Vivint and Link Interactive are two home security system providers; Vivint is around 20 years old but has quickly made a name for itself, with 1.4 million customers across North America. Link is a Utah-based provider that had its beginnings in 1952. Link Interactive has made a name for itself as a convenient DIY security provider. Both have unique benefits; let's look at what they have to offer.
Vivint vs. Link Interactive - What are the similarities?
- Availability: No matter where you live in the USA, you'll be able to purchase security services.
- Smart home automation: You'll be given a selection of smart home integrations to choose from, offering compatibility with popular products such as the Nest thermostat.
- Security cameras: Unlike some providers, both offer indoor and outdoor cameras, representing an excellent deterrent and security benefit.
- Cellular monitoring is the most secure type as it reduces the risk of connection issues or tampering, leaving you in danger. Both offer cellular monitoring or backup.
- Mobile app: Whether you choose Vivint or Link Interactive, you'll be able to receive notifications and arm/disarm your security system using your smartphone.
Vivint vs. Link Interactive - What are the differences?
- Payment terms: With Vivint, you don't have any upfront costs. You pay monthly (throughout a long-term contract) for your equipment. But Link Interactive requires that you pay upfront for your entire security system, which will save you money in the long run.
- Installation: Vivint only offers professional installation, but Link Interactive is a DIY security provider.
- Termination fees: Vivint attracts some complaints about their punitive early termination fees.
- Contract length: You don’t require a contract with Link Interactive, but you’ll need a contract for Vivint - a minimum term is a three-year contract.
- Customer service: Link had some of the best customer support we've seen in a while, but Vivint's customer support was average.
Link Interactive - What you need to know
Link is a simple DIY company that offers excellent functionality and an array of security cameras and automation options. You can integrate your system with Z-wave compatible equipment and purchase Link’s smart home equipment such as doorbell cameras and smart locks.
With this simple DIY installation process, you don't have to worry about installation fees. You can call Link's customer service line if you need help; our SecurityNerd found them to be responsive, helpful, and friendly.
Here are the products you'll be able to choose from when setting up your new security system:
- Control smart panel
- Window/door sensors
- Smart motion detectors
- Key remote
- Glass break sensor
- Tilt sensors
- Gate sensor
- Panic button
- Remote keypad
Life safety equipment:
- Smoke, heat, and freeze sensors
- Smoke alarms
- Water leak sensors
- Indoor and outdoor cameras
- Video doorbell
Home automation equipment:
- Smart door locks
- Thermostat and temperature sensor
- Smart lights
- Garage door sensors
- Yard signs
- Window decals
- Yard lights
This is an area where Link excels, and you'll have multiple options available to you to choose from. You can use Nest, Amazon Echo, Google Assistant, and Apple TV, In addition to Link's home automation equipment. It's also Z-wave compatible, meaning you can use the most popular smart home options on the market.
Link can save you a lot of money as there are no professional installation fees or activation fees to consider.
- Equipment cost: Link has higher upfront costs, but overall you can save some money as you won't have any hefty monthly fees. You can also receive a significant discount if you sign a more extended contract.
- Monthly costs: You'll be given three different monitoring plans to choose from. It ranges from the most basic monitoring to the most comprehensive with more smart home options and video surveillance.
- Cancellation fees: You may need to pay a cancellation fee, so before you sign any contracts, keep this in mind.
- Hardware options: The hardware options offered by Link Interactive is quite impressive, they're a cut above most DIY providers, and you can fully customize your system. You can opt not to have a contract at all, and you can incorporate existing equipment into your smart home system (as long as it's Z-wave compatible). You'll also be given a 3-year warranty (providing you took out an extended contract).
- Home automation options: A lack of integration, flexibility and customization is a big drawback with many companies, but Link doesn't have this issue.
- Cancellation fees: If you're not careful, you may be asked to pay a cancellation fee for early termination.
- Confusing pricing: Although we think that customization is a strength, it can be a bit of a challenge to work out precisely what you'll be paying for your package.
Vivint: What you need to know
Vivint offers qualified technicians great equipment, professional monitoring, and smooth installation. Alongside this, Vivint provides an array of smart home options and is compatible with Z-wave technologies, like Link.
A qualified technician will come to your home and fit your security system; they'll also talk you through anything else you need, but beware of upselling as Vivint technicians may be paid a commission based on what you buy.
Vivint offers an array of home packages, but you can also purchase equipment on an a la carte basis:
- Security cameras
- Smart home devices
- Window sensors
- Door sensors
- Smoke detectors
- Motion sensors
- Freeze detectors
- Carbon monoxide sensors
- Secondary keypad
- Panic pendant
- Tilt sensor
Your system will be compatible with Z-wave products such as Nest thermostat, Amazon's Alexa, Google Assistant, and more. Still, you can also buy dedicated home automation features such as smart locks, video doorbells, and garage door sensors.
- Equipment costs: Your equipment costs will usually be paid every month; you won't have to pay upfront costs. Once your equipment is paid for, your monthly fee will be significantly lower. However, a basic equipment bundle comprising a door sensor, motion sensor, smart hub, and yard signs will set you back at $599 (or $9.99 a month). You should contact Vivint for an accurate quote.
- Installation costs: Vivint quoted our SecurityNerd $100 for installation but did advise us that promotions occasionally reduce this to $0. You should ensure you check for active promotions.
- Monthly costs: Professional monitoring is available, and monthly monitoring costs are $39.99 to $59.99 per month, depending on how many cameras you have and whether you want video monitoring.
- Customization: You can customize your security equipment with the help of a professional; be mindful of upselling.
- Smart home options: You'll have an array of smart home options from smart locks to smart thermostats and more, with Z-wave compatibility increasing the integrations available.
- Price: The price is relatively high; if you're looking to save some money, you should consider a DIY system.
- No satisfaction guarantee: Some companies offer a moneyback guarantee, but Vivint only offers a three-day return window, which may not be sufficient to understand how it works for you.
Vivint or Link Interactive?
Suppose you’re looking for a more traditional security provider with standard professional monitoring services. In that case, you should consider Vivint. However, if you’re looking to save on monitoring fees and take out a shorter, more flexible contract (or self-monitor), you should look into Link. Link is a strong candidate due to their many years in the industry and excellent customer service.
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.