Nest has made its name with the popular Nest thermostat, but their offerings extend beyond that. Nest also offers security alarms, video doorbells, and more. You can use Nest to build a comprehensive home security system.
Nest is a relatively new disrupter to the industry, but Vivint has been in the industry for around 20 years, servicing more than one million customers to date. Both have unique benefits; let’s take a look at what each can offer you.
Vivint vs. Nest Secure - What are the similarities?
- Home automation: You can rely heavily on smart home automation with both companies, and there is a substantial crossover with Vivint being compatible with the Nest thermostat and Amazon’s Alexa.
- Equipment quality: You’ll have access to reliable, excellent hardware with either company.
- Warranty: You can have an extended warranty depending on the package you choose. Vivint usually offers a 3-year warranty (lifetime warranty with their premium service), and Nest most often provides a 2-year warranty.
- Mobile apps: Both are reliable providers of quality mobile apps. You can arm/disarm your system and receive notifications when motion is detected.
Vivint vs. Nest Secure - What are the differences?
- Professional installation: With Vivint, you’ll be required to have a Vivint technician come to your home and install your system. Nest is an easy DIY installation process.
- Professional monitoring: Monitoring services aren’t available with all of Nest’s equipment. However, Vivint is a more traditional security provider. Nest’s (limited) professional monitoring is provided in partnership with Brinks Security.
- Long contracts: Nest doesn’t require a contract - you have more flexibility, but you can sign up for a 3-year contract if you choose. On the other hand, Vivint requires signing up for a 3-5 year contract.
- Pricing and payment: With Vivint, you won’t pay for your equipment upfront - it’s added to your monthly bill. Nest requires that you pay for your equipment upfront though this will save you money in the long term.
Nest Secure - What you need to know
Nest Secure is an industry disruptor with many smart home devices and simple but effective security solutions. You can also purchase cost-effective monitoring plans for a low monthly fee.
Nest Secure alarm system is designed for DIY installation and comes in an easy-to-assemble pre-packaged starter kit. It's simple to arrange professional installation if required, but you shouldn't need it.
The most basic package is priced at $399 and comprises the Nest Guard, the hub of the system, two entry sensors, and key fobs for disarming/arming the system. You can buy additional products on an individual basis or a more extensive package:
- Indoor cameras
- Outdoor cameras
- Doorbell cameras
- Door locks
- Carbon monoxide detector
- Smoke detectors
- Yard signs and decals
Nest Secure shines in this area, and you can control your security system from your smartphone but also integrate it seamlessly with a portfolio of convenient products. If you're willing to make several purchases, you can create the ultimate interactive home experience.
- Your Nest Video Doorbell can tell you if someone is at the door
- Indoor and outdoor cameras can notify you if motion is detected
- Sensors/smoke detectors can send you notifications if triggered
- You can automatically disarm the security system using the Nest smart lock
- Adjust your home’s temperature from your phone
- Turn your lights on/off
Pricing is as follows:
- Basic security package comprising of the Nest Guard control panel, two motion sensors, and key fobs at $399
- Basic alarm package with an extra outdoor camera for $598
- Alarm package with smart lock for $633.
- Monitoring costs: For $29 per month (without contract) or $19 per month (3-year contract), you can purchase professional monitoring.
- Outage protection: You can purchase cellular backup for $5 a month. A cellular connection will keep you safe in the case of an outage or tampering.
Customization: You can purchase a basic package and add on additional Nest products, such as a smart CO2 detector, extra Nest tags, smart thermostat, and smoke alarms, in addition to cameras for outdoor and indoor use.
Easy install: Wifi-capable systems are easiest to install with optional backup sold for just $5 a month. You can install it yourself easily, and customer support are on hand to assist you if required.
Price: The price is quite high, but that's normal for self-monitored or DIY-capable systems where you pay the cost upfront. The basic package starts at $399, but add-ons can easily double this. If you want a cellular backup or professional monitoring, you'll need to pay an extra fee.
Limited monitoring options: Nest Secure has limited monitoring options provided via a third party (Brinks Security). This professional monitoring only works with alarm products, including door and window sensors. There are no monitoring services if you get Nest's smoke and CO2 detectors.
Vivint: What you need to know
One of the most significant advantages of using Vivint is the array of smart home options, though Nest beats them in this category. They're closer to a traditional security provider, offering excellent equipment, professional monitoring, and installation by qualified technicians. With Vivint, you'll have less to worry about.
Vivint offers great installation options - a qualified technician will visit you at home and fit your system for you. You should be aware that Vivint technicians are likely to try to upsell, though. You should keep in mind exactly what you need and stick to it.
You can choose from several packages from Vivint and also purchase equipment separately. Available equipment includes:
- Smoke alarms
- Door sensors
- Window sensors
- Motion detectors
- Glass break sensors
- Flood/freeze sensors
- Heat sensors
- Carbon monoxide detectors
- Security cameras
- Primary and secondary keypad
- Panic pendant
- Tilt sensor for garage doors
You can purchase home automation equipment individually, including but not limited to garage door sensors, smart locks, doorbell cameras, and more. You can also integrate your system with Z-wave compatible products. Nest is superior in this category with a wider variety of home automation.
- Equipment costs: You'll pay for your security hardware in your monthly bill, with no upfront costs. Your monthly fees will reduce once the equipment is paid off. You should call Vivint directly for an accurate quote, but basic costs start at around $10 a month for a basic $600 system.
- Installation costs: Vivint told our Security Nerd that the installation fee is $100; however, they regularly waive promotions that reduce or remove this fee. You should check before you purchase whether there are any current offers.
- Monthly costs: Professional monitoring is available for $39.99 to $59.99 per month, depending on how many cameras you have.
- Customization: Your system is fully customizable, and you can get a professional to walk you through exactly what you need; just be mindful of upselling.
- Smart home options: Everything from smart locks to smart lights and Z-wave compatible equipment is included.
- Price: The price is reasonably high, and you should look into a DIY system to save some money if the price is a dealbreaker for you. Vivint may also charge an activation fee.
- No satisfaction guarantee: Some companies offer a moneyback guarantee (Nest offers a 30-day moneyback guarantee); with Vivint, you can only return it after three days, which may not be sufficient to understand how it works for you.
Vivint or Nest Secure?
Suppose you’re looking for an excellent smart home security provider with modern functionalities and affordable monthly monitoring fees, and a good level of flexibility. In that case, you should take a chance on Nest. Though they’re an industry disrupter, they’re slowly making a name for themselves as one of the best and most affordable home security companies on the market.
If you’d rather be a more traditional company with a monthly monitoring plan tied into a long-term contract, you can take a chance with Vivint. They have good smart home options (though they’re not as extensive as Nest) and a lifetime warranty; they have also been in the business for longer than Nest.
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.