Updated March 20, 2019

Vivint Review: Is Smart Home Security Worth It?

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Vivint offers high-tech features that set it apart. But is this home security system worth the high cost and long contract? Read this in-depth review to see if it's right for you.


Overall Score




Home Security


Customer Service




Mobile App








Yard Sign


Home Automation

5-point scale (the higher, the better)

Pros and Cons

  • High-tech system
  • Professional installation
  • Comprehensive features
  • 42 month contract

Bottom Line

Best high-tech home security and automation


  • If you want home automation along with monitoring. Vivint really shines in home automation. There are a ton of devices you can pick to build a complete customized smart home that you can control with your phone or even voice.

  • If you don't mind higher prices. Vivint's prices are on the higher side. The monthly monitoring fee costs more than starter plans from other security providers.

    And if you want a complete smart home, it could be quite a splurge - costing over a thousand in equipment, plus the service fee.

  • If a long contract doesn't scare you. The contract length is longer than other providers. Unless you pay for equipment all upfront, you'll be locked into a long contract.

Vivint At A Glance:

  • Starts at $39.99/month
  • 42-month to 5-year contract
  • SkyControl Panel and base sensors included
  • 24-hour professional monitoring
  • Smart home automation options
  • Option to purchase equipment


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  1. Touchscreen control panel. All customers get a 7" HD touchscreen panel to control your system. It has instant two-way talk so you can talk with family, visitors, or monitoring agents through your panel. This is more advanced than the keypads you'd get with many other security providers.

  2. Advanced home automation. Vivint is top notch when it comes to home automation features. For additional costs, you can add on doorbell cameras, smart thermostats, and other smart devices. See our run down of equipment options.

    Even though Vivint is priced higher than other home security systems, its advanced equipment and rich array of features may justify the cost for you.

  3. Wireless system. The whole system is wireless, which means no holes drilled in your walls. And when you move, the equipment can move with you.

    Vivint is a U.S. nationwide service, meaning you don't need a particular cellular or landline provider to use the service. It's also available in Canada. However, you may have to pay a relocation fee.

  4. 24-hour professional monitoring: Vivint's provides around-the-clock monitoring and will alert the police if your system detects a break-in or environmental hazard.

  5. Highly rated mobile app. The highly rated Vivint Smart Home app is available to all customers. It allows you to control your entire system through your phone. You can receive security alerts, set thermostat, see video footage, lock/unlock doors, etc.

  6. Flex Pay. Previously, Vivint customers paid for monthly monitoring but did not own the equipment. Now, Vivint gives you the option to purchase their equipment so it's yours forever.

    You can either pay for the equipment all upfront. Or you can use the Flex Pay option. This lets you finance the equipment over the course of up to 5 years. The Flex Pay payment plan will include all product, installation, and activation fees.

    The equipment payment plan and service plan will be two separate payments. Some qualified customers may even be eligible for 0% financing.

  7. No contract option. Vivint does require a long contract (which is a downside). However, if you want to purchase your equipment all upfront, then you can subscribe to the monitoring service on a month-to-month basis.

  8. Professional installation: After signing the contract, a professional installer will visit your home to perform the full setup for you. They will integrate the devices with your smart home system. There's no DIY installation option with Vivint.

  9. Playback DVR. For customers who use video recording, you get the option to subscribe to Vivint Smart Drive (for an extra cost). This gives you 1TB of video storage. You can save a month's worth of footage from up to 4 cameras.

Vivint isn't as large as ADT in terms of home security companies, but it's still a large company. It has the financial backing of private equity firm Blackstone Group, which purchased Vivint in 2012, so you don't have to worry about Vivint suddenly folding and leaving you without service.


  • Tied into a long contract. Vivint's service contract is one of the longest in the home security industry, starting at 42 months and going to 5 years. Other 24-hour monitoring companies offer shorter contracts, and some DIY systems don't even require a contract.

  • Customer service reputation. Vivint has only a C- rating from the Better Business Bureau, and plenty of negative customer service reviews. And Vivint has undergone investigations from several state government attorneys general for inappropriate business practices.

  • Higher fees. Even Vivint's most basic tier starts at $39.99 a month, and climbs from there. Any add-on equipment will cost extra. There may also be installation costs for some of the equipment.

  • Poor cancellation policy. Vivint's contract cancellation policy is not very flexible, as you may only have a few days to cancel the contract. It depends on where you live. Some other providers give you as long as a six-month money back guarantee.


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Vivint offers two package options:

  1. Smart Security: $39.99/mo. This package provides basic home security devices. It provides 24/7 monitoring to keep your home safe from break-ins and environmental hazards. You get:

    • SkyControl Touchscreen Panel
    • Basic motion detectors and door/window sensors
    • Vivint Smart Home app
    • 24/7 professional monitoring
    • Options to customize by adding smoke/fire alarms, carbon monoxide detector, flood sensor, and glass break sensors (extra cost).

  2. Smart Home: $49.99/mo. This package allows you to automate your home. You get everything above, including options to integrate smart home devices, such as:

    • Doorbell camera
    • Remote thermostat
    • Garage door control
    • Smart locks on doors
    • Indoor and outdoor cameras

Since every house is unique, it's recommend that you speak with a representative for detailed equipment and package custom pricing.

Vivint Premium Service:
Vivint offers a Premium Service for an additional $10/month. This gives you lifetime warranty on equipment and free service visits and related expenses.

Without Premium Service, your equipment only has a warranty of 120 days after installation. After 120 days, you will have to pay for service repairs.


© CreditDonkey

Vivint is known for offering more advanced equipment. Some of the add-ons include:

  • Doorbell camera. This discrete camera is also a functioning doorbell and lets you see who's on your doorstep. Two-way talk allows you to talk with them - even when you're away.

  • Element Thermostat. A wireless thermostat you can control from your Vivint Smart Home app. The Smart Assistant can auto-adjust to your preferences and automatically conserves energy when you're not home.

  • Kwikset Smart Locks. Lock and unlock your doors even when you're not home. You'll be notified when doors are left unlocked. When set up with the doorbell camera, you can see who's at your door and let in people you know.

  • Ping camera. An indoor camera with two-way talk. You can talk to your family when you're away from home. This is great for keeping an eye on kids, pets, and babysitters.

  • Garage door control. Open and close your garage door straight from your app. When set up with the doorbell camera, you can open the garage and tell the postman to put your package inside.

  • Voice commands. You can integrate Vivint with Google Home or Amazon Echo. This will allow you to ask questions and control your home with voice commands.

  • Outdoor camera. The outdoor camera is built for all weather conditions and has infrared LED night vision. When it detects any motion, it'll automatically start recording. You can also view a live feed on your Vivint Smart Home app.


Vivint's mobile app is highly rated with 4.5 stars.

It allows you to control the entire system remotely. For customers on the home automation plan, you'll also be able to control aspects of your home that are on the smart network, such as keyless locks and a smart thermostat.

Some things you can do on the app include:

  • Arm your home security system from anywhere
  • Set up and adjust temperature controls
  • Remotely lock and unlock doors with Smart Locks
  • See and talk to visitors with the Doorbell Camera
  • Operate garage doors with the garage door control
  • Keep an eye on your family with Ping Camera
  • Watch the live feed from your cameras
  • Watch recorded footage with Vivint Playback
  • Set up custom rules and actions
  • Receive notifications whenever something is detected
  • Set up multiple user accounts for each family member and create permissions for each user.


ADT: ADT has been around longer than Vivint, and its services (minus the cutting-edge tech offerings) are comparable, with 24/7 monitoring and calls to the local police station if there are signs of a problem. The biggest differences: You could end up paying less per month with ADT and you can get a slightly shorter contract term. Like most well-known home security companies that impose contracts and rely on sales calls to make deals, you'll find complaints about ADT just as you will Vivint.

Vivint may win you over for its more transparent policies and high-tech features. Because of the contract terms and the fact that both need to be professionally installed, neither ADT nor Vivint makes perfect sense for renters (DIY services are a better bet and tend to have more flexible terms). But generally, it's easier to move your system from one home to the next with Vivint.

 Learn More




Benefits and Features

Home SecurityPlans start from $39.99/month. All plans include 24/7 monitoring, remote access, and touchscreen control panel. Smart Protect Plan starts at $49.99/month and Smart Control Plan starts at $60.99/month.Plans start from $28.99/month to $58.99/month. All plans include 24/7 monitoring for burglary.
$58.99 ADT Pulse Video Plan includes remote secure video and smartphone control.
Customer Service
24/7 customer support and monitoring.
Lifetime Warranty
After 90 days, there is a charge for servicing broken equipment. Or you can choose to pay a monthly fee for equipment warranty
EquipmentSome basic equipment included, with minimum of $99 equipment activation fee
Basic equipment included
Mobile AppVivint SkyControl Mobile App allows you to arm/disarm your system remotely, lock/unlock doors, adjust thermostat settings, view live and recorded video, and manage lights.ADT Pulse app allows you to activate alarm, check sensors, watch live video feeds, control lights and appliances, adjust thermostats and view history of home activities. Available on App Store and Google Play.
3.5 to 5 years
3 year contract
Professional Installation
Professional installation available.
Yard Sign
ADT-branded yard sign
Home Automation
ADT Pulse allows you to arm/disarm your house, control your lights and thermostats remotely.
Control Panel
ADT Pulse touchscreen control panel allows you to know alarm status, arm/disarm your alarm, control lights, check weather, and view live video from security cameras. Also allows you to quickly send an immediate alarm (medical, fire, or police).
Door Lock
ADT Pulse door locks allow you to remotely lock/unlock your door from any internet-connected device.
Door Sensor
Wired and wireless door sensors. Wireless door sensors can be installed yourself with no drilling or hardwiring necessary.
Glass Break Sensor
Detects if a pane of glass is shattered
Lowest Monthly Price
Motion Sensor
Outdoor Camera
Security Camera
Touch Screen
Water Flood Monitoring
Window Sensor

Vivint: Pricing information including fees, features and contract length was obtained on January 8, 2016 from published websites and is believed to be accurate, but not guaranteed.

ADT: Pricing information including fees, features and contract length was obtained on January 8, 2016 from published websites and is believed to be accurate, but not guaranteed.

Xfinity: Vivint has a much higher cost than the basic Xfinity home security service from Comcast, although when you start adding features to the basic tier of the Xfinity service, its price will go up quickly. And you'll have to sign a much longer contract initially with Vivint than with Xfinity. Both companies tend to suffer from quite a few customer complaints in Internet reviews.


© Dieter R (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr

Vivint is not for budget shoppers looking for a simple home security system for the lowest price (if that's you, check out Protect America or SimpliSafe instead). Vivint is aimed at those willing to splurge on more advanced features and technology.

The biggest selling point is the advanced home automation features. If you're willing to pay, you can have a complete smart home with cool gadgets like doorbell camera and smart locks.

All in all, Vivint is a great choice for those who want home automation along with professional monitoring. It will provide all-around peace of mind.

Just be aware of some downsides, such as the long contract and restrictive cancellation policy. Signing with Vivint will be a long commitment (unless you pay for equipment upfront) so make sure you are up for it.

Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author's alone. Please support CreditDonkey on our mission to help you make savvy decisions. Our free online service is made possible through financial relationships with some of the products and services mentioned on this site. We may receive compensation if you shop through links in our content.

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