When you're considering purchasing a new home security system, you'll have lots to consider. Whether or not you want the best home automation on the market, DIY home security systems, or professional monitoring... When you've decided what kind of system is best for you, you'll have scores of security providers to choose from. Two providers you'll come across frequently are Vivint and Abode Home Security.
Abode is a growing home security company started by an ex-ADT employee. Despite only having a few years in the business, they're already making a good impression on customers. Vivint is a great provider offering smart home equipment and reliable home security solutions throughout the US and Canada. Let's see which will meet your needs best.
Vivint vs. Abode - What are the similarities?
- Equipment availability: Vivint and Abode offer similar equipment - for example, both offer indoor and outdoor security cameras. Outdoor cameras provide a significant deterrent on their own and should be considered a vital part of your home security system. Abode has recently begun offering outdoor cameras.
- Professional monitoring: You can purchase monitoring with Abode or Vivint for a monthly fee.
- Mobile app: Whether you choose Vivint or Abode, you'll be able to use a streamlined app that allows you to remotely arm/disarm your system and receive motion-activated push notifications.
- Smart home options: Our SecurityNerd rated both well for smart home automation options. They’re both compatible with Z-wave and IFTTT interactive smart home security devices.
Vivint vs. Abode - What are their differences?
- Monthly fees: With Abode, you can choose to have very low/no monthly fees, depending on the service options you select; however, with Vivint, you'll need to pay for your equipment monthly.
- Self-monitoring: Only Abode will allow you to self-monitor. Vivint will require you to purchase a monitoring plan.
- Inflexible contracts: Vivint's contracts are long-term and relatively inflexible, particularly when compared to Abode.
- Control panels: The Abode control panel is much more high-tech, the Abode iota comes with a built-in camera, which most competitors lack.
- Customer service: While our SecurityNerd didn't have any issues calling the security teams, Abode consistently receives worrying reviews online regarding their customer service. Poor customer support is something to take into account.
Vivint: What you need to know
Vivint is closer to a traditional security provider, though they have a modern twist as they offer more home automation options. They provide professional monitoring and great hardware, which fully qualified technicians install.
With Vivint, you have less to worry about.
A qualified technician will come to your home and fit your security system for you - just be aware that Vivint technicians may be paid commission bonuses and may upsell based on that. Stick to exactly what you need.
You're able to choose from several Vivint packages, and you can also purchase equipment on an individual basis. Available equipment includes:
- Smoke detectors
- Motion sensors
- Window and door sensors
- Glass break sensors
- Freeze and flood sensors
- Entry sensors
- Doorbell cameras
- Carbon monoxide detectors
- Tilt sensor for garage doors
- Panic pendant
You can purchase an array of smart home options, including garage door sensors, smart locks, video doorbells, and more. You're also able to integrate your system with Z-wave compatible products, just like Abode.
- Equipment costs: You'll need to pay for your security costs monthly with your bill - you'll have no upfront costs. Your monthly fees will be substantially discounted when paid off. You should call Vivint directly for an up-to-date quote, but basic prices start at around $10 a month.
- Installation costs: Vivint quoted us $100 for installation, but we're reliably informed that they reduce or remove the fee altogether with occasional promotions, so you should check for current offers before purchasing.
- Monthly costs: The cost of monitoring services runs from $39.99 to $59.99, depending on how many cameras you've got.
- Customization: You can fully customize your system, and a professional will walk you through what you need; be careful regarding upselling.
- Smart home options: Like Abode, this is a winning category. Everything from smart lights to smart door locks is available, and your equipment will be Z-wave compatible.
- Price: Unlike Abode, the price is quite high. If you want to save some money, Vivint isn't for you.
- No satisfaction guarantee: Some companies offer a satisfaction guarantee (Abode will offer you a 30-day warranty); with Vivint, you can only return it after three days, which may not be sufficient to really get to the bottom of how it works for you.
Abode: What you need to know
Whether you're a renter or a homeowner, the Abode system is an ideal option if you're looking for a bit more security and some smart home options. It has more automotive capabilities than many systems and has a significant crossover with Vivint, which is also Z-wave compatible. In addition, you also access flexible hardware and professional monitoring.
Abode offers simple installation and earns high marks for a simple setup. You can purchase professional installation at the time of order, but overall the DIY option is simple enough to be the better choice. Most systems are Wi-Fi-based and can be installed in under an hour.
Not only does Abode offer its own line of smart products, but Abode has compatibility with a number of integrations, including smart locks, smart lights, Amazon's Alexa, Apple Homekit, and Nest Thermostat.
- Equipment costs: You'll need to buy one of two reasonably-priced starter kits. It can get more expensive as you purchase more add-ons, and professional installation represents another cost. But you can save money if you sign up for a long-term contract.
- Monthly costs: If you opt for self-monitoring, you'll only pay a fee for cellular backup. Cellular backup is $8 a month and will protect you in the event of an outage. Professional monitoring costs $20 a month, but this is optional. If you buy a starter pack, you may receive a discount on your first year of monitoring.
- Flexibility: When purchasing a plan from Abode, you don't have to feel forced into a long-term contract. If you want to self-monitor, it's up to you. You could also choose from hardware bundles or start from scratch without the need for a long-term contract.
- Home automation: Abode is one of the frontrunners for the best DIY smart home system. You have several options, including Google Assistant, Nest products, and HomeKit.
- Price: Vivint is great, but it's not the most cost-effective option out there - Abode is extremely cost-effective and represents great value for money.
- Customer service: Unfortunately, Abode has room to grow in this area. While our SecurityNerd had a decent experience, online reviews reveal long wait times.
- Basic starter kits: Compared to other starter kits, the basic kits offered by Abode are quite small. For example, it only includes one motion detector and one door/window sensor.
Vivint or Abode?
If you're looking for a more traditional security provider with professional installation offered as standard, you should consider Vivint. Be aware, though, that they often have inflexible long-term contracts, and pricing is much higher. Both companies are quite similar in terms of equipment and smart home automation, but Abode is one of the best home security systems in terms of functionality and smart home integrations.
Abode is good for you if you want a more DIY/self-monitoring experience and you're cost-conscious. But you'll be sacrificing some of the customer service experience if you choose Abode.
This article has been reviewed and approved by Officer Banta.
Officer Banta is the official SecurityNerd home security and safety expert. A member of the Biloxi Police Department for over 24 years, Officer Banta reviews all articles before lending his stamp of approval. Click here for more information on Officer Banta and the rest of our team.