Vivint Review: Excellent Home Automation, But At What Cost?

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Vivint control panel in kitchen (text in image: Vivint Review)Vivint is known for its home automation features and has a great app to go along with it. But is it worth the equipment prices, potential financing you’ll need and extra long contract lengths?

Visit Vivint’s Website | 833-277-6361

Article Overview

Vivint

2.75 / 5
Vivint
Customer Service & Reputation 1.0
Equipment 4.0
Technology 3.0
Value 2.0
Ease Of Use 3.8

Pros

  • Has two monitoring stations
  • All plans have cellular monitoring
  • Excellent home automation options
  • Compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Home
  • If you pay for the equipment upfront, a month-to-month monitoring plan is available

Cons

  • Requires professional installation
  • 3.5 to 5-year contracts if you finance equipment
  • If you want cameras, you must purchase the highest monitoring plan
  • Expensive
  • Four-hour battery backup
  • Has one of the shortest equipment warranties we've seen (only 120 days)
  • Must provide written notice 30 days prior to your desired cancellation date, and you're responsible for paying the remaining balance in full

Vivint EquipmentKey Features

  • Two monitoring stations, so if one goes down (e.g., due to a natural disaster), another is there as a backup
  • Cellular monitoring for all plans with broadband (internet) as a backup
  • Customer service options: phone, live chat, email and FAQs
  • BBB rating: C
    • Not accredited by the BBB, which is rare since most competitors are. There’s most likely one of two reasons for this:
      1. Vivint has not sought out accreditation, or
      2. Vivint does not meet BBB standards
  • Vivint app is one of the best and lets you monitor your system while away
  • Z-Wave connectivity (a wireless communication protocol) to home automation equipment
  • Equipment is under warranty as long as you have a monitoring plan
  • You can get a medical alert system through Vivint (or consider one of these third party medical alert providers we review)
  • Cancellation policy
    • Must provide written notice 30 days before your desired cancellation date
    • You can find a qualified candidate to take over the remainder of your agreement, or you must pay the remaining balance in full
  • Vivint Car Guard can be installed on your dashboard and will let you know if someone is trying to steal your car
  • Vivint Smart Drive (previously known as Space Monkey) is a way to store your photos, video recordings and more

Battery Backup

If the power goes out in your home, battery backup will keep your Vivint system on and your home protected. However, Vivint’s battery backup only lasts four hours, which is drastically less than the standard 24 hours most home security companies have.

Vivint sends you a notification when there’s a power outage. The backup battery is rechargeable, so once power is restored, the battery will recharge back to four hours, so it’s ready for any future needs.

Vivint’s four-hour battery backup is the worst we’ve seen. It’s not uncommon for homes to be without power for greater than four hours, especially when a natural disaster is the cause.

Price

Note that you pay the equipment cost monthly until you pay off the balance. It was difficult to find transparent Vivint pricing, so we recommend you confirm before you purchase.

 SkyControl Starter KitHome Security SystemSmart Home ControlVideo SecuritySmart Complete
Price Per Month (Total)$10.00 ($599.99)$11.83 ($709.98)$17.50 ($1,049.95)$23.00 ($1,379.95)$29.83 ($1,789.92)
SkyControl Panel
$399.99
CheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Door/Window Sensors
$34.99
44444
Motion Detector
$69.99
11111
Smoke Detector
$69.99
Checkmark
Garage Door Controller/Sensor
$99.99
CheckmarkCheckmark
Smart Door Lock
$159.99
CheckmarkCheckmark
Element Thermostat
$169.99
CheckmarkCheckmark
Doorbell Camera
$249.99
CheckmarkCheckmark
Ping Camera
$199.99
CheckmarkCheckmark
Outdoor Camera
$299.99
CheckmarkCheckmark

Additional Equipment

Cameras:

  • Smart Drive $249.99

Home Security:

  • Recessed Door Sensor $34.99 | Tilt Sensor $34.99 | Glass Break Sensor $69.99 | Key Fob $34.99

Life Safety:

  • CO Detector $69.99 | Temperature/Flood Sensor $69.99 | Panic Pendant $34.99

Monitoring Plans

After you’ve chosen all of your equipment, you can then choose your monitoring plan.

 Smart SecuritySmart HomeSmart Home Video
Price Per Month$29.99$39.99$44.99
$49-$199 Installation FeeCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
24/7 Professional MonitoringCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Entry, Smoke & CO DetectionCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Medical Pendant SupportCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Smart Home IntegrationCheckmarkCheckmark
Live Video FeedCheckmark
14 Days Storage Of 30-Second Clips For Up To 2 CamerasCheckmark

If you have more than 2 security cameras, you’ll have to pay an additional $5 per month for the camera monitoring (3 cameras = +$5/month, 4 cameras = +$10/month, etc.).

Coupon

Use this link to get the best deal we can offer from Vivint.

What Do People Think Of Vivint?

Positive Reviews

He was very knowledgeable, pleasant, and quick. He explained everything. He took time to answer all our questions. And explained carefully and thoroughly the system. All in all, it was a very professional installation. – Mary Sue, Consumer Affairs 5/19/2020

Vivint is the most HELPFUL company ever. They always meet my needs, and the quality of the video are amazing. Everyone should sign up for Vivint. If you have a problem with a contract… Buy upfront! I was able to go month-month doing that. – Savannah D., BBB 5/15/2020

Negative Reviews

DO NOT GET TRICKED!!! I was tricked into the agreement which I specifically asked the salesperson if there will be any early termination fee or penalty fee, he said NO. I decide to cancel the services due to horrible experiences, months later, I received a collection letter for ~ $2.5k. I called collection company A, made arrangements, paid whatever they wanted, and again, I received ANOTHER collection letter which for an additional $1.3K from collection company B!!! I have no clue how many hidden fees they have and want me to pay off!!! I called into Vivint, they don’t have an answer, they blame everything on the collection companies. There are two different collection companies and this customer services person has been repeating on the same one I have made the payment, not the one I called in about. Horrible services, DO NOT RECOMMEND!! DON’T WASTE YOUR MONEY!!! – Angel, Consumer Affairs 5/20/2020

Worst company I have ever dealt with. Predatory business practices, especially with the elderly. If I had read these reviews prior to having Vivint’s services, I would have stayed away.  Sent a salesman at 8:00 p.m. to talk me out of cancelling – scary. Very poor customer service, five-year contracts only agreed upon by “phone call”. I can’t say enough about their predatory practices.  Stay away.  There are many other home security companies that are less expensive, secure, and do not scam people. – Marcia W., Yelp 5/26/2020

Thorough Home Automation Lineup

Vivint is known for its home automation equipment. See how you can integrate it all into your home.

Man holding iPhone with Vivint App on screen (caption: Vivint Smart Home App Review)Vivint App Review

Android App | iOS App

See the Vivint app in action and learn all of its capabilities. You’ll find a video of the interface, features compared to other home security apps, pros/cons by users and more in our Vivint app review.

Vivint vs Other Companies

See the key differences between Vivint and other leading home security companies.

Vivint vs ADT

  • Vivint’s control panel has only four hours of battery backup, while ADT’s has 24 hours.
  • All of Vivint’s plans use cellular monitoring, while ADT requires you to upgrade for cellular monitoring.
  • Vivint requires a minimum four-year contract (ADT’s is the standard three years) and has higher equipment fees than ADT.

Compare Vivint and ADT

About Vivint & Its History

Keith Nellesen and Todd Pedersen founded APX Alarm Security Solutions in 1999. In 2011, APX Alarm Security Solutions rebranded as Vivint. Also in 2011, Vivint Solar launched, a solar energy company.

In 2012, The Blackstone Group acquired Vivint for more than $2 billion. Vivint acquired Smartrove and began wireless broadband in 2013. In 2020, the company merged with Mosaic Acquisition Corp. to be a publicly traded company on the New York Stock Exchange.

How Important Is Home Automation?

Visit Vivint’s Website | 833-277-6361

Home security app (caption: Home Security Systems Reviews)If you spend a lot of time away from your home and want ways to automate your home, Vivint is among the best. The app has some of the best reviews we’ve seen from its users, and the equipment lineup is extensive. With the appropriate equipment in place, you can adjust the thermostat, lock doors, view camera footage and more through the Vivint app.

However, if you just want security and don’t plan on using any home automation equipment, there are other companies with lower prices and great reputations. Read our home security systems reviews to see which company comes out on top.

How important is smart home functionality to you?

About The Author:

Kimberly is our home security expert and has been writing about security and safety since 2013, covering everything from security systems and home automation to identity theft protection, home warranties, medical alert systems, and more. She has personally tested hundreds of system components and interfaced with dozens of home security companies to find out what’s happening behind the scenes. Her work has appeared in many notable brands, including The New York Times' Wirecutter, Reader's Digest, Forbes, People, Woman's World, and Huffington Post.

In 2018, she had her first child, which opened up a whole new avenue of security experience with baby gear. She wanted to purchase the safest items for her family.

Kimberly received her Bachelor of Arts in multimedia journalism from Simpson College. Her natural curiosity helps her research as she seeks the truth when learning about, comparing, and personally testing products and services.

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