Vivint vs Protection One Home Security

A home security system is a must-have for any homeowner, representing a significant deterrence for would-be criminals and burglars. Still, it can be challenging to know which is best for you. Vivint and Protection 1 both represent great options. Protection 1 merged with ADT in 2016 and now functions primarily as part of ADT. Vivint serves around 1.5 million customers across North America. Let's compare the two side-by-side to see what they can offer you.

Vivint vs. Protection 1 Home Security - What are the similarities?

  • Quality equipment: Our SecurityNerd rates the equipment provided very well.
  • Professional monitoring: Irrespective of the provider you choose, you'll have access to stellar 24/7 professional monitoring.
  • Professional installation: You'll receive professional installation as standard.
  • Excellent smart home options: Since Protection 1 is part of ADT's brand, they're part of one of the most comprehensive smart home security companies. But Vivint is pretty great in this area too. There are dedicated smart home innovations, but both are Z-wave compatible and have add-ons such as smart locks, video doorbells, and garage door controllers.
  • Mobile app: You can use a mobile app to thoroughly monitor your home system, including disarming/arming your alarm system, your motion sensors, and outdoor/indoor cameras. You can also receive push notifications.
  • Long-term contracts: You'll need to take out a long-term contract with either company.
  • Environmental sensors: You can get glass break sensors and other environmental sensors from both security providers, saving you thousands of dollars in an emergency.

Vivint vs. Protection 1 Home Security - What are the differences?

  • Activation fee: Vivint charges an activation fee; Protection 1 does not.
  • Brand name: Protection 1 is part of one of the biggest giants in the industry, giving them a unique brand name to protect.
  • Excellent customer service: Vivint's customer service is good but basic; Protection 1 goes the extra mile, perhaps due to its outstanding reputation.

Vivint: What you need to know

Vivint offers excellent home security packages with equipment and sensors that you can monitor from your smartphone. The numerous packages are all without upfront costs and come with professional installation.


There are three packages on offer, ranging from a single SkyControl Panel, Google Home integration, and motion detectors to a multi-item bundle which could include:

  • Keypad
  • Motion sensors
  • Carbon monoxide detectors
  • Fire alarms
  • Heat, freeze, and flood sensors
  • Key fob
  • Doorbell camera
  • Smart thermostat

The monthly monitoring service allows you to pay a set price (depending on the cameras you include). Packages start at $30 per month up to approximately $50, equal to the monitoring service cost. You're limited to four cameras per membership. You can sign up with a five-year or three-year contract. Once your equipment is paid off, you can cancel at any time.


Vivint will send a qualified technician to install your equipment, and once this is done, you'll be walked through everything, including the mobile app's features, ensuring you fully understand how your new system works. Be mindful of upselling, though.

Home automation 

Vivint has compatibility with various equipment, such as Nest thermostats, Amazon's Alexa, and other Z-wave technology. Like Protection 1, dedicated smart home products are also offered.

Nerd pros

  • Free professional installation
  • Excellent customer support
  • It is compatible with many smart home devices, making it an ideal smart home security system
  • No upfront costs

Nerd cons

  • You'll need to pay an activation fee
  • If you move and plan to keep Vivint, you must pay a re-installation fee
  • DIY installation isn't an option

Protection 1 Home Security - What you need to know

Protection 1 is a significant security provider known for reliable, good-quality hardware and a great brand name. While they are costly, they are incredibly high quality and, in our opinion, worth the price. Many small to medium commercial businesses rely on Protection 1 for their security services.


A professional will come to your home to complete the installation; the fee you'll pay varies from $99 to $199, depending on your package. You don't have the option to self-install. Customer reviews reveal that installation technicians are experienced, mindful and diligent. While it's more costly to have professional installation, it's great to be able to hand over control to the pros.


Protection 1 offers substantial equipment options, including:

  • Entry sensors
  • Window sensors
  • Door sensors
  • Keychain remote
  • Motion detectors
  • Yard signs
  • Window decals
  • Video surveillance for outdoor cameras and indoor cameras
  • Two-way talk
  • Mobile and web control
  • Image motion sensors
  • Motion detectors with integrated camera
  • Smoke detectors
  • Wireless doorbell
  • Glass-break detectors
  • Carbon monoxide detectors
  • Remote thermostat control
  • Freezer sensor
  • Smart door locks

Protection 1 is known for its excellent quality hardware, which comes with a lifetime warranty.

Home automation

You can integrate your Protection 1 system with Alexa, Google Home, and other Z-wave products, but you can also access purpose-built products, including:

  • Door locks
  • Smart lighting
  • Thermostat
  • Garage door control
  • Smart video doorbell
  • Smart switches and plugs


You'll have several key costs to consider, including:

  • Equipment costs: With Protection 1, you don't have to worry about upfront equipment costs; however, pricing for add-on equipment isn't available until a technician visits your home.
  • Installation costs: You'll pay $99-$199 for installation, depending on your package.
  • Monthly fees: Protection 1 costs $34.99 to $59.99 per month, the most basic option, the secure plan, uses a landline and doesn't offer any mobile app access.
  • Activation fee: Some security providers charge an activation fee. Vivint does; Protection 1 doesn't.

Nerd pros

  • Customer service: Protection 1 has earned an A-plus Better Business Bureau rating; they offer 24/7 customer support via phone, chat, and email. Calls are answered fast, and our SecurityNerd found the representatives to be knowledgable and friendly.
  • Reliability: Protection 1 is a leader in the industry, offering decades of experience and an iron-clad reputation for reliability. They have around a dozen monitoring centers in the USA, meaning you're safe even if one center experiences a disaster.

Nerd cons

  • Confusing pricing: If you want an atypical package or add-ons, pricing can be very confusing, and you'll need to be quoted by a technician that visits your home. They won't even release pricing over the phone.
  • Long-term contracts: Except in California, you'll need to take out a minimum 36-month contract to use Protection 1. In California, this is restricted to 24-months. You may be liable for a penalty if you cancel your services before that.

Vivint Or Protection 1?

These two represent some of the best home security systems. Home security is a complex topic; if you're looking for a company with the best security equipment and brand reputation, you should consider Protection 1. Vivint is a very close second; while they lack the brand reputation, they have excellent service, reliable hardware, and smart home automation options. If you’re looking for self-monitoring or DIY installation options, you may want to look at alternate providers such as SimpliSafe or Frontpoint.

This article has been reviewed and approved by Officer Banta.

Officer James 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.