Honeywell is a Fortune 100 giant focusing on much more than just home security systems - they are best known for their engineering and aerospace endeavors. Vivint is a more traditional security provider, as their principal offering is home security services. Vivint has been in the business for around 20 years and services over a million customers. Honeywell is based in North Carolina and has an impressive history that spans back to the 19th century.
Vivint vs. Honeywell Home Security - What are the similarities?
- Smart home automation: You'll have access to a similar suite of features irrespective of which you choose - both are Z-wave compatible and offer a variety of smart home integrations.
- Customizable packages: You'll be able to make purchases on an a la carte basis, allowing for complete customization of your security package.
- Mobile app: You'll be able to receive notifications and arm/disarm your system on the go with your mobile app. Both apps are available on Apple and Android stores.
- Hardware: There are fundamental similarities between the equipment offered; you'll be able to purchase doorbell cameras, outdoor cameras, and smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
Vivint vs. Honeywell: What are the differences?
- Monitoring services: With Honeywell, you won't access professional monitoring services.
- Activation fee: Vivint charges an activation fee; Honeywell does not.
- Long-term contracts: Honeywell is much more flexible than Vivint; they don't offer long-term contracts. Honeywell offers DIY home security.
- Customer service: Vivint offers excellent customer service. However, Honeywell struggles in this area. Honeywell's customer service was surprisingly poor for a company of their size.
- Professional installation: Honeywell doesn't offer professional installation.
- Facial recognition: Honeywell's cameras are capable of facial recognition - this is a rare feature that Vivint doesn't share.
Honeywell Home Security: What you need to know
Honeywell is a great choice for a DIY setup, especially if you want additional smart home features and facial recognition. This system is fully self-monitored, so you must be comfortable dealing with your security.
Unlike Vivint, you can only have a DIY install with Honeywell. The installation process is reportedly simple, but it's worth remembering that the customer service team isn't great - if you need assistance, you may not get the help you require.
Honeywell offers both If This Then That (IFTTT) technology and their dedicated home automation equipment. You can make use of Amazon's Alexa, Google Assistant, and smart thermostats.
Similarly to Vivint, you're able to purchase a pre-designed security package or purchase items on an individual basis:
- Security base station
- Motion detectors
- Key fob
A la carte items
- Extra cameras
- Motion sensor with camera
- Smart thermostat
- Smart lights
- Water leak/freeze detector
Every part of your system can be purchased separately, though they offer a starter kit. Equipment costs range from $30 for a single Wi-Fi video doorbell to $350+ for a complete system.
- Equipment costs: Customers pay upfront for their Honeywell equipment, with no monthly payment upfront. This directly contrasts how Vivint does business, but it is likely cheaper in the long run.
- Installation costs: Since installation is DIY, there are no installation fees.
- Monthly costs: If you want to store videos on your devices, you have the choice of a 30 or 60-day storage option, which will cost you $50-150 per year.
- Facial recognition: This is an unusual feature for a home security system - Honeywell cameras can tell the difference between an object and a person and identify the person for you with startling accuracy.
- Smart home options: You can add third-party equipment with Z-wave compatibilities, such as Google Assistant and Alexa.
- No contract: You won't be tied into any contracts with Honeywell; you can use it flexibly and only pay monthly when you want to store videos.
- No professional monitoring options: You don't have the choice to monitor your security professionally; if any incidents happen, you're ultimately responsible for yourself.
- Poor customer service: Our SecurityNerd experienced long wait times and poor service when calling the customer service line.
Vivint: What you need to know
Vivint is a more flexible version of the traditional security company. With Vivint, you can have professional monitoring and pro-installation at your convenience, unlike with Honeywell. One of the best perks of using Vivint is the variety of smart home integrations; it is compatible with Z-wave technologies and gives you access to Amazon's Alexa, Google Assistant, and other popular tools.
You won't have to deal with installation; a qualified Vivint technician will come to your home and fit your system for you. You should be aware that technicians are taught to upsell, though.
Vivint offers a variety of security equipment, including a la carte and defined packages. Add-ons available include:
- Smoke alarms
- Outdoor and indoor security cameras
- Motion detectors
- Window sensors
- Door sensors
- Glass break sensors
- Freeze/flood sensors
- Heat sensors
- Carbon monoxide detectors
- Secondary keypad
- Panic pendant
- Garage door sensors
You can purchase home automation features a la carte, too, including smart locks and a video doorbell, garage door sensors, and more. You can also integrate your system with Z-wave compatible products and use voice control with the help of Alexa.
- Equipment costs: In contrast to Honeywell, you'll have to pay all of your costs monthly. There are no upfront costs; however, this is usually more expensive in the long run. Once the equipment is paid off, your monthly fee will reduce. You should contact Vivint for an accurate quote, but for example, a basic bundle (including smart hub, door sensors, motion sensor, and yard signs) will come in at $599 or $9.99 per month.
- Installation costs: Be sure to ask about deals and promotions - Vivint quoted our SecurityNerd $100 for installation but advised us that they were running free installation offers.
- Monthly costs: If you’re looking for a monthly monitoring plan, professional monitoring is available for $39.99 to $59.99 per month, depending on the number of cameras you're using. If any issues occur, you can be reassured that the monitoring center will check in with you and dispatch help if required.
- Customization: You're able to fully customize your security package with the help of a professional.
- Smart home options: You can integrate your security system into a comprehensive smart home, from smart lights to garage sensors and thermostats.
- Price: The price is quite high, and a DIY system may save you some money.
- No satisfaction guarantee: Some companies offer a moneyback guarantee; with Vivint, you only have a three-day window to return it, which isn't enough to experience the system.
- Long-term contracts: With Vivint, you’ll need to take out a long-term contract.
Vivint or Honeywell?
Honeywell is a top pick if you’re looking to save on monitoring fees but still want a recognizable brand to handle your security needs. The single letdown with Honeywell is the inferior customer service offered, but they offer unique and excellent functionality, encompassing extra features like facial recognition. Vivint is an up-and-coming home security company offering security devices and smart home devices; they're a perfect choice for anyone looking for a smart home security system.
With that said, they’re costly long-term and have inflexible contracts that are difficult to leave. Overall, if you’re looking for a DIY provider, a big name, and unique features, then you should give Honeywell a chance. Still, if you’re looking for better service, professional monitoring, and cost-saving, then Vivint is ideal for you.
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.