Previously known as APX Alarm, Vivint is a home security company that focuses on high-tech home solutions. The company has been around since 2011, offering smart-home security systems and equipment to help keep homeowners safe.

Our Advisor team completed a comprehensive review of the best home security systems, evaluating factors like usability, equipment, monitoring options, warranties and company reputation. Keep reading to learn about Vivint’s technology, comprehensive professional monitoring and user-friendly software integration, as well as some of its recent legal issues.

 

Pros

Cons

✔ Has a comprehensive system hub and control panel with a touch screen

✘ Agreed to pay $20 million to settle FTC allegations related to misuse of credit reports to help unqualified customers obtain financing

✔ Offers a free mobile app that gives users complete control of their system

✘ Has unclear pricing that can leave customers confused on how much they owe

✔ Includes a website chat feature for customer service or sales questions

✘ Common complaints on third-party review sites call out aggressive sales tactics

✔ Doesn’t require contracts for customers who pay for their equipment up front

✘ Equipment prices are considerably higher than many other providers, starting at $599.99

Vivint Equipment and Pricing

Rather than offering pre-set packages like many other popular wireless home security companies, Vivint customizes packages based on each homeowner’s needs. Because of this, the pricing structure for packages isn’t listed on the website, and you have to speak to a representative to get fitted for your system. To give you an idea of total costs and offers, we spoke to a representative about Vivint’s devices, prices and monitoring plans.

Vivint’s custom packages start at $599.99 and come with a panel and six sensors. See which devices you can add for this assortment of prices:

  • $50 (each): Door and window sensors, motion sensors, tilt sensor, key fob, medical pendant, temperature/flood sensor, smart lighting lamp module, garage door controller
  • $100 (each): Recessed door sensor, glass-break sensor, carbon monoxide detector, smoke detector
  • $169: Smart thermostat
  • $179: Door locks
  • $199: Indoor camera
  • $249 (each): Video doorbell camera, Vivint Smart Drive
  • $399: Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro

*Pricing accurate as of July 21, 2021

Since total pricing and packages will vary depending on your exact home security needs, speak to a Vivint expert by calling 855-740-4217 or filling out this online form.

 


 

Vivint Tech and Features

Vivint puts a strong emphasis on its technological features and smart-home integrations, which make it a great choice for techie homeowners looking to automate their homes. Whether you’re interested in accessing your entire home security system from your smartphone or you want extra control over your lights and garage door, Vivint is worth considering.

Here are a few highlights of Vivint’s devices and software:

  • Vivint control panel: This is the system’s smart hub and features a touch screen with live-stream video of your camera, controls for arming and disarming your system and two-way audio between customer support and the monitoring centers. You can also use the control panel to set custom actions that are triggered at certain times, such as turning the lights off or arming the system.
  • Cameras: Vivint offers three camera options. The Doorbell Camera Pro has 1080p HDR, night vision, two-way talk, package delivery notifications and a 180-degree field of view. The Indoor Ping Home Security Camera has infrared night vision, two-way talk, a wide angle lens and 1080p Full HD resolution. The Outdoor Camera Pro has 1080p Full HD resolution, 3x zoom capabilities, 10–90 seconds of clip recording and infrared LED night vision.
  • Vivint Smart Drive: This device is a home base for your cameras and can hold one terabyte of video storage for up to 30 days of surveillance footage. It uses Vivint Playback to autosave recordings through DVR technology, and it integrates with the Vivint mobile app for full video viewing. It can connect with up to four cameras installed on your property.
  • Smart-home automation: Vivint aims to give homeowners full control over their house with its smart-home technology. For example, you can connect your thermostat, lights, garage door and door locks to your home security system hub. The system also integrates with Google Home, Amazon Echo, Philips Hue lights and other devices that use Z-Wave wireless communication.
  • Vivint mobile app: The Vivint Smart Home App is available for Android and Apple iOS phones and tablets. It unlocks the ability to operate and manage your system from anywhere, but most of its capabilities are accessible directly from the control panel, so you don’t have to use the app to access your system’s features if you don’t want to or if you don’t have a smartphone.

 

Vivint Monitoring

For 24/7 security and video surveillance, Vivint offers professional monitoring as a monthly subscription and doesn’t require a long-term contract, so you can cancel at any time. However, Vivint does require each customer to enroll in a monitoring plan to keep their equipment active, which means there’s no option to just monitor on your own without a monthly cost.

According to the Vivint representative we spoke with during our research, professional monitoring prices start at $39.99 per month and go up $5 per month for each additional security camera installed on your property.

To get a quote for monthly professional monitoring with your Vivint home security system, call 855-740-4217 or fill out this quick online quote form.


 

Vivint Installation

Vivint offers professional installation for a one-time fee of $99–$199, depending on the size of your package and the type of equipment you need. During the installation visit, a Vivint technician will consult you on the best spots to put your various devices, mount each device in your package, install any wiring in your walls and set up the hub, ensuring all equipment is connected and running properly before leaving.

Since Vivint’s equipment setup can be complex, the company doesn’t offer do-it-yourself installation, so it may not be the best option for those looking for DIY home security systems with a simple setup.

However, Vivint does run discounts and specials to lower the one-time installation fee when customers request a quote from the company. In fact, the Vivint representative we talked to offered free installation with our package.


 

Vivint vs. Other Home Security Systems

Vivint

SimpliSafe

ADT

Frontpoint

Abode

Requires Contract

Doorbell Camera

Mobile App

Two-Way Audio

Smart-Home Integration

Amazon, Google, Z-Wave

Amazon, Google

Amazon, Google, Z-Wave

Amazon, Google, Z-Wave

Amazon, Google, Z-Wave

Indoor Camera Resolution

1080p Full HD

720p HD

1080p Full HD

1080p Full HD

1080p Full HD

Included Warranty

6 months

3 years

6 months

3 years

1 year

BBB Rating

F

A+

A+

A+

A+

Vivint has been criticized across third-party review sites by homeowners for its soliciting and door-to-door sales and marketing tactics. Furthermore, in April 2021, the company agreed to pay $20 million to settle a Federal Trade Commission complaint that alleged that Vivint misused credit reports to help unqualified customers obtain financing. These issues have contributed to the company’s rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) to plummet to an F.*

Complaints from existing customers typically reference poor experiences with customer service, billing issues and unclear pricing, while satisfied customers have praised the company’s on-site technicians, mobile app usability and overall equipment features. Here are some Vivint reviews from the company’s BBB page. 

Robert E. said

“I had thought about making a complaint against this business but decided to call first and see how they would handle the situation and correct the problem. I have got to say [that was] the best customer service experience I have ever had. [Vivint] fixed the issue without a problem and was very concerned with the safety of my home and offered a lot of help voluntarily.”

Jess G. said:

“Nonstop false alarms, more than half of my sensors are disabled and Vivint refuses to send a technician [to my home]. They want the customer to troubleshoot over the phone and then try to trick you into upgrading to a new panel.” 

Matt H. said

“Had my system for a year now and every time I only had one minor equipment issue. I was able to call and was walked through fixing the issue. I love having everything in one smooth phone app.”

John said

“We were overcharged and misled by our door-to-door Vivint sales rep. After asking multiple times if we could cancel our agreement at any time, he reportedly answered that we could do so and they would pick up [the] equipment with no added costs. Upon reviewing the contracts later, they clearly state you must complete the term of the contract or pay the full term cost.”

*BBB information accurate as of August 10, 2021


 

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do I contact Vivint’s customer service?

    Although Vivint’s customer support hours aren’t specified online, you can reach Vivint’s customer service by calling 801-337-9111, chatting with a representative online or submitting an email form on the website.

  • Are contracts required with Vivint?

    Vivint’s equipment can be paid for in full at the time of purchase, and its professional monitoring services are paid on a month-to-month basis. Note: If you choose to finance your home security system with a 42–60-month financing agreement, you could be locked into a payment contract that’s very difficult to get out of.

    If you don’t have enough money to pay for your equipment up-front and want to avoid long-term contracts and agreements, consider another provider (like SimpliSafe or Frontpoint) that offers more affordable options.

  • What is Vivint’s cancellation policy?

    Although most home security providers offer a 30- or 60-day, money-back guarantee, Vivint only offers a three-day cancellation policy. If an unfortunate circumstance, such as a death in the family or bankruptcy, forces you to cancel your service, you may qualify for a cancellation policy exception.

  • Does Vivint offer a warranty with its products?

    Vivint includes a free warranty with all installed systems for up to 120 days after purchase — this ensures that any necessary repairs or replacements are made after breakdowns or malfunctions.

  • Will pets set off Vivint alarms?

    In general, animals under 50 pounds will not trigger any Vivint motion detectors, but the sensors come with multiple sensitivity options to help you customize what will trigger your alarms. Before installing your Vivint equipment, inform your Vivint installation pro about any pets you have, so they can set up your motion sensors in the right places to avoid unwanted detections.

  • Can I receive notifications from my Vivint home security system?

    Vivint’s mobile app is optimized for full control of your smart-home security system and provides multiple notification settings you can enable to ensure you’re always aware of incidents that occur on your property.


 

Methodology for Rating Home Security Systems

Our Advisor team has spent dozens of hours analyzing home security brands on their products, services and reputation to provide the most comprehensive analysis for our readers. To ensure each company meets the required standards to make our rankings, we have created an in-depth rating system.

Below is a breakdown of the factors we consider when rating companies, along with the weight of each factor. The best companies score highly across these categories.

Factor

Score

Description

Equipment

25

This factor is scored based on the equipment offered by the provider and its overall cost. Top providers offer a range of products, such as outdoor cameras, sensors, video doorbells, control panels, wireless remotes and smart-home technology, at affordable prices.

Monitoring

15

Monitoring is an important part of home security for many homeowners. We rated companies on the types of monitoring plans they offer, including professional and self-monitoring options, in addition to their monthly costs.

Company Reputation

15

We scored companies on their customer reputation by looking at their complaint indexes and ratings by the Better Business Bureau (BBB). We also scored them based on their years in business and trial periods, which prove their experience in the industry and their trustworthiness.

Contracts

15

Getting locked into long-term contracts is a top complaint for many home security customers. With this factor, we scored companies based on the length of their contracts. Companies with longer contracts lost points, while companies with shorter contracts or no contracts at all received more points.

Warranty

10

Home security systems that come with a warranty are especially valuable to homeowners, since this ensures the repair or replacement of the equipment after a breakdown or malfunction. We scored companies based on the length of the warranty included in their packages.

Connectivity and Integration

10

The best home security systems can integrate with connection services like Wi-Fi, Z-Wave and Zigbee. They are also compatible with popular home automation systems, including Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple Siri.

Usability

5

This factor represents each company’s devices’ overall usability. We looked at any technology and software that offers the best experience for customers, such as mobile apps, touch screen hubs or control panels and two-way audio.

Installation

5

Installing a DIY home security system from a top provider should be easy and straightforward. Top brands also offer professional installation as an option for homeowners at a reasonable rate.