Vivint Home Security Review
Vivint is a smart home company that offers security as part of its host of techie home features. About 20 years old, Vivint is available in many areas across the U.S. and Canada, and it currently services about 1.4 million customers.
Vivint offers many of the services expected from a full-service home security company—installation, monitoring and customer service—and it also integrates with popular smart home products from Google Home, Nest Thermostat, Amazon Echo and Philips Hue for well-rounded home automation.
Vivint is all about customization, so you have to call to get a quote for what you want for your home. With helpful customer service and a highly rated app to control and monitor it all, Vivint definitely ticks all the boxes.
Here’s how we graded Vivint:
- Hardware: 4 out of 5 stars. The equipment performs well overall, but some customers say that equipment costs are high and that their units can sometimes lose its signal temporarily.
- Customer Service: 3 out of 5 stars. Customers have complained about pushy sales tactics and deception in pricing. It seems as though Vivint has improved their customer service and created a clearer pricing structure in recent years though.
- Pricing: 3 out of 5 stars. The pricing is comparable to a big company like ADT. Paying off the equipment is set to take about 5 years, which is a long time.
- The Mobile App: 4.5 out of 5 stars. Reviews are mostly positive for the app, but at times it does crash or fails to connect to the doorbell camera.
SmartHome Capabilities: 5 out of 5 stars. Almost any smart home feature you’d like can be purchased as part of a Vivint system or added on.
Vivint Fees & Features
It’s definitely not cookie cutter. Vivint customer service will create a custom package and price for you based on your unique needs and wants.
If, in addition to home security, you want smart locks and a doorbell camera, and to control your thermostat, lights and garage door, this system offers the ability to do all that in integration with its system and app.
The Vivint app gets excellent reviews from users for its user friendly design and its detailed notifications.
Vivint’s pricing structure is on par with established big-name security companies, like ADT. Plus, it can take 60 months to pay off the equipment—5 years is a long time.
Because Vivint works through cellular monitoring, it can only be used in areas with cell service. In other words, it’s not available everywhere.
Equipment available from Vivint
Central to a Vivint security system is a Smart Hub, which is a touch screen control panel that allows the user to enable and disable the alarm, as well as activate a “panic button.” The Smart Hub works with door and window sensors, as well as a motion sensor to detect any unusual activity in the home. All Vivint systems are compatible with the Vivint app as well. You can choose exactly what to add to your security system based on your own needs and preferences.
- Smart Hub
- Door and window sensors
- Motion sensor
- Indoor camera
- Outdoor camera
- Doorbell camera
- Garage door controller
- Smart lock
- Nest thermostat
- Carbon monoxide detector
- Flood/freeze/heat sensor
- Glass break detector
- Smoke detector
- Lamp/appliance module
- Key fob
- Secondary keypad
- Panic pendant
- Tilt sensor for garage
The Vivint Mobile App
The Vivint Smart Home app has a:
- 4.6 rating in the Google Play Store
- 4.6 rating in the Apple App Store
Our Security Nerd thought that the App was very easy to use, and loved that you can control your system remotely. It has a lot of functionality, including the ability to:
- Arm and disarm your security system
- Adjust the temperature using a smart thermostat
- See and speak to someone at the front door from wherever you are, if you have the doorbell feature
- Remotely lock and unlock doors, if you have Vivint Smart Locks
- Get mobile notifications if doors are left open
- Operate garage door remotely
- See inside your home using a Ping indoor camera
In the app-store reviews, the biggest complaint is regarding loss of connection with the doorbell, live camera and other smart features. It’s a common complaint you’ll see with most home security apps, though.
Vivint Smart Home Capabilities
The Vivint mobile app is highly rated and easy to use. The smart home features are what would probably make you want to go with Vivint. Some of the equipment is Vivint-specific, and some of it is from other popular brands, such as Nest and Google Home. The beauty is you can control this compatible equipment with the Vivint app, so everything’s streamlined. Here are some of the smart-home features available:
- Door Lock: Lock and unlock the front door from your app. You can also set codes (that are specific to users) and get notifications when people enter and exit the house. This deadbolt makes a keyless front door a reality.
- Doorbell camera: Know who’s at your front door, whether you’re inside or away from home. You can have a two-way conversation with visitors and delivery people, and even playback short video clips on demand.
- Garage Control: Want that delivery person to drop the package inside your garage? If you add on garage control, you can open and close the door for them, even if you’re away from home.
- Thermostat: Remotely access and control the temperature in your house using a Nest Thermostat or a Vivint Element Thermostat. You can also set different temperatures for different times of the day, helping to reduce your energy bill.
- Light Control: Vivint also works with Philips Hue bulbs and smart switches to allow you to control power using the app. If you want to turn on the lights before you get home (or to fool would-be intruders into think you’re at home already), these features make it easy.
Vivint Customer Service
Vivint offers 24/7 customer service. It has two call centers. A U.S. one in Provo, Utah; and a Canadian one in Lethbridge, Alberta. The company has grown in recent years, and some say the customer service has improved as well.
To test customer service, our Security Nerd called to inquire about a potential security system. We found customer service to be very easy to reach. Representatives were friendly and helpful; they answered all of our questions and created a customized quote for equipment and services based on our expressed needs.
Vivint covers the following areas
All 50 states, with the exception of Maine.
All provinces and territories.
Vivint pricing and packages
When purchasing a Vivint security system, here are the key costs to consider:
- Equipment costs: Instead of putting money down, customers pay for their equipment as part of their monthly fee. Once the equipment is paid off (with 0% interest and usually in about 60 months), the equipment becomes their own, and the monthly fee goes down significantly, since they’ll just be paying for service. For example, in one package, basic equipment—a Smart Hub, door sensor, motion sensor and lawn signs—costs $599, which comes to $9.98 per month.
- Installation costs: Vivint estimated our proposed system would have a $100 installation fee but they told our Security Nerd that a current promotion would waive that fee. So make sure that you ask about promotions and deals.
- Monthly costs: Monthly monitoring and app services are available for $39.99 for a no-camera system, $49.99 for a 2-camera system, and $59.99 for a 4-camera system.
You can add on extra equipment from Vivint, and have the cost wrapped into your monthly bill. Here are some of the a la carte prices:
|Item||$ / unit|
|Door / Window Sensor||$50|
|Glass Break Detector||$100|
|Carbon Monoxide Detector||$100|
|Indoor Ping Camera||$199|
|Vivint Smart Drive||$250|
|Garage Door Controller||$99|
For people living in areas with good cell phone service and who want all the bells and whistles, Vivint is a good choice. It’s not the cheapest but it offers good service, an easy-to-use app and integration with popular smart home devices and features. Vivint prides itself on its ability to streamline home automation with just a single app.
When shopping for a security system, you can go with:
- A large, national player like ADT. You may get a comparable price with ADT, but you may not also be able to integrate a doorbell camera or other smart home features you may want. Smart home integration is really where Vivint stands out among the pack.
- A medium-sized, local company. You may choose one of these simply to get local service. Local service is nice, but not always priced competitively.
- SimpliSafe: a national, high-tech low-cost security company. With SimpliSafe, you install the service yourself, but get access to monitoring services. A DIY home security system can be a good alternative if you’re looking to save money.
It might be a bit pricier, but we think that having all the smart home features at your fingertips in one app makes Vivint worthwhile.
About the Author
Elena Donovan Mauer
Elena Donovan Mauer has written for Real Simple, Self, Good Housekeeping, Parents, The Knot, The Bump, and other publications. Elena is also a soccer mom, adjunct professor and taco enthusiast, who can be found antique shopping and singing in her kitchen. She lives in the Hudson Valley of New York with her husband and two sons.