Vivint Home Security Review

A premium smart security solution, Vivint sets the standard for high-tech features and all-around home protection.

SecureScore™: 9.0 /10
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Travis Goodreau https://www.safehome.org/security-advisors/travis-goodreau/
9.0 SecureScore™
How We Review
How We Review
Customer Service
7.8
Value
8.4
Equipment
9.6
Features & Technology
9.8
Ease Of Use
9.5
SecureScore™
9.0

While some homes are just smart, Vivint homes make the honor roll. Our review explains why Vivint Smart Home is the cutting-edge home security brand. If you want to combine safety and feature-rich, 21st-century conveniences all in one cohesive app, then you and Vivint could be a perfect pair. Still, it’s not all rainbows. For one thing, the trial period is brief, so you’ll want to be sure that Vivint is your best buy. Read on for our latest hands-on review of the Vivint system.

Unboxing Vivint SkyControl Panel

SafeHome.org Editor Andrew Garcia unboxing the Vivint Smart Hub prior to installation

What Vivint Can Do

Have you ever wanted a security system that can do much more than protect against prowlers? Vivint is a favorite for making your home safer and smarter all at once.

A “smart home” is automated, which means that its parts work over Wi-Fi networks. With Vivint, your home Wi-Fi network can host security sensors alongside appliances like lamps, smoke detectors, thermostats, TVs, and quite a bit more.

Vivint lets you control a Wi-Fi connected device in three ways. You can use:

  1. The Vivint Touchscreen Hub (Also called Vivint Smart Hub)
  2. The Vivint Mobile App
  3. Voice Commands (Amazon Alexa & Google Assistant)

You can tell Alexa or Google to close your garage door, lock up the house, and stream your favorite show. Then, you can kick back feeling like an oh-so-modern homeowner. Pretty fancy, right?

How Much Vivint Costs

Vivint often provides free installation, leaving two main expenses:

  1. Equipment – Equipment includes a touchscreen hub, motion sensors, and your custom mix of wireless add-ons, including cameras, smart speakers, and so forth.
  2. Monitoring – A monitored smart home system can notify police, firefighters, and paramedics when something or someone trips your security sensors. You can also call for help with a wearable pendant or a wall-based panic button.

As for Vivint’s equipment prices, we received a quote of $599 for a starter security set. We ran up an even bigger tab when we added extras like a doorbell camera ($199) and a couple of smart door locks ($149 each). You can pay in installments, though, so the monthly equipment cost is actually around $15 to $30. Vivint contract terms range anywhere between one and five years in length.

Now, what about their monthly monitoring prices? Vivint’s monitoring prices start at $29.99 per month, which is competitive compared to the rest of the market at that price point. The more security cameras you include, the higher the charge until you hit $59.99.

In case you wanted to know, Vivint does offer no-contract home security monitoring if you pay for your equipment upfront. Otherwise, you’ll have to sign a long-term monitoring contract as you pay off the installed equipment.

Vivint’s Home Security Rating

Through thorough research and testing, we give Vivint a strong overall rating of 9.0 for home protection and automation. They score higher than 9.0 for equipment, features, and technology. Since the super-smart systems are so simple to operate, we scored Vivint over 9.0 on ease of use.

Our lowest Vivint rating, 7.8 stars, is for customer service. We’d consider boosting this score if Vivint offered longer risk-free trials. It’s worth noting that customers generally only get a few days to cancel contracts without penalty.

Here are some pros and cons of Vivint:

PROS
  • Sleek & Modern Equipment
  • Same-Day Installation
  • 100% Wireless Security
  • Cellular and Landline Connections
  • Remote Access via Mobile App
  • Advanced Home Automation
  • Indoor and Outdoor Security Cameras
  • Doorbell Camera with Two-Way Voice
  • Environmental Disaster Protection
  • Lifetime Warranty

CONS
  • Requires Professional Installation
  • Above Average Monthly Cost
  • Possible Long-Term Contract
  • Short Trial Period

How Vivint Stands Out

More than the other security brands we review, Vivint can be an all-in-one solution for protecting and modernizing your property. They build especially advanced smart home systems, plus Vivint can guard your vehicles and convert your home to solar.

Vivint launched in the late 1990s and grew up with the Internet.1 From the beginning, Vivint focused on 100% wireless systems for smart home security. Its closest competitor has been ADT, an older company that got its start with hardwired systems. ADT has now made significant gains in the digital world, yet Vivint still has an edge in technology. Vivint designs its equipment, whereas ADT makes the most of third-party products, such as control panels from General Electric.

Along with offering smart home security features, Vivint continues to think outside the box. Some unique services include Car Guard and Vivint Solar:2

  • Car Guard adds wireless security to automobiles. It lets you know if someone tampers with your vehicle or dings the body, plus you can enable GPS tracking. Car Guard also records security video as needed.
  • Vivint Solar combines Vivint solar panels with Mercedes-Benz batteries. Vivint Solar is one of the biggest solar brands in the USA and is currently available in 21 states.3

As with most home security apps, you can manage all of Vivint’s services using the same mobile app. If you want your property to be safer and smarter, and maybe Earth-friendlier too, then Vivint can be a great partner.

Vivint Customer Survey & Reviews

Since we wanted to find out what actual Vivint customers were saying, we collected ratings from 38 Vivint customers in late 2019 via an online survey. The majority rated Vivint “five stars” in most categories. One-star ratings from a few unhappy campers did drag the averages down.

Vivint Customer Support:
3.68 out of 5
Vivint Equipment & Technology:
3.89 out of 5
Vivint Installation Experience:
4.03 out of 5
Overall Satisfaction:
3.87 out of 5

Most customers indicated that they would “very likely” recommend Vivint to friends, which is great to hear from one of our top-rated home security systems. Still, Vivint isn’t for everyone. A woman named January commented, “The only improvement I really would like to see is lower prices so that more people can have the service.” Almost all the customers reported household incomes of at least $50,000, which seems to be the best financial fit.

Monitoring Plans & Prices

Home security walks into Philosophy 101. Check these questions:

  1. If a tree falls in the forest, and nobody is there to hear it, does it make a sound?
  2. If a siren sounds and emergency workers don’t hear it, do you really have home security?

Why Professional Monitoring Matters

Logic tells us that the best home security systems are always monitored, duh! 🙂 If you aren’t able to report a crime, fire, or a carbon monoxide leak, you can count on Vivint for backup.

Paid monitoring with Vivint ensures a 24-7 cellular connection to emergency dispatchers. Your security system will call for help automatically, plus you can use the Vivint Smart Hub or mobile app for two-way voice communication. We found that the average response time is about 10 seconds, which is standard for the industry.4

Payment for monitoring also activates the Vivint app. Without it, you won’t be able to stream security video or otherwise remotely monitor your home. Something else worth noting is that without subscribing to a monthly payment plan, you won’t get access to Vivint’s 24-7 tech support.

Pro Tip: It’s worth mentioning that if you already have a contract with another home security provider, then your Vivint sales agent may offer a buyout to cover up to 12 months of that agreement.

Monitoring Plans

The two Vivint monitoring plans are:

  • Smart Security – Basic home protection (burglary and environmental), $29.99 per month
  • Smart Home – Burglary and environmental protection plus home automation, $39.99 per month total; an extra $5 per security camera, maximum $59.99 per month

So what exactly can you monitor? Next are Vivint’s equipment options.

The Goods – Popular Vivint Equipment

All new Vivint security systems have the Vivint Smart Hub. The smart hub is a 7-inch tablet computer that attaches to your wall. When you aren’t using the screen for video or smart home control, it doubles as a digital picture frame to display your uploaded pics.


As with most security systems we’ve reviewed, the basic add-ons are door and window entry sensors and indoor motion sensors. Vivint has especially smart motion sensors for those of us with pets, as you can set them to ignore your furry friends of specific weights.

Here are details about other popular devices. This sample is small compared to the countless gadgets you can use with Z-Wave, a type of wireless home automation communication. Both Vivint and other brands make these compatible devices.5

Smart Door Locks

Vivint’s smart door locks allow keyless entry. They also enable remote control so that you can lock or unlock a door over your iPhone or Android. Different styles work with Vivint, but Vivint emphasizes their partnership with Kwikset keypad locks.6

Front Door Camera (Video Doorbell)

A doorbell camera keeps watch over your property. Plus, it helps create the illusion that you’re home. The Vivint mobile app tells you when motion is detected, and the sound system lets you talk with visitors. Vivint’s doorbell camera has infrared night vision, and it gives a 180-degree field of view so that no one can sneak past your door on either side. When we reviewed the doorbell camera, it had a 720p, which is definitely below average for the industry. This spec is something that hurts the overall Vivint score as 1080p is becoming the doorbell cam standard. With Vivint’s doorbell camera, it stores 30-second video clips automatically, and you get 14 days to review or download clips before deletion.

Unboxing Vivint Doorbell Camera

SafeHome.org Editor Andrew Garcia unboxing the Vivint doorbell camera

Indoor & Outdoor Cameras

Vivint indoor and outdoor cameras offer high resolutions, 1080p and 4K, which we love and think is a necessity. Special features include night vision, pan, zoom, and two-way audio, which are some impressive features compared with the rest of the industry. By default, the cameras save 20-second clips when triggered by motion. You can also set Vivint cameras for continuous video recording (CVR). In comparison, cheaper security brands don’t support weatherproof cameras or CVR at all.

Unboxing Vivint Indoor Camera

SafeHome.org Editor Andrew Garcia unboxing the Vivint indoor camera

Smart Thermostats

Smart thermostats make it easy to conserve energy and control your utility bills. When your security system senses that you’ve left home, the thermostat can adjust accordingly. You can also set the temperature by voice, the Vivint app, and the old-fashioned way, by turning a dial. Vivint Smart Home works with Nest thermostats and a smart thermostat called Vivint Element. We especially enjoyed the ability to control all these peripherals from the Vivint app, instead of needing to manage separate apps for different devices.

Smart Plugs

Not all smart home brands support smart plugs, but with Vivint, you’re in luck! A smart plug is a plug-in adaptor that makes any ordinary outlet “smart.” In other words, you can remotely turn on or off any appliance plugged into the outlet. No more worrying about whether you turned off the iron! Just head on over to your Vivint app for control.

See Vivint’s Lineup of Equipment by Type and Benefit

Smart Home OptionsPrimary BenefitTypeTechnology
Doorbell CameraAdvanced Detection & DeterrentCameraIntermediate
Indoor CameraMotion DetectionCameraIntermediate
Outdoor CameraMotion DetectionCameraIntermediate
Customizable RemoteSimplicityControllerIntermediate
Smart LocksWorry-free ControlAutomationAdvanced
Garage Door ControllerConvenienceAutomationIntermediate
Element ThermostatConvenience & Energy SaverAutomationIntermediate
Voice-Activated Home AutomationConvenienceAutomationBasic
Smart DriveData Security and ProtectionServerAdvanced

Complete List of Vivint’s Equipment Options

These lists cover the security and smart home devices offered by Vivint. The options are almost endless, so this selection is just a sampling of the potential of each Smart Hub.

Controls

  • Touchscreen Control Panel That Adapts to You
  • Keyring Fob with Arm and Disarm, Panic and Custom Buttons
  • Panic Buttons for Walls or Other Flat Surfaces
  • Panic Pendant to Wear

Sensors

  • Entry Sensors
  • Garage Door Sensors
  • Glass Break Sensors
  • Motion Detectors
  • Carbon Monoxide Detectors
  • Smoke and Heat Sensors
  • Water Leak and Flood Sensors
  • Freeze Sensors

Video Cameras

  • Fixed Indoor Camera
  • Pan and Tilt Indoor Camera
  • Outdoor Camera
  • Doorbell Camera
  • Home Automation
  • Keypad Door Locks
  • Remote Light Control
  • Remote Thermostat Control
Vivint Equipment

Our Vivint equipment selection for testing

Equipment, Packages & FeaturesSmart HomeSmart Home VideoEquipment Type
Remote Secure VideoNot IncludedIncludedFeature
Professional InstallationIncludedIncludedFeature
Remote Arm and DisarmIncludedIncludedFeature
Cell ConnectionIncludedIncludedFeature
24-7 SupportIncludedIncludedFeature
24-7 MonitoringIncludedIncludedFeature
Pet FriendlyIncludedIncludedFeature
24-7 Continuous RecordingOptionalOptionalFeature
Control PanelIncludedIncludedController
Door and Window SensorsIncluded (4)Included (2)Sensor
Motion SensorIncluded (1)Included (1)Sensor
Freeze SensorOptionalOptionalSensor
Doorbell CameraOptionalOptionalCamera
Indoor CameraOptionalOptionalCamera
Outdoor CameraOptionalOptionalCamera
Element ThermostatOptionalOptionalAutomation
Smart LockOptionalOptionalAutomation

Installation

Same-day installation is often available for Vivint Smart Home. We definitely love that they can set up Vivint Solar within 48 hours.

Vivint sometimes installs smart home systems with no labor charge. In other cases, the cost is $49.99 and up. Vivint Car Guard is designed for easy do-it-yourself installation.

Vivint Home Security Video Review

How’s Their Customer Service?

In the past, Vivint had some issues with customer service. However, their customer relations have improved significantly since the company’s early years when customers considered their door-to-door sales tactics to be too aggressive and deceptive. While the Better Business Bureau still fields complaints about Vivint door-to-door sales, nowadays, customers are more likely to find Vivint online, where they post their terms clearly.7

We decided to find out for ourselves! We placed undercover calls with their staff, and overall, the agents seemed to be more helpful than pushy. Also, through our survey of existing Vivint customers, we found that people tend to be happy with Vivint’s installation service, 24-7 tech support, and emergency call centers. Most of the complaints we see about Vivint’s customer service involve disputes over contract renewals.

The Last Word

Vivint designs its equipment to stay ahead of competitors technology-wise and does a pretty darn good job of it! If you want the latest home automation technologies, and you don’t mind paying for equipment upfront or signing a firm contract, then Vivint is one of your best home security options. Check out Vivint if you’re a homeowner, not a renter, and plan to stay at the same address for a while.

Questions to Ask When Considering Vivint

What type of home automation features does Vivint offer?

Vivint offers a number of different home automation tools and features. This includes garage door controllers, smart locks, video doorbells, and the Element thermostat. You can also link entry door sensors, window sensors, and motion detectors to it.

What type of cameras are used with the Vivint security system?

Vivint offers a number of different camera options. This includes both indoor and outdoor cameras that have motion detection. The company also has a video doorbell.

Can you use Vivint with a mobile app?

Yes, Vivint offers an app to manage your system. You can arm and disarm the system from the app. You can also see, in real-time who is outside your door. You can control your home automation, including the Element thermostat, lights, and locks using the Vivint mobile app as well. If you do not have the app, you can access the system online through your PC or tablet.

Does Vivint require the use of Wi-Fi?

Yes, Vivint requires that you have a wireless internet connection in order to connect all of your home security system devices.

Does Vivint equipment work with different alarm providers?

No, Vivint equipment only works as long as you have Vivint professional monitoring services.

Do I have to pay for Vivint equipment upfront?

No, you do not have to pay for Vivint’s home security equipment upfront. You can choose to enter into a four to five year contract using the Flex Plan. This plan requires a credit check. If you do not want to be in a long-term contract with Vivint, you can move to a month-to-month contract as long as you purchase the equipment upfront.

Does Vivint work with Alexa?

Yes, Vivint is compatible with Alexa.

Does Vivint work with Google Home?

Yes, Vivint is compatible with Google Home.

Is Vivint compatible with Ring devices?

No, Vivint does not directly work with Ring devices.

Citations
SafeHome 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. (2020, February 20). Wikipedia. Retrieved March 4, 2020.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vivint

  2. Vivint Solar. (2020). Retrieved March 4, 2020.
    https://www.vivintsolar.com/

  3. VSLR: Vivint Solar Inc – Stock Price, Quote and News. (2020, March 4). CNBC.
    https://www.cnbc.com/quotes/?symbol=VSLR&tab=peers

  4. Vivint. (2016, June 29). Monitored Alarm Systems Decrease Response Time for Emergency Events.
    https://www.vivint.com/resources/article/monitored-alarm-systems-decrease-response-time-emergency-events

  5. Vivint. (2020). Smart Lock (9910) – General Info and Specifications.
    https://support.vivint.com/s/article/Products-General-Info-99100-Deadbolt-Door-Lock

  6. Z-Wave. (2020, February 21). Wikipedia. Retrieved March 4, 2020.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Z-Wave

  7. Vivint Smart Home: Better Business Bureau® Profile. (2020, February 25). BBB.
    https://www.bbb.org/us/ut/provo/profile/burglar-alarm-systems/vivint-smart-home-1166-4002276

Reviewed By
Travis Goodreau
Safety and Security Advisor
Travis is a retired Burglary Detective, having tallied 5,000+ burglary and theft cases throughout his career. He also served as an Arson Investigator, where he cracked the case of a serial arsonist, and made the arrest and prosecuted the would-be bomber of ABC-7 Studio in LA. We couldn’t be happier to have him as a Safety and Security Advisor. Learn more about Travis here
Written By
Andrew Garcia
Lead Security Editor
As Lead Security Editor, Andrew strategically guides SafeHome and the resources we publish. He holds a BA in business, and has 10+ years of experience in content development. Today, Andrew edits and publishes articles, guides, and other resources to meet our rigorous standards. Learn more about Andrew here

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Comments

  1. Avatar Ashley S. says:

    They have been so helpful every time we need assistance. I have yet to have a less than stellar experience with Vivint

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