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

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 2 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
  • 3.5-5 year contracts if you finance equipment
  • If you want cameras, you must purchase the highest monitoring plan
  • Expensive
  • 4-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

Key Features

Vivint Equipment

  • 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: D
    • Not accredited by the BBB, which is rare since most competitors are. There is 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 4 hours, which is drastically less than the standard 24 hours most home security companies have.

Vivint sends a notification when there’s a power outage to notify you. The backup battery is rechargeable, so once power is restored, the battery will recharge back to 4 hours, so it is ready for any future needs.

Vivint’s 4-hour battery backup is the worst we’ve seen. It’s not uncommon for homes to be without power for greater than 4 hours, especially when a natural disaster is the cause of it.

App Features

Android App | iOS App

Below are typical functions you can control within a home security app. The included column lists those supported by the Vivint app. Please know that to use some of the features you must have certain equipment. For example, you cannot lock/unlock doors unless you have smart locks in place that are compatible with your security system.

FunctionIncluded
Arm/Disarm SystemCheckmark
Smart Plug ControlCheckmark
Lock/Unlock Smart DoorsCheckmark
View Camera Live StreamCheckmark
Camera Controls (Pan, Tilt, Zoom)Checkmark
View Recorded VideoCheckmark
View Doorbell CameraCheckmark
Image Sensor Images
Event HistoryCheckmark
WeatherCheckmark
Smart Thermostat ControlsCheckmark
Control LightsCheckmark
Create Programs/SchedulesCheckmark
Garage Door ControlCheckmark
GeofencingCheckmark
Multi-Factor Authentication

Price

Note that the equipment price is paid monthly until the equipment is paid off (total). It was difficult to find transparent Vivint pricing, so 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 each
CheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Door/Window Sensors
$34.99 each
44444
Motion Detector
$69.99 each
11111
Recessed Door Sensor
$34.99 each
Tilt Sensor
$34.99 each
Glass Break Sensor
$69.99 each
Garage Door Controller/Sensor
$99.99 each
CheckmarkCheckmark
Smoke Detector
$69.99 each
Checkmark
CO Detector
$69.99 each
Temperature/Flood Sensor
$69.99 each
Key Fob
$34.99 each
Smart Door Lock
$159.99 each
CheckmarkCheckmark
Element Thermostat
$169.99 each
CheckmarkCheckmark
Doorbell Camera
$249.99 each
CheckmarkCheckmark
Ping Camera
$199.99 each
CheckmarkCheckmark
Outdoor Camera
$299.99 each
CheckmarkCheckmark
Panic Pendant
$34.99 each
Smart Drive
$249.99 each

Monitoring

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

I love ❤️ my camera. The whole set up is amazing… I plan to keep my service as long as possible. I love that I can see my home from anywhere I’m located. My kids as I feel so much better with our cameras around the house. – Dareisha, Consumer Affairs 3/26/2019

Amazing technology and great service.  My family loves the Vivint system.  It’s nice know I can add pieces of automation to my system myself and my monthly won’t go up.  The smart drive is the nicest part of the entire thing.  I can literally watch what happens outside my house 24/7 and it holds 30 days of space.  I’d recommend to anyone who wants more than just basic security. – Tyler G., Yelp 9/1/2018

Negative Reviews

Frequent reliability issues between the panel, the connectivity and now with the door bell. Customer service always threaten that I have to pay for the equipment in case I want to cancel the service. Very mean and not understanding. – Emad, Consumer Affairs 3/28/2019

I called Vivint to get a quote to replace my aging security system. Even though I made it clear that I was just shopping they called me 5 times within 24 hours. I told them several times that if I was interested I would call them back. This was enough to help me make my decision to not use them. – Paul M., Yelp 3/26/2019

Thorough Home Automation Lineup

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

Vivint vs Other Companies

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

Vivint vs ADT

  • Vivint’s control panel has only 4 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 4-year contract (ADT’s is the standard 3 years) and has higher equipment fees than ADT.

See all of the differences between Vivint and ADT

How Important Is Home Automation?

Visit Vivint’s Website

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.

Home important is home automation to you?

About The Author:

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.

Kimberly has been writing about security and safety since 2013, covering subjects such as home security and automation, identity theft protection, home warranties, medical alert systems and more. In 2018, she had her first child, and that opened up a whole new avenue of security experience with baby gear. She wanted to purchase the safest items for her family.

Security is a passion of hers, and she knows it isn’t a one size fits all category. With every piece she writes, her goal is to help our readers find the best fit for their unique needs.

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