Let’s face it: Nobody likes calling tech support. From the endless menus to waiting on hold for what seems like an eternity, spending a day with tech support could frustrate even a monk.

But when your home security system stops working ​​— especially a Vivint smart home security system you spent a pretty penny on — you know you need it fixed quickly. The last thing you want is to leave your home vulnerable, whether you’re about to leave on vacation or just a day at work. We spent weeks testing Vivint and many hours combing through reported errors, and then we personally tested the reported solution to see if it worked.

>> Check Out: Our Vivint Smart Home Security Review

With this guide, you should be able to avoid your next date with tech support. We’ll cover the following topics:

Start by Resetting Your Vivint Smart Hub

Vivint Smart Hub and Ping Indoor Camera

Vivint Smart Hub and Ping Indoor Camera

If anything in your Vivint home security system starts to show signs of an issue, your first step should always be to reset your Vivint Smart Hub. It’s pretty easy to do and it can resolve a wide range of issues. It also crosses off a potential cause of almost any issue you could encounter with your Vivint system.

  1. Go to the home screen: Go to the home screen of the Vivint Smart Hub connected to the device that’s having issues.
  2. Get to the Devices page: From the home screen, navigate to “Smart Home Settings” and press “Devices.” Before you get to the Devices page, you’ll need to input your PIN.
  3. Reboot the panel: On the Devices screen, go to the Smart Hub and press “Reboot.” That will create a pop-up that asks you to confirm you want to reboot the panel.
  4. Check if your issue is fixed: Give it a few minutes to restart, and then check if the issue is resolved.

>> Learn More: Vivint Installation Process and Cost

Hard Restarting Your Vivint Smart Hub

Resetting your Vivint Smart Hub is a great start to troubleshooting any issue, but what do you do if your panel is the issue? If your panel is frozen, you obviously can’t reset it from its user interface. You can, however, hard reset the panel by removing its power source.

  1. Disarm your security system: Start by disarming your security system to avoid any false alarms.
  2. Unplug and remove your Smart Hub: Unplug everything connected to your Smart Hub, and then remove it from the wall mount by lifting it vertically.
  3. Take out the battery: On the back side of the panel that was up against the wall, you should see a black box. That’s the battery for the unit that provides emergency power to keep the security system running even when the power goes out.
  4. Wait 30 seconds: Before reinstalling the battery, wait 30 seconds to ensure the unit fully powers down. Set a timer for 30 seconds instead of counting out Mississippis to make sure the unit fully powers down.
  5. Reinstall the battery: Put the battery back in. It should pop right into place.
  6. Remount your Smart Hub: Slide the panel back onto the wall mount and plug it back in. Wait a few minutes for it to power back up before trying to interact with it.

Hopefully a hard restart will get your Smart Hub back up and running. If not, it’ll be the first step a support person tells you to take. Either way, you need to get your Smart Hub restarted. For any problems that persist after restarting the Smart Hub, you may still be able to fix it yourself if you can diagnose the issue.

Diagnosing Your Problem

Now that you got the most common fix out of the way, you need to diagnose your problem before trying anything else. So take out your Sherlock Holmes hat and get ready to solve a mystery. It may not be as fun as outsmarting Moriarty, but at least you can fix your Vivint smart home products.

Isolate the Issue

When diagnosing an issue with your security system, you want to isolate the problem. That means identifying where the system is actually having issues. It may seem like your security camera is the issue if your video feed is blurry, for example, but your network could also be causing that problem. You need to isolate the problem.

In that example, you may swap out the problem security camera with a working one to figure out whether the issue is the security camera or its location. If the working camera fails in that location, your network’s reach could be causing the issue. Or you may find it works when you disconnect a different camera, which could mean you need a faster network to support the additional camera.

Pro Tip: Do you need a new security camera? Check out our buying guide for home security cameras, or cut straight to the chase and read about our top three picks: SimpliSafe cameras, Lorex cameras, and the ever-popular Ring brand of cameras.

Identify the Problem

With the issue isolated to a single Vivint component, you can start digging deeper to see what is going wrong with that component. Start by testing every function of the problem device. Continuing with the security camera example, test the motion detector, recording capabilities, two-way audio, and every other feature of the camera. You can’t be too thorough here. Write down everything that works and everything that doesn’t.

Using your list of features that work and don’t, look for patterns and connections. Are all the features that don’t work tied to its motion-detection capabilities? Can it still send a live feed but can’t record any footage? That will help you figure out the actual problem you need to solve. Once you know the problem, you can start finding a solution.

>> Read More: Best Motion Sensor Security Cameras

Troubleshooting Your Vivint App

Vivint Doorbell in the Vivint App

Vivint Doorbell in the Vivint App

Everyone knows the frustration of an app freezing at the worst time. Whether it’s right before you beat a level on Candy Crush or a movie buffering in the middle of a monologue, apps crashing can make you want to snap your phone in half. But then you close the app and reopen it to find yourself right where you left off. We can do the same thing when the Vivint app experiences issues too.

Below are a few basic steps you can take to repair your Vivint app — and most other apps on your phone.

  1. Restart the app: Just like when other apps freeze, start your troubleshooting by closing it and reopening it. Also make sure to close all the other apps open on your phone.
  2. Log out of the app: If the app still has issues after you restart it, try logging out of your account and logging back in. It may still be trying to load a bugged page when you restart the app. Logging in and out should fix that.
  3. Reinstall the app: When all else fails, you can completely reinstall the app. That deletes your saved data, which could be causing the app to freeze. It also means, however, that you’ll need to go back to the basics for setting up the app how you want.

It’s definitely frustrating when the Vivint app doesn’t work, but you can get it going again. Getting your Vivint app back up and running is well worth it for mobile access to your home’s security — on top of all the other features, like automation, available in the app.

Resolving Common Security Camera Problems

You don’t want your home security system to be like the one in Jurassic Park that lets the T. rex escape when the electric fence fails. When your Vivint security camera fails, you won’t have T. rexes coming at you, but you may miss valuable footage that could lead to the arrest of a burglar. Since you already diagnosed your security camera as the problem and reset your Vivint Smart Hub, let’s look at some specifics that could cause issues for your security cameras.

>> Read About: Vivint Indoor, Outdoor, and Doorbell Camera Options

Your Router or ISP Blocks Vivint Cameras

Before you get into the weeds taking apart your security camera, make sure it plays nicely with your internet service provider (ISP) and router. Your ISP and router are like the highways between your devices, your Vivint panel, and your security camera’s recordings.

Some providers and routers, however, block Vivint from using their highways. They think the Vivint devices are malicious agents trying to access your home’s network, so you need to tell your network they’re authorized.

>> Find Out: How Do Wireless Security Cameras Work?

Checking Your Router Settings

You can explicitly allow Vivint VPNs by opening six specific ports in your router’s settings. To get to your router’s settings, type your IP address into your web browser, and then log in.

Then navigate to your router’s “Ports” tab. It may also go by the name “Port Forwarding” or “Virtual Server,” depending on your router’s brand. Once you’re in the “Ports” tap, you can add a new port-forwarding rule that allows access through a specific port. For Vivint VPNs, open ports 443, 1194, and 8008.

>> Learn About: Is Wi-Fi Dangerous for My Kids?

Calling Your ISP

You can call your ISP to ask if they block Vivint. Ask them if they block a network called OpenWRT. They should tell you if they’re blocking your panel from connecting to the network, causing issues with your security camera. The connection will still show up with Vivint as the brand allowing your ISP to verify and unblock your panel.

Internet Speeds

Your highways also may not have a high enough speed limit to accommodate all your cameras. That could come from your ISP, modem, or router. Basically you need internet speeds of at least 2 Mbps for each security camera you have. You can check your internet speeds from your computer or phone. Just go to speedtest.net and click “Go” to run a test that checks your internet speeds.1 If it shows up as 10 Mbps, for example, you can support up to five security cameras on your network.

Did You Know? The average internet speed in the United States is over 215 Mbps.2 That’s enough to support 107 Vivint security cameras!

Reinstall Your Camera

If all else fails, try reinstalling your security camera to your Vivint Smart Hub. That resets any lingering data that could be corrupting its connection. Here’s how to delete your camera from the Vivint Smart Hub and then reconnect it.

  1. From your Vivint Smart Hub’s home screen, press the menu icon.
  2. Select “Devices,” and input your PIN when prompted.
  3. Press “Cameras,” and then select the camera with the issue.
  4. Remove the camera from your Vivint Smart Hub by pressing “Delete Camera.”
  5. Unplug the security camera to power it down, and then plug it back in while holding down the top button. Keep the button held down until the light turns red. If you’re resetting a Vivint doorbell camera, hold down the top button for 45 seconds after plugging the camera back in.
  6. Wait until the camera boots back up and the light turns green.
  7. Go back to your Vivint Smart Hub and navigate to the “Devices” page again.
  8. This time, press “Add Device.”
  9. Choose the camera you restarted, and press “Connect.”
  10. Hold down the top button of the camera after pressing “Connect,” and then wait for it to make a sound. It shouldn’t take longer than a few seconds.

Sometimes it may feel like understanding the plot of “Inception,” but if you follow these steps, you can troubleshoot your security camera to get it back up and running. If none of these troubleshooting tactics work, you can always reach out to Vivint support.

>> Check Out: 2023 Buying Guide for Doorbell Cameras

Final Thoughts

Even after following all these troubleshooting steps, you still may have issues with your Vivint home security system. Don’t worry. Vivint maintains a comprehensive set of self-help guides to fix all the common issues with Vivint products and accounts.3 Since you already diagnosed your problem earlier in this guide, you can use that resource to find a fix to your specific issue.

When all else fails, don’t hesitate to contact Vivint directly. The company offers 24/7 support by phone and a chat box on its website. Before calling, find your account number and any relevant error codes. You’ll want to call from home because most troubleshooting steps involve your panel. With Vivint at your side, any issue you have with your Vivint system or products can be resolved.