Vivint Home Security Review

Premium smart home security with loads of features and professional installation

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SecureScore™: 9.1 / 10 This rating is derived from our editorial team's research, hands-on product testing, and customer surveys.
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The great thing about the home security market these days is that there’s literally a system out there for everyone. So many companies are trying to make their mark, and they do it by offering unique combinations of features. That makes it easier than ever to find a home security system that’s right for you.

Take Vivint, for instance. With top-of-the-line equipment and 24/7 monitoring, Vivint is heavily invested in technological improvement. Looking for a security system with lots of home automation features? Want a system with super high-tech equipment? That’s Vivint.

For example, Vivint’s lineup includes a 4K HDR outdoor camera, Kwikset smart locks, Alexa and Google Assistant integration, and Z-wave integration. Their chamberlain MyQ garage door integration allows access to your garage from your smartphone, and their newly designed Indoor Camera Plus is sleek, elegant, and powerful. At the end of the day, Vivint is all about quality.

But before you pull out the credit card, understand that Vivint isn’t without its drawbacks. Like any system there are a few shortcomings. We might start by talking about the Vivint’s general lack of pricing transparency. If you happen to visit the Vivint website, you’ll find tons of inspiring information about why you need a home security system and why Vivint’s system is amazing. What you won’t find is a list of pricing. No equipment prices. No installation prices. No monitoring prices. In fact, you can’t even order online, which is a bit odd for such a forward-thinking company.

It turns out, though, that these issues are symptoms of another concern: Vivint’s price tag. Both equipment and monitoring are a bit pricey, and Vivint figures it’s better off not frightening you away right up front.

Is the big price tag worth it? Well, that depends on your priorities. One thing’s for sure, though: Vivint is definitely a serious security system that provides unmatched safety.

Did You Know? Before we start, we’d like to point out that Vivint announced a new camera lineup for its security systems. We updated this review to highlight the features of the new cameras as well, so keep an eye out for that.

Vivint Home Security Components

Vivint Home Security Components

Vivint sets itself apart from other home security systems. It not only protected my home (entry sensors, cameras, the whole bit), but also helped capture some precious memories. More about that later…

You might call Vivint the “Mercedes Benz of home security systems.” It’s not just a serviceable system. It comes with all the extra luxury you only get from a top brand. Of course, like an actual Mercedes Benz the system comes with a steep price tag. That means it’s not for everyone. If you’ve got the budget to work with, though, Vivint offers top-notch security for the cost.

Vivint Pros and Cons

  • Wireless equipment
  • Advanced home automation and customizations
  • 7-inch touch-screen smart home hub
  • AI-powered outdoor, indoor and doorbell cameras
  • Professional installation service
  • Cellular monitoring with two monitoring facilities

  • Equipment can be pricey
  • Requires a contract up to 60 months
  • Short three-day cancellation window
  • Lack of pricing transparency on its website

What You Can Expect With Vivint

Vivint isn’t trying to appeal to everyone. Different people need different things from their home security systems, and we all have different budgets with which to get us there. Instead, Vivint’s target customer base is one seeking top-shelf equipment and white glove service.

Top-shelf equipment doesn’t just mean sleek design. All of Vivint’s devices include the latest technology. Lately, for example, there’s been a lot of hype around Vivint’s mobile app and Smart Hub — which makes it all the more exciting to try them out.

All Equipment in the Vivint Home Security System

All Equipment in the Vivint Home Security System

The best part of all? All that tech doesn’t make Vivint harder to use. It makes Vivint much easier to use. Building on the luxury car analogy: A Mercedes is loaded with great tech. The point of most of that tech is to make the car nicer to drive. You can look for the same standard with Vivint. Their advanced technology doesn’t complicate things; it actually makes everything run smoother.

Did You Know? Vivint has been around since the late ‘90s.1 But the company recently underwent an extensive rebranding, and they’re doubling-down as the top premium home security provider in the industry.

Of course, Vivint’s status as a premiere smart home security solution is one that is difficult to maintain. Fortunately, Vivint was able to stay on its toes over the years and lead the home security innovation by constantly adding new, high-tech products.

Over the years, Vivint moved from a traditional control panel to a smarter touchscreen model, added several new cameras — many of which use active deterrent systems which means they don’t just record crime, they help prevent it. They even refreshed their sensor lineup, and reworked their designs. But is Vivint the right system for you? Only one way to find out…

Getting Started

Vivint is remarkably easy to get set up … as long as you’re a people person. First, you call and talk to the Vivint representative. It’s their job to walk you through all the various equipment options and help you choose the right monitoring plan. They also schedule your Vivint installation. You won’t even need to pick up a screwdriver (no DIY option). And if you’re in a hurry, it never hurts to ask about Vivint’s same-day installation. They’ve been known to offer these from time to time.

Here’s the Vivint gear I ordered and tested:

  • Smart Hub
  • Entryway Sensors
  • Motion Sensors
  • Glass Break Sensors
  • Ping Indoor Camera
  • Outdoor Camera Pro
  • Video Doorbell Pro
  • Garage Door Controller

No question that the sales process was smooth enough. I won’t lie, though: I’m just a bit introverted. I prefer to be able to browse through options online and make my own decisions without any high-pressure sales tactics. You know, sometimes it’s just easier to pick things out on a computer screen–especially if you haven’t done a lot of research ahead of time. Vivint has none of that.

If you’re looking for great hands-on customer service, though, you’ll really like this company.

Installation Day

Most companies with “professional installation” actually subcontract out the work. Not so with Vivint, though. Our tech for the day was an employee of Vivint. His name was Don Benke. Here he is. On time, and ready to help.

Don, our Smart Home Professional from Vivint

Don, our Smart Home Professional from Vivint

Your technician will begin by analyzing your home – they will take a look at your whole property (inside and out). They will point out sensitive access points that they know a thief will target. This process takes about 20 minutes, and in a way, this helps Vivint protect you better against break-ins. With an actual walkthrough of your house, the Vivint technician will have a better understanding on where to place sensors to maximize their ability to protect you.

I was a little taken aback by the cancellation agreement at the end. Vivint gives customers just three days to cancel service before the contract fully kicks in. That’s not a lot of time to decide if the system is right for you, and it’s worth pointing out that most home security systems offer you at least 30 days to decide. ADT, in fact, gives you a full six months.

Pro Tip: If you’ve got a pool, you’re going to want to let Vivint know. They can set you up with sensors to alert you if doors are opening to the area. This is especially important if you have little ones walking or crawling around the house. Check out our guide for more ways to keep toddlers away from the pool and out of trouble.

The cancellation agreement is critical because once it expires, canceling your contract with Vivint can prove costly. Short of extenuating circumstances like bankruptcy or death, Vivint imposes a hefty termination fee. This practice is common in the industry, but again, other companies give customers a longer period of time to finalize their decision.

Aside from the cancellation agreement, be aware that installation is a process. Vivint recommends that you set aside three hours for the install.

Don installing the Vivint Window Sensor

Don, our Vivint technician, installing the Vivint Window Sensor

Another word of advice: You should be in a good frame of mind on installation day, because there’s a lot of information to take in. It’s not exactly overwhelming, but you’ll want to have plenty of coffee in your cup!

FYI: Vivint technicians wear little booties over their shoes so that they don’t track anything into your home. This is a nice touch!

One minor gripe that I had was regarding the design of the stick-on sensor. It’s not all that visually appealing. For these prices, I would have expected a little more, to be honest. You can solve this issue by upgrading to recessed door sensors, though, which I definitely recommend if you don’t want huge chunks of plastic affixed to your doors. Keep in mind, though, that the recessed ones cost a little more and the install is more invasive. Once they’re in, though, they’re basically invisible.

Vivint Door and Window Sensor

Vivint Door and Window Sensor

At the end of your installation, your Vivint tech will hand you an electronic tablet and ask you to take a quick survey. Then, you’ll see a short video message from Todd Pedersen, Vivint’s CEO,2 who welcomes you to the Vivint family.

Though you may be itching to wrap things up and start testing your new system, the quick video is worth the watch. It’s a nice way to tie a proverbial bow on the installation. And you certainly don’t get that with DIY security systems.

Welcome Message from Vivint CEO

Welcome Message from Vivint CEO

Hands-On Experience with Vivint

At its most basic, Vivint will put a hedge of security around your home with entry sensors and any other equipment you choose, like cameras or a video doorbell. When the system is armed and someone opens a door or window, the 100 dB alarm will sound, and a signal will be sent to Vivint’s monitoring center. Rest assured, the siren is LOUD. When mine went off, it even rang through our outdoor camera, which gave the friendly USPS guy a good scare. Just imagine what it would do to a jumpy burglar trying to break in. Needless to say, the siren is a great way to drive criminals out.

As far as monitoring goes, Vivint requires 24/7 professional monitoring. And, it doesn’t come cheaply; the price is about $30 to $50 for this service, depending on your features of choice. You can’t “self-monitor” your system even if you want to. And worse, I don’t like that Vivint stops working as soon as you end your monitoring contract.

To be fair, though, Vivint isn’t trying to please everyone, and there’s something to be said for that. The company aims to provide thorough protection through best-in-class technology and sophisticated professional monitoring. You’ll find only the most advanced features here, like cellular communication. In fact, Vivint made our list of the Best Cellular Home Security Systems.

How does that technology perform? The few times I tested the alarm, Vivint responded with a call in about 35 seconds. Not bad, but not great. It’s pretty much what you can expect these days. And the times I accidentally tripped the alarm (it happens!), Vivint gave a 30-second grace period to disarm it before reaching out. I didn’t like that delay. 30 seconds is a long time for a burglar or thief to break in, take valuable items, and get out. If I had a choice, I’d like to see the delay cut down to 15 seconds.

Vivint Text Notifications

Vivint Text Notifications

Every time your alarm is triggered, Vivint will send an instant notification straight to your smartphone. That way you can open the Vivint app and check out the live video feed of your cameras to assess the threat. Sure, lots of home security companies offer instant alerts, but Vivint takes alerts to another level with all sorts of fancy customizations. (More about those later.) They also send email alerts (pictured below). If you don’t want them, you can unsubscribe.

Vivint Recent Alarm Event

Vivint Recent Alarm Event

Just How Smart Is the Smart Hub?

Think of the Vivint Smart Hub as the brains of the system. It communicates with other Vivint devices around your home, and it has the built-in (uber-loud) siren mentioned earlier.

A lot of people choose to mount the hub in their entryway, with the cord hidden in the wall. (The Vivint installer will do this for you.) But you can also choose to keep yours free-standing, which is what I did. At any rate, it’s a solid hub with a 7-inch touch-screen display and built-in two-way talk. It even has a helpful weather forecast display.

The Smart Hub lets you arm and disarm your system, set custom notifications and rules, view your video cameras, and do almost everything the app can.

Vivint Smart Hub Settings

Vivint Smart Hub Settings

Expert Examined
From Rob Gabriele, Managing Editor & Home Security Expert
Rob Gabriele
“Vivint’s Smart Hub might be my favorite central control panel. In addition to the communication features, I like being able to check on my cameras from one central unit. Imagine hearing a strange noise from out back or the side of the house. You’ll have the ability to pull up all cameras on the control panel to quickly check on things.”
Person Detection on the Vivint Smart Hub

Person Detection on the Vivint Smart Hub

You’re also able to use the hub as an intercom, with your cameras as speakers. Just open up a live view and press the Talk button. This feature definitely comes in handy for giving delivery folks instructions or greeting guests, and it’s a lot better (not to mention safer) than running to your front door.

Two-way talk is also great for scaring off would-be intruders. Don’t put yourself in danger by confronting them. Just speak through the hub with your sternest voice and tell them to scram. If that doesn’t work, Vivint’s Smart Deter technology, which uses AI to distinguish between animals, passing cars, and people, likely will.

Two-way talk also works between the hub and Vivint’s monitoring center, something we don’t often see in security systems. In case of a break-in, a monitoring agent can speak through the hub’s speakers to scare away intruders. In case of a medical emergency, on the other hand, the two-way intercom feature lets you speak with an agent hands-free and even if you’re unable to pick up your phone.

Vivint Camera - Video Quality

Vivint Camera – Video Quality

Finally, note that the Smart Hub must be plugged into the wall (standard AC outlet), but it is LTE cellular-connected with a 24-hour battery backup for good measure. In other words, Vivint can deter crime and protect your home even if power to your home or your Wi-Fi is out. That’s top-notch security right there.

FYI: On installation day, Don warned me of another home security company that has been active in the area, attempting to sell their products as after-market integrations for Vivint. This is a predatory scam,3 so just be cautious and don’t trust every security salesperson who knocks on your door.

The Vivint App — Is It Really Next-Level?

Whether you’re binging Netflix on the couch or away on vacation, you want your smart home security commands at your fingertips. Well, Vivint’s mobile app is an experience, to say the least. It ranks No. 1 on our list of Best Home Security Mobile Apps. Keep in mind, most home security systems come with app-based controls these days. So let’s focus on what sets Vivint’s app apart.

Vivint Smart Home App

Vivint Smart Home App

To begin with, the app feels sleek and modern. It’s not clunky like many other home security apps we’ve tested. Everything loads lighting fast, and you’ll learn the ins-and-outs of it very quickly. It’s clear that a lot of thought (and money) went into building it.

Vivint App alert

Vivint App alert

Swipe much? If so, you’ll catch on quickly. Landing on the dashboard, you have the option of swiping left to arm in “Staying” mode, or swiping right to arm in “Leaving” mode.

The main difference here is that “Staying” lets you move about your home without tripping your motion sensors or indoor cameras, while “Leaving” arms everything so that not even a mouse can scurry about unnoticed. (Ok, it’s not that sensitive, but you get the point.)

Custom Notifications

The moment your alarm goes off, you should be notified right away. (Is that too much to ask?) Thankfully, most home security systems offer instant mobile alerts. But Vivint allows you to customize them. This is a big plus, as it helps you stay two steps ahead of burglars and thieves.

You can really fine-tune the notifications in the app’s “Device Settings” drop-down. Here’s a snapshot of what you can expect. And note that this is only half the list!

Vivint Notifications

Vivint Notifications

A sampling of alerts we enabled:

  • Garage door open: If you have a Vivint smart garage controller, you can set a custom alert to let you know if your garage door is open during specific hours. I set mine for 10 p.m. to 8 a.m.
  • Bedtime alarm reminder: You can set a custom reminder to arm your system at bedtime. I set mine for 11 p.m., and sure enough, this paid off on the first night. The alert popped up just as I was nodding off. A few swipes later and the house was secure.
  • Door left open: This comes in particularly handy if you have an escape-artist dog like I do. Just set a notification to let you know if a door is left open for more than, say, five minutes.
  • Window left open: If you want to save energy, you can enable a notification to remind you when a window has been left open. I set mine to alert me anytime one was open for more than 30 minutes.
  • Person detection: If you want to keep an eye on who’s on your property, like I do, you can get an alert anytime a person is captured on your video camera.
  • Package detection: Find out immediately when a package is delivered. I set this alert for our Vivint doorbell camera.
Vivint App - New Notification

Vivint App – New Notification

FYI: Vivint’s outdoor security cameras aren’t cheap. If you really want to secure your perimeter, expect to pay a pretty penny.

Here’s what those notifications look like on a smartphone. Remember, I opted for push notification alerts, but you can get these by SMS/text message and email as well.

Vivint App Package Notification

Vivint App Package Notification

The question is … how much of this will you really use? It’s true that you might see diminishing returns if you’re not into tech. Though Vivint is among the best home automation security systems, that doesn’t really matter if you’re not interested in building a smart home. So if you think advanced features are going to be wasted, you might want to check out a more straightforward system like SimpliSafe. Though SimpliSafe is DIY, their products and professional monitoring are top-notch. Read my in-depth SimpliSafe review here.

Custom Actions

This is where Vivint’s intelligence really starts to shine. While it’s nice to be notified when, say, you leave your garage door open at night, it’s even better if Vivint automatically closes it for you at a predetermined time.

So one custom action (or “rule”) that I set went like this: “I want my garage door to close when a person is detected by any of my cameras.” Other custom actions that I set were:

  • Start a doorbell camera recording when the front door is opened.
  • Disarm home at 8 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays only.
  • Set indoor camera to “privacy mode” when home is disarmed.
Vivint Garage Door Settings

Vivint Garage Door Settings

As you can see, you can get ultra-specific if you want. Think outside the box. There’s so much you can do with a Vivint system, and the great thing is, these customizations will help you build not just a smarter home, but a safer home. Home automation ties neatly with home protection, and Vivint uses home automation efficiently to keep your home from being targeted by burglars.

The next best options for custom alerts and rules are offered by Frontpoint Security (read my Frontpoint review to learn more).

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Vivint Cameras

My favorite feature of Vivint, besides the smart home customizations, is probably their security cameras. We’ll talk about them more here, but if you want to deep-dive into these devices, see my hands-on analysis of Vivint cameras.

Indoor Ping Camera

Vivint Indoor Ping Camera Closeup

Vivint Indoor Ping Camera Closeup

Vivint’s indoor security camera, the Ping Camera, offers two-way talk, night vision, and other helpful features. It feels extremely well made and comes with a swivel mount (pictured above).

However, you won’t be crazy about the resolution on this camera. Vivint calls it 1080p HD (which it is), but in my experience, the image quality seemed more like something you’d get from a 720p HD camera, like the SimpliCam. No biggie, but it’s something to note. Here’s a picture from the camera.

Vivint Indoor Camera Video Quality

Vivint Indoor Camera Video Quality

That said, one great thing about the Ping camera is its One-Touch Callout. You’ll find a little button on the top of the device. Press it once and it’ll make a fancy chiming sound and send a smartphone alert. I used it once to call my wife, who was out grocery shopping, and she was able to hear me clearly through the camera’s speaker and microphone. This could be a great feature for parents with kids. There’s no fiddling with technology; one touch is all it takes to reach out.

Now, that feature hasn’t gone away from the new Indoor Camera Pro that Vivint just announced, but the aesthetics improved significantly. The new indoor camera is sleeker, smaller, and most importantly, on a hinge, allowing for wall-mounting or top-shelf placement.

The new cam is also smarter. Aside from loud noises, it can detect and alert you if it hears the sound of breaking glass or CO and smoke detectors blaring. It has an improved Computer Vision Chip (CVC), allowing for smarter detection, and a privacy shutter that prevents the camera from recording when you’re around. The biggest improvement, though, is the addition of a microSD card slot for local storage.

Outdoor Camera Pro

Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro - Closeup

Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro – Closeup

The Outdoor Camera Pro is Vivint’s best product, and the new version is even better, as we’ll explain below. But let’s talk about the version we tested first. Don was able to install this camera to cover the driveway, and it integrated seamlessly into my smart security system. How so? Well, whenever it sensed someone in the driveway or front lawn, it immediately began recording a clip and sent an alert to my smartphone. Day or night, it keeps you covered.

Alerting you isn’t the best thing this camera can do, though, as you’ll learn more below. It’s also great at discouraging criminals and keeping would-be intruders at bay. If it sees someone lurking on your property, a ring of red light coupled with an audible prompt will try to scare the potential burglar away.

Here’s a short video taken by my Outdoor Camera Pro so you can see what to expect. (You don’t have to buy flowers for your wife, but it doesn’t hurt!)

The outdoor camera is hardwired, which is where professional installation really starts to make sense. It uses a Wi-Fi connection with a PoE Wi-Fi Bridge. The PoE is one of the best connection types in the industry. It’s fast and reliable.4 And since it’s hardwired, you don’t have to worry about replacing batteries. Have a look at Don and his giant drill.

Installing Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro

Installing Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro

Again, this device was a natural fit in my Vivint system. The image resolution is impressive with its 4K sensor with HDR for ultra crisp and clear video. The Outdoor Pro also has a built-in siren for active deterrence. Anytime the siren goes off on the Smart Hub, it’ll also sound from the camera. This is something Vivint calls Smart Sentry, and it’s great. Rest assured, it’s loud enough to leave your neighbors down the street wondering what’s going on!

Vivint Outdoor Camera - Installed

Vivint Outdoor Camera – Installed

While using Vivint, I welcomed some family from out of town. As their car pulled up, the push notification read: “Person Detected – Driveway.” Now, don’t let the person detection feature fool you; it sadly does not have artificial intelligence facial recognition like the Nest Cam Battery when paired with Nest Aware. (Read about that cool technology in our Nest Cam review.) However, it can tell the difference between people and pets or other moving objects, which greatly improved my notifications. At any rate, I was able to greet the family using the camera’s two-way talk — which is a rare feature in outdoor cameras.

Vivint Outdoor Camera Video

Vivint Outdoor Camera Video

At the bottom of the app (pictured above), you’ll see an “Events” tab. There, you’ll be able to pull up a running history of all video events or activities that occurred. You can also capture and save photos with the little photo icon. Finally, press the “Locks” icon and it’ll take you to the main dashboard to quickly arm your system.

Needless to say, there’s plenty of functionality with this outdoor camera. And that’s a good thing! It’s not the cheapest product in Vivint’s lineup. Expect to pay $399 for this camera. As far as outdoor cameras go, this is on the expensive side. Would I buy it again? Most likely. It also works great alongside the Vivint Doorbell Camera Pro. And that’s the genius of Vivint … every component acts as an integral piece of the larger puzzle.

Speaking of that, the new Outdoor Camera Pro, which is still priced at $399, integrates with one more piece of the puzzle: the $249.99 Vivint Spotlight Pro. This rather expensive smart light physically connects to the camera to provide three functions. First, it acts as a smart light for your yard or front porch. Second, it provides color night vision to the camera. And third, it improves the cameras active deterrence by shining its spotlight on trespassers. It’s even smart enough to detect and focus its light on the trespasser.

That’s not the only new thing about the Outdoor Camera Pro, though. Like its new indoor camera sibling, it has better detection thanks to the improved CVC, and it stores videos locally to a microSD card. It’s also supposed to have improved video quality and better microphones.

Vivint Doorbell Camera Pro

Vivint Doorbell Camera Pro

Vivint Doorbell Camera Pro

As you’ll see above, the video doorbell sports a pretty slim profile with a modern black-and-white design. Anytime someone comes to the door, it will trigger an instant notification to your smartphone. This way you can open the app and view the activity in real time.

Vivint Doorbell Camera Pro Video Quality

Vivint Doorbell Camera Pro Video Quality

The motion detection works well … maybe too well. After the Video Doorbell Pro picked up a jogger on the street, I lowered the sensitivity from high to medium. (Bonus points if you can spot the jogger in the image below.)

Vivint Doorbell Camera Video Quality

Vivint Doorbell Camera Video Quality

You’re also able to reset the virtual “trip wire” on the camera. Once I stretched the trip wire’s perimeter to the very edge of the lawn (but no further!), I had no problems at all with false alerts. Here’s a sample video from the doorbell camera.

Thankfully, I had no package thefts or break-ins while testing Vivint. Here’s a picture (below) from the Vivint Doorbell Camera Pro as we said goodbye to our out-of-state visitors.

Vivint Doorbell Camera Video

Vivint Doorbell Camera Video

If you’re just looking for a camera system, there are stand-alone cameras on the market that are much more affordable. (Check out our guide to the best home security cameras.) But you should remember that Vivint cameras are naturally designed to integrate with the service’s broader smart home security system.

So if you do choose to go with Vivint, it’s definitely worth going all in with the Outdoor Camera Pro and the Doorbell Camera Pro. (Read our full Vivint Doorbell Camera review.)

Now, as promised, here are the details of the new Doorbell Camera Pro. Compared to the older model that we tested, the new doorbell camera has a wider LED ring so it’s easier to notice. It also comes with the same upgraded CVC as the Outdoor Camera Pro, making it harder for porch pirates to steal stuff from your doorstep. It also has an enhanced HDR for better low-light performance, and like the others, a microSD card slot. Fortunately, it retained our favorite features, including the ultra-wide viewing angle and Smart Deter feature.

FYI: Looking for reliable entryway protection to keep porch pirates at bay? Head over to our full analysis of the Vivint Doorbell Camera.

Vivint Home Automation

Vivint has the smart home category dialed-in. If you want to use your voice to arm and disarm your system, or perform any number of specific commands, then you’ll be glad to know it works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.

Plus, there are smart devices for purchase directly through Vivint. These include the Element smart thermostat, smart lock, smart plug, and plenty of smart environmental sensors like smoke detectors and flood sensors.

Finally, Vivint also works with Z-Wave and Zigbee devices, which means if you want to really transform your house into a smart home, your options are almost limitless. In fact, more so than any other system on the market, Vivint over-delivers when it comes to home automation.

Pro Tip: Pick up a Vivint glass-break sensor for an extra layer of protection — particularly if you have lots of windows in your home. These nifty devices can detect the high-frequency sound of glass breaking, and they’ll trigger the alarm which will (hopefully) make the bad guys tuck tail and run.

Other Vivint Products

Beyond uber-smart home security features, Vivint thinks outside the box with unique services like Car Guard and Vivint Solar.

Car Guard adds wireless security to … you guessed it … your car. It lets you know if someone tampers with your vehicle or dings your door. Plus, you can enable GPS tracking. On installation day, Don actually had one stashed in his gear bag. Have a look at this nifty little device.

Vivint Battery from Mercedes-Benz

Vivint Battery from Mercedes-Benz

Then you’ve got Vivint Solar. This combines Vivint solar panels with Mercedes-Benz batteries. (See, the Mercedes analogy was spot-on.) And believe it or not, Vivint Solar is one of the biggest solar brands in the U.S. — currently available in 21 states.5 Now, we’re getting a bit away from home security, so let’s rein it in and quickly touch on Vivint equipment pricing and monthly fees.

Vivint Specs and Features Summary

Before we dive into Vivint’s pricing, here’s a summary of Vivint specs and features.


System communication Wi-Fi, cellular
Professional security monitoring Yes (required)
Monitoring response time Approx. 35 seconds
Professional equipment installation Yes (required)
Control panel Touchscreen
Sensor options Motion, entry, glass break, smoke alarms, etc.
Indoor and outdoor cameras Yes
Coverage 2,000 – 5,000 sq. ft.
App compatibility iOS and Android
Equipment warranty 120 days following installation
Monitoring contract 4-5 years
Professional monitoring monthly cost $29.99 – $44.99
Equipment cost Starting at $599.99
Equipment financing Available (up to 60 months)
Release date 2014 (components upgraded regularly since)

How Much Does Vivint Cost?

Vivint Security Equipment

Vivint Security Equipment

I purchased a starter kit for $599 and added on extras like the Vivint Doorbell Camera Pro ($249), the Ping Indoor Camera ($199), and the Outdoor Camera Pro ($399). All told, it was well over $1,000. That said, my equipment was pretty extensive. You should be able to get a great Vivint equipment package for somewhere in the range of $800-$1,000. They’ll customize the system to fit your specific home, and you can always add to the system over time. Have a look at Vivint’s latest plans and pricing.

Did You Know? You can finance Vivint’s equipment and pay in monthly installments over time. If you go this route, you will have to sign a contract of (typically) one to five years.

The only other cost you’re on the hook for is monitoring. Vivint’s monitoring prices start at $29.99 per month, which is competitive compared to other providers. For instance, if you want home automation with ADT monitoring, you’ll be spending $50-$60 per month. Note, however, that the more Vivint cameras you include, the higher the monitoring fee goes until you hit $59.99 per month.

Vivint Monitoring Plans

Vivint keeps it simple here. They offer three monitoring plans starting at $29.99 per month and ranging up to $45 or more depending on how many cameras you have installed. It’s worth the extra $10-$15 per month to get video support, so if it makes sense in your budget, you’d be wise to consider the Smart Control plan.

Vivint Professional Monitoring Plans and Prices

Smart Security Smart Home Smart Control
Protection Level Intermediate Intermediate to Advanced Advanced
24/7 Cellular Monitoring Yes Yes Yes
Smart Home Automation No Yes Yes
Video Support No No Yes
Monthly Price $29.99 $39.99 $44.99+

Compared to other top professionally installed home security systems, Vivint’s monthly subscription fees are quite reasonable. If anything is cost-prohibitive, it’s the equipment, not the monthly monitoring. But remember, you don’t have to purchase the whole setup on day one. You can finance Vivint and spread your payments out over time.

A Quick Note on Vivint Contracts

Unfortunately, Vivint contracts are the company’s biggest drawback. If you don’t purchase your equipment outright, then you’ll need to sign a contract. If you buy the equipment up front, though, you’re off the hook. So if you have the money, it’s probably worth it to bite the bullet and buy your gear.

Once you’re signed up, Vivint will send you all of your paperwork in one email for your records.

The Bottom Line: Is Vivint Worth It?

As you know, the mark of any successful company is identifying a need in the market and then filling it with a high-quality product or service. Well, the folks at Vivint saw a need for premium end-to-end home security, and they were quick to create a solution.

There’s a lot to like about Vivint. Of course, comparing them to affordable security systems like SimpliSafe or Ring Alarm is like comparing apples to oranges. It’s a whole different experience. But you’ll love how smart and intuitive the Vivint system is. A lot of security companies claim to integrate everything into “one easy-to-use platform.” And some of them do. Vivint just does it better. It has a more intuitive feel, better features and tech, and equipment that’s built to last.

Now, that doesn’t mean it’s for everyone. For some people, it’s downright cost-prohibitive. But for those who have the money to spend, an initial investment of $600-$1,000 followed by monthly payments of $50 really aren’t that much when it comes to protecting your home and keeping your family safe.

Compare Vivint to Other Top Brands

System Installation Monitoring Equipment Cost
Vivint Professional Professional Starting at $599.99
ADT Professional Professional Starting at $599.99
SimpliSafe DIY or Profesisonal Self Monitoring or Professional Starting at $150
Frontpoint DIY or Profesisonal Professional Starting at $129
Cove DIY Professional Starting at $250

If you’d like to do a deeper dive with comparing Vivint to other security companies, we have several in-depth articles to help.

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Our Methodology: How We Rate and Review Products

We start with extensive research as to which security systems are available in the market and what they offer in terms of safety and security. With that information, we then purchase the products and install the security systems in our homes.

We test each security system as if we’re average homeowners, so we simulate real-world scenarios in a controlled environment to see how well the system reacts to burglaries, home invasions, and break-ins. We also conduct in-depth tests of the user-experience to understand how easy (or difficult) the products are to use.

Normally, we focus on core components like the central hub, motion and entry sensors, smoke alarms, and cameras, but we also test advanced systems with home automation, such as the case with Vivint. Our rating and review process usually lasts about a week, but with larger or more sophisticated systems, we often live with the products for a month or more.

Vivint FAQs

  • Does Vivint have home automation?

    Yes, Vivint offers security cameras. Currently, it offers the new-generation Outdoor Camera Pro and Doorbell Camera Pro, and the older Ping indoor camera. In a few months, though, Vivint will launch the Indoor Camera Pro, which is a major improvement over the Ping camera.

  • Does Vivint offer security cameras?

    Yes, Vivint has a number of different camera options, including the Indoor Ping Camera, the Outdoor Camera Pro, and the Doorbell Camera Pro.

  • Do I have to pay for Vivint equipment up front?

    No, you do not have to pay for Vivint’s home security equipment up front. You can finance it over time by signing a Flex Plan contract of one to five years. If you choose to buy the equipment up front, no contract is required.

  • Is there an equipment warranty?

    Yes, Vivint offers a lifetime equipment warranty (conditions apply). This is the best warranty in the industry.

  • Is Vivint hard to install?

    It sure is! But professional installation is required, so you won’t have to worry about that.

Citations only uses high-quality sources to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Vivint. Retrieved September 25, 2020.

  2. Bloomberg. January 7, 2020. Vivint CEO Todd Pedersen Interview.

  3. Federal Trade Commission (FTC). (2020). Some Home Security Systems May Be Scams.

  4. What is Power Over Ethernet (PoE)? Veracity Global.

  5. Vivint Solar. (2020). Crunchbase.

Rob Gabriele
Written By
Rob Gabriele
Managing Editor & Home Security Expert

As a home security expert and Managing Editor for, Rob Gabriele has written and edited over 1,000 articles related to home security. His expertise is in smart home protection with thousands of hours of testing and research under his belt. Formerly a reporter and producer for the USAToday network, Rob has been a writer and editor for over 10 years. He holds a Master’s of Science with an emphasis on writing from the University of Montana, and he currently lives in Indianapolis, IN.