents, or even pets. The Ping weighs 1.05 pounds but still transmits images in full 1080 p HD. The 155-degree horizontal view and the 80-degree vertical view work in perfect harmony to give you the most comprehensive views possible.
Another unique feature of the Ping is the “press to talk” button. If you’re out of the house and family members want to talk to you, there’s no need for them to find a cell connection. Instead, they can press one button and instantly connect to you through your mobile phone.
Peepholes are so last century. Vivint’s doorbell camera gives you access to one-way video without having to squint through a tiny hole in the front door. Don’t recognize the person on the front porch? You can use the two-way talking to communicate. With any luck, they’re coming by to deliver a present instead of religious tracts. The camera’s 180-degree field of view removes any guesswork from answering the door.
The doorbell camera also has smart visitor detection. What’s smart visitor detection? It means you’ll get a message on your phone saying, “Someone’s at the door” only if a living, breathing human is outside your door. It won’t be triggered by a squirrel or even a stiff breeze from the east. You won’t need to scramble to get the door if there’s not actually someone out there waiting for you.
Another cool feature of the doorbell camera is the ability to open or close the garage door from anywhere as long as you have your smartphone app. If it starts raining, you can protect your garage from the elements in a matter of seconds. If a kind neighbor texts you to say that your child left their new bike outside again, you can open the garage door, then watch from your phone as they wheel the bike inside.
Vivint has a lot of innovative, exciting equipment, and the professional installation is a nice perk as well. Other companies outsource their monitoring to third-party companies, but Vivant runs their monitoring program in-house. However, the company also has a history of aggressive sales tactics, although it’s taken active measures to improve its reputation in recent years. All in all, you’ll still get good equipment and solid service from a company that’s been in the security business almost three decades.